Help! A Plea from a Breastfeeding Mama

Over the past few days I’ve been working on a couple other, more involved posts, but right now I’d really appreciate any advice more experienced moms could give.

Lately, it is just about impossible to nurse Bucko and/or have him take a nap (the two, for better or worse, pretty much are inextricably linked) unless we are: a) in bed, b) lying down (side-nursing), and c) in a dark and very quiet room.

I think I’ve covered my ongoing ambivalence about his sleep habits (am I doing the right thing? am I responding to his needs or am I creating a monster?) so I don’t really want to get into that right now.

What I am seeking is advice, encouragement, whatever you may have to give about how to handle this. I thought I had witnessed distracted nursing before, but this is a whole new level. It’s like Mega Super Jumbo Family-Sized Distracted Nursing. A quick drink or two, then BOOM! Instant unlatch to whip his head around and look whoever just had the AUDACITY to whisper to me, or maybe clear their throat, or just happens to occupy the same space. Same thing if the TV is on, or if one of our cats is in the same room, or if we are simply in A Room somewhere on Planet Earth. There’s always something distracting. So he’s nursing more at night. Sigh.

When I vented to Hubby about it, his response was, and I quote, “Maybe he’s trying to wean.” No, no he is not trying to wean. But thanks for playing. Bucko is still quite attached to the boobies. Just not as much as I’d like him to be, literally speaking.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Is it finally time to quit the co-sleeping? I hope that’s not the answer but I’m starting to get a bit desperate.


5 thoughts on “Help! A Plea from a Breastfeeding Mama

  1. I wish I was in the position to help you! But, just some of my thoughts, to be taken with a salt lick, as you know I’m 6 months behind you… But maybe he needs some “re-training?” If it’s not naptime or bedtime, perhaps don’t give him the silent, dark room option? And if he can’t focus enough to eat, then he just doesn’t at that time? Maybe the more you try that, the quicker he’ll learn that he needs to be more accommodating to different situations? I mean, he’ll eat if he’s hungry, yes? But as I said – salt lick – so far Calvin hasn’t had any issues with distractions while nursing. I was also wondering how he is with bottles, like at school… Have they said he has the same issue while he’s there? Maybe he’s just so used to his nursing “preferences” by now that it’s hard for him to break free of them. Anyway, just some thoughts… I bet his doc would have some good advice if you’re really concerned.

    • Thanks, Lis. I’ve been doing much of what you suggested, with varying degrees of success. Obviously I can’t FORCE him to eat. I can just offer food/boob and let him decide whether he wants to partake. The thing is, when he’s getting distracted by everything, I don’t think he realizes he’s hungry UNTIL we’re in a dark, quiet setting…which usually happens to be at night. Then he’s like, “oh look at that, I forgot to eat today,” and then it’s om nom nom all night long.

      He does take his bottles at school…usually. He generally will get a bottle right before he takes a nap. (Naps at school are also met with varying degrees of success.)

      This issue (nursing/distractions) has only surfaced relatively recently. Really hoping it goes away just as fast.

  2. Wendy gets easily distracted too. Sometimes I wait longer in between feedings to ensure she’s hungry and that way she can focus on nursing. I usually don’t have the tv on since I don’t want Jacob watching too much tv. As for weaning, Jacob was really attached to the boob so I had to wean him slowly. So it’s possible he may be trying to wean himself but I’m not 100% sure. I can aske some of my other mommy friends around here.

    • Thanks for the support! Distractible babies are fun, huh? 😉 I really don’t think Bucko is trying to wean quite yet. He’s just SO interested in the world and all the fun things within it, LOL. And even when he nurses well, it doesn’t take very long (maybe 8 minutes?) which is normal for a baby his age––he is an expert nurser by this point, so it doesn’t take very long for him to get a full belly. He’s not that fond of solid food yet, either. I’m hoping that night-weaning him will encourage him to eat more during the day––both breastmilk and solids.

  3. He is just more aware of the world beyond the mommy/baby circle. And you might be amazed how much milk he gets in a very short time now that breastfeeding is firmly established. Nursing a 10 month old is whole different world from nursing a “baby”. So if you want him to nap laying down with him may be your best option. Don’t you need a nap too?

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