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Thread: Any ideas on getting nursing control back???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Any ideas on getting nursing control back???

    Hey, my child is 21 months old and an extreemly acrobatic nurser. She also needs to have boh nipples so she can play with one in her hand while she nurses. She will sometimes refuse to nurse without it. She also latches on herself (which is painful) and switches sides very frequently. A lot of things I try (simply refusing the other breast is one) just make us both very frustrated and makes nursing a chore instead of fun! So my question is this... How can i get control back form my toddler without making it a fight? thanx in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Any ideas on getting nursing control back???

    Hey there!

    Acrobatic nursing is certainly pretty normal with my youngest son...my oldest did that too when he nursed, but nothing like my DS#2. Many times, he wants to almost stand on his head WHILE nursing...silly kid, LOL.

    I can only give advice on what I did with my kids...don't know if that will work for your family, but I can sure offer what I did.

    I basically set limits after baby was about a year old even though I let my babies self wean. For instance, I only have one breast out at a time. If baby wants to switch breasts after I am positive they've emptied breast #1, then I put breast #1 away and switch to breast #2. I am totally consistent with this...its kind of a rule that they must finish the first one before the second one comes out. I also set limits on the amount of acrobatics. Basically, if it becomes too uncomfortable, or TOO acrobatic, I tell baby gently that if he wants to nurse, then he needs to be calm. I will re-set him basically, and lie him down in my arms and if he gets up and is TOO acrobatic again, I will re-set him again, and tell him that if he wants to nurse, then he needs to be calm. If he doesn't want to calm down to the point that I'm NOT uncomfortable, then I will end the nursing session, and put him down to play....even if it makes him a little angry. I won't nurse him for a little while...basically long enough for him to deal with the tantrum, but I DEFINITELY nurse as soon as he asks again, providing he got through the tantrum(if that makes sense at all, LOL)...even if its like 20 minutes later that he asks, I won't refuse him.

    Consistency is the key with that though. I'm not refusing him, just setting limits about how he nurses. It's ok that he doesn't necessarily like the limits all the time, but as the Mom, I do need to set those limits for my own sanity sometimes...and that benefits him obviously, LOL. Plus, he gets the benefit of learning a tiny bit of self control...not that I expect him to have too much mind you, LOL.

    As far as latching on goes, I also control the latch...while I do let my son latch on himself, I do reserve the right to fix the latch if its not right. Nursing can NEVER be fun for either Mom or baby if the latch is wrong, plus, it hurts! So if he wants to nurse, then he needs to let me fix the latch....and if he doesn't want to let me do that, then I would again follow up like with the acrobatics, where the session would end, and we would work through whatever tantrum/angry fit that ensued and nurse after that was all worked through.

    I remember when my oldest son was the age of your DD(he's 4 now) and they are just beginning to realize that they can control some things, and starting to really like to do some things for themselves...its a tough stage for them, because I'm sure its difficult to learn that its alright to control some things, but not all things.

    That's probably what you're up against...that your DD wants some control. So if you explain that it is her that is ending the session, by maybe saying "Honey, I know you want to nurse right now, but you can only have one breast at a time. If you don't want just one breast, then we need to stop nursing." That way, you'd be giving her control...she could choose whether or not to nurse, but you would also have your limits, she could only nurse off one breast at a time and must be calm. When you explain that there are only 2 choices: one breast, or no breasts, and follow through a few times, I bet she'd figure out the limits pretty quickly and fall in sinc right away...then you could work on setting some other limits, like the latch and less acrobatics.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Any ideas on getting nursing control back???

    Mommyof2 nailed it. The control thing; I remember my dd having a tantrum because I was wearing the "wrong" shirt and she wanted me to change before she nursed. That was one silly fight we had. I realized that I would now have someone to critique my clothing for the next 20 years.

    I dealt with it a little differently so here's my story.
    That's when I stopped nursing in public. For me, it was an easier battle to pick than keeping my other breast out of bounds. And I had other times she couldn't nurse too. Then when she could nurse, she dinked around less because she wanted to make the most of it, so just the limited nursing seemed to stop some of the aerobics. And since she no longer nursed in front of many other people, I learned to relax a bit about that wandering hand and switching sides. We'd both chime, "Side!" again and again. My dd "HAD" to touch both sides for a while. We joked it was like a circut that needed to be complete in order for her to recharge. Eventually she learned about privacy and mom's desire to stay covered and that got better. An instant reward to that was that she could occasionally nurse in public again. Until then I just let her do whatever but if she hurt me I'd say "don't do that it hurts." If she did it again, we were done. She'd throw a few fits ("but I need to pinch it!" -whatever.) but then got used to the idea and became gentle again. It actually became a very good teaching opportunity and she learned a lot about self control and respect. Another reason that extended nursing was so good for us... even when temporarily not so fun.

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