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Thread: I'm done, but she isn't

  1. #1

    Default I'm done, but she isn't

    My DD just turned three yesterday, and she's still nursing. A lot. She nurses first thing in the morning (we co-sleep), and usually around lunchtime she'll nurse as well. She used to nap then, so a part of me wanted to keep that nursing session, on the off chance that she'd drift off to sleep (which happens rarely). She usually nurses again to sleep in the late afternoon, and then again to sleep at night.

    We've coslept from the beginning, and I've transitioned her over to her own bed. She sleeps mostly thru the night now.

    But I'm TIRED of nursing. I've been nursing or pregnant for seven and half years now, and I'm ready to be done. I nursed my DS until he was close to four, and I was midway thru my pregnancy with her.

    I can't cut her off cold turkey, I know that. And truly, I've got no desire to have it be a traumatic experience, but I think my supply is dwindling. I don't feel a let down anymore, but it does start to get fairly painful if she nurses for too long, which leads me to believe that the milk just isn't there anymore. I'm hoping for guidelines and help - I was six months pregnant with my DD when my son weaned, and I'm sure that pregnancy played into his weaning. Plus we were able to have my DH take over putting him to bed, which eliminated the nursing to sleep component. My DH is working nights now, so that's not an option.
    Melissa
    mom to Jessica (2/7/03 - nursed eight months)
    Samuel (7/6/06 - nursed three and half years) and
    Julianna (4/29/10 - still happily nursing)

    http://www.melissaannecohen.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,368

    Default Re: I'm done, but she isn't

    I have found that the easiest place to start the weaning process is with limits on the length of a nursing session. For me, that means saying "You can nurse until I sing 'Twinkle Twinkle' and then you're done" or "You can nurse until I count to 10, and then you're done".

    You should feel free to drop any sessions that aren't working for you. I personally would find the middle-of-the-night sessions to be the worst. Some things that can help with night-weaning:
    - Talk. Before bed, explain to your LO that "Sun goes down. Everyone goes to sleep. Mama sleeps, you sleep, and (insert your nursing word here) sleeps. Everyone sleeps all night long. In the morning, the sun comes up and we'll nurse again." If your kid wakes at night and wants to nurse, remind her of what you already told her. In the morning, reinforce the lesson "The sun is up! Everyone slept all night long. Now it's time to nurse!"
    - Keep a sippy of water available for nighttime wake-ups. A night-waking child may be genuinely thirsty.
    - Wear restrictive nighttime clothing. The harder it is for your kid to get her hands on your goodies, the more likely it is that she'll give up.
    - If you decide to night-wean, be consistent in your decision. Weaning usually happens faster and easier if you're not giving in one night but not the next.
    - Expect to get even less sleep while you night-wean! A child who is attached to night-nursing often does not give up without a fight.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: I'm done, but she isn't

    Yeah when I was nursing my 3 year old I would STOP when it hurt. And at that age we could certainly discuss my pain. Also if you KNOW there is going to be no nap after lunch I would DROP that session. Is your child going to go to preschool? That was how we eliminated the morning session. There was NO TIME on the mornings we went to preschool.

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    Default Re: I'm done, but she isn't

    having dramatically and non-traumatically decreased my now-23 month old's nursing over the last 3 months (while pregnant) i totally agree with mommal and djs.mom - stop the middle of night nursings, stop the afternoon nursing if there's no nap, limit the length to minimize your pain (and yeah, i think you're right about lack of milk = painful nursing). i found at first i was singing through 5 verses of Twinkle Twinkle, then after a couple weeks of that i was down to just 1 verse.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  5. #5

    Default Re: I'm done, but she isn't

    I completely agree with dropping the night nursing sessions (which I've pretty much done, once I transitioned her to her own bed, she stopped waking up), but the midday one is HARD to give up. Not for me, but for her. I guess I need to come up with alternative activities to keep her busy - it's when we're home and hanging out that she'll want to nurse just out of habit.

    I'll start the singing, see how that goes. Thanks for the help, as much as I want to wean, I want it to be as easy on her as possible, because I know she's not giving up on her own - I'll keep you posted :-)
    Melissa
    mom to Jessica (2/7/03 - nursed eight months)
    Samuel (7/6/06 - nursed three and half years) and
    Julianna (4/29/10 - still happily nursing)

    http://www.melissaannecohen.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,368

    Default Re: I'm done, but she isn't

    Getting out of the house a lot is a great way to encourage weaning. You also want to avoid your favorite nursing location- don't sit in the chair you usually nurse in! Toddlers often nurse because they're bored, or because they see you in your nursing spot and that cues them to want to feed.
    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!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: I'm done, but she isn't

    What about Preschool?

    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: I'm done, but she isn't

    Melissa, I'm in your boat. I've got him a little more cut down - no night nursing, for example - but I'm logged into this site because he REALLY wanted to nurse.. again.. and it's gotten to the point where I let him play with my iphone to appease him. I know if I had the time to keep him moving and busy I could get him weaned or almost weaned quite gracefully, but I have to do a lot of work from home. I think I could get him cut down to one or two nursings a day if I didn't have work to do that involves sitting down. I remember when my daughter was three, I cut her way back just by getting out of the house every day, and I started liking nursing again once the limits were firm. Then I cut her back to just Sundays, and it wasn't long after that she was weaned at three and a half. Oh he's about to ask again. Time for the playground!! Bye!

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