I can sympathise, my ds is 13 months and still bf, he will bf to sleep for naps or out in the car or pushchair but from when he was quite young i introduced a bottle of formula which means that someone else can feed him at bedtime ( i have 3 other children so needed this option) although he usually falls asleep with the bottle too. This has meant i have been able to leave him overnight and he has managed and i have just expressed my milk. It's not ideal as he still wakes during the night for a feed and goes through periods of bad teething where he only wnts to bf. Would you think about intoducing one bottle? Obviously this is personal choice but may give you a few much needed breaks!
I wish there was something to say to make the bad days better- they won't all be like this, is the closest I can get!
Evenings are a tough time because you are both tired and just when you want to get away is when he needs you most. Would you be able to get someone to watch him mid-morning or something so you can have a nice long soak in the bath or watch something really crap and mindless on the telly?
Or, and I know this is not everyone's idea of me-time, could you go out first thing to the gym or for a run? Half an hour to yourself might charge your batteries a bit even if you can't get a decent night's sleep at the moment.
Hang in there, it does get better all the time even though sometimes it can seem like they've gone backwards. It sounds like you are a very responsive mum and sensitive to his needs
We co-sleep (side-care cot), DS woke last night every 90 minutes (he has done that twice in a week now) but 'normally' he wakes 3 times - I can cope with the night waking I think and I do agree BF'ing is so much easier over night.
I think deep down, I don't want to stop BF'ing, I enjoy it and DS does (although I am terrified he may bite me soon - eek!) I think perhaps it's the feeding to sleep that is getting me down as it means I have to be around for feeds and naps and as much as I love spending time with him, a few hours away would help. And with him waking all evening long I can't feed him off to sleep for the night and relax, I'm up and down all evening... FF won't fix that either!
Oh Orchid, lack of sleep is such a bastard How often is he waking at night? What are the sleeping arrangements in your house? Do you think he might be teething at the moment?
There's no guarantee that formula will make him sleep better. Of course it will mean that your DH can help out with the night feeds, but night feeds will mean getting out of bed and going and preparing a bottle. There is a study that showed although breastfed babies woke up more frequently, they stayed awake for shorter periods of time so the total amount of sleep made no difference. Breastfeeding also makes it easier for the mother to get back off to sleep.
It is completely your decision, but if you weaned now and the formula made no difference to sleep (or perhaps made it worse?), how do you think you would feel about that? There are things you can do to help maximise the sleep you do get, such as keeping your baby close to you during the night. Formula isn't an easy solution to sleep problems.
There are gentle ways to wean when you feel like the time has come. It's best done gradually to avoid any engorgement on your part and to avoid your DS from getting too upset. You can wean at any age you like but breastfeeding always has benefits to baby and you (lower risks of breast and ovarian cancer for a start) and some of the benefits are dose dependent (ie the longer you BF, the greater the benefit). If you need to talk about weaning strategies then a breastfeeding counsellor can help you come up with a plan.
I hope that helps a bit. There is also some information about sleep here. Wishing you a more restful night!
I don't really know if this is the best place to post but everyone here is always so helpful and friendly.
DS is 6 months and EBF. We have just started weaning and so far it's going ok.
My dilemma is that although I am enjoying breastfeeding I am starting to get a little frustrated that it's me having to do everything for him. He feeds to sleep for 3-4 naps a day and at night. (he will nap in his buggy if we are out for a walk but I really want him sleeping in his cot and not pounding the streets multiple times a day) If he wakes at night he is fed back to sleep. I try to resettle him first but it doesn't often work. I don't know how to stop this. I have read the No Cry Sleep Solution and No Cry Nap Solution but pulling him off before he is asleep just wakes him up and he cries. Maybe I need to commit more to it?
The other thing is that I wonder if he was FF would I feel more freedom? I can't pump milk for him to be bottle fed with, I really struggle to and only can if I'm v engorged. Would he learn to sleep another way if the breast wasn't offered?
I am also thinking more about when the time comes to stop breast feeding - how the hell do I do it?
I'm just so confused but it all I'm in tears and feel so unsure what to do, trapped and stuck in a rut. He is the sweetest little boy and I want the best for him but I am just feeling so low today.