Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Northampton, MA
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Thanks for your responses!
I forgot to mention in my originial post that Luke and Jaz WERE nightweaned, and still are sort-of. I nightweaned them at 18 months, but even now six months later, they still wake 2-3 times a night and ask to nurse. About 50% of the time, they will go right back to sleep as soon as I wrap my arms around them (we cosleep), but the other 50% of the time, they cry for a couple of minutes or longer. So, it has been a very dragged out nightweaning. I have to sleep with a bra and a t-shirt and a union suit and another t-shirt over that to keep them from sneaking nursing while I'm sleeping. . . and I often get kicked and clawed in the night due to protest about no more nursing. When they've been sick, we go back to night nursing, so I think that is probably part of the confusion. Also, I've always let them nurse around 5:30 or so, and they fall back asleep and sleep until 7:00. But I think that is probably really confusing for them since they don't know if it's 2:30 or 5:30, and it probably seems really random how sometimes they're allowed to nurse and sometimes not.
Also, for us, being out of the house is in no way a distraction from nursing. Usually, being away from homebase makes them want to nurse more. But today, for the first time I told the boys that when we went to Amber and Jack's house, there wasn't going to be any nursing. Jaz said, "can I have water?" I said, "of course!!" And I gave each boy a bag of snacks (grapes, applesauce, rice cakes), that they could eat from at will. They both asked to nurse within 10 minutes of arriving, but were fairly easily reminded and distracted by their snacks. They each asked 3 or 4 times during the rest of the two-hour visit, but I held my ground, and there weren't too many tears. I told them that we would nurse at home. When I was getting them out of the car at home, Jaz asked Luke, "you want nursing?" and Luke said, "yeah. . . I want nursing at home." Jaz said, "me too."
I am looking forward to the day when it is not an almost-constant job of distraction from nursing. I hate having to say no to them, especially so often. It feels like we're always in a fight.
We do count to 10 to end nursing sessions, but Luke and Jaz have become less and less receptive to it over the past few months (I think we started in the middle of the summer, so around 18 months). Luke used to pop right off when I got to "3" every time. Jaz would usually hold out for "10," but still pop off happily. Now they both start kicking me as soon as I say "I'm going to count to 10," and I have to practically pry their mouths open and unlatch them. And then there are often tears at that point. . .
Obviously none of us are happy with the way things are these days. I'd like to just remove the issue all together. But I know it is going to take a long time to get from here to there.
Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 & 12) in a small house with a lot of love.