Weaning Drama: I'm so torn!
dd and i have been a hardcore bfing couple since she was born. she was slow to start solids and would probably still be nursing exclusively if mamma was up for it :) (shes 23 months old btw).
but alas mommy's priorities are starting to shift. up until this point i prioritized the bfing over a new pregnancy, but now dh and i really want to get pregnant again, God willing.
i definitely don't want to wean abruptly, but last month i started to eliminated a couple feedings and AF came back. i was really excited because i thought i would be able to continue nursing and get pregnant. dh and i tried but the PT came back negative and then dd got sick and started nursing a lot, so my body relapsed into unfertilism (is that a word?).
now that the sickness has passed i'm trying to slowly eliminate again, but this time dd has been balking big-time. shes mastered the art of tantrums and won't hesitate to throw one and keep throwing it until i cave in. i really dont like to cave in bc i dont want her to think if she throws one she'll get whatever it is shes tantruming for, but on the other hand i'm sensitive to her needs and if it means that much to her i dont want to withhold.
anyhoo, now i'm really torn about what to do. if she goes on like this, who knows how long it will be before AF will come back again. i hate it that there is a power-struggle involved in bfing now. i could just "wait until the phase passes" but i really would like to get pregnant sooner
rather than later, and if this is the "terrible twos" theres not way i want to wait another year before a new pregnancy! i have moments where i'm just like "forget it ill just keep nursing" and then other moments where i just want to wean her cold turkey (although i would never really do it).
i know the mantra amongst us LLLers is that i should listen to her needs and just let her wean when shes ready, but i have to be honest with myself that part of me is growing really frusturated and bitter and ready to throw in the towel, albeit in a gradual way, not bc i dislike nursing but because i dislike her behavior that is surrounding the
"compromise" i am trying to implement.
any advice would he greatly appreciated!
Re: Weaning Drama: I'm so torn!
First, some background on us...my oldest self-weaned a few days before his 2
nd birthday, so I know where you're coming from. I'm not sure I have alot of advice, but I'll try to give you what I have based on my experience...maybe it'll help.
I think you could start looking at the weaning and the tantrums as seperate issues. They are obviously intertwined...but I'm guessing that you just want to eliminate a feeding or 2 over time so you can get your AF back and maybe get pregnant, not wean altogether as you don't think your LO is quite ready for that...am I right?
Anyway...regarding eliminating feedings...we eliminated the night time ones first...If your LO is nursing at night, that may be the easiest time to eliminate and avoid a tantrum. LO might be upset but will probably be too tired to throw tantrum. With my youngest...I night weaned at like 13 mos. or so, and I just explained when he woke the first time to nurse, that he had to wait, and that we'd snuggle instead. It took a while for him to get back to sleep the first few times. I would always nurse the 2nd time he woke though until he got used to dropping the first nighttime session....then I dropped the second one the same way I did the first.
If your LO already goes through the night without nursing, then I'd suggest dropping the session that is the shortest already and reasoning with her with that one. Example...LO asks to nurse at 11:30am...and you could respond..."I'm sorry honey, but you need to wait to nurse until after lunch before your nap. If you're thirsty, let me get you a glass of milk or juice or water"...or something like that. Try postponing it and explaining it to her instead of just saying no, then she won't realize that you're actually eliminating a session...she'll just think she has to wait. Then, after you encouraged her to wait and she gets used to doing it with one session every day, you could add another session the same way, and so on.
Regarding the tantrums, I would say that's a different matter altogether. For us, we look at tantrums as totally unacceptable behavior. We understand that with our oldest, all tantrums seemed to come about because he couldn't exactly express his emotions and what he was feeling and thinking with words. We worked really hard at teaching him exactly what each emotion was, and identified it for him....for instance " I know you're angry honey since mommie won't give you what you want, but the way you're acting isn't the right way to handle it. When you're ready to calm down and talk to mommie, we'll discuss it." We then we would move LO to a clear area (or his room when he was like 2.5) for some cool down time. The keys to squashing the tantrums for us, were to #1 never give in to a tantrum. We made him wait until he calmed down and then we'd talk about it...like if he wanted candy before lunch, after he'd calmed down, we'd explain that he couldn't have it until after lunch. and #2 teach him how to express himself better so we could avoid the tantrum altogether. By the time he was 2.5 or so, he would often kind of yell at me " I'm so mad at you", but never throw himself on the ground and scream. We still deal with him trying to throw a tantrum occasionally, but we always respond the same way. He has to cool down, and then we'll talk about what he wanted that we said no to.
The reason I think you might want to deal with the issues seperately, is that at almost 2 yrs old, Lo's are capable of understanding a great deal, and learning patience...at least a little bit anyway... This will help you out with other areas of her life if you deal with the tantrum seperately from a normal request to nurse. For instance, you might tell her that that isn't a nice way to treat mommie when she's angry, and that you can talk about nursing when she's calmed down and isn't screaming anymore. That way, even if you do decide to give in to nursing, you're not giving in to the tantrum, and she doesn't think that that's the way to get what she wants. It only takes a few times of being consistent to see alot of progress. I think when they're little they actually do it just to see what it takes to get you to give them what they want...(I know, not really, but it does feel like it sometimes...LOL)