My DD is 3 and while she likes to snuggle my bosom and make little suckling noises to relax occasionally, she has been 100% weaned for a long time. My DS is 19 months and I swear he is going to kill me with this nursing. Constant. C-O-N-S-T-A-N-T nursing. All day, he's drive-by nursing. I cannot sit down without him crawling onto my lap to nurse. Sometimes, if I'm just standing still, he starts to go crazy to nurse. If I'm busy, he'd "kinda" like to nurse...if I'm not busy and just "loafing" he NEEDS to nurse. It's like a compulsive thing for him. Me standing still = MUST NURSE NOW. I am all the time trying to look busy when he looks up from his play at me...if I don't make eye contact and "appear busy" he will go back to playing happily...but if he catches me looking at him he will stop his happy playing and start screaming at me to nurse...which bums my DD out (she loves playing with him) and is difficult for me and means that he is no longer engaged in fun. I can't walk too slow in the house because it makes him want to chase me down and nurse....but I can't walk too fast in the house because then he starts crying and chasing after me to see where I'm going...he definitely doesn't like it when I am moving quickly away from him, even just down the hallway.
All night he's switching sides, switching sides, over and over again. He will sometimes pull away and sleep without a boob in his mouth (this is relatively new and much appreciated) but if I move a SINGLE muscle in the night, he rolls over in his sleep looking for boob. So I just lay there, FROZEN, staring straight at the ceiling, not even caring that I'm not sleeping because I'm so happy not to be nursing. I can't even BREATHE or he'll wake up and be on me.
Here's the problem: He is an extremely sensitive, high needs guy and I think it would be a disaster to wean him...but "setting limits" is NOT working. He comes by it honestly, his dad was the exact same kid and my son looks just like his dada and has the exact same energy. I know it will turn out just fine, because again, as a kid my DH was a clingy, high needs kid, but his mother was really respectful of his needs to be close and nurtured and now my DH is an extremely balanced, calm and even guy. So, I know that if I give my baby boy the love he needs, the support he needs and the attachment he craves, everything will be okay in the end, I'm not sitting here like "this is never going to end" or anything....
But what about right now? I'm going crazy you guys. The high needs personality is one thing...whatever, I can make it through the other trappings of loving a high needs kid. I am a SAHM, so I'm just sort of doing what I have to do to be a mom to a really intense kid and I have a lot of time to do that....but the nursing facet of the high need-ness is making me nuts.
If I try to say no, it's meltdown city. Not a little bit, a LOT a bit. Straight up screaming, slapping, scratching, on the floor kicking and screaming like he's possessed. My sweet as sugar kid turns into an absolute hellcat if I won't let him nurse. Sharing, he's fine. "Don't touch that" - he's fine. He will walk away from things I tell him to walk away from, come to me easily when I tell him "come here right now" ...everything else, calmly listening to my words. "No" to nursing...NOT calm. The longer I deny him, the more intense the screaming will get. Same thing if I try to cut a session off before he's ready. No amount of redirection or talking or snuggling or "Hey, let's go over here" "let's eat a snack" "let's take a walk" , etc will draw his attention away from his ultimate quest: Getting breastmilk.
I have tried everything. The only thing that ever, ever works to distract him is my DD. She is a heaven sent angel and a baby whisperer. If she comes walking up, he can be full-on nursing "not going anywhere for a while" style, but if she says "Hey bud, come play with me, come on come on" - he will sometimes jump off of me and walk away. Not every time, but sometimes...and that's the only thing that has ever ever worked to distract him. THey really like each other a lot and I'm so happy for all the doting she does because this kid can really suck up doting/love/attention and she loves to fuss over people even at three years old...but I don't want to use her to keep him off of my breasts, she's a really independent kid and enjoys her alone time too.
Anyway. I don't know what to do. I'm not just whining because it's been 19 months and I'm "sick of it". I REALLY love my nursing relationship with my son when it's what I would consider to be "age appropriate" - in my mind this means: A few times a day to have quiet special time with mama and unwind, maybe before or after naps, when we wake up, when we're going to bed at night, etc. That's not what my boy wants. My son is nursing 20-30 times a day (that's WITH me trying to restrict and distract as much as I can) and four or so times a night, occasionally less and sometimes more. He just wants to hang out and nurse. He would completely forgo food and playing and just nurse all day long if I'd let him stay in my lap. As I write this, he has noticed that I am sitting and has just come up to my chair crying and pulling at my shirt "mama mama"...now he is is crying because I'm saying "hold on bud" and typing instead of lifting him up - in the space that it took me to write that he is full blown flipping out. (so I stopped typing and tried to keep him from hurting his head on the metal chair legs, he bit me. he kicked me. I set him down and said no, on and on, blah blah...now because I want to finish typing this, he's in my lap, nursing. I nursed him an hour ago for a solid 15 minutes...so, I stopped 45 minutes ago. :( Is this normal? It can't be normal, it's killing me. It feels like literally all I do...sometimes multiple times an hour he comes and latches on...true, sometimes it's only for a minute...but it's SOOO many times a day. He flips out so hard and then as soon as I put him on the breast he's cooing and happily stroking my chest with his hand and making "love blinks" at me with his eyes.
Who has been there, mamas? I'm not looking to wean, I'm looking to love breastfeeding again. Right now I feel spent and used up and resentful and angry and I've noticed it's really starting to effect us in our home. When I'm cooking, trying to unwind with DH, giving DD some attention, etc...and he sees me and decides it's time to nurse and then completely breaks down when I won't and throws himself on the ground, hitting his head and wailing like an animal...it really stresses me out, shuts down any special time that's happening between me and DD and makes my husband really frustrated. It wrecks a lot of moments of harmony. DH would love if I would wean DS because he doesn't understand how this is still enjoyable for me, he just sees me stressed out and harried. I need help.