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Thread: I feel so done...and he's not.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,081

    Default I feel so done...and he's not.

    Owen turned 2 yrs old a few weeks ago. He still wants to nurse every few hours during the daytime and several times a night. I have been working on night-weaning him and getting him down to nursing when he wakes up in the morning (6:30am), before nap time (goes down between 11:30-12:30) and before bed (goes down between 7-7:30pm). But, it has been really hard to decrease his nursing sessions. He wants to nurse several times in between waking up, nap, and bedtime and asks several times a night and when I don't nurse him he gets pretty mad and hits/kicks/scratches/yells/cries. I try everything I can think of to distract him but it takes a while to work and the fit still happens. At night time I tell him if he keeps hurting mommy he will need to go sleep in his crib (we mostly co-sleep), that we can cuddle and will nurse in the morning. I don't think he knows what morning is though, it's still dark out when we get up in the morning.

    It was MUCH easier to night-wean Emma. I did it over 3 months, she was 18-21 months. She cried for like 20 minutes the first night, 10 the next, and by the thrid night she didn't cry at all when I told her she needed to wait until morning. But I was only not nursing her from 11pm-3am at first and I just increased the amount of time slowly and we went back to night nursing when we traveled or she got sick. But, once she hit 21 months, she didn't nurse from 8pm to 6am. And by the time she was 2 yrs old, I nursed her 1-3 times a day...I was pumping and nursing her baby brother. When she was 2 1/2 yrs old, I hit a wall with nursing her but we continued with no more than once a day and sometimes not even every day, until she was 3yrs 7mos.

    But, I feel like I've hit that wall with Owen now. And I feel guilty about not wanting to nurse him as long as I nursed Emma. And for wanting to wean him when he doesn't seem ready. LOTS of kids are weaned before they are 2 yrs old and they do fine...all of my girlfriends have weaned their youngest children and they are 3-6 months younger than him. They seem fine to me. And it's driving me crazy that he shoves his hand down my shirt and yells "milk, mommy, milk!" when we're out, playing with friends, etc. And that's the other thing...he wants to put his hand down my shirt when he nurses and often will grab at my other nipple and it makes me crazy. I say "no thank you, please don't put your hand down my shirt" and offer to hold his hand, but he shoves it back, I pull it out, he shoves it back, and on and on. It's like a battle between us and I hate it! Nursing is not a sweet, loving thing between us anymore. Which makes me want to stop. But, again, I feel guilty because he seems to have so much difficulty with me decreasing his nursing sessions, and I nursed Emma for so much longer than this. It seems like most moms nurse their subsequent children longer than their first and I'd be going the other way.

    Any advice?
    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


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,987

    Default Re: I feel so done...and he's not.

    I have so been there. I was pregnant and ready for DS to wean at 2, and he didn't (finally) wean until 3 1/2. It is hard to find the balance to meet a nurslings needs and your needs when you aren't on the same page.

    It sounds like getting a handle on his nursing manners might make a big difference for you. Focusing on one thing that bothers you most at a time can often be helpful. If it is the manners, maybe you could offer him something else to hold/fiddle with, but if he insists on messing with momma, then he gets put down. It will probably be an exhausting couple of days while he figures out the cause/effect of doing what momma doesn't like, but he will probably figure it out pretty quickly. Maybe if you can get that aspect going better, you can regroup and decide what you want to focus on next.

    I think some children are just more enjoyable toddler nurslings than others, and it sounds like you happened to get a less enjoyable one second. There's nothing wrong with that, it just is.
    DS 1/2006 9 lb. 2 oz. 22 in.
    DD 10/2008 8 lb, 2 oz. 20 in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,269

    Default Re: I feel so done...and he's not.

    That sounds frustrating! I can totally relate to wanting to wean when you're experiencing so many annoying behaviors- the groping, the nighttime kicking/yelling/scratching/etc. fits.

    A few thoughts-
    - This isn't wasted effort. Teaching a kid nursing manners is all part of teaching manners. When you say "Don't put your hand down my shirt," and you have to repeat that over and over, you're working on his overall mannerliness.
    - If Owen doesn't understand "We'll nurse again in the morning," maybe you could teach him about morning? Show him picture books and talk about night and morning, and the sun coming up, and people sleeping and waking up... Maybe if he understands those things, "We'll nurse again in the morning" will make more sense to him?
    - So what if lots of moms nurse their second kids longer than their first? Every kid and every nursing experience is different.
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,081

    Default Re: I feel so done...and he's not.

    Thanks ladies. I have tried to teach him about morning but it's a hard time of year to do that with a kid who just turned 2 - it's dark until 8am right now.

    He's doing a little better keeping his hand out of my shirt - he still tries to a.lot when nursing, but will stop for periods of time instead of it being a constant battle. And you're right - it is teaching him manners and about respecting people's bodies. I'm just not a touchy-feely person so it's been challenging to have "needy" kids who want to be held a ton, nursed until they are preschoolers, and sleep next to me during the night. I mean, any time I sit down one or both of them are on me. I'm glad they like to snuggle, but man, I need some space!

    I think I'd be ok nursing him longer if it was less often. We were at a friend's house yesterday morning and he nursed several times and still had a few fits in between nursing when I'd try to distract him. I gave him a snack and some water, plus there were lots of toys to play with, but it didn't distract him. And that just made me crazy...I feel like at this point he should be more interested in other things.

    We'll see how it goes. When we get back from our trip to Disney I'm going to make some changes to naptime/bedtime routines and see if that 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


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: I feel so done...and he's not.

    yeah at two its way ok to say look we don't nurse anywhere but home.
    We started with that when I was nursing sarah...
    IF you promise them 1st thing when we get home you have to keep your word about it.
    ITs harder when you have older kids that have to be places.

    maybe just changing up how you nurse would help.
    at 2 we also started just nursing in bed, I would ask we just do that to take a nap, 90% of the time they didn't want to take a nap so they would take a snack sub or glass of juice.

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