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Thread: can he he addicted to nursing? mentally? physically?

  1. #1

    Default can he he addicted to nursing? mentally? physically?

    I have an almost 3 year old son that is still nursing. I work full time and he drinks water, juice , tea at the sitter's. Immediately when we get home after work he wants to nurse before I can start dinner and I enjoy the snuggle time after being away for 9 hours. He sleeps in bed with my husband and I and nurses before he rolls over and goes to sleep. I honestly couldn't tell you how many times he.nurses in a night, although I think it isn't until about 4 am that he wakes up and nurses for a few minutes and then falls back asleep. He eats fairly well and does not need the extra calories at this time, he weighs about 50 lbs and is 3 ft 3 inches tall....on my days off it is all he wants to do all day long. He demands that I sit on the couch or lay on the bed with him so that he can have milk. I try to play games with him or play with his kitchen, army guys, etc but after a few minutes he is crying for milk again. I get so frustrated sometimes because I want us to have quality time together, not just nursing, and I have laundry and dishes to do, too. I tried to deny him an hour ago and he cried and carried on telling me that I was making him sad..that was devastating to me because one of the main reasons that nursing has been so important to me is because of the bond we have, the sense of security that he has. I never want to make him sad. I just thought he would have begun to wean himself by now. I need help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    421

    Default Re: can he he addicted to nursing? mentally? physically?

    Hey there, I totally sympathize with what you're going through. I don't think your little guy is addicted or anything, but it sounds like he really needs to be close to you at this time. Has he always nursed this much or have his demands recently increased? Sometimes kids just go through these needy, insecure phases, and at the time you feel like you're going a little crazy, but then a few months later, things ease up.

    I think your LO is old enough to handle some limits, though. You could choose set times to nurse, explain it to him, and then stick to the schedule. Maybe at the beginning, try to get out of the house during the times you'd rather not nurse. I know my DD went through a stage where I could not sit down without her diving at my breasts, and so I was constantly rushing about, trying to keep busy and moving. Totally exhausting . But you do what you gotta do.

    Try not to feel guilty (even though he told you you're making him sad--sheesh, these kids!). Learning about boundaries and respecting your feelings are great lessons, and he'll discover that there are other ways to get comfort and security from mom, besides at the breast. Hang in there: I did find 2 1/2 to 3 years old to be a really challenging time.

  3. #3

    Default Re: can he he addicted to nursing? mentally? physically?

    Thanks so much for the encouragement...I am the only person I know that has breastfed past one year. I wouldnt change a thing and if we have another baby I would do it all over again. Sometimes j just feel very alone in my guilt and frustration, because other people just advise to "just quit, tell him no" they completely miss the whole point of why I did it in the first place. I think its a good idea to get out of the house if I'm feeling too antsy to just sit and nurse and I can do my housework while he's napping. I wish I would have joined this site years ago instead of feeling like I'm alone in this!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,627

    Default Re: can he he addicted to nursing? mentally? physically?

    I have a 38 mo old who just delatched after a quick nursing session. She loves to nurse but I have set quite a few limits, I only nurse for pretty short duration (definitely less than a minute because it's uncomfortable/mildly painful for me). I don't nurse during the night, we night weaned her almost a year ago when I really needed the sleep. Set limits, expect some crying and protesting and then tell him when he can nurse next, like, "no nursing right now, but you can nurse after nap" or whatever.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,142

    Default Re: can he he addicted to nursing? mentally? physically?

    OMG, I can just imagine the big puppy-dog eyes welling over with tears, and the trembling lower lip as he says "Oh, you're making me soooo saaaaadddd...." Kids are so ingenious when it comes to getting their parents to do what they want!

    I am that this is not an addiction issue, but a limits issue. I think the advice to get out of the house more is really excellent. I also want to suggest using a kitchen timer, and doing things like saying "You can nurse in 5 minutes" (to start, and then move it to 10, 20, 30, etc.), "as soon as the clock goes beep-beep-beep." Kids often get a real charge out of watching the clock and then notifying you when time has elapsed. And just getting your LO in the habit of waiting a few minutes before nursing could be the first step to going longer stretches between nursing sessions.
    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!"

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