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Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Message Board

Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Board Index

See, my mom thinks I am hampering his independent growth. Well, meaning, he always wants me and can't be without me for too long. [/QUOTE]

She's wrong. 11 months is too young to be independent. Every child is different, but him being attached to you is normal, and TOTALLY Ok.

My daughter is 7 months old and still sleeps with us, and she's still almost exclusively breastfed. She'll leave our bed when SHE is ready. Every night I put her in her crib while we watch TV and clean up, but when she wakes up (usually around the time we go to bed) she comes to bed with us. If by chance she sleeps through the night, which happens once every blue moon, that's fine, but I am by no means encouraging it or sleep training her.

The thing with attachment is that it actually promotes and creates [i]secure[/i] independence. If you were to force independence on him it would be a violation of the trust that you have created for the past 11 months. If you let him cry alone in bed he'll sit there wondering where mama is, and why you aren't coming, and what happened to you when he's always been able to sleep with you. Then what will happen is that he'll become unhealthily attached to you, in that he won't trust you to meet his needs, which can create a longer lasting, and more detrimental attachment.

I know what it's like to face "peer pressure" about your parenting, but there are certain things that just don't make sense to me about "mainstream" parenting. For example, humans are the ONLY lactating mammal on the planet to give birth to their young and then make them sleep in separate beds. This, in any other species, would be absolutely detrimental to survival. The other thing is breastfeeding. Humans need full fat milk for the first 2 years of their lives. If you are healthy enough to lactate, why would you wean your [b]human[/b] baby onto milk from another species? Cows make milk for baby cows, and humans make milk for baby humans. These are my two biggest arguments when people get on me about my decisions.

When people ask me when I'm going to wean I simply say when she no longer [i]needs[/i] milk as a dietary requirement. Same goes for co-sleeping, she'll sleep in her bed when breastfeeding isn't necessary to survival.

Don't feel bad or second guess your parenting, you are doing wonderful things for your child. If you are open to letting your child self wean, both from the breast and from co-sleeping, then just keep doing what you're doing. If YOU (and not because of peer pressure) want things to change, then I'm sure others will have ideas on how to transition him from your bed. But don't do it because of what others say, follow your gut.
[QUOTE=roxyfoxy]But, how long is too long? It there a limit? A time when you have to draw a line?[/quote]

That depends on you. Can you imagine yourself nursing a 3 or 4 year old? I can. I honestly can't find one thing wrong with it. North America is pretty much the only culture who views extended breastfeeding as weird or gross. In MANY other parts of the world nursing toddlers is normal and natural. I don't plan to conform to this society just because I live here, I plan to do what our species as a whole has done through out the history of man kind in general - feed my child a 100% natural, organic, completely digestible, and FREE food source.

There are many reasons to continue breastfeeding, but to me it just seems like the natural thing to do. I don't think it will ever be wrong or inappropriate. When people ask me if this means I'll breastfeed a 7 year old I'm alway perplexed by the nature of their question. Are they wanting to catch me saying that I wouldn't [i]really[/i] let her self wean? Or are they looking for another weird and disgusting thing to judge me on? Quite honestly it's a question I'm not prepared to answer, for many reasons. A.) It's no one's business but ours, and B) I'm not going to tempt fate by attempting to predict the future. You know what the say - "We'll cross that bridge when we get there".

[quote]but lately I have not been getting any sleep. No REM sleep I presume since I wake up every 2 hours or so. It really is a pain. I guess I can't blame DS, but I would like to sleep a good nights sleep.[/QUOTE]

I can SO relate! She's only 7 months, but from what I gather (from friends and from other online communities on the subject) it seems to be an age thing. They're just wiggly. I've taken to swaddling DD at night to get her to settle, but I won't be able to do it forever. Can you side-car a crib? Using ratchet straps to tether your crib to your bed frame makes a great toddler-sized side car. That way he has his own space, but you're still next to each other for easy night feedings. Plus, it's a way for him to slowly get used to his crib, making the transition to his own room, should you want to go that route, easier. You just take one of the rails off and push it against your bed.

Or, you could put a twin mattress on your floor and nurse him to sleep there, then quietly roll out away and sleep in your bed. This is a gentle way of transitioning him to sleeping on his own. I've seen people put one side of the mattress against the wall and putting a play yard fence around the mattress to prevent them from wandering. Or just baby proof your room.

Those are about the only things I can think of to keep co-sleeping but to also try and get some better sleep.

And if all else fails, keep chanting this mantra - "this too shall pass, this too shall pass, this too shall pass". LOL. :p

As for your mother, you need to nicely, politely, and assertively tell her that you are comfortable in your decisions, and that her support in what YOU decide is best for you child is the best way she can help you. I had that talk with my mom a long time ago, and it was the best thing I ever did.

Edited to add: Yes, comfort nursing is totally normal during teething. It's also possible he's going through a growth spurt. Both will increase your supply to meet his demands, but I'm sure it will even itself out. Have you tried using a few homeopathic remedies at night to see if that will help the teething? Like Hyland's teething tablets or Bach's Rescue Remedy? I find these really helpful for night time when she's teething (she already has two bottom teeth!).

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