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Old 08-25-2011, 10:49 AM   #1
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Not what i expected...

First off I will say this nursing relationship has been everything I had hoped it would be. Ds latched soon after birth and has been nursing great since. He obviously loves it and so do I. He's 5 months today. My first 2 were already weaned by now. He's only had a few bottles of ebm.

My goal is a year and then let him decide, but at this rate I can't see him weaning on his own.

What I didn't expect was the level of extreme attachment he would have to me. While I don't mind some comfort nursing, I wish he wouldn't need it to go to sleep. He cries in any nursery setting (church/gym) so no one else can really care for him. He will tolerate DH long enough for me to go for a bike ride and he has to be up holding him and moving around.

It's just very tiring to have him so attached. Going to bed takes FOREVER and he often wakes 45 min later needing to nurse back to sleep. After that he'll sleep another 4 hours or so. He was doing 6-7... What happened???

I just feel like I cannot go anywhere in the evening because it usually takes me until almost 9 to get him down then if he wakes soon after; I just feel a little trapped. Last night he was super tired and I tried having him in bed by 6:30 but he woke and fussed every time I put him down.

He hardly naps during the day unless I wear him. My older 2 found fingers by 4 months and soothed themselves. He won't do that or take a paci. He just wants me.

DH has been asking since ds was a few weeks to do a bottle every night. Even with pumping I felt that interfered with my nursing my older 2 so I have kept saying no. DH is convinced ds attachment to me is b/c of the nursing as this is something we didn't experience with the others.

I just spent 45 min nursing him to sleep for a nap only for him to wake and cry as soon as I put him down. Sigh...

It's not that I'm ready to just quit but at the same time I just remember back to my older boys and while I missed nursing them, things were more predictable. They were on more of a regular schedule and could go longer between feedings, anyone could care for them, and I was able to be gone long enough to regain my sense of balance.

Now the ease of nursing is great. When I go out it's nice not having to pack bottles, formula, water, and all that stuff. It makes doing diaper laundry easy as I don't have to rinse. The obvious health benefits for ds is wonderful and it's the way we are both designed for him to be nourished.

It's hard to talk about this to DH b/c he would prefer bottles anyway. He'd like to help feed him some and he just wants to help me get more time on my own too. He's totally willing to take all 3 and give me time but ds just won't stay happy.

I'm not sure if I'm just venting or looking for advice or what. I do love nursing him and want to keep going but at the same time I would sort of like to have me all to myself again. I know that's selfish but when I feel like I just cannot get away then I feel like it affects how good of a mom I can be. I feel much better when I can have an hour or two to myself to get exercise. I HS so I really don't get any downtime during the day. Also I am spending so much time trying to get him to nap by nursing him that I feel like I am losing school time. I spend so much time taking care of the baby I can't give much time to my older 2. They play well together but I need to be with them too. I've tried reading to them while nursing but the baby is distracted or starts fussing. It just hasn't worked.

I have the healthy sleep habits book that a lot of mamas here have recommended but it does suggest CIO. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I don't like the idea but I just need him to not be so dependent on me ALL the time. I didn't have this issue with my others since they found fingers so soon.

I just feel like I spend my whole day nursing him or soothing him and just cannot get anything else done.

My closest friends either didn't bf at all (adopted her kids) or didn't nurse much past a month or two, so I'm not sure they would fully understand, although I know they would listen but I'm not sure what advice they could offer.

Anyway, I guess this got kind of long. Thanks for reading if you got to this point!

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Old 08-25-2011, 11:43 AM   #2
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Re: Not what i expected...

What you have, I think, is really a temperament issue. Who knows--your older boys might have been exactly the same in their behavior had you breastfed them exclusively as well. My two nurslings could not be more different in their nursing and sleeping behaviors, and I have not done anything different in our nursing relationships.

If any of your friends have had high needs babies, you will certainly be able to get their support and input, whether they breastfed or not.

Your DS will become more independent--and it will not be long! Hang in there!

I would keep trying the gym childcare situation. I plan on trying to take my DS to ours as soon as he turns 6 months old (the youngest my gym will accept babies) so that I can get some decent exercise during the week. I started to take my very attached DD to the gym childcare when she was 15 months old, and it took several weeks for her to get acclimated. I started out dropping her off for very short periods of time (20 minutes or so) at times when it was not busy so she could get a lot of attention. Yes, she cried, and it was hard for me, too! But she got used to it and now she enjoys it. And it was important for me to get that exercise time for my physical and mental health. So keep trying!
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:31 PM   #3
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Re: Not what i expected...

DS # 1 nursed to almost 18 months, but he was NEVER attached like DS # 2 is (9 months). I echo all of the sleep issues with # 2, and had ZERO of those with # 1 - and both are exclusively BF. DH and I joke that DS#1 conspired to be good so we'd have # 2. I also agree with the PP that it could be a temperament issue.
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Old 08-25-2011, 01:34 PM   #4
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Re: Not what i expected...

I only have 1 dd and this sounds like her. She is 20 months now and it does get easier in time. She is still high needs but can do more on her own now. Wearing her while I did stuff even while she nursed was really the only way I ever got anything done. Sorry I'm not much help but you are definitely not alone.
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Old 08-25-2011, 01:37 PM   #5
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Re: Not what i expected...

*hugs* Mama. DD isn't as attached your DS seems to be, but I do understand what you're feeling/going through. Sometimes I do think formula would be easier, and my mom only BF all of us for a couple of months and so she sees how much time I spend BFing and tries to tell me I should give her apple juice/water/baby food so I don't have to feed her as much even though she's only 4 months. I know I COULD supplement with formula if I wanted, but I won't even mention it to DH because he always wants to make my life easier and would probably try to talk me into it... I know I would only supplement because of selfish reasons, and I know I would feel bad/sad because I do enjoy BFing most of the time... some days are just tougher than others. Keep at it- I do believe these days will be past us soon, and then we'll be wondering where they went. We've already gone 5 months BFing our little ones!!
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:49 PM   #6
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Thanks mamas! I will try the gym again. I'm hoping once he can sit alone that might help him last longer. Maybe I should go and sit in the room with him for a few minutes. I thought his older brothers might help but so far that hasn't worked. I don't say much to my mil as she has suggested bottles and formula on several occasions. She didn't bf at all so I know she thinks I'm crazy.

It's just been a few days of feeling like all I can get done is making meals and nursing all day. Our family already questions our homeschooling so when I go days and weeks of getting nothing accomplished I'm worried they'll get behind or it will look like I'm not doing my job. They ask questions about his reading every now and then and might compare him to a friends grandchild who is in public school. I know if he were in school we wouldn't get those questions, even if his abilities were less than they are now (and I don't think he's behind at all. He's doing 2nd grade math and on par with reading I think). And we're not opposed to ps. If HS doesn't work it's where they'll go.

And to think we had talked about having 4 kids! Ha!
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:55 PM   #7
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Re: Not what i expected...

Chances are this is his temperament and even if you switched to bottles/formula now, he's going to be attached to you (and may have been from birth). NONE of my girls took a paci or fingers. I was the paci for my MDD and YDD is getting that way, too.
Lately I have been feeling resentful to other who can just GO places. I wanted to go see Harry Potter but can't because Natalie is not a movie baby, but if she took a bottle I could leave her with some friends of mine who would love to watch her. (She won't). And she's starting to freak out when other people hold her.
(((Hugs)))
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:22 PM   #8
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Re: Not what i expected...

((HUGS)) Mama. I know it's rough. But things will get easier with time. If you cherish the nursing relationship you have, don't give into the hype that bottles will be easier. My son never could latch. So after a stressful first month of attempting to latch, pumping, then feeding . . . I gave in to formula. Then came the stress of him being lactose intolerant and having a rock hard gassy tummy and constant spitting up changing formulas and on and on. sigh Only to go through it all again at a year. Ugh. Oh and yep, he was even more clingy after I stopped nursing him.

Every child is different. My DD nursed for 18 months straight went through open heart surgery and another major health issue as a newborn and isn't clingy in the least and never really was.

I work as a lactation peer counselor at my local WIC office and I have to say that after latch issues, the biggest deterrent to breastfeeding that I see is Dads and Grandparents that want to give bottles. I actually had a Dad say to me. "It's all my fault. Breastfeeding was going great, but I wanted to feed the baby. So we gave bottles, now she doesn't have the milk supply she needs and I'm working again and I'm not there to help with the baby."

I'm not trying to judge. I hope this doesn't come off that way, since I've done both. Do whatever works for you and your family.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:54 PM   #9
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My first was very high needs, so I do truly appreciate where you are coming from Mama. He was latched on 24-7 practically until 4 months old. After I returned to work, he was latched on whenever he was with me. We coslept and that allowed me to get some sleep at night. The books that truly helped me were The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley and Dr. Sears' Fussy Baby Book. Maybe those would be helpful for you as well. You are welcome to pm me if you'd like to chat ever

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Old 08-25-2011, 11:00 PM   #10
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Re: Not what i expected...

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Originally Posted by kocho View Post
((HUGS)) Mama. I know it's rough. But things will get easier with time. If you cherish the nursing relationship you have, don't give into the hype that bottles will be easier. My son never could latch. So after a stressful first month of attempting to latch, pumping, then feeding . . . I gave in to formula. Then came the stress of him being lactose intolerant and having a rock hard gassy tummy and constant spitting up changing formulas and on and on. sigh Only to go through it all again at a year. Ugh. Oh and yep, he was even more clingy after I stopped nursing him.

Every child is different. My DD nursed for 18 months straight went through open heart surgery and another major health issue as a newborn and isn't clingy in the least and never really was.

I work as a lactation peer counselor at my local WIC office and I have to say that after latch issues, the biggest deterrent to breastfeeding that I see is Dads and Grandparents that want to give bottles. I actually had a Dad say to me. "It's all my fault. Breastfeeding was going great, but I wanted to feed the baby. So we gave bottles, now she doesn't have the milk supply she needs and I'm working again and I'm not there to help with the baby."

I'm not trying to judge. I hope this doesn't come off that way, since I've done both. Do whatever works for you and your family.
THANK YOU!! This is so right (in bold), and it's what happened with my first 2. They also latched right after birth and nursed great, but I felt pressure to give bottles and not knowing with the first, it really caused a supply issue. With the 2nd I tried to pump, but I didn't respond well and didn't know that a pump isn't an accurate supply indicator, so I weaned him, too. That's why I have fought so hard for no bottles this time.

I don't feel this came off as judgmental at all. It really helps to hear others' experiences. I feel like it's a temperament, too and feel like even if he got bottles from the start, he'd be the same way. And I've told DH that going to bottles doesn't make things easier on me for 90% of the time. It would only help once a day, then maybe a couple times on the weekend. It helps I can co-sleep, too.

I wanted to run a marathon, I set a goal, trained for it and did it. I wanted to do a triathlon, I trained and did several, now I want to nurse my baby for at least a year and him not get any formula. Not that I think formula is bad, my older 2 got it, it's just a goal I have. And I do love nursing him and don't want to give it up. I think some days we just get tired and worn out!
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