I have nursed my LO for 6.5 years so I pretty much have been through it all ;)..
I don't know all details to be able to make full and accuarte assessment of your situation
but here is what I did put together at looking at what you wrote and comparing to my experiences:
- your child's birthday was just month and a half ago? right? my child has to this day the most intense growth spurt around her birthday and specifically for about two or so months after it it might start right on the day or few weeks later but sometimes around her birthday. It will never bee like haf year after her birthday, it is around the date. She ALWAYS would nurse more not because it is her birthday of course :) but because her body was asking for more because the body was conditionned to do so and was doing so for the last that many years so what you are experiencing it might be the natural continuation of making your body to make more milk as her brain is aksing for more supply knowing that body is growing.. so this is all biology in motion from my perspective, nothing personal.
- Another contributor possibly might be - again looking at the dates.. school started like just weeks ago and she might be compensating for the closness with you and the nursing that is the biggest source of comfort for her and she does not have you now for the whole day so when she can finally get to you she wants all of you... bathroom breaks or not anything goes!
How would I handle it?
I would look at those things individually and tried to address them individually
- The obvious need for more supply.. this is tricky - it is in my opinion impossible to negotiate with a little one who did nurse for four years to ask to cut on the nursing, very unlikely she will ever comply. This is not the age of reasoning and a child is by default at this age - self centered and self-serving. I dont' think that there is need or reasont o be angry about that, it is just how they were designed for survival as a spece.. us humans.. get as much as you can whenever you want kind of deal :)
- Do not take it personally.. just try ot view it as a problem/solution kind of deal. So.. the facts: she has a need for more nursing.. Possible solution: feed her as much as you only possibly can before she starts nursing.. on a full tummy she won't be able nor want so much breast milk. If you are at home when she gets home from the preschool then she naturally just wants to. .. pardonne moi english.. for the lack of better expression and due to fun and accurracy of this one I just have to say it .. she just wants to as quickly as possibly to "jump your nammies" :) to get some "good stuff" So.. I would feed, feed feed as mucha as possible, without her nursing first. I would promiss to nurse right after "you eat your lunch.. or snack or whatever" then we will nurse. I would also finish the meal or if she is not up to the whole meal.. I would finihs it with something sweet... and don't get me wrong here is my take on it..:
- With time I figured that my daughter would nurse not only because she was used to and she liked to and she wanted to.. but there was also somethigna bout "getting something sweet", I know that many parents are against sweet snacks but!.. take this, their brains grow like crazy! especially during the growth phase.. so? you ask? so .. she might simpl need something sweet as do your readings.. brain uses lots of sugars.. so she mgiht need sugar because she was stressed, had a long day, learned a lot.. sugar is what brain needs.. sugar is what your breast milk has! do and try to give her a small sweet stuff right after you get to see her next time, when you knwo she would try to go for nursing.. give her piece of candy, cookie, chocolate, whatever for teh sake of an experiment! and see if she will still be so fast to nurse! i honestly would like to see it.. even if she will it might throw t hings off for her..
- so we covered the need, the want and now the time for the habit! I do believe that there is some good deal of them being used to it, and some of it is based on finding you as a comfort tool. Your nummies are the IT for her. The comfort. Do you know something funny? It took me years to realize that my daughter was as much about the nursing as about the closness to my breast? So.. when I realized that I went on with the following trick:
I went two layered on this: layer one - I promissed that she can cuddle with me with her head leaning on my breast whenever she wants as this will be our mama baby comfort time but we don't necessarely need to nurse. She realized that she could actually get mama without nursing as whatever you think, she just did not know. how could she know? we did not discuss it and it is not obvious to them jsut is not. they do not realize many things untill told. so I realized that she just did not know that she can have me without me actually having to nurse her. I realized that a child could not get my closness when I was doing something unless she asked to nurse.. so once I realized that Itold her in very clear plain worlds "sweetie, we are changing rules now, I know that sometimes you jsut want to cuddle with mama on the breast not exactly to nurse, so when you feel like it just as mama for cuddle do not ask to nurse because mama does not always has so much milk in the breast but mama will always love to cuddle you whenever you need it"
tha would include bathroom times too :) that was always open ticket to just come and cuddle..
still to me it was a winner over nursing her till I dropped.
I had times when I felt my breast were so painful and long that I coudl tie a ribbon with them.. ON THE BACK of my body hahaha.. so yes, I did try to put my mind into it..
another imprtant thing:
TRYING To get their emphaty - this takes time and smarts and they not always can work on this as it gets just tough for them to grasp soemteimes but.. I would tell her that I have only little milk inside and she has to decide when she wants most to nurse, if it is bed time then we have to save that mamam milk for bed time, so now we can do only a minute or so but the rest has to be saved.
I exlained her that when baby is born mama has lots of milk then less and less so I told her we have to be careful how and when we are using it. I said that we can nurse now and then during the day but only a two or three or few sips and the rest stays for the bed time...
It sort of works! she realized she has to manage it. and she got pretty good with it.
my body could rest so much more.
I told her, lets eat, and have a snack and even drink some milk and then I will nurse you a minute for comfort if you wish but of course I can cuddle you plenty, read a book or just cuddle cuddle..
When you have worked out all the elements individually, then you try to put it all together do not do the opposite, do not throw at her all the tricks I showed you at once as you will have one frustrated child... you need some gradual adjustement and it will all be fine but don't do it all at once, and explain yoru husband what you inted so he will be supportive of you and her as guys sometimes want it all done at once.. this usually is a traumatic for a kid and you and it is a setback at best so here are all the things again:
- do not get upset on her that she wants to nurse constantly, embrace it
- explain her about milk and your body that there is simply less.
- establish when she needs more nursing and tell her new rules, she can have one good nursing a day and only few short snacks a day and you will tell her when she has to get off teh breast or your milk will go away - yeah, do lie:)
- do feed her snack or meal or best your husband if he can to feed her before she sees you, and before she wants to nurse
- after feeding a snack or meal I strongly suggest sweet stuff to end it , a candy a chocolate a cookie, to raise her sugar level that might turn her off to nursing altoghether, do not worry, little sweets won't get into habit but think about your sanity...
- do offer her and explain strongly that she has open ticket to cuddle on your breast as they are what she really is after, not so much you but closness to them,, they are her comfort object, tell her that you are always there for her with them and they love her even if they don't nurse her :) yeah that is confusing but they think in very different way then us
- establish one long nursing time and keep your promise. do not cheat, they need to know that once a day they can get you till they drop and they don't abuse it if all else worked.. and
- ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS try to nurse after feeding her food if only humanly possible
- also.. and lastly what I did not say before.. do try and offer her cow's milk if you are not against dairy and there is no issue, as one cup of milk might do just the same to her and with your cuddling she might be sattissfied..
- lastly, do have something sweet to drink and when she asks for nursing offer her that sweet drink instead.. and tell that your body is busy making milk for the evenning so we better wait and not use it now ;)
Let me know if you need more tricks or have any questions. I am telling you 6.5 years was a looooooooooong time ;) I think i pretty much saw it all and did it all..
I was able to really eliminate that constant nursing that was driving me nuts but worse.. I was in pain and I had no idea what to do.. I just looked at it from different perspective and found ways, instead of being hopless.. it worked.. my husband wanted me to just quit cold turkey and I could not bring myself or her to do it. she was very angry if she did not get to nurse and she was upset and frankly I realized it is not fair to her because whatever was put upon her gradully should be gradually taken away .. it was Me who should know what I was doing so I could not punish her now for my actions and letting us go that far into it.
I wish you all the best and do not hesitate
to sen dme a private message if you need anything.
I do check them occassinally
best regards and tons and tons of hugs,
you have a smart kid, they are all smart those nurslings,
and smart she is as she does not want to quit good think,,..
so you just have to be just a smart about it and I knwo you can!
get your hubby on board just to be patient and not to interfear..
that will do.
you will get her to one nursing a day.. a night actually and then
from there it is easy..