My 2 yr old is making me nuts... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 09-18-2011, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a big extended breastfeeding advocate... but I'd like to whine for a minute.

 

My 2 yr old daughter is not taking my weaning cues nearly as easily as my son did. I began weaning him around his 2 yr mark as well and he seemed cool with it, only a few crying moments.... I switched him to nap time only nursing and then limited night nursing to bedtime and dawn two weeks later in order to get my fertility back and conceive his sister...  She isn't so easy... or maybe my memory is off.  

 

I'm just afraid sometimes she is going to irritate me so much that I will feel forced to go cold turkey and I don't want to ...I'm just finally ready to get good sleep... I'm very tired.

 

She nags and nags and nags like you would not believe... and we got into a terrible pattern for a while. I changed my approach and stop saying no (out of annoyance) and things improved. But she is back at it again.  I try to make the issue of nagging me the "point" (not the nursing) and even have had to time out her for nagging so much... and that feels so screwed up... it is screwed up... but there are days if she had her way I would never get away and she irritates my nipples so much I'm maxed out at 45min for both sides.  She has taken to shallow latching and squirming and tugging and leaving teeth marks... and she will now allow me to adjust her latch, never  really has.

 

She is a very intense personality... suggestions, kind suggestions welcomed.


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#2 of 17 Old 09-29-2011, 09:10 AM
 
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Sometimes when you turn breastfeeding into a battle the child nurses less well (poor suck, fiddles, doesn't want to stop). If you give in to the relationship you may find that she nurses better and your relationship in general improves. You may be trying to do too much outside and inside the home. Make her your priority, she is little for such a short time. It is normal for a 2 year old to nurse many times a day.

 

Try learning some stress reduction techniques. Deep breathing and meditation are very good for breastfeeding mothers. Once you learn them you can bring yourself to a relaxed state quickly. You can find instructions online. You may have learned relaxation techniques in childbirth class and just need to relearn. If you practice meditation most days for just a few minutes.

 

Are you a big extended breasteeding advocate? Extended breastfeeding advocates don't have weaning cues for a 2 year old. What is a weaning cue? I've never even heard of a weaning cue. Big extended breastfeeding advocates breastfeed their 2 year olds pretty much whenever and wherever they want and may breastfeed their 5 and 6 year olds.

 

Since you are weaning your daughter and weaned your son you may be struggling with your identity. This is the child-led weaning board. You want to be an extended breastfeeding and child-led weaning advocate but you aren't practicing it. Is it okay to say you are an advocate even if you couldn't/wouldn't do it? How do your breastfeeding and weaning practices reflect on you as a mother?

 

Everyone doesn't have to practice extended breastfeeding or child-led weaning. I'm concerned with the way you describe your daughter. This is a toddler wants to nurse, a normal behavior for a 2 year old. You say she nags, nags, nags. If she had her way you would never get away. Wow!

 

 

 

 

 

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#3 of 17 Old 09-29-2011, 03:29 PM
 
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clap.gifGreat post foreverinbluejeans!

 

OP, it's your decision to let your dd nurse to full term or not. Some people practice child led weaning, meaning they don't actively discourage their dk from nursing. CLW can happen anywhere from 2 to 7 y/o, or even later, from what I've read. Although I don't know of any 2 y/o who stopped nursing without some "encouragement", or due to mom's pregnancy.

 

I can definitely understand what you are going through. I'm right there with my 2 y/o dd. I would suggest not to use time out for wanting to nurse, at this age most toddlers really need  it, and you might want to keep it as positive and relaxing part of your relationship.

 

What worked well with my kids was distracting them, keeping them busy, taking them outside. Although it might be less tiring to nurse, than to be continuously looking for activities to do.


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#4 of 17 Old 09-30-2011, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Taking the critique in stride.  Perhaps I'm not as "big" an advocate as I thought I was.

Agreed that timeout was a poor tool.

 

I have been very tired and helping her on my own at night.

 

I have noticed that if I relax and nurse her, often it is brief and cheers her up.  I was hoping to get freed up more but obviously she needs me to be more open to her.  We are working on it.  As a plus we both slept 7 hrs straight last night which is a first in... forever.

 

I have thought, and still do that breastfeeding is a place to begin to learn healthy boundaries, and delayed gratification... and at the bright age of two I'm not ashamed of my practice in this belief but I can readily admit my "practice" has not been perfect.

 

As always this forum has proved a great place to clarify my thoughts, intentions and actions.

 

Certainly I want my daughter to experience love as loving and not withholding.

 

Thank you for your responses.

 

as a post script. 

I forgot to also mention some of my motivation is a much needed breast reduction.  I'm just plain tired of being a 36J and I want my body back... not from her but back from all the pain and rashes and plain embarassment at times.  I suppose it is hard for me to seperate the thoughts all the time.

 


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#5 of 17 Old 09-30-2011, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Pondering all this in my head while nursing my daughter... I should have mentioned and I should have considered, should be remembering that I also suffer from depressive Letdown reflex so perhaps I'm just not a very good candidate for true Child led weaning.  Thanks for you patience.


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#6 of 17 Old 09-30-2011, 08:41 AM
 
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I definitely understand where you're coming from GradysMom. My 17 month old still nurses about every hour, day and night. For the most part, I love our BF time together, but there are also moments (and entire days!) when I really just want my body to myself again. When my little guy is wound up or in a particularly silly mood, he wiggles, squirms, kicks, bites and squeezes--all of which drive me crazy, especially if I'm feeling worn out and over touched. He's also taken to playing with the breast that he's not nursing on---which is really uncomfortable, ticklish, and distracting for me. But I've found the more I move his hand or ask that he stop, the more insistent he becomes and we end up having a battle of wills that ruins our nursing session. The same goes for nursing in general---the more I pull away from him, the more he insists on nursing and the more clingy and whiny he gets. I'm trying to make sure I get enough relaxation and "me" time so that I can be totally present and available to him. I find when I get frustrated and tired of my son's frequent nursing and his squirmy behavior, it's really  because I'm overwhelmed in other areas of my life, not because I really want to quit BF. 

 

Also, this probably isn't the right place for this, but I really believe in a woman's/mother's right to terminate BF. If you've practiced relaxation techniques, cut back on some responsibilities, and made sure to get the rest/recharge time you need, and you're still not feeling good about nursing, it may be time to stop. In my opinion, it's better to move on than continue nursing out of feelings of obligation and guilt. I believe that negative energy really passes through us to our babes. Sometimes we have to listen to our bodies and respect what we're feeling---your daughter will not suffer as long as she's given plenty of love and affection (in my opinion, of course.)

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#7 of 17 Old 09-30-2011, 12:48 PM
 
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I totally understand what you mean about the breast reduction.... when I was pregnant with DD I went from a 36b/c to a 36i....not cool. I hear people talk about how BFing made them shrink a size or two and I think "wow, must be nice..." dd is 8mo and while I love nursing her, I definately do NOT love what it's done to my boobs. I'm tired of wearing bras that are two sizes too small because i can't find any in my size and price range ($150 is NOT OK). I'm tired of none of my clothes fitting over them and  of feeling generally out of preportion... I'm not where you are as far as possibly weaning but I can say I feel you're pain!

 

hang in there...


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#8 of 17 Old 09-30-2011, 03:40 PM
 
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Of course you are a breastfeeding advocate OP! I don't know of too many people who nurse a toddler, and that in spite of all the problems you encountered. You did (are doing) an amazing job and should be proud of yourself!

 

Whether you wean or not, it's your decision. But you might consider the advice: Never quit on your worst day. Even you decide to not practice CLW, maybe you can still continue for another couple of months or so. It might not make a huge difference for you if you have you surgery now or in a couple of months, but it might make a world of a difference for your little one. As the cold weather comes, it might be less appealing for her to nurse all the time (my kids used to nurse a lot more in summer).

 

Good luck with your decision.

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#9 of 17 Old 10-16-2011, 07:30 AM
 
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It's hard when in your heart and mind you know what is ideal to you- clw in this case, but your life/body/irritation level don't get w/ the program. i'm currently in a sad place w/ my 4 yr old- she wants to nurse frequently and it never bothered me until now- now i just feel so trapped and irritable. all of this since the birth of her sister 4 weeks ago. whose biology should we listen to- our child's or our own?

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#10 of 17 Old 10-17-2011, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree silvermist.  For now I am reading the book about raising spirited children and I am attempting to be more present for her in otherways during the day.  We shall see.

 


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#11 of 17 Old 10-18-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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hug2.gif

 

You sound a bit burnt out.  Of *course* you're a breast feeding advocate!  This should be a great place to whine---you know you won't get pressure to wean, but you can get some frustrations out.  Maybe I'm totally out of it, but I think the vast majority of extended breastfeeders encounter harder parts at times. 

 

Something I'd encourage you to consider is that your DD might just have a more trying personality *to you.*  Breastfeeding is a convenient issue, but maybe if she was weaned you'd be having some of the same issues--- they would just come out differently.  When things are outside of "normal" we often blame them even if they aren't that related.

 

Take it easy on yourself.  You mentioned you just finally got 7 hours of sleep--- that's great!  And it's totally normal to feel burnt out when taking care of small children while existing on little to no sleep.

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#12 of 17 Old 10-19-2011, 07:12 AM
 
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My son was like that - very insecure unless things were REALLY clear.   I had to be extremely black and white in my approach to getting a grip on our nursing fiasco.   Definite times for nursing, definite non negotiable (nagging) times for not.  It worked really well.  To this day he needs a lot of structure to feel safe and calm.  child led anything doesn't work.

 

Of note though I've never  read anything to convince me that '2-7' was a 'natural' age of weaning.  And don't believe in CLW for us at all really.


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#13 of 17 Old 10-21-2011, 09:28 PM
 
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The 2-7 is the natural age of weaning is from the work of Katherine Dettwyler, PhD, an anthropologist.

 

"The minimum predicted age for a natural age of weaning in humans is 2.5 years, with a maximum of 7.0 years."

http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.html

 

GradysMom, when I reread my first post it sounded harsh. I must have been having a difficult day. I tend to want to advocate for the child. I'm glad I didn't upset you.

 

I don't know what you mean by depressive let-down reflex and it doesn't make you a candidate for CLW. Do you mean dysphoric rather than depressive? Have you heard it called D-MER? Mothers that have D-MER can nurse as long as they want and can do CLW. The most helpful things for mothers with D-MER is awareness and having contact with other mothers with D-MER. There is an organization for moms with D-MER or you may find some moms here. If you have been having D-MER with no support all this time no wonder you are ready to give up nursing! For those that are wondering what D-MER is, when women with D-MER have a let-down they have a aversion reaction believed to be from low dopamine levels. It is not PPD or any other psychiatric disorder. There is no treatment. I think I explained it right.  

 


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#14 of 17 Old 10-22-2011, 05:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post

The 2-7 is the natural age of weaning is from the work of Katherine Dettwyler, PhD, an anthropologist.

 

"The minimum predicted age for a natural age of weaning in humans is 2.5 years, with a maximum of 7.0 years."

http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.html

 


that article is speculative.  I have read it multiple times.  


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#15 of 17 Old 10-24-2011, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I may have the name wrong.  D-MER could be it.

I have suicidal ideations at times and depression onset during nursing sessions.  Some times worse than others... and I have had not specific support for it.  I am tired of dealing with the depression aspect of nursing and I wish I could enjoy it more... sometimes I can.  

 

She is 26 mos so I'm working on let go of perfectionistic guilt.  We are still nursing and I am still attempting to improve my situation.

 

It did sound harsh, but not unkind... I'm ok foreverinbluejeans.

 

 

Just Googled D-MER... That is it.


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#16 of 17 Old 10-25-2011, 03:17 PM
 
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GradysMom, I have two children that love the breast more than I love them to nurse.  it is a constant battle because although the children and their feelings matter, I MATTER TOO.  I am also a person.  Boundaries are hard things to set, especially when you have a spirited child because their needs are so intense.  But remember, you are a person, your feelings are important, and only you can figure out the correct balance for your family.  Good luck!


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#17 of 17 Old 11-13-2011, 10:27 AM
 
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I think the sleep deprivation is a big, big element here. I think the problem you've described is a truly difficult one for both of you, and adding judgement about what kind of mother you are is not going to help find a solution. I can hear your commitment to your child, and your exhaustion, and your description of the chemically-triggered depression and suicidal ideation that happens when you nurse. All of that is very real and serious, including your commitment to your child.

 

My gut instinct is that even the D-MER would improve if the sleep deprivation improved. Our brains simply do not work well on little sleep, or on frequently disturbed sleep. So many mothers' mental health issues improve spontaneously when their sleep improves.

 

So, my problem-solving would be focused on getting better sleep and supporting your brain chemistry in other ways, too. Have you read The Mood Cure? She might have some great ideas of sublingual supplements you could take during a nursing session that would prevent the dopamine dive and allow you to feel normal during a nursing session. That's a start. The sleep is harder to solve, I know. Are you currently going to bed at the same time as your little one? And is it early enough? Your brain can really, really tell the difference between going to bed early and going to bed late, even if you sleep late to get the same amount of hours. If you can just get to bed early four times a week, that's a start.

 

I really love Tiredx2's post, and want to echo everything she said.

 

The last thing I will say is that connection and commitment to your child does not have to look the same as "breastfeeding whenever and wherever", and if you choose not to fit the definition of child-led weaning offered by foreverinbluejeans, that doesn't mean that you are losing your identity as the mother you want to be. It may mean, actually, that you are *finding* the mother you want to be. What is needed to navigate this situation is compassion. Compassion and sleep!

 


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