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Thread: Help! 18-MO Absolutely clingy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    92

    Default Help! 18-MO Absolutely clingy

    I don't produce much milk anymore. I've now had my fifth period since i had her on Oct. 19, 2007. In the mornings, she breastfeeds and actually gets a healthy amount of milk. But the rest of the day she is SO clingy. I mean, it's over-the-top. and she's always saying "turse turse!!" (her word for nurse). And she always has to have my other nipple in her fingers as she's drinking (or comforting) on the other one. If i pry her fingers off of the other nipple she starts kicking and fussing -- sometimes screaming. I comfort "feed" because I don't think she's happy about the fact that Mommy only has a little milk left. It's not a demand-production-demand thing anymore. I know this because she is at the nipple almost ALL the time. I am constantly nursing her but only FEEDING her once a day, maybe twice. we still nurse to sleep every night in the rocking chair as I have done every night since the day she was born.

    Now she is so clingy and it is driving me crazy but I don't want her to feel rejected. I know i will miss the closeness of BFing, but I know there is a time for everything and that we can share closeness in lots of other ways as well. If I were producing milk, I'd happily feed her because she would get satisfied. But she is NEVER satisfied and I am burning out quickly. I haven't lost my temper yet but I can feel some resentment there that I don't want to feel and don't want her to feel either.

    This is very upsetting.
    Olive Eloise Freeman, born Oct. 19, 2007.
    Still BF at 19 mos. and counting . . .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,895

    Default Re: Help! 18-MO Absolutely clingy

    Mama, a big to you. You are doing such a great job, and it sounds like your LO is really challenging you. But I think these challenges are teaching opportunities, and they can have really positive outcomes.

    For example, you say your daughter insists on holding your free nip while she's nursing. That would drive me up a wall! But your child is probably old enough to understand that if she wants to nurse, she can play with a stuffed animal or a nursing necklace or whatever else she wants, but she can't twiddle your nipple. Yes, you will probably hear some screaming and sobbing and toddler drama if you institute this policy, but if that is what it takes to teach her to be respectful of your body, it's probably worth the cost. It can be a firm lesson and still be imparted gently.

    Regarding the clinginess, man, I sure don't miss that stage in my daughter's life! Whenever she felt unsure, or was bored, she was screeching for "pupple". But this phase is just a phase- your child will grow out of this super-demanding thing. And, just like the twiddling issue, this is an opportunity to teach. Every time you give in and nurse, you're teaching your child that her needs will be met. And every time you are successful in distracting her- with a toy, or a trip to the store, or a walk- you are moving her towards independence.

    If I were producing milk, I'd happily feed her because she would get satisfied. But she is NEVER satisfied and I am burning out quickly.
    You seem very certain that you aren't producing much milk except in the mornings. I respect your self-knowledge; nevertheless, I think you might be making more milk than you think. If you are producing a significant amount of milk in the morning, you're probably also producing some during the day. Probably not as much as when your toddler was an EBF baby, but still significant. An ounce here, half an ounce there- it adds up! The satisfaction thing may be less about the quantity of milk she is getting than it is about wanting to cuddle up with you and enjoy her favorite thing. Once you stop the twiddling, your daughter may enjoy nursing less, and seek it out less, too.

    Two things that helped me move towards weaning, and which made nursing much more bearable were:
    1. Countdowns. I would tell DD "Mommy is going to count to 10 and then it is time to be done." And DD totally got that!
    2. Outside help. When I wanted to eliminate the morning nursing session, I was staying with my parents. I would bring DD down before I nursed her, and deposit her with my mom. By the time I came downstairs half an hour later, DD had forgotten all about wanting to nurse and was fully engaged in the day.

    Hang in there! You are doing such a great job!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Toledo
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: Help! 18-MO Absolutely clingy

    I feel your pain. My DS is 19-mos, doing the same thing. I believe it's another round of separation anxiety. He went through this around the 9 mos mark, and again now.

    I've found that if I drop everything, and fully give my attention/interaction with play he doesn't comfort nurse nearly as much. He does the same thing as your DD, where he nurses, but it's not for the food. When he does nurse for the milk it's completely different. Kind of hard to explain. Distraction seems to be what is starting to work for us. I never refuse, but provide distraction, lots of food and drink.

    The ohter nipple tweaking I hate... haven't found anything to resolve that issue.

    I just keep thinking it's a phase, hopefully soon it'll pass.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    611

    Default Re: Help! 18-MO Absolutely clingy

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*momof.olive View Post
    I don't produce much milk anymore. I've now had my fifth period since i had her on Oct. 19, 2007. In the mornings, she breastfeeds and actually gets a healthy amount of milk. But the rest of the day she is SO clingy. I mean, it's over-the-top. and she's always saying "turse turse!!" (her word for nurse). And she always has to have my other nipple in her fingers as she's drinking (or comforting) on the other one. If i pry her fingers off of the other nipple she starts kicking and fussing -- sometimes screaming. I comfort "feed" because I don't think she's happy about the fact that Mommy only has a little milk left. It's not a demand-production-demand thing anymore. I know this because she is at the nipple almost ALL the time. I am constantly nursing her but only FEEDING her once a day, maybe twice. we still nurse to sleep every night in the rocking chair as I have done every night since the day she was born.

    Now she is so clingy and it is driving me crazy but I don't want her to feel rejected. I know i will miss the closeness of BFing, but I know there is a time for everything and that we can share closeness in lots of other ways as well. If I were producing milk, I'd happily feed her because she would get satisfied. But she is NEVER satisfied and I am burning out quickly. I haven't lost my temper yet but I can feel some resentment there that I don't want to feel and don't want her to feel either.

    This is very upsetting.
    I am just curious why you think haing your period affects things?? I always noticed a slight dip in supply a day or 2 before I got my period but it always seemed to jump back up after that. I have had my period since my daughter was 6 weeks old... and she was always just breastfed It just seems odd that you wouldn't have much milk if your dd nurses that much. Are you pregnant???
    I just weaned my daughter and I just slowely cut out feedings.... distraction is key.. its okay to say no too. Offer milk or juice or something else in a cup and your undivided attention. I would say... no nummies. You can have nummies before bed and then offer her milk in a cup and to read her a few stories or whatever. Weaning is hard but it sounds like you need to set some limits with her since you are geting so frustrated ( and I don't blame you)

    Married my man Michael 5/12/2006
    Keira Joyce 6/1/07 Breastfed for 22 months Peanut Allergy- Outgrown 11/2010!!!!
    Israel Benedict 10/10/09- Breastfed for 27 months ( 9 months tandem with his sister)
    Nairi Anne 4/1/2011 still nursing at 14 months
    My Daily Blog
    Cloth diapers on the bum!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Help! 18-MO Absolutely clingy

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*kmama2 View Post
    I am just curious why you think haing your period affects things??
    Well, it is strictly because of direct observation: whenever I get my period, she gets clingy and fusses at the breast. That's the only time she's done it, and she's done it every time. Soon as period is over, she goes back to being her cheerful self. we shall see what happens this time. today's probably my last day of bleeding for this month, so I'll be looking to see how she acts tomorrow and over the next few days. I am not pregnant (and do not intend to ever get that way again since I'm 46).

    Tpday I spoke to the lactation consultant at the hospital where I delivered. She told me to begin with cutting out the morning feeding. Which I'll need DH's help with. But he's not usually helpful in this area. He seemed agreeable to it this evening when I asked him to please not bring her to me tomorrow morning like he usually does. Surprisingly.

    Also, I am trying to distract her with a dollie that she is beginning to form an attachment to and will buy a nursing necklace for her to play with instead of my other nip! I am seeing that there are ways to do this and that at some point, either sooner or later, she will not need to BF OR nurse. Knowing this, I'm beginning to feel a bit sad. I'll enjoy the night-time feeding even more now since it looks like it will be the last to go. But I will always know that for at least 18 months my daughter got all the benefits from BFing and hope it has given her a sense of being loved. It is definitely the best thing I have ever done in my life.
    Olive Eloise Freeman, born Oct. 19, 2007.
    Still BF at 19 mos. and counting . . .

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