Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Leaving 10 month old with grandparents for the night

  1. #1

    Default Leaving 10 month old with grandparents for the night

    Hello ladies,
    I wonder if I could seek some advice. Against all the odds (lot of pain early on, nursing strike etc!), I am still nursing at 8.5 months. He is reluctant to take a bottle but will have 1-2 ozs on the rare occasions I have tried a bottle. I plan to be persistent with this to replace one of my feeds a day with the bottle, especially as I am due back at work in September.

    When he is 10 months, I am due to go to a wedding in a different part of the country and considering leaving my LO with my parents overnight. I know he will be ok food/drink wise as he eats 3 good solid meals, sips water and they can keep trying the bottle with him.

    I am however worried about the night. I have recently broken the habit of nursing him to sleep, instead holding him and singing to him, however he does cry and protest that I am not feeding him. Then he wakes multiple times during the night (mainly due to the unhelpful sleep associations I have created for him). Sometimes he will go back down by being cuddled but often, I will feed him. I am starting to feel guilty that my partner and I will be off having a good time whilst my son is upset and my parents are having a difficult time! I've only ever left him for a couple of hours at a time so far.

    Anyone been through anything similar and can offer some advice/re-assurance?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Leaving 10 month old with grandparents for the night

    Nothing happens if you dont' feed so often. The only way I got my baby to sleep normal chunks of time at night was to set time limits. I know we're supposed to feed on demand but my baby is really not hungry at night - just uses me as a pacifier. I know that because he'd take a quick few sucks and then just go back to sleep. It made me so tired to keep doing that at night so I decided to ease down on the nighttime feeding. I made time limits. I won't feed my baby if it's earlier than 3 hours since his last feeding. I know he can go that long because he can do that during the day just fine (although I make sure to nurse him often to keep up my supply). So if he'd cry, say, 2 hours after the last feeding I'd get him back to sleep without nursing. I did CIO because my baby has an easy temperament and he'd just cry for max 5 minutes or so and he wasn't in any distress. That worked. Now he wakes up every 3.5-4 hours which is just fine for me because we both get our sleep and I still nurse at night so he's not weaned.

    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.
    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,271

    Default Re: Leaving 10 month old with grandparents for the night

    Can you take your baby with you, maybe have grandma and grandpa come along on the trip? I think that when a mom's instincts are telling her that she and her baby are not ready for a separation, those instincts are worth listening to and accommodating.

    Mama, what convinced you that nursing your baby to sleep was a bad habit? It sounds like you feel bad that you "created unhelpful sleep associations"- but you didn't! It's entirely normal for a baby to want to nurse to sleep and to need to nurse during the night. You didn't cause your child to be a kid who couldn't sleep without your help. That's just how babies are. All you did was respond to a normal sleeping/eating pattern in a normal way.
    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!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Leaving 10 month old with grandparents for the night

    Thank you for the advice and support ladies.

    Mommal, your words really struck a chord with me. As a first time mum, I do feel as though I'm finding my own way but I get a sense from health professionals and other mums (who constantly ask if baby is sleeping through the night) that if he wakes frequently, I have caused that by nursing/rocking to sleep. So it is really refreshing to hear your kind words and assurances that I'm not doing anything wrong by my baby (or myself!).

    Thanks everyone, will see how the next month goes before we make any final decisions about the wedding!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,271

    Default Re: Leaving 10 month old with grandparents for the night

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jenk View Post
    I get a sense from health professionals and other mums (who constantly ask if baby is sleeping through the night) that if he wakes frequently, I have caused that by nursing/rocking to sleep.
    Ugh. One of the things I hate about the way we as a society view infancy is that we put so much onus on moms. If the baby is chubby, the mom must be overfeeding. If the baby is skinny, the mom must not be feeding the baby enough. If the baby is cranky or gassy, the mom must be eating the wrong foods, and should probably limit herself to bread and water. And if the baby doesn't consistently sleep through the night from a young age, the mom must be causing that to happen.

    What people forget is that night waking is normal and healthy for young babies. Babies have shorter sleep cycles than adults, meaning that they are naturally driven to wake more. Moms often have more milk at night, so babies can get a lot of calories by feeding in the wee hours. Babies who wake in the night ensure that someone will check on them, which can be vital if the baby is sleeping alone- it's easy for a baby in a cot to get tangled in a blanket, or cold, or wet, or have a leg/arm stuck through the bars of the cot. And babies who night-nurse help keep mom's fertility at baby for longer, ensuring better (i.e. healthier) spacing between births.

    Our obsession with having babies sleep through the night is a fairly new thing. A few hundred years ago, when work schedules were flexible and families routinely shared the same sleep space, no-one expected babies to sleep long stretches. Nor did they want them too, before the invention of reliable contraceptives, because when babies slept a lot, moms got pregnant again faster. Sleeping through the night really only became a societal concern when people started living by the clock- getting up at a set time for a factory shift, for example- having their babies sleep in a separate room from mom, and using contraception that actually worked.

    So when someone scolds you for a mothering style that is natural, healthy, and responsive to your child 'a needs, take that with a huge grain of salt! Even if that person is a doctor. Sleep advice is parenting advice, not medical advice.
    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Leaving 10 month old with grandparents for the night

    Well, I can offer my experience of making the choice not to go.

    I had a really exciting opportunity (and somewhat of a commitment) to visit one of my students in the field when my daughter was 20 months old. We had already bought plane tickets to take the whole family. But then we heard the field site would not allow me to take my daughter because of some liability problem! I would have had to spend a week away from her. It did not take me long to decide there was no way I was going to do that. As my neighbour put it "little kids need to be with their moms".

    I have not regretted this decision, although we lost some money on the plane fares and it was a missed opportunity professionally.

    Now she is 2.5 yo and we still haven't spent a night apart, though I'd be willing to do 1-2 nights now. At 10 mo I would not even have considered spending a night away. I know it can be done and everyone will survive, but, as you say, if you don't feel too good about leaving your baby with grandparents, then you aren't likely to enjoy the wedding much anyway. Personally I would only have spent the night away from my daughter at 10 mo if it was absolutely a requirement for keeping my job, or if I had to be hospitalized and there was no way to keep her with me, or something of the sort.

    Personally I think in a lot of modern societies there is too much social pressure to leave your baby and do "adult things", and it goes against our nature as human beings. From my (limited) experience this is especially true in the US and UK. In contrast, in Latin America and at least some parts of Asia, children (and old people) seem always welcome and it is often taken for granted that the children will go wherever the mother goes, including to parties and to bed with mom. So I think whatever pressure you are feeling from friends to spend less time with your baby, or comfort him less, try to let it go (let it be like water off a duck's back) and do whatever YOU feel is right for your baby.

    Well, all that said, I am pretty sure others on this forum have been away from a 10 mo overnight, and everyone survived, so hopefully someone will chime in with their experience.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    614

    Default Re: Leaving 10 month old with grandparents for the night

    I completely agree with mommal on all points here! Mama, please don't let anyone convince you that you have done anything wrong. You have done a wonderful thing by being responsive to your baby's needs. Many doctors simply do not know enough about breastfeeding, and do not understand that for many breastfeeding dyads, eliminating night feeds and night waking is something that will lead to a decrease in milk supply and an early end to the breastfeeding relationship. So all of this unfortunate sleep advice being peddled is not only not medical advice, it's actually in most cases really bad breastfeeding advice.

    That said, I had an out of town wedding to attend when my daughter was about 8 months old. Children were not welcome at the wedding. I opted to take my baby with me on the trip anyway. What worked out best in our case was to have my husband stay in the hotel room with her while the rest of us went to the wedding--it was a wedding on my side of the family, and every adult I knew and trusted felt obligated to attend the wedding. I, too, did not feel comfortable being away from my baby overnight, so that is just what worked best for us. Good luck, mama!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •