Breastfeeding power struggles - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 04-24-2011, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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My DD is almost 2.5 and I am ready to wean - but she definitely is not. The thing that makes me want to wean the most is the way it has become a power struggle and source of conflict between us. I decided as a compromise that I was willing to nurse in the morning, at nap and at bedtime. But she still asks for it repeatedly throughout the day, sometimes instead of food. She is very demanding about it - tells me where to sit, how long to stay there, which side, etc. - and often gets very upset if I refuse. I'm ready to be moving toward occasional nursing, but that doesn't seem like a realistic thing for her. What do you do about nursing power struggles? Do you nurse on demand at this age, or do you have boundaries around time and place? Should I put her in a baby carrier and have more snuggle time instead? I'd love some advice and to hear how you handle this.

NICOLE | Natural livin', co-sleepin', mostly vegan, work at home mama to N (7) and L (2)
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#2 of 4 Old 06-20-2011, 11:06 AM
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I was just scrolling through this forum because I am having the exact same issue with my almost 3 yo dd.  She is a pretty high needs, intense creature.  She is driving me crazy!  She has been nursing only at bedtime and the morning for months but asks constantly to nurse and when I say no she grabs my nipples and shirt and drive me INSANE.  Then I wind up putting her down and walking away and she cries and cries and I feel guilty for rejecting her but I cannot stand to have my personal space invaded like that.  She does not want to cuddle, only nurse (and will yell that at the top of her lungs!  lol).  I too am thinking about weaning just to avoid the power struggle - I am fully aware that there will still be power struggles over something but it will be a relief to have them not be over my breasts.  


Any advice from anyone would be welcome.  Please??

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#3 of 4 Old 06-20-2011, 03:04 PM
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Would also love to hear what othes have to say. 


My two year old is also aggressive about nursing, and I think would forgo solid food if I allowed it.  I've limited it to bedtime and morning, but when I tell her its time to stop during those times she sometimes freaks out...grabbing at my shirt, bra, and breasts.  Unpleasant at best, and at worst I feel violated, angry, and resentful and don;t want to be near her.  GUILT!!  I have a 3 month old and think some of it is because of the new baby, but she's also pretty bossy about other things too.  Is it just a two year old thing?

Mama to F (3/09) and S (3/11); and never forgetting my babe gone too soon angel1.gif(4/10).

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#4 of 4 Old 06-20-2011, 04:29 PM
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I've found that the key to avoiding power struggles over breastfeeding is the same for avoiding power struggles over anything with toddlers---respond to the emotion rather than just reacting to the behavior.  So, if my son wants to nurse but I can't at the moment I acknowledge that he really, really wants it, and offer him compassion and comfort when he is sad and disappointed about not being able to nurse.  I also reassure him that we can nurse later.  This seems to diffuse things and keeps the situation from escalating.  Have you read "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" by Harvey Karp?  It's a good resource for explaining this technique.

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