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Thread: Mom ready to wean but 2 1/2 year old is not :/

  1. #1

    Default Mom ready to wean but 2 1/2 year old is not :/

    My 2 1/2 year old shows no signs of being ready to wean but I don't think I can take much more. I am proud of how long we have made it, but I have been ready to stop for quite some time. We are currently living in South Korea, but will be moving back to the States at the beginning of February and I would ideally like to be done before then. I guess I don't know where to start since she shows no interest and I'm also concerned about the timing because I don't want to wean her too close to our move in a few months and cause her a lot of stress all at once. Breastfeeding has been a great thing for us both but as she gets older the whole process is uncomfortable. She leaves teeth marks on my nipples when she nurses now, she demands it when I'm trying to cook or clean or get something else accomplished, and the absolute worst part of it at this point is her asking for "boobie" out in public. It's mortifying, especially around my friends who have no clue that I'm still breastfeeding! She nurses multiple times a day and eats food very poorly. She is unwilling to try foods and will only eat approx. ten different foods. I can't help but feel like breastfeeding contributes to her unwillingness to eat and try new foods. It's also very apparent that she uses nursing as a passifier. If I'm sitting and she can get to me she wants to nurse and she will often just "hang out" on my boob without doing much feeding. I find myself getting resentful that I literally can't sit anywhere without her asking for "boobie!" The only positive that I see at this point is that she is rarely sick, though that is definitely a huge benefit. I hate to take something away from her that is so comforting but I'm going crazy. Any help or guidance would be much appreciated! I don't even know where to start!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mom ready to wean but 2 1/2 year old is not :/

    Sorry you're having a tough time! Have you tried setting limits at all? And sticking to those limits? Does she nurse at night? I'm not sure that the nursing and the food pickiness are correlated, but they might be.

    When I weaned Lilah, at 2 years old, I picked a block of time and decided we wouldn't nurse then. Like 10 am - 12 pm. Then anytime she wanted to nurse during that time I offered food or distracted her with an activity. Or we went outside to play. Then after a few days or a week, I can't remember - I extended that time. I managed to get it down to nursing first thing in the morning, then at nap time or when I got home from work. My husband started doing her bedtime routine at 20 months, so that was the first nursing session that we dropped. Then I phased out the first thing in the morning and eventually that final once per day nursing.

    If you are ready and she is not - there will be tears. But if you are really ready and feel that you do not want to continue nursing - then the tears are ok.

    She is also at an age where you can talk to her about how we don't nurse unless we are at home. And maybe you can convince her to find a different word for nursing. Perhaps you can limit the nursing and find some balance that works for both of you.
    Tracie

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Mom ready to wean but 2 1/2 year old is not :/

    When toddler nursing is getting annoying, limits are your friend!!! Limits can be things like no nursing in public. Or no nursing in between wake-up and nap. Or my personal favorite: "You can nurse until I count to 5, and then you need to get down and play". I find that I can retain my enthusiasm for nursing as long as I can dictate the terms, YKWIM? And setting limits is a really good first step towards complete weaning, so it's not like I'm saying that you should just keep going until your baby self-weans.

    One reason I continue to nurse my 2.5 year-old is that while I frequently find her demand and her nursing style annoying, nursing her is often faster and less annoying than what I might have to do otherwise. Like when she has bumped her head and is SCREAMING at the top of her lungs in a restaurant. Or when she is exhausted and needs to go to bed, but we're in a strange place and she won't calm down. That sort of thing is why I would encourage you to consider nursing a little longer, at least until you're through this huge move you're about to make! Not saying that you SHOULD, mind you, just that there are advantages to continuing on.
    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!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mom ready to wean but 2 1/2 year old is not :/

    I would not be opposed to continuing BF if it was say, only on waking and before bed (and of course if sick or injured). I am HORRIBLE at limit setting clearly! I guess I've always fed on demand, but now it's at the detriment of my own sanity! It's been hard living here. We are as far away from friends and family as we could possibly be and my husband works really long hours here with the military. We also live in an area that is mostly farmland so there is not much to do other than the few toddler friendly activities that have on post and our weekly play dates. I guess why I'm sharing all this is because my daughter and I are home alone most of the day which makes distractions from BF very difficult! When we get back to the States I anticipate things to be very different though. We will be living in our hometown with lots of friends and family and wonderful things to do and see! I also hope to go back to work part-time and introduce my daughter to mothers day out or something similar. Anyway, guess I'm an all-or-nothing kind of thinker and thought I would either wean or not.....I hadn't really thought about just getting down to once or twice a day. Do you think that would be possible under my kinda difficult circumstances? I think I'd be willing to continue a bit longer if I wasn't used as a pacifier all day long! Also do you you think it's possible to train her to call it something else? I'm usually pretty good at playing the "boobie" thing off but it can be pretty embarrasing! Thank you ladies so much for these suggestions! It really is empowering to have others know what you are going through

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mom ready to wean but 2 1/2 year old is not :/

    I agree with the people above and what they said. I did limits, with both my daughters who I nursed 2 1/2 years each (then I stopped due to milk drying up during pregnancy...I am not sure when I would have quit otherwise). I used to do distraction (something that she wanted...usually time with me...like I would say "how about let's read a book" and then go get one and snuggle on the couch and read it etc. and for us sometimes food and water in a sippy worked. I did find that I had to be willing to do those things and set those limits. I also did no public nursing after about 1 1/2 or so, except certain exceptions.

    As I set limits I noticed that my toddler would naturally want to nurse less. I think that for us, the biggest point was that she did it because she was bored and/or wanted to connect with me, and nursing was the easiest way for her (and sometimes me) to do that. But its not always the best way and there are other options.

    I also did the "count to 10" nursings.

    I agree with the above poster who commented that you might actually want to consider keeping going (with some limits) until after you move because its upsetting enough to move and you could probably really use nursing as a "tool in your toolbox" during difficult times in the moving process.

    But it does sound like its not working for you as it is, so if its not working, change it! You don't have to keep nursing on demand as a toddler, that advice really I think comes from nursing a baby who really truly NEEDS the nutrition but a toddler can eat other foods and do other activities and it sounds like your toddler isn't nursing much for nutrition anyways. NOT that nursing for other reasons is not beneficial (closeness, health wise, etc) but its also not the ONLY thing she could be doing when she wants to connect with you, which I think may be her reason for doing it so much.

    I do think it would be possible to get her down to a few nursings a day but it is a gradual thing and you will have to find ways to distract like with interesting books, outside time (even if there seems to be nothing to do, toddlers are fascinated by all sorts of things like leaves and grass and nature...look around and see things again and I'm sure you'll find all sorts of things for her to look at like nests in a tree or rocks to collect or bugs in the dirt or different clouds or shapes of leaves...it goes on and on)

    As for training her to call it something else, I would try, each time she calls it that I would say no, we call it ____ (whatever word is comfortable for you) and then only let her nurse when she does not say the "boobie" word. But that's just my take on it. I wonder how it would go in person. The other thing to keep in mind is that other people might not hear the word as clearly as you as 2 1/2 year olds don't always come across that clear and it might not occur to others she is saying it anyways since they might not even consider she is nursing.

    Nursing has to work for both people. There will be tears if you stop altogether or if you set limits she does not want but if done lovingly and slowly I don't think its going to harm her long term. Resenting her while she continues to nurse but you not wanting to do it is not a nice feeling nor is it the best for your child to feel that resentment (in my case I end up feeling angry if I am resentful).

    I hope that helps some.
    Mommy to 3 beautiful girls!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mom ready to wean but 2 1/2 year old is not :/

    I think that in order to avoid having her ask out in public one of my "hard limits" was "We only do that at home." Unless he fell of the monkey bars or Face planted off the slide. And then from there it went from "We only do that at home "to we only do that in bed." So between 2-3 we eliminate MOST of the boredom nursing. And you actually are in a country that is VERY VERY breastfeeding supportive. Do you get off base much? Explore at all? Because ANY kind of outing really helps enforce the "We only do that at home" rule. And even long walks along IS a great distraction technique.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mom ready to wean but 2 1/2 year old is not :/

    Setting limits with a strong-willed toddler is HARD! Particularly when you're in a low-distraction environment. So don't feel like you're "horrible" at limit setting. Just resolve to work harder to set and keep those limits. I am that the more you can get out of the house- even if it's just to the grocery store or for a walk- the easier it's going to be to limit nursing. Abiding any customary nursing locations can also help- often toddlers will be triggered to nurse when they see you sitting down in the place where they are usually nursed.

    I think Nola gave good advice about how to retrain your child to use a different word than "boobie". I just want to put it out there that if you decide to have more kids, find a nursing word that is a little less embarrassing to you, and use it from the beginning. It's usually easier to train them to use the "right" word from the start instead of having to retrain them later!
    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!"

  8. #8

    Default Re: Mom ready to wean but 2 1/2 year old is not :/

    Haha! Yes, how she picked up "boobie" I'll never know! I refer to them as "boobs" and shortly after she started talking one day she patted my chest and said "boobie?". Guess I should have nipped it in the bud then! I haven't come up with a name replacement yet, but we will work on calling it something else. I think I will also take all the suggestions about settings limits and distraction. I think that will help my feelings of resentment if I feel like I have a little more control over the nursing. Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I'm definitely feeling like I can handle this better now!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Mom ready to wean but 2 1/2 year old is not :/

    My daughter still says nums or nummies and nobody knows what it means unless I've told them. Then they think it's a snack or something or it even sounds enough like mommy nobody would guess she's asking to nurse.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mom ready to wean but 2 1/2 year old is not :/

    Good I am glad you feel you can handle it better now! That is wonderful! Come back if you need more support.
    Mommy to 3 beautiful girls!

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