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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Happy New Year 馃槉

Just wondered if anyone has any advice about extended breastfeeding and issues with sleep & feeding with normal meals. I feel under pressure to stop breastfeeding, as most people don't carry on this long (LO is nearly 15 months old now). Initially I produced too much milk, then almost dried up at 3 months, managed to sort that out and have worked quite hard at eating & drinking lots etc in order to continue breastfeeding my baby boy. Coming up to age one I noticed he was enjoying his milk more and asking for it. It makes him happy and is nice for us both so I'm intending to continue for a while yet - maybe til he is two? The WHO recommends breastfeeding until the child is 2 and I've come across some other extended breast feeders, but I still feel pressure to stop 馃槥

The trouble is I get woken up every night up to several times and I co-sleep with my LO so just feed him and he goes straight back to sleep. It's not ideal that I get woken up every night as I'm often totally exhausted and he only has his daytime naps if I feed, sing to & rock him to sleep or take him out in my car or sometimes falls asleep in his pushchair. Also sometimes he won't eat his meals as he wants milk instead, whereas his dad manages to get him to eat his meals nicely!

Is there anything else I can do to help survive this routine a bit longer? I'm not sure when it will change or when I should make changes but I definitely don't want to stop breastfeeding him at the moment. He's going to be my only child as I'm 46 & have no frosties left (and no desire to do more ivf after the long journey we had 馃サ) and I'm fortunate in not having to go back to work for a while.

Thanks for any ideas!
 

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Hi, would you consider a nanny to relieve you, at least in the morning, so you can get a couple of hours more sleep? I had twins and survived because I could sleep from 7am till 9am or so when the nanny came. (I must disclose that I did not breastfeed for a long time, just for 5.5 months, and I mainly expressed anyway and there was a lot of formula milk involved - so on the one hand, my situation is not the same, but on the other hand, if you compare twins and a breastfed singleton baby, I think the levels of exhaustion can be comparable - hence my tip).

Or a nursery/childminder of some sort? If you feel that broken sleep can be alleviated with a couple of hours of sleep in the morning or evening, the idea is to delegate to someone else whilst you sleep (daddy, third party).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi aster, thank you for replying. I can understand why you needed help with twins, it must have been very demanding. I try to get some rest when I can and occasionally manage to fall asleep for a bit during my son's naps. My husband helps when he gets a day off work. I don't think a nanny is a possibility for us but hopefully I'll muddle along and get there in the end 馃お I've just ordered a book someone recommended me called 'The gentle sleep book' by Sarah Ockwell Smith, so I'll see how that goes too. Many thanks xx
 

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I'm breastfeeding my 13 month old, co-sleeping as well. She still feeds several times a night. At this point I manage to almost sleep through it, but one thing that has helped very much here is that my partner does the first few hours of the evening. So I feed baby around 8pm, and my partner takes her, rocks her to sleep and puts her down, then stays with her. I go lie down in another room. We switch around midnight as baby wakes for a feed then. That way I get some extra rest and me-time, it does wonders. I too plan to keep on feeding until age 2 or beyond, if you want to do it then don't let anyone tell you otherwise <3
 

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It sounds like you are doing a really great job strawberry. I am still feeding my son (who is coming up to 3...) and worried about all the same things as you.

Food wise, just keep offering solids before breastfeeding and your lo will get there. I remember really stressing out my son wasn't eating enough but then realised he went through phases and would always eat more when I took pressure off mealtimes. It also helped to have nutritious and filling snacks at hand, almost like mini meals, that he could have as a distraction just before he would usually ask for milk.

Sleepwise, I would say what you are doing is probably helping to maximise your sleep, it really is such a quick way to resettle them and you can stay drowsy when sleeping beside them. The wake ups are tough but if you are both happy there is no reason to stop. I was lucky in that most of my friends with little ones the same age coslept and extended breastfed so it didn't seem unusual.

I did night wean my son but waited until he was closer to 2 and could understand what was happening, we read lots of books about it and talked about not having milk until morning and so on. I think doing it before his language was more developed would have been quite traumatic for both of us. He now sleeps in the room with my husband and goes to sleep with a cuddle then into cot/toddler bed which I never thought would happen but he got there in his own time and I am in the other room feeding and cosleeping with his baby sister. I am doing the exact same with my daughter this time round so have no regrets even though many nights were/are hard.

I would say enjoy the cuddles, they grow so fast but also acknowledge that it can be tough on you with broken sleep so take rest when you can when others can help (not so easy now with covid etc), don't feel pressure to wean if neither of you are ready. At the end of the day so many people have so many opinions about parenting, no matter what you do someone will find fault. Do what works for you and your little one and what your instincts tell you.


 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
BeMama and Dileas, thank you both so much too for your replies! It's so helpful, kind and supportive, exactly what I needed聽 ^hugme^ It's really reassuring to hear others are still breastfeeding and co-sleeping too. I'm sure things will work out ok in the end.

Dileas well done managing with two as well! I like the idea of reading books to my son about it when he's a bit older and more able to understand and I agree it would be a bit traumatic for us both too, to suddenly night wean. Thanks for the thoughts about solids as well, yes I think it is like that and it does vary from day to day. He ate lots today and currently likes peas 馃槃 BeMama it's so nice to hear others also are or want to do extended breastfeeding 鈽

I'm so glad I'm still a member of this forum, it's been so helpful xx
 

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I have done extended breastfeeding with most of my children, usually until around 2 yrs or just over, I鈥檓 still feeding my last and she will be 4 in feb, :eek: although I don鈥檛 think there is much milk left, she does tell me she is still getting some, so it鈥檚 more for comfort I think for her, we are also a cosleeping family. Please don鈥檛 let anyone pressure you into stopping, you and only you, and probably baby will come to that decision, with regard to the eating, once they get big enough to understand, I always say you can have boob after you have finished your food etc, that way they start to learn that once past聽 a certain age the food comes before the boob. The sleeping will get better, my wee one is sleeping through the night now, she has boob to go to sleep usually and doesn鈥檛 wake uNtil the morning, I think she started sleeping through at around 2 1/2-3. At 15 mths babies still require a lot of comfort and closeness so I think your doing a great job and are on track聽 :)
 

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I鈥檓 breastfeeding my second miracle boy at 11 months, and breastfed my first until 15 months.

I didn鈥檛 coslept with either (although my 11 month old would be totally up for it). I used a bedside crib to 6 months and then moved to a full-sized cot.

With my first boy, he moved into his own room at 6 months. With my second, we moved him at around 9/10 months because, due to COVID, we were using his nursery as a second office.

I noticed that my younger boy didn鈥檛 sleep through the night until he was in his own room, and - while he was in the cot in our room - I was getting up 2-4 times each night to feed him back to sleep.

Once he moved to the nursery, I feed him before he goes to bed at around 9pm and when he gets up again at around 7am.

So... I think there are two separate issues: extended breastfeeding and cosleeping聽 :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Stacey and Londonwriter, thanks very much for replying聽 :)

Stacey that's really encouraging and nice of you to share what you've done too. It's reassuring to think my LO might sleep through eventually聽 ;D and good to hear of someone else firstly extended breastfeeding and secondly cosleeping. I like to think it will result in confident secure children but whatever it's just what feels better to me personally and I guess each situation is different, so if I'd had other children it could still vary! I'm so glad to be a mummy and delighted I didn't miss out on this opportunity in my life 馃榾

London great to hear you've breastfed both of your boys successfully too 馃槉 yes it probably is two separate issues. I do have a next to me crib but it's rarely been used for the original intended purpose聽 ;D It's more often like a play area that my boy likes to dive head first into or stand in!聽 ::) I have no idea when we'll graduate to a cot or his own bed in his bedroom! My husband has been very good and long suffering about being on the sofa bed but at least he doesn't get woken up like me.

Thanks for the reassurance ladies聽 ^hugme^ xx
 

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I fed my daughter till 15 months or so too but she slept in her own room from a 10 months.

Do you like the co sleeping as much as the breastfeeding? What happens if you don鈥檛 fed when they wake up?

I think my daughter used to wake up but then get back to sleep on her own. Lack of sleep is really tough so I feel for you 馃挀

Once I鈥檇 moved her she slept better and I still breast fed in the morning, evening / when she wanted it. I went back to work on part time at 12 months so I knew I had to get her sleeping through as much as possible to function x
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Rio, I'm happy with the cosleeping, it's just the waking up bit I don't like! If I didn't feed him or I just try to ignore him, he ends up crying louder & louder, so that's not possible really. I'm not doing the cry it out approach so I'll just have to wait for him to grow out of it probably! :-\ 馃檹馃徎 I know most people have them in their own beds by now and own room, but we're not ready for it. Thank you yes lack of sleep can be awful and doesn't bring out the best in anyone. If I wake up and can't go back to sleep that is the worst 馃槶 I guess if I'd had to go back to work I might have had to do things differently. Thanks again xx
 

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Gosh this new forum layout is awful wish they'd restore the old one. Its put alot of people off.

Are u still feeding strawberry? There's a useful social media group 'breastfeeding old babies and beyond 'that may be of interest 2u.

Still going here. Don't really have a plan bit also don't
really wanna wind up feeling a 5 year old either 馃 xx
 
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I agree this format is not the same feeling as the old one. I鈥檓 still feeding my almost 3 year old just at night time. I鈥檝e told her we need to stop and she asks me why 馃槶 I鈥檝e never had to stop before, my others gave all stopped by themselves. I鈥檝e no idea how to stop 馃槵
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've just refound this thread that I started a while ago. So nice to see other people do extended breastfeeding too even if not so many. There are ups and downs and different phases but it been incredibly hard recently suffering from exhaustion 馃槶 Yet I don't want to stop (not in daytime anyway!) I just wish I could find more support. I feel like older mothers are just left to it more than younger ones.
 
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