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Overcoming Objections

I'm very lucky that I haven't had anybody openly object to me nursing Joshua. Nobody's ever shouted "Cover up!" or "Gross!" as I've heard has happened to other moms. Generally, my family and friends are very supportive. I'm pretty vocal in my choice to breastfeed and am well-educated about it, thanks to all the articles I've read, so I'm happy to pass on the knowledge of why breastfeeding is the best choice for most babies. My family and friends also know that I blog about our breastfeeding adventures, so the fear of becoming fodder for a post may be that extra push to keep mum about any objections to breastfeeding.


However, recently I have been criticized by a few people for continuing to nurse Joshua throughout the night. It always starts with "How's the baby sleeping?" (A loaded question.) I've tried humor- "Sleep? What's that?" and I've tried honesty- "On a good night, he's up 4-5 times. On a bad night, he's up every 15-30 minutes." Both of these responses lead to people giving unsolicited advice about my choice to co-sleep and/or breastfeed on-demand.

Everybody seems to have an opinion, and the opinion is always that I'm doing it wrong.

The little old lady "You have to let him cry!"

The new dad "You don't let him cry?"

The childless know-it-all "I'm going to let my future kids cry."

The childless smarty-pants "You've gotta stop feeding him!"
Another little old lady "He's forming bad habits."

A mom who never co-slept "He's just snacking. He doesn't need to nurse overnight."

The random person on Twitter "Babies should get all their nutrition during the day by 6 months old."

I'm not a confrontational person, and I'm more likely to just smile, nod and walk away than to come out and state the truth: I have made the conscious decision to parent my child overnight as I parent him during the day. I attend to his needs and I believe that any reason my son wants to nurse is the right reason for me to nurse him. Breastfeeding on-demand overnight allows me to bond with my baby and maintain my milk supply. Co-sleeping makes it even easier to breastfeed on-demand. I am not interested in the "Cry It Out" method – I believe it's out-dated. 

I've decided that the only way to stop the unsolicited and insulting advice is to lie about my son's sleeping habits. That's right! I'm going to be a big, fat liar. "How are we sleeping, you ask? GREAT!"

In truth, I don't mind waking up overnight to nurse Joshua back to sleep. I'm away from him for about eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, and so I cherish the time I have with him at home. I love to snuggle him throughout the night, though I may have some trouble getting out of bed in the morning. My favorite time of day is right after bedtime when Joshua, Ed and I are all in the big bed. Not only do I love to cuddle with Joshua, I know that he's benefiting from the time spent in between his parents all night long. He's safe, warm and loved, which is exactly the way I want him to feel.

How do you deal with objections to breastfeeding or other parenting choices?