Why can’t it always be easy?!

As you know, I am a big advocate for breastfeeding, and for extended breastfeeding.  I nursed my oldest until he was 16 months old, which isn’t really as “extended” as some people practice, and more power to them.  I would have continued longer if I hadn’t needed to resume a medication that was incompatible with breastfeeding.  Cannon is still breastfeeding in the morning, afternoon, and night, though I have weaned myself off the pump during the day {thank God}.

The problem is, he wakes up overnight every night and wants to comfort nurse.  I’ve been okay with it because it hadn’t really bothered me up until recently, when he just could not {or would not} fall back asleep without a boob in his mouth.  So I’m stuck being a human pacifier to a nearly 13-month old baby.

And I’m tired of it.

Cannon is not as good a sleeper as Cole was when he was that age.  And Cole was more easily comforted without having to nurse him back to sleep.  Cannon, though, is an absolute monster if I try to get him back to sleep without nursing him.  He wages unholy war against us both until he gets what he wants.  Like, screaming banshee hissy fit.  Arching back, kicking legs, tiny fists a-flying.  And because I usually just want to get back to sleep as quickly as possible at 2:00 in the morning, I just give in.  And then I get mad at myself for giving in and vow to not be such a pushover next time.  But then the next night the cycle begins anew.  And I just want to sleep.

With Cole, I just decided on a date that I was going to quit nursing him, and that was that.  He was a little confused for a couple of days, but he never fussed or cried or anything like that.  After a week or so, he just accepted it and moved on with his life.  I have a feeling that I’m not going to be that lucky with Cannon.  I don’t think he will be able to just cry it out and get over it.  We have tried.  He’s not the type of baby to cry himself to sleep.  He works himself into a frenzy, to the point where I am worried he is going to burst blood vessels or something.

And at some point in the near future, I’m going to need to get back on the same medication that made me decide to stop nursing Cole.  I’d rather be able to slowly wean the baby and not just go cold turkey, but he is really not making that very easy.  Cannon just refuses to be comforted by anything except nursing.  He naps during the day fine.  He lays down and goes to sleep after a bottle {which we are also weaning him off of currently}.  Maybe it’s a matter of too much change all at once.  He is walking now and talking more and is able to play with his brother more like a big kid.  Maybe I’m trying to push this issue too much.  Maybe he’ll just start sleeping through the night again and that will solve this nursing issue until he is fully ready to wean.  Ha ha, keep dreaming, Rachel.

Do any breastfeeding moms have any advice for me?  I know he doesn’t need the milk overnight.  He nurses before bed and has dinner at night so I highly doubt he is hungry.  What can I do to comfort him during the night without nursing him?  Why can’t everything just be easy??

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