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Attachment Parenting

Co-sleeping and Breastfeeding
From Our AP Forum Archives
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storkFrom KandJ ~ My 6 1/2 month old likes to sleep with a breast in his mouth. He never unlatches. He has to be really asleep for me to remove my breast and then if I move much he is awake again looking for his human pacifier. I know that all babies are different, but can any of you tell me if you've had the same experience? Also do I need to worry about rotting his teeth when he gets some sleeping this way? I'd like to encourage him to nurse less often at night, but haven't had much luck with other comfort methods. Any suggestions?

stork From Ramona ~ Grace used to be the same way. And sometimes still does. I don't worry about her teeth because she needs to be actively sucking for any milk to come out and if she's sucking, then she's also swallowing.

stork From m ~ Frankie has been doing this too and I'm having a very hard time sleeping. I have to twist my body into very uncomfortable positions in order to keep my breast in his mouth. You aren't alone! I look forward to seeing your responses.

stork From Gayesy ~ Oh boy!! I think your baby is Thomas's long-lost twin! wink Thomas was like that too, to such an extent that I couldn't even make a quick dash to the loo without him waking up screaming.

I don't have any suggestions for easing him out of it sorry, but the good news is that even my little mister "leechiechops" (as Dh affectionately called him) learnt to sleep without a breast permanently in his mouth, all of his own accord.

I got a bit sick of always having to lie on my side, so what we did some of the time was for me to lie on my back with a pillow either side of me, under my arms, and I could have him on either side, lying in the crook of my arm, and be able to sleep on my back. When I needed to change sides I just rolled him over.

Hang in there!! It WILL get better.

stork From emmabsmom ~ I am literally ROFL!! This thread was titled "co-sleeping/breastfeeding", wasn't it? I had to go back to make sure that it wasn't "a night in Danielle's bed"!! I know all too well about being the all night human pacifier. And I'm not too well endowed so back lying is impossible. I feel like a pretzel all night and look even worse in the morning. The good part for me is that Emma isn't in my bed every night. She sleeps in her crib but about once a week she ends up going to bed with me. I really have no advice as I'm obviously in your proverbial boat!! Good luck and PLEEEEEASE let us know if you find that recipe to the magic potion. I'm worried about Em's teeth, too.

stork From Gayesy ~ I wouldn't worry about the teeth! As long as you are cleaning the teeth twice a day there is minimal risk of problems. Thomas nursed during the night until he was 2 3/4 and even now he will have a nighttime breastfeed after his teeth have been cleaned - he has NEVER had any problems with his teeth. we had him checked at the dentist recently and he was THRILLED with how healthy his teeth are.

Bottles are a different story as milk can pool in the mouth, plus the fact that formula doesn't have the antibacterial properties of breastmilk. To be honest, dental caries is probably the last thing I worried about!

I am also not well endowed, Danielle, but we managed the back lying thing. I had Thomas lying half on my arm, and half along my body. I actually think this would be easier with smallish bees rather than in someone more well endowed. Now that he is hardly nursing at all anymore I am "unendowed" but this position still works: in fact, I don't ever lie and nurse him on my side anymore.

stork From huntergirl ~ Mine all found their thumbs pretty quickly, so they were able to do their own comfort sucking. I also found it helpful to sleep in a t-shirt so the boobies weren't just hanging out there for them to latch onto. Of course, after a while, they could figure out how to get under the t-shirt, but by then they usually didn't need comfort nursing too much.

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stork From CrystalbusyMom ~ My first child (4 years old) slept the first two years of life latched on to me. She has been to the dentist several times and her teeth are fine.

One of the advantages of experiencing a child who sleeps attached is it prevents mommy from sleeping on her tummy (it is isn't good for milk supply.)

Like Gaysey, I also nurse on my back in addition to the the side lying position.

stork From SusanH ~ I nurse on my back, too, and I am completely UNendowed, lol. It was Susy's idea and it works really well - sometimes she has all-night nurse-a-thons and if we stay side-lying too long my shoulder falls asleep.

stork From laj ~ This is very familiar! Sometimes I would wake up with my top unbuttoned and hannah an inch from my chest. LOL She was a big comfort nurser.

As for the teeth . . . she had HUGE problems with her teeth. She had to go under anaesthetic and have 4 roots removed and 6 crowns when she was just 2!!! *sob* The pediatric dentist TRIED to blame bottle mouth . . . she'd NEVER had a bottle . . . then he tried the nursing. But Dh and I wouldn't let him get away with that. The nipple sits at the back of their mouth and the milk goes straight down their throat. Also, when they stop sucking, the milk stops, unlike a bottle. Hannah's problems were on the front top of her teeth!! NOTHING to do with nursing.

Eventually he agreed it is most likely genetic (My father and I both have horrible teeth that always need major work) . . . or caused by high temperatures when she was an infant . . . little enamel.

I WILL night nurse again with this newbie on the way. I honestly don't think that's what caused the problems.

stork From momanon ~ "High needs" babies are quite a handful, aren't they And contrary to popular belief, it has more to do with inborn temperament than that you "spoiled" your baby. My first-born was high-need in every way, and had to nurse all the time, especially to stay asleep at night (but my other three have been much "easier"). Adding to the challenge was the fact that I hadn't "discovered" AP yet, and he was in a crib. Picture trying to lean over the crib to keep the breast in his mouth for several minutes till he dropped off deeply enough to remove it -- then invariably having him wake up again several times a night. If that won't break a mother of the crib habit! I don't know of any "cure" for a high-need baby except time and patience. My now-8-year-old son is very independent today.

As far as tooth decay, I agree, from all I've heard. It has more to do with heredity and what they eat in the day, than night-nursing. I'm real small, too, since it's been mentioned, but I have nursed back-lying a lot, holding them up between my arm and body.

stork From KandJ ~ Thanks everyone for your replies. I feel better knowing that I'm not alone. And when he gets teeth I won't worry now.

Last night he actually slept for a few hours "breastless". Thanks again.

stork From emmabsmom ~ Ok, I'm going to try the back-lying the next time she's in my bed. I guess I was going about it the wrong way. Thanks Ladies!! Also, thanks for the info on tooth decay.

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