After 13.5 months, it looks as though our breastfeeding journey is over. As we had to take RLT to A&E on Tuesday night for tonsillitis, EET stayed with Grandma, which meant no night feeds for him and no time to express.
Offering none of my own milk is something I kept to after this evening of him staying at his Grandma’s house, as advice I received from Nicole from Baby2sleep in exchange for review, made me realise that breastfeeding was a sleep association for him.
So instead of offering my own milk, I have a bottle of cow’s milk available (he is over 12 months old) and offer him this for the first time he wakes during the night. Then after this, I offer him the bottle again (the sleep association may be for comfort, so the teet may be able to offer him this as he doesn’t have a dummy) but this time with water in it and continue this through the night.
We’ve made some positive changes with his naps, thanks to the build your own sleep plan, but almost four months down the line from making an active plan and following it, I was still being woken 4/5 times a night by him.
I’ve had to take the opportunity to break this association. He obviously isn’t happy about it, but I couldn’t function on this little sleep anymore. It’s affecting me in so many ways. As we have been out and about so much during the day recently, he’d dropped feeding anytime we were out of the house without any conscious effort from either of us, he’s just too nosy! So it has just been the evening and during night feeds to work on for the past month.
Rather than being sad that a big part of our journey is over, I’m looking forward to the rewards of a good nights sleep, for us both, at some point. It is making me sad that this drop has coincided with EET confidently walking, so baby days are officially gone and toddlerhood is here.
The first week was tough, I did occasionally give him milk, I must admit. But slowly and surely the persistence paid off and he began to understand that it was only the bottle that he would be offered. Slowly the sleep time crept up and within around 7/8 weeks he had slept the entire night through.
I’m trying to turn it into a positive in that I can’t wait to watch him grow and develop. When I look at him I could burst with pride at who he is and how happy he is. I played a big part in that and at a time when my anxiety has been through the roof, I look at him and I feel like I have done something right.
Disclaimer: Sleep Plan mentioned in this blog post was gifted for the purposes of honest review.