I need help weaning my toddler.....at the end of my rope
My toddler is 22 months, and I'm also trying to wean (because I want to try for baby #2 and AF is still a no-show). Anyway, during the day, I can usually distract her or, if she seems to be hungry, offer her something else to eat/drink. It's nighttime that's a problem. Just a few nights ago, I told her that the "nanas" (her word for breasts) were sleeping, and that everyone else (e.g., Grandma and Elmo and Dora) was also asleep. She surprised me by looking at me for a moment and then saying "See them?" So I pulled down the neckline of my nightgown and showed her the "sleeping" nanas. She seemed satisfied by this, and rolled over and went to sleep. The next night she asked for nanas only once, and I was able to dissuade her. To make a long story short, your toddler is definitely old enough to be reasoned with, and you might have success with the "sleeping" excuse too.
I'm so sorry you are going through this. Please don't feel stupid about getting pregnant while still nursing. It might not be ideal *for the nursing*, but your DD is going to be given a lifelong gift of a sibling.
First, how old is your DD? How verbal is she?
Unfortunately, her twiddling makes logical sense. It is probably because your milk supply has decreased so she is trying to increase it through stimulation. Sucks, huh? Have you tried holding her twiddling hand? Another thing that sometimed helped me was if I was nursing lying down I would offer the TOP breast instead of the bottom. Then I would roll so my bottom nipple was down on the bed (where little hands couldn't get to it, lol).
One thing I would suggest is to actually pull her closer to nurse. This should help adjust her latch. I would also encourge you to verbally explain (and show) her what she needs to do to get a good latch. Show her opening your mouth wide and putting your tounge on top of your bottom teeth. The clicking is definately indicative of a bad latch.
Later in pregnancy I actually practiced my labor relaxation while nursing. It was painful, annoying and repetitive--- pretty much got me ready for labor ;) Seriously, though, I practiced relaxing, giving into what my body was feeling and really, really kept telling myself that is was something DD needed.
Is there any other way to get DD to sleep? If you need to resort to something like driving her around til she sleeps, I would really do it. Overall, this is a fairly short time period. Many women aren't as bothered by the nursing during the 3rd trimester (if their supply doesn't futher plummet).
What part of nursing is bothering you *the most*? Try to address that first in whatever way you need to. Are you getting enough sleep? Is DD just wanting to nurse all the time? Is it bad nursing manners that are bothering you...?
I'm sorry you're feeling bad about this. I have struggled nursing while pregnant with a few of my kids too. There are some good night weaning ideas here http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html
But basically I just weaned deliberately as quickly as I could. I cut us down to set times during the day (dealt with the drama when I refused... comforting, distracting). Distraction never worked in the way I hear it here. I mean it wasn't like it ever stopped him from asking. But he'd ask to nurse.. I'd say no and tell him when we could nurse next....he'd flip out and then after a bit I'd be able to get him interested in something else. The fits didn't last long. He learned very quickly that no meant no and our nursing 'times' were non negotiable.
I basically did this until we were done. Cutting one session per week. It took 2 months but could have been quicker.
I'd just say to have confidence that you're doing the right thing and she'll adjust in no time. Once weaned it was SO nice. I had my body back for my pregnancy. My relationship with DS grew in ways it couldn't when nursing was our 'go to'. He settled easily with other people. He started to STTN. It was just the right thing to do. But I had to project that attitude. No guilt or hesitation.
I weaned my second before I got pregnant with my 3rd. Live and learn right? I had no idea it would be as awful as it was. I thought I'd happily nurse and he'd magically lose interest during my pregnancy. Seems so naive now but I know it happens to some people!!
Once weaned it was SO nice. I had my body back for my pregnancy. My relationship with DS grew in ways it couldn't when nursing was our 'go to'. He settled easily with other people. He started to STTN. It was just the right thing to do. But I had to project that attitude. No guilt or hesitation.
Seriously. I haven't been preggo at all, nor am I even close to trying, but my relationship with DS grew SO MUCH after he weaned! It was miraculous. I'd say just do what works. Be confident in your decision, and just make up your mind and just do it.
My advice would be to stop nursing to sleep first, but nurse at other times. She WILL fall asleep without nursing, it will just take some time to get used to. HUGS.
I just weaned by 25 month old DD. It took me about 6 weeks start to finish. Here's what I did:
1. I told her repeatedly that nummas loved her very much, but they were almost "all gone" (a term she understands). I told her when she felt like she needed nummas, she could tell me and that we would go to the "cuddle corner" of the couch and cuddle until she felt better. I designated a different part of the couch from where she usually nursed as the cuddle corner.
2. I bought her a light like this from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Stoplight+Sleep+Enhancing+Clock&x=0&y=0
We talked about it and red light at night meant no nummas, green light meant she could nurse. When she would wake up in the middle of the night, I would point to the red light and remind her it meant no nursing. It took a few nights, but she got into the groove pretty quickly.
3. As we got closer to the end, I just repeatedly told her how many more nursing sessions she had "this is the last time we will have nummas in the morning", etc.
Basically, I thought it would be so much more difficult because she was a nursing addict, but she has been a rockstar baby in every way. The worst part so far has been the engorgement!
Good luck - you have done your daughter a great service and you are entitled to make this decision. Please do not beat yourself - you need to take care of you, and your baby girl is probably a lot more adaptable than you would guess. ♥
I totally went through this last pregnancy. I cried, I was so angry, and my daughter was only 10 months old when I got pregnant again. she didn't twiddle, but just nursing HURT SO BAD. I confess to praying, b/c I knew my milk supply wouldn't dry up, and she wasn't ready to wean.
I traveled, I set boundaries, I asked my husband for help when she needed soothing (since she had no expectations from him), and we made it through. I think 1 month before my baby was born she weaned. And then joined back in tandem nursing. I finally weaned her when she was 2 years 3 months old, because my body was tired and I felt like I couldn't handle it. Turns out I had gotten pregnant again. This pregnancy (with only 5 weeks left) has also been with a nursing baby. But it was NOTHING like last time. Lately I can tell my milk is colostrum and my 17 month old somewhat nurser is going to probably tandem nurse as well. Emotionally, nursing 2 children full time and getting pregnant again was something I did not plan on....
Keep talking about it, ask for help (also with soothing the little one), and forgive yourself for being vulnerable and sensitive at this time. I think close pregnancies are very emotionally draining and frustrating, but I will also tell you that my last surprise was a beautiful, amazingly easy baby who nursed without a single problem, slept, grew off the charts and has been the most loving and gentle presence in my life. I know she was the child I was supposed to have, and at this time, even though I was struggling with spacing.
Blessings and peace-