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Old 05-10-2007, 02:10 PM
 
108 posts, read 430,756 times
Reputation: 38

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I am breastfeeding my daughter - BUT SHE'S 18 MONTHS!! My son weaned himself right before his 1st birthday, so I foolishly assumed my daughter would do the same. She latches on all night (I put her to bed in her crib, but she wakes up around 1 AM, so I just bring her in my bed so I can go back to sleep) and cries when I turn over. She also nurses one time during the day, doesn't matter if I distract her with food (she eats normally) or activites. She is visibly a much happier baby after she nurses. I can't turn her away, but I'M SO TIRED...

Anyone every have a situation like this? Will she ever self-wean, or do I have to agonize through a few sleepless nights to train her? She's never had a pacifier, I think she's using me as one. She goes to bed on her own, so she is "self-soothing" to some degree. She cries horribly if my husband gets up with her (no, he's not beating her!), so for the sake of some zzzz's, I usually cave in and nurse her.

Help!
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Old 05-10-2007, 02:19 PM
 
Location: STL
1,093 posts, read 3,436,089 times
Reputation: 573
Wow.. I would be tired too. That girl is litterally sucking the energy outta you!!
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Old 05-10-2007, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, CA
199 posts, read 1,010,233 times
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I breastfed 2 of my children for over 3 years.
One of my daughters, baby #2, nursed all.the.time. She wouldn't sleep at all for her first 9 months unless I was right with her.
I was her pacifier. I got pregnant again when she was 2.5 and she was still nursing all night. When she was 3 we night weaned her. It was a tough couple of nights but then she was over it. I think if I had tried to do that when she was 18 months, it would have been hell for everyone.

My thoughts are that your daughter is so busy exploring the world during the day, that she doesn't have time to snuggle and connect with you. So she makes up for it at night. It can be very tiring and frustrating. However, if you are intent on following your child's lead with regarding to weaning, which it sounds like you are, you might check out La Leche League for some local support. Or check out some of the books they sell. What helped us was having the family bed. Then I didn't have to get up in the middle of the night to deal with baby, she was already right there.

And just to reassure you, that daughter I nursed for so long is going to be 18 next week. She is extremely independent to the point that she is already living on her own, working and going to college. And no, she doesn't still nurse or sleep in my bed.
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Old 05-10-2007, 02:25 PM
 
108 posts, read 430,756 times
Reputation: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by poprocksncoke View Post
Wow.. I would be tired too. That girl is litterally sucking the energy outta you!!
Yeah, no kidding! I have also lost my sense of smell (which was super sensitive while I was pregnant), and someone told me it could be due to the "energy vampire"!
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Old 05-10-2007, 04:36 PM
 
1,703 posts, read 4,624,661 times
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I just finished breastfeeding my daughter. She kinda weaned herself.
Have you tried supplementing formula once in a while? I started my daughter with a bottle at bed time at 3 months because she just wasn't sleeping very good and when I did get up with her the 2 or three times a night she was always hungry! I just thought she's suckin me dry and I need some sleep!
When I started supplementing a bottle it helped. Maybe that's why she weaned so easy? Hope everything goes well for you!
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Between Here and There
3,684 posts, read 10,842,736 times
Reputation: 1650
Quote:
Originally Posted by marymel View Post
I am breastfeeding my daughter - BUT SHE'S 18 MONTHS!! My son weaned himself right before his 1st birthday, so I foolishly assumed my daughter would do the same. She latches on all night (I put her to bed in her crib, but she wakes up around 1 AM, so I just bring her in my bed so I can go back to sleep) and cries when I turn over. She also nurses one time during the day, doesn't matter if I distract her with food (she eats normally) or activites. She is visibly a much happier baby after she nurses. I can't turn her away, but I'M SO TIRED...

Anyone every have a situation like this? Will she ever self-wean, or do I have to agonize through a few sleepless nights to train her? She's never had a pacifier, I think she's using me as one. She goes to bed on her own, so she is "self-soothing" to some degree. She cries horribly if my husband gets up with her (no, he's not beating her!), so for the sake of some zzzz's, I usually cave in and nurse her.

Help!
Well medically speaking there is no reason that she still needs to breastfeed. It sound to me like she is using you as a pacifier. I think if you want to stop then you need to stop and she will get the idea, but if you continue to "cave" then you are just teaching her to cry harder until you give in.
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:32 PM
 
Location: NW Atlanta
1,372 posts, read 4,757,117 times
Reputation: 419
I really think you need to put "the girls" on a nice vacation
like irish said there is no medical need for it
maybe you need to decide what reason you are continuing
for her comfort or yours
trust me I know I have 4 children
and after breastfeeding for 18 months the last thing you want to do is waste 5 more nights sleep listening to her cry

so try this

get a hot water bottle fill it up and wrap a towel around it then get a nice warm bottle of pumped milk and put them both in the crib with her
she has the warmth of your "body"
and the taste of your milk


hope it works out for you
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:45 PM
 
108 posts, read 430,756 times
Reputation: 38
I don't think the previous posters who mentioned pumping and bottle-feeding an 18-month-old understand the situation! There is nothing to pump. She doesn't take a pacifier, and she definitely won't take a bottle. She IS using me as a pacifier, I know that. Formula is a little late in the game, for sure, she drinks regular milk.
Thanks for the ideas, I guess I just favor attachment parenting, but I'm a little frustrated by lack of sleep. I'm the adult, it's up to me.
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Hillsborough
2,825 posts, read 5,955,446 times
Reputation: 2620
Yes! I BF my daughter who is almost 12 months and it sounds quite similar to you. She nurses about 2-3 times during the day now. She goes to bed in her crib at around 8-9 pm and when she wakes up around 11-12, I bring her into my bed and nurse her. Some nights she nurses what seems like constantly, and others she "only" nurses like 2 more times. I am not looking to wean her as I hope to nurse her until at least 2 years as per the WHO recommendation. I'm pretty sure that the typical self-weaning child self-weans around 3 years old, though many, like your son, wean much earlier.

The way I read your post, it sounds like you do not really want to wean, you just want some sleep! For help or support, I would recommend La Leche League, where most of the women will nurse past one year so they will know what you are going through. You can find a meeting near you (http://www.lalecheleague.com/webindex.html - broken link) or you can post on their forums. They also have a book called "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler" which you might try. I haven't read it yet, as mine isn't quite toddling yet , but I plan to. If you would like night-weaning suggestions, moms in your situation who I know recommend Dr. Jay Gordon's method.

At 18 months, I see no reason why you would need or want to supplement with formula as the previous poster suggests. At this age, if you want to substitute a feeding, you could try a cup of cow's milk I guess instead.

Medically speaking, as the previous poster suggests, your baby doesn't "need" to breastfeed. Of course, with the invention of formula, you could say that no baby really "needs" to breastfeed. That doesn't mean that your baby *shouldn't* breastfeed or that it isn't still the best thing for both of you. I think we all strive to give our children more than just what they "need" to survive, and I choose to continue to BF because BF continues to provide my LO with superior nutrition, immunities, and comfort. For more information on the benefits of extended BF, see Kellymom.
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Old 05-10-2007, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Hillsborough
2,825 posts, read 5,955,446 times
Reputation: 2620
Quote:
Originally Posted by marymel View Post
I don't think the previous posters who mentioned pumping and bottle-feeding an 18-month-old understand the situation! There is nothing to pump. She doesn't take a pacifier, and she definitely won't take a bottle. She IS using me as a pacifier, I know that. Formula is a little late in the game, for sure, she drinks regular milk.
Thanks for the ideas, I guess I just favor attachment parenting, but I'm a little frustrated by lack of sleep. I'm the adult, it's up to me.
My LO also does not take a bottle or pacifier. And I also favor AP style parenting. I hear ya!
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