My 11WO DD is EBF and after a tricky start it all seems to be going well...until a week or so ago when, between the last 2 feeds of the day, she has started screaming constantly and the only thing that comforts her is sucking my boob. She's not really feeding from it, just sucking.
I should say she has just started cutting her first tooth -not sure if this is related. I have tried a dummy since about 4 weeks with varying success. Some days she loves it, others she spits it out continuously and just isn't interested.
In general I'm ok about her using me for comfort but concerned a) that it means I am tied in the evenings so couldn't go out/leave her and b) not sure how I would wean her out of this habit when trying to wean her onto solids/bottle.
As she gets older, there will be other ways to comfort her, so try not to get too worried about 'rod for your own back' stuff.
Also, she may be reaching a growth spurt, so this might stop again.
Wrt evenings, I'd cross that bridge when it comes. First, you won't be there so she won't look for the boob. Also, they grow up so very fast, there will be other means of your dp/granny/whoever providing comfort.
They need comfort...but ways of providing this change with time and depending on who is available to provide it. Don't worry about habits etc...trying not to make them seems to result in a whole set of other ones sometimes.
Have you tried using a finger to soothe her? Mine won't take a dummy and hasn't learned to suck her own thumb or finger yet, but when she's fussing the way you describe and wants to suck on my nipple for comfort rather than milk, I often substitute my little finger to settle her. Saves my nipples and also DH can take a turn.
That's all really helpful, thanks. I have been using a little finger to rub her gum a bit to help her tooth come through but not as a soothed, so I'll try that ging forward. She screamed so hard tonight that she threw up everywhere bless her, that made my mind up to just give her the boob when she wants it!
Wrt other people being about to comfort her, I do worry about her becoming too clingy since she won't settle with DH at all - but this could be because he is only around when she's awake for about an hour a day during the week. I think I should stop worrying so much and just go with the flow!
Sorry - cross posts. I bought the horseshoe shaped TT teethers today but I couldn't fit it in her mouth! When she is in a state, she doesn't seem to close her mouth around anything but my nipple, must be a smell thing.
Great job in getting through a tough start I've been there and done that twice. I'd just go with the nipple, honestly. As long as it's not hurting or exhausting you, my focus would be letting her get on with it whilst you get on with other things e.g. perfect hands-free feeding to mumsnet, eat, read a good book ... I look back on those early snuggly baby days with so much pleasure, even though they were tiring, and I definitely wouldn't say that I made a rod for my own back. I loved the fact that DD2 could hear me breathe, smell me, have milk when she wanted, reach out and touch me in her sleep ... no dummy's going to meet all those needs. As an aside, I do feel it also helped boost my supply up easily when growth spurts came - which made for less crying and more sleep for us both.
Yeah Frozen I think you are right. I am planning to feed for 6 months then introduce formula so it's not the end of the world; I should enjoy it while I can. And I am mega lucky in that she sleeps from 9pm-6am, so her being stuck on me for a couple of hours/not bring able to go out for a few months is preferable to sleepless nights!
Thanks for all your responses and advice, really appreciated.