Breastfeeding a toddler

Last night was horrible with Kitana, I’m not sure if it’s the teeth but she hardly slept and just kept crying .. and on top of that she wanted to be on the breast the entire night. I’m sure many breastfeeding moms are going to criticize me for this post but I did promise to be honest on this blog and I will.

Kitana and I slept for like 4 hours. I feel like a zombie. I’ve noticed the past couple days that she is wanting the breast more often, literally all the time. I work from home and this makes it easier for her to just take it.. Yes she just takes the breast when she feels like.

She is always snacking, I feel its time to wean her off slowly. My mother keeps telling me she’s still a baby, let her drink but I just can’t handle it anymore. I’ve become frustrated because she hardly eats food and sleeps with the breast only. She wakes up several times a night for the breast. Don’t get me wrong, I love breastfeeding but not 22 hours a day! It is such beautiful bond between a mother and child. It is the best nutrient you can give your baby however I feel I need to have a schedule for it. She needs to eat more solids.

When she was born I did not have enough breast milk, at the hospital they tried formula but she just kept throwing up. We tried formula again when she got bigger and the same thing happened. Not sure if she was allergic to it. We did try a few brands. So I decided to breastfeed exclusively, I initially wanted her to get used to both so it would be easy if I was working and she was with someone else. I used to express breast milk and feed her via bottle during the time went on I became more lazy and stopped expressing..


Now it is difficult to express because my body has gotten used to the way she drinks. I only blame myself for the way she is today, I needed to changed it and put her on a schedule and I did not do that. 🙁 We tried sleep training several times but I didn’t have the willpower to continue. The only method that worked on her was the cry it out. One night she slept for 11 hours straight but cried for like 1 hour before she actually slept. She was only 7 months old then. I couldn’t stand hearing my baby crying, I used to sit in my room and cry! Emotionally I could not tolerate it. We went for a sleep training course, I bought sleep training books, even found information online.

I feel like I am an expert on sleep but yet I can’t get my daughter to sleep through the night. I’m not sure what to do at the moment regarding sleep training however I decided I need to find a way to slow down breastfeeding. Maybe that will help her sleep better? As a first time mother I took everyone’s advice and never really sat down and asked myself how I am going to do this. Now I feel it has come back to bite me.

I love Kitana, She is such a happy baby but when she doesn’t have a good sleep she is grumpy. I have read that sleep is extremely important for a child and therefore want the best for her. Am I wrong for saying all this?!

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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

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  1. 2014-01-27 / 11:48

    Thank you for your honesty – you are not alone!

    I have just taken my 11 month old off the breast (like, just went cold turkey last week). Surprisingly, he hasn’t even ‘asked’ for the breast. He just took the bottle without hesitation. Of course, I had been working so he was used to the bottle during the day. I was breastfeeding at night and early morning. And just before I weaned him off, he was breastfeeding throughout the night too!

    I decided I wanted to breastfeed for one year. But here I am, 11 months in, and I’ve taken him off. I decided to do this because a. (and most importantly) he is big and healthy, and eats well so I know that he is getting all the nutrients he needs. b. I have to look out for my own health. I kept losing weight, and I was not sleeping (because he wants to be on the breast all night, for comfort). With him on the breast all night, I know that he is not getting proper sleep either.

    My mother has told me (she has three children) that breastfed babies all do this (want to suck all night). My sister-in-law has also weaned her baby (at 11 months)after he started doing the same, and now he sleeps through – from 8pm to 5am.

    It was just in recent weeks that my son wanted to breastfeed throughout the night, and I think teething is to blame. He cut his first tooth at 10 months old, and this started a few weeks prior.

    He is now off the breast for a few days, and he wakes up three times per night, on average – sometimes I rock him back to sleep, sometimes he takes the bottle. I anticipate that he may sleep through soon because I doubt he is hungry. His only comfort has always been the breast. He hasn’t taken the dummy or anything. Now he has to learn to self sooth.

    But I can tell you, though I wake up at intervals – we are getting more sleep than before.

    I don’t speak against breastfeeding – I think every mom should breastfeed, if they can. However, I can see how it was a good move for us to wean him off at this stage. He can do without the breast.

    I encourage you to make the right choice for your family, whether that means you’ll continue breastfeeding or not.

    All the best!

    • Shan
      2014-02-04 / 20:45

      Hi Nastassja, thanks for the lovely comment. It feels so good when I read what other moms think on subjects like this as it is a sensitive one. I’m still breast feeding trying to wean her off but running out of solutions and the worst part is I just feel so sorry for her when I see that gorgeous face. I know she can do without it too but it’s about finding the right solution to get her out of it. Hopefully it will work out soon. Thank you for your honesty! Much appreciated. Lots of love.

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