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15 month old gone comfort sucking crazy - help!

(15 Posts)
alittleteapot Sun 05-Oct-08 21:12:18

dd has always been demand fed. By 11 months she was generally down to a feed in the morning and one late in the afternoon (oh and several at night but that's another story...). This pattern shifted during a couple of bugs when she's, quite rightly, bfed much more. But lately she wants to suck just for the sake of it at any opportunity. It's not a teething thing because once on the breast she'll suck for under a minute before becoming distracted. But it's like she feels she wants to reconnect with me at every junction of activities during the day. Almost like punctuation.

I'm happy to go on demand feeding her for nutrition and for comfort when it's really needed. But I don't think this quick suck habit is taking us anywhere constructive and would welcome any thoughts on how to curb it.

Having said that, she's just over a really bad cough which affected her appetite for solids really badly for a couple of weeks. Maybe she's still sorting herself out after that...

TIA smile

alittleteapot Sun 05-Oct-08 21:17:43

ps: we're talking every hour, sometimes more, but only staying on for a matter of seconds, so not a feed at all. proper feeds late afternoon and sometimes lunchtime too.

phdlife Sun 05-Oct-08 21:20:28

I think your intuition that she feels the need to reconnect with you is probably bang on, the question would be, do you think it's something she'll stop once she gets over the latest bug (and prob feeling a bit anxious about being poorly), or do you think she's creating a longer-term new habit?

and can you think of another way to 'reconnect', that would satisfy her?

I got nothing, of course!

bumping for you, alt.

madmouse Sun 05-Oct-08 21:43:06

Is her world growing? ie has she just started walking lots/doing new things/busy exploring? then she my indeed well be coming to check that everything is just how she left it?

just guessing here, my ds in only 8months

alittleteapot Sun 05-Oct-08 21:51:24

she's been walking a while but she's suddenly growing up a lot in lots of ways, and also has been left with other people alot more lately than ever before (till recently she's only been left with DP) so maybe it's that. also, i guess it's only been a couple of weeks, just it seems to be getting worse, and while i'm all up for continuing extended bfing i have a thing about not wanted a two or three year old who hangs off my breast at every opportunity. maybe that's more about me worrying what other people think of me.

anyway, phd think your'e right (of course!) that it's prob only something to worry about if it's a long -term habit and i prob need to give it a couple of weeks to see if that's seems like what's going on.

(sorry seem to be unable to post succinctly tonight...)

and yes madmouse that does make sense. i suppose i'd assumed once she cut right down she'd cut right down for good.

blueshoes Sun 05-Oct-08 22:08:20

My 2-year old ds has gone boobitastic. He was losing interest but has suddenly stepped up a year these past few months. The minute he sees me after nursery, he insists on nursing. And every hour or so, if i am around. I spend so much time on mn because when I am nursing him, there isn't much else I can do. It is frustrating and tedious for me, when i have lots of things to do but my world has to come to a standstill.

I do think it is a need to re-connect, so I am loathe to wean, even though I feel it more than ever that I want to get him off the breast. He is having huge tantrums and has bad eczema which is making him scared and miserable when it flares up. Poor mite.

teapot, hope your dd's behaviour is temporary and related to her cough.

phdlife Sun 05-Oct-08 22:22:55

I bet the being left with lots of other people recently, has a lot to do with it you know. when ds was 4m he "reverse cycled" - that is he quit feeding altogether during the day, and fed every 1.5hrs at night (you can imagine how I felt about this!!)

Anyway I phoned a LLL counsellor and she said that was something they do when mums go back to work and lo needed to feel more security. It's not quite the same, alt, but I'm hearing a big "aha!" with that bit of info from you - I'd bet you any money that's what it is. Particularly coupled with your recent effort of stopping her falling asleep on the breast.

alittleteapot Sun 05-Oct-08 22:23:31

thanks blueshoes. do you think there's a bit that it's them reminding the world they're still in charge? I do worry slightly about it becoming a control thing a bit.

blueshoes Sun 05-Oct-08 22:39:37

teapot, there is an element of control but I don't think in the consciously 'manipulative' way people sometimes attribute to young children.

Ds sees nursing as his 'special' connection with me. So if he sees dd cosying in with me with cuddles, he pushes in with his request to nurse. If I refuse, he gets irrationally upset, as if i was rejecting him as a person and claws desperately almost as if asking for acceptance. This is why I cannot bear to wean, even though I have to set boundaries sometimes at the expense of tantrums.

He wants to nurse more if tired or stressed.

He sometimes leads me to his fave nursing spot or playfully pushes me back into the sofa as his way of gaining control over me and his world.

He is definitely grappling with issues about control and with that, surging emotions and tantrums. It is something he needs to get to grips with.

Yes, sometimes i do feel manipulated by ds. But rationally, it is a developmental stage he needs to get through. i think once he is steadier and more reconciled with his new skills and experiences, his need for the comfort of nursing and reconnection with his mamma will wane. Hopefully - sigh.

Balthamos Sun 05-Oct-08 22:40:46

My 14.5 DD is like this at the moment. I too have put it down to bugs, teething and the like, but I kind of think it is the idea madmouse said about her world growing. My DD is such a little powerhouse now, running around everywhere, climbing, getting into things etc and I think running back to mummy and BFing just gives her that bit of confidence and security that she is still safe and ok. I guess it is a bit of continuity as her life has changed SO much. Do you think that could be it?

Not sure if this helps, but just wanted to let you know that my DD of similar age is doing it too!

Although, I am a VERY bad example as I have never managed any meaningful or successful reduction of her milk intake. In fact, I was talking to a RL (and MNET) chum recently and admitted that I actually lie to people about how often I feed her each day blush how bad is that? I feel so embarrassed that I have failed to reduce her milk intake (essentially I still demand feed her) that I can't admit it to friends and family. I guess that is a topic for another thread though!

Anyway, I digress. Apologies for hijack - just wanted to let you know that you are not alone). Good luck!

alittleteapot Sun 05-Oct-08 22:50:39

Thanks Balthamos, yes that makes total sense. DD too is now climbing great heights and discovering new things all the time - also her communication is blossoming apace, so it absolutely makes sense she wants to touch base for security.

I also totally relate to your embarrassment - I feel it too a bit - even though intellectually I am totally happy with the course bfing has gone - I suppose i worry a bit about what others think - I wish I didn't as we all know the copious benefits of extended bfing.

There's a compromise I think - I do want to start to curb some of this comfort sucking - and replace it with something else (cuddling for example) but I also want to feed her till she's at least two without feeling self-conscious about it. So looks like both dd and I have work to do!

phdlife Tue 07-Oct-08 20:16:42

thought you might appreciate this variation on a theme, alittleteapot - twice now at naptime ds has insisted he wants a feed, then just laid his face on my breast for a while, sucking his fingers!!

alittleteapot Wed 08-Oct-08 20:13:38

this belongs on the other thread really,phd but another variation on a theme i think you might enjoy. down at mil's where we've been staying our inflatable bed has got a slow puncture which we can't find (great) so I've been having to re-inflate at one of dd's wake up times i.e. 3 or 4 in the morning. It's kind of vacuum cleaner sounding, and it sends her straight back to sleep! only thing is after two mins i have to switch it off and she wakes up again...

phdlife Thu 09-Oct-08 19:32:45

lol - okay that is above and beyond the call, alittleteapot! in your shoes I'd be seriously considering letting the damn thing run all night!

alittleteapot Thu 09-Oct-08 21:15:36

I would, but the bed would burst! lol

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