There HAS to be an easier way!

Elise - posted on 12/28/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 15 months old and she stays home with her daddy all day while I work. While I'm gone, she's totally happy, self-sufficient, a good eater, naps easily, etc. The SECOND I get home, she's attached at the breast. Hopefully, she's had 2 naps by the time I get there so we have some time to play, but a lot of the time she's pulling at my shirt (how do I stop that!?) and, within 10 minutes or so, she's out like a light.

Which leads to the second half of our dilemma.. When I'm home, she will NOT go to sleep without nursing. She won't let me lay with her, rock her, etc.

I'm used to thinking "She's just a baby!" and giving her what she wants/needs when she wants/needs it. I don't think she's old enough to make her wait. I feel like what she wants comes first.. we've got a lot of growing up ahead of us, and there will be room for compromise/mutual needs later. Is 15 mos appropriate to lay down guidelines like that? And if so, how do I implement them so that they're effective? And how do I get her to let me put her to sleep UNattached to my person?

PS.. Totally not interested in weaning. She's not ready, and I don't have to. So there ;)

16 Comments

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Tine - posted on 01/04/2011

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Good on you!! Love your approach!!

I think you really know what you and your daughter need - after missing you and boobs all day, she simply NEEDS to feed and have the reassurance that you and boobs are still there! :-)

I actually think that 15 months is well and truly still a baby! My daughter is 2 and in most ways still a baby. She mostly has given up feeding during the day, led by her, but still feeds to sleep, overnight, and when she needs comfort.

At 15 months I personally really do not think that any sort of rules or making her wait is remotely appropriate. She just cannot understand that sort of stuff. My daughter would struggle with it now, so at 15 months, no way!

I think you have excellent instincts and you should listen to them, you sound like an excellent strong mama to me!
:-) :-)

Sally - posted on 01/01/2011

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You're her favorite person in the world and she hasn't seen you all day. Nursing is the one special thing she has from you and no one else. I don't know you're situation, but I would never dream of limiting that with my baby.
If you'd like to do other things while she's attached, there are many good baby carriers. Almost all of them allow one handed on the go nursing with practice and some allow hands free.
Good luck

Katy - posted on 01/01/2011

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Side note: I stopped nursing my daughter to sleep about this age. I nursed for a while til she was good and sleepy then took her off and laid her in her bed with soft classical music. She cried for a couple minutes but now loves it even without the nursing. She even asks for her music to be put on when we go to her room for bed!

Katy - posted on 01/01/2011

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My daughter was like that even though I stay home with her, I decided that was time to go down to nap time and bed time only. She JUST stopped nursing three days ago, just shy of 19 months. She was down to one feeding a day. She was very OBSESSED with the boob and I felt like I had to do something to help her wean a little, cutting back really helpped her but we were still able to have our special nursing time once or twice a day. Maybe she's just missing you or maybe she's having a hard time seperating you from the boob. I would try to destract her temporarily with other ways of bonding, a book, or silly cartoon, something that's just you two snuggling but without nursing. Definately don't stop til you feel ready but if it is something that is bothering you this much you may want to interveen with something else.

Stephanie - posted on 01/01/2011

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Just be thankful that she still wants you to love on her. The older they get the more things they have to do. This is a totally normal response from her. she doesn't see the one person who can give her soft tender nipples and warm soothing milk, If we had that we woudn't want to leave either. Sine you are not giving er milk she is getting all her calcium and nutrients from you. I would not deny her. she doesn't quite have the mental skills to understand yet. Also her body is telling her that she needs you and since you can only be there during the evening that is when she has to be with you. You are doing a good job, I would also find a local La Leche League meeting. www.llli.org There are many working moms there to offer encouragement and advice.

Rhionna - posted on 01/01/2011

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Good on you for not weaning before she is ready! Enjoy the snuggle time with her, my DD just decided at 15months that she didn't want to anymore. I was pretty upset at first but she has a hugh appetite and wantewd to be like her big bro. It is not to soon to lay down ground rules though, my 3 kids all knowthat they have to sit at the table until everyone has finished and my eldest son (just 5) helps to set and clear the table!
My litttle girl knows when she is tired and stands by the door and says "mama" and waves at me to tell me that she is ready to go to bed. WE don't have a very rigid routine as my 2nd son has severe autism and often doesn't sleep well so if he's not able to settle then we just go with the flow!

Lisa - posted on 01/01/2011

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well if you aren't going to wean, then offer a bottle or a sippy cup of bm for her, otherwise I'd expect to continue nursing to sleep. or you know you could do the whole, crib lock em up and listen to her cry thing--which I personally am not a fan of. I stuck it out and nursed all my babies to sleep and in the middle of the night until they were two. At least she missed you during the day and this is her way to reconnect with you and get some much needed nourishment too. I wouldn't deny her. :}

Iona - posted on 12/29/2010

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I worked on this with my daughter too. For us what worked was to begin changing up the bed/nap routine. We added story time before nursing for a week or two, then I made sure she was sort of awake when I put her in her crib (would take her off the boob, talk to her, hold her head up so I could look right at her, etc.), then I began to talk to her while she nursed to keep her awake until she was done getting her nourishment, until finally, with all these small shifts, she now finishes awake and I put her in bed awake and she goes to sleep. In fact, for us, this worked so well that at 22 mo. she began to not ask to nurse at nap time so I began skipping it and we've had no trouble at all. We'll see about bedtime when that time comes! Also....if I'm home, we have to nurse to sleep. If anyone else puts her to bed, no problem at all! Must be the smell of milk!

Amanda - posted on 12/29/2010

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i think its so sweet how your baby misses you and wants to snuggle as soon as you are in her sights! sorry, no advice, just admiring the loving relationship :D

Jacquelyn - posted on 12/29/2010

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I personally would say to just nurse her right away when you get home, hope she doesn't fall asleep, and get it out of the way so you can play, and look at the upside, it will help you relax to if you are open to it and just go with the flow, I nursed my kids to sleep until they weaned for that particualr feeding so for me it was easier to just go with the flow, but if you want to stop it just be consistant and try distractions :) good luck!

Noreen - posted on 12/29/2010

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My 15month old is a lot like that. Although I am a stay at home mom. But if I am gone for any length of time, as soon as she sees me she wants to nurse. It's her way of reconnecting with me. My husband can get her to go to sleep as long as I am not in the room, but if I have her, she wants to nurse too. Just recently, I have been able to get her to nurse until she is full, and then she will pull away or roll over awake and go to sleep on her own. But that is only if I am laying down with her in bed.



Maybe you could nurse her until she starts to dose off and once you feel that light butterfly suckling, take her off?? I started doing that a few months ago because she would do it so light that it was uncomfortable. Which has led us to where we are now. :)

Elise - posted on 12/28/2010

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She doesn't drink cows milk.. We try to limit the dairy. She drinks mostly water and diluted juice. I've been trying to hold my shirt closed and say "No, not now" like it's no big deal and then distract her with something. It works for a minute, then usually leads to a tantrum and I cave. I guess consistency is key here...

Jayde - posted on 12/28/2010

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My daughter was/still is the same when it comes to naps or night sleep she HAS to be fed to sleep (except for pram or car) she's now 20months & isn't looking at stopping any time soon - which i don't care, it only takes her mostly 5mins of feeding to fall asleep im not giving that easiness up :)

With during the day when you'r home can you give her a special cup with cows milk, or distract her or not be near the area you normally feed or something so that feeding can be all about sleep time?? all i have to be careful of is her seeing cleavage ;) good luck :)

[deleted account]

In response to your question about boundaries.... I don't think she's too young to start, but it might take her a while to understand.

[deleted account]

I still nurse my 2 year 9 month old son down for a nap, so.... ;)

Well, I did up until 2 days ago. We'll see what happens when he gets back from his dad's on Saturday....

Morgan - posted on 12/28/2010

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My 18 month old is in a similar position regarding nursing and I'm working on setting boundaries myself though I feel like I'm poking around in the dark trying to work through it all. I'm sorry to say that I have no advice just support. BTW, I really like how you closed your post!

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