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DH pressuring me to wean 2 yo NOW

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Ok, I need some advice mamas!  My DD is 23 months and we're expecting #2 any day now.  DD is still BF, though with the pregnancy my milk dried up months ago, and it's really just comfort nursing 4-5 times a day for a minute or less. 

 

So DH has been pressuring me more and more in the last couple of months to wean her completely before the baby arrives.  He has two main reasons: 1) there won't be enough milk for the baby if the toddler is clamoring for it too, and 2) she will be less dependent upon me, especially at night, which means he'll be able to help more. 

 

Now, #1 is just an issue of him not really understanding how tandem nursing works, so I think if I dug up some good articles on Kellymom or something that would likely solve that problem.  But #2 has been a point of increasing contention lately. 

 

DD wakes anywhere from 2-7 times during the night.  The night wakings have improved since we nightweaned a few months ago, and are particularly better since we moved her out of our bed into a toddler bed at night.  But still, on a bad night she'll wake half a dozen times calling for me from her room.  This is getting more and more troublesome as I get more and more pregnant.  When I wake DH and send him in to take care of her so I can get more sleep, she goes absolutely hysterical on him, screaming and sobbing "Mama, Mama, Mama" over and over until I go in to take over.  If I go in on my own, I can tuck her in and soothe her and she's asleep again in 5 minutes.  Generally, I don't even bother waking him since he can't help anyway -- which means that I'm grumpy and angry and frustrated on bad nights because he's snoring away peacefully and I'm hauling my pregnant butt out of bed every hour.  Heaven help him if he wakes up and says, "Honey, what's wrong?"  hopmad.gif

 

So we're all tired and frustrated at this point, which is making us all a bit less reasonable, but DH is putting on a lot of pressure about weaning now.  He is convinced that the reason she won't let him near her at night is because she is still BF (even though she is nightweaned and has been for months), and that the only way for him to be able to take over nighttime parenting for her is for me to stop nursing her altogether. 

 

This sounds totally ridiculous to me, but for him it's the most reasonable option.  I can't imagine it's a good idea (or even possible) to wean a determined toddler when a new sibling is due any minute... isn't that an awful lot of transition all at once?  Plus, I'm not at all sure it will make a difference in the least at night. 

 

Incidentally, she does fine overnight with my parents -- when she wakes asking for me, they just say, "she's not here, go back to sleep," and she does, no fuss.  It's only with DH that she goes ballistic.  Is the solution for me to sleep in the car for a few weeks, or what??? 

post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comtessa View Post

Ok, I need some advice mamas!  My DD is 23 months and we're expecting #2 any day now.  DD is still BF, though with the pregnancy my milk dried up months ago, and it's really just comfort nursing 4-5 times a day for a minute or less. 

 

So DH has been pressuring me more and more in the last couple of months to wean her completely before the baby arrives.  He has two main reasons: 1) there won't be enough milk for the baby if the toddler is clamoring for it too, and 2) she will be less dependent upon me, especially at night, which means he'll be able to help more. 

 

Now, #1 is just an issue of him not really understanding how tandem nursing works, so I think if I dug up some good articles on Kellymom or something that would likely solve that problem.  But #2 has been a point of increasing contention lately. 

 

DD wakes anywhere from 2-7 times during the night.  The night wakings have improved since we nightweaned a few months ago, and are particularly better since we moved her out of our bed into a toddler bed at night.  But still, on a bad night she'll wake half a dozen times calling for me from her room.  This is getting more and more troublesome as I get more and more pregnant.  When I wake DH and send him in to take care of her so I can get more sleep, she goes absolutely hysterical on him, screaming and sobbing "Mama, Mama, Mama" over and over until I go in to take over.  If I go in on my own, I can tuck her in and soothe her and she's asleep again in 5 minutes.  Generally, I don't even bother waking him since he can't help anyway -- which means that I'm grumpy and angry and frustrated on bad nights because he's snoring away peacefully and I'm hauling my pregnant butt out of bed every hour.  Heaven help him if he wakes up and says, "Honey, what's wrong?"  hopmad.gif

 

So we're all tired and frustrated at this point, which is making us all a bit less reasonable, but DH is putting on a lot of pressure about weaning now.  He is convinced that the reason she won't let him near her at night is because she is still BF (even though she is nightweaned and has been for months), and that the only way for him to be able to take over nighttime parenting for her is for me to stop nursing her altogether. 

 

This sounds totally ridiculous to me, but for him it's the most reasonable option.  I can't imagine it's a good idea (or even possible) to wean a determined toddler when a new sibling is due any minute... isn't that an awful lot of transition all at once?  Plus, I'm not at all sure it will make a difference in the least at night. 

 

Incidentally, she does fine overnight with my parents -- when she wakes asking for me, they just say, "she's not here, go back to sleep," and she does, no fuss.  It's only with DH that she goes ballistic.  Is the solution for me to sleep in the car for a few weeks, or what??


Yes! Sort of...

We went through this with DS when we night weaned him. It took three awful, miserable nights full of hysterics and rampant grumpiness before he would accept DH as a nighttime caregiver. But he did. And yours will too. But DH has to be willing to give it 110% on those nights...and you have to be strong and not rescue him.
post #3 of 17

 

Quote:

We went through this with DS when we night weaned him. It took three awful, miserable nights full of hysterics and rampant grumpiness before he would accept DH as a nighttime caregiver. But he did. And yours will too. But DH has to be willing to give it 110% on those nights...and you have to be strong and not rescue him. 

 

Yes exactly. It wasn't until I stepped back and refused to go up that my toddler finally accepted DH. You have to simply decide that your DH and your toddler can work it out. Everytime you "rescue" them makes it that much harder for your DH to be successful. It is not CIO to cry in the arms of a Daddy who loves you. It just isn't. It took also took us three nights to work through it and it was hard. But now we alternate bedtime every other night and my son goes to sleep just fine for both of us.

post #4 of 17

Another been there done that... and I guess one question I have is, what are you doing to soothe your child at night when you finally go in to "rescue" your DH?  My DH feels exactly the same as your DH and for that reason I'm in the process of starting to talk to DD (27 months) about weaning as a beginning to the official "full weaning" process.

 

At first I felt like you did, that my still BF DD during the day and to sleep at night (but not during the night - she's totally nightweaned now) did not have anythign to do with her usually screaming for me if she wakes up during the night and not wanting DH.  But as she's really settled into being nightweaned, now sometimes when I go in if she wakes up during the night, she is still cranky until DH comes in!  And I'm just starting to think that it's worth it to see if DH is right that if I fully wean, then she won't be as cranky with him during their full days together (when DH is giving me a break to run errands or have "me time" alone).

 

It makes sense... she needs to learn other ways to soothe herself and be soothed by DH and I other than nursing/running to mommy.  I of course am fine with her calling for me, but it really does stress DH out mightily when he's with her all day and she gets cranky and can't have the one "magic cure" because he's got no milk in his boobs.

 

So I'm starting to wean because more and more I think he may be right that it's keeping her from being "soothe-able" in other ways, by him and me.

post #5 of 17

I night weaned my son while I was pregnant with my second and it was difficult, I had to be totally out of the room.  So, I'd say same idea, you need to pick a few nights (or more) where you DH doesn't need to be 100% the next day (or do it asap as you are due soon) and let him be the one to go in at night.  Its terrible to hear them cry, knowing you could go in and make it all better, but she'll be fine.  It took us like 3 nights.  And it was fine, and it made having a newborn SO MUCH EASIER at night.  I only had one baby to worry about, and that's the way I like it (at night anyway wink1.gif).  

 

As far as the reason she wants only you, I don't think has anything to do with nursing, but that she's only ever had you.  Personally, I think weaning her could make a lot of things harder.  One, I think she'd be even more clingy to you, including at night if you weaned her before she's ready.  Also, when the baby is born and nursing, if you wean her right before, could cause some serious jealousy issues.  

 

Plus, nursing through a pregnancy is HARD WORK!  If I made it thought my whole pregnancy and then weaned my son I'd be a little irritated!  Tandem nursing, IMO, has been worth it.  My older son is wonderful to my younger (they are 22 months apart) and there's never been an issue of not enough milk.  In the beginning, I made sure the baby nursed first, but my oldest also got plenty, as I was engorged, and then my supply evened out to feed them both.  Also, I know my supply this time around is much greater than my first.  

 

Good luck!  

post #6 of 17

I don't think your issues are really about nursing but about preference. You've already night weaned. You just need to have a rule in place that DH has the role of night time parent and you DO NOT. Dh needs to handle it all and as soon as your LO knows this then it will get easier. You aren't helping anyone by "rescuing" him. Stop helping at night, shore up your strength and try and get some sleep, and be ready to focus your night time energy on your infant.

post #7 of 17

well, I'm tandem nursing my 23 month old and my 3 week old, and if I had weaned her right before the baby was born it would have made things hell. she wanted to nurse every time she saw him nursing, plus between every nursing session at first. I agree that she just needs to get used to him being the one who comforts her at night, and he needs to get used to it as well. 

post #8 of 17
I would think that, when your new babe is born, dd will want to nurse even more, when she sees nursing happening. It could be a cause of major stress and IMO sib issues. I would not do it. But that's just me.
post #9 of 17

Oooh, tough one! When DD weaned (at about 2 years, maybe 26 months?) it only worked, I'm convinced, because I was still her primary nighttime/comfort caregiver. She didn't really "need" to nurse - she just needed to know I was there. It was pretty simple to wean her with a kind of don't offer/don't refuse combined with a bit of extra "are you sure you want to nurse? How about another book?" pressure.  So weaning didn't help DH become a nighttime caregiver at all.

 

DD still (at almost 3) doesn't accept DH as nighttime comfort - and she has been weaned for more than six months.  She yells "NO! I don't want you!  I want mama!" at him, and screams until I come. That said, she also doesn't wake up at night more than once, and she's free and welcome to come into my bedroom and climb into bed with me when she does wake up.  Weaning took pressure off of me, but didn't put DH in much of a better position to help out.  It just made DD a little more independent.

post #10 of 17

I have nursed through pregnancy 3 times (tandem nursed through two of those actually) and when the new baby arrived things fell into place easily. Even if the kids needed me all of the time and were nursing tons, it just worked out great after the baby was born and DH had no problems taking over.  I made a point of explaining that when the baby came my attention would need to be on the baby more but that DH or I would always be there if they need us but that DH would be able to respond to them more quickly. 

 

I see Tandem nursing as a great way to help a child transition to becoming an older sibling. Not only can it help with engorgement, but I find that the older child is reassured that mom is still there for them and gives them a little time to reconnect. The baby isn't seen as the enemy. I don't believe at all the myth that weaning makes kids more independent, not true at all...

post #11 of 17
I'm pregnant and just weaned my DD about a week ago. I did it because I couldn't stand it anymore! In your case, however, since the baby is due any day now, I wouldn't wean. I've heard that tandem nursing can help the older child with the transition.
It took DH three nights to get DD to sleep by himself. At first it was awful! One thing I figured out though, is that if you've never let your kid cry, when they do, it seems like an eternity. I started timing how long it took DH to rock her to sleep and she only cried for 10 minutes max. It seemed like hours! Now she falls asleep easily with a few books and some cuddling. They are so much closer now. I just love watching their relationship blossom. She's such a daddy's girl!
post #12 of 17

my to are 26 months apart and nursed DD1 through the pregnancy and are still nursing both.  DH also pushed for me to wean, but that did not happen.  

 

My MW recommended against it since there would be so much sibling rivalry if we did it last minute.  I feel that everything fell into place too once DD2 came.  

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post


We went through this with DS when we night weaned him. It took three awful, miserable nights full of hysterics and rampant grumpiness before he would accept DH as a nighttime caregiver. But he did. And yours will too. But DH has to be willing to give it 110% on those nights...and you have to be strong and not rescue him.

Another vote for this. If you can go sleep somewhere else (a hotel? orngtongue.gif) all the better. Definitely the best thing we did before we had our second was have DH be THE ONLY OPTION at night. I also weaned because I'd go nuts tandeming but that doesn't seem to be an issue for you.
post #14 of 17

he is ignoring one of the major benefits of tandem nursing: it limits jealousy and smooths the way for a peaceful, loving sibling relationship right from the start.

 

i know that each family is different, but i'm glad my husband doesn't try to tell me what to do in regards to nursing. then again, i don't bother him with overnight childcare either. i just suck it all up myself. but that's me.

post #15 of 17

i agree. i nursed through pregnancy and went on to tandem nurse and honestly my dd really understood that the baby needed to eat first but it smoothed the transition in an amazing way. it was a major bonding thing for them early on, ds was not seen as a rival iykwim. she didn't have to give up any of the "baby" things, co sleeping, nursing, etc and she really was never jealous of the baby.

post #16 of 17

oh and dd night weaned on her own around 2.5/3 yo, not a fuss or a tear she just slowly stopped waking up to nurse. 2 years is still very much a baby that needs mama IMO.

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by oaktreemama View Post

 

 

Yes exactly. It wasn't until I stepped back and refused to go up that my toddler finally accepted DH. You have to simply decide that your DH and your toddler can work it out. Everytime you "rescue" them makes it that much harder for your DH to be successful. It is not CIO to cry in the arms of a Daddy who loves you. It just isn't. It took also took us three nights to work through it and it was hard. But now we alternate bedtime every other night and my son goes to sleep just fine for both of us.
 


I totally agree. Since she is night weaned it isn't the nursing that is the problem. It is that she prefers you as her night time comforter, and since you "rescue" her if she carries on enough she will not learn to accept him in this role.  You need to tell her at bedtime, in a nice gentle way, that he will be the one going to her at night if she wakes up, and then follow through!

Kudos to you for nursing all the way through pregnancy. I had wanted to but exhaustion and severe nipple pain meant weaning for my a little over 2 1/2 year old. Also, if you don't have it already you should pick up the book Adventures in Tandem Nursing. That would also help educate your husband on the supply issue.

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