I decided to leave this in the main Breastfeeding area since DD2 (the one I would like to continue to nurse) is 10m, and so still needs milk. Based on my observation of how things are going, this is going to affect her as well, and I do also need advice on how to make sure she's getting enough milk during this process. I am very sure that it's time to wean DD1 (30m). She is not ready. I know that sounds horrible and I fully expect flaming, but I can't emotionally handle nursing both of them any longer. I worked very hard to nurse her through my pregnancy, even in the hospital after DD2 was born, they are very close and adore each other, and nursing has been a bonding experience for all three of us together. But the truth is, even though I convinced myself that DD1 needed to keep nursing (and I think she would benefit from it still), I have to admit that it's mostly been a very negative experience for me, and if I do it through gritted teeth much longer, it will affect our relationship. Trust me, I've been thinking about this for over a year. It's time. I can't do it anymore.
I can't find anything online specifically about weaning while tandem nursing. The only article I've found recommends replacing nursing with special activities and advises that dad can be a big help. That's fine and dandy, but DD1 wants to nurse specifically when DD2 is nursing, and if I'm nursing DD2, I can't get up and do some special activity with her (nursing in a sling does not work well for me, plus DD1 is not easily distracted and would be pulling on the sling while I was trying to entice her with whatever activity). I'm sure DH could be a great help, if he were home! He is gone from 5 am until at least 6 pm, and works 2 weeks before having 1 week off. I doubt 1 week would be long enough. This advice really seems to just be repeating the common stuff about weaning and not actually taking the fact that there is a nursing babe and mom is overwhelmed into account. The one possibly helpful point is to try to nurse the baby while the toddler is engrossed in some activity, but DD1 will only play by herself for so long (not usually long enough for DD2 to nurse well). It seems to presume that your baby is very young (like newborn, and thus not distracted by the older nursling's "special activity"), you have help (maybe DH is still home after baby's birth), and the older child is distractible. What should I attempt when none of those points are true for us? Anyone BTDT or have another source to recommend?
ETA: I have "How Weaning Happens" too, but I'm not too far into it. It seems pretty focused on reasoning with the child so far, which would probably work with DD1 (she has great language and reasoning skills), but the examples are stuff like "the milk is retiring after working so long", which would obviously not be true and DD1 would not accept that if she saw DD2 still nursing. I don't think she'll accept any reasoning if she sees DD2 still nursing.
She is also very persistent, which is part of my problem with it ... she will ask to nurse, and if I ask her to wait, she says "Okay ... now? Now? Now?" until I let her. Nursing is the only time she does this. Otherwise she's pretty reasonable and she understands waiting. It grates on my nerves before we even start, and then I definitely don't want to nurse her. Because that bothers me so much, I chose to limit the length of nursings rather than the number (so we nurse until I count to 5, instead of arguing all day long and reminding her a zillion times that we only nurse at bedtime or whatever ... that approach seemed better for my sanity at the time). She will let go but if DD2 is still nursing (often not because DD1 is pushing and pulling on her while trying to get on my lap) she immediately asks again.
The truth is it's already affecting our relationship, and I don't want it to get worse. I want to have a good relationship with my daughter. I haven't found a way to accomplish that, no matter how hard I've tried to ignore/feel/accept/rationalize the emotions or limit the nursing enough to relieve them, so I think weaning has to be the next step. I just don't know what to try first, or how to make sure DD2 is getting enough milk, when there's only one of me.
Edited by EmmysMama - 11/11/10 at 1:23pm