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Breast (comfort) feeding is starting to affect our relationship

(10 Posts)
TipTapTop Fri 14-Aug-15 09:23:13

Just after some advice on an extreme comfort feeder. DS2 was ebf to 6mo and is now being blw and bf. From the start he was a big comfort feeder, and I just went with it putting it down to him being a newborn and being happy that it was good for my supply which I felt I struggled with with DS1. I just assumed that he would settle with age and to an extent he did settle during the day by about 15 weeks.

However his need to comfort nurse all evening and night has continued and if anything, intensified. At 7mo he still cluster feeds in the evening from 7pm and has never slept a stretch of longer than 1.5 hours at night. He stays downstairs attached to me until I go to bed where we co sleep and he is attached to me pretty much all night. He will fall into a seemingly deep sleep and I try to put him in his crib but he either immediately or soon wakes up and starts frantically screaming inconsolably. We have had a few futile attempts at DP comforting him but they last no longer than a few minutes because the screaming is so desperate it feels cruel. During the night he will wake every 20 minutes to hourly and cry if he realised my nipple isn't in his mouth.

I would say I am exhausted but I don't really notice any more. But I do know I am achey, have daily headaches and in desperate need of a bit of physical space. I sometimes get to the point where thw suckling starts to go through me a bit.

This is causing constant arguments between me and DP because I resent him getting to do his own thing and me not being able to go anywhere or have a single second to myself. It is probably worse because I havent caught up on any sleep in 7 months. It also means that we have zero time for a sex life because A. I can't put DS2 down long enough and B. Because I physically don't want to be touched a single second longer if I do manage to put DS2 down.

I know the time goes quickly with our babies and I do love bf DS2. I would be happy to feed him hourly at night even if he would only settle for just a little while on his own. This isn't about DP being selfish because he is very supportive and understanding but he is understandably fed up too as am I and I also have to be realistic because I am worried that me and DP are becoming increasingly distant.

Any advice or experiences please?

Sleepyfergus Fri 14-Aug-15 09:34:22

I had a similar situation with dd2. At 8mths I'd found myself in the position where she and I shared the bed and poor DH ended up on sofa downstairs. Dd2 nursed as and when she felt like it. She was otherwise a happy, well fed and contented baby that took to weaning no problem. She was also ebf until 6 months.

I realised that dd2 didn't need to constantly feed and it was just habit and comfort rather than need, and at the same time I happened across a thread on MN about controlled crying. So I bit the bullet and did it. Hey presto, in a few days she had cracked it and we haven't looked back since. Dd2 is now 3. I'll see if I can find the thread and post a link as there were a few of us doing it at the same time as a support network!

Sleepyfergus Fri 14-Aug-15 09:36:21

Here you go, I have the same username on this thread too.

basilflower Fri 14-Aug-15 10:50:22

My ds used to stay suckling all night long too. He's now almost 1 and at some point over the last few months (I can't quite remember when, sleep deprived!) he stopped suckling all night and delatches and rolls away. He still wakes multiple times, and needs a breastfeed to get back to sleep, but it does mean in between those feeds I can shift position a bit and get more comfortable.

basilflower Fri 14-Aug-15 10:53:04

I should add, I co sleep too, and have recently put my mattress on the floor so I can feed, roll away, and have a little bit of evening downstairs with my dh.

TipTapTop Sat 15-Aug-15 07:06:49

Thanks both so much for taking time to reply and sleepyfergus for the link. Its so good to know i'm not alone! Controlled crying specifically isn't for me sorry sleepy especially as I lasted only 5 minutes when DP tried DS on a bottle of ebm grin but I'll have a look at the thread still as maybe i'll find something else that is and i'm sure reading other's experiences will help. DS sounds exactly like your DD, he is really happy and contented generally, he just loves cuddles and comfort from his mum which I adore too, just need to find a little bit of balance!

Basil thank you - this is what I was really really hoping to hear!! If it eventually eases off even a little I think I can limp on for another few months in that knowledge. It is mainly the evenings I would like back a bit because if I feel I have had a bit of time off I think thatll help me cope with the nights and be a bit more willing to let DP in a bit, awful as that sounds

stargirl1701 Sat 15-Aug-15 07:14:35

I would agree. I was despairing at the 8-10 month sleep regression but it is soooo much better at 11 months. I didn't do anything.

Sleepyfergus Sat 15-Aug-15 08:55:28

I didn't think I would ever have considered CC either, but lack of sleep and the whole houses sleeping arrangements being dictated to by a baby just wasn't working!!! Plus at that time, I was due to go back to work so needed to get some sort of routine in place.

And I have a friend whose DS at 3 years still cannot go to sleep himself and throws a wobbly just about every night. She rues the day she didn't I still some sort of ground rules to help him help himself to go to sleep.

TipTapTop Sat 15-Aug-15 11:05:40

That is so good to hear stargirl really hope that is how it works out for us in time, that would be the ideal. I think because it has just intensified to this, I have been thinking it's only going to get worse.

I can totally understand sleepy wouldn't judge the way anyone else does things at all, they are our own babies and our own circumstances own relationships etc so I say do whatever you need to do to get through. I'm just not as practical as I probably need to be to deal with it and also we are talking proper blood curdling screams as soon as he wakes with no boob in his mouth so I couldnt imagine leaving him in that state. We did a sort of gradual retreat thing with DS1 when he got to over 12mo but he was old enough to be pacified with a hand hold so I will do this with DS2 if I still havent found a solution by this age.

TipTapTop Sat 15-Aug-15 11:07:49

It was a different sleep issue with DS1 by the way. He didnt comfort nurse as he had a dummy but DS2 doesn't and won't take one now!

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