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feeling really conflicted. help!

(6 Posts)
timewaster Fri 03-Oct-08 15:11:09

Have bf ds on demand, he is now 13 months, and if I talk to other mums they seem shocked that am still demand feeding. Now I am worried about it too and also getting REALLY tired.
Have realised that ds eats a LOT less than other babies. He probably just has two small meals a day, plus a small snack. I am worried that he is not getting adequate nutrition and he spits out the vitamin drops that I give him.
He drinks alot everynight, can't really say how many feeds as have been co-sleeping for last 6-7 months, so not waking for every feed, but some nights it is every hour, and then he is not hungry in the day.
His weight gain has slowed down a lot. When I began weaning him he was 20lbs. Is now just off 26lbs.
He is very uncomfortable to sleep with now. When I wake up in the morning my back, hips, knees and shoulders are really aching, to the point where I hobble around for about an hour, and have constant back ache.
I am off work this week for the third time since returning from mat leave as have caught another bug. I am so run down and tired. I don't want to feel so ill all the time as I'm not being a good mother OR a good employee as things are now.
I feel that I've made all the wrong decisions (eg, co sleeping, breastfeeding, not leaving to cry.) I am a worn out husk. My temper is awful, and I don't see any difference between my ds and ff babies, or babies who had cc done to them.
dh and I are talking about offering water tonight and dh going in to him when he wakes to see if we can get him to eat more during day. Has anyone else done this?
I think I'm just a complete wimp- the sound of ds crying makes me feel physically and emotionally 'ill'. I think I'm just not strong enough to be a parent.
Sorry this has got so long. Probably sounds very melodramatic too, but I am feeling really low.

TheProvincialLady Fri 03-Oct-08 15:25:35

I don't think you have made any wrong decisions, honestly! Let me share some of my, ahem, wisdom.

Firstly, my DS is 24m and still only weighs just under 26lb so you have nothing to worry about there! Secondly, if your DS is having all that breast milk then vitamin drops won't give him anything else except extra iron, and even that in a less bio available way. Thirdly, 2 small meals plus a snack is perfectly normal for his age still. Yes he will want to increase it but I know of healthy babies who will eat almost NO soluds at 12m and they have been checked over by paeds to be fine. So that's his nutrition covered and not shown to be lacking unless he gets no extra iron.

If you are finding the co sleeping that uncomfortable then you are going to have to do something about it for all your sakes - and I am a big fan of co sleeping. So, a bigger bed or move him into his own bed I suppose - easier said than done I know but you could try the NCSS. My DS was just a little bit older than yours when I night weaned him because I too had reached the end of my tether. We just offered water - mainly DH - it was hard for a few nights and then he has slept much better since...it was either that or he was going to be moved to a bed in his own room, I just could not go on. What you have done so far is GREAT and has been really good for your DS but you don't have to be a martyr, if it is that bad you can change it.

As to seeing no difference between your DS and those who have been FF/had CC done to them - well you can't always see physical things happening inside a child. All we know is that breast milk is infinitely superior to FF. And with the CC - many of my friends did it with their children and I didn't. We followed his lead and did all the same things as you. My DS is a much happier, confident little chap than some of those who were more traditionally parented - a study of one and totally meaningless but I attribute it all to our brilliant parentinggrin (And my friend who was the biggest fan of CC is awake 4 nights a week for several hours with her 2 year old)

What I am saying in this excessively long winded post is that you have done a fab job but you obviously need to get some sleep and rest too, so do what you need to in a way you feel comfrotable with. It may not happen overnight but you will soon have some sleep and rest I promisesmile

TheProvincialLady Fri 03-Oct-08 15:27:27

Sorry about all the typosblush

timewaster Sat 04-Oct-08 22:11:05

Sorry haven't replied sooner ProvincialLady, but took advantage of dh being home yesterday evening and got very early night.grin
Your comments are really appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to answer my long rambling post.smile

TheProvincialLady Sun 05-Oct-08 12:35:17

No problem, I'm glad you got some sleep!

ShowOfHands Sun 05-Oct-08 12:47:17

Don't worry about the weight gain slowing. This is perfectly normal and to be expected. They grow extremely quickly for 12 months and then slow right down. My dd was 28lb at 12 months and is only a couple of pounds heavier 5 months later. It's the increased mobility, they burn off more.

Don't worry about demand feeding either. I demand feed my 17 month old and she still breastfeeds an awful lot. It helps when teething, poorly, unsettled, upset and just plain thirsty. We also co-sleep so dd does feed at night but I sleep through it and it's not excessive usually. I trust her to take on the solids she needs and she eats a wide and varied diet. Sometimes she doesn't want food, just milk and I trust that she can make that decision for herself. Fruit is always available and she can help herself to raisins/breadsticks/rice cakes etc and so the choice is hers.

I too feel physically ill if dd cries (rare in itself). I could never go down the cc/routine route, it's not me at all. However, I get a good night's sleep. You could night wean and there are gentle ways of doing it I believe- NCSS is often recommended on here. You don't have to leave him to cry at all. Or buy a bigger bed!

Are you taking an iron supplement? Have you had your iron levels checked? You sound very run down. Don't regret your decisions. You have done brilliantly and followed your instincts. All parents have highs and lows, you just find a way out the other side that fits with the way you choose to do things. It will come good again.

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