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Want to stop bf 8 month old

(12 Posts)
LeiaOrgana Mon 09-Nov-15 14:25:31

I'm not in a good place mentally at the moment, (which has probably contributed to my decision to give up) so bear with me if this is at all muddled.

I have breastfed my 8 month old since birth. My older child started mixed feeding at about 5 months, and took a bottle with no problems. He stopped breastfeeding all together at about 9 months. This baby is far more difficult. He refuses dummies (the older one had them) and bottles. He will entertain certain cups but won't take a full feed. He is breastfed to sleep 9 times out of 10. He wakes several times for feeding in the night. If I don't feed him he either stays awake pulling my hair (we cosleep) and gurgling at me or sobs until I feed him back to sleep. If my DH goes to him he sobs. I'm exhausted, quite frankly.

He has cmpa which complicates things, he has a tin of prescription milk but I'm not sure if he is averse to it because of the smell (horrible) the taste (provably similarly vile) or the form in which it is provided to him (not boob, therefore inadequate). I don't manage to express well. He has taken well to solids, he currently has two meals a day alongside his multiple breastfeeds. He doesn't nap reliably, we can't get him in a routine as all our days are different due to work, other children etc.

I desperately need some time to myself and to not be literally attached to him 24/7. DH tried to feed him about an hour ago while I was upstairs and he wailed, he was really upset. He tried both a bottle and a cup but he refused both. I couldn't sit and listen to him wailing so I fed him. I can't go out because I have nowhere to go, and the thought of him sobbing breaks my heart.

I can't continue to feed him but I can't see how to give up, I just really need some help.

Mrscog Mon 09-Nov-15 14:29:08

Could you up his solids? This would seem to be an easier way of him cutting down on the breastfeeding. Are you adverse to sleep training? I doubt he is hungry at every night time waking - it could be a couple of nights of hell for a long term gain?

LeiaOrgana Mon 09-Nov-15 14:53:51

He won't take any more than he currently does in the way of solids. He has a mix of finger foods and mashed up meals and enjoys both, but he's very definite on when he is done.
I'm sure the night feeding is mainly comfort, he doesn't feed for long before dropping off again but if I try to just cuddle him he will push me away and claw at me to be fed. I'm not 100% averse to sleep training but it would need to be a gentle method. I won't do CIO or CC , not judging those who do but it isn't for me.

ispyfispi Mon 09-Nov-15 21:06:26

I sympathise as this feeling of utter dependence is overwhelming at times but in my experience, carrying on feeding has always been easier than trying to stop. Feeding to sleep has always been a reliable way of making them sleep and it's hard to do something that involves more work when you're so tired. It may help you to think of it as entirely normal behaviour and not your baby being difficult. It does get easier I promise!

SometimesItRains Mon 09-Nov-15 21:09:58

What is the formula milk he has? ds1 had cows milk protein allergy and the first milk we were given was truly foul and of no use as he refused it completely. We then tried aptamil pepti (also on prescription) and that went down a lot better.

ispyfispi Mon 09-Nov-15 21:11:43

Mrscog, breastfeeding at this age is as much about emotional need than nutritional. At 8 months separation anxiety is peaking so breastfeeding is essential for him to feel secure. This doesn't mean having to be attached to him all day long but a baby who feels secure is actually likely to be more independent.

SometimesItRains Mon 09-Nov-15 21:14:33

With regard to sleep training, I found Angela Grace's Gentle Sleep Solutions quite helpful with DS1. There's no controlled crying in there, just some helpful tips and reassurance.

lucy101101 Mon 09-Nov-15 21:21:34

I went through a very difficult stage with my BF second baby from around 5 to 10 months. I was also co-sleeping and she just started breastfeeding more and more throughout the night until I was utterly exhausted and wanting to give up.

It was almost like at 6 months she discovered that she could ask for more (and more and more...) and so just kept on. My only solution (and we tried lots of very gentle methods) was to put her in a cot alongside my bed and stop feeding her throughout the night (and not being next to me meant we weren't waking each other up) I talked and soothed her but wouldn't pick her up.

After that one night of tears (well for about an hour in total) she was fine and now at 19 months I still feed at bedtime and first thing in the morning (and sometimes during the day although now she laughs when she asks and I say no) with no plans to give up.

This worked for us (and I was ready to make the change) but I appreciate that every baby/family is different but I really was getting ill with the lack of sleep (I have some other health issues) and it was impacting the whole family.

She is also a bottle refuser. We tried lots of different milks and bottles/cups and she would just look at me with horror and pick them up and throw them at me! We upped her yogurt and cheese and I am happy she is having enough milk products (I did research this) and she is on the 95 percentile for weight and has stayed there.

The CMPA milks are horrible though as my first child had this. He was in a minority who can tolerate sheeps and goats milk products though so I gave him Nannycare which is very palatable (I couldn't fully breastfeed my first).

LeiaOrgana Mon 09-Nov-15 21:21:41

It's Nutramigen lipil 2 sometimes. We have a dietician appointment soon so I may ask for an alternative. We had a breakthrough earlier not long after I posted, in that dh gave him a bottle after the school run, he took "some" of it then went to sleep on dh which never really happens.

But now I'm in bed with him, he's been in bed since 7 and woken twice already, sobbing his heart out. I'm too tired to face another evening of going up and down the stairs so I'm just staying here.

Most of the time ispy I do think of it like that, certainly as the lesser of two evils if the other is a child who wakes multiple times and won't be settled with a feed. I think this has just coincided with a bad time for me and I am wondering of it will ever end, or even get better. A friend is getting married next year, we can't travel to and from the venue in a day so will have to stay, and it's a child free wedding so if he is still reliant on me I'll be missing that, not to mention the hen weekend that I've already paid my deposit for. She doesn't have children or know many people that do so I'm imagining her response to me saying actually I can't make it because the baby needs me will not be favourable.

ispyfispi Mon 09-Nov-15 21:43:49

It's a good idea to catch up on sleep when you can, I often fall asleep while feeding ds to sleep! I've not managed to leave him overnight (he's 24mo) but I do get plenty of time to myself at other times. It will gradually get easier. Glad he settled for your dh, once he's done it a few times I'm sure you'll start to feel better about it all.

SometimesItRains Mon 09-Nov-15 22:16:39

Yes, that's the horrible one that DS1 started with. Do try and get another one - it probably won't be a miracle cure, but it should be slightly easier with something that tastes halfway decent. When we said that we couldn't get DS1 to take any nutramigen the consultant said that it generally works best for babies that haven't had much other milk (ie who don't know any better!). As your DS knows that your milk tastes much better, he is probably understandably holding out for the good stuff.

absterfabster21 Mon 09-Nov-15 22:33:23

It's rubbish when they don't sleep and only you can comfort. You've done well 8 months BF! Go you grinHave you tried warming the bottle teat? That's the only way my DS would take the bottle at first or a dummy for that matter. Just ran them under boiled water for a second or two. I'd persist with the solids to decrease feeds. My DS is 7.5 months and I stopped BF at 7. I gave a 6oz bottle to bed to start with and he actually dropped his afternoon BF about 6.5 months so I then just had to replace the morning feed with a 8oz bottle. I just make sure he has lots of calcium rich food since he's not having so much of it in the form of bottles.

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