My 33 month old daughter loves to nurse. I, on the other hand pretty much stopped liking it at about 18 months. At that time, I hung in there, because it wasn't awful, and she was still so young in my perception. After many stops and starts, I finally night weaned her about 25 months. I was so much more rested and happy at that point, that I didn't give weaning any more than that much thought.
Without even really doing it on purpose, she slowly, slowly, started having some limits put on her. Not in public, waiting till we got home, etc. But none of these were easy, she really, really did not like it. We have gone through many tears and tantrums over milk. (mostly mine, honestly)
We are at the point where it is for sure nighttime, and early morning. Then, some times during the day. Mostly for a nap, if I think she is going to/needs to take one.
However, just to give you an idea of her love of milk-Even after all these months of being nightweaned, she will sometimes ask for it at 3 AM. No problem, it happens, but when I say, "look at the window, it isn't time yet" (I taught her we had to wait till the sun came up) about 50 percent of the times she asks, that statement causes her to go into meltdown mode. She will also ask for it throughout the day randomly, especially if we stay home. She asks sometimes literally less than an hour after we had some. I say random because it nothing happened, and it is often when we are already doing something together. (in other words, not when I think what she is really asking for is my attention)
And this may make me the meanest, most awful mother out there, (this how I feel lately) but I am at a point where I honestly can't stand the feeling. I am so over the tugging and discomfort of it. It seriously aggravates me and I have to work very hard to stay distracted with TV or a book while she is nursing to not get irritated by the feeling. Even with that, I often can't stand it for very long, and our method has been, I give her a warning, then I sing "twinkle twinkle little star" and at the end she stops. At bedtime, this method works if we are in the bed, because I let her nurse the longest at bedtime, (if I have managed to avoid it most the day, I can handle a longer nursing session) and she will roll over and fall asleep. Sometimes she will even stay awake for a bit, and then fall asleep. I give her lots of positive reinforcement for this, telling her how proud I am she can lay there and rest without milk. However, if she asks to have milk in the rocking chair, I either have to let her nurse till she falls asleep, (at which point I literally have to pop her mouth off, cause she won't do it) or stop her, keep rocking and hoping she will fall asleep but, she just asks for the other side. I tell her, "only twinkle twinkle milk" But then when the time comes she is really upset.
Tonight was the worst, as she would not let go, and I forced her to pop off, she sobbed, I felt awful, and then she conked out. I am afraid tonight will be the start of some pattern.
Sometimes, I am trying to let her nurse to a nap, and I just can't do it long enough to satisfy her to sleep, so guess what? She doesn't nap that day.
Knowing that she really wants to do it more than she does, I don't know how to move on from here. I'm trying to think of her, but also me. I can't tell you the number of times I've been irritated or impatient over this. I think she is getting aware there is a problem, and I don't want to make her feel bad, but....
I feel so mean sometimes when I stand firm and keep telling her no, we will not have milk right now. The other day, I told her mommy will decide when we have milk, but what does that really mean? When she is demanding it, I try to distract, offer other choices, move into a different room, what else can I do? I try to do it gently, but I won't lie and say I haven't gotten completely exasperated and ended up showing grumpiness toward her.
I know some of you will be thinking, "just give it to her", but I honestly can't stand the feeling of it anymore. And, I did that for a long time, and we just never moved past having it all the time. It wasn't until I started setting firmer limits and sticking to them that I got any reprieve.
I'm sorry this was so long, but I wanted to be sure I told what was happening, what I was trying, etc. I don't think I have ever read a post here, where a mom was so anxious to stop, and really didn't like doing it anymore.
I should clarify, being that she loves it so, and it is still good for her, I don't expect to wean completely at this point, but, I would like to get to where we have our times, and that is it, it doesn't last too long, and if I start working towards dropping one, I would say I would like to drop the early morning feed, and see if I could get her to sleep on through to a decent wake up time. I know the nighttime one may hang around for a long time, and I accept that.
I know this post may be hard for people to understand, I know a lot of woman LOVE breastfeeding. I wish I was one of them. Believe me. I often feel like I'm in the running for "worst mother" as I am probably the only mom who has snapped at her kid for nursing.
Oh, and I want to add, when I talk to her and suggest other things her and mom can do together, she isn't really buying it. We do all those things anyway, and she still can have milk. I once heard a nurse suggest doing other special things together during the time you would normally nurse. Well, my daughter gets lots of attention, playtime, reading time, etc. from us. I remember thinking when I heard the nurse say that, "like what? What could we do that is that special it could replace that, especially if we do lots of things togther besides nurse already?"
If you made it this far, thank you for listening.