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Thread: When to say "not right now"

  1. #1
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    May 2006
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    Default When to say "not right now"

    My DD is almost 18 months old. She nurses at 3 very predictable times: first thing in the AM (not all days but some), ALWAYS before bed, and ALMOST ALWAYS first thing when I come home from work. Now that she's VERY verbal, she also requests it by name (She says, "ninny please? OK!"). It's very cute but sometimes, she will make requests at more "unpredictable" times. At these times, she doesn't always seem to "need" ninny, either for food or for comfort. A lot of times it seems to be out of boredom or just b/c she associates time with me with nursing. Sometimes I can distract her by offering her a different snack or reading a book/playing with a toy. Sometimes we're in the middle of a store or with a group of people and when she requests and I say "wait a minute" or "not right now", she'll get upset. I also notice that (understandably) she requests to nurse more often when we are out of town with family or in more unfamiliar environments. I usually accommodate her in those situations b/c I know it's for comfort as well.

    I guess my question is, with all this in mind (her age, the fact that she's verbally requesting, and the fact that she typically only nurses regularly a couple times a day), when do you "nurse on command/request" (even if it's not for hunger) and when do you say "not right now" at this point in the weaning process?

    BTW, if it makes any difference or has an impact, we have also night-weaned within the last 2 months such that if she wakes up at night, we don't nurse (just comfort her back to sleep).

    I'd be interested in what "experts" have said (i.e. nursing books) as well as folks opinions.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: When to say "not right now"

    My 18 mos old twins still nurse a ton, but we started "not right now" when I feel they are nursing out of boredom. With my older 2, I foudn that never sitting helped lessen the boredom nursing. They (and the twins) associate my butt on a chair as me wanting to nurse

    We still nurse at night a lot!


    Mom to - 6 yrs, 4 yrs, and twins 3 years

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  3. #3
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: When to say "not right now"

    after my kids were about that age we quit nursing outside of home.
    It only takes a few times and they get it. If you say "We can nurse as soon as we get home." and then offer when you get home.
    They always seem to ask when they are board.
    Try and take a bottle of something to drink when you go out, sometimes its genuine thirst.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: When to say "not right now"

    My first limit was not at the dinner table. She had to wait until I was done eating and got up from the table. When I first instituted the rule, she had tantrums at dinner time for about a week and then slowly got used to it. The following limits were easier. I slowly limitted public nursing and then when I wanted to block wean, I just went out at that time. She still asks to nurse out of boredom but we are down to three specific times per day so of course she knows she can't. She's over 2.5 and I am starting to wean her now. Before I started working on weaning, she could nurse all she wanted when we were at home and it wasn't the middle of the night and I wasn't eating. There was pleanty of boredom nursing and it helped me recognise what times I needed to add a little fun to our routine. Some nursing sessions turned into playground time, for example.

    Julie

  5. #5
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: When to say "not right now"

    Maybe its because my first was a boy, but I guess I never noticed any nursing out of boredom...he was always too busy for that. With us, I put limits on nursing outside the home when he was old enough to understand it when I told him he needed to wait until we got home. I could just tell that he "got it" even though he didn't like it a couple of times. He really "got it" after a couple of times of saying this and immediately nursing him after we got home...and me telling him that we were home now and could nurse if he wanted. After that point, I also wouldn't just drop everything to nurse...like if I was making dinner, I would tell him what I was doing and tell him he could nurse when I had a minute...like after I put dinner in the oven.

    Part of the reason that I chose to handle it like that was that I could see that he had a greater understanding of things, and it seemed like a good lesson...to learn patience and wait a bit, especially since he had other food and drink options at that point.

    I did always need to bring snacks and drinks with me in my bag from that point on though. Like the pp said, alot of times he was legitimately thirsty/hungry and knew nursing would take care of that, so waiting needed to be accompanied by another drink/snack choice instead. The same thing went for when we were at home. If I couldn't stop what I was doing to nurse him, I made sure I redirected him to wherever his sippy cup was, made sure it was full, and offered a snack if he was hungry. It seems like kids need to be many years older before they can wait on an empty stomach or a dry throat.

    Hope that helps.

  6. #6
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: When to say "not right now"

    Thanks for the advice and thoughts. We always travel with snacks and a sippy cup but sometimes when that's offered she refuses It sounds like I will just need to go ahead and set the limits and suffer the consequences for a small period of time till she gets the idea. Not a problem. I really was just concerned that I wasn't going against the whole "gentle weaning" process by refusing her request sometimes or confusing her by allowing it at some times and not at others.
    This helps a lot!

  7. #7
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: When to say "not right now"

    I think it depends somewhat on your feelings. By the time we were down to 3 nursings (I've weaned 2) I saw that weaning was coming soon and I was ready to wean (I was pregnant) so I would distract them with food or an activity. If you are interested in weaning anytime soon then I wouldn't see a problem with nursing on demand.

    The only public place my 15 month old still routinely nurses is church - partly because we're there during is morning nap and mostly because he's bored out of his skull. Since I find nursing a much less disruptive activity than his first choice of running around the pews (or more accurately, running on the pews) with his older sister I'm more than happy to nurse. I do feel a little self conscious nursing in public with such a big baby but maybe its my role in the world of lactivisim. And I'm sure Jesus was a nursing toddler =)

  8. #8
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: When to say "not right now"

    Quote Originally Posted by andrea_ohio View Post
    after my kids were about that age we quit nursing outside of home.
    It only takes a few times and they get it. If you say "We can nurse as soon as we get home." and then offer when you get home.
    They always seem to ask when they are board.
    Try and take a bottle of something to drink when you go out, sometimes its genuine thirst.
    This is pretty much how I started putting limits on NIP around a year -- he was too athletic during nursing for me to stay modest and I became uncomfortable with the view I must be giving folks, LOL. I later adapted these techniques during pregnancy because nursing then hurt so much to limit evening nursing when I was tired and not feeling well, although I did allow ad lib daytime nursing at home. This is certainly still part of gentle weaning; you aren't saying "no" flat out, only "later," if that helps you feel better.

    I read "How Weaning Happens" and that helped me understand how to place limits and still feel like I was meeting the needs of my baby. Your LLL library might have it.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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