Breast Is Best… when it lets me sleep

Breastfeeding is best, they say.  And for the most part, I believe them.  I had had some luck breastfeeding my older two although I supplemented throughout that time.  From the time I found out I was pregnant, I was determined to nurse my third throughout her entire first year and up until about 2 months ago, it had been going so well!  She latched perfectly and seemed to always be getting enough.  There was never any nipple confusion and although I am possibly the worst pumper ever, she can switch between bottle and breast with no problem.  Our bond as mother and daughter the best I can hope for and she definitely prefers to be around me, which I won’t complain about!  However…. in these last few weeks, it has become very very tiring. Her crying is getting louder and more demanding and her feedings are lasting longer and are getting more frequent.  I was of the understanding that the older babies got, the easier the nursing got.  Nope.  I was wrong.  Oh so very wrong.  Gone are the days that she will lay or sit perfectly on my lap or on my side.  Now she is a baby Gabrielle Douglas with the mini flips and splits and handstands that she does during our nursing session.  Gone are the days when I simply offer the breast.  Now, she is a pro at pulling at my shirt and can just about take the breast out herself.  There are times when it is cute and funny, and there are times like last night when all I want is for her to just eat and go to sleep.  Boob time has become play time at the Davis’ house.

Last night was particularly painful.  We are active co-sleepers and so far there has been no issues or problems.  We find that co sleeping with Maya has been a major contributor to our breastfeeding success.  However last night was not fun at all.  We listened to Maya scream for about 15 minutes demanding to be nursed when she literally just got off the breast about 10 minutes prior.  When I tried to let her just suck to calm herself down, she kept unlatching, seeming to be pissed that she wasn’t able to get any more milk.  It was a long night to say the least and I ended up asking Norman to use my outing stash in the freezer and give her a bottle to just calm her down.  It really made me question if I had made the right choice to exclusively nurse, especially while taking care of two older children.  Perhaps if I didn’t have to be up so early and get two strong-willed children out of the house by 7:30 am the lack of sleep due to constant night nursing wouldn’t be affecting me as much.  But times like these makes me fantasize about just getting some formula for night-time nursing and making things a bit easier for myself.

The jury is still out as to whether or not I will choose to supplement (although the idea of a full night’s rest is all too tempting) and so I ask you, have you had this happen with your little one around 8 or 9 months of age? (I don’t believe she is teething right now) What kind of tricks worked for you both?

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