I'm SO DONE with nursing! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 01-15-2005, 02:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Help! I have 3 boys; the first two nursed until around 1 year or so, but my third child is 3 years and 4 months old and is still nursing. I have really enjoyed it, it is definitely different nursing a walking, talking toddler than nursing an infant. And, he is my last baby so I have really felt like I want to let him lead the weaning. However, it is getting to the point where it is not fulfilling for me at all. He wants to nurse in the morning and at night when he is ready for bed. I know I have no milk left but he fibs and says that I do. He has been waking up most nights during the night, coming into my room and just climbing on top of me and nursing a lot. I am just really feeling like it is time for him to stop nursing. I have tried talking to him about it and he does get sad, which makes me sad. I feel a little sad about never nursing again, since he is my last baby. But my husband is not very supportive at all about continuing nursing. He has felt this way for months now, and of course, most people who learn I'm still nursing are just shocked.

I don't know what I"m asking here; maybe for advice to gently speed up the weaning process (I do not nurse him during the day unless I am absolutely desperate, and I do not nurse him in public anymore, but there are days that I just need to lay down and take a rest and so I will nurse him so that he'll lay with me). Or maybe encouragement that I"m not "ruining" my child, as my husband sort of thinks (because he is over 3 years old and he thinks I"m the one not willing to wean...believe me, I'd be so happy if Daniel decided he didn't need to nurse any longer). I have talked to Daniel about throwing a party when he stops nursing, I've even tried to get him to just suck on a pacifier for a few minutes when he wants to nurse, but he doesn't like it (I can't say I blame him). I just don't know what to do. I really can't see nursing him for much longer, he is almost as tall as me! Well, not quite, but it is really uncomfortable for me as he pinches, strokes, etc and I am all touched out! I get really crabby when we nurse because he is just all over me. And the coming into my bed during the night is getting old too. If he happens to wake up DH, then DH sometimes can't get back to sleep for the rest of the night; and we are talking about daniel coming in at 1 am! Then DH is extremely tired the next day for work (he just started a new job).

So, any words of wisdom would be welcome. I love reading the posts here; if anything it has been a source of encouragement since I'm not in with any "natural" parenting types. So, thank you in advance!
Christine
mommy to jacob (8), henry (almost 7) and daniel (3 yrs 4 months and still lovin' the boob)
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#2 of 10 Old 01-15-2005, 03:14 AM
 
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I have no words of wisdom cause my son is just 19 months old- but hopefully the mamas here have some words of wisdom-
Hugs mama
Emilie
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#3 of 10 Old 01-15-2005, 04:19 AM
 
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You are not ruining your child!!! You are meeting a need that he has.

I don't know what to say about the nighttime issues, as I haven't been there with an older toddler yet. But, I know that for me, I have periods of being touched out, but then it passes. We also use a nursing necklace for dd; she touches that now instead of touching me all over, which improved our nursing relationship a lot. Myabe you could talk to your child about that, and redirect his free hand activities to a necklace or doll or something. I think it can work sometimes.

I am not sure, but I think setting some limits in terms of where you nurse, and where you are touched, may make the relationship better and more satisfying for you both, without you needing to wean. For instance, maybe you could limit the night nursing to doing it somewhere else, like the couch or his bed (it sounds like he sleeps in a different room from what you said). Is your husband's attitude stressing you out? That could be affecting your nursing relationship, also.

I hope you can come up with some ideas that will meet both your needs, if possible.

P.S., even when you cannot express a drop, I think it is possible for there to be a little trickle of milk from the suckling. The swallows may be few and far between, but he may not be misleading you about that.
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#4 of 10 Old 01-15-2005, 12:44 PM
 
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If your little one is nursing in the morning and at bedtime and in the night, my guess is you most definitely have milk! Its not unusual to not be able to express milk when your child is no longer an infant. It sounds to me like your child is naturally weaning on his own (this is great!). My ds slowed down to nursing only at bedtime shortly after he turned 4. Since he turned 5 two months ago, he began skipping several days in a row. I honestly don't know if he's weaned yet or not since we're in the midst of "skipped days" ... You are doing the absolute best for your child!! Breastfeeding does NOT ruin children; society's sexualization of the breasts is what ruins them!
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#5 of 10 Old 01-15-2005, 01:42 PM
 
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First of all, you are not ruining him, not at all!! I think you might feel a little different if everyone around you was more supportive. You have come to the right place!! My son just turned 3 and is still an avid nurser. I admit that I could do without the middle of the night nursing as well - just because I'm tired and have a small bed and it gets uncomfortable when DH is home.

Your son is also old enough to be able to nurse with some "manners." I also got a nursing necklace when I couldn't stand the tweaking and pinching anymore. I keep the other breast covered when he nurses so he doesn't pull on the nipple. I give him gentle warnings about nursing behavior that doesn't feel good to me, and if he doesn't listen, then the session is over.

Do you think you are truly ready to be done, or are the outside pressures such as your husband's attitude, your own fear that you are "ruining" him, or other reasons contributing to this. I won't lie and tell you that nursing is always 100% fine by me, but I am still committed at this point to self-led weaning with my 3 year old.

No matter what you decide, we are here to support you!!!
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#6 of 10 Old 01-15-2005, 01:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callmemama
If your little one is nursing in the morning and at bedtime and in the night, my guess is you most definitely have milk! Its not unusual to not be able to express milk when your child is no longer an infant. It sounds to me like your child is naturally weaning on his own (this is great!). My ds slowed down to nursing only at bedtime shortly after he turned 4. Since he turned 5 two months ago, he began skipping several days in a row. I honestly don't know if he's weaned yet or not since we're in the midst of "skipped days" ... You are doing the absolute best for your child!! Breastfeeding does NOT ruin children; society's sexualization of the breasts is what ruins them!


I am sorry you are struggling with this. My 4 y/o nurses upon waking, at night and when he needs to. I am sure I am making milk. Your body makes the milk your guy needs, the same as when he was an infant. By letting him lead the way to weaning, you are showing respect for his needs and teaching the whole family some important lessons, that breasts are for nursing, and not just "babies".

I agree with KarenEMT about how difficult it is without support.

This is a wonderful forum to find support for continuing nursing....because of our name and goal, this isn't the forum for weaning advice.

Hugs to you, and know you are doing a wonderful thing

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#7 of 10 Old 01-15-2005, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies. I do have mixed feelings about still nursing, and probably most of it is from the unsupportiveness I feel around me. Sometimes I do wonder if it is me that doesn't want to wean, but I can say that lately, I am definitely for stopping and my son is absolutely against it. It does cause some stress b/c of DH thinking what we are doing is a little weird. But I do know that I'm meeting my Daniel's needs. I just wish it was more pleasant overall. Sometimes he chases me around the house crying because he wants to nurse. When I let him, I say "just for a minute" and he will bargain "no, just for FOUR minutes". It is pretty cute, I guess!

ANyway, I know he can handle a sleepover at grandma's house (my DH took me on an overnight a few weeks ago when I turned 40), and I know that when I'm not home at his bedtime, he is okay (not great) about going to bed, so that eases my feelings of not being able to be gone at bedtime.

I think I will try the nursing necklace because that is what drives me nuts; his touching and grabbing.

I am also trying to encourage him not to wake me up, and since I barely wake up when he comes into our bed, sometimes I don't fully realize he's in there until morning when he is laying on me nursing. I think I'll try to wake up and take him back to his bed and not nurse in my bed anymore. His answer for when I ask "why did you wake me up again last night" is "I just wanted to lay with you". We did a sort of family bed with him, but my husband was not getting good sleep and it was starting to affect his work, etc. so for us it was not a good thing.

I know that someday he'll be walking down the aisle towards his bride (hopefully still not nursing! LOL) and I will wonder where the years have gone, so I will really try to just enjoy this time and not stress out about how old he'll be when he finally stops nursing. I'm sure I"ll post again about this!
Thanks again for all of your kind words!
Christine
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#8 of 10 Old 01-15-2005, 05:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom4tot


I am sorry you are struggling with this. My 4 y/o nurses upon waking, at night and when he needs to. I am sure I am making milk. Your body makes the milk your guy needs, the same as when he was an infant. By letting him lead the way to weaning, you are showing respect for his needs and teaching the whole family some important lessons, that breasts are for nursing, and not just "babies".

I agree with KarenEMT about how difficult it is without support.

This is a wonderful forum to find support for continuing nursing....because of our name and goal, this isn't the forum for weaning advice.

Hugs to you, and know you are doing a wonderful thing



Christine, It sounds like you are feeling pressure to wean because this is all so new to you. I won't give advice on weaning because this forum advocates child-led weaning. Know that it is completely natural for your child to nurse at this age. Your instincts are telling you that (that's probably why you're so torn). It's so hard when everyone else around you makes you believe that it's not 'normal'. You may not ever be able to convince them otherwise, but it really isn't anyone else's business but yours and ds anyway. Hopefully coming here will help give you strength and knowledge.

Just food for thought, my DH was not supportive either (off and on) because he had never been exposed to it. He learned along the way how natural it is.

(btw, your ds is not nursing because you don't want him to wean, he is nursing because he has a need to nurse.)

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#9 of 10 Old 01-15-2005, 07:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom23boys
Sometimes he chases me around the house crying because he wants to nurse. When I let him, I say "just for a minute" and he will bargain "no, just for FOUR minutes".
Just a thought - sometimes the insecurity of not being allowed to nurse makes children need to nurse all the more. One way to see if this could be the problem would be to nurse him every time he asks for as long as he asks for a few days. It could be that once he's secure again in knowing that he CAN nurse, he might not need to as often. Or he might. Either way, you'll be meeting his needs...
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#10 of 10 Old 01-17-2005, 03:45 PM
 
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First:

DD weaned at 4years, 2 months and DS is still going strong at 40 months (August 31st, btw, how about your little guy?).

I think callmemama has a great point: sometime just "giving in" can allow your child to let go. They need to know they *can*, sometimes knowing is enough. Is there anyway you could just decide to nurse as much as DS wants for a couple weeks and then deal with it. No limits (well, reasonable ones, but...), no talk about being done, weaning, etc...?

I think demanding polite nursing is totally fair at that age. DS is also a grabber/pincher/clawer and I can mostly get him to stop by repeatedly moving his hands away (or crossing my arm over where I don't want him to touch).

And I wanted to add my voice to the chorus of "You are not harming him"!

Welcome & Hope to "see" you around,
Kay

 

 

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