Is it time to stop breastfeeding?(4 Posts)
LO is almost 13 months old. He's been exclusively breastfed until now. However, recently I've started realising it'd probably be best to quit as soon as possible. Don't get me wrong, I've never done anything abusive to my child and I love him more than anything, but in the last few days I've lost control - I have not slept properly for about 13 months now, and the lack of sleep seems to finally have affected me. LO breastfeeds a few times a day and a lot of times at night, he falls asleep while breastfeeding. So my night have been very uncomfortable since I gave birth. But I know realise I've started to get angry when LO wakes up every half an hour screaming - it'd never been the case until a few days ago. Sometimes I just don't hear him screaming in the middle of th night right next to me in the bed because I'm so exhausted. I wake up 5-10 times a night and now I get angry, last night I said something like Why don't you just fucking sleep. Basically, I think enough is enough, I'm becoming a monster because of breastfeeding all night. I feel very guilty at daytime about getting annoyed with my little boy at night, I feel guilty about stopping breastfeeding as he seems to enjoy it.
Please share your opinion, I think in this situation in a way it'd be better for LO to not have breastmilk anymore. Last night I was half asleep and I said those nasty words, I don't want to be that kind of mum, that's not me, not who I am. Do you think I should stop breastfeeding or try hard and continue? Thank you!
It is maybe worth asking to have this thread moved to Infant Feeding or Sleep, where you'll get more responses.
You sound shattered. Getting such broken sleep definitely isn't good for you. But it doesn't have to be all or nothing. If you feel guilty about stopping breastfeeding but need more sleep (and you do need more sleep!) you could work on night weaning your son, so he only feeds during the day? That way you get more sleep, he still gets to feed, and you're hopefully both much happier with the situation.
Obviously if you just want to stop breastfeeding altogether that's fine too! I only suggest night weaning because you don't seem comfortable with the idea of stopping totally.
You can stop feeding at night but continue in the day if you want. I did similar with my DS around that age for the same reason. It was bloody hard, and DH had to step up a lot to keep going in and calming him down without a feed.
There's lots of advice around on how to night wean, try asking in the Infant Feeding section.
Like a pp said, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. I night weaned dd over several weeks at around 16 months and although I do feel guilty, I do love getting a bit more sleep, and continue to feed on demand through the day. I started offering her a cuddle each time she woke and about half the time she'd nod back off, otherwise I'd feed her to sleep. After a few nights she started settling more often with a cuddle and waking less frequently. I then cut back the feeds one at a time, so the first waking after bedtime, then 2, then 3 etc. It was hard work, and at times upsetting, but like you my mood was badly affected by lack of sleep. 13 months seems to be a really common age for horrible sleep regression and I remember being woken 10 or more times a night by dd crying where as before she wouldn't usually cry when she woke.
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