Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Breastfeeding - When It's Not Always Fun

So Isaac will be 10 months old tomorrow. Time has been flying! We are still breastfeeding and it's been great! We haven't really had any problems to deal with thus far. But I've been struggling a bit with it for the past few months. I hope I don't get flamed for this but here goes nothing. 

Isaac is VERY attached to me. In fact that is an understatement. If I'm anywhere around he only wants me to hold him, pick him up, feed him, etc. If I'm not around he cries pretty much the entire time I'm away for whoever is watching him, including his own daddy. At first I thought it was just separation anxiety but if it is it's been going on for over 5 months! Part of that is anytime he gets upset or tired or anything is bothering him whatsoever, he wants to comfort nurse. Which is all fine I guess, except for when he's doing it all day long. And then if I don't nurse him right when he wants it he screams bloody murder until I do nurse him. It get's exhausting. 

I nurse him on demand, but that turns out to be 6 or more times a day. And he's not nursing for like 20 minutes at a time to get his belly full every time. It's like a minute or two here, then twenty  minutes later for another minute or two, then when brother knocks him down and he's upset he wants to nurse for another minute or two. And like I said earlier..he screams until he gets it. I always said I wanted to let him self wean but when lately I feel like I'm over it. And that sounds so terrible when I read what I just wrote but it's honestly how I feel right now! Every time someone else watches him, even for just a little while, he cries almost the whole time for them. So I don't even get much of a break to re-energize and re-focus. It's hard. 

I love breastfeeding and I know it's what's best for him. It's been great and I will continue to nurse him until he is at least a year old. So I guess this is more of a vent than anything. It's not always easy. And it's not always the pain that's tough. Sometimes it can just be straight up exhausting. 

Have you every had a period of time when your little one wanted to nurse all day long or comfort nursed a lot? What did you do? Any tips, suggestions, thoughts are very appreciated! 


  1. I had one like Isaac (out of three biological kids). As he gets older, it may be easier to distract him from nursing so frequently. Play with toys, on the ground, make sounds, even delaying a nurse by a few minutes will help him take more at a time and eventually nurse less frequently.

    I kinda miss that. This baby (currently 5 months) will only nurse when he is hungry, which means that if he is sad, there is no fixing him with a nurse (and no sucky either). Both types of kids have their benefits!

  2. As much as I am personally against them, have you tried a pacifier for the 1-2 minute comfort suck? Feedings have never been a problem for us, but once my 11mo has her deepest sleep (anywhere from 4-6 hours) she only wants to sleep attached to me (and, at this point, there is a good 6 hours remaining until the sun comes up, and 7 or 8 until my older daughter wakes). Since that's not safe, I spend far too many hours awake and it's draining. My best time to recharge is in sleep, and I'm not getting it right now.

    What I'm getting at is that I can sympathize, and while this stage has seemed to go on forever, I know that it will come to an end.

    Good luck.

    1. Thanks! As bad as it sounds it feels good to know I'm not alone. He does take a paci but even that doesn't help most times :(

  3. My 8YO would not take a bottle and she nursed every 2 hours for 8 months. It was my sanity or nursing so my husband told me to go away for the night and he weaned her cause I was going crazy and so was he! I came back and she was a new baby. I could even leave her with a baby sitter finally!

  4. Both of my babies were/are like that. It's mostly my fault because I am so bad about pumping and encouraging a bottle. Anyway, what I found that worked with my now 3 year old was tough love. I know it's hard but I started limiting his nursing sessions to only a few and gave a sippy cup with milk. When it was time to nap (his face time to nurse), I would snuggle him and he would cry and grab at me but I held strong and after about 3 days of this, he was a completely different baby. He was independent, needed and wanted his space, went to sleep on his own, had structured productive nursing sessions and was easier for other people to watch. For your sanity, you need to get your independence back!

    I, like you, am already so over nursing...we're 9 months in with my second baby and I feel like I'm counting down the days to 1 year.

  5. My daughter was like that as well, around the same age in fact. She did grow out of it, and while she is still "attached", she has become more independent and I see her slowly finding her own way without mommy at 20 months. I think it's pretty normal, especially for a EBF on demand child. I nursed my daughter until she was 18 months and she weaned completely on her own. She was down to only night and naptime nursing (or the occasional nursing sessions when she'd get hurt or wasn't feeling well) at 15 months all on her own. I got pregnant shortly after, and I think that contributed to her weaning at 18 months. You're doing great momma, just remember that in a few years you'll look back and miss this. You'll miss those sweet cuddles and the bonding you get from it. It's only been 2, almost 3 months since my little one weaned, and even though I know I will be nursing another one again here shortly in a few months, I still miss those tender moments with my girl!

  6. I am going thru something similar with my 11 month old right now. I work full time so 3 days a week she is at daycare and on the weekends she is home with dad and takes the bottle fine, but when I am home she only wants ME. Makes it hard to get anything done at night because even daddy can't calm her when I am at home. I have been feeling really "touched" out lately but realize she misses me when I am gone and making up for lost boob time when I am home! :) Sucks when an 11 month old wakes up in the middle of the night and still eats like a newborn...this too shall pass.

  7. Are you talking about my baby?! Just kidding...kind of ;) My now 2 yr old is STILL like that! Not to scare you off. The only reason I still nurse this child is because he screams like he's being kidnapped everytime he is told no. Speaking of kidnapped, he will not let anyone else hold him unless it was his idea. It's mommy or nothing most of the time. He never took a bottle, he refused. He figured out that he could hold out until I got done with teaching and he could nurse. He woke EVERY SINGLE HOUR all night long until he was 18 mos old and I forced my hubs to night wean him, which meant a lot of screaming. My first guy was similar but luckily was equally attached to his bottle, binky and blankie. I think some kids are just really high need and I try to comfort myself by saying that he will likely be an easy teenager ;) but I bet my super easy going, never fusses, neice will be a different story. That's what I Telly myself any way.

  8. JJ used to be like this but I didn't give in about leaving with family to go take a break. My mom was really gracious in that his crying after I left didn't drive her nutty. So, each time we went to visit, I would leave for longer periods of time until he just didn't cry anymore. And my mom found out what things worked as distractions to help him calm down which works now as an alternative to comfort nursing most of the time.

    I've been nursing for almost three year since I got pregnant w/ #2 while still nursing #1. I can totally relate to your feeling of being exhausted. Just be sure to get your breaks in there and work on finding other comfort sources.

  9. I've had times when I thought I was just so over it. But we just lessened nursing times and kept going until age 3 lol. My list for distractions to try when she wanted to nurse and I didn't was food, drink, cuddle, read, fun activity. :)

  10. I was going to ask about the paci thing too, but I see you've already addressed that. I totally sympathize with you. My little one isn't a comfort nurser, but he does want to be held A LOT (and more increasingly, prefers it to be me). Breastfeeding is so hard (even when the mechanics of it are easy)... I don't have words of advice, just words of're a great mom! Vent away!


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