Posted in Infant, Parenting

Breastfeeding With Teeth (His, Not Mine)

I’ve recently started to wonder when I’d start to wean my son off the breast.  You see, when I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to at least try to breastfeed.  I say “try” because I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself if it didn’t work out and didn’t want to feel like a failure if I ended up resorting to formula from the start.  As I’ve discussed previously, my desire to breastfeed wasn’t just based on the fact that research shows that it has many health benefits both for mom and baby, but also because I found it more practical and definitely less expensive.

I was thrilled when my milk came in and my son thrived (and is still thriving) on my milk.  It fills me with pride every day to see my “little chunkster”, as I call him, continue to grow and develop so well on “mommy milk”.

With my first goal of trying (and succeeding) to breastfeed met, I decided to set another goal.  I figured that I would exclusively breastfeed at least six months (the suggested minimal amount of time) and then start weaning right away.  However, as time went by, I realized that I really treasured the time I spent nursing my son (even if it wasn’t always easy), and so, I decided that I would continue past six months but would stop when he had teeth.  Well, now that he has teeth (very ouchy teeth, I should say) and is nearing the six month mark, I find myself needing to reevaluate my goal.

To be honest, I’m not ready to give up breastfeeding yet and, as the time for solids approaches, I’m feeling both the natural excitement at seeing my son reach another milestone and a sadness at the fact that I will no longer be his only source of nourishment.  Now don’t get me wrong, I know that milk will still be his primary source of nourishment until he is a year old “food before one is just for fun”, but still, he won’t be getting just milk…

It would seem that I am in need of a new goal…

Now you see, my official day back at work is on August 26th.  At that time, Little Dude will be just past the 9 month mark.  He’ll be staying with his dad for the last week of August and first week of September and then will start daycare.  What want to say is that I’ll keep breastfeeding until mid-August and then start introducing formula.  The fact of the matter is, I just don’t think that I will have the energy necessary to pump to make it to one year.  I think that I want to continue to nurse when it’s feeding time and I’m at home, but will give formula to the sitter and his father.

Sounds like a plan!

Except there’s something tugging at the back of my brain…

  • Me: “It’s a logical decision, I’m totally OK with it”.
  • My brain: “Are you sure?  I mean, you could pump”.
  • Me: “You’re right, but I don’t think I’ll have the energy to pump”.
  • My brain: “It’s just for three months, I’m sure you’ll find the energy”.
  • Me: “You don’t understand, my job is tough”.
  • My brain: “But you’ll only be working part-time.  Besides, breast milk is free and formula is expensive”.

Me: “I know, I know”.

*Bleh*, seems I haven’t made up my mind after all.

Oh well, *sigh* guess I’ll just have to take it one day at a time.

Author:

Thirty-something year old discovering the joys and bumps of motherhood.

16 thoughts on “Breastfeeding With Teeth (His, Not Mine)

  1. I myself did the breast feeding thing when my children were small a long time ago. I did not work making it very easy to do and yes less expensive. My daughter now has done it with 3 children the first time she had twins and one was sick which made it very hard but she did it (with lots of help) with her second child she was determined to do it as long as she could pumping at home and at work. At the 6 mo. mark it started becoming harder to do and by the 8th month she could not do it any more and that was about the same with the 3rd and last one. So good luck, but do us all a favor know when to stop a 10 yr. old child on the boob is to far (hahah) .

  2. It is tough! You could try introducing formula as a supplement and still pump (until you get sick of it) and nurse at nights? With my first, he stopped getting the breast when he got teeth because he would chomp down at the end of feeding. I could never get him to stop so pretty much as soon as that first tooth broke, he was done. Pumping exclusively got pretty old pretty fast, but paying for formula is never fun either! Just remember, no matter what you do, someone will think it’s wrong. 😉 Seriously though, as long as he’s physically healthy and you’re emotionally healthy (as much as possible), you’re doing the right thing!!

    1. “No matter what you do, someone will think it’s wrong”. Unfortunately true, and parenting is riddled with enough self-doubts that I would gladly live without outside judgement, but oh well, such is life. I think that formula as a supplement is a great idea and will help make the transition easier. As for nursing at night, I really would like to continue; it seems like way too much of a hassle warming up a bottle in the middle of the night. But to be honest, Little Dude’s a biter and he likes to have the least amount of breast as possible in his mouth while nursing so it can get quite painful, I suppose I’ll just continue to go with the flow. How did the transition to formula go with your first?

      1. I called my guy Little Dude too! 🙂 From what I remember, it was pretty smooth. But he was used to getting bottles of breast milk in addition to nursing from pretty early on. I think I just started adding a couple of ounces of mixed formula to a breast milk bottle until he was taking full bottles of formula. Good luck!

  3. It’s never an easy decision, but whatever you do decide, remember that you nursed him for a minimum of 6 months and even that is a remarkable thing because nursing is not as easy and natural like everyone suggests! I had to stop with my oldest at 6 months because he already had 6 teeth and I couldn’t pump thanks to overactive letdown (which, fortunately, went away by the time my 3rd came around) so I was in the same boat. Either way you go, you’re still your baby’s hero 🙂

  4. Hey – I can SO relate to all this (except the teeth part – we aren’t there yet) My goal is also six months, but I can see myself going longer w a few feedings per day. I have been back to work for a while now and the pumping has been the most annoying part. But I am really trying to multi-task with it – In fact…guess what I am doing RIGHT NOW?? 🙂 ha!

    1. Hehe, I am often NAKing – gotta love multitasking! It takes real dedication to pump so Kudos to you for sticking with it! But no matter what I decide (and you, for that matter) I can’t help but be proud of how long I lasted (because boy were there times where I wanted to give up!).

  5. Nine months of breastfeeding will be great. The more the better! There are definitely ways to remedy any problems that can come about from teeth/biting. The thing about teething, is that breastfeeding is actually nature’s way of soothing the baby’s mouth (I read that it soothes the gums because of the WAY the baby suctions/sucks, which is different than sucking on a bottle) I thought that was really cool and it explains why babies nurse more when teething!
    I know I wouldn’t want to pump full-time, so I understand why you’re thinking the way you are. 🙂

    1. You know, the thing is, if I were able to be a SAHM, I would most likely continue to nurse until my son decided to wean himself (teeth or not). Unfortunately, that’s not possible so I’ll take what I can get (or, rather, give what I can give). I didn’t know that nursing during teething helped; from what I’d read, the sucking motion made teething more painful. I’d be interested in knowing how you coped with the challenges of nursing a child with teeth – I expect you have some experience in the matter considering that you are still nursing Samuel.

  6. It is such a tough decision. I had a tough time when I was still nursing #2, she was biting and I was pregnant with #3… OUCH! Luckily, I didn’t have to go back to work… pumping is really difficult. I hope you’ve found something that’s working.

    1. I actually did end up making it to 13 months with my son despite going back to work when he was 10 months old and pumping. But pumping was just so darned hard (not to mention that I only have a single hand pump) and ultimately it was mostly because of this that I decided to wean him. And though it was still a tough call to make at the time, I’m at peace with my decision now…especially that I now have a newborn to tend to 😉

      Thanks for stopping by!

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