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Thread: Has anybody weaned a 3 year old?

  1. #1
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    Default Has anybody weaned a 3 year old?

    I have no idea what to do. I've wanted to wean my son, who turned 3 in August, for quite some time. And it's actually bothered me to be nursing for several months. Now I'm getting resentful and angry about it. He nurses 4 times overnight. Going to sleep, twice overnight, and once in the early morning which often ends up being a huge production. It interferes with me getting up and getting ready for work/taking my son to school. If I don't get him back to sleep (which takes forever while he sleeps and nurses lightly, which means I can't fall back to sleep, which means I'm up for the day between 4-5 most days, which makes me want to scream), then we're all up. And if he isn't rested enough, he'll be pissed all morning. This morning, within minutes of me storming out of bed after an hour of light nursing (Grrrr) at 5:30 am, he just got up too and began throwing a tantrum for ice cream.

    If he just fussed a little or got a little upset while I comforted him, I would just gently say no but he's got a really powerful personality and will scream at the top of his lungs. I cannot let him be so angry and upset, so I haven't been able to do any sort of night weaning yet.

    I can't just let Daddy deal with it. We have a very small apartment that we rent that we share with 3 adults and 2 kids. His bed is in our room. If I'm just feet away...

    I'm at a complete loss. We talk about it during the day, about not nursing anymore, and he goes along with it. But the second he's ready to sleep, if I try to say no (gently), he'll just go into monster mode. It's incessant. It doesn't stop. And I can't be comfortable with that in my house, it's really upsetting to me.

    Please, does anybody have any peaceful suggestions on how to do this?
    To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves - there lies the great, singular power of self-respect. ~Joan Didion

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Has anybody weaned a 3 year old?

    sorry you are dealing with this s. I totally feel your pain, I'm weaning my 4 YO next month, I ended up having to force the issue with him. Not ideal but we've had a good run and I'm getting so resentful it's actually counter productive. I found myself avoiding him! We discussed a day and a weaning party and now we regulary discuss what things we will do (i.e. snuggle) when he wants to nurse but has been weaned. Good Luck.
    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
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Has anybody weaned a 3 year old?

    Thanks so much. It's comforting to know I'm not alone. I tried a couple of months ago to get him a special weaning cup and stuffie but when night fell, he didn't give a crap about either one of them. I'm not above bribery, but it doesn't work in this scenario! Sigh.
    To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves - there lies the great, singular power of self-respect. ~Joan Didion

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Has anybody weaned a 3 year old?

    The times that I have cut out nursing sessions with my son have all involved tears and/or anger. But I was really solid about each reduction, so I "just" sympathized with his distress. Not fun. Really. But I did have sympathy for his unhappiness and anger, and I WAS done, so I was able to sit with him and verbally reflect his feelings. We're cutting back again right now (he's a bit over 3.5), and it's much less understandable to him, in terms of timing, since we're going from once a day to once every other day, but we're slowly making it through. He sometimes gets really upset when I say no. Other times, he is totally fine with it. It's all a process. Are you trying to cut out all the sessions at once? Or just to nightwean? Or what? I wonder if you going away for a couple of days would help...
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Has anybody weaned a 3 year old?

    I'm so tempted to leave for a weekend. My husband knows how done I am, and he's willing to help, it's just so tough right now. We're all really exhausted from a demanding life. Yes, I'd like to nightwean all sessions. Even the morning one, or especially the morning one I should say. I guess I figured there would be some tears and anger, but the soft side of me is hoping for a magic answer that would avoid that. I guess I need to be as ready as I can be to get through it.
    To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves - there lies the great, singular power of self-respect. ~Joan Didion

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Has anybody weaned a 3 year old?

    NAK... my dd weaned right /before ds was born. I started telling her how much it hurt. I was so fed up I thought about going away or putting bitter herbs on my nipples. We had lots of tears and tantrums. Most of the times I was by myself so I could deal with it, but when DH was home was when I'd give in to the tanrtums and nurse.
    Proud mom of 2:
    DD 5/2008 nursed for 3 years and 3 months.
    DS born 8/2011 nursing like a champ

    Sorry for the short responses...always, always, always NAK or holding a baby

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Has anybody weaned a 3 year old?

    I (sort of) know your pain. I had to forcefully wean DS because I couldn't take it anymore at around 2.5-3yrs.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Has anybody weaned a 3 year old?

    I was also going to suggest that maybe you could arrange to be out of the house at bedtime and see what happens. That's what started the weaning process for my DS when he was 3... It was purely by accident, I just didn't make it home in time, but seeing that he still went to sleep even when I wasn't there to nurse was the first time I realized (and maybe he realized too!) that he didn't need that anymore.
    Karen
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Has anybody weaned a 3 year old?

    Oh yeah, being out of the room/house at bedtime can be the key to weaning! It's really how my first daughter weaned from her last feeding- she was overtired and threw a MASSIVE tantrum at bedtime. She was in such a state that she ended up forgetting to nurse. Her dad lay down with her and she went to sleep with just a back rub- and that's how it was ever since!
    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!"

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Has anybody weaned a 3 year old?

    Thanks everybody. We'll see how it goes.
    To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves - there lies the great, singular power of self-respect. ~Joan Didion

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