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Thread: Anxious! Couple questions re: weaning my almost-3yo...

  1. #1

    Default Anxious! Couple questions re: weaning my almost-3yo...

    Hi there, ladies. My son will be 3 in a couple months, and still nurses to sleep (nap and night), when he wakes, and to fall back asleep during bedtime/naptime. I feel like I have lost patience for it all, and I need to wean him very soon.

    He is very sensitive and very verbal. I'm wondering if/what I can say to him about weaning. I know that he will get upset if I say that nursing is what little babies do and that he is getting to be a big boy. I think he will also get upset if I say that I have "Owies" or similar. Any other suggestions? Do I just not say anything about it?

    I am also thinking that my husband will need to take over bedtime. He has never, NEVER put DS to sleep before. Currently I cosleep with my son, who has just started sleeping in a twin bed pushed up against my mattress (but he rolls on to my bed pretty often). My husband sleeps in another room for various reasons, so it will be very different for both of them. Any tips for my DH? If your SOs handle bedtime, how do they do it? The part of nursing I find most frustrating is early morning, when DS will wake, nurse, sleep fitfully, nurse more, try to pinch, try to sleep more, etc etc etc.

    Thanks so much for any advice you can give. I am very nervous about this. I don't want to make my son sad, but at the same time I feel I will be a better, more patient mom once I wean him.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,744

    Default Re: Anxious! Couple questions re: weaning my almost-3yo...

    There are a couple weaning picture books out there. Not enough, but I would suggest that. Or make your own book, with pictures of your son growing from baby to big boy and with all the ways he has gotten and can still get cuddles and closeness and food even after he weans. While every child is different about this, I think the whole "that is for babies" approach is a potential minefield. Or simply does not make an impression. "Ok, then I am still a baby" is what I have heard lots of kids reply to this approach. I would also not say that you have owies as that is possibly scary or guilt inducing. On the other hand, if nursing IS uncomfortable, it is ok to encourage your son to nurse more comfortably-open wider, not clamp, to not pinch, etc. depending on what is happening.

    It appears that weaning is happening but perhaps a bit too slowly for your tastes? What limits have you set? This is an age where limits of various kinds can be set and it can often be effective. my oldest was just turned three & I had a newborn, so eventually I instituted a "nursing is for morning, nap and bedtime only" policy for my oldest. (I still nursed him in emergencies, but without comment on the fact I was making an exception.) I also found limiting length of sessions worked well for my son. When he wanted to nurse, I told him he could, but for as long as it took me to sing a song (I let him choose) or the time it took to count to 10 (he could choose the number, and 'what' we counted-dinosaurs, trains, whatever. Amazingly, he always choose a number under 20. And did not ask me to sing "American Pie."
    I am also thinking that my husband will need to take over bedtime.
    this worked very well in our family. I nursed my son, then my husband took him into his room. We put the glider in there, and my husband rocked him to sleep while singing him songs or telling him a story. We also used a white noise machine and dark curtains to darken the room. Eventually my son would crawl into bed and my husband would stay with him, singing etc, or just holding his hand, until he fell asleep. Also, A Thomas the Train pillow case went a long way in making my son's bed a more acceptable place to sleep.

    But if mornings are what are making you the most irritated, maybe having your husband get up with your son to do some "man stuff" together- make breakfast, water the grass, take a walk, read a book, play with a building toy, etc, may be more helpful for you.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; June 8th, 2014 at 05:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,262

    Default Re: Anxious! Couple questions re: weaning my almost-3yo...

    with everything above. I too would avoid the "nursing is for babies" or "owies" approaches- they're either too unlikely to work or too shame/guilt-inducing for me. How about "Mommy's breasts are tired and need a rest"?
    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!"

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