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Thread: Need help setting some nursing limits.

  1. #1
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    Default Need help setting some nursing limits.

    Okay, I never thought I would say this, because I love breastfeeding, I truly do, but ... Joe is driving me nuts lately!

    First of all, he's 21 months, and throws a tantrum approximately every 45 seconds. So if he wants to nurse, and I need to (1) use the bathroom; (2) make myself some tea; (3) do anything else, and I tell him, "wait just a minute," he HITS me, hard. I put him down and say "NO! Don't hit me!" And then he throws himself on the ground, wails, and knocks his head against the hardwood floor for extra dramatic effect. This happens all the time, all.day.long. Gah! I alternate between trying to reason with him, ignore him, comfort him, etc., but nothing really works besides walking away and letting him cool off.

    Second, I can't NIP anymore. I'm okay with nursing at other people's houses, but it's getting weirder to do it in restaurants, etc. Joe is enormous, and it's getting embarrassing. Not so much the toddler nursing, but his terrible NIP manners. He's speech delayed and pretty much nonverbal. So he lets me know he wants to nurse by shoving his hands down my shirt and squawking. I have tried to establish better nursing manners, but then he takes me by surprise in public, where I feel uncomfortable verbally reprimanding him in a way that will draw attention to the fact that my toddler is FEELING ME UP, and again, gah! I feel like I'm setting a bad example to other nursing moms at this point - I am not a good advertisement for nursing a toddler, because it's an obvious struggle. I don't know, I'm just over it! I'm all about the gentle discipline, but I find disciplining my baby in public to be impossible due to my desire to keep him quiet, etc. (I should probably get over that, but who wants to be saying "No, we don't grab mama's boobs!" in the middle of a restaurant?)

    (I think, because Joe is so nonverbal, that explaining to him that we don't nurse in public might not work as well as it would for another more verbal toddler. But also, because he's not verbal, maybe I haven't tried enough. He understands a lot more than he says.)

    Third issue, Joe just wants to camp out and nurse on my lap forever and ever!! He's shy, so it's his first reaction to an overwhelming social situation, see issues with NIP, above. And if I try to say no, he throws a major tantrum, see first problem, above. He's as clingy or more clingy than ever. I'm starting to feel very impatient about it, and I don't want to feel blech about nursing, I love nursing!

    Finally, my cycles started back up at about 16 months, and since then, I have been struggling with some really negative feelings around nursing during PMS. My nipples get sore, I get ornery, he's clinging and hitting and tantruming, and I feel like, OMG, I need to wean this kid YESTERDAY.

    BUT, I love nursing Joe when I first get home from work. I love nursing him before bed. I even love nursing him at night. It's the daytime nursathons and the NIP that is driving me nuts.

    Talk to me about setting limits, ladies. I have truly loved nursing my baby boy for almost two years. But things are changing, and this new dynamic (where he demands and I feel put upon) is not working for me. I am hoping to get nursing back to a thing that I cherish and enjoy 80% of the time (all the time is unrealistic, I get that). My baby is a serious boob-a-holic and I love that connection we have, and I don't want to deny him something he loves and gives him comfort, but also, I'm not a doormat.
    Last edited by @llli*joe.s.mom; February 1st, 2011 at 01:31 PM.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need help setting some nursing limits.

    Anyone? I know, I know, it's just the terrible twos. He's delightful a lot of the time too. I just need some commiseration.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need help setting some nursing limits.

    I actually typed a long reply and got kicked off and didn't feel like typing again.


    The thing I have found is setting limits can be time or time . Meaning the duration of the session or the time of day. By limiting both of these I've nursed well not our third year and my whole pregnancy even when I had some major bad feelings toward it. I don't know about the verbal thing cuz Max has always been excessively verbal , however I insist he asks to nurse politely, and if I don't want to I tell him, at first I would offer a substitute like almond milk or cows milk, but now I just say, I don't want to now, we can after dinner or whatever. As far as keeping the sessions short if I want it to be; I establish that when I say stop he says "done", now sometimes he complains that he's "not full with milk " but. Normally he stops cuz we established nursing on both our terms.


    Don't know if that will help.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need help setting some nursing limits.

    It sounds to me like you have already defined the times around which your boundaries should be set. I'd ask they be expanded to include his feeling shy because I feel like nursing to feel secure out in public is a real need and deserves to be treated as one. Just like if he fell on the playground and it his face, You'd determine that NEED and whip the tit right out.
    So Set the line. No nursing out of boredom. Have your morning, Come home and connect and bedtime sessions. And if he needs to nurse to get comfortable because he is shy put a time limit on it. Like he can have that session until twinkle twinkle little star has been sung . Then he has to go play. And at home, It's it not morning, naptime, come home time or bed time, find something else to do.

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need help setting some nursing limits.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    It sounds to me like you have already defined the times around which your boundaries should be set. I'd ask they be expanded to include his feeling shy because I feel like nursing to feel secure out in public is a real need and deserves to be treated as one. Just like if he fell on the playground and it his face, You'd determine that NEED and whip the tit right out.
    Thanks to both of you. I think I really just need a reminder of why this is important to me, you know? Because it is. Very important. I really want to let Joe wean himself. But I get these moments.

    Good point about the shyness. He is really shy. And I know that nursing is a way that he copes with social stress - it's a little embarrassing, I'm not going to lie, but then, having a really shy baby is sometimes socially awkward, but that's who he is, and I do have a ton of sympathy. So, yes, that's a need, however difficult it is for me at times. I would indeed whip out a tit if he were hurt, so I'll try to think of it like that.

    You're right. Focusing on the boredom nursing is a great place to start. So is the twinkle twinkle little star idea. I have been nursing a toddler for a while now, but I'm new to the whole "older toddler" concept.

    I think I'm in a bit of a mood about it because I spent Saturday trying to visit my in-laws, who are skeptical about longer term nursing, and I was ALSO totally PMSing, and it was HARD. I don't want to not nurse Joe in public, but it's important for me to set a good example for other toddler nursers (ETA: You know, I don't want everyone going home and saying, "that's what happens when you don't wean your babies at six months!"), and boy, that was not it. Got me kind of existentially freaked out.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by @llli*joe.s.mom; February 1st, 2011 at 10:02 PM.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need help setting some nursing limits.

    I notice that you've mentioned not wanting to wean a few times and I want t assure you that setting reasonable limits is in no way forcing him to wean you can still have a healthy nursing relationship, don't worry over that ok.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Need help setting some nursing limits.

    No I get you completely. I remember beginning to get self conscious and not wanting to nurse around mothers with newborns because I didn't want to scare them and I know most women come with preconceived ideas about it that are ignorant and based on society's idea about breasts. But at the same time.....just like when you have an older child....you don't want what you do and don't do in your relationship with child to be based on outside influences. It's not fair to your child. I have to remind myself that when he is acting up when I am in line at the grocery store. Is the judgment of strangers worth damaging or harming my relationship with my kid? Is it worth it to get angry because I feel them judging us? To ruin our afternoon? Not really. Not ever.
    Same thing here. People being uncomfortable is their issue. And not your issue to fix. You DO need to look at why you are uncomfortable. The parts of it that are related to societal pressure I want urge you to let go. The ones that actually matter to you....your sanity, physical comfort, not wanting to waste all your time nursing when you know it's just boredom, THOSE things I think you honor in the same way you honor his needs. Nursing is a RELATIONSHIP. And it's the first very meaningful one your child will ever have. I think that learning in relationships that you have to honor the feelings of another if you want it to continue is an important lesson. As is the idea that if you try to take care of someones needs at the expense of your own, resentment always ensues. So find your space and Lead the dance. It's what we do.

    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need help setting some nursing limits.

    I want to say too that it won't hurt to explain to him. He understands just as well as any toddler his age who is talking. I was surprised sometimes with Lance that he would recall something that happened when he wasn't talking when he did start talking. It was weird because I didn't have the concept that he knew what was going on because he couldn't express it, but it was all going on in his head.

    As far as setting limits, I wish I had better advice. I am there with Levi. Today for instance we had a notary at our house to sign refinancing documents. I couldn't nurse him ever 5 seconds like he expects. I kept offering dry figs and a sippy cup of water but that was only getting me so far. He just had molar number 1 come in, so I feel bad setting limits right now, but my sanity is suffering.
    Beth

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

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    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Need help setting some nursing limits.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*samiha View Post
    I want to say too that it won't hurt to explain to him. He understands just as well as any toddler his age who is talking. I was surprised sometimes with Lance that he would recall something that happened when he wasn't talking when he did start talking. It was weird because I didn't have the concept that he knew what was going on because he couldn't express it, but it was all going on in his head.
    This is a good point. He does understand a lot. When I tell him, "No, honey, no nursing right now," he sure knows what that means! This morning I let him nurse through Twinkle Twinkle and then I told him we were done, and he accepted it okay. Not thrilled, but not a full-on tantrum. I like the idea of this being a relationship now - I can be generous, but it no longer needs to be "on demand." We'll nurse when we BOTH want to nurse. I can tell it will be a process to get to this point, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*samiha View Post
    As far as setting limits, I wish I had better advice. I am there with Levi. Today for instance we had a notary at our house to sign refinancing documents. I couldn't nurse him ever 5 seconds like he expects. I kept offering dry figs and a sippy cup of water but that was only getting me so far. He just had molar number 1 come in, so I feel bad setting limits right now, but my sanity is suffering.
    I hear you! We may be in 2-year-old molar zone, and that may be partly the reason he seems so clingy lately ... Still, I'm trying to tell myself, if I can set some limits, that will make it possible for me to nurse Joe longer-term, so it will benefit him, even if he doesn't understand that right this minute.

    It's not that I don't understand that I can set limits without weaning, it's that nursing without adequate limits is making me WANT to wean more than I ever have - I have been entertaining the notion these days, when I never did before. Does that make sense?


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Need help setting some nursing limits.

    I just wanted to share that my DD is 22 months and very verbal and has a lot of the behaviors that you describe in your son...so dont think its just casue of his delay. DD wants to nurse ALL THE TIME! And when we are out she tries to get under my shirt, and will YELL, " I want BABE-ER!" (yess, she calls nursing baber). So you dont have to speak Miranda to understand what she is doing! She wil lift my shirt (attempt to in public) unzip my jacekt, etc...and I HATE to tell her no but sometimes its not possible, and she has to wait! And sometimes she throws a major fit that I wont nurse her. BUt when I am chasing my son at a busy play place, it just cant happen!

    But at home I try to give in as often as I can, cause I know she needs to nurse still, and will curl up with me on the couch for hours if I had that time!

    Hang in there you are doing great! I know how hard it is to explain to a speech delayed kid. I find that I often didnt explain as much to DS due to his delay, but he understood it all!
    Mommy of 4,
    3 who I watch over, 1 who watches over all of us

    J- 8/20/05 pumped breastmilk for 11 months due to his cleft lip and palate!

    M- 10/17/07 my precious baby lives forever in her mommys heart

    M- 3/31/09 my special gift, she helps heal her mommy and daddys heart. Nursed for 4 years and 10 days, self weaned the day her baby brother was born!

    E-, new little miracle born 4/11/13, my BIG baby! Born 8.6 at 38 weeks. At 9 weeks nearly 17lbs, at 12 weeks nearly 20lbs, at 6 months nearly 23lbs, at 8 months nearly 25lbs and all from BREASTMILK


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