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Thread: Setting Limits

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    166

    Default Setting Limits

    I have a 19 month old. Lately, he has not been very nice about his nursing, constantly kicking and scratching and pinching as well as demanding to nurse every hour or so, and if he does not get it, he throws a horrible fit every time, with screaming off the top of his lungs and clawing at me and throwing things. Its not pretty...
    So, how does one set limits and teach a toddler like this nursing manners?

    We just had a horror episode at home - yesterday, while nursing, he kicked me so hard that he gave me a black eye. So, today, as I was nursing him, I told him - no kicking, or I am taking the boob away. He tried to kick me as hard as he could at that. So, I unlatched him told him that if he kicks there will be no milk, and put him in his crib.

    He screamed there, horribly, for 5 minutes, before I sent my husband in to deal with him. I knew that giving in at this would be a huge mistake. So, with my husband trying to comfort him (and he is usually very good), my son screamed and kicked and hit for over an hour. I felt like the worst mother in the world during it, but I figured if I give in, it would just show him that tantrums will get him everything he wants. He is not sick, not hungry - it was just me nursing him down for a nap after a huge lunch he had, not uncomfortable, none of that.

    What can I do???? I don't think I can handle another tantrum like this, on the other hand, this behavior really has to stop, its horrible.

    Advice??? Please????

    He is so bad, indeed, that I am no longer planning on having a second child as I was planning before....
    First time mommy to a wonderful baby boy, Kai, 3/26/2010
    Birth Weight: 7lb 8oz
    1 month: 9lb 6oz
    3 months: 13lb 10oz
    6 months: 17lb 1oz
    9 months: 19lb 13oz
    12 months: 21lb

    We are , love to , cloth diapering that and taking him with us everywhere.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4,007

    Default Re: Setting Limits

    you're right, consistency is the key

    It's okay to set limits and create good nursing manners/habits. At that age I found that distraction worked well, but every child is different. So, for example, if he pinched me (which was his thing) I would say something like: "We don't nurse if you're pinching" and break the latch. I would then set him up with a toy or something fun. Lather, rinse, repeat. I found at that age stopping the nursing session was punishment enough, ya know?
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: Setting Limits

    I agree - consistency and repetition. You can't let your child hurt you while nursing (by the way, that black eye! ). If he kicks, nursing stops.

    The hard part is, this will probably result in some tantrums. Some children REALLY tantrum. They are very difficult to comfort. It's really hard, because if you're not as stubborn as they are, they will win every battle! (So choose your battles carefully!) I would probably say, no kicking means no boob. You hurt me, you go in your room. But that's just me, everyone is different. I have a feeling that if you are consistant about this for a week or so, things will be much better.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,139

    Default Re: Setting Limits

    Excellent advice from the PPs. I think JoMo nailed it when she said that some kids really tantrum. It's not necessarily that you are doing something wrong or that your child is weird- it's just that bad tantrums are normal. Not fun, certainly embarrassing when they happen in public- but nevertheless normal.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    a little village with some trees, people, and a canal in it, Derbyshire, England
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Setting Limits

    yes, i think great advice from pp. Be consistent, firm, and fair. My son has had to have limits as he was raunging round all over the place, and it has done wonders i think for helping with teaching manners.

    I found reading What Every Parent Needs to Know: the Science of Parenting (I think that was the sub-title) very helpful, as it described different kinds of tantrums and what is happening within the child's system. A lot of old advice says to just ignore tantrums, but this catch all method is far from the best strategy in some circumstances. I found this book helped me be much more empathetic.

    Best of luck mama
    Diane

    Mummy to Edward 24 months and still nursing and with no2 !l

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: Setting Limits

    I have also found The Happiest Toddler On the Block to be helpful for handling tantrums in an empathetic way that doesn't make the problem even worse. I often do "ignore" (or do a brief time out, though I avoid the crib because I want that to be a positive place for sleep) for a few moments, and then I try to help my child calm down once the very worst is over. I don't think there's one right way. It's hard.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Setting Limits

    I've had luck with modeling what I want James to do when he's that unhappy. I say James, I know you are (emotion) you need to calm down if you want _________. Then I start deep breathing, and loudly. I keep going until he starts to do it, and then when he is calm, we can try again. I had no idea of the scope of impact it would have on his life. He uses this technique on his own, when he feels like he is going to get out of control, with no prompting of my own. He is a much happier child. My DH and I have very strong emotions, and I wish to this day I had better coping techniques as a child. No one likes to feel totally out of control. Babies need help to learn what to do with those emotions, and it will be a lesson that lasts a lifetime.
    Carmen-Noel mum to James born naturally 8/28/2010.
    Mommy's little pumpkin head


    We love our amber necklace from @llli*expat-mum. PM her for the most beautiful effective teething aide we've found!

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