Increased Familial Pressure to Wean (LONG) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 06-18-2010, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,
I'm still nursing my almost-22 month old. I can't say I planned to nurse this long. I wanted to go to a year and then gradually wean and be completely done by 2 years..as in, by now I would be nursing to put him to sleep and maaaybe one other time and that's it. Well, my son tends to be a picky eater, he stops eating solids completely when he teeths or gets sick. He's extremely intense as well and throws fits that I swear, the only way I can get him to calm down is by nursing him. So instead of nursing maybe 3 times a day, we're nursing about 10. He is nightweaned, we usually go from bedtime (8-8:30) to 3am, though recently he has started sleeping through til 5:30 so I do feel we're advancing sloooowly. He does on occasion try new foods as well, so I feel on the whole, we're progressing with the weaning thing.

However, this isn't fast enough for my husband. First off, we want to have another kid soon and getting pregnant while nursing does not seem to work out for me so there's a lot of pressure for me to wean so I can get knocked up. Additionally, his mother puts a lot of pressure on him to wean Haakon and has told him in the past that the fact we're still nursing him is like we're not respecting his humanity (??) and we've failed to get him to eat and that sort of thing. She thinks that what we should do is have me go away for a few days and DH can watch DS and I can have a break and ta da! We'll wean him. She did it with second daughter who at 17 months was showing no inclination to stop nursing whereas her other two children weaned right around a year)
Adding to the weaning pressure is the fact that we're going to visit his family this summer for a few weeks and he really, really wants our son weaned by then.

However, I am really against this idea. I very firmly feel that it will destroy my son. I just got back from a two week trip visiting my family and before I went, if DS woke up in the night before he was allowed to nurse I would just tell him boobies were still sleeping, he couldn't nurse yet and he could go lay down next to daddy. That stopped working while we were away and now if I dothat, he just sits there and cries. The cries quickly escalate into screams and then I have to get up with him, watch music videos on youtube until he calms down and it's time to nurse and then he usually goes back to sleep.
Last night, of course, he didn't and DH and I both got very little sleep, which hit DH hardest because he is basically working all the time right now trying to finish a projects from his several jobs (he's a workaholic) and has only been sleeping 5-6 hours a night lately.
So now he's really pushing the two day weaning system. I could go to a Day Spa, he'd have DS, blah blah blah...what he leaves out is the fact that right now, he is completely unable to put DS to sleep. It just doesn't work. Not only that, but he has no time to do this right now! He has too much work! There is no way he could take our son for 48 hours without me there especially with all the screaming my continued absence would bring about. Since our son was born, I have been away from him maybe 4 or 5 hours, max. Never overnight.

I have suggested to him that we extend the nightly no nurse period, especially since DS is starting to sleep longer all on his own. The problem is that the nights that DS does wake up early, I need a well rested DH who will be able to do the nighttime parenting because if I'm in the room, DS will want to nurse and won't be comforted by DH. We learned that during nightweaning and i started sleeping on the couch. Obviously we have to wait til DS gets used to being comforted by DH at night, period.

Hm, this is getting long. I should stop here. At any rate, any idea on how I can convince my DH that what we are doing is called WEANING and that the 48 hour breastmilk detox is a very bad idea?

Mother to one (8/08) with another on the way (04/11)
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#2 of 6 Old 06-18-2010, 10:44 PM
 
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You poor thing. I have the same sort of nurser, he is 26 months and shows no sign of wanting to give up his nummies. He was also late to pick up on solids, and let me assure you, that's just the sort of kid you have! You're not to blame.

If your heart says that you ought to let him nurse still, then I think you ought to follow your heart. For me, I can't even imagine not letting my little one nurse whenever he wanted to. He is cutting his two year molars right now and has hardly touched food today!

I know that it is difficult to be an extended breastfeeder in the face of such opposition! You can remind yourself that women all over the world breast feed their children until they wean themselves, which is usually between 3 or 4 years old.

Please remember to breathe!



Good luck!!
Camille
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#3 of 6 Old 06-19-2010, 09:31 AM
 
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Don't wean and play it like it would be too hard on your husband. Your boy needs it to be tolerable for your husband. Two days with a fit throwing toddler who has no boob access is a very bad combo. Two weeks outside of your boys comfort zone on family vaca would be very bad with no boob access. Better to wait until fall when schedules renormalize from the summer...You would never try to potty train on vaca would you? You would never introduce anything new into a high need child's life outside of the child's schedule. You'd just set everyone up for tears, screaming, and failure that way. Whittling down the nursings as you are able and the boy sleeping longer may help ovulation to return for pregnancy.

Food intake and nursing are mutually exclusive. If you weaned your boy earlier he still probably wouldn't eat AND would not have the nutrients from nursing either. Nursing is filling in the gaps that nutritionally he would have if he were completely on solids and eating like a bird.

You are respecting his humanity--it's the rest of the world that does not respect a child's humanity by giving the child all of the mother's milk that a child needs. She had her chance to raise her children the way she wants--your turn.

Tell him a nurse told you all this (I used to be)

Crunchy con wife with 1 DS and 1 lil DD born in Jan. I love breastfeeding, CDing and Friday night family bed.
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#4 of 6 Old 06-19-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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Based on my own experience I'm not sure 48 hours away would even work. I swear I didn't stop producing milk for weeks afterwards -- I could even squeeze out fluid (milk still?) in the shower *6* months after weaning, although I think by that time it was just a few drops. But in the beginning, if it had been my body, I don't think 48 hours away would have dried up my supply, and with a nursling who is soooo into nursing, he's not going to magically stop wanting to nurse either. (Heck my son who turned 3 in April and was weaned last November--at 2 yrs 7 months--still sometimes says he wishes he could nurse.)

So actually... the snark in me wants to say, go along with DH's plan and let him have the weekend where he can't put DS to sleep -- then come back and pick up right where you left off.

But the un-snark in me says that your DH is probably feeling like there's not enough of a plan to wean and he is afraid it will not happen for a long time and he knows he will hear crap from his mom if she sees you still nursing at the family vacation. So the compromise for me, if it were my DH, (and if you are really trying to wean -- which I am not sure if you are or not?) would be to come up with a weaning plan either with him or come up with it on my own and propose it to him. That way there is a stated plan and he feels acknowledged.

At several points I was really sick and tired of nursing and wanted to wean for myself. Instead I ended up cutting back on how much I was nursing. I know that's not where you're at but if it's not your preference to nurse 10 times a day, I think it might help your whole situation if you just started cutting back. It would give DS a more gradual weaning experience over months not days or weeks, and probably would make your DH feel better about it too if it's not visible to his mom. What a weanie-way-out but it's totally what I would do.

Poppan ~ twins born April 2007
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#5 of 6 Old 06-19-2010, 03:03 PM
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poppan has great advice. For me, and I think many posters on here will agree, my period returned exactly month after fully nightweaning. I would lay out a GRADUAL plan with DH, starting first with extending your nightweaning. It will help your baby sleep and your DH be rested if he's not woken by the baby. Next, try to cut down daytime sessons. The in-laws visited us and had no idea I was still nursing because at the time DS only nursed at wakeup, before both naps, and bedtime, so we were always nursing alone in his bedroom.
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#6 of 6 Old 06-19-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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You know, I had a friend growing up who went away for two days to her grandparents house and when she came home her parents had taken her beloved dog to the pound. Weird analogy, right? but wait...I think going away for 48 hours and "getting rid" of the nursing relationship, which your DS would never consent to, is like putting his puppy in the pound. Get it? LOL Such a HUGE violation of trust. Although he will not likely have a deep understanding of the whole situation, he would know that you left, and came back different. I think that would set up some severe separation and trust issues where he'd be afraid to let you leave in fear you'd come back irreversibly different.

Wife to DH and mama to DD(7) blahblah.gifand DD(5) moon.gif...Lola the Wiener Dog dog2.gif, Faulkner the Little Giant dog2.gif, Ginger the Wonder Cat cat.gif,  Azkaban the blue parakeet, Sunny the yellow parakeet, 3 nameless hermit crabs, and a whole bunch of fish!

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