tired of night nursing toddler - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 10-07-2009, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have to get this out somewhere to people who might understand. Ever since I had my baby (13mo) I can't stand to nurse my toddler (32mo). The first week I couldn't control myself when they both nursed, I felt like a wild animal that was being held down and taken advantage of. I would push her head away from me and growl and then she'd cry and I'd cry and apologize and hold her close and nurse through tears and shuddering at the feeling. It got better after that but now that her latch has changed I'm getting those feelings again, not as strong though. She touches my boob while nursing and I cringe and roughly push her hand away before I can even think about it. I can't sleep with her nursing (I co-sleep with both of them) so I have to ask her to stop. Sometimes when I just can't take it anymore I'll ask her to stop and she'll refuse and shake her head and not let go and it makes me want to scream and cry and if I take it from her she gets scared and confused and then needs it more and I feel terrible and end up nursing her more with my teeth clenched and my muscles all tensed up until she finally stops! I want her to stop nursing at night, I just want her to stop. I forcefully weaned my son @2.5 because everyone around me said it was gross and damaging to him (I was a single mom, no support and I didn't want to wean him) and I really wanted to let my dd wean on her own but this is driving me insane. Her latch is different and she leaves teeth marks in my nipple now, it doesn't hurt but it feels so different from my baby nursing. She would nurse constantly if I let her but i limit her to a few times a day and she nurses about three time at night. The daytime nursings are usually fine but I feel so different and out of control at night. I know if I was reading someone else posting this I'd think "Wow, weaning would be better than acting like that to your toddler" I guess I'm just looking for experiences, can this get better? Should I night wean her? I'm know I'm asking the wrong ladies about weaning.... I just want your thoughts.

Krista; blessed mother to four earthly beings and three non-physical. Basking in my beautiful rainbow. 
 
 

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#2 of 9 Old 10-07-2009, 04:32 PM
 
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Man, I definitely go through periods where I think I am just DONE night nursing my toddler. Sometimes it seems like everyone has their kid nightweaned by the time the kid is in their third year. Not us.

And sometimes I'm just glad that I'm not running for a drink of water or preparing a snack in the middle of the night instead.

I'd work on the latch issues before making a decision to night wean her. She's old enough to understand directions about how to make nursing more comfortable for the both of you. You might find night nursing much more tolerable.
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#3 of 9 Old 10-07-2009, 11:11 PM
 
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Hugs, mama. My DS is just past 24 months (which was my original -radical for our environment- goal). I have been so inspired by this group of CLWers that I truly hope DS is the one who makes the final decision to stop, not me. The fact that your DD is 32 months and you have continued nursing around the clock that whole time is awesome (literally).

What I wanted to say is that now that I am pregnant I am having that same feeling at night, not pain, just can't stand it. Of course I could have delayed ttc longer just as I did to get to the 24 months - but for a lot of reasons I felt it was now or never to ttc. In the end I have decided that I don't want the nursing experience for DS to end in negativity and I was afraid that my own inability to cope at night was going to feel like a personal rejection to him. To me that would be worse than night weaning. So now I let him do a few really quick nurses in the night but around 4 am I say "the nurses are sleeping we have to wait for morning". Then about 6 am I say, "it's morning - want to nurse?" and I let him go as long as he wants. It is not without conflict everyday but I feel better about the trend.

Good luck to you in whatever you choose to do.

HW (40) DH (46) DSS1 (14) DSS2 (11) DS (3) DD (5/5/2010)
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#4 of 9 Old 10-08-2009, 12:04 AM
 
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My children are close in age to yours (15 months and 35 months).

I limit my older son's nursing to the point where I actually enjoy nursing him (or at least am not feeling negatively the whole time). It is important to me that I remember nursing as a positive experience, and that my son's memories of it (if he has them) are not of me being resentful, tense, snapping at him, etc.

While this means that I can't really consider us as doing child-led weaning at this point (I've definitely been the lead on cutting back the amount of nursing) I'm absolutely certain that he's going to end up nursing for longer than he would have if I pushed myself to the point where I couldn't stand it. Not to mention how much better it is for our relationship overall that I'm not hating nursing him. I want him to continue nursing for as long as he needs to, but that doesn't mean that his voice and needs are the only ones that are important in our nursing relationship.

One of the best ways I've found to reel myself back from doing too much for my children at my own expense is stop and think what advice I would give my (imaginary) daughter if she was in the same situation.
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#5 of 9 Old 10-08-2009, 01:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks mamas.
How can I explain proper latch to her? I've told her to open big but when she does that too much gets in her mouth and that feels weird too.
I really don't want to force anything on her but I know this isn't good for either of us I don't want her to wean, I'm not ready for that to be done, I just want to not get the willies when I nurse her.
I think I will try to cut back some and set some limits for my own sanity and for her. I don't want her to remember nursing as mommy being upset with her.

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#6 of 9 Old 10-09-2009, 06:04 PM
 
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It sounds like you are having some pretty intense emotions around nursing, which I can definitely relate to. I think a lot of us are striving so hard to do everything *perfectly* for our kids, that we forget we have needs too, and we forget about a thing called...balance. I know sometimes I am so busy trying to give my son this perfect little life with all my attention, etc., etc., and then suddenly I realize that I am not helping him by being a stressed out mommy. My son has a terrible terrible painful latch that has not improved despite seeing three lactation consultants, so I know how that feels.

You've come a long way, and I'm sure child led weaning is "ideal" but maybe you need to give yourself permission to cut her down to maybe once a day. Maybe you could take 10 or 15 minutes and focus all of your attention on her and let her nurse and make sure to make it a positive experience for both of you. I don't think you're doing her any favors by continuing down a path that is stressing you out to the point you feel like growling at her (eek!) or pushing her away. Surely this cannot be healthy for anyone emotionally...not to mention the lack of sleep with continued night nursing. With help from my husband, I was able to night wean my son when he was 16 months. I definitely had strong reservations about doing so, but in the end, it was the best thing for both of us. I couldn't deny that lack of sleep was negatively impacting my daytime parenting. I am sure she has a sense that you have the "willies" when you're nursing her, so why not try to cut down to an amount of nursing that is actually enjoyable for you? I think she will actually benefit from having a mama who has fewer strong negative emotions going on. Kids are incredibly perceptive. Really, you've done an amazing thing by nursing her this long, but there does come a time when some balance is needed and it sounds like you're there! Good luck and hugs!
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#7 of 9 Old 10-09-2009, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The growling and pushing her off of me only happened in the first week or so after I had my baby. It was wild how intensely I wanted her to get off of me. Now it just grates on my nerves after a few minutes and I have to ask her to stop and she has to keep her hands away from my breasts. Our real problem seems to be night nursing because I just can't fall asleep until she unlatches which she doesn't always agree to at night. Most of the time she is really great about it, which makes me feel guilty for asking her to stop, but sometimes she just refuses to stop and that's when I feel sooooo violated. I am getting enough sleep, she usually only nurses a couple of minutes and then I ask her to stop and she rolls over; and my baby nurses while I sleep. I'm trying to cut her back some and establish some boundaries though. After I posted she found pink sheets for the crib that we have side-carred to our bed and she asked to sleep in there. Last night she nursed a little and I asked if she wanted to lay down and she got in the crib and went to sleep. I love our nursing relationship when she's happy it's just that when she's tired/cranky/upset I feel like I HAVE to do it and then I feel trapped. I'd like to nurse her more than once a day but I think your idea of making it a special thing is a really good one. Maybe I can turn it into something we have set times for and cut her off of comfort nursing.
Thanks, mama!

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#8 of 9 Old 10-14-2009, 11:09 PM
 
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#9 of 9 Old 10-16-2009, 02:41 AM
 
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I jiust wanted to say that I'm with you- I'm pregnant, nuring a2-year old, and amazed ar the stength of my emotions nursing (the willies). What helps the most for us is that I'll countdown backwards, then detatch, to give him some warning, and he'll often detatch himself (it';s ute, he puts his finger up, and pushes, and then smiles at me to sy, "see? I can. Sometimes he'll ask to relatch sometimes he won't). And, he HAS to keep his hands to himself, too.
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