Remember Linus’ blanket that he carried around every where with him? Well, that was his lovey. Want to know what Milan’s lovey is? My boobs!
I have tried to introduce a normal lovey to him since he was 3 months old. We’ve tried blankets (plush, cotton, satin edge, flannel, crocheted, etc). We’ve tried stuffed animals – safe for babies of course. But to no avail, my son only wants my boob. And its not always my boob, its sometimes (quite painfully) my nipple.
Whenever he gets tired, he wants me to pick him up. Of course, the first thing he does is thrust his tiny little hand down my shirt. He used to just need his hand down my shirt – no boob grabbing necessary. But lately, he’s become totally obsessed with grabbing at my boobs and specifically twisting my nipples.
So this morning when he woke up at 4:33 am, would not go back to sleep and kept twisting and pulling on my already sore nipples (from the lovely nibble he took earlier that night) I had enough! Thus began sleep training 102.
Sleep training 101 was hard enough. But I fear that breaking the boob habit is going to be even harder. You see, I’m so used to his hand going down my shirt that I hardly even notice half of the time. I usually only notice when one of my friends starts laughing or a stranger looks horrified. As most nursing mothers will tell you, your boobs become a little desensitized. How else could you endure the pulling, tugging and what not?
Of course, I had to do some research to see if this is just a passing phase. Most experts agree that a young baby will often find comfort under a mother’s shirt. Its actually quite normal and apparently not related to breastfeeding – many non breastfed babies do this too. I can’t find any information about whether or not this too will pass.
However, I did come across a post from another mother who is struggling with the same issue. Her son is almost 2, sleeping in his own bed and still needs his mommy’s boobies. But now he asks for them! I do not envy this mom and I do not want to be going through this in another year. We’re planning on having another baby and I can’t imagine what my boobs would feel like if Milan still uses them as his lovey.
When I look at my son, I see an emerging little boy but he still my baby. Part of me doesn’t really mind the boob obsession: he’s a baby, its innocent, he is comforted by them, etc. But then the other part of me really does mind. The part of me that emerges in the middle of the night, that looses her patience and is just plain tired of being used as a tug-toy.
This morning, I have not let him touch my boobs except his mouth while nursing. And we have had at least 2 hours (cumulatively) of crying. Will this be like the sleep training where after a few days he gets the picture? Although my head is pounding from the crying and my heart is hurting (I do feel a bit like I am depriving him of comfort) I do see a glimmer of hope… he fell asleep in my arms without his hand down my shirt.