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Support needed for weaning 3-year-old

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I need some support and I'm hoping one of you can help!

I decided to wean my son because I was feeling done and also because my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for a year. I know it is rare for nursing to be the problem, but I felt that I needed to wean for my own peace of mind in the process.

At first, it went well. I was trying to be gradual but he went 3 days without nursing with almost no pushing from me at all. Then he got a cold and wanted to nurse at least once a day, and I let him. Then it petered off again and I pushed a bit more after insistence from a fertility doctor. It has now been 3 weeks since he last nursed. He asks every day, and now he has another cold. I tell him no and I tell him I don't think I have milk left, but that doesn't deter him.

I don't know what to do. If I weren't trying to get pregnant, I would go ahead and nurse him, painful though it might be. My mom and my husband think I am waffling too much and I should just consider it done, but they aren't here when he is whining and begging for a nurse.

During the beginning of this process, most of his requests seemed due to habit or just trying to get my full attention (like when I was cooking) or even stalling from something he didnt want to do, like go to preschool. So I changed up the habits. I said no whenever he asked and we were in the process of doing something else (no more nursing through dinner for me!). But in the past few days, when he asks, I think he really does need it, and it is often at a time when I could easily comply. Except that I think it would hurt and possibly throw off my fertility stuff. And worse, confuse him.

Please don't tell me that it isn't the problem in trying to get pregnant - I'm 39 and I've had some perimenopause symptoms, so I am running out of time and feeling like I need to try everything.

Will he ever stop asking? What am I doing wrong? Help!

post #2 of 6
Be gentle with yourself mama. It sounds like he really does want to nurse for right now..probably from being sick. But it is absolutely okay for you to protect your health (or fertility or sanity) and say no. I agree that allowing him to nurse when your aim is to wean him will confuse the issue and make it harder for him. Just give him lots of love and cuddles.
I recently got really sick and had to cut my just turned 3 year old back from nursing several times per day to just night time and morning, and its hard on him. I have decided to keep that schedule for my own sanity, even though he asks repeatedly through out the night and day. Most of the time he accepts it, I just have to make sure that I give him the one on one time he is craving whenhe asks to nurse. They will be okay, its just an adjustment. Hugs, it is hard, but just keep that connection going and try to meet the need that is behind the request for nursing. And try not to stress about it, since he will pick up on your emotions and it may make it harder for him fo understand/let go. Make sure when you say no, its in a way that builds him up instead of the no being a negative thing, kwim?
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks, babysmurf! I have been thinking he is probably picking up on my stress and negativity surrounding it, so I need to be more positive. I know that I am also feeling the loss of one of my favorite and most effective parenting tools, so it is hard for me to see it as a good thing, even though it is, if seen from the perspective of him growing up.

Your encouraging and empathic words are so comforting and helpful! Thanks!
post #4 of 6
I've always loved the idea of a weaning party. It seems like a really lovely, positive way to close a nursing relationship. Do you think it might be something your little on could look forward to?
post #5 of 6
Yeah, its hard when you both aren't quite ready. But 3 years is a really good run!! And it sounds like he is just about there all on his own, you guys just need a new sick time routine. So forgive yourself and introduce some positive vibes wink1.gif
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
BushMama: I asked him if he might want to choose a date to be done nursing, and he said no. Then I asked if he wanted to just nurse forever and he said yes. Sigh. I think that the weaning party would be hard because of that, but maybe I'll ask him.

Either way, I think you and BabySmurf are both hitting on the same thing: I need to be more positive about this! And thanks, BabySmurf, for reminding me that we just need a new routine. I keep beating myself up for keeping the antibodies to myself, and I forget that in his mind that is just his habit.

Thanks for all of the encouragement and positive vibes!
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