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Thread: How do I set limits with my son?

  1. #1
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    Default How do I set limits with my son?

    Hi all!

    My son is 15 months and bfing so much! I love having a breastfeeding relationship with him and don't want to stop but lately it's been like he's a newborn! All night and all day he asks for nur-nur. He even says it sleepily in the night time. We thought it was so sweet when he started to ask for it but now he's like a little dictator. He asks for it, slides down in my lap and says it over and over with different inflection. Getting more persistant and upset the longer I take to whip it out. I have tried to distract him but it makes him angry. The arching back screaming kind of angry.

    What are some ways that you mamas have distracted toddlers from nursing?

    I feel guilty wanting to set limits too. Like I am denying him something he needs. I don't know how to deal with these emotions.

    I know he's getting some molars now and I know this is part of it but I'm really feeling irritated by so much nursing. Every few hours and for around 20 min each time, he drains each breast to where I sometimes don't have much the next time he asks. And I'm not getting much sleep so I know I'm over tired and this contributes. Any suggestions?

    Thank you!
    Jen - mom to 3
    DD who I FF
    I survived 10 painful mastitis infections and managed to nurse DS1 till he was 3 years and 7 months
    and now DS2 4 years now working on gentle weaning and


    "Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it can not be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues - faith and hope." Charles Dickens

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How do I set limits with my son?

    I don't have time for the response I would like to give, but I just want you to know I have BTDT and I understand! Also I'd like to recommend the great little book How Weaning Happens. It's not just about weaning but also gives ideas on how to set limits.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  3. #3

    Default Re: How do I set limits with my son?

    I've really struggled with this, too. One thing that has helped me as I continue to feel my way through this is to remember that it is not a bad thing for a child to learn that other people have needs as well. Not that they can remember, or really understand that at this age, but that kind of learning is a lifelong process, and there isn't anything wrong with beginning it as soon as you feel able.

    I often tell my son that mama (or the milk) needs a rest, and that he can nurse....and then provide some specific time frame, or sequence of events that helps him understand exactly when it will happen. At first he was pretty upset about the notion of not nursing the instant the urge struck him, but now he is usually willing to wait fairly patiently for longer and longer periods of time.

    Last night I absolutely hit my limit, after he nursed non-stop for hours and I felt like I was going to completely freak out from lack of sleep and being touched out. We both cried quite a bit, as he insisted on his desire to nurse, and I explained that I just couldn't do it. I danced and bounced him a bit, and rubbed his back and legs, he cried off and on, and eventually we both calmed down and were able to resume nursing, and successfully unlatch once he was finally asleep. It took almost three hours. It felt like twelve. I guess I share this both to let you know you are not alone, and also to say that it is a process -- we have some success and some setbacks and challenges. There are a lot of variables, but no one needs to be the resentful party in the nursing relationship -- communication, patience and understanding that both mama and baby have needs is vital.

    Hang in there, and don't be afraid, or feel guilty, to need what you need...
    Mama to Lorenzo, born 4/25/2007. NICU graduate, Gastro-Esohapgeal Reflux, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sensory Processing Disorder...alive and thriving thanks to breastfeeding and co-sleeping.

    Those who say it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it.
    Chinese Proverb

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How do I set limits with my son?

    Thank so much mamas!

    mollyb I bought the book you suggested yesterday online so it will be here in a few days. I know I'll devour it! Thank you.

    lorenzomama, I cried while I read your post. Sounds so much like me right now. But somehow I have just never read/heard anyone speak about this more difficult phase of bfing an older child. Thank you for being so generous to share your experience. It helps knowing that I am not alone. I think that there are lots of mamas who must go through similar times in the bfing relationship.

    It must be all worth it because I nursed my 10yo son till he was over 3.5 years and I don't remember going through any of this though I'm sure it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows.

    Thank you all!
    Jen - mom to 3
    DD who I FF
    I survived 10 painful mastitis infections and managed to nurse DS1 till he was 3 years and 7 months
    and now DS2 4 years now working on gentle weaning and


    "Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it can not be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues - faith and hope." Charles Dickens

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How do I set limits with my son?

    I hope you like the book! Good luck to you and your LO. It's really sweet to hear that you look back on your nursing relationship with your older child fondly. My older nursling is just 3.5 yrs and sometimes its hard to imagine her actually weaning!

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How do I set limits with my son?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mollyb View Post
    I hope you like the book! Good luck to you and your LO. It's really sweet to hear that you look back on your nursing relationship with your older child fondly. My older nursling is just 3.5 yrs and sometimes its hard to imagine her actually weaning!
    He was 3 years and 7 months old and we had the weaning talk. We had been reading books about what big kids can do and eat for a few months before. Then we just talked about all the wonderful things that he could do and eat and that "urse", which is what he called bfing, was tired and all done but that was OK because we could still cuddle at night and read books and I'd rub his back too. We were down to just the bedtime one anyway.

    Surprisingly he was fine with that. I think that though I really felt finished and wanted to wean him that I was the one who missed it more in the end. He didn't skip a beat. This from a toddler that would demand to "urse" loudly in the grocery store and then cry pitifully when I wouldn't which of course made all the little old ladies stare . Yeah, it was great and I'm so thankful for that bond with him.

    I'm sure your older nurseling will find her own way to be finished some day too and won't skip a beat going on to all the other wonderful and exciting things that older kids do!
    Jen - mom to 3
    DD who I FF
    I survived 10 painful mastitis infections and managed to nurse DS1 till he was 3 years and 7 months
    and now DS2 4 years now working on gentle weaning and


    "Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it can not be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues - faith and hope." Charles Dickens

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How do I set limits with my son?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*proudmamaof3 View Post
    He was 3 years and 7 months old and we had the weaning talk. We had been reading books about what big kids can do and eat for a few months before. Then we just talked about all the wonderful things that he could do and eat and that "urse", which is what he called bfing, was tired and all done but that was OK because we could still cuddle at night and read books and I'd rub his back too. We were down to just the bedtime one anyway.

    Surprisingly he was fine with that. I think that though I really felt finished and wanted to wean him that I was the one who missed it more in the end. He didn't skip a beat. This from a toddler that would demand to "urse" loudly in the grocery store and then cry pitifully when I wouldn't which of course made all the little old ladies stare . Yeah, it was great and I'm so thankful for that bond with him.

    I'm sure your older nurseling will find her own way to be finished some day too and won't skip a beat going on to all the other wonderful and exciting things that older kids do!
    Thanks for sharing! I think that's where we are headed. When it comes to weaning, I don't mind leading her there but I don't want to force her, kwim? We have talked about her being done before she starts preschool (preschool!) next fall and I think we have a tentative agreement, just need to iron out the details. I think I need to read that book again, too!

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  8. #8
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: How do I set limits with my son?

    I'm going through a similar situation, I'm nursing my 25mo DD1 and my 8 week old DD2 and it's been so hard. Hard to cope with the constant nursing and hard to deal with the guilt. ARGH, the guilt, what a useless feeling but so strong isn't it?

    I forgot about that book, I definitely need to read it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How do I set limits with my son?

    The guilt is really hard to deal with for me too. But I can't imagine nursing 2 at once either! I never had that situation. You are amazing to me to be nursing both at once and I hope that you can acknowledge yourself for this wonderful gift you are giving your daughters. Maybe that will aleve some of the guilt.
    Jen - mom to 3
    DD who I FF
    I survived 10 painful mastitis infections and managed to nurse DS1 till he was 3 years and 7 months
    and now DS2 4 years now working on gentle weaning and


    "Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it can not be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues - faith and hope." Charles Dickens

  10. #10
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: How do I set limits with my son?

    Thanks! : It is hard and I'm hoping it'll get better. This morning I was up to letting her nurse until she wanted to, with no cutting the nursing short as I was doing lately in hopes that she was going to be satisfied. But after a few minutes she asked again, in that tone that you describe. I told her after breakfast she could nurse again and she kept asking until I finished my breakfast and I nursed her. I'm hoping that in the summer she'll decrease a bit her urge to nurse. She is nursing almost like my 8 week old LO, about 5 times a day and that's because I'm setting limits. I think she would be attached at my breast all day if she could

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