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New challenges with night nursing a 16 month old. What do I do??

It started with the obsession with my belly button. He would constantly have to pick my belly button and scratch it while nursing him at night. Every time I would try to stop him he would get pissed and wake up completely. He wasn't sleeping without playing with my belly button. The only reason this bothered me is because he scratched it and put a big painful cut on it. That went on for weeks and now I'm dealing with him either pulling on my opposite nipple (until it almost rips off I swear) or trying to stick his hand down my pants. This is the most bothersome of them all. It's just really annoying. I want to keep nursing him at night, but this is getting out of hand. What do I do??

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MaMaMo531

Asked by MaMaMo531 at 8:17 PM on Sep. 29, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 2 (7 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Oh...just wanted to add...we cosleep and he wakes up about every 2 hours STILL sometimes more. I planned on night weaning at about 18 months and weaning completely at 2. Don't know if I'll actually stick to that plan though.
    MaMaMo531

    Answer by MaMaMo531 at 8:20 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I would say to wean the night nursing...at 16 months he is fully capable of staying full and comfy through the night. Try to get him on a better meal schedule through out the day so he is not relying so much on the milk to stay full.
    Every 2 hours at that age is crazy to me.
    Also, I bet that if you wean now instead of at 18 months, it will be much easier on him to wean completely at two.
    jenellemarie

    Answer by jenellemarie at 8:25 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • Try putting a pillow in between the two of you from your chest down and wearing a shirt and only lifting enough to have the one breast exposed. I know exactly what you're talking about though with pulling on your nipple haha... little rugrats are strong! If he is still waking every 2 hours then I would think he isnt waking to eat its more of a comfort thing. I dont know if this will help, but best of luck to you!
    ashleyuc07

    Answer by ashleyuc07 at 8:26 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I totally here what you are saying since my son has turned 15 months he is constantly trying to play with my opposite nipple when he feeds too. I have just started to cover it with my hand while he is nursing. I think that it may take a couple of nights of him waking up and being mad but he will get used to keeping his free hand to himself. I am all about the breast feeding but it is no good if you are injured or awake all night! Hang in there and he will get used to not touching thingsjust like he got used to touching everything!
    raeny

    Answer by raeny at 8:28 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I never thought of a pillow. I bet that would work. I'll try tonight. Thank you so much! He eats a lot during the day, so I know it's just a comfort thing. It's become a habit I guess. He's just used to doing it. I haven't had more than 3 hours of solid sleep since he was born, but so far I'm okay with it.
    MaMaMo531

    Answer by MaMaMo531 at 8:31 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • It may be time to transition him out of the family bed. There's a great article on drjaygordon.com on how to get it done.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 9:11 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I completly agree with ashleyuc07 and raeny. If you aren't looking to change the night nursing situation it's time to teach some manners. I have a 2 1/2yo nursling who I've nursed through 9 months of pregnancy and the twiddling is a big no no for me right now lol. I started wearing a shirt and tucking it into some shorts at night. That way everything except what I was willing to share was inaccessable. This will also slowly start helping him night wean on his own because he has to work a little harder to get to the all night snack bar. He might get a little mad but much less so then if you try to wean or move him at a time when they are going through a lot of growth spurts(which if the night wakings are more frequent right now might be a cause) and some big developments. Hang in there, this high needs phase is brief. My dd has transitioned herself into her big girl bed over the last couple months and I miss her lol!
    yelli

    Answer by yelli at 9:26 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • lol, my little one was opsesed with my belly button too,then it went to my elbows. i would pull away and say oww,and stop.let them get mad,they need to know it hurts
    angelairelan

    Answer by angelairelan at 10:24 AM on Sep. 30, 2009

  • Wow! It is interesting to hear other mom's discuss the same situatin that I have. I didn't know if it was normal or not . My daughter does the same thing at night with the belly button and the opposite nipple thing. I only let her nurse for a while at night and once I turn my back to her she knows that I'm through and she goes to sleep. Everytime she nurses she wants both nipples to be available and she goes from one to the other (laughing). But you are right that does start to feel uncomfortable and stuff like that.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:16 PM on Oct. 3, 2009

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