Trying to get my head straight about extended(ish) bf(5 Posts)
I'm trying to sort out my feelings and thoughts about the amount I'm still bfing DS who is 14 months.
I'm really happy to have carried on this long, but I imagined we'd be down to just once or twice a day by this stage (he is well on solids, walking, almost talking). The least I have ever fed him in 24 hrs is 4 times and it's usually more like 6 or 7 times. In the daytime they are mostly quick tops ups rather than proper feeds. And the days he's not with me in the daytime he's fine without those. He's very clear in his signal that he wants to bf - does a particular panting sort of cry and lifts us my top or puts his hand down my clevage. On reflection, I'm happy about those top-ups when he wants them.
I think what I'm feeling worried about is the feeding to sleep thing. He used to go to sleep on his own in his cot but he doesn't anymore. Now it's either rocked in his dad's arms or bf (oh and at nursery one day a week -not sure how they manage it - special nursery magic, I think). I don't feed him to sleep at bedtime because his dad does the whole sequence. And 3 of his naps a week his dad is around so does those as well. But the 4 days a week he's with me at naptime I always end up bfing him to sleep because I really need him to nap (work from home some of those days) and my arms aren't up to rocking him. And he's still not sleeping through in the night so I do a dreamfeed when we go to bed and then he usually wakes about 5. If I bf him then he goes back to sleep for a couple of hours, if his dad goes to him he's consolable but wakes up for the day. So I usually bf him for the sake of more sleep short term. I'm really fed up with doing those nighttime feeds (I now realise). We did try dropping the dreamfeed but he just woke at 2. Anyway, this is turning into a post about sleep, which wasn't what I meant to do.
I think I do feel odd to be still bfing so much and I worry that he won't be able to nap once we do stop bfing. And I don't know anyone else in RL who still has bfing this much associated with sleeping. Most of the extended bfers I know just do once a day, usually at bedtime.
What were/are you doing at this sort of stage?
No idea if this will be any use to you whatsoever, but here anyway. Have a think, what is the "biggie", the real worry for you? it sounds like your main concern is in the last paragraph about him not being able to nap without BF. I think a tired baby will sleep regardless, possibly making it a little later than it is just now, and perhaps coming up with a whole new version of his routine, but no way will little chap his size make it thru the day without one. As you say, he manages at nursery and with dad.
I found with my DD that even past one yr old like your LO she would not drop a midnight-ish feed. no way. I never did work out whether it was a genuine hunger/thirst thing, or comfort thing - but at the end of the day who cares, she wanted it, so fine with me.
It's part of the closeness between you and your son, enjoy it for as long as you both want to. In the end, you are going to have to do the 'deciding' about any reduction, but Lo's really do accommodate these things in a few days. Perhaps the 'middle ground' might be expressed milk in a cup - it wouldn't work for my DC, but worth considering as i know others who gave it a go and had success.
I bf DD til 16/17 mo, but about 14mo introduced formula in a cup, first just days she was away from me, then increased to every day, and by the end i think she'd figured that she felt more full after a big cup of FF! we have a lovely bond which has still got all the qualities we built up, now we're a few months more down the line. If she wakes at midnight these days, we have a huge cuddle, and she soon settles off again.
Still feeding dd (almost 17months) and at 14 months she was having pretty much doing what you describe, including the night feeds which can be tough, i sympathise!
Now (3 months later) she's not bothered about feeding if we're busy it's just when we have a quiet day together that she asks for more feeds and i think she probably feeds up to 4 times per day, she seems to have dropped the night feed in the last couple of weeks, this has coincided with her walking much more. Is your ds on the move yet?
The settling to sleep could be a bit of separation anxiety, my dd seems to go through phases with this, some days she's not bothered whether i'm there or not and others she screams if i try to go to the toilet! I think they all go through this and am sure he'll start settling on his own again when he gets over it.
I'm not sure from your post if you're really unhappy about the nap time feedings, i'd say if it gets him to sleep and he's happy and you can get on with work then it sounds like the perfect answer. Dd will feed to sleep given half a chance but if we're out she happily drops off in the pushchair. I think i'm at a point now where i treasure the naptime feeds because i know they won't carry on that much longer. He will be able to nap without it but do you actually want to stop it? If you do I guess the answer is to give him a drink of cows milk/formula and settle him in his cot and reassure him until he goes to sleep (he will eventually!) The "no cry sleep solution" book has been recommended to me a few times so maybe have a read and see if it's useful.
Hope this helps a bit, i think i'm probably rambling now!
Don't forget how brilliant you are for carrying on this long either!
sorry about the overuse of exclamation marks in my last post, don't know what got into me
My DS is 16 months old, and if we are together all day will have from 3 to 7 or so bfs. On a nursery day, he has morning, 'as soon as we walk back through the door', and a during the night feed. If we are in at nap time, he'll usually want a bf to go to sleep, but will go down if only dh is around, in the pushchair/sling/car and of course for nursery.
He does go to sleep on his own, after persevering with the No cry sleep solution for some time, but we can't seem to reliably get rid of the night feed - although it is getting later and later so I do have hope !
I was talking to the mum of an 18 month old nursling the other day (in a real nappy shop..)and he had 7 bfs a day routinely.
Bit of a ramble there. Oops
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