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Thread: I do not enjoy nursing my 33 mo

  1. #1
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    Default I do not enjoy nursing my 33 mo

    I am tandem nursing my toddler and a 3mo baby. Hr was brain once a day through most of the pregnant because it was so painful for me. I was naïvely surprised when he wanted to nurse often after the baby was born. He now wants to nurse about 5x throughout the day. We have worked on some boundaries as far as how long he nurses each time and sometimes when it it not his 'regular' time to nurse he will accept a snack or cup of milk instead. It also irritates me how insistent he is on touching my breast while he nurses. I feel very sensitive and we try to come up with alternatives.

    Sometimes this all leads to a negative experience for both of us. While I have tried to persevere through the baby's early months i am beginning to think it may be better to try to wean because of my negative feelings. If I try to deter him, he will insist and will demand 'mommy milk' until I give in. I try to offer other activities and spend most of my day just playing with him because he won't 'let' me do anything else. I had to shut myself in the bathroom just to post this and feel very trapped by this situation.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: I do not enjoy nursing my 33 mo

    How many time a day is he nursing now? Can we begin to limit while using language? About him being a big boy and not needing it because he can eat BIG BOY Food and the baby can not? While also protecting or preserving a couple times a day at least for now since his increased desire to nurse it probably about feeling like someone just stole him mom?

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3

    Default Re: I do not enjoy nursing my 33 mo

    I truly believe that when nursing a toddler or older child has become unpleasant for the mom that is a good time to think seriously about weaning. However it sounds like it's not always a struggle just some of the time -so certainly you could continue to limit nursing sessions but perhaps avoid weaning entirely if neither of you are ready for that yet. You're down to five a day already which is not that much maybe if you got down to three a day that would work for you? Two A day?

    How is your son with other limits? I mean no -or almost to no-two-year-old is great with limits which is why distraction and redirection need to be used a lot for all sorts of discipline areas but is his particular insistence on his own way only around nursing times? What strategies do you use for other areas where you have to limit?
    I think that If you're going to be firm about not nursing at a particular time then unhappily you have to be firm about it which can be very very difficult. I'll give an example from my own children's toddlerhood -I refused to ever buy my children little toys or candy at point-of-purchase in the store. Sometimes it was really really really hard and I had to deal with a massive public tantrum
    rather than give in and buy them the little trinket. However this was a limit that I had set and I think consistency helps in those cases.
    So for nursing perhaps you could pick three times a day -bedtime wake up and naptime tends to work for lots of moms but you should pick whatever works for you -and explain to your son when both of you are calm and feeling good about each other that from now on, those are the times he may nurse and not at any other time. You may have to explain this quite a few times. When I set such a limit with my then three-year-old, the only time I would make an exception is if he had been hurt either emotionally or physically.

    Another strategy for bringing about weaning in a gradual manner would be to limit how long your son can nurse. One strategy that worked well for me was to tell my son he could nurse for the amount of time it took me to sing a short song and then I let him pick between two songs. or I would say for as long as it takes me to count to 10 and he could choose what I counted -dinosaurs or trains etc. Or I would let him choose the number. 10 or 20. Surprisingly he would sometimes pick five!
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; February 25th, 2013 at 03:57 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I do not enjoy nursing my 33 mo

    I am not saying it's not time to think about weaning. It may be. I am just saying that at this particular point BECAUSE of the major transition and new baby already making life hard, rather than cutting him off completely or quickly, it would probably be less hurtful for you to set hard limits about 2-3times a day (up, down and nap?) and really GIVE HIM that time for now so he has some ME time with you (that may not really be there otherwise right now) and then really really talk weaning up. Because ultimately even if you choose motherled weaning I am a huge fan of letting the little person in the relationship feel like they are part of the decision making process. And like they walked away on their own. Even if they needed nudging or help. So nudge away! But with the empathy of how small 33 months really is. And how hard it is to have a sibling come home and steal your thunder and your parents. Because it is hard.

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5

    Default Re: I do not enjoy nursing my 33 mo

    I totally agree with you djsmom. In fact I attempted to edit my post and ended up with the double post and then had to delete and run yada yada..

    What I wanted to change was exactly what you are saying...where I said 'those are the times he may nurse and not at any other time' I wanted to change to 'make those his special times he will always be welcomed to nurse.' It is certainly true that it is hard on little ones when new siblings arrive, even my really big boy 6 year old is having difficulty with having a new baby sister.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I do not enjoy nursing my 33 mo

    We often talk up how he gets to eat 'big boy' food while the baby is too little. Since he usually wants to nurse around snack times (nap time is the other besides waking up and going to bed) I try to get him to eat something first. I started to add a little chocolate milk to his cup of milk to get him interested in that again. And I have always tried to direct him to other activities while the baby is nursing or asleep in his carrier, etc. Still he is insistent and usually due to lack of sleep I have difficulty coming up with other ideas of how to redirect him and I just get worn out. Sometime he will accept that its not his turn or it isn't time to nurse...but not usually during one of those 5x a day. As far as other limit setting I don't use a lot of no's but when I do we sometime can negotiate an alternative and he often accepts consequences when he is clear about the reason.

    I think I would like to nurse only in the am and pm but I'm afraid to try this unless I can be really firm about it. I believe that if I can be reliable about about this it might actually reassure him somewhat and that I could then be more emotionally reliable for him. I'm just not sure how to approach this, I tend to get into over-explaining things and totally lose him

  7. #7
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    Default Re: I do not enjoy nursing my 33 mo

    Oops double posted after. My first try got deleted
    Last edited by @llli*mommallama; February 26th, 2013 at 02:36 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: I do not enjoy nursing my 33 mo

    It's really hard, but I think really important to keep limits very simple. Nursing times are when sun comes up, at nap, and at bedtime. Those are your special times. If he asks why, you can say that those are the times that big boys nurse. In your house, if that is the limit you have set, then that IS why. Yes, it is kind of like saying 'because I said so.' But how can you truly explain weaning and a mothers needs and a babies needs to a two year old? You cannot, and even if you could, all those feelings you have about it would be burdensome to a child.

    personally I also did not find comparisons between siblings helpful when setting limits while tandem nursing. I tried to keep baby out of it, and make any limits about nursing about the older child only, if that makes sense.

    But say he has five times he wants to nurse, rather than 2. Could you live with that for a bit, if they were regular times? limits are easier to set if they are relevent to what the child is doing already. You could set those times as the limit, for now, and then slowly cut out one session at a time maybe, as both you and your son get more used to setting limits.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: I do not enjoy nursing my 33 mo

    If your 33 month old is still napping, I think you need to still do naptime too. Because you don't want to loose naptime!! If he isn't napping then OK. But I really think that the naptime nursing really is handled much better when the nap itself disappears. When are the other two times a day he is insisting on feeding?

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #10
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    Default Re: I do not enjoy nursing my 33 mo

    The LLL book Mothering Your Nursing Toddler has lots of great ideas.

    Just here to say that yes nursing an older child is hard and I didn't enjoy it sometimes, either! I tri-andum nursed my three-year-old twins and a newborn until the twins' fourth birthday when he was 3.5 months. I was glad that when we did wean that it happened on good terms (it was parent-led but children-accepted) and we all have fond memories.

    Ideas I got from Mothering Your Nursing Toddler and How Weaning Happens really helped make it (continuing nursing and then weaning) a good experience, even though there were some hard times.

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