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Thread: Wits end!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Wits end!

    Hi all! My name is Amber and I've been nursing my DS, Max, for almost 18 months now. When he was born I said I would nurse for a year which was an accomplishment because my first son only nursed for a couple of weeks. I struggled for the first 6 months with Max because he was a bear in the hospital (9 pounds and my milk wasn't in, he wasn't happy) and listened to the docs and nurses tell me to formula feed. Which I did with the tube taped to my breast. Then he woke every two hours to nurse for the first 9 months and my DH, family and friends all blamed it on nursing. So a year hit and he was still nursing pretty regularly, now STTN so I said I would do it till 18 months. Even my pedi told me to stop nursing since he can no longer get any nutrition from me. WTF?? So, since he turned a year, he has mainly used nursing as a pacifier. Anytime he is upset, which is often because he is super high needs, he wants to nurse. He throws fits over EVERYTHING (coming in from outside, the dog walking away from him, having to go in the highchair) and his fits are loud, head banging, toy throwing, mommy hitting fits. So I nurse him and he calms down. Well everybody close to me is telling me I'm spoiling him, the nursing is the reason for the temper tantrums. He clings all over me and wants to nurse every single time he's upset. Even if he just nursed 10 minutes before that. Is it time to wean? Should I limit the nursing or just let him use it as his pacifier? DH and I are fighting because he keeps telling me 18 months is near but I just don't think DS is ready. Also would like to add that I'm a nurse and work weekend nights and DH gives him a bottle on those nights. He is a perfect angel with him and everybody else. Gets over his fits easily, distracts himself. So that's why they all think it's the nursing because he only acts so crazy with me. Sorry for the novel!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Wits end!

    Hi Amber. Congratulations for making it to 18 months.

    I imagine that it is just his personality. He will want mama to make it all right whether or not you are nursing. So if you stop nursing you will remove the easiest tool you have to settle him down. I nursed my older daughter until she was a bit over 2 years old and she was the same way you describe your son. I'm nursing my second daughter now, who is almost 13 months old and she is not that way at all.

    And pacifiers are modeled after the breast, not the other way around.

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Wits end!

    Oh, your post makes me so mad for you!

    You are doing an awesome job nursing your toddler, especially when you are combining it with working outside the home. Breastmilk continues to have immense nutritional and immunological benefits no matter how long you nurse. It does not lose all it's nutrition on day 365 of your baby's life. (I would have been sooo tempted to squirt the doc in the eye and say "Look, it's milk, not water! Ha ha ha!") In addition to the nutritional and immunological benefits, breastfeeding is a terrific mothering tool. Temper tantrums and demanding behavior are a fact of life with a toddler, no matter what. Weaning or limiting nursing isn't going to make those fits go away, it's just going to take away a really useful tool for dealing with them. It's not surprising that your baby behaves one way with you and another way with dad or a sitter. That's very typical with all toddlers- they have very different relationships with the people around them. That's not to say it's not frustrating, or that nursing isn't woven into your baby's behavior. Of course he seeks the breast when he needs to get out of a tantrum: he knows that you have it, and he sees no reason why you shouldn't comfort him in the most effective and pleasant way possible. With dad or a sitter, there's no point in going after the breast because dad just doesn't have what it takes!

    Here are some resources that may help you explain to the people in your life why nursing a toddler is worthwhile:
    http://aappolicy.aappublications.org...rics;115/2/496 in particular, not the following: "Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother, especially in delaying return of fertility (thereby promoting optimal intervals between births)...There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer". I suggest giving your pediatrician a copy of this- seems like he missed a memo!
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; February 8th, 2012 at 09:32 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Wits end!

    with personality. My first was very high strung as a toddler, and he isn't much easier now but I breastfed his brothers too...and not a single one was like that at that age again. My fourth is bottlefed by necessity, and he is more like the oldest than I would like to contemplate

    Breastfeeding is the one thing that everyone blames because it's the one thing nobody else can control but the people in that relationship: mom and baby.
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Wits end!

    I read somewher, not sure where now, that children will always display stronger tantrums around their primary caregiver. This is because they feel most comfortable around that person so they have no fear to display how they truly feel because they know that person can provide the emotional support to calm them completely. My kids are 17 months and 3 years. I am also a RN that works weekend days and everytime I get home the kids run to me and become very whiny. My parents, in-laws and even husband always say they were good and are surprised that they lash out right away. It's almost like they bottle up extra emotions and can release it when they see me because they know they will get full relief. My daughter (3yrs) is very high need and demanding. My son (17 months) has moments but for the most part is very mellow. I am still nursing my son. My daughter was weaned at 14 months. Her demanding tantrums escalated to an amazing level by the time she was 18 months! 2 years was hell. She had lost her comfort tool perhaps. If I were you I would not wean your son. He will most likely be just as dramatic or maybe worse around you. For my demanding one it seemed that sometime before she turned 2.5 she settled into a wonderful little girl. She can still turn at the flip of a switch but for the most part she is much easier now that she can talk and communicate. Hang in there it gets better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Wits end!

    I agree with everyone. And I have your child. My son is also 17 months old and I get most of the tantrums. Think about it this way. Who are you most comfortable to melt down with? When you are really upset and need a good cry, do you grab the checkout lady at the grocery store or go and look for your husband or best friend? You are your child's whole life right now. You are his source of comfort, nutrition, safety. And unfortunately his source of tension release. But none of that has to do with nursing. And why would you give up the best tool you have? Your instincts are right. 18 months is an arbitrary number. Each child is so different and has different needs. Obviously your child still needs to nurse. So tell the people around you it's none of their business. It's not like you are asking them to do it.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

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