Hi! I'm not sure if this question would be best answered here, or the breastfeeding forum, or even the family bed forum. Please feel free to move if necessary :)
Since my son turned 2, I've night weaned him and have gradually started placing limits on not nursing in public.
Since I've put these limits on ds, he has started to show a lot of aggression towards my breasts, for lack of a better term. For example, my husband puts our boys to bed now. While dh is reading to the boys, I nurse the youngest. Once the story is done, I put him in his bed, tell him goodnight, then dh stays with him to sing, soothe, etc until he falls asleep. Lately, when I end the nursing session, ds will grab my nipple as hard as he can, and TWIST! This has actually been happening whenever a nursing session ends on my terms, or if I tell him that he needs to wait a bit before he can nurse. He doesn't give me a purple nurple as long as I do exactly as he wants for as long as he wants lol.
I tell him that he is hurting me when he does that and that it is not ok. Besides that, I don't really know what to do. I know that he's just frustrated about the new limits I've placed on his favorite pastime. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated while we work through this rough spot!
Just like with anything else, misbehaving like this and acting out is unacceptable and there should be consequences. He definately shouldn't be allowed to behave like that. Just remember misbehaving and being rude is the same thing regardless of it's shape or form. That being said, I'm sure this is a phase and he'll get over it in a week or so.
I would encourage you to post in the Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy forum here on MDC.
The behavior you describe is a common issue when weaning occurs faster than the child is comfortable with. Gradual weaning is encouraged when a child is feeling rushed to wean.
This article from Le Leche League may be insightful:
If the child becomes upset and cries or insists upon nursing even when the mother tries to distract or comfort him in others ways, this may mean that weaning is going too fast for the child or that different strategies would be more effective. Other signs that weaning may be moving too fast are changes or regressions in behavior, such as stuttering, night-waking, an increase in clinginess, a new or increased fear of separation, or biting, when it has never occurred before, as well as physical symptoms such as stomach upsets and constipation.
Thanks for the replies.
I know there should be consequences for him hurting me. When he pinches me, I immediately stop nursing him, tell him that he hurt me and that's not ok. He usually says he's sorry, and we nurse again. I think I failed to mention in my OP that he will often pinch and hit me while we're nursing as well, then when I stop nursing, he'll top it off with a strong pinch and twist.
So do I just keep doing what I'm doing? What other logical consequences are there?
I'm not sure I can go any slower. My plan isn't to completely wean him, but to place some limits on our nursing relationship so I can have the sanity required to nurse him as long as possible. I started the night weaning process when he was 18 months old, and slowly but surely, and very gently, he's now night weaned. Just in the past week or so, when he asks to nurse in public, I've started telling him that we should go nurse at home where it's nice and quiet and comfortable. It's just a suggestion I've started offering him recently...if he seems upset by this suggestion, then we nurse right then and there.
I don't know, I guess I'm still feeling lost here. What sort of consequences should I give? How do I set limits more slowly? I would be totally fine nursing ds in public whenever he wants if it weren't for him pinching and hitting me throughout the nursing session. It's kind of a chicken and egg situation I guess.
I'll try posting in the BBI forum. Thanks.
i think this is a really important piece to this. you have a right to have needs too. It's about balance. understanding that you have limits and that is what is going to let you happily nurse hm longer is very smart of you. my twins are 21 months now and im working on the same thing, limits and balance. finding a place where its not my wants vs their wants, but hopefully a place where the most core of all our needs are being met.
they want rather than need to nurse all night, but they do need to feel connected to me.
I dont want rather than need to be able to were a nice shirt again or struggle with plugged ducts, but i do need to feel some body autonomy so that i can go forward without begrudging them or having my skin crawl.
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