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Thread: Help! Weaning highly resistant toddler

  1. #1

    Unhappy Help! Weaning highly resistant toddler

    I am feeling at a complete loss at how to handle weaning my daughter... I had resolved to nurse her until she was 2 because she has a ton of food allergies (dairy included) and I wanted her to get the best start in life. I was fully-committed to this idea, until I found out that I was pregnant. While I know it's safe to nurse while pregnant, I am struggling with filling my stomach on the very restricted diet that I'm on while nursing (no wheat,eggs,milk, nuts, sesame..)

    She only nurses at night... but I will qualify that by saying she wakes up at least once or twice and sometimes refuses to un-latch for hours. I tried to put limits on her night-nursing and tried a gradual weaning by refusing after the first feed, but she became hysterical, inconsolable, and even violent. My husband wants us to go cold turkey this weekend and I'm feeling so desperate that I'm conceding. I only worry that that will completely damage our relationship.

    I guess I'm not sure what I'm asking for... advice? support? anecdotes?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Default Re: Help! Weaning highly resistant toddler

    I do not have any experience weaning a toddler. However, just wondering what would happen if you un-restricted your diet, and ate anything you want/ need, now that you are pregnant? Would that still affect your daughter through your milk? Just curious if you still need to limit your diet even though your daughter is older and probably comsuming less milk than when you started all these restrictions (I assume).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Help! Weaning highly resistant toddler

    Hi, how old is your child?

    The general recommendation is to not wean "cold turkey" if there is any other option. There are several reasons gradual weaning works better but mostly it is just very emotionally difficult for both child and mother to wean cold turkey.

    However, in a medical emergency where abrupt weaning is required, then it can be done without damaging anything. If you are unable to eat an adequately healthy diet while pregnant due to nursing, IMO that qualifies as a medical emergency. Cold turkey weaning is not likely to damage your relationship in any permanent way in any case, and as long as it is done with respect for your child's feelings, with lots of love and cuddles and understanding, all the better.

    The problem is these things are often understandably in short supply in the middle of the night in the best of circumstances, never mind when mom is pregnant and even more tired. You will probably need help comforting your child at night, perhaps for many weeks or months. It is normal for a toddler to wake at night and require comforting back to sleep. If nursing has been your child's way of being comforted, then you can see how hard it is when that is taken away, at least at first. Hence the violence, which is not manipulation or intentional harming but just a normal reaction by a tired child who is trying to get to sleep and cannot possibly understand why they are not being allowed to do so in the usual way.

    I also agree with charlie2015 about allergies and whether there is truly a need for you to keep up such a restricted diet. It may be needed in your case, but most often moms do not need to restrict diets that much especially in toddlerhood even if the child still reacts to the food item if given directly.

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