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Thread: latch problems at 3 years

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    rockford,il
    Posts
    612

    Default latch problems at 3 years

    I'm currently tandem nursing my 3 year old son and one month old son. I'm rarely able to nurse my oldest for more than a few minutes because of the pain. He's 40 inches and was 36 lbs a few weeks ago though he's put on some weight with the newborn milk so finding a comfortable position is getting very difficult especially when trying to nurse them together. I have a very fast let down that I think is causing him to clamp down but it also hurts sometimes right from the beginning of the nursing session. Nursing aversion is getting worse. It just doesn't feel like a baby/toddler sucking anymore. It's adult like and creepy. Which makes me incredibly sad as I still want to enjoy nursing him. It's the easiest way to connect with him during the new sibling stress but the pain and weird feelings leave me angry with him. I miss my time with my big baby. We used to nurse and cuddle all day until nipple sensitivity during pregnancy had me limiting him. I had been hoping to nurse them together more often. Big brother loves sharing his boobies at least.
    We've night weaned this week as bedtime was a night mare. Little one has reflux and tends to spend a couple hours at night fussing so my oldest was waiting to nurse to sleep (aka screaming I want boobies for hours until I could get his brother to sleep). Then if he woke up in the night he'd throw a tantrum about nursing back to sleep. He seems happier knowing what to expect though he really doesn't like falling asleep without a boob in his mouth. It's taken less time every night and he's slept through without an issue. I'm really emphasizing that the whole family needs a good night sleep to be able to do fun things during the day. He was so sleep deprived for awhile it was impossible to take him anywhere so that logic is working.
    Got to feed the little one. Any advice on his latch would really be appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: latch problems at 3 years

    Is it possible baby is distracting him, causing him to pull off or forget what he is doing? If that is the case maybe he needs 5 minutes of just you and him time while someone else holds baby? He can use that time to remember what he is doing and also as a way to emotionally reconnect.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,960

    Default Re: latch problems at 3 years

    It might not work to tandem nurse at the exact same time. Maybe nurse the baby first and the toddler second? If fast flow is part of the reason for the discomfort, having the baby take the edge off of your letdown might enable big brother to latch more nicely.

    I totally understand how nursing an older child can feel creepy and uncomfortable. I think that's a very, natural, normal feeling. Have you considered maybe pumping and putting your toddler's milk in a cup? You might be able to wean him to breastmilk in a cup, with the incentive that it's the "big boy" way to get mommy's milk.
    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,420

    Default Re: latch problems at 3 years

    Nothing makes your older "baby' seem more suddenly grown up than having a newborn!

    Here is what helped me when I was tandem nursing similarly spaced children:

    I only nursed simultaneously when that made life easiest for me.

    Asked older son to wait until baby was done. An older "grandmotherly" friend (and IBCLC) explained to him that babies are magic and if he waited, baby would make him his favorite flavor milk shake. I never though he would go for it, especially since he had never actually had a milk shake. but he did. "Yummy milkshake." I could not believe it. I think it helped that someone besides me or his dad told him this.

    asked older son to "open wide, to nurse gently, (Slowly, not so fast, etc- I had to find the words that he understood at the time.)

    Limited length of nursing session for older child.

    IN my experience, the pain went away over time and the negative feelings did too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    rockford,il
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: latch problems at 3 years

    Thank you everyone for your replies. Things have gotten slightly better around here. Ds 1 has taken really well to the new bedtime routine with dh enjoying finally being able to take an active role there. We nurse for a short while before and after dh reads a few books, then he cuddles with dh to sleep. We'd never needed a set routine before the baby but his life was totally upheaved with little brother 's arrival so I guess he's craving the extra consistency.
    Daytime is still rough but improving. He's soooo persistent. At least he's changed from 'i want boobies' to 'can I have boobies please?' but it's still very hard to hear that phrase 100 times an hour, especially on top of baby's cries. I'm continuing to talk to him about nursing less often but reassuring him he can nurse until any age he wants. Glad dh is finally ok with complete child led weaning. I haven't gotten the pump out yet but I did try to give him the initial letdown I express to help baby with fast flow in a cup. He likes it but still immediately asked to nurse. I think it will work great in a few months but I'm hesitant to cut any more actual nursing sessions out just now. We both seem to need the physical cuddle aspect at the moment. Tandem Nursing is getting slightly easier. I still try a few times a day when it's most convenient. It really helps him bond with little brother.
    Any recommendations on a good book about three year olds? I feel we've been expecting too much of him. I can't find anything at my library detailing exactly where he's at developmentally. I am rereading What's Going on in There? But I'd like something more focused on his age group.

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