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7 ms and still addicted to boob - help!

(9 Posts)
boognish Tue 04-Oct-11 01:41:29

My ds is very attached to me anyway, but is going through a very clingy phase right now - e.g. often not happy with me in same room looking directly at him/singing to him, but cries (floods of tears) till picked up. He's always been "high needs", and his first 2 teeth came through a week ago.
Tonight he's been falling asleep on the boob over and over again, then waking up again soon afterwards when he realises it's no longer in his mouth and heading for meltdown till he gets it back again. He has a bedside cot, he's not a self-settler and we have whatever routine he has IYSWIM. I can usually sing him to sleep if he's already tired, but that's not working right now.

As background, when he was tiny he lost a tiny bit too much weight in his first 3 days and had breastfeeding jaundice for 7 weeks. From the time my milk came in he used to feed for about 13 hours a day, and I was under strict orders to wake him every three hours to feed him till the jaundice went. I managed to get his weight back up fairly quickly so that he exactly followed the growth curve of his centile, but despite the interminable feeds (and he only pooed once a week, so he was not taking in more than he needed) he didn't go over this, so I think it took ages and a lot of strong suction to get the milk out (I never leaked, and expressing was nigh-impossible). After 7 weeks things got better as he seemed to get enough milk finally with shorter feeds, but he still woke about 3-5 times every night for very short feeds, which I've never tried to stop him having. Might it be because of all this that he just has too strong an association between the boob and comfort?

I thought he'd settle ok once he was on solids, but even though he's really taken to solids, has put on lots of weight and has horrid smelly poos now every other day, he has milk for starters and dessert and snacks... Should I try and train him to be more independent, or will this backfire?

Albrecht Tue 04-Oct-11 11:04:47

We have a high needs baby (ahem toddler - 15 months) who loves breastfeeding. He went through a clingy stage around 6 - 9 months.

Personally no I would not try to train him to be independent. Its part of normal psychological development to start realising that mummy is a separate person and so could therefore go away and not come back. If you were feeling insecure with your partner would you feel better if they pushed you away or if they gave you the attention you needed? Comfort is a real need too.

Just my take on it though you must do what you feel is best for your family. I.E. if you are going round the bend with it all, it'll be to everyone's benefit if he feels safe with another adult who loves him, his dad or granny etc too.

Once he starts crawling and walking he will be shattered and sleep a bit better ime.

narmada Tue 04-Oct-11 13:28:41

The behaviour you've described is normal for a breastfed baby - if tiriing for you. If it's not a problem for you, then it's not a problem, simple as that.

You can't really train a baby to me more independent. Chances are if you weaned him off the breast he woudl find other ways of getting the comfort and closeness he needs. For one reason or another, DS is now bottle-fed but he still wakes up multiple times a night and sometimes cries for a cuddle - normal, but tiring.

Loopymumsy Tue 04-Oct-11 13:34:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

boognish Tue 04-Oct-11 18:04:23

Thanks everyone for the good advice. I guess I'd have been ok about it, but as you can see I only got away from him to post on mn in the wee hours, so by that point I was feeling a bit like a mum in the first 3 months all over again. I was just worried I might be making sleeping harder for him in the future, but I do agree with you all in the cold light of day (and, yes, it has got colder today, hasn't it?) and now remember that so-called self-settlers are more likely to be poor sleepers in adulthood. I'll keep sticking with my instincts! grin

eaglewings Tue 04-Oct-11 18:06:15

Enjoy the extra cuddles. Only reduce if you cant cope. It won't go in for ever

gobblygook Wed 05-Oct-11 07:10:45

Erm, 'so-called self-settlers are more likely to be poor sleepers in adulthood'.

Sorry but I've never hears this before. is this evidenced somewhere?
It sounds a bit like a nonsense statement to me.

Octaviapink Wed 05-Oct-11 19:33:15

Solids only really kick in at about 9 months, so go with the feeds he wants for a bit longer. My ds did more or less the same thing but we've just successfully ditched the mid-afternoon feed and (in the last few days) the lunchtime one. He's 10 months now. Still has five feeds overnight, though! He went through a really clingy/grizzly phase around 8months.

boognish Thu 06-Oct-11 00:22:40

Gobblygook, what I mean is that sleep training through CC is supposed to produce results in the short term, but there is evidence that it results in poorer sleep in adulthood. Read this in more than one place, including a mainstream childcare book, so it's fairly well-accepted.

Note that I said "so-called" self-settlers, by which I meant those who've been trained into it through CC. Apologies for the rubbish shorthand, but I had DS with me when posting and had to be brief as he's not a mn fan. I should have made myself clearer.

Octaviapink, that really helps, and thanks for alerting me to the next potential clingathon.

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