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Thread: Need advice - weaning/tandeming??

  1. #1

    Exclamation Need advice - weaning/tandeming??

    Hi,

    I'm presently nursing my 20 month old DD & 6 week old DS. I'd planned to nurse her at least until she's 2 years old or maybe beyond, if it was manageable. Now, I'm thinking of weaning her. So, the questions are to wean or just to limit her more & how to do either. I've read Adventures in tandem nursing & How weaning happens, but I just need more advice/ opinions specific to my family.

    The problem I'm having with tandeming is that my daughter is insatiable. She wants to nurse more than my newborn and has fits if I say no or wait, etc. Cries big tears, etc., but for example - this morning when she got up, she nursed for over an hour. Then 15 minutes later was asking for more & had a fit when I said no. Obviously, I can just let her have fits, but it's exhausting because this goes on all day & she's very difficult to distract. She's always loved nursing so I can't imagine how I'd get her down to once or twice a day, which would be more manageable. What to do & how? Should I assume this is part of her transition to the new baby & if so, how long would you expect it to continue, how would you deal with it now, etc.....

    TIA

    Emile

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,018

    Default Re: Need advice - weaning/tandeming??

    It's up to you whether you want to limit her, so to speak, or continue to let your older LO nurse on demand. *IMO* I don't think it would be unreasonable to limit her, but I think you have to be consistent or she will think that throwing a fit is going to get her what she wants. I also don't think it's necessary to totally wean her. I'd work on limiting her and see how you feel about it at that point.
    Like I said, giving into her tantrums only rewards them. That doesn't mean you have to be cold or mean to her about it. This is what I do-when the child seems on the verge of a tantrum I get down on her level and talk to her about what she wants. If she starts to throw a fit anyway, I tell her that trowing a tantrum is not going to help her and go about my business, but stay close by so I'm still "there" for her when she's ready to stop. The tantrums should taper off if you are consistent and she realizes that she is not going to get what she wants that way.
    What are you offering for distraction? Are you saying "No, you can't nurse, but..."? I would offer the distraction without reference to nursing, and if she insists on nursing tell her that she can nurse "in ___ minutes" or "before naptime" or whatever (then follow through on your promise). Offer a drink, snack, or an activity. If you join her for the refreshment or activity, and try to make it something special or extraordinary, it is more likely to be an effective distraction. That way she's getting her needs, i.e. hunger or thirst/special time with mom, addressed, even if not by nursing.
    I hope some of these ideas help. My toddler was already down to 2-3 sessions before my DD2 was born, so I don't have direct experience with this exact situation. However, when DD1 asked to nurse more after DD2 was born, I used some of these ideas and they seemed to be effective.

    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
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,081

    Default Re: Need advice - weaning/tandeming??

    Hi there!

    I am nursing my daughter (28mo) and my son (12weeks/12days adjusted age). I thought I would share a few things I've done/do and maybe it will help you.

    Before my son was born, I slowly decreased the frequency and length of time my daughter nursed. She LOVES to nurse and even now would nurse 10 times a day if I let her. But I decided it would make me crazy to nurse her every time I nurse her brother, so I started telling her she could nurse when she wakes up and when she goes to sleep. I night weaned her at 18 months, so this meant she could nurse 4 times a day. Some things I did to distract her are offer her a yummy snack, offer to do something else with her, like read a story or color, or give her a "horsey ride." While we transitioned to this schedule, which is now down to 3 times a day (morning, before nap, and before bed), if she was having a really difficult time with waiting to nurse because she was tired or whatever, I told her she could nurse while I sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" one or two times - she could pick if she wanted me to sing it to her once or twice, but then we were done after that. Most of the time this worked (and I do it now if I need her to be done quick because of needing to do something else) but if she has a fit, she does and I tell her I love her and she can nurse again at _____ time. I have a really positive attitude (I don't feel bad about it and know she's fine, so I convey that through my tone of voice) and I just move us along to the next thing.

    Also, if she's nursing because she's hungry, maybe let her nurse while you sing a song and then offer her some food/drink. I know my daughter will ask to nurse when she's hungry/thirsty and I explain that she needs to eat food and drink water when she's hungry and thirsty. Maybe she wants attention and that's why she wants to nurse often, so you could try to build in an activity she likes with you to take the place of some of the nursing sessions. Try not sitting where you normally nurse her.

    I personally, wouldn't wean her completely right now as she's adjusting to her little brother being around and nursing, and I think to cut it out completely would be really difficult for her if she's as attached as you say she is. If she's nursing more since her brother was born, I have no idea how long that will last as my daughter isn't adjusted to her brother being home (he's been home for 4 weeks now) yet. And another thing, try not to let her having a fit influence your decisions and choices with parenting. My daughter has fits about EVERYTHING lately and I decided it's impossible to steer clear of all of them and I don't want her thinking she can control my decisions based on her response.

    Good luck and hope this helps!
    Mommy to:

    Emmalynn Marie
    Born at 37 weeks on 12/22/06
    5lbs 1oz 19 1/2in

    Owen Charles
    Born at 29 wks 6 days on 01/17/09
    2lbs 14oz 15in
    In NICU for 2 months


  4. #4

    Default Re: Need advice - weaning/tandeming??

    Thanks ladies - your ideas/ techniques are helpful. We decided to start with limiting and so we're on day 2 of nursing 3 times per day (morning, nap, bed) & I'm engorged, but happy with this arrangement for now & Sophia is taking it well. I'm also only letting her nurse for no more than 15 minutes each time and that's helping too. Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,018

    Default Re: Need advice - weaning/tandeming??

    Good for you and Sophia!

    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
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,081

    Default Re: Need advice - weaning/tandeming??

    I'm glad the changes seem to be working for both of you!
    Mommy to:

    Emmalynn Marie
    Born at 37 weeks on 12/22/06
    5lbs 1oz 19 1/2in

    Owen Charles
    Born at 29 wks 6 days on 01/17/09
    2lbs 14oz 15in
    In NICU for 2 months


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