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everval's avatar

My baby is 12 months old and I still breastfeed him... should I stop now?

Asked by everval (126points) November 21st, 2008

I’m actually getting tired because he wants me to feed him sometimes 7 times during the night which is exhausting! but I love to see that he’s a healthy boy because of it… what can I do to make him sleep at night?

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19 Answers

janbb's avatar

Is he getting solid food too?

autumn43's avatar

Talk to your son’s pediatrician.

Judi's avatar

At this point it is really up to you. You can give him more solids at night so he doesn’t wake up hungry, but I have a feeling he is not waking up to eat as much as he’s waking up to cuddle. I really loved nursing so if my kids would have wanted to continue I would have, but I would probably start cutting out the midnight feedings. There are a lot of books and techniques to help your baby sleep through the night. I think that is probably your real issue, not the nursing.

janbb's avatar

That’s what I was trying to get at too. There are two issues: whether to keep breastfeeding, and teaching your baby to sleep through the night. He should be getting enough other nutrition that he doesn’t need nursing through the night. Maybe your husband can go in to soothe him for a few nights when he wakes so he is not associating it with mursing? If you can get the nights sorted out and want to keep nursing a while longer – maybe once or twice a day – why not? I gently weaned one child at about 14 months and the other weaned himself at about a year, but by then, I was only nursing a few times a day. Having to get up 7 times at night with a one year old is just too hard and shouldn’t be a nourshiment issue.
As Autumn says, you may want to talk to your pediatrician.

skfinkel's avatar

Waking up seven times at night must be leaving both of you exhausted. Make sure that your son is also getting solid food, and you can begin to nurse him after you feed him. That’s a nice slow way to begin to stop nursing. But I have heard that nursing is good for both of you, and unless you really want to stop, there is no real good reason to. It’s just the night time part, and as has been said before here, there are ways to help him sleep. I recommend a wonderful book called “The Science of Parenting” which has a great and very tender chapter on sleeping. They don’t recommend letting a child cry for long periods of time. Good luck.

SuperMouse's avatar

As usual I am 100% with skfinkel on this one. There is no need to stop breastfeeding, but the baby is old enough now to be able to sleep through the night without needing to nurse.

babygalll's avatar

You should start thinking about weaning him. He’s nursing out of habit. He is too old to be getting up seven times during the night. He should be sleeping through the night at this age.

rarthletopica's avatar

ya its good 4 them so they dont get eer infecshions & stuff

cdwccrn's avatar

Not until you are both ready or you are tired of getting bit.

basp's avatar

I would also consider other physical reasons why he may wake up so much. One of my boys had a breathing problem (similar to sleep apnea) and woke up often in the night. My inclination at first was to give him a bottle (I was unable to breastfeed) to sooth him back to sleep. Once I started that pattern the bottle became an expectation when he woke up.

cdwccrn's avatar

I agree with basp. There are other reasons your sin is not sleeping. Rule out the physical ones and let dad help you through the few rough nite while baby learns the nipple is not for comfort each time he wakes up. The little one will learn but it might be trying for a few nights. Hang in there. And sleep.

Evol's avatar

Just wanted to say kudos for making that commitment – you’ve given your son a great advantage over non breast fed kids! The first year is the most important. He should probably start to sleep through the night soon, though, no? Maybe continue a little bit for the benefits but start the weaning process. If he has colic take him to see a child chiropractor.

lynzeut's avatar

One thing with nursing is that if you are nursing you baby often they aren’t getting the hind milk that is the really fatty milk. It is better to nurse for a longer period of time with longer breaks between feedings than to nurse for short periods of time with fewer time between feedings. (does that make sence?)

My 6 month old will nurse apx. every 4 hours from 8 in the morning to 8 in the evening. the 8 PM feeding is her last feeding for the night untill 8 in the morning. I nusre her for longer periods of time durring feedings so that she gets the hind milk (or the fatty milk). If she wakes up durring the night I won’t feed her but will wrap her up and put her back to bed. She is a very healthy little girl and has the thighs to prove it.

Good luck I know that must be just so tiring for you and your son.

hearkat's avatar

At this point the nursing is more about comfort than nutrition, because most of his nutrition should be from regular foods. Weaning is tough, and I nursed my son past 2 years old because it was the only way to calm him. He had horrible tantrums and still has scary anger at 17 years of age. But because of the sleep deprivation, those early months of his life are a total blur to me – so I know exactly what you mean.

So it’s a personal decision… if you choose to wean, it will take a lot of willpower not to give in when he fusses. If you choose to continue, offer him other distractions to cut back on daytime nursing, and try to wean him more gradually. La Leche League is sure to have tons of info on weaning.

Evol's avatar

Hey, can’t find the page anymore, but recently stumbled on a Danish study that found STOPPING breast feeding at 1 month old led to a 62% increase in the risk of alcoholism.
Just thought this was interesting :)

sarahclif's avatar

I breastfed my son until 25 months and dealt with the all-night nursing desires after age 1 as well. I highly recommend the book(s) “the no cry sleep solution.” there is one for babies and one for toddlers. Hang in there. It is possible to get them to sleep more and still keep nursing! Getting a non-nursing partner to take over middle of the night wake ups worked well for us. My husband would deal with wakeups until after 4 AM.

everval's avatar

Thanks all of you for your answers… it’s kind of hard for me because I’ve done a lot of things believe me… I have contacted La Leche League and read some literature on not letting the baby cry and I even went to the pediatrician and he told me that I should probably start giving him medication because he might be hyperactive. But he’s too small to give him that and even at another age I think I wouldn’t medicate my son for that.

I guess I’m gonna have to keep trying… thank you all!! and if you think of anything else I would appreciate your advice!

sarahclif's avatar

lots of protein before bed also helps them sleep more we’ve found. once we noticed this trend my husband would follow our bird-like snacker-son around the house in the evening feeding him bits o’ meat : )

Evol's avatar

take him to a chiropractor and get him to sleep through the night. Then wean him gradually till 2. just my advice.

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