How to Stop Breastfeeding..? and Other...

Updated on September 11, 2006
A.K. asks from Houston, TX
13 answers

I'm a stay at home 1st time mom to a beautiful 14,5 months old litlle boy. As a time goes by, I see some mistakes that I've made from the begining and now looking for some solution... Anyway, I started to look for a job and hopefuly soon I'll find something. But then I'll have to give my boy to a daycare, and that means stop the breastfeeding (the job isn't the only reason for that, I just think that by baby got enough of my milk and besides that isn't comfortable for me anymore at all). And here is a problem- he sleeps with us (my husband & me) and from the very begining he used to fall asleep just on my breast. Any other way wasn't possible. When he was about 9 months old we tried to put him into a crib and teach him faling asleep by himself, but that was a horrible time. I tried too many tactics, but instead of getting better- my son who used to be very happy baby- started to be terrified by everything and everyone around. I couldn't even go to the bathroom or to another room for a sec- he was so afraid that I'm going to live him. So after 3 weeks trying we gave up and took him back to our bed. Since then everything is fine with him, but me and my husband started to have terrible nights because he takes almost all the space (we have king size bed!) and we sleep on the edges... Besides he is almoust all the night on my breast. When I even try to move back to him or something like that- he'll always find the way to come to my nipple. By the way- he likes just one, so the size of my breasts is completly different!
Please help me to find the best way to put my baby a lille bit away from me, without hurting his feelings. Maybe if I had a family here could've been different, but I'm all day alone with my child and really need to get a brake...

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So What Happened?

THANK YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH FOR SO MANY RESPONSES!!! And I have to tell you- reading all the letters from you makes me feel so much better:)))
I got few interesting ideas and now I'll try to choose some of then and go on! And ofcourse I'll try to keep you updated (if you like;).
Just one more thing about the responses- my son refuses any milk (including mine) if is in a bottle or cup, so my mission is a bit more complicated...
Anyway- thank you all again and have a wonderful week:))))

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C.B.

answers from Houston on

It seems like you've received a lot of excellent help from the other moms so I don't have anything new to add about this topic. But I noticed that you are new to Houston and was wondering if you would be interested in a mom's group: www.sahm.meetup.com/1752 for some company and playdates.

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D.S.

answers from Houston on

Hi Agata, Wow! Hubby and I have not experienced what you are going through, so I just cannot imagine the difficulties you are having. My first thought is: we've got to get your son into his own bed! But how? Perhaps you could try getting into his bed during the day several times just playing...I mean you mom really climbing into his bed with your whole body...and nonshelot (sp?) talk about bedtime in his big boy bed, but make it play time for him and let him call the shots about where you sleep in his bed and where he sleeps. This could become a form of play therapy for him. Then at night when it's time to really go to bed, crawl into bed as you do during the day and let him call the shots again and read a book or two and talk about the story....let him take the lead...then really fall asleep with him in his bed. Soon you, mom, will wake up and you can slip away into your nice, big, comfy king size dream bed. I think this might help him transition to his own bed. And hopefully eventually you will be able to take him to his bed, tuck him in with a story and a kiss, and say good night without having to fall asleep with him!!! I hope you find a solution that works. Take care. Happy Day! Deborah

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S.C.

answers from Lafayette on

Kudos to you for breastfeeding your son! I too, breastfed my daughter until she was 14 months old. She also slept in the bed with us and fell asleep on the breast (it was just so much easier that way). So I know exactly what you're going through. I felt guilty for stopping, but I realized that I was keeping her back by her being so dependent on me for EVERYTHING! I'm only going to suggest what I did because it worked for me. Do only what makes you feel at ease.
You didn't make it clear in your question whether you supplemented with formula or pumped. Either way, it's very important that you will have to pump the other breast. You will NEED to give him a bottle or sipper cup. A
cup would be better because if he gets adapted to the bottle,
that's just another habit you will need to break later. ( I
used the Nuby brand spill proof sipper with silicone top - WalMart has them and they are very inexpensive and easier to adapt to since the top is soft)
Using pumped milk, alternate the breast and bottle/cup
at every other feeding for the first day. If you can, try to make sure that he gets the bottle/cup at night. Every day after, remove one breast feeding from your schedule. I started this regimen on a Monday and by Friday, she was completely off of the breast. I of course was engorged (cold, crisp cabbage leaves on the breast help aliviate discomfort) but dried up by the end of the weekend. Whatever you do, DO NOT PUMP to ease the pain unless you do want to continue to feed him breastmilk from the bottle/cup.
Now, if he has never taken a bottle or a cup and was strictly breastfed, then you may have more difficulty getting him to try it. The best thing in that situation to do would be to pump and let someone else feed him your milk. It is important that you not be present because he is smarter than you think. He will probably cry until you give in. You may have to leave him altogether for the initial feeding until he drinks from something other than your breast. If this is what happens, you
might want to leave something behind with your scent on it ( a
gown, shirt, robe,etc...)and have the person feeding him hold it while holding him so that he can smell you and your milk.
What ever your decide to do, you should base your decision entirely on what you're comfortable with. Do not let anyone make you feel guilty about any decision you make. This is your life and your baby and you need to do what's best for you both.
Also, I want to tell you that even though I was successful with weaning her completely of the milk, she still tended to search for my breast with her hand. My pediatrician (whom I worked for until her birth) said that that is perfectly normal. So if your son touches you, it's just that he associates your breast to a soothing time in his life and that special bond that you had with him.
I hope that my response helps you. If you need anything else, please do not hesitate to ask. I will be glad to help if I can.

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M.J.

answers from Beaumont on

Hello,

I can totally relate to you, all except for the fact that I was upset the day my daughter decided to stop breast feeding. She breastfed and then all of a sudden one day she flat out refused it. I was stunned. I was an at home mom and had no desire to stop her. I have always been told that she would do it on her own. I have to admit there were moments that I really wanted to just quit, but I continued because it was something she still needed.

She is my forth child, and I did stop breast feeding my third at one year old due to having to go to work, but keep in mind this was a gradual process. If you haven't already, get your son started on sippy cups and bottles (our daughter still takes a bottle to go to sleep at night). If it helps to adjust him, put breast milk in the container. If there are other juices or even regular milk he likes, use that. Slowly get him used to the fact that he will be using the other methods, not the breast.

As far as your son still sleeping with you, our daughter did it until she was 2 and a half. (She'll be 3 in November.) We would put her in her bed at nap time and in the evening after she went to sleep. When she completely stopped breastfeeding, she became very independant. Now, since we placed her in her bed after she was out, and she would wake up in her bed, she wants to go to her bed and not ours. We have a routine where we fix her a bottle of chocolate milk (she helps us mix the milk and Hersey syrup and pour it). We carry her to her bed and place in it with her pillow and blanket. We lay her down after giving her sugars, cover her up with her blankie and start a DVD (baby Einstein works well)in 20 minutes she is out. We have done this since the time she was about 1 and it has progressedinto her wanting to go to bed around 8:30pm. She will tell us she is tired and wants to go to bed, hence the routine starts. the main thing you need to do is to find a routine thatworksfor you and tour baby. being consistant is the hardest thing to do, but the rewards are very beneficial.

Daycare was a very hard thing for me. She started in January this year, after only being with us at home. i felt guilty, ashamed and horrible for placing her there so that I could go to work, even thought I didn't need a job. I felt I needed my time though. I have to say that we made a good decision because she has interaction with other children which will assist her in the transition to Kindergarten when she starts in about three years. She cried up until about a month ago and now she walks in on her own. The routine we started there was to walk her in, take her to the cafateria, sit her down and let her start eating before we leave. At first I would have to get her eating and sneak out while she wasn't looking. Talk about feeling guilty. Now she practically tells me to go to work and be back later. So as you can see they work things out on their own all the time.

the hardest thing to do is to let them cry themselves to sleep.

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask anything else.

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C.A.

answers from Houston on

Perhaps you need to consult with a lactation consultant on the best way to taper off the breastfeeding. You can check your local phone book or they have a really good one at Woodland Memorial Hospital.

I can understand how he got frightened but our job as parents is not to shield them from change and uncertainty. Yes it will be hard but you have to teach him that you are here for him even if it is in the other room. He has probably learned object permanence by now and you can start by playing hide and seek with him. Take his favorite toy and put it away for an hour or two. Then say "look here is your toy, see it came back". Then try yourself. Tell him you will be right back then walk to another room. If he starts to follow you, engage him in an activity and tell him again and go. Be gone for a few minutes. Then come back and say Mommy is back, just like she said. The best thing to do then is find a sitter and work up to a full day. Then you can do a couple of days. I do not recommend ever sneaking away from your baby. Always tell him you will be gone for a while but you will come get him or if dad is going to pick him up say Mommy will see you at home after daddy picks you up.

As for the other issue, yes, it is easier to let the baby sleep with you but now you see what the result is. Try making a bed on the floor next to your bed and once he is asleep, put him there. That way you can reach over and touch him if he stirs and comfort him . Then once you have that mastered (and it may take weeks)hopefully by then the nursing will be over and you can start putting him on the floor at the beginning of the night. Cuddle on the floor with him and read him a book. Buy him a special big boy sleep friend and he only gets it on the floor.

Once you have him sleeping there on the floor, try to interest him in a big boy bed. He will be way to old for a crib and you may be able to go straight to the big boy bed. Let him pick out the sheets and bedspread and help you put them on the bed. he might be willing to give it a try and maybe you can get him to take day naps to start out. Try moving his sleep buddy to the big boy bed and leave it there. Tell him he can only sleep with it in the big boy bed.

You will have to be firm and consistent with this approach. Otherwise he will be in your bed until he leaves for college and baby will have no opportunity to get any siblings. I bet you don't make that mistake again!!!! Next time, put baby next to your bed but not in it.

Good luck,
C.

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M.B.

answers from San Antonio on

I have two sons, one with special needs. The following books helped alot - you can get them on amazon.com. The doctor who wrote them is a pediatric sleep specialist and my sister used him for her 3 children in Chicago. Hang in there. Check with your church if you have one, or check with easterseals or 211 for any mom's group that may be of assistance. Tell 211 your son is not sleeping and you are exhausted..there are resources that can help and give you some help and relief.
From Amazon.com:
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S.T.

answers from Tyler on

this is a tough one, but i think it can be handled.
step one, get your child weaned from breaskmilk.
to start, you can start mixing breast milk and formula together and gradually increase the amount of formula in the bottle until you don't have to pump your breast anymore. this will make it easier for both of you. it will help your breast taper off your milk production etc. once you have your child completely on the bottle you can start working on getting him out of your bed. one thing you can do is start wearing a sports bra to sleep in. this will keep him from trying to feed at night. once he has gotten over having to have the nighfeeding etc, it will most likely be easier to transition him to his own bed. good luck with this. i hope my advice has been helpful.

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R.G.

answers from Austin on

Hi Agata,
Here are 2 articles from www.askdrsears.com.

WEANING: WHAT DOES IT MEAN? and NIGHT WEANING: 12 ALTERNATIVES FOR THE ALL-NIGHT NURSER

WEANING: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Weaning is not a negative term, nor is it something that you do to a child. Weaning is a journey from one relationship to another. The Hebrew word for wean is gamal, meaning "to ripen." In ancient times, when children were breastfed until two or three years of age, it was a joyous occasion when a child weaned. It meant the child was filled with the basic tools of the earlier stages of development and secure and ready to enter the next stage of development. A child who is weaned before his time may show anger, aggression, habitual tantrum-like behavior, anxious attachment to caregivers, and an inability to form deep and intimate relationships. We call these traits diseases of premature weaning.

While we advocate extended breastfeeding that comes to a natural end when the child is ready, we realize this ideal is not always attainable in every family situation. Breastfeeding is meant to be a pleasurable experience. When one or both members of the mother-infant pair aren't enjoying it anymore, it's time to wean. After all, all good things must come to a timely end.
WHEN TO WEAN

In many cultures a baby is breastfed for two or three years. Our western culture is accustomed to viewing breastfeeding in terms of months. This is not the norm the world over. While weaning is a personal decision, nutritionists and physicians advise breastfeeding for at least one year because by that time most infants have outgrown most of their food allergies and will thrive on alternative nourishment. We urge mothers to think in terms of years, not months, when contemplating how long to nurse. Breastfeeding is a long-term investment in your child. You want to give your baby the best emotional, physical, and mental start. Extended breastfeeding is nature's way of filling your baby's need for intimacy and appropriate dependency on other people. If these needs are met early on, your child will grow up to be a sensitive and independent adult. We have noticed that children not weaned before their time are:

* more independent and self-confident
* Gravitate to people rather than things
* Are easier to discipline
* Experience less anger
* Radiate trust

Former Surgeon General, Dr. Antonia Novello, proclaimed: "It's the lucky baby, I feel, who continues to nurse until he's two." A baby's sucking need lessens sometime between nine months and three years. The age at which this need lessens is individual, yet very few babies are emotionally filled and ready to wean before a year. Have confidence in your intuition. While this beautiful breastfeeding relationship may seem like it will never end, you are laying a solid foundation for the person your child will later become. Cutting corners now will only create problems in the future.
HOW TO WEAN

The key to healthy weaning is doing it gradually. Remember, you are helping your child into a new stage of development, not forcing him into it. This is not the time for you and your husband to go on a week-long vacation to the Bajamas. Weaning by desertion is traumatic and may backfire. The following are suggestions for gradually weaning your child:

* Start by skipping a least favorite feeding, such as in the middle of the day. Instead, engage in a fun activity together, such as reading a book or playing a game. Nap and night nursings are favorite feedings and will probably be the last to go.
* Minimize situations that induce breastfeeding, such as sitting in a rocking chair or cradling baby. If you put baby in a familiar breastfeeding setting, he will want to breastfeed.
* Use the "don't offer, don't refuse" method. Don't go out of your way to remind her to nurse. However, if your child persists, or her behavior deteriorates, this may indicate that breastfeeding is still a need rather than a want. Watch your child and trust your intuition.
* Become a moving target. Don't sit down in one place for any length of time. But, remember, weaning means releasing, not rejecting. Breastfeeding helps the child venture from the known to the unknown. If you don't let your child make brief pit stops, he may insist on lengthy feedings when he finally gets you to sit down. Checking into homebase and refueling reassures him that it's okay to explore his environment, and gives him the emotional boost to venture out. Rejecting this need could developmentally cripple your child.
* Keep baby busy. Nothing triggers the desire to breastfeed like boredom. Sing songs, read books, or go on an outing together.
* Set limits. Putting limits on nursing, such as: "We only nurse when Mr. Sun goes down and when Mr. Sun comes up" does not make you a bad parent.
* Don't wean baby from you to an object, such as a stuffed animal or blanket. Ideally, you want to wean baby from your breast to an alternative source of emotional nourishment. This is when dad should begin to take on a more involved role in comforting. As dad's role in baby's life becomes bigger, nursing will be less important.
* Expect breastfeeding to increase during times of illness. These are times when your child needs comfort and an immune system boost.

Life is a series of weanings for a child: weaning from your womb, your breast, your bed, and your home. The pace at which children wean go from oneness to separateness is different for every child, and this should be respected. In our experience, the most secure, independent, and happy children are those who have not been weaned before their time.

The second article is NIGHT WEANING: 12 ALTERNATIVES FOR THE ALL-NIGHT NURSER

Frequent night nursing is characteristic of high-need children. It's like going to their favorite restaurant. The ambiance is peaceful, the server is familiar, the cuisine is superb, and they love the management. Who can blame the all-night gourmet? Try these suggestions for dealing with all-night nursing:

1. What's the problem? How much of a "problem" is the frequent night nursing? This stage of high level night nurturing will pass. Both you and your baby will someday sleep through the night. Yet, if you are sleep deprived to the degree that you are barely functioning the next day, you resent your nighttime parenting style (and your baby), and the rest of your family relationships are deteriorating, you need to make some changes in your nighttime feeding schedule.

A parenting principle we learned many kids ago is: IF YOU RESENT IT, CHANGE IT!

Even if you can't get your baby to sleep through the whole night, you can help him cut back on nighttime nursing, making the situation more tolerable for you. Here's how:

2. Tank your baby up during the day. Toddlers love to breastfeed, yet they are often so busy during the day that they forget to nurse, or mom is so busy that she forgets to nurse. But at night, there you are, only an inch away, and baby wants to make up for missed daytime nursings. (This is a common scenario when a breastfeeding mother returns to work outside the home.) Finding more time to nurse during the day may make the breast less attractive at night.

3. Increase daytime touch. Wear your baby in a sling and give your baby more touch time during the day. It's easy when babies get older to greatly decrease the amount of touching time without realizing it. All-night nursing can sometimes be a baby's signal reminding mothers not to rush their baby into interdependence. In developing a healthy independence, a child leaves and comes back; lets go and clings, step by step until she is going out more than she is coming back. Many mothers have noted that babies and toddlers show an increased need for nursing and holding time right before undertaking a new stage of development, such as crawling or walking.

4. Awaken baby for a full feeding just before you go to bed. Rather than going off to sleep only to be wakened an hour or two later, get in a feeding when you retire for the night. This way, your sleep will be disturbed one less time, and you'll (hopefully) get a longer stretch of sleep.

5. Get baby used to other "nursings." Try wearing him down to sleep in a baby sling. After baby is fed, but not yet asleep, wear him in a baby sling around the house or around the block. When he's in a deep sleep, ease him onto your bed and extricate yourself from the sling. This is a good way for dad to take over part of the bedtime routine. Eventually, your baby will associate father's arms with falling asleep, and he'll be willing to accept comfort from dad in the middle of the night as an alternative to nursing. Other ways to ease your baby into sleep without nursing him include patting or rubbing his back, singing and rocking, or even dancing in the dark to some tunes you like or lullabies you croon.

6. Make the breast less available. Once your baby has nursed to sleep, use your finger to detach him from the breast. Then pull your nightgown over your breast and sleep covered up. A baby who can't find the nipple quickly may just fall back to sleep. If you can stay awake long enough to put the breast away, he may not latch on again so soon.

7. Just say no! When our son, Matthew, was two, Martha felt desperate for sleep if awakened more than two times. I would wake up to hear a dialogue like "Nee" (his word for nurse)…"No!"… "Nee!"… "No!"… "Nee!"… "No, not now. In the morning. Mommy's sleeping. You sleep, too." A firm but calm, peaceful voice almost always did the trick. You can manage to stay peaceful in this situation when you know you are not damaging your very secure, attachment- parented child.

8. "Nummies go night-night." Now the marketing begins. Around eighteen months, your child has the capacity to understand simple sentences. Program your toddler not to expect to be nursed when she awakens, such as "We'll nurse again when Mr. Sun comes up." When you nurse her to sleep (or have the first or second night nursing) the last thing she should hear is "Mommy go night-night, Daddy go night-night, baby go night-night, and nummies go night- night" (or whatever she dubs her favorite pacifiers). When she wakes during the night the first thing she should hear is a gentle reminder, "Nummies are night- night. Baby go night-night, too." This program may require a week or two of repetition. Soon she will get the message that daytime is for feeding and nighttime is for sleeping. If "nummies" stay night-night, baby will too -- at least till dawn.

9. Offer a sub. High-need babies are not easily fooled; they don't readily accept substitutes. Yet, it's worth a try. Remember, nursing does not always mean breastfeeding. Honor your husband with his share of "night nursing" so your toddler does not always expect to be comforted by nummies. This gives dad a chance to develop creative nighttime fathering skills and the child a chance to expand her acceptance of nighttime comforters.

Martha notes: "One of the ways we have survived toddler's who wants to nurse frequently during the night was for me to temporarily go off "night call." Bill would wear Stephen down in a baby sling, so he got used to Bill's way of putting him to sleep. When he woke up, Bill would again provide the comfort he needed by rocking and holding him in a neck nestle position, using the warm fuzzy and singing a lullaby. Babies may initially protest when offered father instead of mother, but remember, crying and fussing in the arms of a loving parent is not the same as "crying it out." Dads, realize that you have to remain calm and patient during these nighttime fathering challenges. You owe it to both mother and baby not to become rattled or angry when your baby resists the comfort you offer.

Try this weaning-to-father arrangement on a weekend, or another time when your husband can look forward to two or three nights when he doesn't have to go to work the next day. You will probably have to sell him on this technique, yet we have personally tried it and it does work. Be sure to use these night-weaning tactics only when baby is old enough and your gut feeling tells you that your baby is nursing at night out of habit and not out of need."

10. Increase the sleeping distance between you. If the above suggestions do not entice your persistent night nurser to cut back, yet you still feel you must encourage him to do so, try another sleeping arrangement. Try putting him in a bedside co-sleeper® bassinet, on a mattress or futon at the foot of your bed, or even sleeping in another room with a sibling. Dad or mom can lie down beside baby to comfort him if he awakens. Mom can even nurse, if necessary and then sneak back to her own bed if continued closeness seems to encourage continued waking.

11. Sleep in another room. If your baby persists in wanting to nurse all night, relocate "Mom's All-Night Diner" to another room and let baby sleep next to dad for a few nights. He may wake less often when the breast is not so available and when he does wake, he will learn to accept comfort from dad.

12. Let baby be the barometer. When trying any behavior-changing technique on a child, don't persist with a bad experiment. Use your baby's daytime behavior as a barometer of whether your change in nighttime parenting style is working. If after several nights of working on night weaning your baby is her same self during the day then persist with your gradual night weaning. If, however, she becomes more clingy, whiny, or distant, take this as a clue to slow down your rate of night weaning.

Babies will wean and someday they will sleep through the night. This high maintenance stage of nighttime parenting will pass. The time in your arms, at your breast, and in your bed is a relatively short while in the life of a baby, yet the memories of love and availability last forever.

I hope these articles help you with your decisions but keep in mind that your son will grow very quickly and babies do not ask for things that they do not need..
Your baby is asking to be close because he is not yet ready to separate. You are his safety and he will be more independent soon enough. You can also ask yourself what is my son trying to tell me with his actions and how would you like to answer his request and what are you teaching him with your response?
Please also see if there is a way for you to get more support from other mothers in person and maybe a little time for yourself because sisterhood really can make all the difference in the world.
I wish you the best.
Take care,
R.
Mother of Ben 16yrs and Daniel 12yrs

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P.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi Agata. One book that really helped us was "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. She helps deal with all these issues - breastfeeding, moving from your bed, etc. She also has one for toddlers that might help. Good luck.

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L.

answers from Houston on

Hi!

I can really sympathize with you. My daughter, who's 2 1/2 now, didn't sleep through the night until she was 16 months old. She slept in our bed and would wake up 5 to 7 times a night, and the only thing that could get her back to sleep was to breastfeed her. She, too, would spend all day at the breast if I let her. We tried several times and tactics to get her to sleep in her bed and put her self back to sleep in the middle of the night, and nothing worked--partially because of her natural, strong-willed temperment, and partially because of mistakes we made. I finally found a book called "Sleeping Through the Night", by Jodi Mindell, Ph.D.. It was a method with a "heart" that seemed doable. It worked like a charm Within a week, she was sleeping through the night in her crib. I realize that no one method works for every baby, but you might look into this book.

Hang in there!

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R.M.

answers from Houston on

Dear Agata,

One of the best resources that comes to my mind is La Leche League. They have a Houston hot line number - ###-###-#### - that you can call for advice. Also, their Houston website is http://www.ykc.com/LLLHouston/

I want to encourage you in what you've been doing, because I don't think you've been making 'mistakes' as you mentioned. I remember feeling that way with my first baby, as we were applying attachment parenting (long-term breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby-wearing). When you're in the toddler phase, it can seem like you've created a 'needy' monster. You ask yourself, "what have I done?" and look at the other toddlers who are being raised the 'Western' way and appear normal.

Well, three boys down the line now, I don't look at it that way anymore. Attachment parenting does encourage baby to be 'attached' to the parent. And baby does usually go through a 'clingy' stage starting around 9 months and lasting until they're about 2 years old. But this is all good and healthy.

Ironically, these 'clingy' babies whose needs are met will be the super secure children and adults down the road. Here's a strange thing I've noticed about most 'attachment parenting' raised toddlers - they don't choose to use security blankets, reliance on pacifiers, stuffed animals or anything. My sister and I were noticing that the other day, and realized what a blessing it is for a child to choose to be comforted by a PERSON rather than a substitute. I hear people talk about baby leraning to 'self-soothe' but I don't buy into it. They will choose something else besides momma to soothe themselves. I feel better allowing baby to choose me.

Now that I have a couple of older boys, I am thrilled to see how self-assured and happy they are. The sacrifice is SO worth it!

I'm not saying that you can't work through your co-sleeping issues or nursing discomfort. That's why I suggested La Leche League. I just want to encourage you to take a step back and rethink what your objectives are. Your baby will sleep through the night on his own one day (without being forced to cry it out in a room by himself). The natural process for sleeping through the night is usually not before the age of two (I'm not talking about Western thinking, which is a 'new' idea in the world's history).

Give yourself a hug for having met your baby's needs - that takes courage in our culture. The benefits of what you've already done will be amazing.

Blessings,
R.

Supporting you as you nurture your family.
www.NurturedFamily.com

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T.

answers from Houston on

You need to address one issue at a time: nursing, sleeping in his own bed, falling to sleep on his own.

Nursing: you need to wean him from one feeding at a time. Maybe do this a week at a time. For example, the first two weeks, do not nurse him at lunch. Only give him a cup. After he's used to the idea, start another time, like late afternoon. You probably have him on somewhat of a schedule for feeding w/o even knowing it. If not, start one. Maybe early morning, lunch, 4:00, and then 8:00. (That's how I did it) Drop one feeding at a time, until he's used to it.

Sleeping with you: After he stops nursing, you should put him in his bed after he falls asleep. Once he gets used to the idea, then you have to let him put himself to sleep. He's going to cry a lot, but you have to push thru it. If you let him cry for 10 minutes, and then go and get him, he'll learn that he'll have to cry for 10 minutes and then you'll come. You have to teach him that when he's put in his bed, he's put there to sleep. You can comfort him on 5 minute increments, but NEVER get him out of the bed once you put him in.

Babywise is a great book to read. Also, read up on the Ferber method. It's the same idea for both.

Just take baby steps. One thing at a time. Too much change at once will make him crazy...

Good Luck!

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M.

answers from San Antonio on

I don't know what to say really. I NEVER let my kids sleep in my bed because I knew I didn't want to deal with this type of situation. Both of my kids were breastfed and in their cribs at naps and night time. My son (first) didn't sleep through the night until about 7 months old. We let him "cry it out". It sucked, and broke my heart, but it only lasted for 4 nights and he was sleeping all the way through. I would simply nurse him, read a story, and lay him down. The crying would start. I would wait five minutes and go in and lay him down and comfort him for 1 minute only, then leave again. DON'T PICK BABY UP! Comfort him in the crib. He probably won't stay laying down, but that is okay. Rub his back with him standing and when your 1 minute is up, lay him down before you walk out. Wait 5 more minutes and do the same thing again...only staying in his room to comfort for 1 minute. So, you repeat every five minutes until baby goes to sleep. Be prepared...the first night we did this for 2 hours! It was horrible. Before it was over with I was crying too. But this was our third attempt/method and I was determined to stick with a plan. Each night it took less and less time. By the fourth night he went right to sleep on his own. (We also did this when/if he woke up in the middle of the night to get rid of that night time nursing, hence, hubby may be awakened too)! You may want to start with getting him in the bed first, and if he wakes up during the night go ahead and nurse him, then do the same thing you did the first time you laid him down, which could possibly take 2 hours again! Sorry! With my daughter (second), she has been the dream child. She sleeps through the night since 8 weeks old and 12 hours at that! I am just now weaning her as she will be 12 months on Oct 1st. My best advice is to agree on a plan with your husband and stick with it until you see results. Be prepared for complete frustration and also for your husband to lose sleep. We initiated our plan on the weekend for my husbands sake. Highly likely that baby crying will be keeping him up at night as well! It will be discouraging, but if you give in, you will be starting over every time you try again. Your son is old enough to understand that if I whine enough mommy will come to get me, so when you give in at 30 minutes of crying, you can expect longer than that the next time because he will be expecting you to show up any minute. Bedtime buddies are a good idea as well. My son has always had some sort of animal he sleeps with. My daughter has a blankie or two. With the nursing aspect??? Just say no! It's not like he is starving right? If baby is eating solids and taking a cup then he should not need to nurse all night. It's more of a comfort than hunger. I know it is hard to hear your baby cry, especially your first! But, you have to be the boss. Trust me, it will only get worse. I have a friend with an 18 month old who is running her life. He still nurses once a night and the only way she can get him to go to sleep is to drive him around in the car! She just wants the easy way out and isn't ready to deal with the reality of the situation. What she doesn't understand is that she is doing it the hard way. Her son throws fits, and is completely rotten because she gives in to him EVERY time! I am kind of "old school" when it comes to raising my kids. I don't believe in letting my children run my life. She gets so frustrated when she calls me in the evening and her son is still up.....at 9pm!.......and my kids have been in bed since 7pm! I think you have a long road ahead of you since you have multiple issues looming. I hope you have the strength to stick with a plan and make things work. It may seem harsh, but it really will be best for all. If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy, right? And it seems that you aren't happy or else you wouldn't have posted! Just be patient and consistent. Bet the next baby will be in a crib from day one??!!!! good luck. M.

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