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Thread: Frustrated and confused...

  1. #1
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    Sep 2007
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    Default Frustrated and confused...

    My dd is now 14 months old. Breastfeeding her this long has been mostly wonderful and one of the proudest things I've ever done.

    However, it's really taking a toll on my marriage. My husband is now making comments about "when are you going to be done?" "I thought you were done at one year." "some people probably think 14 months is weird." "why don't you just give her milk?", etc.

    His biggest problem is my lack of sex drive. But that could be caused by two things: breastfeeding and Depo shot.

    He's also frustrated by her sleep habits. We used to cosleep full time. A few months ago we started trying to get her to sleep in her crib. It hasn't worked out the way he'd like it to because she ends up back in bed part of the night on most nights. She still wakes up frequently (ever 2-3 hours) to feed. Doesn't help that we both have to wake up at 5am to get ready for work. (both high school teachers)

    I need help in night weaning desperately. But I'm also unsure on how to handle his negative views on extended breastfeeding. I've tried to explain to him that it's harder to wean her off than he thinks. It's an emotional and physical thing for BOTH me and the baby.

    I love breastfeeding my dd but I do have some wishes of her being done. But I hate to hear her screaming when I try to get her to take cow's milk from a sippy. It's a heartbreaking cry.

    I want to wean but part of me doesn't want to because of my daughter's reaction so far. When she's around me, she wants nothing to do with cow's milk. But when she's at daycare she drinks it without problems.

    So what do I do? Like I said, I want to wean her but not instantly... And I need some advice on nightweaning.

    Thanks...
    ~*Sherri*~
    Mommy to Allison Rae

    Born 9-18-07 @ 1:18am

    BF for 18 months! Finally weaned!


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Frustrated and confused...

    If you think it might help, you could show your husband this great list of benefits that breastfeeding in the second year has for both mom AND baby. Also, you may want to make it very clear that weaning is just not something that happens instantly, especially if baby still night nurses. And that he may have to step up and start doing a lot more work if he wants that to happen. For example, my daughter has never taken cow milk from me, even now that she's weaned. She just won't do it. She'll drink it at daycare and from my husband, though.

    I had great success using the Dr. Jay Gordon method for night weaning. It helped to make my husband read this article because it does talk about the need that babies have to nurse and the fact that if baby isn't ready it isn't good to force them. But there is a well-laid out plan in there for systematically night weaning. I didn't follow his timeline exactly, it took us much longer than his 10 days but it was effective in the long run. Be prepared that if you do night wean, illnesses and teething and things like that might cause baby to start waking and needing to nurse again and you may have to start over.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,267

    Default Re: Frustrated and confused...

    I'm sorry you're getting such a hard time from your husband. It sounds like you guys need to sit down and have a serious chat about the issues you're having.

    For starters, his comments. He raised the issue of what other people will think; I would ask him why he cares what other people think. Should other people's opinions dictate how you live your lives? He wants to know why you don't just give her milk; I would tell him that you are giving her milk, and ask him why he thinks cow's milk is better for your baby than milk that nature specifically designed for her. He has asked when you will be done; I would ask him why it matters. What does he think would be gained by weaning now (or soon)? Does he think it would resurrect your sex life? Or buy more sleep?

    You might want to give him the following articles on "extended" nursing. (I put "extended" in quotes because some people prefer to call nursing beyond 1 year natural term or full term breastfeeding, terms which normalize breastfeeding beyond 1 instead of implying that it's weird.)
    - Extend Breastfeeding's Benefits(Mothering Magazine, Oct. 2007)
    - When to Wean (Natural History, Oct. 1997)
    - Up to what age can a baby stay well nourished by just being breastfed? (WHO online Q&A, Aug. 2008) Note that the WHO recommends breastfeeding up to the age of 2 years.

    Regarding night-weaning, here's what I did. Instead of nursing my 10.5 month-old daughter until she was unconscious, I nursed her and popped her into her crib while she was still wide-awake. She marched around the crib screaming furiously while I sat beside her singing gentle songs and patting her. After 30 minutes, she hiccupped herself to sleep, and slept without interruption until 3:30 a.m., when I nursed her and she went back to sleep in the crib until 7:30 a.m.. (She had been waking 5-6 times a night.) The next night was the same, and the third night, it only took 10 minutes before she fell asleep. We maintained the 1 nursing session per night until my daughter turned 2, when I eliminated the last feeding.

    Here are some things I learned while night-weaning:
    - Expect some tantrums. A dedicated night-nurser won't give up without a fight.
    - Accept that you will all be getting even less sleep than usual until your child accepts the new situation.
    - Don't feel like you must give in because your child is crying. So long as you are offering some form of comfort- a backrub, a song, a cuddle- it's not the same as letting your kid cry it out all alone in a dark room.
    - Once you've made the decision to night-wean, stick to your guns. Being inconsistent- nursing one night but not the next- only confuses the child and prolongs the process.
    - Restrict access to the breast. Wear a bra to bed, or a pajama top that can't be easily opened. If your child can't easily get her hands on your goodies, she may be more willing to give up without a fight.
    - Have a sippy cup or water available for night-wakings.

    Regarding your sex life... Have you considered trying a different birth control method? If you think Depo is wrecking your drive, there are plenty of other methods out there that won't. Condoms, diaphragm, cervical cap, non-hormonal IUD (Paragaurd)...

    If you come to the decision that you need to wean in order to get your whole family back on an even keel, don't feel bad about it. You have given your child a wonderful gift, and nursed long beyond the average American mother. You've done a great job!
    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
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    May 2007
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    Default Re: Frustrated and confused...



    I think it's pretty typical to get negative comments from family members about nursing past 1. You're not alone!

    Don't wean if you're not ready. If you can cut back and night wean I bet you will feel great about the nursing you are still doing.

    Sex drive- I will tell you this. Once I cut back on nursing my sex drive went up a LOT. I think it differs per person though. I don't know anything about the depo shot, but I would certainly explore other options!!!

    Good luck and congrats on making it to 14+ months of nursing.
    Lisa

    Mommy to
    Logan 5-23-07
    Colby 12-14-09

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Southern Maryland
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    Default Re: Frustrated and confused...

    Thank you for your advice and encouragement!

    We had a big talk last night, mostly about our lack of sex life, and we are compromising about some things.

    I'm going off the Depo shot, however; my doctor won't put me on another birth control pill until my period returns. So I guess we just need to be EXTRA careful until I get on a pill. I'll research some other types of protection...

    He's not going to push me about sex and breastfeeding as much as he has.

    We had a bad night with getting our daughter to stay in her crib. She slept there until about midnight and then woke up almost every hour until I finally gave up and put her in bed with us.

    Thanks again! I'm going to have research the best way to wean SLOWLY and how to night wean. I'm taking everything to heart.

    Thanks!
    ~*Sherri*~
    Mommy to Allison Rae

    Born 9-18-07 @ 1:18am

    BF for 18 months! Finally weaned!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Frustrated and confused...

    we do musical beds at our house.
    dd had a double fouton that I could sleep on if she had a bad night.
    we also had weekly date night after the kids were in bed, we would watch tv together and just spend "time" together. once a week didn't totaly meet his needs but it sure helped!
    14 months is very young I would explain to if weaned a child that young will most likely still get up at night.
    WEaning her isn't magicly going to make her sleep all night.

    I'm glad you guys are talking thats a good thing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Frustrated and confused...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*caramel-allie View Post
    I'll research some other types of protection...
    Planned Parenthood has a really good rundown on all the different types of birth control that are currently on the market, available here. I also don't like the hormonal methods, so my husband and I use a combination of diaphragm/spermicide and the fertility awareness method. We've had perfect success so far. (Knock wood.)

    Glad you and your DH had a good talk the other night!
    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!"

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