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please help - 3.5 yr old DD, milk dried up

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
hello, this is my first time on this part of the board. i came here specifically thinking i might be able to get some support on what i'm dealing with.

DD is 3.5. at this point, she only nurses at night (unless she has a big trauma in the day or something) but she needs to nurse to sleep and then many times during the night. so, okay. her sleep issues are a whole other post.

but the thing is, my milk seems to have dried up. she has been nursed completely on demand her whole life, but for whatever reason, my body is done. so, she's still "nursing" but she's not getting anything and it hurts me (physically). to get her to sleep, i just deal, but then in the night when she's half-asleep, she gets angry that there's no milk and then we have major hysteria.

obviously my body is done. we just HAVE to find a way to gently find closure for DD. i don't know what to do. she can't seem to let go, but for as child-led as i am, i also cannot go on with it hurting my body so much.

post #2 of 9
Maybe try night weaning. She's not going to like it. It will make her angry but as long as you're there to comfort her (hugs and cuddles or maybe a midnight snack) it will be okay.

I'd start by talking with her. My little girl is about her age and I know she'd understand if I explained it to her simply or put it in story form. Maybe get a children's book on weaning or getting older, one that explains how she doen't need the boobies anymore now that she's older but you still love her and she will still be your little girl ect. Then start reminding her that when she nurses to sleep at night they are "night night" boobies (I'd keep this feeding until the very end) and she can have then again tomorrow night. Don't give in at night, I know it will be hard and you'll have a sleepless first few nights but it will get better. And it's not like your abandoning her you'll be there to love her. You might also want to see if your DP (if you have one) would be willing to get up with her at night instead of you.

Good luck
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
thank you. we have been talking about it for a while now. she doesn't understand - or doesn't want to.

my DH is willing to get up in the night with her and does sometimes, but he has to get up at 5:00 and operate heavy machinery all day, so i don't want him to have to do it too much during the week.

i will have to try to find a story book about weaning - if anyone knows one, i'd appreciate the rec.
post #4 of 9
Originally Posted by JoyMC View Post
i will have to try to find a story book about weaning - if anyone knows one, i'd appreciate the rec.
My older ds was about your dd's age when I weaned him. I made him his own book about weaning with pictures and the story of nursing. I started with a picture of him as a newborn and talked about how that was the only food he had and then had a couple more pictures of him getting bigger and talked about how he started eating more food etc.

On the last page I wrote that now it was time for nursing to be over, that it's a part of growing up. That sometimes growing up can feel really exciting and fun and you feel proud about it. And sometimes you feel sad and sometimes you still want to be a baby. And that's okay. And that you're never too old or big to cuddle!

Then on the day after he last nursed we met his dad for lunch, just the three of us, and he got to pick out a toy. That night we had a little weaning party with brownies and candles.

He came to me a few times feeling sad and missing nursing and we rocked and cuddled and read books. He still cosleeps and his new comfort became resting his hand on my tummy, which he still does.

I know this is the CLW board, so my story isn't kosher, but I thought it might be helpful to you. I had been tandem nursing for over a year and just really needed him to be done.

HTH and good luck
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by anniegirl View Post
I know this is the CLW board, so my story isn't kosher, but I thought it might be helpful to you. I had been tandem nursing for over a year and just really needed him to be done.
thank you. your story was really helpful.

maybe i shouldn't have posted here? i guess i did b/c i have tried to be CLW, but my body isn't going along with it.

should i post somewhere else?

i did a search for weaning parties and found some interesting ways to mark the end of the era. maybe i'll make up a book as a way to introduce the idea and see where we go from there.
post #6 of 9
Originally Posted by JoyMC View Post

should i post somewhere else?
No no! I think you're just fine here, I mean MY story wasn't kosher because I purposefully weaned my ds. And from the age of 2.5 to 3 I slowly cut back his nursing from whenever he wanted to to only falling asleep at night then weaned him at 39 months. So I definitely wasn't CLW, just extended bf.
post #7 of 9
MY DD is almost 4 and I noticed that my body does this:

close to my menstruation and all the way around and bit after
I have super low milk supply and it also hurst a bit at times
but not to your degree but clearly hormons are doing something
around this time so i learned to just let go


-I noticed the more I stress about milk going low then the
milk goes lower .. so I am trying to do what I did when
I first ever started this business : and it is 4 years ago ha haha..
so I had to help myself to relax, viusalize, calm, think positive
and it helped

- I also do warm glass of milk before nursing my daughter
and so it goes easier as somehow it almost feels like the
warm milk runs right through me to her :-)

- I also consider that this all might come to end soon due to my
biology so as a backup plan I have for a longest while sippy cup
avialable in the bedroom every night and I do nusre my dd
and somehow I also offer her sippy as I see she is not getting
what she nees and she is simply thirsty so I ask
do you want some sippy as she nurses and sometimes
she nods her head, detaches form nipple and grabs sippy..
we use bisphenol free or glass sippy by born free btw.
and water only. never juice.

- I also offer her warm milk in the sippy before sleep
as this also sattisfies her and she nurses less..

- I also explain her that if during the night she wont' get
enough milk she always can get water in a sippy and she can
ask, I will give her .. she sometimes just is too sleepy
and fogets so it is good to remind and ask in the wee
hours of the night.

- I also try to get some sleep as I do have many nights just
liek you abut I have no heart to do any harsh night weaning
and she won't give up so we go with the flow but
I do tell her some nights and now more and more
that I am super tired and tomorrow is goig to be fun
day full of this and that so mamma needs rest
and sleep so if "you need to nurse.. mama will be more
tired and less funny tomorrow so maybe you can have
water instead tonight okay?" and sometimes it just works
and she sleeps thorugh the night without waking once

otherwise I am so used to her waking me up and nursing
that I am somehow managing after that many years..
but still if have choice I would rather not because
I noticed that I jsut really feel more exhosted during
the day if I night nurse and it is not about sleep but
about my body making all the milk.

if you ever want to increase your milk supply at this point
you might try one of the two.. what worked for me is:

- her frequent nursing for a while always increase my milk supply
as in when she is sick or something is bother in her or growth spurt
she will nurse like crazy day and night endless times and so
my milk supply goes up just like int he old day sof nursling a tinny
baby she was..

- furthermore the fenugreek... works like a charm.. and I did not
as what they suggest you as they try to sell you as much of this stuff
as possible but I did try minimum that worked for me so one capsule
per day of organic, and pure fenugreek from wholefoods did a totall trick
for me a day.. sometimes I did two during a day but never more per day.
my milk production was going throug the roof so I did that on my periods
because I did see the milk going down like crazy and I was hurting
and she was struggling so I did that only during periods and then stopped.
I just don't believe that anything is safe what we supplement as nobody knows how it might affect full body so I do absolute minimum when it is absolutely neccssary. it worked for me.

other then that it is what it is.. I do not do any hormonal contraceptives, I do not drink hormonal milk - only one that is added hormons free (as of course milk has normal natural hormons in it) so we do whole foods milk added hormons free..

I also drink some tea with milk as this somehow kicks milk productoion up
and it used to be widely popular way to do it in the old days.

Hope this help. You are always welcome to PM me if you have any questions or concerns, I will be happy to answer. My DD is 4 years old and so I think I did it all, been though all and be happy to talk about ins and outs as we seem to be on the same page.

My DD also wakes up a lot and I don't usually talk aobut it with other moms who are not understanding because they jsut don't know what it means and I also would never do anyting like CIO or anything so I am trying to comfort m lo with what I have and all.. we do cosleep.

hugs and best wishes

post #8 of 9
My milk dried up at 3.5 years too. My dd is now 4 and just yesterday I told her it was time to wean (although we've been talking about it for a while). We took a piece of paper and made 11 large circles on it. Everyday she's going to put a sticker in a circle and when they are all filled up, I am taking her to the raptor center to buy a stuffed California Condor (her choice). We talked about how all preschoolers stop nursing at some point and that some kids give it up on their own and others need a little help.

Also, she really enjoyed seeing pictures of a chimp named Flint from Jane Goodall's book, Through a Window. Flint is a chimp who does not want to stop nursing. He throws leaves at his mother, kicks, bites, scratches and generally throws a tantrum whenever is mother refuses him. This is inspiring to my sweet little daughter because although she's a little sad, she has not thrown leaves at me yet .

Good luck to you and good luck to me.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
thanks a lot. all very helpful.

my DD has NEVER slept all the way through the night, and never gone to sleep without being either nursed or worn in a baby carrier. i just can't imagine the day she will be able to sleep without nursing. (and yes, we cosleep.)

i know i won't be moving into her dorm room to nurse her all night ...

she gets pretty angry when i ask her to let go b/c it hurts, but she has not thrown leaves at me. i will have to look for that picture.

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