Normal nursing patterns in almost 3 yr old? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 07-10-2006, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd2 will be 3 the first week of Sept. She still nurses hourly. I'm not joking. : My older dd weaned about 7-8 weeks ago, just shy of her 4th birthday and I'm enjoying the break from tandem nursing, but it seems that younger dd has picked up the slack. And, even worse than nursing CONSTANTLY.....she picks at me. She walks her fingers all over my body, she kneads my breasts like they are bread dough, she pinches with her little fingernails. I have tried unlatching her, but that doesn't work so well with the older ones as it does when they are younger....or maybe it's just her I stick my finger in to unlatch her and she latches down harder. I want to scream. I want to wean her. This has been going on for weeks and it's getting progressively worse. I've had talks with her about it being my body and she says she understands, but then the next time she nurses, it's a battle for her to keep her little wandering hands to herself. She's broken 4 nursing necklaces in just the last 8 (or so) months, and I am tired of spending money on stuff she's just going to break. Surely, at this age, she can understand simple rules like Keep your hands to yourself. I don't mind if she holds the breast or even rubs a bit, but it's like she's trying to mold it. I have little scratches where she's broken the skin with her fingernails, pinching me. I don't know what else to do with her. She isn't easily distracted, for example, we were at the pool for about 4 hours last week....she nursed 4 times. 4 Times. At The Pool. Not like there wasn't enough distraction there, right? : ANd she refuses to leave my shirt down when she's nursing in public, though I have repeatedly asked her againa dn again and again. She's quite spirited and very, very intelligent; she speaks in complete compound sentences, is capable of reading very simple words, knows her colors, numbers, etc. I say that because I KNOW she's capable of understanding these simple limits, and yet, she completely refuses to show my body any sort of respect and I want.To.SCREAM! Help me figure out gentle ways of teaching her proper nursing manners. Or is this normal for the age? And WHEN will it pass?
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#2 of 22 Old 07-10-2006, 10:52 AM
 
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#3 of 22 Old 07-10-2006, 11:54 AM
 
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so sorry that you are going thru all that - sounds difficult. I agree tho that your dd sounds intelligent and IMO needs some limitations. My DD is going to be 1 this week and already we have dealt with some of those same issues - pinching, scratching and since she is teething also biting while nursing. I believe my DD needs to get all the mama milk she can espec since she is so young still. But she also needs to learn respect for my body - to me it is never acceptable behaviour at any age to be inflicting pain on another person. (well, i guess birth and all that wouldn't count )

Anyway, if she bites or pinches etc we are immed done with that nursing session. She can try again a minute or two later if she likes, but for that time we are done. I tell her "Ow, that hurt mama, don't bite (etc). All Done!" She will usually ask immed for more and I tell her "No, you bit mama - that makes the mama milk go bye bye" - Like I said she can have more all of 2 minutes or so later if she likes. So I'm not depriving her of my milk. Just teaching her respect for my body - and teaching her in general that it's not ok to hurt other people. I think if she were 3 and doing things like this still that she would have to wait a lot longer than a minute or 2 tho.

Well, hope that helps!! Good luck mama
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#4 of 22 Old 07-10-2006, 12:18 PM
 
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subscribing because you just described my almost three nursling.
either its normal or our kids are both odd.

Mother to Sandrel(oct 2003) and Liesl(mar 2006) and someone new coming February 2013

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#5 of 22 Old 07-10-2006, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so sorry that you are going thru all that - sounds difficult. I agree tho that your dd sounds intelligent and IMO needs some limitations. My DD is going to be 1 this week and already we have dealt with some of those same issues - pinching, scratching and since she is teething also biting while nursing. I believe my DD needs to get all the mama milk she can espec since she is so young still. But she also needs to learn respect for my body - to me it is never acceptable behaviour at any age to be inflicting pain on another person. (well, i guess birth and all that wouldn't count )

Anyway, if she bites or pinches etc we are immed done with that nursing session. She can try again a minute or two later if she likes, but for that time we are done. I tell her "Ow, that hurt mama, don't bite (etc). All Done!" She will usually ask immed for more and I tell her "No, you bit mama - that makes the mama milk go bye bye" - Like I said she can have more all of 2 minutes or so later if she likes. So I'm not depriving her of my milk. Just teaching her respect for my body - and teaching her in general that it's not ok to hurt other people. I think if she were 3 and doing things like this still that she would have to wait a lot longer than a minute or 2 tho.

Well, hope that helps!! Good luck mama
We've done this, since before all my kiddos turned one, with biting, and in general nursing manners. She just doesn't seem to "get it!"
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#6 of 22 Old 07-10-2006, 04:44 PM
 
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hmm... that's a tuff one then!! I'd just keep on persisting. Maybe tell her she has to wait til you go home or in the car to nurse if she pulls up your shirt etc

??? just a thought....
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#7 of 22 Old 07-10-2006, 10:35 PM
 
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i feel your pain mama.

my nursling turned three in april and at around the 2.5 mark i thought there was no way i could continue. i learned so much from the wise mamas here.
#1. when you are feeling touched out drink TONS of water. i knew you had to drink like a fish (well, not that fish..) while nursing but i had no idea that it could be so effective for keeping me sane. it doesn't feel good to be the stone someone is trying to get water from. maybe it's just a placebo - but there is such a thing as a placebo effect, right?.
#2. when you have an almost three year old who nurses around the clock (like ours - the every hour kind. every half hour kind.) you can say no. or, you can go bonkers. i so hear you on the pool nursing. my dd's famous for massaging the bench at the playground and muttering, "this looks like a lovely place to just nurse and nurse and nurse...". it took me awhile to get used to saying no after nursing whenever wherever for three years. we had a long talk about how i have to be in a pleasant mood and i have to have eaten and i have to have a big glass of water for my body to make milk. it's still a struggle occasionally, but i remind her every day that she needs both kinds of energy, from food that we eat and from mamas milk. (i say both so that she doesn't feel like i'm replacing nursing with food.) i've also been totally honest with her that i love nursing her, and i have since the moment she "popped out", but... i need breaks in between nursings. i have to be all uber cheerleadery but it actually started working when i say, "good job, baby, i can't wait to nurse you again before bedtime." and, i mean, it's kiiinnndaaa true. i try to say good job and thank her every time, so we end on a positive note. "let's save some milk until we get home. i'd prefer that. then we can get really comfortable and relax on the green chair/porch swing (don't actually have one but it sounds nice)/bunk bed..." works sometimes too. i nurse in public all the time, but when i'm tapped that one can buy me an hour or two.
#3. when she wants to nurse immediately after she has just finished nursing (isn't it so 'nice' to know you're not alone) i pull out my two seconds on each side card and then (and this is key...) i play that card. day time or nightime. i don't think we'd still be a nursing pair without it.
#4. i remember reading about a mama who said her dp was watching her resentfully nursing her son and he said to her, "don't nurse him if it's going to be like that". don't get me wrong, i have my moments, but it changed my life. i want her to have my milk but i don't want her to have to sort through my negativity to find goodness and health and beauty in nursing. so i try to be thankful for every sweet moment and pretend it's the last time i'll ever nurse her, this child, even though you can bet your bottom dollar she'll ask again in two hours, if not sooner.
#5. babyswap time with another mama. you get time alone and when you have both (or three) kids (maybe) yours will nurse less. it has worked wonders for me often, and sometimes it has backfired horribly.
#6. once there was a day when my nursling nursed twice. my super needy constant crazy nursling nursed two times. it will happen. her needs are actually evolving. nursing is still huge and mostly constant, but she's shifting away from me. not me. it. this. crazy. amazing. draining. miraculous. lucious. exausting. thing.
that can be so incredibly hard.
and so incredibly gorgeous.
and i can't believe i just wrote this novel and she hasn't woken up.
to nurse.
shift.

good luck mama.
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#8 of 22 Old 07-12-2006, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Mama. That does give me some hope. My stress level has increased dramatically recently, and I need to remember how much that affects our nursing relationship. It's not likely to get any better anytime soon though.
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#9 of 22 Old 07-12-2006, 02:48 PM
 
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I have experienced this recently. Marah Jade compusivley touches me when she is nursing and honestly I don't think she can control it. There are times when I am tired of it and ask her to stop and I can see her physically shake with her hand in the air searching for something to touch. Sometimes I can redirect her or get her to touch softly. There are other times, usually when she is tired, that she can't control it very well. It is a work in progress. I explain to her she is hurting me and if she can't stop she can't nurse.
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#10 of 22 Old 07-12-2006, 04:41 PM
 
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I'm tandem nursing a 26mth old & 4mth old and my toddler CONSTANTLY asks for booby. I can so relate to the OP's feelings. I am trying to work out whether or not his intensity is related to a nutritional or a pyschological need - or it's not related to anything. Whatever the case, it just feels excessive and it can really get to me.

Nice to know I am not the only one!
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#11 of 22 Old 07-14-2006, 02:07 AM
 
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Sounds just like my 3.5 yr. old up to a few mos. ago. Then I started limiting his nursing to 5-6 times a day, and it's been much better. Also, I've been REALLY enforcingnursing manners- if you can't NOT pull my shirt up to my neck when NIP, you don't NIP. The end. Lately he's had days where he only nurses 3 times! He still asks a lot but is easily put off, totally unlike 6 mos. ago when a "no boob" would have been the end of the universe so I always gave in.
I think it's normal. If I weren't nursing a needy 19 lb. 6 mo. old, I might be okay with nursing that much but I was seriously losing it there for a while and just wanted it to stop. I seriously considered weaning BOTH of them just top get the little monsters off my poor thrushy nipples.
Going to a LLL toddler meeting and ranting helped me a lot. And got me some good suggestions.
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#12 of 22 Old 07-14-2006, 01:38 PM
 
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I don't know if this is PC in the GD sense, but I put the "jugs" in a time-out. I have the biggest problem with my 32mo DD at night. Since I'm pregnant now and my nipples are VERY sore, I have to limit the fiddling, the twiddling, the pinching UGH!:

I make sure to give her an alternative to nursing like telling her a story or singing a song. I'm kind of hoping that this might lead to some night weaning, but who knows. This kid took a while to get the hang of nursing, but once she did, she's determined not to EVER let go and I definitely have to set some limits. I always give her a warning too because to be honest, sometimes things bother me more than others. And it's so sweet to hold my little nursling in the crook of my arm as she flutter sucks and has her hand possessively covering my other nipple. Also, we often have a bit of resistance to jug time-outs, but it's essential for my sanity.

Good Luck! I look forward to hearing more replies and hopefully getting some advice for myself too
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#13 of 22 Old 07-15-2006, 11:08 AM
 
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Am new to forum but desperately need contact with other tandem mommas! I didn't think I'd need so much encouragement because nursing just one went so well.

Anyway, I can totally relate to the touched out feeling! My dd, 3 yrs, is nursing like she did when she was newborn and my 3 month old son is, well, nursing like a newborn. DD asks me to nurse many times a day and I'm able to distract or substitute sometimes. The hardest thing for me is to remember that my body is making enough milk: I know this because my babies are both healthy and happy. Hoping to let dd wean at her own pace but I'm losing patience and lots of sleep. Couldn't survive if we didn't nurse through the night!!
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#14 of 22 Old 07-19-2006, 10:17 AM
 
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my first was a 24/7 nurser. she's 5 now and yes, still nursing, but i put limits on it long long ago and she only asks occasionally and doesn't get upset if i tell her not right now. the only time i will nurse my 5 yr old and my 2 yr old simultaneously is in bed to go to sleep. that's 'cause i know my 5 yr old will drop off like a rock in 2 minutes. she will often stop a session now, too. once when she was little -- maybe 18 months or so -- i decided to nurse her just to see how long she would nurse. after an hour (with no sleep!) i gave up and had to ask her to stop. now she'll stop all by herself. i can see the light at the end of the weaning tunnel. my 2 yr old loves to nurse, but is pretty easily distracted and i just tell her "okay time to let go" or something like that.

i started setting limits with dd1 early on during my pregnancy with dd2 since my nipples were pretty sensitive and dd2 was never quite as needy a nurser as dd1 was. i picked up a couple of techniques from moms here and some support and ideas from "adventures in tandem nursing" by hilary flower ( www.nursingtwo.com and a great book for pg nursing moms and moms nursing infants and older kids ). one of the ways we limited a nursing session was to sing the ABC song. i will say something like "let's nurse a quick minute" ("quick minute" is something dd1 came up with). i'll sing the ABC song and when it's done we'll be done. it works pretty well. we also sing the ABC song for other waiting/ending times like when you're holding the wet washcloth on a temporary tattoo or when it's time to leave the playground, trading toys, etc, etc. little ones don't have too much of a concept of time, but they do know a song like that. you could obviously pick another familiar song, but it helps to have one with a definite end. (old macdonald might not be a good pick for example.)

if we're out and i don't want to nurse (somehow i don't always want to nurse my 2 yr old as much as i did dd1 it seems) i often say things like, "let's wait til we get home and it's more comfy." i will occasionally get a response like, "that bench looks comfy", but with my 2 yr old i can usually say "not right now" though we've had our share of meltdowns over having "bubba right NOW!"

i've set so many limits with my little one now that she usually takes pretty well to them and it's also just her personality i well know. my 5 yr old was not like that although she really did respect the ABC song. i think part of the reason that worked well for her was because we first did it with a temporary tattoo so she sort of got a reward at the end of it.

well, i've got a 5 yr old sitting here next to me patiently waiting to read "Babar and his Children" so i better skedaddle. hope that helps.

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#15 of 22 Old 08-07-2006, 04:47 PM
 
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My 28 month old son does the exact same thing, as far as the aggressive fondling. We usually fight over it (I take his hand off and tell him that hurts me please don't do it, he pulls his hand away and does it more, I try to cover up that side, he pulls the bra cup away, etc.). Sometimes I cup my hand over that breast. But as far as ending the nursing session, I don't just stick my finger in to unlatch, I stick my finger on top of my nipple and squish it out of his mouth. He doesn't USUALLY nurse hourly anymore (thank goodness, because he did for the first 18 months or so). But stress level is a big part of this. When I'm spending too much time not attending to him and his needs or I'm feeling stressed, he asks for milk much more often. I think it helps him to get his needs met and, by design, helps me to take more time with him and to let go of other things.
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#16 of 22 Old 08-07-2006, 11:32 PM
 
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My dd (31 months) is a bit like this, she doesn't nurse that often any more (I guess I am not truly child-led weaning any more because I night weaned about 3 months ago), she nurses first thing in the morning, and immediately after I pick her up from creche, and on weekends a few more times.
She does nurse for looonnng periods of time though (nursings are usually 30-60 minutes, and she used nurse anywhere from 3 times nightly to literally not unlatching all night long). I always have to stop the nursing myself.
She also is quite rough, she turns her head from side to side while latched on, kneads my breasts hard with both hands (and nails!) and twiddles the other nipple tightly between 2 fingers (which drives me crazy). I don't have any really good suggestions, but would love it if someone else did! Mostly I don't mind too much, but if she has had a busy nursing period (like the last couple of days - I had a fight with dp yesterday and it made her stressed, so she has been nursing heaps ) then my breasts do get quite sore.
I too have tried asking her to stop, but it doesn't seem to help, even if I completely stop the nursing session.
I think that part of it is because I don't make that much milk any more, since I night weaned my breasts don't feel full no matter how long I go without nursing (have been over 36 hours once - she was distracted with visitors - not a normal situation, lol) - maybe I should drink more water to try to increase my milk supply. Quite often she will ask for cows milk after finishing nursing - I do let her nurse for long periods though, so I am surprised that supply doesn't follow demand.
Anyway, no help, but I think you are definitely not alone in having a physically demanding nursling.
Cheers,
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#17 of 22 Old 08-08-2006, 09:36 PM
 
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my ds will be three this month and he still nurses. A few weeks ago it seemed like only in the morning and at bedtime but lately he has picked up the pace. I feel like he is on the verge of a transition...he is REALLY resisiting the potty so we are taking a break on that, but I feel like he is holding back on growing up so to speak. Anyway I think it is totally fine to say no when you need to. I say no sometimes. I think that we "mothering mamas" can forget that our well being is just as important as our little ones. And a three year old who is still nursing surely knows that they are loved and need to know that other people have needs too. I would just end the nursing session when she is getting too touchy and grabby and I would bet that if you stick to that, in a short while she will stop. It is OK to look out for yourself here, and your little one who NEEDS to know boundaries. I always have to remind myself of that. I don't mind nursing my little one but secretly I am looking forward to the day he stops.
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#18 of 22 Old 08-08-2006, 11:29 PM
 
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I have an almost 2 year old and almost for 4. Last year I started have rules about the boo time as we call it. You need to respect mommy's body. Meaning no grabbing, or pulling up my shirt etc. Also around 2 years I try to stop nursingin public. Thay had to wait till we got home. I also have tried with not nursing when we have company, but I didn't start that till she was at least 3. I also count to ten. My dd needs to delatch before I get to ten. these are very similar to idea other have had, but some time just hearing put another way give us an idea of what might work for you ou and your daughter. Even though you have been nursing them all of their lives and it feel like forever and that it will never end. These first few years of there lives are over very quickly and you will never be able to comfort them again like that. good luck
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#19 of 22 Old 08-09-2006, 09:09 AM
 
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DD nursed at least every hour until after she was 3, then I got pg, had severly sore nipples and had to put major limits on her nursing. DD had to choice to either nurse very gently or not nurse at all, we went round and round on this one until she got it. I also second the couting to 10 or what number you want, she hated it at first but soon would pop off with before I got to our number. Good luck.

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#20 of 22 Old 08-09-2006, 12:38 PM
 
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It is not always easy to determine when it is the child slowing down, or you slowing down. Some children seem to nurse "forever", while others are fine with your slowing down here and there. After nursing my little boy well into my pregnancy with twins, I was somewhat hesitant in invisioning nursing 3. That's just me. With a little encouragement he stopped and was still my little
"nursling" but just without "milkies". We were as close as ever. He rode on my back when we went hiking, slept with us in our family bed, as did the twins. They nursed till almost 4 and when I came home sometimes after a meeting at 9:30PM they waited up for me for their good night nannies. I would say just a little sip, OK. They were in their top bunk then. A little break from "family bed". But after a little while, we went back to our"family
bed" with all the kids (4) and were quite content. Too many feet in the ribs
though. ( love, spirit dove
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#21 of 22 Old 08-09-2006, 03:05 PM
 
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I feel for you. My dd is also a Sept 03 baby and she has her moments of being really rough. It used to be ALL the time, but now I have had to set my foot down because my nipples would get to where I was almost crying when she's latch on (and who wants to nurse then? LOL) We've had some out and out screaming tantrums from enforcing the rules (she's very high spirited and headstrong) that lasted up to an hour, but I just can't deal with it anymore and keep nursing. At night I simply push her hand away, if she keeps it up I'll tell her NO! firmly and then will unlatch her. Rinse, repeat until she stops completely. I've even held her little hands away from me while nursing (which yes she hates) when she starts reaching out. I hate making her unhappy, but I'd hate weaning her more, kwim? Anyways, your def not alone.
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#22 of 22 Old 08-14-2006, 11:55 PM
 
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OK, this is probably going to sound oversimplified but I have a little one who will be 3 in Oct and those days that he's asking to nurse a lot I've inadvertantly discovered that he is super thirsty.

I've been trying to help him cut down on days that I really need a break by offering something I know that he would _really_ love like hot chocolate (even on a 90 degree day ) if he still wants to nurse then so be it. Sometimes i've had to put it off for one reason or another and then when he sees a glass of water laying around he'll go attack it. Maybe youre little one is extra thirsty that day??

As far as breaking the latch, I felt panicky one day when I discovered that HOLY COW I was not going to get my nipple out of his mouth. He wanted to nurse and didn't want to stop even though I had no more milk on that side and there was nothing I could do about it. Until...I discovered that I can slide my finger in through his lips AND inbetween his teeth to release myself. We generally don't nurse in public now but when I rarely do the rule is to keep my shirt down or there are no nums. When I have him pop off he gets the idea after one or two times.

Good luck.
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