or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Toddler Health › Child-Led Weaning › Just don't think I can do it anymore...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Just don't think I can do it anymore...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
DD1 is four years old. She loves to nurse and I can't imagine her self-weaning any time soon. I was fully committed to CLW and firmly believe it is the way to go. But I don't think I can handle this any more. Ever since DD2 was born (over a year ago) nursing DD1 has made me cringe. I have never been able to relax when she was nursing, no matter what the circumstances. Now even the sound of her nursing makes my skin crawl. Today she was drinking from a sippy, making the same sound and even that got under my skin.

Added to this, and magnifying my tension, is her need to be touching my breasts all.the.time. I've posted about this but I guess I really haven't been able to get across how frequent this is and how deep-rooted this is for her. I have tried everything I can think of to get her to stop touching me. When I hold her, her hand goes to my breast. When we sit down together, or lie down together, she immediately nuzzles my breast. She cannot stop doing it. Believe me, I have tried everything.

I am so sad and so frustrated about this. I really wanted to let DD go as long as she wanted nursing, but it is affecting our relationship well beyond just our nursing relationship.

Has anyone BTDT?? Anyone have words of advice? Anyone have ideas on how to wean a very determined four year old gently and yet effectively?
post #2 of 17
I haven't BTDT, but I have and am nursing 4 year old(s), the touching thing drives me insane as well, but I have reduced nursing to morning and night, although not strictly CLW I did it for MY sanity and our relationship, I sometimes nurse during the day if I feel ds really really needs it. I did tandem for 18 months and dd tapered off herself.

I would in this situation sit down and work out the pros and cons for yourself and her, see if you really want and need this, it's something that you really need to search for yourself.

You know 4 years is a long time many many mothers would never even dream about nursing for so long, you've done a great job and if you feel it would be better for your relationship to stop then don't feel guilty about it, move on to the next step in parenting your dd, go for special days out together, I remember just going to buy a birthday present for our niece with dd and making it a really special outing, mothering doesn't stop just because we stop nursing we just move on to other things.
post #3 of 17
I have no advice, just commiseration.
DS is 3.2, and I am so ready to be done. I think about it all the time. It hurts so much these days. He screams and cries if I don't let him have it. I worry that somehow we convinced him in infancy that he NEEDED nummies. (There was a lot of, "oh, that's so good, you need that nummies" talk, and I offered it to him all the time, even just to hush him up) I go to school 2-3 hours five times a week, and DH says he screams hysterically for nummies, sometimes almost the whole time I'm gone! I hate the feeling of it, the groping, the sound, it hurts so much these days, I hate feeling like I HAVE to do it, I resent DS for needing it all the time. I was ready to stop a year ago, now it's all I think about. I hate that I feel this way. I wanted to be a "good mom" and nurse him through toddlerhood, being loving and there for him, and now I just get so angry about it, and he senses it and gets confused and scared and wants more nummies! I feel stuck and miserable.
Didn't mean to hijack. Just know that you're not alone.
post #4 of 17
I have a 4yo (8/05) and an almost 6mo. Once the baby arrived, nursing DD1 got really annoying It seemed like she had a lazy suck, she's so huge (!), and she wanted to nurse all of the time. She's been really sweet to her baby sister, though. I've tandemed nursed so far, but I've slowly gotten DD1 down to nursing only in the morning. She was also always a twiddler - nonstop. It drove me nuts!

I stopped the twiddling by just not letting her do it. I'd even cover my breast with one hand while she nursed on the other side. When she'd want to just touch my breasts, I'd move her hand, repeatedly if necessary.

I just couldn't nurse two at night anymore and the baby has to nurse, so I told her no more nursing at night once August comes. Then it was no more nursing during the day once September came. October was only nursing in the morning. I think we'll keep it like this for awhile. She forgets some mornings. She does ask during the day occasionally and I tell her that we only nurse in the morning. I'll cuddle with her and hold her instead.

She does cry and get really upset sometimes, but I really just couldn't do it anymore. I was just all touched out.

It has really been quite the process. I always planned to CLW, but like you said, it was affecting our relationship in other ways. I think it's WHO that says something like - Nurse for at least two years and then for as ever long as mutually desireable."
post #5 of 17
I'll probably get a "warning" but I'll say that I got to 4 years, 6 months and I was done. Just done. That was it. I had been talking to my daughter about weaning for at least a year but she was never keen on the idea. We were finally camping in the summer and I told her we would make this our last time in the tent and she could always remember it. She agreed - at the time but regretted it later. She still likes to hold my breasts, stroke them, rub her face in them and at 6.5 will still try to suck on them. She says she's still nurse if I'd let her.

For awhile I did feel guilty about it (and when you hang arounds these boards enough, it's not surprise.) But my sister, god love her, who also nursed her kid until for 4 - was like HEY - you nursed a kid for 4.5 years, you have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to feel guilty about. If you want to feel guilty as a mother, pick something else. And you know, she was right. CLW was not right for me. I found my limit and it was 4.5 years.

How much are you nursing? Have you limited it to certain times of the day or a certain number of times? I was down to once a day in the morning when we stopped nursing. I would try setting a limit at first. Give her so many "nursing" cards and tell her she'll get them back in the morning OR just cut down to certain times of the day - upon waking or before bed. I would start there first and see how it goes for both of you. I always found that when I set good limits I was able to continue a bit longer.
post #6 of 17


I am a big believer in CLW. I truly am. I have a very strict definition of CLW that most people will fall short of. I, for example, am one of those people.

Just because you can recognize, define and aspire to an ideal does not mean that you will, or must, live that ideal. I think that concept is one of the hardest things for mothers to let go of. We want the very best for our children. When we actually *know* what the very best is, it's hard to forgive yourself for not giving it to them. But sometimes the cost of "the best" is not a price we can pay, kwim?

Reading these posts really made me think of something I have not thought of in quite this way before. You know, I tend to discount "child led" weanings that occur as a direct result of a pregnancy. I tend to think, "well, would that child really have weaned if there was more milk, mom wasn't so tired, mom wasn't so sore, etc...?" But I've never really considered the flip side of the coin as much... "Would that child really have kept nursing if there was no longer milk, if they weren't reminded of it constantly by a younger nursing sibling, etc...?" When you're talking about four+ year olds, there is a good chance they would have had access to much LESS milk had they not had a younger sibling. That they would have forgotten it slowlly over time if they didn't see someone else nursing with their mom 10-15 times a day. That they would have tired of having to work so hard, for such little reward that they may have weaned happily days, weeks, months, for some children even years earlier.

Because the OP placed this plea in CLW instead of Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy, I have to assume that she *wants* to continue. And if you do, that is wonderful. And you know what, if you don't, that's wonderful too. Please give yourself permission to say, "Enough. I have given what I can give" and end the relationship. Have you given any thought to how you would like to end it? Have you talked to your child? Do they want a party, a special time between the two of you, one last long nursing...?

If you want to continue, I would encourage you to think about what you need to gain and what you hope to get rid of. Write it down. What behaviors are especially abhorant to you and which ones would you actually like to keep? Because sometimes if you can get rid of some of the things that are really bothering you, you realize that the other things suddenly don't seem as bad. Of course, given all of your nursing experience, you all already know this. You've been, I'm sure, through numerous ups and downs, and strikes and 24 hour nursing marathons. If you've made it these many years, you probably know if you've really reached the end of your rope, and if you have--- Good job. You did great to make it that long. Try to make the ending a positive experience for both you and your nursling and take comfort that you did the very best you could do.
post #7 of 17
I'm new here, so i hope you don't mind me jumping in.

I just wanted to say you have done a great job, and you really need to do what feels right for you! I totally understand about your child ALWAYS wanting to touch the other breast, both my kids did it and it drove me bonkers. I always stopped as soon as they started reaching for the otherside (not till they were older ofcourse) and eventually they both got the message, if you want to nurse you leave the other side alone....BUT it took alot of persistence!

Also, you are totally allowed to feel "touched out" I used to feel really guilty about feeling that way, but after 7 yrs of nursing 3 spent tandem I was DONE...I did a survey online with about 200 other nursing moms, and one question was something to the affect of what is the hardest part about nursing, and every single mother said they felt guilty about feeling "touched out" So cut yourself a bit of slack, you have done a wonderful thing for your child by nursing this long!

One thing i ended up doing was literally just not sitting down for months on end...lol I swore that everytime my butt hit a seat someone wanted to nurse...lol so I just tried not to be to accessable unless I felt up to nursing. In the end it gave me the break i needed to keep going. It was my SIL who gave me that advice....however for her it was not enough and after 5 yrs of nursing she decided it was better for her relationship with her dd if she stopped. Like you, she had just hit that point where it made her skin crawl.

In the end you just need to do what is best for you and that will be what is best for your relationship with your child.

I wish you the best of luck, I know it can be so hard sometimes.

Just remember you have done and are doing a wonderful thing for your child. YOu should be proud of yourself for making it this far
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by babymkes3 View Post

One thing i ended up doing was literally just not sitting down for months on end...lol I swore that everytime my butt hit a seat someone wanted to nurse...lol so I just tried not to be to accessable unless I felt up to nursing.
My husband calls that 'boobie attack' as soon as I sit down my youngest comes running. He is more on a schedule now, or at least I try to keep him on a schedule.

OP - my boys were twiddlers too, with roaming hands and I can understand how you feel.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentle~Mommy :) View Post
My husband calls that 'boobie attack' as soon as I sit down my youngest comes running. He is more on a schedule now, or at least I try to keep him on a schedule(
That is the perfect name for it too
post #10 of 17
OP, I am nursing my first now, he is 11 months. I think that if it was making me as uncomfortable as it is making you, I would end it. Pat yourself on the back for making it to 4 years, and don't regret it. If it means you can enjoy your relationship with your child again, go for it.
post #11 of 17
When my older one was 4 and nursing (and my younger was 1 at the time) I had the same exact feeling. I didn't mind the "boobie snuggles" as much as the actual nursing. I talked about it with her and asked if she actually liked the nursing and the milk or was it more being close to me and getting boobie snuggles. She said she liked both I asked her if I said yes more often to boobie snuggles would she consider weaning? And she replied with, "Yes. I'm going to wean." I asked her when and she said, "Right now." Believe it or not, she did!

My younger daughter is now turning 5 in December and showing no signs of weaning. I've been nursing now for 8 years without a break and sometimes I think I'm going nuts. I tried the same negotiation with dd#2, but of course it didn't work. She's a little strong-willed.
post #12 of 17
BTDT
my dd was weaned by 4.5
i wish i'd stopped it lovingly at 4, because by the end, i was literally wanting to scream everytime she nursed. it's a relationship, with 2 partners. and if you are unhappy, you can decide to end it and transition into another way of being close and showing love. i struggled with the guilt and i eventually began limited sessions, until we got to just bedtime nursing, and that i got down to just a minute or so, and then, got her to accept foot rubs and back scratching, which she still loves. she was fine with the process, and in hindsight, wouldve been fine if i'd just decided we were done earlier. kids follow our lead, and will adapt accordingly. once i was firm and feeling secure and positive about it, she was ok with it too.

4 yrs nursing is an amazing gift to give your child. whatever you decide to do, you deserve a great big round of applause for what an awesome job you are doing
post #13 of 17
Thanks for starting this thread and for those who replied. I'm feeling this way right now.

My son is 4yrs 8mo and I am really feeling done with his nursing. I struggle with how to end it since I will keep nursing his sister (16mo). How can I do that to him? How can I take away the thing he loves most in the world, but keep giving it to her? I can't even imagine it.

I need to make a pro/con list and see if I can figure out a way to regain some sanity without weaning him completely. Part of it is that it doesn't feel right to me, right now. The other part is that it's rather terrifying to imagine. I don't want to go through it. I feel like it will be really hard and it's just *easier* to keep nursing, even when I don't want to. But I don't think I can last very long that way.

One thing I know for sure - I don't want to end this 4+ year relationship on a bad note. I'm rather afraid of that, also. I want to look back on it with happy memories for both of us.

TiredX2, good insight about whether a child would have kept nursing. Very interesting to think about...
post #14 of 17
I wanted to do CLW with my first, but ended up weaning him at 4 yr 4 mos for similar reasons. When we first weaned, he tried to grab my breast or latch on whenever he could. It has been over a year since then, and now he only tries occassionally.

I thought I would nurse my second at least as long, if not until he self-weaned, but now at 2 yrs 11 mos, I am dreaming of weaning day. He is a toucher, too, and gets very angry with me when I move his hand or cover up the other side. At least once a week we have to end a nursing session early because he gets angry enough to hit or bite me. Emotionally, I am done and am becoming resentful, too, but then the guilt hits. I feel bad about the prospect of weaning him, and I feel especially bad that his older brother got to nurse longer.

Anyway, I totally hear you on the discomfort, the resentment, and the guilt. Hugs!
post #15 of 17
I haven't BTDT. I'm still nursing a (slowing down) 30 month old. However, he is a twiddler/toucher/etc. and it often drives me insane. Thankfully, it is usually only at the night and morning nursing sessions that he does it. He gets upset if I try to cover up the other side, etc. I've tried to explain, ask, firmly tell him and have even gotten upset with him (at mid-cycle I almost can't bear it!)... but nothing works; I think it is just his way of feeling comfortable so I often end up tolerating it or if he is half-sleeping, I can sometimes distract his hand by holding it.
post #16 of 17
That is why DS weaned when he did at 4.75...I had been tandem nursing for 2 years, and it was just "getting" to me. He was down to just before bed on his own by that time anyway, and I was able to gradually convince him some nights that mommy could just lay down by him for awhile instead of him nursing before sleep. I still lay down by him every night, and he weaned 2 years ago. DD is now 4, and sometimes asks before bed, sometimes not. I am almost 28 week pg again, so not much, if any milk is there, so she just latches on for a few seconds I think just to know that she can. So I don't know if she will wean before the baby comes in January or not. Both of thim liked to grab at my breasts (she sometimes still does!), and while pg/nursing, I really don't even like DH to mess with them, LOL. So another mama here who has BTDT, and can sympathize!
post #17 of 17
Just wanted to add that I feel the crawlies at the time of the month I am about to start my period and have felt it helped me to drink Mothers Milk Teas and Chamomile teas -I take Valarian capsules also at bedtime --it boosts my milk supply and calms me a bit and maybe the child also gets calmer .
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Child-Led Weaning
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Toddler Health › Child-Led Weaning › Just don't think I can do it anymore...