how do 'limit' nursing without being 'mean'?? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-13-2003, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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many of you mentioned on the tandem nursing that you would 'limit' nursing with your toddler. How do you do it without being mean?

I try to explain to my almost 3 year old...wait till the sun comes up then you can have more. MIlk has gone to sleep too. (we read the goodnight moon book). But that never worked...I tried it during pregnancy when I was going thru tender nipples moments.

I try to talk to her and be reasonable with her but she cant seem to listen when all is on her mind is 'want milk!'.

Lately we have solved the nightime issues...dh puts her to bed and does nighttime routine with her...I nurse her in the living room before she starts her bedtime routine with papa. First few days a few whining moments, but now its easier for dh. Some days are hard when she is overtired but at least gives me a chance to bond with the baby and also dd sleeps (as when I tandem nursed at bedtime she would nurse forever and never fall asleep).

Now I have to work out naptime issues. Its easy on days when the baby is sleeping, I can nurse her to sleep. BUt on days he is awake and needs me and I tandem nurse but she cant sleep as ds is cranky and needs to be burped etc... I asked her to lie down and snuggle beside me (as I had nursed her). But she keeps saying she wants 'more milk'. I dont know how to limit and be firm with her. I tried to explain 'later', even said the word 'no more' (I tend to be reserved using the word no for emergency purpose)

I even explain its mamas body and I need a break too. I dont want her to get upset with her brother and dont want to say he needs it more. I do talk to her as much as I can.

Its hard and I am getting frustrated. Now finally at 4:30pm she is finally crashed out on the couch since after 2 hours struggle (with both of the lil ones) she wouldnt sleep. I even encouraged her to have 'quiet time' and read a book on her own beside me.

Thanks for your tips. (I do have the mothering your nursing toddler book but nothing that I have tried in the past seemed to work with her). THanks for sharing how you limit your nursing session with your lil ones. Or how you keep your sanity and not blow up on the down days.

thanks
stephanie
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Old 02-15-2003, 09:31 PM
 
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Your nap time situation sounds so difficult...I'm afraid I don't have any useful suggestions, as my dh (for the most part) works from home, so he could always take the baby when I had to get dd1 down for a nap.

Neither of mine nap anymore, so the whole naptime struggle seems far away to me at the moment!

As for limiting nursing...I started with dd1 by delaying. If she asked to nurse when I was in the middle of doing something, I explained that I needed to finish what I was doing, and then she could nurse. This got tantrums at first, but she quickly learned that if you tantrum for something, you definitely don't get it, and she became more patient.

I didn't really have her wait very long at first...it was just getting the idea that sometimes you needed to wait to nurse, you know?

Then I stopped nursing her in public (probably when she was around 2, I think). I'd just explain that we only nursed at home, so she would need to wait. For the most part, we could stay busy enough when out that she wouldn't ask to nurse...

As she got older, I kind of spaced out her nursings. If she'd just nursed and asked again in 30 minutes, I'd explain that we needed to wait until after 'X' event (lunch, etc.). Just knowing when exactly she could nurse again seemed to help.

I don't really limit my 21 month old, but she isn't a heavy nurser...and she has also learned that sometimes you need to wait. I don't nurse mine at the same time, so that has perhaps helped my girls with learning to wait their turn to nurse?

Hang in there - hope some of that helps. The only advice I have for your nap situation is decidely un-AP - get a swing! The few times dh wasn't around to take dd2 when I need to focus on dd1, the swing was a godsend....

Perhaps bumping this topic up will bring out other posters with great advice.
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Old 02-16-2003, 01:05 AM
 
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I hold her, offer to read, offer food, cuddle, stroke her hair, sing to her, anything but nurse. There were a few times (maybe 3) when the crying went on for over an hour. Sometimes I'll tell her that if she can be quiet and try to sleep for two minutes then I will nurse her again, and I count (starting over for wiggles, talking, or open eyes) and before I get to 120 she is nearly always asleep - this is good for quieting her when she is irrationally tired. The main thing to remember is that you're not being "mean" if you're giving lots of other kinds of love instead.

She may say you a mean, she may express all kinds of horrible things about it, but three, in my opinion, is a good time to start getting the idea that being loved does not mean getting everything you want. And also, for me, I found that my temper before nightweaning and losing some of the daytime nursings was so foul that I was pretty quickly a nicer mom once I gave myself permission to say no and accept my own limitations.

N
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Old 02-16-2003, 08:13 AM
 
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Not sure, but to me this doesn't neccessarily sound like a tandem nursing problem so much as another problem of toddlerhood, getting ready to gvie up the daily nap.

A child that used to drop off after 10-20 mins of nursing, now fights it and uses any excuse to stay up. But then they are tired and grumpy.

One thing I used to do when they were tired and grumpy, but fighting sleep, was to take a car ride. Usually they would drop off after 10 mins of that. then I would park somewhere and read a book. If it's too cold, or you don't have a car, maybe a stroller walk at an indoor shopping area?

But some days she just will not nap, and the the quiet time idea is 2nd best. Not the break you want, but a neccessary transition.

Maybe you could try something different, like just giving up on the nap and sticking her in the tub to play and maybe get relaxed, while you nurse the baby in a sling?

I do agree with starting to set limits on the 3 year old's nursing. The above ideas are good. It sounds like your daughter may be spirited, and very insistent on getting her way. have you read How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Raising Your Spirited Child?

This period of giving up naps can last a while, but it gets easier. Some won't agree with me, but with 2 spirited and one spunky kid and only one over stressed mommy, I had to resort to videos sometimes to keep the peace and my sanity. Like the suggestion to use a swing for the baby, it is not ideal, but we are not in an ideal culture. In a small village, with lots of relatives and other kids around, you would have more people to meet the older child's needs, while you tended to the baby, and vice versa. Instead we have to do it alone, and occ rely on a mechanical crutch. Unfortunate fact of modern life.
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Old 02-16-2003, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone for your responses.

With my dd I do notice that taking her for a drive was the easiest thing to do. If I drove home after our morning playgroup and she fell asleep I was so happy, and I could carry her in as she would be deep asleep. When my dh was home during the first few weeks our ds had arrived... he would help out by taking dd for a drive then she would fall asleep. Its kinda hard for me to do as having a one month old and with the cold weather (and me being tired) I dont trust myself to drive around at this time. Not too warm to go for a walk (dd would never fall asleep in the stroller only in the sling but at 34 mos she weights 15 kg (30 plus pds I think). I cant even carry her anymore (I did carry her in the sling up till I was 6 month pregnant) so not sure why I cant carry her normally. She didnt gain too much since then.

Dary (thanks I do have the Raising your Spirited Child). Its funny though...as many people comment how 'calm and confident and independent' my child is (got this comment since she was 18 months or so). yet they dont see how hard it is for us when it comes to bedtimes and naptimes. A friend of mine her daughter is so exhausted being at home with her child and keeps telling me that I am so 'lucky' that my dd is so 'easy'.

I think parenting is tough and we need to be creative with our children.

Thanks for piping in and giving me a few words of feedback and advise. It helps knowing I am not the only one struggling with creative ways to help my dd cope with these issues.

Thanks again.

stephanie
tandem nursing mom to one month old and 34 mos old.
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Old 02-17-2003, 03:25 PM
 
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My spunky child was and is calm, confident and independent (and near genius, i think), but she has her moments of fussiness! Certain things can spaz her out.

When she was a toddler, she had trouble sleeping too.

She is the first born too. They like things to go a certain way. She is adjusting to sharing mommy.

Hopefully, when you are a little more healed from the birth, and the weather improves, the car rides, "cruisin' for a snoozin,' " as we called it, will again be a possiblity.
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Old 02-20-2003, 07:04 PM
 
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Marchmom,
There are a lot of good ideas here - some I haven't tried yet either!
My son is 27 months old and still likes to nurse a good bit. I have found, though, that I can limit the length of nursing by saying something like, "just a sip, and then we're going to go cook dinner," or whatever we're going to do. It also works pretty well when, if he's having trouble falling asleep and I feel like he's been nursing forever, I say, "ok, go ahead and finish up and then we'll snuggle up and go to sleep because you're having a hard time falling asleep and I'm getting very tired." Both of these usually work well. It seems to work much better to give him a heads-up that it's almost time to finish up instead of just saying no or stop right now (I tried that some before and it didn't work at all - he'd get very upset).
Good luck!
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Old 03-02-2003, 06:43 AM
 
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it gets easier! the first few weeks/months of tandem nursing is tough! I LOVED naptime, falling asleep with my two little nurslings was my favorite time of day! At first it's rough, when the baby needs to be burped/spits up/gets cranky, etc, but that will get easier!

when my DD#1 was ready to give up naps (staying up until 10 or 11 if she had one, not falling asleep quickly at naptime) i'd make sure to lay down to nurse both of them early enough that she'd not fall asleep, then when the baby was asleep we'd sneak out to do something we couldn't do when he was awake (bake/paint/etc). or, have baby nap in a sling or stroller while out of the house. it's hard to give up the hour or two of quiet, but life is much easier now that we skip her nap and they both nurse to sleep quickly and easily at 8 p.m. Now, if they'd only stay asleep until morning...

i'm not sure if that is even relevant to what you asked--i'm tired and babbling and incoherent, but good luck and hang in there!

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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Old 03-07-2003, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hi there...thanks everyone for your responses. I have tried something new lately...seems to work.

When my dd asks for milk...I let her nurse...when it gets to the point that I am digging my fingernail into my palm...then I tell her I am going to count to 10 and then its snuggle time. It works especially in the night when she nurses a lot and I dont have patience for her to nusre long hours...or when I am tandem nursing and she is over me (she is a heavy toddler at 35 pds I think (15 kg).

I will even whisper to 10, sing to 10 etc. She likes it ... sometime counts along with me...sometime stops before I finish. Sometime she says no not yet and wants the other side (then I know she is not yet ready so I wait a little longer and then count again).

It seems to help me to be less aggravated about nursing her.

Thanks again for your tips everyone.
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Old 03-07-2003, 12:45 PM
 
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Marchmom, counting worked really well for us. We also sang the ABCs. Now before she starts nursing, she tells me how to count for her to be done. I have to use a certain voice or whatever.: On days that I am relaxed and have no problem nursing for a while, I wait to count and count slower. On days I am going nuts, I start counting almost as soon as she latches on and count FAST!! At least she knows when I get to 10 (or 20, whatever) it's time to stop.
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