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getting sick and tired of nursing my toddler and feeling ashamed.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone. i have a 2.5 year old. she will be 3 in april this year.

 

She has only ever nursed, never had a soother, bottle. I am proud of this.

 

I am proud of myself to continuing to nurse beyond the age of 2. i nurse her to sleep for nap time, and i nurse her to sleep at bed time. On the evenings when i am not home usually due to work (i work part time in the evening 1-2x a week) she goes to bed great for her dad.

we never let her CIO.

I nurse her when she is hurt, scared, tired, sad, or just wants some 'nursies'

 

She nurses on demand, but i do set some limits, like after my back is killing me or my boobs cant take it anymore.

she nurses to go to bed around 8 pm, and sleeps until 4-6 am ish when she nurses to sleep again another couple hours then nurses again.

 

She nurses to go to bed in the afternoon for a nap, sometimes up to an hour, she just sleep nurses.

 

on average i would say she nurses 3-4 times a day.

 

I love the benefits and the positive it brings to her but am annoyed lately. she will never go to sleep for me without some nursing. i know its all normal but fuck i am frustrated!!!

 

I was 3 months pregnant in November when we lost the baby, my plan was that she would liekly just naturally wean off by the time number 2 came. since the m/c she seems to nurse more. it hurt a ton when i nursed while pregnant.

 

i have NO DESIRE TO TANDEM however if she wanted to i would, because thats what ya do... i have no desire to wean her, unless she wants to, but starting to feel like i should but i feel SO GUILTY for NOT LOVING NURSING!

 

my uhusband is very supportive but at the same time will put little jabs hereand there that she is not a baby anymore... (aka she can stop nursing)

 

oh and DID I MENTION THE TODDLER TWIDDLING, playing with my other boob, switching boobs back and forth 10 times, fonding me, poking me holding them ugh i find it so annoying and constantly telling her to keep her hands to herself and getting angry when she doesnt listen. she constantly pulls at my shirt to get at my boob, and sometimes latches on before i even can tell her not right now...

 

please tell me i am not alone and not everyone loves toddler nursing.

im not sure what to do.

thanks for listening

-meg

post #2 of 14
You are not alone. My son is 38 months and nurses day and night. Throughout human evolution or even in today's traditional cultures, from my reading on anthropology, breast feeding and traditional culture, basically he does what three year olds have done for a very long time. Our children are doing what human children have done throughout evolution and history.
Edited by Asiago - 1/3/13 at 3:58pm
post #3 of 14

I think it is very natural to feel tired of nursing and not exactly blissful after a couple of years and with a bigger more demanding wiggly kiddo.  You don't need to quit to set limits and say no sometimes.  I know I got frustrated with my youngest at 3yo because she begged to nurse every time she saw me--that was ALL I was to her it seemed and when she saw me it was the #1 thing she thought about.  It made me very sad because the moment she saw me she always immediately made this physical demand on me and I couldn't get a rest when I walked in the door or sat in a chair for a moment because she was always always always asking to nurse.  She had a "people" relationship with Dad and with siblings, but I was just a breast-bearer and would reject friendly play with me in favor of begging to nurse.

 

By that age I'd say "No" when I wanted to and tried to find a balance between what was comfortable to me and the little one.  Especially by age three I'd say it is very "traditional" and natural to push a child away sometimes too.  Moms have a lot of other work to do, too, and always have. 

 

As for playing with the other boob or nipple I would pull my shirt down snugly and hold it there below the other breast or otherwise keep my hand in the way.  Similarly, a couple of switches between sides and nursing time would be over.  Anyhow, at a certain point I was reclaiming my body frequently as you describe, with her trying to help herself.  Nursing often felt like a chore though sometimes it was still pleasant.

post #4 of 14

If you aren't wanting to nurse her to sleep at bedtime, I think it would be fine for you to set a limit (15-20 minutes, or whatever you pick) and let her know that that's how long you're willing to nurse her at bedtime and beyond that she needs to go to bed like when daddy's home. 

 

As far as the twiddling goes, I would do what the previous poster suggested and move her hands or make the other breast unavailable when she tries to play with the breast she isn't using. I don't think that telling her to keep her hands to herself is going to be very effective. 

 

 

Quote:
she constantly pulls at my shirt to get at my boob, and sometimes latches on before i even can tell her not right now.

 

And if this bugs you, it's a behavior you can work on. She's old enough to learn that if she nurses without asking, you're going to take it away and not nurse her for __ minutes. If it were my toddler who helped themselves, I would explain that she's only allowed to nurse if I move the shirt for her. If she pulled my shirt up, I would unlatch her, explain it again and not nurse for a while. 

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice mamas. I think its already what i know i just need to enforce it more. Sometimes i get fed up and just give it. Sometimes i just feel like one big boob! Sigh. Also i do want to mention the following; while i am fully aware that nursing beyond infancy is normal and that the average weaning age worldwide is approx 4 yrs old and that we have been doing this for centuries... For centuries women have not worked, and were able to just be stay at home mothers. Yes those times came with stressors on their own, but these days i feel women are expected to do MUCH more than in past times. Different yes.
I have a very high stress job and need to set limits. I will use everyones suggestions and confidence to enforce the rules more! Thanks everyone
post #6 of 14
I don't allow twiddling or climbing all over me. If she does this, she gets out down. My dd is 20 months though. I used to let DS do this when he nursed and he used to nurse all the time too. I weaned him while pregnant with DS at about 11 weeks. I was worn out, it hurt and made my skin crawl. I've learned to set better limits this time around. Ill let her nurse for comfort when she's sick, and lately she's been giving up naps so she'll nurse around 5:30 and fall asleep in me for about 30-40 minutes. That's just enough to get her through to her 8:30 bedtime. I just use that time as an opportunity to take a break myself. Read to DS, watch a show with DS and try and figure out how dinner will get made lol. She sleeps 12+hours at night and nurses when she wakes, nap and bedtime. She's in a crib too. I've just realized that if I'm going to continue to nurse her until she is done, I need some major limits!!
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaybeSparrowMaybe View Post
Also i do want to mention the following; while i am fully aware that nursing beyond infancy is normal and that the average weaning age worldwide is approx 4 yrs old and that we have been doing this for centuries... For centuries women have not worked, and were able to just be stay at home mothers.

 

Centuries? Sure. Millenia? No. When we were in tribes, we all had work to do to survive.

 

However, that doesn't mean that our pre-history moms didn't tell their kids to screw off when they didn't feel like nursing them. Just because we traditionally nursed for longer than today, didn't mean that moms and toddlers haven't always been able to work out some kind of deal they were happier with.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Michelle: yes i totally agree! I dont like hearing from people 'its what we are aupposed to do'. It perpetuates the bad feelimgs inhave about telling my kid to screw off! Hehe
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaybeSparrowMaybe View Post

Michelle: yes i totally agree! I dont like hearing from people 'its what we are aupposed to do'. It perpetuates the bad feelimgs inhave about telling my kid to screw off! Hehe

 

yes agreed. i am just going to say we all do our best as nursing mothers of toddlers and leave it at that!

 

currently she is now night nursing a LOT MORE since starting preschool last week. and im just putting up with it and embracing it bc i know she is under a lot of changes and needs it. 

ill re visit this in a month ;)

thanks ladies! 

post #10 of 14
I've seen monkey mamas at the zoo tell their nurseling to screw off when she was busy or preoccupied. Very natural.
Nursing a toddler doesn't mean giving in to his every whim. He has boundaries, just like many other things in his life. At 2 yo my guy does not need to nurse all day. He gets it when he needs it.... No guilt here! Lol
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by melon View Post

I've seen monkey mamas at the zoo tell their nurseling to screw off when she was busy or preoccupied. Very natural.
Nursing a toddler doesn't mean giving in to his every whim. He has boundaries, just like many other things in his life. At 2 yo my guy does not need to nurse all day. He gets it when he needs it.... No guilt here! Lol


Yes, saw this with cats too. When the kittens were old enough, the mother often just pushed them away and only gave in when she felt like it.

post #12 of 14
@ LitCrit- my cat (childhood pet) had a couple of litters, and I remember times when her kittens would be crawling all over her, nursing, and suddenly she would spring to her feet, shake them off, and run! I always felt so sorry for her poor pathetic little kittens mewing after her. What a mean mama! Now, I know _exactly_ how she feels, lol! There are times when I need myself to myself, and at 20 months, it's not going to damage my healthy child!
post #13 of 14

If you do not like it anymore, just stop and wean. There is nothing wrong with it

post #14 of 14
Don't feel bad about setting limits! I couldn't tolerate twiddling/etc. so I set that as a limit from the start. Set time limits if needed, limit when/how/etc., how often sides are changed, etc. I'd probably pick 1-2 things that really are irritating you and start with those and go from there. Nursing is a two person relationship, you need to be ok with it too. And yes, you can wean if you wish as well, but I think setting limits would be a good first step to see if you can work out something that is pleasant again for both of you!
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