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Thread: For those of you who have breastfed beyond 12 months...

  1. #1

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    Question For those of you who have breastfed beyond 12 months...

    Hi!
    I'll start by saying I don't really know exactly what I want to say so this may end up being a long as I muddle through everything...

    DS is 13 months old and we are still breastfeeding and I'm enjoying it thoroughly and want to continue until he is 2 years old unless he chooses to wean himself.

    I had a very bad experience at the baby clinic last week when the MCHN essentially said I needed to wean James in order to get him sleeping through the night and also eating three full meals plus two snacks every day!!! I definitely don't agree with that at all!

    So I guess I am just wondering what the different experiences are out there of women who are choosing to continue breastfeeding beyond the first year, and what the feeding is like (day and night/breast and solids) for those doing infant led feeding/weaning.



    DS is a happy healthy wonderful little boy but he is a VERY frequent waker and I would like to find a way to get some more sleep for him and for me. He wakes on average 6-8 times a night lately but doesn't always ask for boobie. DH can settle him quickly back to sleep most of the time and then we co-sleep about half of the night to try to get DS to sleep longer blocks. He will sometimes sleep a 2-4 hour block in bed with us so it seems to help.

    I don't know if he has some sort of food intolerance (we are commencing an elimination diet tomorrow morning), if he finds his bed uncomfortable (he is currently sleeping in a travel cot), if he is teething (8th tooth broke through last week but I can't find any evidence of any more), if it is severe separation anxiety (he was kneeding and pinching my stomach constantly while feeding last night), or some other medical issue (he is due to have his 12 month needles Tuesday so may ask the pediatrician to check him out for other issues at the same time).

    I just started using Brauer's Calm last night but didn't see any improvement at all there, and I'm re-reading Pinky McKay's "Sleeping Like a Baby" as well. Any thoughts, comments, advice, whatever, that other people could offer would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    lotusmamma Guest

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    I find early childhood centres chronically out of date. I've been to three different ones and they all gave me incorrect breastfeeding advice and none have been informed about full term demand breastfeeding. I've fed one child until 3.5yo when my milk dried up during pregnancy and am currently feeding a 3 year old. I demand full term breastfeed and this means my kids are free to follow their body's lead and choose between solid food or breastmilk and will wean themselves when they are ready. Not until they are in their third year do they have three sit down meals a day - until then it's grazing and little snacks throughout the day and boobie any time or water if they want that instead. They are offered meals with the rest of the family but don't rely on scheduled meals to get their nutrition. They prefer to walk around while eating and to have frequent small amounts and eat more that way than if I try to get them to sit down and eat it in one go. All my babies have eventually slept through the night and eaten well at scheduled meal times but I don't expect that of them before they are around 3. When my bottle fed son was 13mo I still gave him at least one bottle through the nigh, sometimes two, which I had to get up and make (it's important for healthy digestion to have formula warm) and I don't think it's healthy for a little body to go through the night without some rehydration whether that be water, breastmilk or artificial breastmilk - breastmilk is the easiest to provide and the healthiest. My 3yo has boobie once a night now and if she doesn't want that then she asks for some water which I have in a sports bottle by the bed. You cold wean him to get more sleep but IMO that would be inexchange for the health benefits that he receives from your breastmilk. I do lots of things to help my child sleep better at night so that I can sleep well too like using aromatherapy, giving her a hot protein rich meal before bed, offering her lots of breastmilk in the hour before her bed time so she fills up then and lately I've found that waking her up from her day nap after 2 hours rather than letting her sleep on helps too.

  3. #3

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    Hello, I fed DD until a week short of 18 months when she self weaned. Around 14 months I stopped feeding her in the middle of the night unless she was very distressed, I would feed her before bed and in the morning, but other times DH got up and settled her and would offer her rice milk or water if it was hot and she was thirsty. Around this time we were able to introduce more protein into her diet generally as up until 12 months she was on a restricted diet (to prevent atopic allergy) and so I don't know if that might have made a difference on her hunger levels at nighttime?

    I found once I stopped feeding her at night as often, she stopped waking as much. BUT I would also say that was *probably* the beginning of the weaning process at that point. She was perfectly happy throughout this entire time, if there had been any distress we would have changed what we were doing.

    I don't know if any of this will be useful to you but I hope you find the balance soon!

  4. #4

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    Heidi sweetie, I've seen your other posts and I know you are having a hard time atm. I really hope it settles soon for you. But I don't think weaning is the answer.

    DS1 self weaned at 14months (prob bcos I was pg). While bfing he slept through the night. The only period of night wakings we experienced with him were after he had weaned. So, bfed babies can sleep through, and weaned babies can wake. There goes the theory of the MCHN.

    Also, DS was not a good eater. He first started eating more than a teaspoon of food at about 9 months, and was nearly two before he started eating decent amounts and a large variety of foods (actually he now eats everything that we do). And he is very healthy and always has been. The medical advice we got at the time, was that if he needs to eat he will, he won't starve himself. But that I was giving him too much milk (every bf he dropped I replaced with cow's milk so he was having 8 or more cups of milk a day. They suggested to cut it down to 3 cups a day, one with each main meal, and only water at other times. In your case you will adapt this a little as he is still on bm. Other things that worked were to not offer him a food he liked, if he didn't eat the first thing he was given, and to make sure he always ate meals at the table with us. It took a while but we got there when he was ready. Now people comment on what a great eater he is and can't believe he was ever any different.

    Hang in there, I am sure everything will work out. Please do not wean, and maybe find someone other than a MCHN to get help from. I had one tell me to wean Jack at 12months for no reason. She just assumed that I would want to. Well, she was wrong. I now know MCHNs often are!

  5. #5
    mrmoo Guest

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    My ds3 is 14 months, is very much still the booby baby but he loves his finger foods too. I give him a plate of *yummies* when we have our meals plus he has his bf top ups throughout the day. We co-sleep and he has nightfeeds as well, although this is mainly because I'm usually cramped and need to roll over so he gets disturbed and needs a quick feed to help settle himself back down. Doesn't usually last long though so when it comes to me night weaning I'm confident he'll be fine. My three year old was the same and I bf'd her until after she was two years. Now when she falls asleep, she stays asleep and in her own bed too. So no rod for my back and happy healthy children who eat enough for themselves. Hope this helps.

  6. #6

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    I dont think that BFing is going to discourage eating. I would continue BFing whilst bubs and you are comfortable with it.
    I had Jordan on 2 feeds a day till around 12 months and then 1 feed a day (night) till 16 1/2 months. (we stopped BFing 2 night ago)

    The MHN dont always know everything. They give you a guide and you make your mind up what you want to do.

  7. #7

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    Heidi I could have written exactly what you have written about James with Sammy at the same age. It is getting better though. Sammy is now 191/2 months and while he is still waking and feeding during the night it is not as frequent or for as long...so it does get better lol!

    Jo

  8. #8
    ashsmum Guest

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    Your son sounds like my son Ashley, 14 months (but my husband can't settle him, he has to have breast to go back to sleep). I use to think I was waking Ashley by co-sleeping but he wakes up just as much when he's in his cot. Not sure why he wakes so much. Don't worry about what the clinic say, if he's not asking for breast then how can that help him sleep through the night? He will sleep through eventually, I believe Ashley will and i'm not doing anything wrong. Why don't you visit Pinky's site also, she will have some re-assuring advice for you. It's reassuring reading this thread that they do eventually sleep.

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