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Breastfeeding Moms Breastfeeding Moms

Weaning advice please!!

Posted by on Jul. 7, 2014 at 3:58 AM
  • 8 Replies
Ok I have a 16 month old boy. He has been bf since day 1 and is extremely clingy! If I'm not with my son he will chow down on pretty much anything you put in front of him, but the second we are together he is reaching down my shirt. Even if we spend the day together he will do this. On multiple occasions he will have eaten a meal, then wants to nurse, and ends up spitting up because he is too full.
To top it all off he still will not sleep for more than a few hours, if that before he wakes to nurse. Nursing is the ONLY way to get him back to sleep.
I want to wean him, because I feel at this point he's only nursing for comfort. It's becoming very inconvenient at night, and embarrassing when he tries to pull my breasts out in public. Also I have had to up my hours at work considerably and sometimes work 14hr shifts. My breasts become extremely enlarged and painful and it makes my job quite uncomfortable.

How do I wean my mommas boy?
I know for some this may sound bitchy and what not, but I feel that weaning is in our best interest right now and it will promote independence for the both of us.
by on Jul. 7, 2014 at 3:58 AM
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Analugojana
by on Jul. 7, 2014 at 5:35 AM
Go slowly, drop one feeding per week. Though I must caution you, it will be HARDER than you think. My dd is the same, I don't even know e what feeding to drop because she is attached to me from the moment I'm home. I'm also gone about 13 1/2 hours. I finally night weaned her. Daddy slept next to her so she didn't expect the boobie. I'm ok with nursing her during the day and it comforts me too, lol. While you start the process, you also need to work on nursing manners. No shirt lifting. He needs to ask in some other manner to nurse. Mine is 20 months old, and not very verbal. But she learned to say chi chi and that shirt lifting will NOT get her chi chi.
MusherMaggie
by Platinum Member on Jul. 7, 2014 at 6:33 AM
Teach nursing manners. Weaning him will make him more clingy. Move his hands, put him down or hand him off and walk away when he does an inappropriate behavior. There is an article on Kellymom.com about nursing manners. Treat it as you would a tantrum or any other unwanted behavior.

If you want to night wean, take a look at DrJayGordon.com.
Mom2Just1
by Silver Member on Jul. 7, 2014 at 7:58 AM
1 mom liked this

Nursing manners might be a better way.  Just so you know just because you wean does not mean she will be less clingy or sleep more. My 19 month weaned himself last month because of pregnancy and still does not sleep through the night and pretty clingy with his parents.  To you she is clingy but more than likely she just wants to spend time with you when you're home.

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gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on Jul. 7, 2014 at 9:51 AM


Quoting greentealover18: Ok I have a 16 month old boy. He has been bf since day 1 and is extremely clingy!
That decribes the normal human toddler. Breastfed or not.
If I'm not with my son he will chow down on pretty much anything you put in front of him, but the second we are together he is reaching down my shirt. Even if we spend the day together he will do this.
You don't have to allow it. Put him down in a safe place where he can't reach. This will teach him to stop. He won't LIKE it... but if he likes half of what you do for the next 18 years, you're doing something wrong. **grin**
On multiple occasions he will have eaten a meal, then wants to nurse, and ends up spitting up because he is too full.
Heh heh... we call that "happy spitting."
To top it all off he still will not sleep for more than a few hours, if that before he wakes to nurse.
THAT is normal toddler. Never met a toddler that didn't do that, no matter how they're fed. "Sleeps like a baby" is a LIE.
Nursing is the ONLY way to get him back to sleep. I want to wean him, because I feel at this point he's only nursing for comfort.
At this age it's STILL for nutrition, all the way through year two. That doesn't mean you're not allowed to set limits. Check out Dr. Jay's nighweaning info (I'll post it momentarliy if no one else has) and feel free to redirect in the daytime. Tell him "we'll nurse aftr Daniel Tiger" or whatever marker he'll understand. 
It's becoming very inconvenient at night,
Again, definition of normal toddler. No matter how you feed!
and embarrassing when he tries to pull my breasts out in public.
Treat that behavior as ANY OTHER unwanted behavior. There is NOTHING so magical about breastfeeding that you're not allowed to set limits.
Also I have had to up my hours at work considerably and sometimes work 14hr shifts. My breasts become extremely enlarged and painful and it makes my job quite uncomfortable.
Are you still pumping at work? Start decreasing that... drop a session about every two weeks and that will slow things down.
How do I wean my mommas boy? I know for some this may sound bitchy and what not, but I feel that weaning is in our best interest right now and it will promote independence for the both of us.

Actually, weaning tends to make them MORE dependent. But do set limits. LIMITS are what you need. If you wean totally, he will be MORE clingy than ever before. Seen it literally HUNDREDS of times in this group and others like it. 

gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on Jul. 7, 2014 at 9:52 AM
1 mom liked this

Sleep, Changing Patterns In The Family Bed

  •  Posted by Dr. Jay Gordon

I can only imagine a mom and dad who are as tired as anyone can be, eager to see this article on sleep, and finding that we had made it unavailable for a little while!

We had to do that because I didn’t write the article clearly enough and need to clarify some very important facts.

It would be hard to find as strong a proponent of the family bed as I am. Yet, I have received email commenting that there were sections of this “plan” which were easy to misinterpret as being just another angle on “sleep training” for young babies. It is not meant to be that. Not even close to an endorsement of the benefits of getting your baby to “soothe herself to sleep” during the first year.

Here’s what I really want to do: I want to offer an alternative to Ferber and Weisbluth and the Whisperer. I never want to see my ideas applied to a four month old or even a seven month old baby. As a matter of fact, I am not too excited about pushing any baby around at night but I know that sometimes it will be done and I’d like to offer a gentle, supported plan for after the first year.

Before I go any further, let me express my overriding concern. Babies do better when we answer all their questions as best we can and meet their needs as best we can.

Most of the families I have taken care of in my pediatric practice sleep in a family bed.

Their babies tend to breastfeed for more than one year and they don’t sleep through the night any better than most of us would if we napped and cuddled within inches of the best restaurant in town and knew it was open 24 hours a day.

This arrangement is not just adequate and tolerable, but actually feels easier to moms who can just roll over, nurse a while and fall back to sleep with their babies rather having to get out of bed to nurse or, alternatively, refuse to nurse and get their babies back to sleep some other way.

Lots of parents continue this pattern through the first year and well into the second and beyond, but some get tired of it — or just plain tired — after a while and are looking for a way to change things. Saddest of all, some moms and dads think that total weaning from breastfeeding is the best way to get more sleep. They choose not to look into nighttime weaning as a good option instead.

There are dozens of confusing books and magazine articles implying that there can be some quick and easy way to get your baby to sleep or to not nurse through the night. I have yet to read one which told parents the complete truth: It’s not easy, it’s rarely quick and it’s usually a little loud and heartbreaking for a few nights . . . or more. I have seen too many families needing help and getting offered choices they didn’t like at all.

I have a better alternative to completely weaning or to letting the baby cry it out. Babies wake up for the optimal interaction with their moms, breastfeeding back to sleep. If we offer them a little less than that for a few nights and then a little less and still less in the ensuing nights, gentle behavior modification will lead them to realize that it might not be “worth it” to knock on the door of a closed restaurant, so to speak.

I don’t recommend any forced sleep changes during the first year of life. Probably the only exception to this would be an emergency involving a nursing mom’s health. There are many suggestions in books and magazines for pushing “sleeping through the night” during a baby’s early months or during the first year. I don’t think this is the best thing to do and I am quite sure that the earlier a baby gets “non-response” from parents, the more likely he is to close down at least a little.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the family bed, child-led weaning and cuddling all through the first, second, third year or more if it’s working well and if the family is doing well. Don’t let anyone convince you that this is a harmful choice or that there will be “no way” to get him out of your bed if you don’t do it now. Don’t believe anyone who says that babies who cuddle and nurse all night long “never” learn to self soothe or become independent. This is simply nottrue but it sells books and the myths stay in our culture.

Some moms just don’t want to do this after some months or years and there should be a third choice to the dichotomy of crying it out or giving in to all-night nursing. Again, I support the family bed and frequent night nursing for a long time and even attempt to pull some parents along “just a little farther,” but I often have to switch tacks and support and help families with difficult choices.

Here’s what I recommend for older babies:

Choose the most valuable seven hours of sleep for yourselves. I personally prefer 11p.m. through 6 a.m. but you might have a slightly different idea.

Change the rules during those hours and be comfortable that a “well-built” family bed baby’s personality can withstand this rule changing and the mild inconsistency of getting everything he wants all the time . . .oops, almost all the time. That’s the word we want to show this baby. The word “almost.” If only we could explain to him that “tired moms and dads take their children to the park a little less and that children of well-rested parents get to go the zoo and for hikes a lot more than children of exhausted parents.” If that explanation only made sense to kids somewhere before the third birthday (and it doesn’t!) they would simply roll over, say, “See you in the morning,” and let us get the sleep we want.

I try to do this in three- and four-night intervals.

I’m assuming that you have a wonderfully healthy 12-, 15-, 20- or 30-month old baby who still loves to wake up every 2 to 4 hours to cuddle, eat or . . . whatever. I’m assuming that you have thought this through, decided you want to make changes and alerted the neighbors that it might be a little noisy for a week or so.

I’m assuming that both parents agree — or almost agree — that this is the best thing to do. And, most important assumption of all, you are willing to go “in a straight line” to the goal of seven straight hours of sleep.

The reason for that last statement: If your baby learns that crying, squirming and fussing (euphemisms, let’s just say “crying” . . . sorry) for an hour will get him fed you will set yourself back quite a bit. This is the best program I have seen but it’s far from easy. And now, to say it again, I really like what you’ve been doing. Cuddling, nursing, hugging through the night. Don’t change this with my program or any other if you’re happy doing what you’re doing. But . . .

The First Three Nights

At any time before 11 p.m. (including 10:58) nurse to sleep, cuddle and nurse when he wakes up and nurse him back to sleep, but stop offering nursing to sleep as the solution to waking after 11 p.m.. Instead…..

When your baby awakens at midnight or any other time after 11 p.m., hug him, nurse him for a short time but make sure he does not fall asleep on the breast and put him down awake. Rub and pat and cuddle a little until he falls asleep but don’t put him back on the breast (or give him a bottle if that’s what you’ve been doing). He must fall asleep with your comfort beside him, but not having to nurse to feel comforted enough to drift off.

Now, he will tell you that he is angry and intensely dislikes this new routine. I believe him. He will also try to tell you that he’s scared. I believe he’s angry, but a baby who’s had hundreds of nights in a row of cuddling is not scared of falling asleep with your hand on his back and your voice in his ear. Angry, yes. Scared, no, not really.

During these first three nights, repeat this pattern only after he has slept. He might sleep for fifteen minutes or he might sleep for four hours, but he has to go to sleep and reawaken to get cuddled and fed again.

These will be hard nights.

You may have decided you’re really not ready to do this. That’s OK. Stop and start over again in a few months if you like. Choosing the right time is crucial and many people choose a time suggested or pushed by friends, doctors or in-laws. This doesn’t work as well.

Is it better to do this in the family bed, a crib in the same room or using a crib in another room? I prefer to continue the family bed even though it might seem harder at first, but it has always seemed harder to me to be putting a baby in and out of a crib. However, a crib or toddler bed in your room may be what works best for you. Another option is to expand your bed’s limits by placing another mattress against your mattress. A bit more space for each family member may help to solve some of the sleep issues. My least favorite choice is a crib or bed in a separate bedroom.

Again, during these first three nights, between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., cuddle and feed short, put him down awake, rub, pat, talk until he falls asleep and repeat this cycle only after he’s slept and reawakened. At 6:01 a.m., do whatever you have been doing as a morning routine ignoring the previous seven hours’ patterns. Many babies will roll over, nurse and cuddle back to sleep and give you an extra hour or so. Some won’t.

For me, one of the most reassuring parts of this “sleep plan” is seeing that babies wake up fine, happy and grudge-free about the change in the rules. You’ll see what I mean, even if the first few minutes of the morning are not exactly as they’ve always been.

The Second Three Nights

Again, the nursing to sleep stops at 11 p.m. When he wakes up, hug him and cuddle him for a few minutes, but do not feed him, put him down awake. Putting him down awake is a crucial part of this whole endeavor because it really does teach him to fall asleep with a little less contact and then a little less. Not feeding is the big change during these three nights. One-year-old babies can easily go for those seven hours (or more) with no calories. Theylike to get fed a little through the night, but physiologically and nutritionally, this is not a long time to go without food.

If I could wake my wife a few times each night, ask her to squeeze me a little fresh orange juice (my favorite drink) and rub my back while I drank it, I wouldn’t choose to voluntarily give up this routine. My wife might have some different ideas and get tired of the pattern quickly. Babies rarely give up their favorite patterns and things — day or night– without balking and crying.

I really don’t like listening to babies cry. I actually hate listening to babies cry. Unlike them, though, we adults can truly understand the implications of lack of sleep for a family of three, four or more people. Sleep patterns sometimes have to be changed. The incredible safety and reassurance the family bed has provided, and continues to provide, supplies the best context and location for these changes.

During these second three nights, some babies will cry and protest for ten minutes at a time and some will go for an hour or more. Your toddler is aware that you are right beside him, offering comfort and soothing. It just isn’t the mode of comfort he wants at the moment. It is hard to listen to him fuss, but it will work. I believe that a well-loved baby, after a year or more in the family bed, will be the ultimate beneficiary of his parents getting more sleep. Not coincidentally, the parents benefit “big time,” too.

“Yes, for the past many months we have enjoyed voting “1 to 2″ — non-democratically — in favor of . . . the baby. ‘Anyone want to get up all night, feed and walk the baby and be really tired all day and the next day too?’ Well, the vote is 1 to 2 in favor of the baby.”

Now, what we’re saying is, we will sometimes be voting two to one in favor of the baby’s family. This “baby’s family” concept may be abhorrent to he who considers himself the King of England, or Emperor of the Whole World, but our knowing he has that feeling of power allows us to confidently demote the dictator to a majority-respecting member of the family. His family.

By the end of the sixth night, your baby is going back to sleep without being nursed or fed. He’s going back to sleep after a nice hug, a cuddle and with your hand on his back and your words in his ear.

If, at any point this is feeling “wrong” to you, stop, wait some months and start over. Don’t go against your “gut instincts” which tell you that this is the wrong time to get longer sleep intervals from your baby. Your instincts are better than any sleep-modification program ever written.

The Next Four Nights

Nights seven, eight, nine and ten. Don’t pick him up, don’t hug him. When he awakens after 11 p.m., talk to him, touch him, talk some more, but don’t pick him up. Rub and pat only. No feeding either, obviously. He will fall back to sleep. Repeat the rubbing and talking when he reawakens. By the end of the ninth night, he will be falling back to sleep, albeit reluctantly for some babies and toddlers, with only a rub and a soothing voice.

After

After these first ten nights, continue to cuddle and feed to sleep if you like and he wants to, but do nothing when he wakes up except to touch a little and talk to him briefly. This may continue for another three or four nights but occasionally keeps going for another week or more. Then . . . it stops. He has learned that he is just as well-loved, gets virtually everything he needs and wants all day, but must give seven hours per night back to his parents and family.

What happens if you travel, he gets sick or some other circumstance demands a return to more nighttime interaction? Nothing. You do what you need to do (cuddle, nurse, walk, in the middle of the night, as many times as you need to) and then spend a night or two or three getting back to the new pattern the family has established.

By the way, pay the baby. Make sure that he really does get a lot of the benefit of your getting a good night’s sleep. Go to the park more often. Do all those things with him you said you’d do if he ever let you sleep longer. Explain it to him as you’re doing it. He’ll understand in an ever increasing way and will be OK with all this.

MamaCeleste0722
by Celeste on Jul. 7, 2014 at 12:44 PM
I agree with the others. Weaning isn't going to make him less clingy or make him sleep better. Definitely work on nursing manners. You can also set limits. Try the night weaning as well. Good luck!
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aehanrahan
by Group Mod - Amy on Jul. 7, 2014 at 5:23 PM
I agree!

Quoting MamaCeleste0722: I agree with the others. Weaning isn't going to make him less clingy or make him sleep better. Definitely work on nursing manners. You can also set limits. Try the night weaning as well. Good luck!
tabi_cat1023
by Group Mod - Tabitha on Jul. 7, 2014 at 11:41 PM

Yuo've gotten some great advice, its not easy and WTG for nursing so long! This is very much a personality ting.  BFing didnt make him clingy..my oldest wasnt BF long(3 months) yet is still this way at age 12..very clingy for his age...

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