Am I destined to bf ds for ever?(16 Posts)
It is getting me down now.
I really want, no, need, to stop bf ds. I have no energy and he is still feeding like a 3 month old. He has at least 4 feeds during the day. Is still in our bed and waking 2 hourly to feed.
I have tried everything
He wont take a bottle, at all. He hates formula and I cannot express. I have tried lots of different milks/beakers/bottles etc.
Other people have tried giving him a bottle. I have tried not giving in to demand and just leaving him to cry. I have tried the 'no cry sleep solution' 'rocking to sleep' without a feed, but he just wont.
He has never ever fallen to sleep on his own. Ever.
I am at my wits end. I cannot go anywhere on my own because he is soooo clingy. Dp and I are being affected becuase ds wont sleep anywhere but in our bed. He hasnt slept more than 3 hours at a time in his entire life.
I'm exhausted. I just want to stop.
I was always told 'breast is best' I couldn't bf dd so tried my hardest with ds and stuck with it. Now 10 months later I feel I made the biggest mistake of my life by feeding him. I just want some sort of life back. Where I can nip to the shops without ds having a fit that I am gone.
I have someone coming in the next half hour to chat about him. I know she will just say everything that I have already tried.
Sorry to say this, but 10 months is really early. Breast is best, but that doesn't mean it is easier for you! That clinginess would come out some other way if you weren't giving him what he wanted.
9-10 months is peak time for separation anxiety - it certainly isn't entirely breast-related.
What happens if you are out at bedtime and dp tries to put him to bed without you there? At some point, if not right now, that will become possible - around 11 months for us I think. I am still bf ds and he woke every 2 hours all night every night til around 1, but since then (after some hard persuasion) he did sleep through.
Good luck. This is a really hard period to get through with cling breastfeeders.
Oh, feeling for you Knickers, you sound really tired. Hope you get a break soon. DD was able to nap on her own, but it would take over an hour of cuddles to get her to sleep in the evenings at approx that age, and then that stopped working too. Controlled crying worked for us in the end, but it was horrible hearing her cry. Perhaps work on one problem first and then concentrate on the other (feeding and sleeping). Which one would give you a better chance to get some rest?
My ds was a bit like this. He didn't sleep for long periods during the day, was in bed with us at night and quite clingy, refused to drink form any cup or bottle. I used to make sure I fed him lots leading up to bedtime and eventually he began to sleep through. Perhaps you could try this? Although it is difficult and tiring, I would ppersevere with the feeding as you've done so well up till now. It really isn't forever.
I would second dh putting hi to bed, it might be tough at first but ds will get used to it. It's difficult when they haven't fallen asleep by themselves but it will happen eventually.
What is he like with solids? Can you increase the amount he has later in the day. I also found this worked well with ds and sleeping.
I hope things improve for you.
He screamed the house down and I had to come home early when dp tried to put him to bed.
Knickers, what happens when you try to express? Are you finding it hard to produce anything because you are tense and worried about it? I had a battle getting ds1 to take bottles and wean off the breast, this was at 6 months. I've only ever been able to express 1.5oz at a time, so I had to work at it for a long time to build up a stock which I could then mix gradually with formula. I needed peace and quiet and a determinedly relaxed mindset, and a photo of ds, to squeeze a drop out! Also, we had to pick one bottle/teat and stick to it with dh doing the feeding attempt at the same time every day. It worked eventually but it was a long battle.
With regards to solids, He has 4 meals a day, the last being around 8pm 'suppertime'
We are just in the middle of cc with dd which is working really well. I tried it with ds, once, and he had gotten himself into such a state, it broke my heart
I can only get about 0.5oz from both breasts. I did manage to get a supply of about 3oz after expressing most of the day but then he just refused it.
I know it seams like I am just making excuses but I really am not. I have tried everything just feels like a losing battle.
Agree with other posters you should pick one issue at a time to focus on. If you are already doing cc with one child, I wouldn't take on the sleep issue with your ds. Can you do one bout of expressing a day, not all day (!!!???) and build up your stock gradually? Also, then if he refuses it at first, it won't mean you waste the whole lot and your efforts over the whole day.
Another thing I did was give ds the bottle teats to mouth and handle for a few days, so that he was getting familiar with the feel, smell and taste of them.
I know it's really easy for me to sit here and say this, but your own stress and frustration over this will be adding to his - I know I know, all very well when you are drained and exhausted and down. But can you try to think baby steps and accept just really small progress each day, eg. He puts the teat in his mouth but doesn't drink the milk - that's one step.
This will pass, he won't be bf and in your bed forever I promise.
This does not seem to me to be a breastfeeding issue at all.
He is not screaming with hunger or for the breast when he screams with other people - he is screaming for you. Then of course he sates his distress with a breastfeed 'cos he loves it.
Maybe now is not the time to fight this clinginess. It is a very common behaviour at this age....you make it worse and more desperate by struggling against it, truly.
At present i) he cannot fall asleep on his own, and ii) he needs you around and iii) dislikes being left with other people and iv) will not take a bottle or cup v) only you can put him to bed
Trying to resolve all those issues when he is at this age and stage is not doable, I would suggest.
Pick one of them, and work on that, gently and persistently...what do you think?
It might be you choose to work on the cup/beaker thing. Then you build up his tolerance of other people. Then you work on the falling asleep on his own in the day.
And so on.
So over a period of weeks you start to feel less trapped and tired - rather than despairing you will never have time to yourself and trying to fight every day against all of the 'traps'.
This could have been me when DD2 was 10 months. In fact I think I posted something pretty similar at the time - I'll try to find it in a mo.
DD2 was a boob monster - I couldn't even sit with her on my knee as she'd want feeding at that age. It was getting me really down as I felt that she couldn't get any comfort from me unless she was feeding. She also woke several times each night and fed several times a day.
She wouldn't take a bottle and I never had much luck with expressing like you. She would drink water from a beaker
At 13 months I HAD to go away overnight for family reasons. DD had no cholce but to settle with DH and she did - without even making a fuss. (I still don't think she would have done it at 10 months even looking back - she had a greater awareness at 13 months) I pumped (and slept) and despite the reasons for the trip away being sad, I had a wonderful rest Since then she has (more or less) slept through the night.
All of a sudden at 14.5 months she stopped feeding one day. A few days later we discovered she had tonsillitis. All she would drink was water. I kept pumping, but by the time she'd recovered she refused to feed. I was sad for a while but eventually felt it was similar to self-weaning and happy it was painless for us both.
She's now 17 months and an absolute joy. When she first stopped feeding she would take very small amounts of cows milk from her beaker (1 or 2 oz) but I just went with it and gave her lots of yoghurt/cheese. Within a month the milk amounts increased and she now has 2 full beakers eash day (about 8 oz)
What I'm trying to say is, I've been there- and thought it'd never end. But it does and you come through it. And the memory fades and I don't regret it.
I hope that helps?
I should have clarified - whilst I couldn't express whilst feeding, maybe an oz or so at the most, when I went away I managed about 7-8 oz surprising easily at each session, I just dumped it but wanted to keep my supply going.
here's the link to a similar post I posted at 10 months. I really rememebr that feeling of desperation you're feeling. Just to re-iterate that it does pass.
This is tough for you, and you have done really well to get so far. You can and will be able to change things - it just takes a while. Tiktok is absolutely right when she says not to try to change everything at once.
Ultimately you need your ds to settle himself to sleep, and to stay asleep for the night. But he doesn't know how to do so.
When I was in the exact same situation as you, I started very slowly to make little changes, so that over the weeks and months they added up to a new routine for my ds. For example at bedtime I always fed him in his sleeping bag, lying on a bed, and never at other times. Eventually he got the idea that some feeds were go-to-sleep feeds, and others were stay-awake feeds.
At bedtime and naptime we would talk to the same bears in the same words, read the same book, and go through the same routine of switching on music and babymonitor, and I would give him the same cuddle and say the same go-to-sleeep words night after night after night. And I would never say those words or read those books or play with those bears at any other time.
It is so boring, but eventually the baby gets the idea, and realises that they are going to go to sleep. It makes the final step of not feeding them to sleep much easier, because after the feed you do the rituals that have been drummed in as go-to-sleep rituals, and it is something that the baby knows and is reassuring.
The No Cry Sleep Solution gave me one fantastic tip, which has worked a dream: how to take a sleeping baby of the brest without waking thim. You wait until they are not actively suckling, then slip your finger into the mouth to break the suction, slip yourself out and immediately lift the baby's chin with your finger. Then you hold their mouth closed with gentle upwards pressure on the chin. If they get upset or root, you let the baby back onto the breast and try again when they are relaxed. At first it can take as many as 5-10 attempts untilt he baby accepts being taken off the breast, but eventually not only does it work at the first tattempt, but the baby will often take themselves off, roll over, and stay asleep. Bliss!
Will have a proper read of everyone's messages in a sec.
Thank you all for your input.
Have seen the nursery nurse and we have spoken about what I need to do. We will not be tackling the night times at the moment.
Here's what she has said
Give breakfast and a drink of water (as normal)
Ofer a snack at midmorning instead of a breastfeed
Give lunch and a drink of water (as normal) No breastfeed
Offer a midafternoon snack instead of breastfeed.
Give tea and a drink of water (as normal) No breastfeed
Give supper then offer breastfeed.
I know it will take a while and tbh I feel tons beter by just getting things off my chest and having some advice.
Thank you everyone.
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