Setting some boundaries/limits - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 05-12-2009, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
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My DD1 is 2.5. She self-weaned during my pregnancy with DD2 (I was around 7 months pg, DD1 was around 21 months old). It was a very gradual process - first she started nursing less at night, then she started sleeping through and stopped waking to nurse, then she started nursing less during the day until she would just ask once or twice to nurse and simply put her mouth on the nipple and then stop. I honestly thought she had forgotten what to do. From around the time DD2 was born until about 2 months ago, DD1 would occasionally (maybe 1x/week) ask to nurse and would just put her mouth to the nipple and then say all done and walk away. One day about 2 months ago, she asked to nurse and latched on and started nursing. I was totally surprised. She asked sporadically for a while, and nursed a bit here and a bit there. But in the past 2 weeks or so, she has really picked up her pace. I'm already nursing DD2 about every 2 hours around the clock. The past few days DD1 has been asking frequently, sometimes almost hourly, during the day to nurse (and she nurses through at least one let-down). I do not mind nursing her, but I do feel like, at 2.5, that it would be reasonable to have some boundaries/limits. I'm not sure that I can keep up with nursing both of them that much. I don't want to interfere with the natural course of things, so I was just wondering if anyone had advice about this. Do you set limits with your older nursling? What kind of boundaries/limits do you have? How do you explain to a toddler that it's ok for the baby to nurse whenever, but not ok for them to nurse whenever? I guess I am just trying to think this through...

Mama to two wonderful DDs (10/06 and 09/08) and expecting a DS 1/1/11!
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#2 of 2 Old 05-14-2009, 02:42 PM
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I completely believe that nursing a toddler has to be a two way street, if it's going to work for both mom and lo. I'm not tandeming, but I do set some mild limits with my almost-two year old dd. Like if I am going to be nursing her down for nap or bedtime in the next hour, and she asks to nurse, I'll tell her that we will nurse when we go to bed. She likes to nurse every two hours, sometimes for a long session, so I'm not always amenable to doing two sessions in one hour.

She is able to comprehend the idea of "turns", if your dd understands turns, maybe that's one thing you can explain to her, that sometimes it's her turn and sometimes it's the baby's turn.

Or perhaps you could use some other cue that she can watch for and clearly see - like "we will nurse when the baby is asleep" or something else easy for her to tell. Every kid is so different, figuring out what works might be a bit of trial and error. My ds had a harder time with learning to wait a bit for nursing, my dd is more flexible with it. Ds would unlatch after the end of a song, that cue doesn't work so well with dd. Keep trying different gentle prompts and I'm sure you'll find one that clicks with her.

btw, even with gentle limits ds did CLW, at three and a half, and I expect dd will also - they are not too discouraged by the application of some boundaries.
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