During my pregnancy I reduced DD1's nursing from 3 times to once a day. That went relatively well and smoothly -- I think she was nursing mostly out of habit at that point, and she told me there wasn't much milk. I wasn't sure I wanted "unlimited" tandem nursing, but I knew nursing was still very important to her (at 3 1/2 years). I figured I could deal with nursing her once a day in addition to the newborn.
Then she self-weaned during my third trimester of pregnancy, due to her having a stuffy nose for a long time and my low supply. The weaning was fine with me. It was easy and mellow.
When the baby came she asked if she could nurse again and I said yes, once a day like before. Now that I had lots of milk and the baby's nursing reminded her, she returned to being VERY enthusiastic about nursing and would nurse far longer than the baby. Eventually I told her she could nurse 5 minutes on each side, once a day. We use a timer and that works fine.
The problem is that it feels like she's sort of obsessed with nursing now. Even though she knows she's only allowed to nurse once a day, she asks to nurse 10 times a day, maybe more. She tries to "sneak" sips when the baby is going on or off my breast. She begs repeatedly to nurse extra times. I've been VERY firm and consistent about my limits, but it feels like we spend all day discussing nursing while she tries to negotiate. I might expect this during a transition period, but the baby is 3 months old now! I suspect DD1 is even waking up earlier in the morning because she's so excited to nurse. We made a chart where she checks off if she's finished nursing for a given day, but so far it has not been a magical solution.
Part of me thinks maybe I should wean her (with advance warning about the date, and a family weaning party) just so we can stop putting so much energy into her begging and me saying no, all the endless discussions and reminders of the rules.
Part of me wonders if I removed the limits and let her nurse in an unlimited way (at home, in private), if that might release the pressure valve -- if she'd nurse a bunch for a while but then not have to think about it so much, and maybe nurse less. But she loves the taste of the milk so she might just nurse a million times, all day long.
My fear about weaning is that nursing is SO important to her. After weaning day came and went, I suspect we'd be in for days/weeks of tears, fury, hurt, jealousy of the baby, etc. I could be wrong, but I don't think she'd "give up" easily, even with lots of advance prep. Especially since she'd have to see the baby nurse all through the day. I don't mind nursing her terribly -- I just don't want to spend all day doing it. I'm busy enough! So I fear it would be hard to stand firm on weaning when I'm really not that opposed to continuing to let her nurse.
The current situation isn't a disaster, but it's stressful and not much fun for me or DD1. Is there a way out?