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Also feeling done...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My DS (DC3) is 2 years and 3 months, and I have always felt nipple tenderness while nursing. For all three babies, I quit nursing on my left side after a few months. I weaned DD1 and DD2 during my pregnancies due to nipple tenderness (at ages 18 and 16 months).

I am really double-minded about weaning my son. We are not planning another child. Our closeness has been very nice. I know he would sleep through the night if we weaned, and I would like that. He is also asking constantly during the day and I say "No." unless it is naptime.

I am sure if we weaned, I would not be able to get him down for a nap at all. That was my experience with my girls, and now I don't know what to do.

I was thinking to let him wean himself, but increasingly I want my body back. Mothering is stressful. We don't know anyone where we live, and I am tired "from taking care of the kids all day every day.

I think that my double-mindedness about weaning is about how I feel about balancing work and family life. I am a full-time, stay-at-home mom right now, though I would like to work part-time in my career area. I would like to finish my dissertation. I would like a little bit of time to myself when the kids are not talking and playing and needing so much attention from the time before I wake up to the time after I go to bed.

If I wanted, I could trade our family life in for a full-time job. Most part-time jobs would not pay enough to offset the need to pay for full-time childcare and some housework. It would still be stressful since all my activities of family life would be compressed into a few hours when I was not at work.

Why do I want to be done nursing? Truly, I am hoping that he will wean himself with the small amount of my discouragement. But, it isn't enough; and, it isn't right. I want to keep nursing and be happy about it, rather than foot-dragging" my way through our continued nursing relationship.

I feel that neither he or I need the nursing relationship anymore.

-- Caitlin
post #2 of 9
I think I know how you feel. THat breastfeeding has been great, the relationship is wonderful but it is time to move on, that maybe you would feel brighter, less tired, more yourself and more energised if you weaned. That weaning might mean some scary tantrums and hard-core mean mothering techniques - not necessarily!! I read a good la leche league forum on nursing burn-out that said you need to either be happy about weaning or happy about breastfeeding, but not continuing to do something that feels wrong. After reading that I decided I was happy to continue nursing when we are both relaxed and happy - ie naptimes, bedtime - but that other gropes and demands for boob when tired or upset can be avoided by more creative mothering and feeding. I will probably be kicked off the CLW forum for saying this, but breastfeeding is about 2 people, or in your case, 4. You all have to be happy for it to work and be healthy. If you've had enough, why not stop? Closing the breastfeeding door might open another door to fun parenting and intimacy. Good luck with your decision!
post #3 of 9
Another thing - about putting your child to sleep/nap without breastfeeding - I have NO IDEA how that one works! For myself I've decided that if I wanted him to fall asleep without me I should have 'trained' him from a very early age - obviously that felt wrong to me and having him fally happily asleep on the breast felt right and I'm very glad I did it that way. But now I have to deal with that decision. I am feeling strong and prepared to stop the day-time feeds but not these going-to-sleep ones. I am just not prepared to take away something that he is still so dependent upon for sleeping. But having made the decision to limit the other feeds and put more energy into preventing meltdowns I already feel better about feeding him to sleep.
I don't know if this helps! I'm waffling a bit.

Basically, having make the decision to stop gradually and made a game-plan that seems to be working for all 3 of us, I feel happier, more in control and more generous and loving when I actually do nurse DS.

LAST THING! I also read in LLL that 2 yr olds go through a really clingy, demanding phase wether you are nursing or not. (you probably know this already!) That helped me to know I don't have to give him boob then, maybe he needs to be carried, or distracted with bubbles, or for me to sit and watch him play, or to be given a complicated task to do like sieve flour or blend carrots, or go for a walk. Breastfeeding made me complacent.
Bye! Good luck again!
post #4 of 9
Caitlin, I'm going to go ahead and move this out into breastfeeding beyond infancy, where you can get a mix of child-led weaning and mother-led weaning answers.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Telling DC3: "No More Milkie" -- weaning my toddler

I moved to San Jose just over a year ago, and, in search of a new doctor, I have seen quite a few. They have all been telling me to quit nursing because it is too hard on my body.

So, now, I really want to take care of dental work. I will need some anaesthia and some mercury removal. This is best done when I am not nursing since both of these cause toxic exposure for me and for DS1.

So, after talking to my current doctor again about it yesterday, we agreed that I would quit. I took the plunge.

DS1 and I talked about it: "no more milkie" and "good bye milkie" and "Mommy is sad" He made the "more" sign in sign language very strongly and repeatedly, but I stuck to my story.

He gave it. He left the bed and went to the other bed where his sisters and father were reading a story and fell asleep with them.

It also helped that he skipped his nap today. I didn't want to lie down with him and say, "no milkie."

We will see how the night goes. I prepared a water bottle for him in a SIGG bottle, and I will offer it to him when/ if he wakes up. I imagine that he won't want it; maybe he will throw it, possibly at me and hurt me. I imagine that he will scream and kick and punch and scratch.

I imagine the worst; but, I hope for the best. If I repeat my story, that he wants a milkie, that I want to give him a milkie, but I am not going to give him a milkie; goodbye milkie, etc. ...maybe, just maybe he will go along with me.

-- Caitlin
post #6 of 9
my friend puts a bandaid on her nipple and shows her kid that she can't nurse anymore because of that....
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
I wanted to add that...
* nursing has been a real drain on my body. My current doctor and I agreed that *I* would be more fit for toxic exposures from dental work if I were to recover for several weeks from nursing. That is, I quit nursing, wait a three weeks for my body to get its groove back, and then have the dental work done when I am stronger.

* I tried to quit nursing a two months ago, but I lost my resolve. My son fought me tooth and nail, screaming, sobbing, clawing at my body... I was so bruised and scratched up, even bleeding from his scratches. And, I was sleepless from having held his sobbing body for 45 minutes of nighttime tears before giving in.

I seriously hope there is no repeat of all that tonight.

I really miss nursing, but I am also excited to be moving on. I think I will also get a new vision of my other two children.

-- Caitlin
post #8 of 9
My ds takes naps all the time without nursing and he used to fall asleep like that 98% of the time. It took a lot of work, but it is possible.
post #9 of 9
What the OP said resonated with me. I can see that it's getting about time to move on, for various reasons, but I as the mama am afraid of taking the step. I worry that she'll be furious and miserable if I take it away -- I'm her lovey at this point. But I also know that often things aren't as hard as you think they will be.

I'm most worried about sleeping, though. She nurses to sleep and wakes up once or twice a night (she's nealry two). What on earth is going to happen when she wants the breast to go back to sleep?

Someone told me they weaned by going away for the weekend, as her daughter knew that the dad had no milk and that got the child past that first hurdle. What do you mamas think?
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