R.B. asks from Milford, NH on June 07, 2009
Nursing for Comfort & the Escape Artist.
My son will be 2 in August and I decided long ago I would nurse him until he was at least 2 as long as he was still interested. Well now he is only nursing for comfort as I hardly have any milk at all and I don't even hear him swallowing. So much so that when he nurses (if it can be called that now) he drools on me (no swallowing even his own spit), so it's really just a comfort thing- the suckling. I've been mostly OK with that and now that he's getting older some days go by when he only nurses at nap and bed, since he's super active. Other days all he wants to do is sit in my lap and nurse and I'm wishing he would be OK with just being comforted with the lap part and not the nursing part. My point being, if he was getting milk I would no doubt still nurse him but he's really not; I can barely self express anything even first thing in the morning, so I know its comfort nursing and I'd like to help him get that from me with hugs and kisses and not insistent pulling of my shirt and throwing a fit when I tell him "Boobies all gone". My other dilemma is that we were working on helping him to soothe himself at bedtimes and naps, with a few minutes of nursing and then dad putting him down awake at bedtime and getting away from the nursing. It was working great but then suddenly, last week he figured out how to climb out of the crib and fell. So now I'm a nut about leaving him in there awake and alone. He's not ready yet (and neither am I) to be without the crib as he is a active sleeper and moves around a lot and just isn't ready and he's too crafty for a crib tent. So what used to be working out is now retro-progress. We're back to nursing to full sleep and little to no self soothing because he can climb the crib side in 2 seconds! We used to do the CIO at nap times occasionally (which never lasted more than 20 minutes before he was asleep)and that is no longer an option. The first sign of a stir after naps and morning, I'm running in. I'm at a loss and am wondering if like all other things so far if I should just keep the course and wait for the next phase to start... out with the old in with the new. Any tried-&-true advise on what to do, or not to do? ~~~~~PS. I know it's a whole nother issue (which we are working on) but he's really hard to handle during his temper tantrums. He's very insistent/stubborn and at times will kick, bite, and head-butt. Last week he head-butted me into my first EVER full-on black eye (it's amazing- wish we could post pictures.... you'd be shocked.... I am! ;~} Yikes! Were did my sweet boy disappear to?
2 moms found this helpful
D.S. answers from Boston on June 08, 2009
if you have the space you may want to think about transitioning him from the crib to a normal, floor height bed. We did this and are very happy with it. Our children went from co-sleeping to a floor height bed. Our son nursed until 21 months, then self-weaned (with gentle pushes into that direction). My daughter self-weaned at 14 months within a few days.
Anyway, we weaned my son from night-nursing at around 16 months, by having dad put him to sleep in a large floor-height bed in my son's room. My husband would often fall asleep there. When our son awoke at night he would call out, or start walking over to us. My husband then took him back over and soothed him to sleep again.
It seems to me that the crib in your situation is a risk, not a protection, and that everthing would be easier without this gadget: if there is no crib to climb, he will not be able to fall from the crib. Of course, the floor-height bed is a solution only, if you fence of any staircases or other potential places of accident in the pathway from his to your bed.
I think it is great that you trust your child's individual ways of becoming independent. But also trust your own needs and allow yourself to have a sacred space of your own, gently "protected" even against your son. You both count.
X.D. answers from Boston on June 08, 2009
You are doing all the right things... Your instincts are correct about the crib and putting Dad more into the night-time mix. This is one of those difficult times. You know the two alternatives. It's up to you which way to go..... I wasn't happy with the CIO thing, but I didn't have a climber either! Maybe you should consider a toddler bed. My mother left the side of the crib down for us to climb out, but that's an iffy thing, too. Don't worry - things will get better!
D.D. answers from Boston on June 08, 2009
When transitioning our children out of the crib, (my second child, was only 1.9 when she starting climbing with great ease), we put a mattress on the floor in their room so a "fall" off the mattress wouldn't be painful, and we put a gate in the doorway so there couldn't be any wandering around in the night. You might have to remove some things from the bedroom so it won't be too stimulating. Hopefully, this will allow you to go back to your bedtime weaning routine and to sleep a little more soundly.
G.Q. answers from Burlington on June 08, 2009
You need to stop with the crib now that he can climb out. Very dangerous. Put a mattress on the floor or get a toddler bed with rail. My 21 mo. son sleeps on a regular twin bed, but he does not move much while he sleeps. He also still nurses to sleep and can not handle it when my "boobies are too tired". So no advice for you there. We never did the CIO method. We never let him cry. I just lay with him until he falls asleep. Sometimes this can take a couple of hours. He is a very happy very active boy who never throws temper-tantrums.
L.G. answers from Boston on June 08, 2009
I second what Julia said about the nursing. And at this stage it is really hard to tell how much milk they are actually getting - it can become harder to pump and express but that by no means is indicative of how much milk they are getting. But if YOU are ready to stop nursing then I think it is best to listen to your needs and do what you feel is best. Good luck.
J.H. answers from Boston on June 08, 2009
I have no advice about the nursing part, but at 15 months, my daughter was adept at climbing out of her crib. She's too young to have free roam of her room, so I resorted to the crib tent. You say that your son could get out of it, but if you haven't seen one attached, I suggest you try it. There is no possible way my daughter can get out of that thing. It is virtually fool-proof, and is the only way I can keep her safe at night.
M.C. answers from Burlington on June 08, 2009
It sounds to me that you son is using the breast as a control pattern. I guess you could call it an addiction and I think the sooner you help him stop the better. I believe that children have a need to cry, they need to relieve stress, sometimes all the way back from the birth process, but most of us will stop our babies crying at any cost (put him on the breast, give him a paci, jiggle and bounce them)and they are not given a chance to cry out whatever it is that is bothering them (of course ruling out that they are not communicating a real need) I suggest a book for you called Aware Baby, its an easy read and you will be blown away by its theory. I have raised my son this way and he is such a content and secure little boy. I dont believe in letting them CIO but instead allow him to discharge whatever he is holding in by holding him close to you the whole time he is crying, when he is done you will find a very content and relived little one. If you are ready to do whatever it takes to get him off your breast then I can promise you this will work. Next time he wants the breast tell him that he cant have it and when he starts to cry just hold him, with compassion, hold him and let him cry until he is all done, dont put him down till its over. He may need to do this a few times before its over (its kind of like he needs to catch up on all the crying he didnt get to do because he was putting your breast in instead) You will see a completely different child at the end of this. Well this is just my HO and I do wish you all the best.
L.M. answers from Boston on June 08, 2009
As for the nursing. One of the tricks I've used is to tell your child what is going to happen so they expect the routine. So at bedtime it would go something like this. We are going to take a bath. (hopefully after everything you say they will say yes as they are in agreement with the plan) Then we are going to come into your room and get your night clothes on. (yes) Then we are going to read 2 books. (yes) Then we are going to cuddle. (yes) Then you are going to go to sleep. (yes)
We found that if it wasn't mentioned in the list of things to happen that our daughter didn't look for it as much. I would also say putting your son to sleep when he is calm and a bit tired (but not over tired) should help. As for the climbing out of the bed. I have heard it is best to lower the side so they can get out easier and not hurt themselves or put an ottoman or mattress on the floor so they fall onto those and not directly on the floor. The sleep training book I've used - "Sleeping thru the Night" by Jodi Mindell. Has a few suggestions for the climbing issue. First I will say. Please don't use a crib tent. Last summer I heard of a little boy who got catch up in one and died. The suggestions the book has says the obvious ones of lower the mattress, remove all crib toys and bumpers but also these. Don't make it worth it. Don't let them get into bed with you if they climb out. Don't give him lots of attention. Very calmly and neutrally return your child to his crib and say in a firm voice "no climbing." The theory is that is not worth it to climb out if he is just going to be put back into it. Be Firm. Make sure when you say no climbing you say it firmly and always do the same thing. Catch 'em Early. Try and stand where you child can't see you but you can see them and just as they start to climb out say "no climbing". Hopefully startling the child enough several times that he will stop trying to climb out. When all else fails lower the side and put a gate at the baby's room door and if they climb out they are still in there room.
La Leche League is also a good one for all nursing and child rearing questions. www.llli.org