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Setting limits or partial weaning

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Oh I know boo hiss I'm saying the evil words, but I can't do this anymore, seriously. I'm dreading every nursing session, the last few weeks her latch is doing something funny and her teeth are digging in. She nurses non stop, all day I think she nursed a minimum of 14 times yesterday during the day, yes more than once an hour. I can't handle it. If I say no/distract/wait, anything it's a total meltdown, and she doesn't stop crying and pulling on me until I give in. I'm loosing it, I can't nurse this much anymore it's making me crazy. Oh and she is hardly night weaned a good night is only nursing 4-5 times. I'm loosing my mind. It's not just about not sitting down, I can be doing anything and she follows me crying.

I keep making excuses, oh she doesn't eat much solids, well now she eats more than my 3 year old. Right now we are under stress dh is getting ready to defend his PHD so I'm sure she is picking up on that, but still..... I can't handle all the sucking, my nipples ache I'm resentful of this constant touching. She's not increases her nursing, she has always nursed this much, but the older she gets the less tolerant I'm getting. I want to be able to sit down without nursing, heck I want to be able to load the dishwasher without her screaming for "na na".

I don't want to wean her, however I would like to cut down to say every 2 hours during the day. We've already decided that come May we are night weaning her (after Dh is done). Is there anyway to do this that doesn't result it fits and crying. I need to do something, really, last night I said horrible things to her in the middle of the night.

Oh and she is nearly 18 months old and a total solid chunk.
post #2 of 4
Well, I know this is a touchy subject. I had a similar situation with my DD, only I don't think it was quite as much as yours. But I began to feel a difference in attitude with DD. I never did mind nursing her, but when she began to DEMAND to nurse, I instinctively did not want to nurse her at those moments. It was definitely her attitude!

After much deliberation, I decided to set some limits with her at about age 18 months. What I did was pick the easiest time to start with. For DD, that was mornings. I decided that she could nurse first thing in the morning, and then nurse again at nap time. And during this first "phase" she could also nurse whenever she wanted outside of that time frame. I also made sure she got a good breakfast and a mini-meal just before her nap time so I wouldn't be worried if she was truly hungry.

I included lots of play time and cuddle time too, and did some of her favorite activities with her during that time to help distract her. Whenever she made a request for "na na" I would say "yes, you may have na na at naptime."

I decided to wait until she was comfortable with that before I began with more limits. And it took about 6 weeks for her to really stop asking for nursing during that morning time. But, what WAS nice was that she already knew what my answer would be ahead of time, and so there was no meltdown when I said "later."

After several weeks, I started working on the afternoons. I decided she could nurse after she awoke from her nap, and then had to go 1/2 way til bedtime (around 3-4pm) and then she could have a nursing session. Again, outside of her morning routine and the newly established afternoon routine, she could nurse whenever she wanted.

Now, we've got it worked out that she nurses: first thing in the morning, nurses down for a nap, occasionally nurses upon waking from a nap, nurses once in the afternoon, and at bedtime. I also nurse her if she's hurt herself. She's also recently gone through her first illness, and I have nursed her freely and as often as I could through the illness, as she really needed the comfort, nourishment, and hydration.

She still asks for more, but she knows what my answer will be, and I think that is key to avoiding meltdowns.

post #3 of 4
Hugs to you -- balancing your needs with the needs of a non-stop nurser is so challenging. But you have to find that balance. There is a way to let her continue nursing and maintain your sanity. I can only speak from my limited experience, but my ds (14 months) has finally nightweaned and it is amazing how that has made me much more able to deal with the daytime non-stop nursing. We used the Dr. Jay Gordon plan as a starting point, and then adapted it to our needs (still doing so if travel or illness or a rough day occurs). And I know that every baby is different, but I can tell you that there was MUCH less crying than I had expected to face. Please feel free to PM me if you would like and I can tell you how it all went down... even posting about a few minutes of crying can sometimes derail a conversation.

Breastfeeding is a relationship where everyone's needs should be met to the best of our abilities.

Heidi and Oliver :
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks ladies I'm in a better place right now, dd has only nursed 6 times today, who knows why but I'm feeling better.

When we nightweaned ds way back when it gave me a new outlook on nursing, so I'm hoping when we nightwean dd it will do the same. I just can't right now, even if it's only a few nights dh needs to sleep for the short term.
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