Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Breastfeeding Diaries: 32 months ... and struggling

In most of my posts for the Breastfeeding Diaries I've tried to focus on the positives of nursing beyond infancy, or at least end on a high note. Unfortunately, I don't think this post is going to fit that trend.

Eleanor is now 32 and a half months. I had hoped to allow her to feed as long as she wanted to. But now I feel like I'm hitting a wall.

It's hard to put my finger on what's different suddenly. We've had tough spells before where I've felt like giving up, but that was generally when she was teething and nursing could get quite painful. I kept going through those times by telling myself that she needed the comfort of breastmilk at that time, and of course by the time the tooth emerged, things were easier again and I was happy to continue.

But this time the issue isn't pain. It's, for want of a better phrase, pratting about. Those cute little quirks I mentioned in my last post on this subject, like the weird positions and the attempts to read and talk whilst feeding, are getting exasperating. I don't know whether they're becoming more regular, or I'm becoming less patient! It's compounded by a lot of 'on-off' behaviour and little habits like trying to put her fingers in her mouth while feeding. She's also getting more grabby and will try and pull my top down when she wants milk, of course oblivious to whether not it is a good time and place to be exposing her mother.

On more than one occasion recently I've said that if she can't be sensible with mummy milk maybe we need to stop. I'm not just saying it to get her to stop messing about in that moment - I'm genuinely feeling like maybe it is time. But then I've no idea how I would go about stopping anyway. I still feed her to sleep for her nap and when she wakes at night, and I don't know if I can really face the hassle of changing that. Also, she still asks (nay, demands) to be fed quite regularly so I know she's still keen and deep down I don't want to put her through the upset of stopping.

I think I do want to carry on. I think. But I don't want to carry on if it's always going to be this annoying. I've tried talking to her about it but she is not quite ready to understand yet I don't think.

If anyone reading this has been through something similar and has some pearls of wisdom to share, please do comment!


8 comments:

  1. this is the behaviour of my son at the moment - he's 21 months now. It drives me barmy. My daughter was the same, but she's now coming up to 4 years old and gets that I don't want her to do that, so now she settles down and feeds properly. I can't wait for PK to follow suit.

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    1. Good to know I'm not alone - and that it does get better! Although 4 is a long way off for us!

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  2. My son is 14 months and he has wandering arms and feet. I have scratches all over my arms and face-the other day he drew blood on my lip! It makes me crazy! I wish I had something to share that would be helpful in your situation. Unfortunately, I don't know what I'm going to do myself. Good luck, perhaps you can share down the road what you decided to do...

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    1. Yup, Eleanor will sometimes kick me in the face while feeding, one of these days I'm going to end up with a fat lip! I'll definitely share what happens, once I've worked out what I'm going to do.

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  3. Oh it seems like there is always some new challenge to face when breastfeeding... simply latching on in the early days, the constant feeding, then the scratching, and biting and then playing around. Maybe that's part of what makes it so rewarding? My daughter is nearly 9 months so I don't have to deal with much more than scratching and top pulling, but as she grows this is something I will have to deal with as i hope to allow her to self wean. Will be interesting to read other comments to see how people deal with this.

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    1. Yes, breastfeeding is hard. Although for a long time it did feel manageable, yes there would be tricky times but I got through them without much drama, it's only recently that it's really started to feel like too much again. But you're right, overcoming those challenges does make it feel more rewarding.

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  4. I don't think I have much in the way of pearls of wisdom for you but I do think that it's a relationship and how you feel as a Mum is equally as important as how the LO feels. I hope you work through it and things settle down. I thought stopping feeding my LO was going to be a complete nightmare but it was actually very underwhelming and she didn't need it as much as I thought she did. Thanks for sharing with #BFingDiaries

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  5. Oh gosh, I don't know what to say! I guess you have to do what feels right for you x

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