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Thread: Need help & advice! Weaning my 3 year old

  1. #1

    Default Need help & advice! Weaning my 3 year old

    Hello everyone. So I currently have a 9 month old daughter and a 3 year old son (he’ll be 4 in March) and am tandem nursing both of them. I enjoy nursing, but am finding myself getting frustrated with my son. He begs for “nanas” constantly and anytime I nurse the baby, he tries pulling my shirt down to get the other side. I’m going through a divorce now so I know they’re both experiencing my emotions and dealing with a lot of changes in their lives. Their father has always worked out of state, so they weren’t used to him being around much as it was, but I’m sure my son knows what’s going on. He’s spent 2-7 days at a time with his father and seems to do just fine but comes home and wants to nurse constantly. He was a sound sleeper and lately has been waking up 2-4 times a night begging to nurse! If I tell him no, he throws a fit, which often wakes up his sister and I don’t think I’ve slept more than 6 hours a day since she was born, so I’m getting exhausted! Their fathers giving me no financial support and other than the 4 times he’s had our son (he hasn’t had our daughter overnight, or even alone for more than a couple hours) in the 7 months since he left, I’m not getting much physical support either. I don’t know what to do at this point, I’m really getting frustrated with my son but also know nursing for him is much more about comfort at this time than it is the milk. I want him to wean completely but he’s not interested at all! What should I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Need help & advice! Weaning my 3 year old

    Hi Claski. It sounds like you are having a really tough time of it! I am so sorry about that.

    First off, I hope you are getting legal advice from a lawyer. I would suggest talk to them about what you can do legally about visitation and financial support. It might be easier at this very young age and upsetting time for your son to NOT visit your ex for overnights. Routines are very important for instilling a feeling of security at this age, so, it can be very difficult to wean a child when there are upheavals in daily routines. As far as your child not needing to nurse when he is with his dad- well, of course there is no point in him asking to nurse if you are not there, but also it is very common in general for children who move between two households to behave differently in the different households. Fearing losing his dad, when with his dad, your son may be acting the way he thinks will most please his dad. When he is with you, his fears about losing a parent manifest in him wanting to keep you as close as possible as much as possible by nursing lots.

    Anyway, there are many ways to gently encourage the weaning process along. This is usually the recommendation unless cold turkey weaning is needed for medical reasons. Two excellent books on weaning at any age are The Nursing Mother's Guide to Weaning and How Weaning Happens.

    For sleep concerns, the best book by far for understanding sleep in young children is Sweet Sleep from LLL. For suggestions on getting more sleep when your child is nursing overnight, you could look at The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers.

    As far as sleep, what other support do you have? Can anyone come over and care for the kids in the morning so you can sleep in or something? Can you ever get the kids together and all nap during the day? Are you currently bedsharing with either or both children? If not, doing so may increase your overall sleep. If you are, then maybe trying at least starting the nights without bedsharing with your son will help him sleep longer.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; November 3rd, 2017 at 04:32 PM.

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