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Thread: Tantrums and nursing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Question Tantrums and nursing

    I am looking for suggestions on how to handle tantrums and how nursing fits into the situation. I have a 2 yr old daughter, who is adjusting to just having a brother come into the family 4wks ago. I am tandem nursing, but thought this was more a extended breastfeeding question than a tandem question, even though the two intertwine.

    Ever since the new arrival my daughter started throwing temper tantrums and I am not sure how to handle it. I am trying to give her lots of attention and to spend time alone with her, but when she does have one she will always end up asking to nurse. I can't decide if I should honor the request or not. If I allow her to nurse will I be saying to throw a tantrum is o.k., or will I be helping her to deal with emotions that she is not old enough to handle?

    Then I get really confused when the tantrum ends up being about nursing. How do I handle that, becuase usually I have already said that we were not going to nurse right then and she throws a tantrum. If I nurse her will I be backing down and not being consistent with my responses to her becuase I didn't follow through with my initial response?

    Any suggestions or BTDT experiences would be most appreciated. TIA.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Tantrums and nursing

    Hi pianogirl

    I only have one child so I am not coming from the same situation as you. However, I do remember the tantrums started around 2 years old for my little one. He would be uspet for some reason, have a tantrum, then immediately want to nurse. I did and still do nurse him when he has a tantrum. I look at it as he doesn't know how to deal with his emotions so he has a tantrum. As soon as he's calm, and nursing always calms him down, I ask him to talk about what was bothering him. He almost always will talk to me and tell me what set him off. Then we can have a conversation about what happened. Many times, I would have never found out what the problem was if I didn't nurse him. I don't think toddlers throw fits to control us. They just haven't learned yet how to deal with their strong emotions. I can guess that your toddler has a lot of feeligs about having a new sibling and doesn't yet know how to discuss them with you. Try nursing her the next time she has a tantrum. Then when she is calm and the two of you are alone, ask her if she can tell you what was bothering her. If she doesn't want to, let it slide. Sometimes, my child would tell me he didn't want to talk to me. Then maybe an hour or so later, he would just bring it up out of the blue. Here's an example: "I didn't like it when you moved my train". And we would talk about how his train was right in the middle of the floor and how I needed to move it so that no one tripped over it. Then I would tell him that I was sorry for moving his train and that we should look for a better spot for it where we could both be happy. After talking we would both feel better and he usually smiles and sometimes kisses me after we work through it.


    -Lauren

  3. #3
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Tantrums and nursing

    Lauren your book is beautiful!!
    In relation to your question about the tantrums and nursing. LLL encourages parents to discipline with love and I would say that nursing your toddler through a tantrum def falls with in the realm of that. Your little one has a lot of new emotions daily and especially with a new baby around.
    You are a wonderful mom to want the best for your children and it sounds to me as if you are on the right track!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Tantrums and nursing

    Overall I think it would be OK to nurse to end a tantrum, but when the tantrum is BECAUSE you've told her "no nursing right now", that's tougher . . . can you share more specifics about these tantrums? Do they happen at certain times of the day or certain situations? In what situations do you limit her nursing, and in general, does your daughter seem to understand/accept these limits or is this a real struggle?

    Just trying to get a better idea . . .

    Best,
    Jill

  5. #5
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Tantrums and nursing

    instead of telling her no, try and say when it will be ok to nurse.
    Like
    "we will nurse in 5 mins when I finish getting supper ready."
    Or as soon as the baby is done then you can have your turn.
    I learned that worked well with my dd as she got older.
    I Also used the threat of a nap...
    it doesn't work unless they are weaned down to just nap and bedtime..lol
    I would say "Well nursing is just for a nap do you want to go lay down?"
    and most of the time the answer was "NO"
    SOmetimes she would even say.. "I'll take a nap I want to nurse"
    Or "LEts just have me-me's on the couch"
    it does get beter the more verbal they become.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Tantrums and nursing

    Quote Originally Posted by Brittan
    Lauren your book is beautiful!!

    Thank you Brittan!

    -Lauren

  7. #7
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    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Tantrums and nursing

    One of the problems is that she is not very verbal. So, when I say to wait or that we will do it in five minutes she doesn't seem to understand that concept yet. She just turning two this month, so she doesn't talk a whole lot yet. And also if I try and ask her afterwards what she was upset about it is hard for her to explain, most of the time she just looks at me and starts playing agian.

    As far as the time of day it happens, sometimes it is around mealtime or naptime, but it can happen anytime. She wants to nurse a lot lately, which I sort of expected, but I guess I didn't expect her to get upset everytime I say no. She doensn't take me setting limits very well at all. Hopefully this all will pass as she adjusts.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Tantrums and nursing

    Hi pianogirl,
    This is a time of big changes for all of you. And it's still pretty new if baby brother is just 4 weeks old. It can be pretty intense to meet all these needs -- the new baby's, the older sibling's, and the mother's. You are trying to figure out if it sends a conflicting message to set a limit around nursing but then change your mind and nurse her if she seems really upset.
    I remember struggling with the very same issue. One option might be to set a limit on the length of time nursing. Sometimes mothers count to 10 (sometimes slowly, sometimes really fast!) or some mothers will sing a song (long or short depending on how you feel/time of day).
    Really, it does get easier over time. I remember falling into a more predictable pattern as the weeks went by and the intensity lessened considerably. It’s OK to take it day by day and just do what works for now.
    I remember thinking it was hard to decide what some of the underlying issues were. Was it regular 2-yr-old stuff? Was it big-sibling adjustment stuff? Was it having-to-share-nursing stuff? It’s hard to say, really, because all those things are happening all at once. Hang in there! Let us know how it goes, OK?

    Mary

  9. #9
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Tantrums and nursing

    I agree the 1st 6 weeks was the hardest when I brought my dd home.
    My son was just 2. He took him that long to make up with me and figure out that the baby wasn't going anyplace. And then like majic we started to get along beter.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    37

    Default Re: Tantrums and nursing

    I am having a very similar problem. Usually when I am nursing the newborn.

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