I really need your help. Weaning my 22 month old is impossible! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 02-05-2012, 02:03 AM - Thread Starter
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So I am having a rough day. And it's been a rough week. I ended up weaning my 22 mo daughter off my left breast entirely a few weeks ago (due to repeat milk blisters on that side), and now we are down to only nursing 3 times a day (from 8-12ish). It's been a few weeks of the 3x/day and it's been going alright, but she's still asking for "Mayna" ALLLLLL the time. Even though she knows my response will be "not until nap time" or "not until bedtime." Also, we haven't done any night weaning yet because we are still trying to give her time to adjust to these new changes, and NOW she is nursing more than ever at night!! And she's really restless, and for the last two nights has been waking up for chunks of time, which she never used to do. (I really don't think her 2 yr molars are coming in yet)


ALSO -- for her whole life I have had to nurse her during her naps. After about 30 minutes of sleeping she commonly wakes up asking to nurse, and then she'll go back so sleep. Occasionally I would have to nurse her again in another 30 minutes. For the last week I have not allowed her to nurse during naps, so now her naps are almost all 30 minutes! And her tantrums after the fact are so full of hysterics I can't help but feel like I'm f$@*ing up somewhere. Will she EVER learn that we are only nursing 3x/day? Will she EVER learn how to go back to sleep without nursing??? Am I traumatizing her?? I am so so so tired, and emotionally drained and I'm losing my patience and feeling distraught.


I have no support system here (in Mexico--we are living in Yelapa for 3 months this winter and won't be home till March 7th) and it's putting so much stress on me and my husband. If you have any suggestions or have a similar story, please tell me how you made it through. How did your kid learn to go to sleep without the boob?? (Also, I have tried singing to her, offering her something to snuggle, offering to hold her/snuggle her back to sleep, and I even try telling her "close your eyes, take a deep breath, go back to sleep." and it just puts her worse into hysterics. AND she tells my husband to "GO AWAY!" 100% of the time he tries to soothe her. It's heartbreaking) :(


People keep telling me "the only way to wean" is to literally leave the building for at least 4 days. Do you believe this is unethical? Is this really the only way to do it when your kid is this obsessed with nursing??


No need to cite Dr. Jay Gordon. We've tried everything.... (except CIO, which we won't)

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#2 of 4 Old 02-05-2012, 09:19 PM
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We weaned our LO when he was 20 months.


The way we did it: 

Occasionally i wouldn't come home until after bed time so that daddy and ds could learn to go to bed together.  If my son knew i was around there's no way he'd allow daddy to put him to bed or soothe him in any way.  


Then i spent a few weekends away from home.  Whenever i wasn't around, our ds took a sippy cup to bed.


Then finally i was there for bedtime one night but refused to give the boob and he cried for a few minutes between me and daddy lying beside him.  Eventually he held the sippy cup and drank from it.  The next night was miraculously tearless...and the rest is history. We FULLY weaned, ie. no daytime breastfeeding either, AND, we managed to continued to  cosleep without trouble.  It was great because it wasn't until AFTER we weaned that he finally SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!


We had to do it.  I felt like i hadn't slept in 20 months and i was seriously running out of steam.  I was getting increasingly abusive towards my husband and i was getting grossly anorexic-looking from all the CONSTANT breastfeeding. 


BTW, we found there was no other way to do it.  No just-night-weaning, no jay gordon method, etc.  The gentlest way we could do it was to first ensure that he could go to bed beside daddy, then make sure he could get use to daddy and the sippy cup, (which like i said above, was absolutely IMPOSSIBLE if i was around).  We've been boob-free for over 8 months now, but it is still impossible for daddy to put him to bed alone if i'm around.  So bedtime still consists of the both of us lying beside him until he sleeps; daddy can't do it alone unless everyone totally understands that i'm not around.


So to answer your original question, no, i don't think it's unethical to go missing for a few days.  But for us we started off with 1 day that built up gradually to a whole weekend so that we could be sure he could go to bed/cope without the boob to bed.



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#3 of 4 Old 02-06-2012, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by october View Post

People keep telling me "the only way to wean" is to literally leave the building for at least 4 days. Do you believe this is unethical? Is this really the only way to do it when your kid is this obsessed with nursing??


No need to cite Dr. Jay Gordon. We've tried everything.... (except CIO, which we won't)

 I was just reading 'Mothering Your Nursing Toddler' by Norma Bumgarten and she has a chapter on less than gentle weaning methods. Moms Week Out Weaning by Abandonment is one method she warns against. She explains that the pschological effects can be traumatizing because babies and young children may grieve as if mother has actually died or deserted them, and also depending upon the child, it may be ineffective for weaning. Her book does offer gentle weaning methods, perhaps it would be a helpful along with feedback from MDC members. Good luck, I am sorry things are not going well.


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#4 of 4 Old 02-06-2012, 05:31 AM
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My 23 month old is down to once or twice a day. She never sttn until I nightweaned a few months ago. We did a modified Dr. Gordon approach over a period of about 6 weeks. There were a few nights of 10 minutes crying until she accepted a drink of water and her binky and went back to sleep. She doesn't always sttn, but now I can pat and shush and she goes back to sleep without nursing.


If you've recently moved and you're feeling stressed she might be too, and asking to nurse so frequently is a way of soothing and seeking to connect with you. Can you redirect by doing an activity with her during those times, maybe reading a book or going outside would distract her.  Sometimes dd asks to nurse when it's not a good time for me, and I'll pick her up and just cuddle her and let her snuggle into my chest and that satisfies her need for closeness. She like to kiss my boobs and pat them then go back to play; it's like she's reassuring herself that they're still there, LOL.


Another thought is that by limiting her she feels like she needs to nurse all the time (kind of like trying to diet for us--we're hungry and crave food constantly).

My dd has developed quite an attachment to her binky since I night-weaned. I tried to limit it to naptime only, but she begged constantly and became obsessed with having one with her constantly, so I let her have it as much as she wanted for a while, and now she's better about not needing it as much.

Maybe if you allowed her to nurse whenever she asked for a few days she'd feel reassured and not want your breasts as much? And then keep her very busy with activities and attention so she is distracted from needing to nurse so frequently and taper down to a manageable amount for you.

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