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Thread: nursing for HOURS in the morning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    298

    Default nursing for HOURS in the morning

    My 21 month old has fallen into a pattern over the past couple of months of nursing more or less half-asleep from about 4 am until we get up at 6:30 or so. We co-sleep (at least the second half of the night). I am happy to nurse her overnight but not for 2 1/2 hours straight. I hardly sleep during that time and my nipples become sore.

    After an hour or so I've usually had enough and I will pull down my shirt and tell her that it's time to go back to sleep. About 50% of the time she'll roll over and go back to sleep but she's always rooting around again very soon (~15 minutes later). Other times, she starts fussing and I will either give in and nurse again or I will pat her back while she fusses and hopefully falls asleep for another few minutes. I feel like she's basically fussing/tossing and turning/half-awake nursing for the last two hours of the morning and it's starting to get to me. And I want better-quality sleep for her too. She is definitely still tired at that hour and sometimes she'll even fall asleep again around 6 and sleep until 7 or 7:30.

    I wonder if this is part of stretching into sleeping through the night. I think maybe this early morning feeding frenzy has replaced her middle of the night nursing, which she hasn't done much of lately. I prefer nursing at 1 am for 15 minutes over 4 aim for 2 1/2 hours though!

    I just wonder if anyone knows what this is all about or has experienced a similar pattern with their toddler and how it ended up. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: nursing for HOURS in the morning

    Happens with my 16 month old DS, a frequent morning feeder in those last hours of quality sleep for me. I think if you wanted to start setting limits, it might be okay to do that. I haven't done it yet since my little is still young to me, but I will likely closer to age 2, like yours. Now as to how to set limits...I don't know. I've heard people talk about explaining about "neenee's going to bed too" but I bet it works differently for every baby and toddler.
    We and with our little monkey, born 9/30/2012.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    401

    Default Re: nursing for HOURS in the morning

    If the ~1am feeding is being dropped, why not reinstitute it by dream feeding? That might fill her tank enough to secure a more restful sleep later. I can guarantee this will be easier than trying to jockey for control with a half-asleep, half-hungry toddler. You can always go back and set new boundaries later as needed.

    I do this with DS27mo, because that holding pattern of being half awake is so unpleasant.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: nursing for HOURS in the morning

    Thanks for your replies! It's good to know I'm not alone with this. I'm finding it challenging to navigate this whole concept of setting limits. In general, it feels strange to go from acting on an infant's every whim--because what they want is what they need when they are tiny--to dealing with a demanding toddler who is starting to explore her world and her relationships and who has wants and needs that are sometimes the same, sometimes totally out of sync and much of the time highly irrational!!

    I have been pleasantly surprised that when I explain to her "mama's nipples are tired" she sometimes seems to understand and accept that as a reason that we can't nurse anymore! But strong-willed toddler that she is, she will also sometimes decide that she doesn't care and she wants to nurse and that's that.

    It hadn't occurred to me to dream feed her but I may just do that. I probably won't do it at 1 am but I will try seeing if she will nurse for a few minutes before I get into bed. Maybe that will help. Thanks for the suggestions!!

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