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Thread: A little bit of this and that, confusion at 6 months

  1. #1
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    Default A little bit of this and that, confusion at 6 months

    I've posted once before, in a newborn section when we were dealing with oversupply. That seems to have resolved on its own (well my son also turned 6 months and has a way easier time dealing with fast flow, he gets even slightly frustrated when it's a little slow!). My boy is now a little over 6 months old, probably somewhere around 7.5kg (2.5kg at birth) and is a chunky and happy little guy.

    So we made it to 6 months, my goal is 1 year but more that I am thinking about it, the more I would like to continue beyond that. However, my husband is not entirely sure, mostly because 'we already decided we'll go on for a year'. I just want to let my son decide when it's time to call it quits.
    We are also planning another pregnancy after he turns 1, so I am guessing he'll most likely wean then (or not... zero experience there but from what I read, there is a chance). He's not exactly a comfort nurser, he's done after 5 minutes these days and won't really take a boob unless he's hungry. And that is often, every 1.5h to 2h (he does go 3h to 4h stretches during the night).
    Generally speaking I am more of a shy person and while breastfeeding in public is going okay (due to some practice) but it is very hard for me to take comments such as: "When are you planning on weaning him?', 'Isn't he supposed to be eating more solids by now?', 'You are planning to breastfeed him for a year?!'.

    Everytime I remind myself that only my son matters and that this is the best nutrition for him that he'll ever get.
    We are also doing baby led weaning and it's so adorable to watch him chew on a piece of broccoli (he does chew!) or suck on some tomatoes. My mom thinks I am doing him a great disservice, that I should puree everything (I do puree foods like peas) and spoon feed him. She even got me a baby blender... Mostly just to make me feel guilty afterwards when I go and try to do things my way.

    Another thing that is making me feel exhausted at this point is night time wakings. 11.30, 2.30, 5.30... The problem is solely on my side, since I ahve a mild form of insomnia at this point. Any suggestions how to fall back asleep? I have stopped looking at the clock but I do need to use the bathroom after every feeding and take a glass of water (in that order.. kind of a ritual). Feeding him still makes me quite hungry and co-sleeping just isn't a good solution for me. We've tried it, I am too nervous to fall asleep next to him cause I fear he'll fall out of bed (can't push the bed towards the wall), get under the blanket and stop breathing, I'll roll on top of him etc.
    Again I hear all the time that at this point he should be sleeping through the night. Everyone seems to have these mythical babies that sleep from 7pm till 7am .. and no one is tired. I have read many topics here about this and feel quite reassured.

    Anyway, sorry for this disjointed post, I have a lot on my mind these days. Today we have an appointment at the pediatrician (regular checkup) and fysiotherapy in the afternoon (he had a little high muscle tone, very much improved) and everything seems quite a lot to take in at the moment. Add to that mixture the fact that my family lives 600miles away and my social circle isn't very big and you can imagine it gets quite busy inside my head sometimes.
    Thanks for listening.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A little bit of this and that, confusion at 6 months

    I don't think you need to know how long your son will want to nurse now at 6 mos. When my daughter was 6 mos she was finishing up a 4 month long nursing strike and around 8 mos she started comfort nursing. It came in very handy as she got more mobile and would fall/crash into things and get hurt. I knew I'd nurse or pump for her for at least 12 mos. We ended up weaning at 39 mos.

    Some women nurse throughout pregnancies. I nursed throughout 2 pregnancies that ended in miscarriage around 11 weeks. It was very painful for me to nurse during pregnancy. My nipples were very, very tender. But some women are not bothered by it.

    It's nobody's business when you're weaning him. my MIL asked when DD was about a year old. I said when she's ready and I didn't know when that would be, because that's the truth, not that it was her business.

    You can also tell people that the WHO recommends breastfeeding for at least 2 yrs.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A little bit of this and that, confusion at 6 months

    Stand your ground, mama, it sounds like you are doing GREAT. Keep coming here to vent/get support. It is hard to do what you know is right for your baby when no one is standing with you. But we will lift you up! Definitely keep talking to your husband. Because his is the only other opinion that matters at all. He may come around when he sees how easy and wonderful nursing an older infant is, but I would still try to discuss the normality of nursing an older infant/toddler ahead of time. Also, so many health benefits for you both--remind him of that!

    So, I had a bear of a time with postpartum insomnia, specifically after nightwakings. You're already ditching clocks--great! That was the single biggest help in getting myself to fall back to sleep after a nightfeed. If you cannot bedshare, can you at least bring baby into your bedroom to lessen just how much you have to get up and move around? I have much more trouble falling asleep if I have to get ALL the way up. Anything that minimizes the wake-up really helps me fall back to sleep.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A little bit of this and that, confusion at 6 months

    However, my husband is not entirely sure, mostly because 'we already decided we'll go on for a year'. I just want to let my son decide when it's time to call it quits.
    "we already decided to do 'A' " is not an argument in favor of doing A or not doing B. What if someone said of their 7 year old who was struggling to learn to read in first grade and missed mom so much he cried before going to class "We have decided my child will go to trade school near home, not university, I went to trade school and have done well." But at 17 the child graduates as class valedictorian and is accepted to an IVY League University 1000 miles away- with a scholarship-and WANTS to go? There may still be rational argument against it, but it would not be "we decided on tradeschool near home 10 years ago when our child was in a totally different place academically and developmentally.’

    There is one reason and one reason only that breastfeeding to "one year' is seen as the milestone to be reached; Because the AAP recommends that babies nurse that long. What everyone misses is that the recommendation is actually that baby nurses AT LEAST that long. Which means the recommendation is actually that baby nurses OVER a year. The WHO and UNICEF recommendation is that children nurse AT LEAST TWO years.

    Weaning at 12 months is no more biologically 'normal' or necessary than weaning at 6 months or 6 weeks! (Although of course, strictly in health return terms, nursing until 6 weeks is better than no nursing, 6 months better than 6 weeks, and a year better than 6 months etc.

    But the 1 year mark is an arbitrary time limit set on a normal biological and developmental process that typically takes much longer. There are no benefits in terms of a child health, happiness, or wellness for mom or child to decide to no longer breastfeed after a year, (rarely, some babies do make this choice themselves. Rarely. But there are many health benefits, for mom and baby, of breastfeeding, and what studies there are indicate very clearly that the longer the child breastfeeds the greater those benefits are.

    I agree there is no need to have this conversation now, but I think it would be helpful to know the REAL reasons your husband is concerned about you nursing your child past a year. Once you know those, you can have an open and helpful conversation about his concerns.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A little bit of this and that, confusion at 6 months

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli* lllmeg View Post
    "we already decided to do 'A' " is not an argument in favor of doing A or not doing B.
    So true! Being a parent is all about embracing flexibility, and responding to your child's unique needs. I think about all the things my husband and I "decided" about how we would raise our kids, and how many times we had to change our hypothetical plans because they didn't stand up to the real needs of our real children! Before having kids, I "decided" to nurse until they were a year old, and not one day older. Instead, I nursed them until they were three. I also "decided" not to use pacifiers, to have my kids potty trained at age 2, to never use television as a babysitter... And guess how those decisions stood up over time! As the old saying goes, "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy".

    At 6 months, a lot of co-sleeping dangers start to become less dangerous. A 6 month old can roll around, and that means he's not likely to get trapped face-down on a soft bed, or become entrapped under a lot of blankets. But he's more likely to roll, so this might be a good time to try co-sleeping on a mattress on the floor. Wear a really warm pajama top, and you're not going to need a lot of fluffy bedding. If you're really worried about rolling on top of him, it might help to have him on a separate mattress, pushed right up against your own. Adults are very good about sensing the edge of a mattress, and what is more, most breastfeeding moms have a very sensitive "baby radar' which prevents them from overlying their babies.

    As to sleeping through the night- for a young baby, that means a single 5 hour stretch. Everyone knows someone with a baby who sleeps longer than that- but everyone also knows someone who has seen a UFO. In my opinion, UFOs and all-night-sleeping babies are equally common and equally probable.

    I agree with the PPs- it really sounds like you are doing wonderfully well! Please don't let other people sway you from doing the terrific job you're doing. Remember, critical comments and undermining success are often the way that people make themselves feel better about their own failures!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A little bit of this and that, confusion at 6 months

    Thank you so much for all these kind words.

    We've had a great day today, pediatrician consult went great (he really is 7.5kg, that basically means he trippled his birth weight! On my milk only! Ha ) and fysiotherapist said he does not need her evaluations anymore because he's doing great. Yeah, he is starting to roll and turn in circles on the ground so it's getting a lot of fun to play with him.

    I think my husband will come around. Before our son was born, he frowned upon baby wearing and dismissed it as 'that hippie thing everyone seems to be doing'. Guess who's wearing his son now? In public? Yeah, things change quite a lot. He's also not against co-sleeping though he might oppose us not having a huge cuddly blanket.. We'll see. Our son does sleep in his own room, unfortunately our bedroom is kind of a weird shaped room where there is no actual space for his bed. He seems to be doing quite alright though and his room is literally three steps away so I don't wake up completely, it's my bladder that does the rest of the work usually.
    This really is something I am still torn about it. It stems from my own childhood when I couldn't really fall asleep on my own till I was about 10 years old... No idea why, my mom blames co-sleeping. I wouldn't exactly agree but since I am quite uncomfortable with the idea, we are trying everything we can to have him sleep on his own but be next to him anytime he needs us. It's literally one peep from him and we're up.

    This message board has really been helpful, especially with all the sleepless nights. It helped me get through them and realize that what I am doing is great. Our son is a very content baby, everyone notices how engaged he is when he's around people.. and then they are a bit surprised when they realize how much I still get up during the night. And that he eats chunks of food (today he completely destroyed a tomato and he enjoyed it so much!).

    Anyway, it's getting late in my corner of the world, husband won't be home till later and I have some baby-free time.
    Thank you again for the help and encouraging words

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A little bit of this and that, confusion at 6 months

    Here's another suggestion: when people ask how baby is sleeping, say he's sleeping great! They really don't need to know what time and how often he gets up. It sounds like you KNOW that you're doing great but get a little side-tracked from negative comments. I agree, getting your husband on the same page is important, and maybe talking to your mom to tone down the negative comments could be helpful, but you don't have to get into these conversations with every friend and acquaintance. It's just too tiring!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A little bit of this and that, confusion at 6 months

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*katniss View Post
    It stems from my own childhood when I couldn't really fall asleep on my own till I was about 10 years old... No idea why, my mom blames co-sleeping.
    I bet the people around her blamed co-sleeping, too. "It's all your fault, Katniss' mom. Co-sleeping ruined your child!" And here, all these years later, she's still feeling bad about it! But it's totally normal for a child to require adult assistance in order to fall asleep. That's what the whole storytime-tucking in-goodnight kiss routine is all about. And most kids do require some degree of pre-bedtime parenting in order to go to sleep. Some more than others- maybe you were on the more extreme end of the spectrum?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A little bit of this and that, confusion at 6 months

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post

    As to sleeping through the night- for a young baby, that means a single 5 hour stretch. Everyone knows someone with a baby who sleeps longer than that- but everyone also knows someone who has seen a UFO. In my opinion, UFOs and all-night-sleeping babies are equally common and equally probable.
    This is SO true. My baby, who is 9 months old, eats regularly throughout the night. She spends her entire day crawling at full speed. She is distractable, and spends like 5 minutes per feeding at the breast in the day time. If I tried to make her sleep through the night, I guarantee that her weight gain would not have been average/normal. At her checkup she had a precisely average weight gain, and she eats maybe 30-50 calories of solids per day, she is self-fed, never used a spoon or bottle, ever.

    This is my second time around, and for me, I can see why nursing and cosleeping/parenting to sleep all go together. It's biologically normal, indefinitely. I totally agree with lllmeg that the year is supposed to be the minimum, with nursing extending until the child out grows it. Now, it may not be culturally normal for us, because many babies aren't raised this way. My first wasn't. This baby has been. Both have pros and cons but overall I would never go back to formula and sleeping through the night if I had the choice. I feel so blessed to be able to be there 100% for my daughter in this way. And it sounds like things are going great for you!
    and Mama to two little girls

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A little bit of this and that, confusion at 6 months

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    I bet the people around her blamed co-sleeping, too. "It's all your fault, Katniss' mom. Co-sleeping ruined your child!" And here, all these years later, she's still feeling bad about it! But it's totally normal for a child to require adult assistance in order to fall asleep. That's what the whole storytime-tucking in-goodnight kiss routine is all about. And most kids do require some degree of pre-bedtime parenting in order to go to sleep. Some more than others- maybe you were on the more extreme end of the spectrum?
    I don't think anyone blamed my mom cause she wasn't very open about it (though I really should ask her about it). But you are right, I am a bit.. weird about my sleeping still. That's why night time feedings were an absolute killer for me from the begining. And this month when he kept changing his pattern (last week was pretty consistent! That is a whole lot better for me).
    I always had to go through a certain 'ritual' before I can fall asleep, even if I wake up during the night. That is very tiring and I've tried 'retraining' myself but I think I'll wait till my boy (and other potential kid) are sleeping through the night. A lot easier and less frustrating.

    karrieperry: Haha, yes, my dear son is also too busy to eat it seems. 5 minutes and he's done. At night he can spend 15minutes nursing cause it's nice and quiet and I guess I am a bit more relaxed then too.

    I've been doing this for 6 months now. Sometimes I feel quite 'experienced' (a friend with a newborn likes to ask for advice from time to time ) and sometimes I just feel like a complete newbie. It's a learning process and it's good to keep that in mind

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