Co-sleepers: My 10month old nurses all night long as if he's starving. Not just sucking to sooth. Please help!

LaRiena - posted on 11/02/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Looking for non-cry it out tips.

We have a 10 month old who started requiring nursing to sleep ALL night long.

As a young infant he would sleep in his crib 10-4am and then come to bed with us and co-sleep until morning. Around 6 months he started requiring earlier night feeds (side note: We started solids at 6months.) Around 6.5months his father stopped being able to put him to sleep because he seemed to require the breast. Against our better judgement we thought we should try the "cry it out" method. Broke my heart. We tried for 2.5nights without success and it backfired. My son became clingy. Refused solids and wanted to nurse all the time!! we began cosleeping exclusively. cosleeping ended up saving us at this point because we needed to move to china for a few months. requiring lots of different hotels, apartments, long overnight plane rides etc.
At 7 months our son was walking 3-4steps, standing on his own over 10-15sec etc and a very active crawler. at tgat time he started walking 3x a night to nurse. By 9months he could walk across the room, still rather drunkenly but walking. At this time though he began nursing all night long. We're now back in the states, fully adjusted to the time change but the night nursing seems to becoming even more intense the more active he has become. He started getting used to solids again and became less clingy while in China.

I'm worried its my lack of discipline/schedule and crazy life that has us in this current night nursing situation. I love sleeping next to my now 10mos old and it really has made life easier and comforting to cosleep up until this point. But now It seems he's starving all night long. He eats with vigor lately. My nipples are sore. my breasts get full of rocks by bedtime. meanwhile theyre fairly empty during the days. He is walking now and doesn't like nursing a full feed during the day time. He has frequent sips but rarely a full feed. He eats 3 meals of solids during the day as well but doesn't like filler foods like cereals. He is rather large 96 in height. 80 in weight any tips??

We're trying to transition him into his crib now only because I'm so exhausted from not fully sleeping

For me its not so much that my back hurts too bad to continue, its just that Im very aware of being literally attached all night long. It used to be that cosleeping made nursing at night easier, we slept more, snuggled etc. I could sleep-nurse and my child slept while he ate. Now he nurses so vigorously and all night through that i can't sleep and my breasts are sore. I'm so SO thirsty. Last night i drank 3 pint classes of water throughout the night. He also wakes up and screams if i get up to use the bathroom. I think its because I'm so sleep deprived that I feel so suffocated at night these days. i love snuggling with my baby...i love nursing..i just need some shut eye.

This all started becoming so intense when he began taking his first real steps and hasn't improved in close to 6wks. We've begun transitioning him into his own crib because Im so exhausted but it makes me sad. I'm torn over the thought of our cosleeping days ending but i also don't feel i can be a good momma without sufficient sleep. We've been trying "no cry sleep solution" suggestions but haven't had much luck so far. We're only half way through the book though. Its not just suckling to soothe. That was our initial thought...but now my husband is able to get him to sleep for naps and bedtime again without milk. Not sure what to do. Currently his crib has been converted to a toddler bed and is pushed up against our mattress. Occasionally he will stay in his crib/toddler bed for a couple hours but thats rare. He naps in his crib.

(Sorry for the rambling)

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Lori - posted on 11/03/2013

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It sounds like he has reversed his eating habits. He's eating at night rather than eating during the day. An active baby who is learning to crawl and learning to walk doesn't want to take time out of their day to stop and nurse. There's too much going on around them. But obviously they need to do so. I wouldn't worry about filler foods like cereals. If he doesn't like them, they're not necessary anyway. What it sounds like he needs is to nurse more during the day. Have you tried nursing him in a darkened room so there are fewer distractions? Or try offering to breastfeed every hour during the day. If he won't stay latched for very long at any one time, maybe getting small amounts more often will help him get more overall during the day. I had to do both (darkened room and offer more frequently) with both of my daughters around 9 - 11 months.
Co-sleeping in general won't "cause" your baby sleep issues. If you weren't co-sleeping he may just be waking you up every 2 hours to nurse… and then you'd have to be getting up out of bed, go get him, nurse, then go back to bed. Even harder to get good sleep that way.

Lori - posted on 11/03/2013

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It is only temporary - but that doesn't mean it isn't exhausting right now! My first daughter didn't start sleeping through the night till she was 17 months old. Most of that time I was just exhausted. It wasn't till she started sleeping through the night most nights that I began to feel human/normal again. Then I got pregnant with my 2nd and started the process all over. My 2nd still wasn't sleeping through the night by the time she turned two. She wasn't co-sleeping with me because I discovered early that she actually sleeps better having her own space than she does sleeping with me. But - she would still wake on average 3 times a night and want to be nursed back to sleep. I had tried night weaning once before with her, but after her 2nd birthday I tried it again. This time it worked pretty well. She began sleeping a bit better, and when she does wake, she only needs me to pat her and tell her to go back to sleep. She's going to be 3 this month and she still wakes at least once a night. Most nights she goes back to sleep without me needing to get up. Some nights I do have to go in and pat her.

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LaRiena - posted on 11/03/2013

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Thank you so much for posting! Going to check out the link now. I'm going to try the darkened room trick. You're right, he is so very active and extremely distracted. I definitely agree that co-sleeping has given our family so much more peace and sleep than had we not ever co-slept. Its just hard right now. I'm sure its only temporary though and i imagine, soon enough i may even miss these nights. :)

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