Pinching nipples and general booby boundaries - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-27-2012, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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My 22 month old still nurses frequently, day and night, which I'm mostly enjoying. A few months ago, however, he started sticking his free hand down my shirt, especially when he's nursing to sleep. At first I thought it was really sweet and cuddly, and my son kept his hand right in the middle, so it was totally comfortable. But little by little, his hand began wiggling more, and traveling over to my free breast, which he now demands on holding and squeezing while he nurses. And he's also really fond of pinching my nipple, which drives me crazy!  It's this terrible tickle sensation that's really uncomfortable and distracting for me. But it becomes such a power struggle when I say no that I often just let my son keep his hand there--especially when I'm trying to get him to fall asleep quickly.


Anyone else experience this? I guess the broader issue is setting boundaries around your body when it comes to your little one. My son really seems to have no concept that my body is not his, which I guess is pretty normal developmentally. But sometimes I get so uncomfortable that I'm ready to wean him and have my body back!



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#2 of 7 Old 03-30-2012, 08:55 PM
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Only commisseration from me, my dd does the exact same thing! It can be so frustrating, I know.. but I am hoping others have some good ideas and/or thoughts on the subject :)


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#3 of 7 Old 04-02-2012, 01:37 AM
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I'm right there with you both.  Hoping someone with some btdt experience will chime in with some advice!

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#4 of 7 Old 04-02-2012, 07:30 AM
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Mine is only 6 months, so we're at very different stages developmentally, but when the nursing necklace is failing, I stick mittens on her.



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#5 of 7 Old 04-02-2012, 11:21 AM
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Hi, I noticed you did not get any answers just more questions , so as a mother of 5 I wanted to chime in. With 3 of my children I breastfed over one year of age. As I happened by your post (completely by chance) I saw your question, thought it funny and so took a peek --- I was nursing at the time and my 14 month old daughter was grabbing and pinching away! I am not a doctor but as a mother of 16 years with 3 children under 5 years old I have a bit of experience with this. I think by the age they can choose to grab at your nipples they are pretty much expert breast feeders. Often when you pump milk you will be told to use nipple stimulation to increase ilk yield. My best guess is somewhere along the way babies figure this out too! When my youngest son did it I was like, WHAT! It sort of freaked me out and made me uncomfortable. On his second birthday the breast made its exit cold turkey! About 6 months later I gave birth to my oldest daughter and around 1 years old she got grabby too! I was less surprised that time and thought to myself..."do they all do this?". Now with my 14 month old she has gotten grabby as well, I have come to accept it as normal for older babies -but it is still weird AND it can hurt! I think this is one of the things that women should talk more about, it is amazing we all have breasts but no one knows about common things when it comes to nursing! What I do is just grab her hand gently and kiss it a bit. I also talk to and kiss her while I nurse, making eye contact and the like. I try to relax so she does not have to pinch away to get milk. Sometimes I make the other breast nipple hard to get to by placing my hand over it or the like. Depending on her mood she may get frustrated or give just up! No way to tell, you know how babies are. Just relax because your milk does not flow well if you are tense. Remember, you baby does not know your breasts are for anything but comfort and food. They love and need us so much. It may be strange but it is normal. I think the biggest barrier is getting over how we view our own breasts and nipples and separating it from how our little ones view our bodies! On a last note I found that (not all the time but sometimes) she gets grabby for a sec and then switches breast. IT is like she is deciding if the milk will be more plentiful on the other side or something --- oh if only they could communicate what is in those sweet heads - right?! Babies are a blessing, it is great you are breastfeeding - it can be challenging at times but it is also really rewarding and special. Do not let this discourage you. I am going to post this response on the other two posts just to be sure they get an answer as well. I was disturbed you only got 2 responses and they were both questions like yours! Glad I happened by. I signed up for this site just to address this issue! God Bless!

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#6 of 7 Old 04-20-2012, 07:37 PM
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OP - I could have written your post word for word!


2trulyfindpeace - thanks for your input and experience!  I have often wondered if DS is trying to get the milk to flow more.  I do think about the fact that he only views my breasts as food and comfort.  The "twiddling" is really painful for me so I've started telling him that I will tickle his hand and a lot of times he'll let me but not always.  I feel like he's old enough to start understanding that this doesn't feel good to mommy but it's hard to know when they are ready for that.

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4 years and 5 IVF cycles in the making, Elliott was born at home in water on 2/2/11.
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#7 of 7 Old 04-30-2012, 06:09 PM
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I could not stand the nipple twiddling!  I'd press his hand down flat and say "no! hold still!" -- and if he did not stop, move his hand away.  After a few times he got it.  I really think it's important that we're allowed to take care of ourselves too and stop something if it's making u miserable.

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