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Needing advice on weaning


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I'm still Br**stfeeding my dd1 who is 18 months old. I usually don't wean until around 2 years when I wean and put them in bed with an older sibbling around the same time. My dd1 does most of her nursing at night when we are sleeping. Some nights my back kills me from being in the same position all night long! During the day she will nurse on and off for about 5-10 minutes at a time. The only way I can get her to take a nap during the day is to nurse her, half the time when I try to lay her down after she has fallen asleep she will wake up and will not go back to sleep unless I nurse her. I ususally end up having to hold her if I want her to stay asleep for any length of time.

 

My may concern now is that she has two really big cavities on her front teeth. She doesn't have an appt. to have them filled until mid-June. I try my best to brush her teeth twice a day. The cavities are at the top near the gum line so it make it hard to get to. I'm wondering if her nursing all night long is making her cavities worse. She has gotten any new ones, but I'm afraid by the time she gets them filled, they may end up having to be capped or pulled all together.

 

She only drinks water from a sippy cup, once in a while I will give her watered down juice, but that is hardly ever. I'm kind of on the fence with weaning her. The last time I didn't nurse her during the night we were up all night long, she just kept crying and no about of cuddling helped (I couldn't nurse her because of some pain medication I had been give)

 

What should I do? Any suggestions?

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I strongly doubt breastmilk is causing her cavities. To do that, it would have to be pooled around them, which it's certainly not going to when she nurses...think about it, the baby draws the milk into the back part of her mouth, her front teeth do nothing but stay out of the way if she's actually nursing. What's more, live human milk has enzymes and antibodies in it that fight bacteria. It's more likely she has some other issue, such as a genetic anomaly messing with the development of the enamel on her teeth. In which case it'll happen no matter what you feed her. Plus you'll have to put other things in her diet that might not be so tooth-friendly.

 

Check out this article:

 

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/tooth-decay.html

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I strongly doubt breastmilk is causing her cavities. To do that, it would have to be pooled around them, which it's certainly not going to when she nurses...think about it, the baby draws the milk into the back part of her mouth, her front teeth do nothing but stay out of the way if she's actually nursing. What's more, live human milk has enzymes and antibodies in it that fight bacteria. It's more likely she has some other issue, such as a genetic anomaly messing with the development of the enamel on her teeth. In which case it'll happen no matter what you feed her. Plus you'll have to put other things in her diet that might not be so tooth-friendly.

 

Check out this article:

 

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/tooth-decay.html

 

Thanks so much for this link, it was very informative. It really put my mind at ease that my br**stfeeding is not causing her cavities. The dentist even told me that it was probably due to some defects in her enamel, he didn't even say anything about my br**stfeeding causing it.

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My sister and I have six children between us. Of them, five have had serious dental issues, as have my sister, my father and myself. Our dad had full dentures by fourty; my sister is almost there at 29 and at 32 I already have one bridge.

 

Of my three children, the child with the BESTdental hygeine who BF ntil she was almost 5 has the worst teeth, the child who has the worst hygeine (and only BF for a few weeks) has almost perfect teeth. Only one of my children have a correlation between tooth brushing and dental health.

 

Honestly? I think it's hereditary.

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I have to agree that nursing is not what's causing her cavities. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this - ugh! It sounds like you're doing everything right, though. I wouldn't worry about weaning her if you're not ready at this point just for the sake of the cavities (says the mama still nursing her 20 month old son, LOL).

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I understand what you're saying about your back - this might be off topic, but I tried Pilates and it really helps. Last time (he's now 5) my 2 year old loved "Doing the hundreds" with me - now I have a 15 month old who is about to learn "the hundreds" (a pilates exercise). The exercises really helped my back. All my kids at one time or another laid down with me in the living room - even my 15yo football player who was just baiting me. The other thing that really helped my back is dh would take the baby after the 1st or 2nd nursing of the night - you decide and rocked him/her in the other room. I've had to give up my dislike of "suckies" (pacifiers) because I decided to do what works.

I agree with all other posters about her teeth - if anything breast milk will help her teeth and gums.

Another thing I thought of when I read your post is "does she really need a nap?" I've had to ask myself that. Sometimes my dd is too busy, wired,. . .to take a nap and I've set up a playpen (do they still call them that) with only her favorite toys. And #1 help at this age a fat rubber toothbrush and a bottle of hylands teething tablets.

Good luck

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I agree with those that said breastfeeding is not causing her problems. If you really want some ideas of how to wean (albeit slowly), I just finished weaning my 2 year old.

 

One thing you can do that might help is letting her eat lots of cheese. My 2 year old loves slices of cheddar and string cheese. It adds calcium to the diet, coats the teeth with calcium, and changes the ph of the mouth in a way that helps reduce cavities. My 2 year has near perfect teeth currently...I attribute it to the cheese rather than my less than stellar record with brushing infant/toddler teeth.

 

http://www.medicinalfoodnews.com/vol08/issue1/cheese

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I agree with the above posts. Nursing is not causing her cavities. I nursed my oldest until 15-16 months, and he has the worst teeth of my two. By age 3.5 he had to go under GA to have extensive work done on all of his back molars and a few front teeth as well. When I weaned his due to my preg. with ds2, I don't think he even had any molars yet. Ds2 nursed until right before his 4th birthday, and while he did have alot of issues with his front teeth, he just recently developed a cavity on one of his molars. I do think heredity has alot to do with it. Dental problems run in both sides of the family.

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I am so sorry you are going through this. I nursed for a long time - 3yrs for each of my daughters. We had one tooth problem with my middle daughter - a large hole in a molar that was apparently a tooth defect, not caused by nursing (no other teeth were affected). I'd consult with the pediatric dentist if you can, and make the best decision possible. Weaning was just about the hardest thing I've ever done with each of my dc.

 

 

:grouphug:

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While I agree that nursing is not the cause of her cavities, I think you would benefit from helping her sleep without nursing all night long.

 

May I recommend the No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley? She is a very gentle writer who is friendly to the family bed and nursing. My oldest ds was waking every hour and forty five minutes at 18 months, so I was in the recliner with him most of every night (light-sleeping dh who gets grumpy if his sleep is always interrupted). Her methods helped me teach ds to sleep without me attached to him constantly, by using routines and gentle methods to detach myself while he was still partly awake. I went on to nurse him until he was 25 months, but the night time issues were much abated.

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I support your desire to BF your child at this age, and I also extend my sympathy for your back problems and her dental problems -- maybe she's having a lot of pain and that is increasing her desire to nurse at night. Is it possible for you to make the nursing sessions shorter? For example, after she's asleep, will she wake up if you take her off the breast so she is still being nursed to sleep but she's not actually at the breast for hours at an end, or maybe this wakes her up. I would try also different positions, even while nursing, to adjust yourself a bit. I don't think the nursing is causing the cavities; I just don't know enough about back exercises to suggest anything else.

 

Thanks for the cheese suggestion. Makes me want to eat more cheese!

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I strongly doubt breastmilk is causing her cavities. To do that, it would have to be pooled around them, which it's certainly not going to when she nurses...think about it, the baby draws the milk into the back part of her mouth, her front teeth do nothing but stay out of the way if she's actually nursing. What's more, live human milk has enzymes and antibodies in it that fight bacteria. It's more likely she has some other issue, such as a genetic anomaly messing with the development of the enamel on her teeth. In which case it'll happen no matter what you feed her. Plus you'll have to put other things in her diet that might not be so tooth-friendly.

 

Check out this article:

 

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/tooth-decay.html

 

:iagree: I was told by a dentist that I was a bad parent because my 3yo son had a couple cavities. He told me I was not brushing his teeth like I should (which I was). For 1 1/2 years I felt AWFUL! When we moved I took him to a different dentist because he complained of a tooth hurting. I was told that he had a genetic disorder and there was nothing I could have done to change it. This dentist said even if we had never brushed his teeth, there should not be the decay that he had. We had his teeth capped, and he has been fine since. He is now 9, and his adult teeth that have come in show no signs of this problem. It sounds to me like this might be a genetic thing.

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