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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Journey So Far

Motherhood brings with it triumphs, dilemmas and challenges! I have had my fair share of all of these with my two little ones. The biggest triumph I have had with both the kids has been breastfeeding- Miss P was fed until 16 months and Master X is still feeding at 17 months. I have had a wonderful journey with both and the journey for Master X and I is almost over, we would like to add to the tribe and in order to do this I need to cease breastfeeding (doctors orders and I had to do the same to fall pregnant with Master X) here lies the dilemma, getting Master X to go along happily with this is the challenge!

We are not ones for cry it out and Master X will not allow anyone else to settle him especially if not feeding is offered! So I began to do what I do best- read and research. I found an excellent article by Dr Jay Gordon (thanks to a great friend for it) on gentle night weaning (here) and it's exactly the way we would want to approach it and intend to. I also visited the Australian Breastfeeding Association forum and gained alot of tips from other mums and breastfeeding experts. It also made me reflect back on the journey to the end so far.

About two weeks ago I stopped day feeds so Master X was only having feeds at night. I thought this would be the best way and then we would just focus on the night feeds. Well he got sick (still no day feeds) so night feeds remained and then I to sick so again still feeding at night. This brings us to now. As of late my little man has been throwing alot of very emotional tantrums, really upset heartbroken almost. I know this is common for his age but I can see there's more to them. Since the time I stopped his day feeds he has become very clingy and quite upset if I move away from him and has begun waking more frequently at night than normal. He wakes quite scared and almost as if he's lost. Then I thought a bit harder and looked at the big picture. Master X began this over emotional behavior a day after I dropped day feeds, it was gradual but started then. Then his night wakings became more often and alot more upset when he woke- normally he'd wake, roll over, feed go to sleep but lately he wakes screaming, then eventually feeds then asleep. He has also been waking at 430 am everyday, he normal rises early like the rest of the house but normally 530-6am! Then today he seemed really unsettled and it really concerned me, he had a good nap through day, no teeth, not sick. I kept thinking I know this has to do with breastfeeding. Lately he has been pulling on my shirt through the day crying for milk. So tonight I have decided I want my happy little boy back and I have been going the wrong way about it. Thanks to some expert advice from Australian Breastfeeding Association I realized I was doing things in reverse. I need to increase the day feeds which will eventually decrease the need/want for night feeds. This will then allow me to begin gradual total night feeds.

I have such a great supportive husband who always tells me to just listen to my heart and listen to Master X. As much as we want to add to the tribe, if there is a bigger age gap between number 2 and 3 then so be it we would rather that than Master X being so unsettled. So to,or row starts the new plan of attack, day feeds reintroduced and increased- when wake, after breakfast, morning tea, after lunch, afternoon tea, afternoon and before bed. I know this won't have an instant effect but hopefully over few weeks he will not wake as much through night for a feed as he is being fulfilled throughout the day. His tantrums will probably still remain (being an 18month it comes with the territory) but they won't be as emotional. I have had the best journey(s) with breastfeeding so far I don't want to end it badly. So wish me luck in this journey and here's to making my little man feel reassured again.

Kate xxx

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