3.5 yo DS prefers nursing over eating and it's driving me CRAZY! - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy > 3.5 yo DS prefers nursing over eating and it's driving me CRAZY!
Lazurii's Avatar Lazurii 10:15 AM 07-28-2011

Here's the situation.  BuggaBoo is a booby monster.  So is Doozer, but that's more understandable because she's not even 18 months yet.  BuggaBoo will nurse as often as he can, which translates to 6-12 times a day.  His usual routine is to crawl into our bed between 5:30 or 6:00am and nurse 2-4 times before we wake up.  Then all day long all he does is bug me for nursing.  I nurse him for naps about half the time and he nurses every night as part of his bedtime routine.  And there's times where he'll come into our room in the middle of the night and ask to nurse, despite our rule that nursing needs to wait until morning.

 

When I nurse him I have to be the one to tell him he's done.  If I don't then he easily nurses for 1/2-1 hour.  Even after nursing him for a long time he'll come back to me after 15 minutes and ask to do it all over again.  Any refusal to nurse is met with tantrums.

 

BuggaBoo is a pretty picky eater.  I try to be firm with him since I'm not a short order cook, but then all he chooses to do is nurse instead of eat.  He will refuse to eat food he likes because then he knows he'll get to nurse instead.  I feel like I can't restrict his nursing because nursing is more than food, YKWIM?

 

It has gotten to the point that I want to wean him.  I feel like all I'm worth to my kid is how much I nurse him.  However, I can't see weaning going well.  I night weaned him at 20 months when I was 3 months pregnant and it took a month of screaming.  Ever after that he still woke up every hour or two and asked to nurse until he moved into his own room this March.

 

I also don't foresee weaning going well because I'll still be nursing Doozer.  BuggaBoo will see me nursing her and just flip out.  Also, I know the proper way to wean is to replace a nursing session with an emotionally fulfilling time with your toddler, but to be honest I don't know if I have it in me.  I'm working through depression right now and I have a hard time mustering up the energy for interactions like that.  Nursing seems to be an easier way for him to get that connection, but that's not going well anymore.  I hate to nurse him.  Me hating it makes him want it more.  We're just not in a good place.

 

Okay, if you've read this far, thank you!  Any advice?  There's way more to this than I typed out, so if more info is needed I can give it out.


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Lazurii's Avatar Lazurii 06:20 PM 07-29-2011

Anyone?


SustainablParentng's Avatar SustainablParentng 07:03 PM 07-29-2011
I'm so sorry that you are going through such a hard time. My ds who is closer to 4 was very much like your ds up until this early spring. For me, it was early pregnancy that finally drove me crazy with him. Unfortunately, all I can do is commiserate. I did not deal with it well and felt terrible about it and had to cut him way way back. I just could not stand it and I felt horrible. He is still nursing but only about once a day - so what worked for me was being a mean momma and losing my supply due to pregnancy. I know that if I hadn't gotten pregnant he would be nursing at a similar pace as your lo.

I doubt this helps but I can somewhat relate:(
Lazurii's Avatar Lazurii 10:30 PM 07-29-2011

Thank you for commiserating, it's just nice to know I'm not the only one!  Oh my, I can't imagine going through another pregnancy before BuggaBoo is weaned.  He didn't slow down during Doozer's pregnancy, even though I dried up at 5 months.  It hurt so bad!


Marissamom's Avatar Marissamom 07:53 PM 07-30-2011

I don't have any advice, but I'm going through the same thing with my 26 month old. she doesn't nurse out and about as much, week before last we had a day when we were out all afternoon and then she fell asleep for the night without nursing. I ended up with massively plugged ducts and mastitis a few days later. 


sillymom44's Avatar sillymom44 08:23 PM 07-30-2011
I have heard this so many times...but because of my job as a speech pathologist who works a lot with children who have eating issues (not that your child has any issues!!!!).... let me know if you want "professional" advice ever! I'm new here but i think that you can message me?? smile.gif
prescottchels's Avatar prescottchels 11:40 PM 07-30-2011

You've done an awesome job hanging in there all this time and through your pregnancy!! And now it sounds like you're in a transition time w/o any new strategies cuz nursing is the best cure all strategy when they're tiny.

I think the best way to deal with picky eaters is to establish new food routines, which won't be easy at the beginning for either of you as you both learn new ways of relating to food, nursing and connecting.

I would set some new rules. Talk to your child about it. Tell him the way it is now is not working for either of you, etc. The new rule is that you may nurse in the morn, at nap, at bed (5 min, 10 min whatever feels right and let him know what that is and then warn him 1 min left).  And you get to eat food at breakfast, lunch, snack time and dinner. If you make things you know your child likes and he refuses to eat... He must wait til the next scheduled food time whether it be nursing or meal. make sure he knows this is what will happen and that you will not be changing your mind no matter what he says or how much he whines, etc I'd also encourage the rule that he must try at least one bite of each new food you make. A meal should always consist of foods you know he likes plus something new. You're never to make him a new meal if he refuses the one you've made. Going a little hungry is a good motivator to eat at the next scheduled time and often broadens horizons a great deal. As he grows older and has a better attitude about food you can lighten up on the strictness of the plan, but in the beginning you've got to be firm and of course loving and understanding that this is new and different but for the health and well-being of the both of you it has to be this way right now.

Offer him a cup of water or milk and/or try to redirect him lightheartedly/playfully when he wants to nurse at an unscheduled time and remind him of when that next time is and that you'll be sure to let him know when it's time. You can even try being overly excited about doing something to get him engaged with a new activity. You can empathize with him when the tantrums ensue. Hold him and tell him how much you love him, how hard it is to be getting bigger... When he's not freaking out talk to him about other things he'd like to do w/you instead of nurse. Read a book, cuddle, play a game, draw. You might be surprised with what he comes up with and for how short a period of time he actually needs that connection before he's off and running to do his own thing. Remember it's a phase and it too will soon pass.

Good luck, Mama!! You can do it!


Lazurii's Avatar Lazurii 10:40 PM 08-07-2011

Thanks for all the replies!  I haven't been getting email updates so I didn't realize all this activity was going on.  Sorry if you gals felt neglected. 

 

BuggaBoo has been eating more lately which translates to less nursing (hooray!).  For the past few days I've been making bento-type lunches for the kids and they have been really loving them.  I was inspired by Fun Food Fridays over at Meet the Dubiens.  I use a lot of cookies cutters.  It's been good for me to do these lunches because I need to do something creative to feel good and it's just fun to put together a cute little food plate.  These have helped BuggaBoo to try new foods.  He's eating a lot of fruits and veggies and lovely eggs.  Did you know you can dye peeled hard boiled eggs?  I usually use the juice from my red cabbage sauerkraut.  The egg is purple at first but then turns blue after a bit.  Very fun for kids, very natural.

 

In other news I just got a toddler mattress for Doozer.  She seems to sleep better when I'm not next to her, so we're going to try moving her to her own bed to see if I can get more sleep.

 

All in all I'm feeling a lot more positive.  Thanks for all the support, and I'll probably be back in a few weeks.  That's just how things cycle around here.  wink1.gif

 

 


foreverinbluejeans's Avatar foreverinbluejeans 06:13 PM 08-09-2011

I think there are multiple issues going on here, much more complex than the older nursling wanting to nurse more than eat.

 

It is complicated to nurse siblings. It sounds like the older child was less than 2 when the baby was born. He may not have gotten his nursing needs met during the pregnancy. He was so young. You took away night nursing with 3 months of screaming (around the time the baby was born?). You feel like you can't restrict his nursing because nursing is more than nutrition? You tell him when and for how long he can nurse. You are restricting his nursing and you don't know it?

 

You aren't a short order cook? If we have special needs kids (that's what he is) then we have to take care of them. That may mean cooking them healthy food they will eat. Don't let others tell you that makes you a short order cook and that there is something wrong with that.

 

You may not be doing him a favor by not weaning. Neither of you like it the way it is now and your younger child may be better off if you did wean. Gradual weaning is best for breasts. With a child over 3 setting a deadline may be an easier way on the child. Weaning will make life harder but since you hate nursing him then weaning sooner may be better than later.

 

 

 

 

 


Lazurii's Avatar Lazurii 08:23 AM 08-10-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post

I think there are multiple issues going on here, much more complex than the older nursling wanting to nurse more than eat.

 

It is complicated to nurse siblings. It sounds like the older child was less than 2 when the baby was born. He may not have gotten his nursing needs met during the pregnancy. He was so young. You took away night nursing with 3 months of screaming (around the time the baby was born?). You feel like you can't restrict his nursing because nursing is more than nutrition? You tell him when and for how long he can nurse. You are restricting his nursing and you don't know it?

 

He was 27 months at her birth.  He nursed my entire pregnancy, often 30-60 minutes at a time.  When he was night weaned it was because I was 3 months along in my pregnancy.  It took 1 month.  He had been night weaned for 6 months by the time my daughter was born.  I felt it would be kinder to night wean earlier rather than at the birth so it wouldn't seem he was being replaced.  I dried up at 5 months but he still did the long nursing sessions, which hurt so bad because I would have let-down but no milk.    The first thing we did after we were in bed after the birth was to tandem nurse. 

 

And I understand that I am restricting his nursing sessions.  I do tell him to stop or to wait.  But I allow more sessions than I want to.  And I don't feel like I can specifically restrict his nursing after refusal to eat solids.  I have to have limits to his nursing, it gives me the heebie-jeebies. 

 

You aren't a short order cook? If we have special needs kids (that's what he is) then we have to take care of them. That may mean cooking them healthy food they will eat. Don't let others tell you that makes you a short order cook and that there is something wrong with that.

 

Honestly, I fail to see how my son is a special needs child in the usual sense of the word.

 

You may not be doing him a favor by not weaning. Neither of you like it the way it is now and your younger child may be better off if you did wean. Gradual weaning is best for breasts. With a child over 3 setting a deadline may be an easier way on the child. Weaning will make life harder but since you hate nursing him then weaning sooner may be better than later.

 

Thank you for this advice.  It's certainly going to have to be something that we as a family think long and hard about.  My husband works 2 jobs, one is graveyard, and so any weaning program will have to be totally on me.

 

 

 



 


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