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Boundaries for a young toddler?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

DD is 15 months old, and she is DRIVING ME CRAZY! She likes to bounce, laugh, sing, dance, twist, sit down, lay down, stand up and do headstands, etc, etc etc while she is nursing. It's adorable, but I cannot stand it. Some of it is personal issues (I seriously hate to be exposed, I do not like to have my skin uncovered, even at home), some of it is pain (her teeth pulling at my nipple while she does all this, plus she has become quite heavy!), some of it is annoyance (because she takes a half hour for a nursing session during which she only nurses for about 4 minutes!) .... I'm just irritated, I think.

 

But I can't figure out how to make it stop, because she's so young. It's not like I can say, "30 more seconds" or "Once you get down, you're done" because she's not old enough to understand these time concepts, KWIM? But I need there to be some sort of boundaries about the use of my body, so to speak, because I find myself feeling negative about our nursing relationship at least once a day now... and she's really too young for me to be feeling so run down already. I love nursing her at night because she just cuddles right up, holds my breast gently with both hands and nurses to sleep... quiet, peaceful bliss.. not jumping, bouncing, madness! Any tricks for nursing a toddler in a way that avoids so much body impact? 

post #2 of 3

My DD is 13 mths and I've had some of the same problems with her. I've found that she is old enough to understand to an extent. I tell her "Be gentle!" and if she keeps up her shenanigans I say, "OK, all done", and stop the session for a few minutes. At first she would scream and so on, but after a few days she figured out that she just needs to be gentle and I won't stop the session. I also have started telling her "No milk, milk is all gone right now", when I don't want her to nurse, and she understands and then she doesn't bug me about it because she doesn't think there's any milk in there. I was staring to not love how she was yelling "MILK MILK MIIIIILLLLK!!!!" and pulling my shirt up when I was in the middle of something (like at the bank lol). I think it's important for toddlers to respect other people's bodies, even when that person is their Mama.

post #3 of 3
It is very reasonable to have boundaries and expectations of a nursing young toddler. My DD is just about to turn 14 months and around 7 months she tried biting while nursing. I would stop and put her down for a minute or even less. She would cry and I would let her try again very promptly and if she bit again, I'd repeat. In a couple of days she figured out that she can't get a good steady flow of milk if I keep putting her down and the biting stopped. As she grew, she tried other things: pulling on the nipple with her teeth, shaking her head vigorously while latched on, slapping and pinching my breast. I went back to the method I used with biting and these behaviors have stopped as well for the most part. I'm pretty permissive with her poses but once it's uncomfortable or painful, we stop for a minute. One thing that we did around 6 months is switch positions. She sits on my lap facing me while nursing. This helped a lot when she was very distractible and we stuck with it. She will often blow raspberries while latched, giggle, make silly faces but as long as she isnt hurting me, I play along. You may have to live with some monkey business, but pick what hurts/irritates you the most and discourage it. She will adapt quickly and probably will find lots more moves to test out on you. Good Luck
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