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Support for moms who are done breastfeeding, but their babies aren't

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Maybe I'm the only out here in this situation, but I'm hoping not, so I have other people to whine to. :wink


My ds is 15 months. I am really ready to be done with nursing. He is not. I suspect he may be getting his molars or some other teeth, because he is cranky and nursing a ton lately, if I let him (and I usually do). I COULD wean him. But I've chosen thus far not to give him replacement milk, and I don't HAVE to wean him. I SAH, I miscarried in September (I don't want to tandem, so I was counting on pregnancy to be a good incentive for weaning), my skin doesn't crawl at his nursing. I'm just sort of ready to wear non-boob-accessible clothes and to not always be the one soothing him back to sleep when he wakes up at night. I'm hoping to drop another 5 lbs after he weans. I'd like to be able to be away from him overnight and not have to pump for my own comfort. I'm WAY done with being kicked/poked/etc. when he gets bored or antsy while nursing. (And yes, he does often get set down for these behaviors.)


Obviously, none of these things have caused me to take the initiative in weaning my son, but I sometimes feel like a misfit among other toddler-breastfeeders. They all seem so absolutely delighted that their little one is still nursing, and hope to nurse them till they're 27. (And I wish them the joy of their nursing experience - to each their own.) The ones who've weaned already just look at me like, well, why don't you wean him? So are there any nuts like me out there who are ready to be done but willing to wait a little longer for self-weaning?

post #2 of 17

There is nothing wrong with nursing because you feel like it's the best choice for him right now. It does make teething easier for them to get through, though that can mean having a toddler who nurses more often than your average newborn. 


 You don't have to be excited about it (and don't feel guilty that you don't!). I'm not excited that my youngest isn't out of our bed. He's 18 months (as of today) and I would love to have a bed, heck, a room, for just myself and dh. It isn't where we are right now though and I'm trying to accept that he will not be in our room forever.

post #3 of 17

I was ready to be done from about 18 months on but she still seemed so interested. I did start cutting back around 20 months, and we ended up nursing to 23 months. She actually had a harder time with the cutback from "you can nurse any time" to "sometimes the answer is going to be no" than she did with stopping nursing completely. I don't have any regrets. I weaned completely when I found out I was pregnant, but even if I hadn't been I probably would have stopped within another month. She was a big fan of nursing but even so she handled the transition pretty well... I think it was more of a habit than something she was acutely attached to, and she's always been a pretty laid-back kid in general. 


So I spent a few months in the zone that you are in, though I'm not there any longer. 

post #4 of 17
I have had a very long nursing career, but one thing I can tell you is that respecting your own boundaries is absolutely essential to stamina. I haven't really felt guilty saying I am not feeling it when I am not feeling it. I also have gone away sort of a lot, several 2 day trips, a 4 day gig, etc.
post #5 of 17
I also don't wear boob accessible clothing really after a certain point & let DH do the back to sleep bit even @ 12 months. Sometimes I will nurse but refuse to do the diaper change or the back to sleep. That is harder, but I have found the 'you do it or this little baby is on his own' approach to be really effective (if draconian). No one really likes nighttime parenting that much so I have to block the exit, metaphorically.
post #6 of 17
I am dying to completely wean my 29 month old. A couple weeks ago we made a big shift to twice a day, and not nursing to sleep or during nighttime wake-ups. Now the last 2 sessions have GOT TO GO but he's hanging on determinedly (literally and figuratively). I do have the skin-crawl effect going on, especially during PMS and my period. It's a really hard time. My DH is uninterested in taking a more active role in putting DS to bed, comforting him, etc. He brings home a bigger percentage of the bacon so there ya go. (Who me, bitter?)
post #7 of 17
I think what we are seeing here is that extended nursing plus all the childcare is just too much! Katie I just want to say, don't feel like a higher income excuses one from parenting obligations. You have a real & very serious calling/career.

DH brings home every last bit of non-fantasy future bacon & we still created these LOs together & he is still responsible for some real part of their care. But that doesn't mean I didn't have to throw a few fits to get us to that place. <3
post #8 of 17
Thanks for the vote of confidence, dinahx smile.gif I feel a little beaten down at the moment.
post #9 of 17
I wanted to share this here:

A lot of y'all have probably already seen it, but I just want to share it to say: y'all have already done a ton for your infants/toddlers. And truly most US children are not nursing @ 6 months, even fewer @ a year. I think that is important to keep in mind when contemplating a later wean. That any milky mama litmus test has been far surpassed & now it is just the relationship & the people in it . . .

Also I should add that while I do have one child that weaned of his own will (and even that is not quite accurate), having taken the theory of 'child-led weaning' quite far (into hush hush school years), I have concluded that it is *always* a dance between mother & child, so it isn't quite correct to call weaning 'mother' or 'child' led.

My child who I consider to have 'child led' weaned, really many of my care practices differed from the start than with my oldest. More foods, earlier, more separations, earlier, a greater reliance on other caregivers including his father, etc. He isn't less healthy for it, IMO, he may even be more healthy for it . . . Less picky, less dependent, more 'ready to fly' in terms of school . . . My oldest is a different child & I am not exactly blaming hyper-extended BF but I am saying that it isn't a straight linear relationship where more BF=more health as infinitum.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post

There is nothing wrong with nursing because you feel like it's the best choice for him right now.


It isn't where we are right now though and I'm trying to accept that he will not be in our room forever.

Thank you for this. I'm trying hard to accept that where I would like to be isn't where we are, and it is okay. This, too, shall pass.


Katie - UGH to your dh's disinterest. The baby's half you, half him. It may be impractical for him to do half the work of raising him, but how much bacon he brings home is irrelevant. He should be helping raise HIS child. I am really hoping to avoid getting to the whole skin-crawling phase. It does not sound fun! :Hug 


dina - I've been refusing to do middle-of-the-night changes for a long time. That's why ds is in disposables at night! Really, getting up once is a night isn't that bad. It's my norm at this point, and I wake up even if ds sleeps through! He also goes right back to sleep after nursing most of the time. If he doesn't, he definitely becomes dh's responsibility, since I've already done the only thing for him that dh can't. And trust me, I'm not going for any sort of crunchy awards here. I truly do not feel it's in my ds's best interest to have cow's milk, and I do not think his food intake at this point would be nutritionally and calorically adequate. So we're still nursing. I don't hate every minute of it, I'm just kind of over it. Especially on the kicky days. :P But I think we're starting to communicate a little better, as I'm realizing that wiggliness is really just him saying he's done with that side, or done nursing, most of the time. Why he doesn't just unlatch when he's done (like he did when he was younger) is still a mystery...

post #11 of 17
My baby is almost 14 months and sometimes nurses like an infant! I'm not rady to be done because I want to go until 2 but like yesterday I was sick and my nipples were sore and I didn't feel good, and I did think for a split second I wish I was done! I kept giving him a cup when he wanted to nurse bc I just needed some rest. He isn't biting but he rests his top teeth in my nipple while eating and it doesn't hurt while he's doing it but it makes them sore after. I do sometimes wish though he was only nursing morning, nap, and before bed but he still doesn't eat a lot so I am glad he nurses often so I know he's getting all the nutrition he needs.
post #12 of 17
Oh and don't feel guilty!! You've done great and made it farther than most! I'm sorry to hear about you miscarriage too. Xoxo maybe it's just something we go through around this age and it will end in a month or two! My dis just got his molars 4 at once and is now getting his eye teeth right after! Literally they have all been back to back!!
post #13 of 17

Hey, monkeyscience, say your piece!  I expect to be joining you at some point.  All the healthcare folks recommended breastfeeding for at least year and I figure that is my most concrete goal even while I love the idea of nursing my baby longer.  After she reaches a year, I wonder if I'll be so keen on breastfeeding (I do understand all the awesome benefits.)


I'd daresay your feelings are more common than any of us realize.

post #14 of 17
I just don't get why some kids naturally and with minimal maternal efforts self-wean at around 2 and why some hang on for dear life. My kid is not at all clingy in any other way. He's Mr Independent.
post #15 of 17
It's a personality thing. My ds1 stopped all on his own at 24 mos. He is laid back and easy going and very considerate of others. Ds2 nursed till 60mos, though the last couple of years was not filled with daily nursing. Ds2 is high strung, moody, and possibly the most selfish person I have ever met. The style of weaning matched their personalities.
post #16 of 17
OT but at least it's not all in my head! I suggested DH take over bedtime to help along nighttime weaning and he said "but I make all the money!" Kinda jokey but obviously kinda not. >greensad.gif what... What do I even... ARGHDTDO8;&
post #17 of 17
I was at this point probably about the same time as you with DD1. I ended up setting a lot of firm limits on BFing so that it was manageable for me and I did end up choosing to wean her when I was ready at 19 months. (I did do it very gradually and I was lucky that she was very accepting of it.) So, don't feel bad if you decide to set some limits (how long, how often, only at home, etc. whatever you need) and also you don't have to set limits if you don't want to. Anyway, nothing wrong with feeling ambivalent or sort of done with BFing, you don't have to OMG <3 BFing every second for it to be a good BFing relationship. I never am completely happy with BFing once I go back to work for sure as pumping is basically a chore for me. I don't regret doing it, but I don't enjoy it either.
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