Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bottle versus The Goods

Before I had kids, I had many thoughts that started with. . . "When I'm a parent...(I will... or I will never. . .)". I was of the opinion that if a kid was old enough to ask for the goods/lift your shirt/unbutton your bra, they were too old to be nursing. But alas, times have changed and 3 kids later I have become that mother I use to look upon with scorn. It seems I walk a lonely road, here in this half of the Hemisphere. But. . . I LOVE NURSING.

Having said that, I have to admit lately I'm feeling a bit more like a dairy cow than a HAPPY nursing mommy.

PROB #1: Fin wants to nurse several times a night. She'll be one next month! I could just let her cry, but I love to nurse her once during the early morning hours. It's so quiet and the house is still, except for this little sweet baby, all snuggled up with her mama. If I let her cry the other times, I'm afraid she might start sleeping through altogether and then where would I be? ...Well slept, I suppose.

PROB #2: She's become proactive and very loud in her Boobage lobbing. It's like she wants to become a permanant apendage. And, I don't need any more of those, unless they were extra hands, that would be useful.

And then, yesterday I got this big idea... the bottle. That could take care of those whinny times when she just wants to comfort nurse. But, I've been trying to follow the advice of The American Pediatric Society, who has the big fat opinion that kids should go right to sippy cups and skip bottles altogether. But, as I think more on the subject, I think I have the big fat opinion that baby's have a need to suckle, and if they don't take a soother and you don't want to be the human soother, the bottle is the ticket!

Okay, so I put my plan in action, but she still spends most her waking hours chasing me around, letting me know in no uncertain terms that she wants the boob. And, so dairy cow I remain. Help! How many times should I be nursing a one year old?


Elizabeth Cranmer said...

Sorry Steph, un-chartered territory for me! My kids never nursed that long. But I do like the bottle option. And you could still hold her for that morning bottle to keep that cuddle time if you wanted. Oh and Steph..... any mother who has a child who won't sleep through, just cringed a little that you think she could be sleeping through and DON"T want her too!! 3 Kids Steph, go for the sleep!!! Jess might be closer to #4 if you were both sleeping more! She will still love nad need you even if she has a bottle, she'll just beg you to fill it up for her instead of lift your shirt.

But if you want to still nurse her, hey it's your bod, enjoy your time with your little one.I am not judging. It's great! I was never able to go that long either supply or preggs. My sister weaned to Yop because her kids wouldn't take a bottle. So there is a way for everyone!

Julianna said...

I think nursing length so depends on where you live in the USA. I'm in the mid west and maybe it's just me or the mom's I met first but I was encouraged to nurse at least a year. I'm on baby #3 who incidentally will be a year next month as well. I nursed the first 15 mo, the second about 13 mo and I'm still nursing my 11 mo old all the time. Personally, I hate the mess of feeding them or even worse letting them feed themselves.

If it's a good night I probably nurse before I go to bed (around 11pm) and then again at 5 or 6am. My baby will sleep an hour or two after that early morning nurse, however, if she starts crying at 2am I usually let her cry unless I'm too tired to realize what time it is.

My kids have all used binkies as fact I have an almost 4 yr old who is still using her when sleeping. I think you pick your battles. I start weaning after 12 months and with the first 2 weaned straight to a sippy cup. Baby #3 likes to sip water from a sippy cup or bottle at this moment. The bottle sort of happend to give her sisters something to do.

So no I don't think it's weird to still be nursing, it's healthy food and at 11 months they really aren't undoing your buttons yet.

Having said that, I do look forward to wearing something besides T-shirts and cardigans but it's so sweet to drag out that nursing.

Stay with it as long as it's fun for both of you...mostly you because what baby wouldn't want to nurse?

Good luck with your baby.

Carrie said...

Ooooooh. This is a good one. Everyone is sure to have an opinion, so be prepared to hear it all. In my little corner of dealing with babies, boobs, and whining boob seekers it's been kind of different for all of them, so it's hard to tell if there's one magic ticket. But what HAS been consistently the same is that when they get to that point of sleeping through the night without a comfort suck, that morning time feeding that you're not ready to give up, well she's probably not ready either. That has always been one of the last ones to go. So if it were me, I'd start soon as possible to end the nighttime feedings because the truth is, it's just gonna get harder. Fin will become smarter, louder, and more stubborn, and all the while you'll just get plum milked out. You set the limits and she'll learn the routine. And my guess is that the early morning feedings will become even more special when you haven't had to exhaust yourself being up all night.

And as far as being chased around all day by her wanting to nurse, well, she might just end that on her own. In the meantime put on a cowbell and smile. Be grateful for your hefty milk supply! Love you!

Stephanie M Larsen said...

Carrie, I loved your comment, it cracked me up! That's me mrs. Cow Bell. Rock on! I thikn your right about the night time feedings, Laura Niekamp, now McKeighan, wrote me about that same thing. I'm going to try it. I think I have too, to keep up with all these kiddies in the day!

whitney said...

Man oh man, you are an awesome mom for just saying you like to nurse in the early morning. Me I just like to sleep.
Roman stopped on his own at 10 months. I wanted to go at least a year. and I tried to get him too. But why push it when the kid is fine with stopping. He loved his bottle. So much so that he will, and 2 1/2 years old, only drink milk out of his special sippie cups that are more like a bottle. I think I own 10 of these cups. Milk 3 or 4 times a day. Milk is more precious to him than candy. And the funny part - he lays down to drink it. I have created a monster, but at the time it seemed like a good idea. So my point, no matter what you do you can't win!
P.S. I love the pictures on this post. I think we need to make t-shirts out of the image with the fork and spoon!

Heather May said...

Hey, you're not alone! Harlee is almost 16 months now, and is nursing two to three times a night, and I love it. She nurses during the day, too. I love the snuggle time and the excuse to sit and do nothing for a bit. I will probably continue for another five months or so. Baby sign for milk is a good way to give the little one a way to tell you what they want, without embarrassing you. Give that a try if you want. They are so smart and pick it up fast.
As for the bottle, thing, if you are serious, she will take it. I weened slowly over a few days with my others. I would nurse for no more that one minute each time, then say "all done", and pull them off. They didn't like it at first, Who would? But within a few days, my milk production slowed down, and baby was on to the bottle. Or cut, or what ever.
Good luck with whatever you do, but I am in the mothers room every Sunday with my VERY old nursing baby, so feel free to join me!

Lindsay Pratt said...

I love this post, cause I'm in the middle of the "should I wean" battle myself! I thought I'd for sure finish by 12 months, but now with us moving, I think I want to hang on till January (which I admit is more for me than Cohen)...Yes everyone has an opinion, but you gotta do what's best for YOU!

Mandagirl said...

Amen sisters. I am "pro mama cow" if you ask me. I nurse my kiddos for a LONG time but after 6 months I make them sleep through the night. I just need my sleep. They still want the "just before bed" and "wake up feedings" even if they are sleeping through the night. I say nurse as long as you can stand it. Throw in the bottle when you need a little break. If she'll take both then you'll have some options.

one preparing the way said...

So I have a nine month old baby girl...and am still nursing her. I love to mess, or hauling around food! Well, an occasional mess when i forget my nursing pads and get soaked at 2am! While I do enjoy it, I feel exhausted because she nurses at 9:30, 12:30, 3:30 ...etc. Once in a blue moon she sleeps through the night.I am not ready to wean her by any stretch, but how can i get her to sleep!!

Ammo and Josh said...

YOU CRACK ME UP!!! Ok Mrs Dairy Cow, I have never nursed and only have nannied bottle fed kids so no advice from me sorry! Good luck!!

The Blair Family said...

I should send you a list of all my "I will never..." and "I will..." parenting comments! I'm sure you would find them amusing at the very least. Then you can hold me accountable.

Stephanie M Larsen said...

Thanks for all the comments. They were super helpful, I did end up letting her cry during the night, and the next night she didn't even wake until 5am. Perfect! And, during the day, I've been really diligent about offering snacks that I know she likes and she seems to be happier and less clingy to the boob. Hooray!! Thanks!

Trevor and Shannon said...

I am going to call you tomorrow. I am going through the exact same thing as you are right now and I want to ween Imogen from the night time feedings, she gets up at least twice!!! She won't take a bottle, or pacifier and never has. I give her a sippy cup of whole milk during her meals. so maybe I should just copy your post and paste it on my blog, you worded it perfectly!

Porters said...

I found your blog from Carrie, whom I agree with her comment everyone is sure to have an opinion. I know I'm a little late commenting on your post too.

I nursed my first until he was 2 1/2 (very unusual in the U.S.A., or so I've heard!!) Then I only nursed my girls until I knew I was pregnant with the next (ranging from 9 months to 10 months), even knowing that you can tandem nurse, I was just getting too wiped out with my body working so hard on the pregnancies. NONE of the first three would take a binky or bottle, and although I loved nursing it would have been nice to have a break and let someone else feed the baby every now and again.

My last (16 months) IS a binky baby! I was so excited. I think I would have continued nursing her until she was two as well, except being an older mommy I was running out of milk (or so it felt).

I think, like you, that they have a need to suckle. So, after it got too painful to continue to be the milk cow, I pushed the binky when she grabbed for the boob. Since she is my last I worried about letting my baby go, but we still use the time to cuddle in the morning, nap, and bed time.

She does sleep through the night better now, and so do I. :-)

Good luck with it all. My next adventure will be trying to get rid of the binky.

from another Moooo Cow