Torn about night weaning 26-month old—she nurses like a newborn and I'm in pain, but... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-23-2012, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

 

I'm not sure if I really need advice here, or more just sympathy. I haven't slept in a few days, so my story may be a bit garbled.

 

Anyway: my 26-month-old daughter had actually nightweaned a long time ago, but has now regressed, and I'm completely exhausted and frustrated and not sure what to do. Add to that that she nurses like a newborn during the day, and her increasingly poor nursing manners, and my usual total love for breastfeeding on demand is a bit strained!

 

We stopped cosleeping as a family at around 18 months because Z kept kicking my husband all night if in the middle of the bed or rolling out of bed if on the edge. She seemed to be sleeping happily and with no complaints all night long in her crib, but the minute we switched her to a toddler bed (she'd learned to climb out of the crib), she began climbing out of bed and coming into our room.

 

So I've been cosleeping with her in the guest room when she wakes up at night, but this has led to a reawakening of her interest in night nursing... and she now wants to nurse every hour or two for a LONG time, and I can't sleep through it like I used to, because she's so acrobatic and vigorous about it—my boobs get really sore, and she screams and cries at the slightest suggestion that we wait to nurse until the morning, and pulls on my shirt, and yells "My boobies! My boobies!"

 

And I didn't used to mind at all that during the day she nursed as much as when she was a newborn, and for a similar length of time... (except when I'm at work)... but now it is painful, and sometimes I'd really just like to talk to her about her day instead of nursing for an entire hour when I get home from work. On weekends I think she nurses 6-9 times per day? Or more?

 

And as I mentioned—she's a bit lacking in nursing manners. She runs up to me and pulls up my shirt and yells "Boobies! Boobies! I love boobies"! (partly my fault, because of course this makes me laugh and I used to think it was adorable) whether we're in public or private... and she kicks a lot and insists that I put my arms over my head so she can tickle my armpit ("Hands up, Mommy! Hands up!) or else there is a massive tantrum...

 

BUT I get really resentful if my husband or parents suggest that she is ready to wean, because I don't think she is and I think she still needs to nurse, especially since she has severe food allergies that otherwise restrict her diet. Still, I'd like to GENTLY set some limits, especially at night!

 

sigh...

 

anyone else in this boat?


----
Sewing, knitting, breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering + working mama to baby Zora (born 6/22/10)
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#2 of 6 Old 08-23-2012, 03:48 PM
 
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*hug* I'm going through the same thing with my two year old! I'm seriously going to turn into a zombie if he does't stop night nursing soon. I wish I could turn my boobies off for just eight hours at a time, lol.


be good family...

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#3 of 6 Old 08-25-2012, 03:19 PM
 
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Are you nursing your dd to sleep? If so, she might be coming so often at night as she has no other way of going back to sleep. We humans wake up several times at night to check if everything is still the same as when we went to sleep ( a leftover from prehistoric times).  She will have to learn to go to sleep all by herself. I had the same problem with my dd although she was younger. She would only go back to sleep when I nursed her. She was not hungry and I felt totally worn out after a few weeks. It took us two weeks then she was able to go to sleep all by herself and she would sleep through at night and in her own bed.
 


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#4 of 6 Old 09-09-2012, 09:34 PM
 
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I would be interested in how you did this, Minerva. My daughter is only 17 months old, but she nurses like a newborn. Neither of us gets much sleep, which affects both of us during the day. Her daytime nursing has slowed down a bit, though it too reverts to newborn-like habits when there is any kind of upset (travel, teething, ect.). I am a believer in child-led weaning and believe that she has reasons for needing to nurse more than most other kids her age. For example, her digestion of solid foods is not stellar. However, when it comes to night nursing, I do believe it is important for her to learn how to settle herself without extended and frequent nursing sessions. I get worried about her brain development with such serious sleep deprivation. I was advised to gradually extinguish one night nursing session at a time, a gentle approach that makes sense to me, but my baby wakes up so frequently that it would take years to go through this process. 


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#5 of 6 Old 09-09-2012, 10:13 PM
 
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I have been there!

I nightweaned DD but continued to cosleep another 6 months or so when she was about 2. What worked was saying "nursies went to bed - no nursies 'till the sun comes up!" Substitute boobies for nursies smile.gif
I had a sippy cup with almond milk on hand for her if she woke up and wanted something - which she did the first two nights once or twice and then was done!

For daytime nursing I also had much the same situation andxapplaud both your patience and your resolve to do right by your relationship with DD! It can be confusing. I enjoyed reading "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler" an LLL book.
I set parameters with my DD during the day which had us nursing 4 x at first...8am, after lunch,after dinner and bedtime. It was the best thing for both of us b/c I was no longer refusing her in a manner that I think to her seemex random and was occasionally emotional and reactive ( she was also pretty clearly pushing my limits/boundaries)!
The only thing I would change is that I wish I had done it earlier - when I started feeling resentful during nursing.

From there we nursed 3, then 2, then just one time per day until she was forgetting most days and weaned...it was very gradual over a span of 6 months or so and was very gentle and sweet AND the thing I was delighted to discover was that my relationship with my DD was so much more than just nursing and I was special and important to her in so many ways that wrre really allowed to come to the forefront when the tig-of-war over my breasts was done!

This was simply our experience though and you Mamas have your own path but? I wanted to chime in in case it is helpful.
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#6 of 6 Old 09-11-2012, 12:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emalin View Post

I would be interested in how you did this, Minerva. My daughter is only 17 months old, but she nurses like a newborn. Neither of us gets much sleep, which affects both of us during the day. Her daytime nursing has slowed down a bit, though it too reverts to newborn-like habits when there is any kind of upset (travel, teething, ect.). I am a believer in child-led weaning and believe that she has reasons for needing to nurse more than most other kids her age. For example, her digestion of solid foods is not stellar. However, when it comes to night nursing, I do believe it is important for her to learn how to settle herself without extended and frequent nursing sessions. I get worried about her brain development with such serious sleep deprivation. I was advised to gradually extinguish one night nursing session at a time, a gentle approach that makes sense to me, but my baby wakes up so frequently that it would take years to go through this process. 

 

 

Well, my dd was about 12 month old when I started. At first I looked at her sleeping times, naps as well as nights. It helped her a great deal to be on a regular schedule, going to bed and waking up. I made sure that I did not feed her right before going to bed instead we installed a half hour intensive playtime and a good-night ritual. Then I put her in bed while she was still awake. At first this was new to her and she started crying and making a big fuss about it. I would tell her that it is sleepy time now and that everything was fine, momma would be in the house just not with her in the bedroom and then gave her a kiss and left the room. She was screaming bloody murder at first but I made up a schedule that I followed more or less: The first 3 days I would go back to her every 2 minutes and reassure her that I was still there, that everything was alright. You know just comforting her but I did not take her back out of bed. And then I would just wait a little longer every time before I would go back in but never longer than 7 minutes. I also would only go back in when she was crying. During the day for her naps I did it the same way except that when she would not go to sleep within 30 minutes I would take her back out of bed and just try to keep her awake until her regular bedtime. When she feel asleep on her own in between I would let her sleep for about 15 minutes. I have to admit that it was very very hard for me at first to let her cry but this was really just bad the first 2 days or so and then when she began to learn to go to sleep all by herself within the next couple of days it was so much easier for all of us. She was a lot more cheerful during the day and she new when her nap time and all of that came up. I kept a record of those days to see exactly how many hours she was sleeping and to make adjustments accordingly. She slept the nights through and she took one nap during the day which lasted about 2 hours. But every child is different. Going to sleep has never been a problem since then. She is now 27 month and just does not take naps anymore. I hope this helps others too.


“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
―Socrates

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