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Thread: Weaning a strong-willed child with a deadline

  1. #1
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    Default Weaning a strong-willed child with a deadline

    I don't know that I really have a question, I just kind of want to vent. I am going to have to go to a 6 week class soon, probably in October in Alabama. I really need to wean Levi by then, maybe not completely, but I need to cut out most of his nursing sessions. I am willing to pump a couple times a day when I'm there, and I might still nurse him when I get back if he still wants to.

    The problem is he still nurses practically every hour of the day, and a few times at night. It doesn't help that we've been moving and I have been available 24/7 for nursing. He is eating little in the way of solids too.

    I don't even know where to start with weaning him. I think we're going to start with night weaning when we move into our new place. I am going to sleep in our spare bedroom and DH is going to sleep with him. DH seems to think that as long as I am not in the room that he will be able to comfort him back to sleep if he wakes up. I have my doubts. Maybe he's right though.

    As far as cutting out other sessions I have already started to say no to him when he seems like he is nursing out of boredom but it doesn't go well. It ends up being a complete fit. It doesn't help that we are living in a hotel room, so I think he's bored a lot.

    I have very mixed feelings about weaning him. On one hand, I feel bad about having to end it this way. I know he is not going to be happy. At the same time, I am feeling DONE nursing him 20 times a day, or what seems like it. I don't think I would feel like that if he were nursing 4 or even 6 or even 8 times a day, but it's just too much right now.

    Beth

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

    Do you have extra milk? Consider donating!
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    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Weaning a strong-willed child with a deadline

    That is such a hard position to be in! What has helped with getting my DD to cut back is letting her know when she CAN nurse. Before if I would just say no, she'd have a fit, but once I started saying "yes, when it's naptime/bedtime/whatever then we'll nurse" she started getting better about it. It was still a process, but we did eventually make progress that way. But then she's 2 years older, so I don't know how well that would work with Levi. I'm sure she'd still gladly nurse the day away watching cartoons if I'd let her, so I can understand where you're coming from. Not much advice, just tons of hugs and hope you're able to scale back as peacefully as possible for all involved!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Weaning a strong-willed child with a deadline

    I hear you momma! When toddlers nurse out of boredom their sucking pattern does not release prolactin into mom's blood stream . So the hormonal payoff for you is not present.
    Nursing feels more like an imposition and less like a loving way to nurture.
    The more alternatives readily available to your son like books, puzzles, play do etc... that involve your input and attention the less fuss he'll make when a nursing session is delayed. However if no alternatives will quench his desire, then he is not quite ready to wean.
    But October is still a long ways off and he might wean on his own by then.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Weaning a strong-willed child with a deadline

    Well I have two strong willed children. One weaned after my milk ran out but still get three bottles a day of milk and a couple of water so for all intents and purposes would not be. Cutting him down to where we are now was HARD. A lot of distraction and being out and about really helped DD is not weaned but has been cutting back - again busyness and distraction as well as some tantrums when I am just touched out...
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Weaning a strong-willed child with a deadline

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*esthervegan View Post
    However if no alternatives will quench his desire, then he is not quite ready to wean.
    But October is still a long ways off and he might wean on his own by then.
    Well, that's the thing, he isn't ready to wean, but my point is that he has to. I don't have a choice about this class and the timing. And I don't see him going from nursing 15+ times a day to weaning in 60 days on his own. October is right around the corner. I need to have a plan now, I can't afford to just hope he's done by then.

    S, I think we do need to just keep busy. I think that will be a lot easier once we move into our apartment. We are going to put the kids in some swimming lessons and gymnastics and Levi will be in hourly daycare on some days so DH can unpack the house. We have a pool at our apartment where we will be staying, and there are nice playgrounds and parks, so I am hoping the distraction will help. We have also been spending more time in the room because of the heat the last few days.
    Beth

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

    Do you have extra milk? Consider donating!
    http://www.hmbana.org/:

    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Weaning a strong-willed child with a deadline

    Good luck. I agree with telling him when he can nurse and prolonging time between feedings, it's the only way I have sorta kept myself sane this whole time.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Weaning a strong-willed child with a deadline

    I think I have a huge supply at the moment. I am actually worried that I might have to pump if/when I return to work for a full day if I don't nurse him during lunch. When I have been going to work in the morning for 4-5 hours I feel full and like I might even leak! I think once I start working a full day I might have to keep my pump in the car just in case to start out with.

    I think that might be another part of my weaning plan, to just be gone 8-9 hours for work and not come home for lunch. In California I was coming home for lunch every day and he was only going 5 hours at most without nursing. Luckily DH has had to get Levi down for his nap since I went back to work when he was a tiny baby.
    Beth

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

    Do you have extra milk? Consider donating!
    http://www.hmbana.org/:

    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Weaning a strong-willed child with a deadline

    I don't have anything to add beyond "scheduling" nursing, so that he knows that before and after sleeps, or with meals, or whatever part of the day you choose is ALWAYS the time that nursing is available. It really helped us cut down our frequency. But I wanted to offer you about feeling forced to wean before you and he are ready.
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Weaning a strong-willed child with a deadline

    I think your DH is right. I think nightweaning goes best when you leave the room and they are allowed to co-sleep with the other parent.Because that way they can't smell the milk, there should be no expectation to nurse (same as if you weren't home) and the child doesn't have to deal with the added trauma of sleeping alone.

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Weaning a strong-willed child with a deadline

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    I think your DH is right. I think nightweaning goes best when you leave the room and they are allowed to co-sleep with the other parent.Because that way they can't smell the milk, there should be no expectation to nurse (same as if you weren't home) and the child doesn't have to deal with the added trauma of sleeping alone.
    Yeah, I think it either will go wonderfully, or very badly. I think it does help a bit that he is used to DH as a caregiver. I know for sure he is NOT ready to sleep on his own. He'll stay with us in bed for awhile (maybe another 6 months) and then the plan is to move him in with big brother. He also was STTN before his canines started coming in so maybe he will start again.
    Beth

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

    Do you have extra milk? Consider donating!
    http://www.hmbana.org/:

    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

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