Difficult 3.5 yr old weaning behaviors - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 1 Old 07-02-2009, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I'm not sure there is anything to be done about this, but any commiseration or assurances of normalcy would be appreciated!

My 3.5 yr old and I have enjoyed a great nursing relationship. I had no plans to wean, and we were both happy with our current situation, which was nursing 0-4 times a day for many months now. I unexpectedly got pregnant, and my milk dried up very early on in the pregnancy. He was not on the path to weaning anytime soon, and was very upset that his milk was all gone.

I was very sensitive to this, and continued to let him try again and again (he kept hoping it would be "filled up") I kept answering his questions about where his milk went, and encouraging him to talk about it, offering extra hugs and affection. I didn't mention that it was because of the baby, because I don't want him to associate the new sibling with his milk being all gone.

So, the problem is, now he's not acting sad any more or asking to nurse, but he's *constantly* grabbing and poking my breasts, pretending to nurse outside my clothes, reaching up and hitting my breasts and yelling "milk, milk" all the time! This happens many times a day, and while I can understand WHY he's doing it, it is SUPER annoying, esp. in public, and I really can't stand it. My breasts are also really sore during pregnancy and it actually hurts in addition to being annoying.

Involuntarily I react negatively and show my annoyance (also because it hurts there's an immediate "ouch! no!" reaction). It makes me sad because I don't want our nursing to end on a negative note, it has all been so great up until now I don't want him to feel embarassed or ashamed to be wanting to nurse or missing it- these breasts have been an important part of his life and within a matter of weeks they are off limits! So I know it's hard for him and this is how he's expressing it.

But, I do feel there are limits when touching others' bodies when they don't want it. He is very touchy-feely and affectionate and we already have lots of discussions about needing permission to touch others' bodies and respecting when they say no. He is always tickling, tackling, grabbing, hugging his brother who doesn't like it, so it's not surprising he'd do this to me as well.

when he does this, if I'm holding him I put him down, or if I'm sitting I stand up, and firmly hold his hands away from hitting/grabbing me and tell him we need to ask permission to touch someone's body first. And then demonstrate nice touches, like hugs, or patting my shoulder, or putting his arm around me. It honestly doesn't seem to phase him and he keeps laughing and will jump up and grab me anyway. This happens repeatedly throughout the day, but he can't seem to keep his hands off "his milks"! I feel so bad that it's become such a negative thing that I"m almost reprimanding him over

So am I being inappropriate in my reactions? I hope it's a short phase. And I have no doubt he'll resume nursing again as soon as the baby's born!!
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