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Regretting breastfeeding a I alone in this?

I feel like I took the harder of two routes when choosing BF over formula. I really don't have anyone to talk to about this, none of my friends or family have young children, and when they did, they formula-fed. Is it just me or are breastfed babies super-clingy to their mothers? Or are all babies like that? My daughter is 9 months, and she's always been very hesitant to go to anyone else's arms but mine...I feel trapped because babysitters and daycares don't want to take her, they always give me a hard time and will call me to come pick her up instead of actually trying to calm her because they figure she "just wants me". And its true! Also, how am I ever going to go back to work/school? She still eats bout every 2 hours. She has no clue how to use a sippy cup, she chews the nipple! I loved to breastfeed, and still do to an extent. It's exhausting enough, I'm a single mom and I can't pass her to daddy.I'm all she has. HELP!

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:24 AM on Jan. 6, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (47)
  • I've felt this way about breastfeeding, but I'm also slightly convinced it has something to do with my PPD. I wish I could have gone as long as you have though...I lasted almost 3months while slowly BFing less & less while supplementing formula more & more. Now he is only at the breast at night before bed. It works for me though. Now that I'm also taking care of myself I am a better mom for my lil guy...& to me, that is what is important. If you feel that this is making you more stressed, depressed, or feeling like it is harder to bond with your LO then maybe you should talk to your OB (or a therapist if you feel neccessary) to see what you can do to feel better in general. My own mother keeps reminding me: A happy mom makes for a happy baby. You obviously care greatly for your little bundle of joy, so whatever your choice long as it feels rigtht to YOU...then it's the right choice. Good luck mama!

    Answer by WannabeMommy87 at 2:41 AM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • It's a baby thing... nothing to do with nursing. My first was just like that and it's really a personality thing... he's still a very shy child and formula would not have changed that one bit.

    My second (also breastfed) will go to anyone, anywhere, at anytime... So, absolutely 100% nothing to do with breastfeeding.

    Remember, it would be exhausting regardless... with breastfeeding you have less dishes, less stress worrying how to pay for it and an easy comfort tool. I think everyone gets a little tired or hits a wall around this age (also have a 9 mo old and despite going 30 months the first time and knowing it gets better, I am hitting that same wall... it will pass!).

    She'll be up and running away from you soon enough, don't worry. My first figured out the sippy at 11 months... and even at this age she CAN do without you for several hours at a time. Just find a sitter who is willing to actually try to comfort her.

    Answer by LeanneC at 2:42 AM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • Are you pumping milk for bottle feedings later? How is she biting the nipples and not you? I don't know how long you plan to nurse but I'd start weaning when teeth appear. Yes, there were days when I hated nursing. My firstborn was very clingy and treated me like a walking bottle. I got him used to both nursing and breast milk from the bottle. By the time he started biting off the nipples, he was ready for a sippy cup. When I started going to beauty school, he was about 14 months and would scream his brains out! I could hear him as I walked a block away and it broke my heart but I didn't turn back. He eventually settled down but it took a week or so. You will have to find an understanding sitter. Also as tired as you may be, try and incorporate more park trips to get her used to socializing with other children.

    Answer by Ewadun at 3:55 AM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • This is not a negative; this is a sign of how well you and your baby are bonded. Babies scream for Mommy because they don't have another way to communicate. There is a fantastic book on child development called Touchpoints by T. Berry Brazelton; you should be able to find it at your local library. The website has some good information:


    Answer by rkoloms at 5:38 AM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • #1. find a better sitter! if they aren't havin enough patientsto comfort you baby something is WRONG! #2. try pumping n bottle feeding and handing off to some1 mid feeding. make her realize some1 else CAN take good care of her. #3.if you have a baby that old... feeding that often. then chances are she is NOT getting enough at each feeding! my son was eating cereal and baby foods by 9 mos andis a big 'ol healthy boy and was eating bout 4 times a day with about 2 bottles. maybe that'll help ur lil girl to. good luck! have patients! and don't get discouraged! you chose to BF because it was BEST!

    Answer by K_Chel at 6:19 AM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • She would be clingy either way. I've been BF my DS for 12 months and he's not clingy at all and never has been. He prefers me, but he goes with anyone and does great with baby-sitters. She probably would have been just as clingy if you formula fed.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:34 AM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • I breast fed my son and he has never really been all that clingy. When I bring him to the play ground or to crowded play groups he runs off and doesn't even look behind him to see if I'm still there! (He is 17 months but has been like this his whole life). I think it is just a part of your child's personality and it doesn't have anything really to do with how she is fed.

    That being said, this is a phase for her and she will would grow it. I know it doesn't seem like that right now, but she will. You may have chosen the harder route, but sometimes the right thing is the harder thing to do - in fact it usually is. And Breast feeding is only harder when you blame it for your daughter's current separation anxiety which I really don't think is fair. It's a normal, temporary, behavior that she WILL over come in time.

    Hang in there!

    Answer by beckcorc at 6:46 AM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • I don't mean to be a downer. But, I have to agree with you. I have 4 children. The first 2, I was fairly young and although I attempted to breastfeed, it didnt last long. I was in my later 20's when I had #3, and in my 30's when I had #4. I did breastfeed #3 and am still breastfeeding #4. 1 & 2, have always been pretty well adjusted. #3 is 8 years old now and literally cried unless I was holding him til he was 2 years old. There were times when I wasn't sure if my marriage would make it. It was very hard on all of us. Like I said though, he is 8 now and still a pretty emotional kid, I think it is just his personality. #4 is 16 months old and does go to daycare, but he has since he was very small. He has cried every single day that he has gone to daycare, he typically stops soon after I leave him. But, my point is this...He definately prefers me, and when we are at home he chases me around the house. It can be

    Answer by eastonbennett at 6:59 AM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • cont. It can be very trying somedays. Just remember this too shall pass, and you are giving your daughter something that only you can provide for her. Most days I cherish the bond I have with the baby, but I can also commiserate. Good luck. I second what the previous poster said. For your own sanity, you have to find someone to help you. When my 8 year old was a baby, my friend would come & get him for 4 hours a week. It was my saving grace. I knew things would be ok, and that she could handle the crying for 4 hours. I did pay her, but I could have never paid her enough for what she actually did for me. Her daughter that was a little older than Gavin was a very similar temperment, so she knew all the tricks to try.

    Answer by eastonbennett at 7:03 AM on Jan. 6, 2010

  • It probably has more to do with personality and developmental stage than it does with breastfeeding. I have two children, both who were breastfed until the 16-18 month mark. They are both pretty attached to me, but I'm their primary care giver. I find they go in and out of clingy phases.

    My older son was demanding as a baby, but not really clingy towards me. I was able to easily leave him with my husband or my parents or a friend. He's 3 1/2 now though and in an extremely clingy, attached phase. My younger son was very clingy from the very beginning and while I could leave him with my husband I couldn't leave him with anyone else. If I was around he didn't even really want my husband. It was very difficult. He's a year and a half and starting to grow out of that now. He still doesn't want to go to anyone he doesn't know really well, but I can leave him over night with my parents or have my friend come and babysit

    Answer by EmilyandIsaac at 7:52 AM on Jan. 6, 2010

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