to wean or not to wean my toddler? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-21-2010, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When my daughter was born we had a difficult start to nursing...2.5 years later I'm feeling ready to wean and she can't seem to get enough. Add to the equation my 3.5 month old son nurses on demand and she's asking to nurse more and more often, even waking up at night and demanding to nurse. We had limited nursing to morning, nap time and bed time, but now she's bartering with me, "I want to nurse now and not at bedtime." only to want to nurse at bedtime too (which I expected). She only seems to want to nurse when I am around. She's spent multiple days/nights without me and does great without nursing. I've been back at work for about 3 weeks now and that could be part of the reason she's asking to nurse more. The hard part for me is not the nursing per se, but that it seems to be all about her and I don't know how to teach her that this is a 2 sided relationship. There are times I don't want to nurse (especially when I'm losing precious sleep) and we need to respect each other. I'm afraid I just get frustrated and feel guilty for my frustration. I want her to wean when she's ready, but I feel like I'm wearing out. Any tips on how to cope, words of encouragement, anything helpful really? Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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It's perfectly alright to set limits, and stick with them, to keep from needing to completely weaning. just be consistent and firm, if you cave once in a while she'll keep pushing.

And congrats on tandeming this long

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Old 10-22-2010, 02:37 AM
 
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I agree that setting limits is not only fine, but helpful for all involved. The nursing relationship (with toddlers and beyond) is about balancing the needs of both mother and child, and when a mother starts to feel resentful of nursing, limits or changes should be considered.

I tandem nursed my first two children for almost three years, and found the book, Adventures in Tandem Nursing, to be very helpful. The memories and pictures I have from those days with my two oldest children are so precious to me! My oldest eventually outgrew nursing on his own. I will cherish every moment, and he still has fond memories of nursing.

Will your little one accept snuggles instead? I am pregnant with baby #4, and my third is the same age as your oldest. I've found that he will nurse for a little while (at nap and bedtime) and then be content to snuggle while he falls asleep. That seems to be working for now. At 2 1/2, most children can understand and communicate enough to work through these challenges. I found for me, that I needed to be able to say "no" when I really wasn't up to nursing, but did not yet feel ready to wean.

Congratulations on tandem nursing! And, your new sweet baby. : )
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice! For a while my 2.5 year old would accept limits and snuggle time. She's become a little more demanding and defiant. For instance, when I say I'm done nursing (after I've prepped her a couple of times already) she'll scoot in really close and say "I'm not done!" and try and latch on again. Unless I give in, I have to physically remove her from me. I'm still learning how to set boundaries and maintain them. When I do and am consistent it works beautifully (generally speaking). But when it comes to nursing I hate to make something that seems to mean so much to my daughter so negative. But I suppose it's worth it in the end.
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:52 AM
 
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One of the women in my La Leche League group said something that really has stuck with me in terms of setting limits. Teaching your toddler that it is your body, and you get to set the limits for it will teach them how to set limits for their body when they are older. I know it's hard to set limits when the toddler is being so insistent, but sometimes we need to for our own sanity.

Marissa, Partner to J geek.gif, SAHM to A (05/09)fly-by-nursing1.gif and I (03/11)stork-boy.gif. we cd.gif
selectivevax.gifdelayedvax.gifnocirc.giffemalesling.GIFecbaby2.gif part-time and familybed1.gif through infancy. planning ahomebirth.jpg
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