Want to cut back 22 mo old's nursing. Advice?
My 22 mo old is still going strong and wants to nurse what seems like all the time when I'm around. He's a good eater though and does fine with his nanny four days a week. I stopped pumping a year ago and night-weaned about 8 months ago. We don't co-sleep (except when I want to sleep longer in the morning) and I put him down awake even though we nurse before bed. Honestly, I wish he would lose interest; my nipples have been sore on and off since my period returned 8 mo ago. But he's not losing interest and I'm tired of the constant nursing. Anyone have success in limiting nursing in a child like this? I'm considering telling him that 'nursies' are only for 'sleepy time' and 'owies' now....
As an aside, my breasts keep shrinking, now at 34A (started at 34AA and went up to 36B), and I think this is making it even less comfortable for me as he pulls on them more. I can't believe I'm still making so much milk!
Re: Want to cut back 22 mo old's nursing. Advice?
Welcome to the forum! I think a lot of moms who are following their child's lead when it comes to weaning, feeling confident that the child will lose interest "pretty soon", are suprised and worried when their toddlers are well past their first birthday and still nursing. But it's normal for a not-even-2-year-old to remain enthusiastic about nursing; kids who self-wean typically do not do so until they are over 2 years old, with many continuing to nurse into the 3-5 range.
If you're ready to hasten weaning along a bit, or just set some limits that will make nursing less irritating for you, here are some tips:
- Distraction is your friend. Your toddler will nurse less when you're out and about- at the park, at the store, playing with other kids, etc. A lot of toddler nursing happens at home, when your child decides to fill a boring or mellow moment with a cuddle and a nursing session.
- Avoid your child's nursing cues. A lot of kids are triggered to nurse by seeing mom sit down in a certain spot- with my toddler, it's my favorite chair. She sees me sit down in it and she runs over for a sip!
- Offer plenty of snacks and water throughout the day. Sometimes a toddler will choose to nurse when thirsty or hungry.
- Get help. When grandma or daddy is around, baby may be less interested in nursing.
- Set limits. Keeping nursing only for bedtime or for "owies" is very reasonable and usually achievable. You can also set time limits for your child when he's nursing, as in "you can nurse until I count to 5" or "you can nurse until I finish singing 'Twinkle Twinkle'".