Nurse more or less during the day to decrease nighttime nursing?

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  • mayimmayim Posts: 2,301Registered Users
    hi pixie,

    i'm glad you found the site interesting. i really got so much from her books. i started reading her writing on preschool age children because of my work in montessori, but when i found the aware baby, it was so super timely as lydia was about to be born.

    there's a little bit of a difference in approach, though it is compatible with attachment parenting, from my viewpoint.

    i'm going to copy/paste following from another post i made recently:

    i recommend this book a lot here, because it genuinely helped me so very much, especially during those first weeks/months, so here's another recommendation for aletha solter's the aware baby.

    she talks about how babies have a biological need to cry to release stress hormones (stress can be a result of a difficult birth or pregnancy, over stimulation, being on the cusp of developmental milestones, etc.) she recommends something called the 'crying in arms' technique wherein you hold and listen to them cry with empathy (assuming you've determined nothing is physically wrong). sometimes when they need to cry and we distract them from their feelings with rocking, shushing, 'comfort' nursing, pacifiers, etc. they can suppress it but eventually the need will resurface or come out in other ways.

    this understanding has been so helpful to me, and i highly recommend the book.

    don't know if this is helpful to you, but i just wanted to share it.

    best,

    m
    coarse, thick 3a
    modified cg



    weight.png



  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    mayim wrote: »
    she talks about how babies have a biological need to cry to release stress hormones (stress can be a result of a difficult birth or pregnancy, over stimulation, being on the cusp of developmental milestones, etc.) she recommends something called the 'crying in arms' technique wherein you hold and listen to them cry with empathy (assuming you've determined nothing is physically wrong). sometimes when they need to cry and we distract them from their feelings with rocking, shushing, 'comfort' nursing, pacifiers, etc. they can suppress it but eventually the need will resurface or come out in other ways.

    I can't decide how I feel about this. On one hand, I can agree that even as an adult sometimes I feel much better after a good cry. But on the other hand, I can't imagine just letting Solomon cry (even in my arms) if I had the tools to soothe him and just chose not to use them. It's certainly interesting though, and I appreciate you posting it.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    PixieCurl wrote: »
    mayim wrote: »
    she talks about how babies have a biological need to cry to release stress hormones (stress can be a result of a difficult birth or pregnancy, over stimulation, being on the cusp of developmental milestones, etc.) she recommends something called the 'crying in arms' technique wherein you hold and listen to them cry with empathy (assuming you've determined nothing is physically wrong). sometimes when they need to cry and we distract them from their feelings with rocking, shushing, 'comfort' nursing, pacifiers, etc. they can suppress it but eventually the need will resurface or come out in other ways.

    I can't decide how I feel about this. On one hand, I can agree that even as an adult sometimes I feel much better after a good cry. But on the other hand, I can't imagine just letting Solomon cry (even in my arms) if I had the tools to soothe him and just chose not to use them. It's certainly interesting though, and I appreciate you posting it.

    I'm with you, Pixie. I can't not comfort a child who is upset. My experience is that a child needs to cry, he/she will still do so even with me offering comfort (breast, soother, redirection etc...). I'm ok with that.

    Pixie, I think that if you want Sol to nurse less at night, then he needs to wake up less at night. A physical separation might be what he needs to get longer stretches of undisturbed sleep. It might be worth giving it a try. I know for both my kids, they immediately dropped down to 1-2 night wakings as soon as they went to their own rooms. With Karan, I would usually bring him back into our bed when he did wake up. But I could get at least one 4-hour stretch that way.

    I never had any success with non-nursing soothing methods except the soother, but even then both my kids gave up their soothers long before weaning from the breast. Both kids freaked out if Daddy came to comfort them at night.

    Good luck! Its hard finding something that works well for you and for baby.
  • medussamedussa Posts: 12,993Registered Users
    Some cosleeping toddlers will nurse solely out of comfort and convenience. I'm not too keen on the idea of making Sol go longer stretches during the day, as it might backfire on you and he'll compensate at night for those feedings. I would just keep nursing him on demand during the day.

    Since I know you feel very strongly about co-sleeping, I would suggest you try ways to soothe Sol that don't involve nursing. I used to wait until my daughters were really fussy (not crying) before I let them latch on. Otherwise, I'd rub their backs until they went back down into the next sleep cycle. The Pantley pull-off method worked about 4 times out of 10. My girls could feel the nipple come out and they'd frantically try to latch right back on. The only time they didn't notice was when they were deep into sleep. But for the most part, both my girls were very attached to the breast and stayed latched on almost all night. :o
    I would love it if Sol could sleep longer stretches and nurse a little less frequently at night. I'm aware that at his age (15 months) he doesn't NEED to nurse at night for nutrition, but I believe he nurses out of both comfort and hunger.

    Does Sol fully wake up? Or does he make little "feed me" sounds until you latch him on? Is his sleep pattern interfering with yours? I ask because if what you're expressing is merely a preference for Sol to sleep longer and it's not really disruptive to your family sleeping arrangement, then I'd suggest you take a wait-and-see approach. As he gets older, Sol may nurse less at night or he might fall into a more solid sleep groove.
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    Pixie, I think that if you want Sol to nurse less at night, then he needs to wake up less at night.

    I think you probably are right, it's not so much that he's waking up because he's hungry, but that he's just waking up and nursing happens to be what soothes him back to sleep.

    I really just don't know yet if we're ready to stop cosleeping. I think you and others may very well be right that it would help him not wake up so much, but as medussa said, we do feel strongly about cosleeping. It's funny because my husband, who resisted cosleeping in the beginning, probably feels even more strongly about it now than I do.
    medussa wrote: »
    Does Sol fully wake up? Or does he make little "feed me" sounds until you latch him on? Is his sleep pattern interfering with yours? I ask because if what you're expressing is merely a preference for Sol to sleep longer and it's not really disruptive to your family sleeping arrangement, then I'd suggest you take a wait-and-see approach. As he gets older, Sol may nurse less at night or he might fall into a more solid sleep groove.

    He is waking up fully, and whining/crying until I nurse him (once in a blue moon nursing won't work, and my husband will pick him up and walk with him or we'll change his diaper). I do sometimes try to rub his back or firmly lay a hand on his belly/chest to try to get him back to sleep, but never really in the middle of the night. In the middle of the night, I'm so tired I'll do whatever I think will work fastest, which is always nursing. I guess I wouldn't really say it's disruptive to our sleeping arrangement, other than I wish we could all wake up less at night. I have no problem nursing him when he does wake up, though. I'm not trying to nightwean, only to get him to sleep longer stretches without needing to be "parented" back to sleep.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    PixieCurl wrote: »
    Pixie, I think that if you want Sol to nurse less at night, then he needs to wake up less at night.

    I think you probably are right, it's not so much that he's waking up because he's hungry, but that he's just waking up and nursing happens to be what soothes him back to sleep.

    I really just don't know yet if we're ready to stop cosleeping. I think you and others may very well be right that it would help him not wake up so much, but as medussa said, we do feel strongly about cosleeping. It's funny because my husband, who resisted cosleeping in the beginning, probably feels even more strongly about it now than I do.

    I can appreciate that. For us, the half-a-night in his crib and half-a-night in our bed turned out to be the best of both worlds when Karan was a baby. We still sleep that way most nights.
  • mayimmayim Posts: 2,301Registered Users
    hi pixie,

    i hope this doesn't come across as me trying to argue with your perspective, just wanting to clarify a bit. it is a somewhat counterintuitive approach. it is a very automatic urge to comfort a crying child - most of the time they need us to do something to alleviate their discomfort, so it becomes very much what parenting is - especially for us who believe in attachment parenting and in meeting children's needs rather than doing what is convenient for ourselves at their expense.

    what aletha solter asserts, and i have come to agree with her after experiencing it myself, is that children always cry for a reason. if she is crying because she is hungry, i feed her. if she is crying because her diaper is wet, i change her. if she is crying because she wants to be close to me, i pick her up. sometimes the reason is not as easily apparent - but if i ensure that all other reasons for her possible crying are taken care of, then there exists a good possibility that she needs to have a good cry to restore homeostasis in her body (from accumulated stress, etc.).

    they have done studies that show that chemicals from stress hormones are excreted in tears cried in sadness (as opposed to from irritation like a cut onion, etc.). it makes sense to me that we excrete tears with a purpose - just like our bodies excrete anything else.

    once at my mommy and me exercise class, when she had not quite mastered sitting up, she toppled in an unexpected direction before i could catch her, and she bumped her head on the floor. she cried heartily for about 10 minutes, and it was really awkward to just hold her and let her express it, because everyone around me kept asking if she wanted to nurse. but i knew that she had just eaten recently and wasn't hungry. it has come to seem strange to me to offer food to soothe her tears when i know she's not hungry.

    it would be like someone offering me a beer because i lost my job, or as a child, a lollipop to stop me from crying if i skinned my knee. for me, i know it's not healthy to suppress tears that come from a need for true expression of emotion. if i'm sad or hurt or angry, i need to express that rather than use a substance to distract or alter my state of being. i believe that children are the same.

    for me, holding my child and looking into her eyes with compassion and listening to her express her sadness or upset is a form of comfort and soothing, and i don't send her the unspoken message that happy is the only state of being in which she is accepted and loved.

    anyway - off my soap box - and i really don't mean to judge or contradict you, just offer my perspective.

    the other thing i was thinking that might help is to have sol sleep on hubby's sid of the bed. we did that and it helped a lot, because hubby is better at knowing when she'll settle, and when she's really hungry and then he hands her over - whereas i, in my sleepiness, would just immediately and almost unconsciously whip the boobie out at her slightest grunt, lol. :)

    xo
    m
    coarse, thick 3a
    modified cg



    weight.png



  • ruralcurlsruralcurls Posts: 2,574Registered Users
    mayim wrote: »
    once at my mommy and me exercise class, when she had not quite mastered sitting up, she toppled in an unexpected direction before i could catch her, and she bumped her head on the floor. she cried heartily for about 10 minutes, and it was really awkward to just hold her and let her express it, because everyone around me kept asking if she wanted to nurse. but i knew that she had just eaten recently and wasn't hungry. it has come to seem strange to me to offer food to soothe her tears when i know she's not hungry.

    it would be like someone offering me a beer because i lost my job, or as a child, a lollipop to stop me from crying if i skinned my knee. for me, i know it's not healthy to suppress tears that come from a need for true expression of emotion. if i'm sad or hurt or angry, i need to express that rather than use a substance to distract or alter my state of being. i believe that children are the same.

    for me, holding my child and looking into her eyes with compassion and listening to her express her sadness or upset is a form of comfort and soothing, and i don't send her the unspoken message that happy is the only state of being in which she is accepted and loved.

    anyway - off my soap box - and i really don't mean to judge or contradict you, just offer my perspective.

    Sorry, I don't mean to contradict you, but I have a serious problem with this. If nursing would have soothed her and offered comfort when she was hurt, why wouldn't you do it? I know your answer is in your post, but I don't fully get it. Adults have different ways of comforting themselves, babies may not. So if you lost your job and I gave you a hug, you would say sorry, I don't need a hug right now, I need to cry? Wouldn't a hug be soothing and comforting if only for a minute? Maybe not, but as an adult you can tell me that. A lollipop might not be the answer to a skinned knee, but chances are it will be a distraction from the pain and sooth the child, and stop the screaming long enough to give proper treatment.

    Babies find the breasts very soothing and a great source of comfort. They don't always eat everytime they are there.

    Just offering my 2 cents and my perspective. icon7.gif
  • marielle448marielle448 Posts: 1,823Registered Users
    Pixie I've nightweaned two of my kids so far and despite quite different personalities and nursing preferences it wasn't a big deal and we continued to cosleep.

    I did wait a bit until they hit the 19-20 month stage because that's about the time that they got their two year molars and so the pain of teething would be done (and those molars are killer). Once that happened I let them know that ninis would be going to sleep after the final bedtime nursing and that they would awaken when the sun rose. Like others mentioned I put on a snug shirt for bed and when they woke up with Ian I would have my husband comfort him and it worked well. He fussed, definitely wasn't pleased with it but by the second night was happy to have daddy comfort him as well as momma. With Ryan since I had Ian's experience under my belt and realized it wasn't such a traumatic thing to do it this way I did the comforting. Same thing, he fussed the first few nights but was fine after that. When they'd wake up to nurse at night I repeated, "ninis are asleep, let's snuggle" and I'd cuddle them to sleep.

    Later on when they turned 2ish is when I institute daytime limits that work for us but the nighttime weaning was a separate step. Also no need to borrow worries of the future. Just like you're doing, problem solve the current dilemma and for the rest you'll cross that bridge when you get to it. I tandemned and was soooo worried, yet it turned out fine. I coslept with two and again was worried but that turned out fine. I instituted limits, again just fine. Your child today is not going to be the same child a few months from now.
  • PoPo Posts: 2,607Registered Users
    mayim wrote: »
    hi pixie,

    i hope this doesn't come across as me trying to argue with your perspective, just wanting to clarify a bit. it is a somewhat counterintuitive approach. it is a very automatic urge to comfort a crying child - most of the time they need us to do something to alleviate their discomfort, so it becomes very much what parenting is - especially for us who believe in attachment parenting and in meeting children's needs rather than doing what is convenient for ourselves at their expense.

    what aletha solter asserts, and i have come to agree with her after experiencing it myself, is that children always cry for a reason. if she is crying because she is hungry, i feed her. if she is crying because her diaper is wet, i change her. if she is crying because she wants to be close to me, i pick her up. sometimes the reason is not as easily apparent - but if i ensure that all other reasons for her possible crying are taken care of, then there exists a good possibility that she needs to have a good cry to restore homeostasis in her body (from accumulated stress, etc.).

    they have done studies that show that chemicals from stress hormones are excreted in tears cried in sadness (as opposed to from irritation like a cut onion, etc.). it makes sense to me that we excrete tears with a purpose - just like our bodies excrete anything else.

    once at my mommy and me exercise class, when she had not quite mastered sitting up, she toppled in an unexpected direction before i could catch her, and she bumped her head on the floor. she cried heartily for about 10 minutes, and it was really awkward to just hold her and let her express it, because everyone around me kept asking if she wanted to nurse. but i knew that she had just eaten recently and wasn't hungry. it has come to seem strange to me to offer food to soothe her tears when i know she's not hungry.

    it would be like someone offering me a beer because i lost my job, or as a child, a lollipop to stop me from crying if i skinned my knee. for me, i know it's not healthy to suppress tears that come from a need for true expression of emotion. if i'm sad or hurt or angry, i need to express that rather than use a substance to distract or alter my state of being. i believe that children are the same.

    for me, holding my child and looking into her eyes with compassion and listening to her express her sadness or upset is a form of comfort and soothing, and i don't send her the unspoken message that happy is the only state of being in which she is accepted and loved.

    anyway - off my soap box - and i really don't mean to judge or contradict you, just offer my perspective.

    the other thing i was thinking that might help is to have sol sleep on hubby's sid of the bed. we did that and it helped a lot, because hubby is better at knowing when she'll settle, and when she's really hungry and then he hands her over - whereas i, in my sleepiness, would just immediately and almost unconsciously whip the boobie out at her slightest grunt, lol. :)

    xo
    m

    I completely understand what you're saying mayim! Many people, and I'm including myself sometimes, have a real problem listening to someone cry. Sticking something in your child's mouth every time he/she cries, especially when you know they're not hungry, doesn't really solve anything. It's basically telling them to stop crying because YOU (general) don't want to hear it, whether because you're annoyed or because it's breaking your heart. A lot of emotional eaters are created because parents try to pacify tears with food (I'm not lumping nursing in this category). Or pacify tears with TV or whatever else.
    3c/4a

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