Re: My daughter is almost 2 1/2..
Welcome to the forum!
Can you tell us more about how you're feeling about nursing right now? Is giving your daughter "nee-nees" something which has become physically and emotionally unpleasant, or is it something you're enjoying or are at least neutral about, and your concerns are more about nursing through a second pregnancy or your family's negative attitude, or perhaps your child's level of demandingness? It's fine if you're ready to wean! I just want to make sure that you're doing it because you are ready, not because some nosy grandma is making you feel bad about nursing or because you're scared of what might happen during a second pregnancy. Especially since your baby is pretty clearly telling you that she is not yet ready to say goodbye to her nee-nee days, and because biologically (rather than culturally) speaking, 2.5 years is young to be weaned.
When weaning a toddler, some useful strategies are:
- Don't offer, don't refuse. Adopt this strategy and your baby will eventually self-wean- perhaps just not as fast as you wish!
- Distraction. When your baby wants to nurse, offer her other things. Back rubs, lullabies, a toy, a story, a snack, a sippy cup.
- Delay. Toddlers can often understand things like "Not now, we'll nurse later" or "We'll nurse when we get home, but we're not going to nurse here in the store."
- Avoidance. Babies are often cued to nurse by seeing you in your habitual nursing spot. So avoid those places like the plague! Staying out of your house as much as possible can help, since your toddler will find plenty of new and interesting things to do instead of nursing.
- Enlist helpers. Your toddler knows that only mommy possesses the nursing superpower. So having daddy or grandma take over those times when your toddler most wants to nurse (e.g. bedtime, wake-up time, etc.)
- Time limits. Try telling your baby that she can nurse until the count of ten, or until you finish singing "Twinkle, twinkle". Time limits cut down on nursing, and cutting down is often a first step to cutting it out.
- Behavior limits. If there's some particularly annoying behavior- e.g. twiddling, poking, hair-pulling- now is a good time to cut it out.
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!"