3 year old DD OBSESSED with breastfeeding and my boobs--anyone else? Share experience with weaning tactics please. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 07-08-2012, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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My lovely DD will be 3 in 2 weeks. She has always been a BIG TIME nurser, so this is nothing new at all, however, recently she has amp'ed it up even more.


I worked so hard for her to come up with a word for nursing/my boobs other than 'boobies' knowing that as a toddler she would likely be asking for them by name and for years she called them 'Mimis' but recently she discovered the word 'boobies' and it seems ever since then she is CONSTANTLY saying boobies, boobies, boobies--she yells for them loudly, she sings about them, she talks about them when reading imagination stories, she calls herself a boobie lover {used to be Mimi lover}. She will come over and try to lift my shirt without warning or permission {I have been teaching her that this is NOT OK for over a year already} and wants to talk to them and hold them and touch them and nuzzle them and sing to them and squeeze them and.....she is just literally IN LOVE with my boobs and my milk.


Now, while I find this endearing that she is so attached and understand it can be within the very normal range for breastfed toddlers, I am also really over it. It would be one thing if she were 2, but it seems like she is not learning boundaries surrounding this and it has become a real problem for me because I am 18 weeks pregnant and I do NOT want my boobs played with {never have and have ALWAYS taught her not to do that by telling her gently that she needed to ask before she touched my boobs or before she tried to nurse and she did for a short period of time, but not anymore}. I still have milk and it doesn't hurt terribly like it did in the first trimester, but still, I am sensitive and don't want to be handled at her every whim {which is FREQUENT}. 

I always thought I would let her wean when she was ready on her own, but recently I have begun to realize that while I would be OK trying to tandem nurse--if I tried and it wasn't working for me and I then needed to wean her, it may actually be harder to do that while I have another nursling--I mean, I know that it is still 5 months away and so much is gonna change between now and then, but this has always been a constant for her/us and I really am starting to wonder if I should wean her before the baby comes. 

What has your experience been with weaning an older child who is obsessed with breastfeeding? DD has never taken it OK when given boundaries on BFing, so, the whole distraction thing doesn't work and talking to her only makes her freak out more. I need tips for what worked for you that go above and beyond the normal/typical/average weaning techniques really. 


Share with me your experiences of your older obsessed nurser and how, when that changed for them. Is the change right around the corner? Should I {can I} really just wait it out? I don't wanna tell her things like 'nursing is just for babies' because she knows that isn't true. 

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#2 of 5 Old 07-09-2012, 07:33 AM
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Oh my!  This could have been me and my ds#3, 5 years ago.  He used to call my breasts his "booboo friendies"  and refer to them as his best friends.  He would talk about which bras he likes of mine and ask me to wear the one with the flowers.  LOL!   Now I get a kick out of it. 


But at the time he was grabbing my breasts constantly.  He would be sitting in the cart at the grocery store and I'd lean over to get things out of the cart, and he'd grab them!  He would just lift up my shirt at anytime to nurse, no matter what I was doing, and no amount of telling him that it was not appropriate or nice seemed to work.  I wouldn't let him nurse until I was ready, but that did not stop him from trying!  He was constantly making up songs and stories revolving around my "booboo friendies".  If we laid down for a nap, he wanted to lay his head on my breasts to sleep. 


Finally, at 3.5 years old, I couldn't take it anymore!  I told him that if he could not learn some nursing manners, he would not be allowed to nurse anymore.  I also realized that a lot of time that he did this, he was wanting extra attention and this was certainly the way to get it. 


So, I  started to have him do something else when he wanted to nurse, like snuggling or playing with blocks, but he had to wait until I was ready to do so if he wanted me to play too.  If he was still grabbing me, I would ignore it and go about my business.  I think he learned that if he asked nicely or was willing to wait for me to do somehing with him, he had better luck.  It was still a struggle, but he actually began to wean himself to only nap time nursing, during that time.  I think he found out that having me play a game with him was a lot more entertaining than nursing.  He also learned that I would snuggle longer if he wasn't pawing at me.  It took time though, but you do have 5 months, so if you start now, I bet in 5 months he'll be ready to do other stuff, maybe even while nursing your new babe!


He's eight now, and I do miss that relationship sometimes, but it's nice to know that he remembers such a special time.  Sometimes we'll be snuggling on the couch and he'll say something sweet like, "remember when I was little and I used to nurse?  That was really nice."  love.gif

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#3 of 5 Old 07-11-2012, 08:20 AM
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My story.... I lost my milk at 22 weeks or so but my 2 year old nursed right through my pregnancy. She started nursing less at night. Come new baby she started right back up where she was. I love tandem nursing. She is 2.5 years old and he is ten months. I don't even think about who nurses when they both get what they need.


But I wish, while I was pregnant and had no milk, that I had gone through night weaning with her. It would have been so easy because she was nursing so infrequently. I didn't want to do that to her, but didn't realize how much she would nurse again in once the milk returned. Now that I have two I can't imagine trying to night wean one. I don't think I would want to. But in hindsight it would have been so easy when I had no milk and she was hardly ever nursing at night.


Anyhow that's my experience!

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#4 of 5 Old 07-11-2012, 11:27 AM
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I weaned my son at 39 months. I was starting to get that nursing aversion, y'know? I was getting the heebie jeebies and feeling like a mama cat swatting away her kittens that were trying to nurse.

My weaning tactics were:

1. Lies, and

2. Refined sugar.

It worked like a charm. I told him my boobies didn't have any more milk, and then for like three days, whenever he wanted to nurse, I gave him chocolate milk instead. It was pretty painless.

I will also add that older todders/babies are totally capable of learning boundaries when it comes to nursing. You can tell them that you can only nurse at home, only nurse at certain times, that your body belongs to you and they're not allowed to lift up your shirt, etc. I really think teaching that kind of boundary and self-ownership is important.

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#5 of 5 Old 07-12-2012, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Queen of the MEadow--thanks! that was exactly what I needed to hear!  I even think since I wrote this I have decided {again} that I am not really interested in forcing or leading a complete weaning on her. I really do enjoy our nursing relationship, it just gets really intense sometimes at this age and the pregnancy is taking its toll, but I would like to look back on this time and know that I was able to provide her with what she needs with love and affection vs. resentment--so, I am working on my attitude and setting the new boundaries again ; )

Happy Monkey--thanks for sharing your experience. There is a BIG difference between a 2-2.5 year old and a  3-3.5 year old though ; ) It was a lot easier to nurse her then because her understanding was much more limited and she didn't eat much as far as solids then so it was a lot more clear that continued nursing was VERY necessary for her nutrition. She isn't using it as nutrition anymore though a year later. We are working on night weaning as soon as hubs gets back from an out of town trip in a week. I agree that nightweaning a toddler with a NB would be difficult. So, we would like to have some months of that down before the new baby comes ; )

Mama Jen--Thanks for sharing what worked for you so candidly, however, I am not interested in bribing or lying at all. It just doesn't feel right for us. DD doesn't drink anything besides water and we like it that way and we don't do any sugar, so, I def. feel like that would be a step away from our ideals. Like I mentioned I have been working for year + on boundaries with her, and she really understands them in other instances, but when it comes to nursing she just has a particularly strong need/love/desire that she doesn't have a problem hiding ; ) I really don't want to change her enthusiasm, but maybe shift it onto something else besides me and my boobs.

I am going to continue to nurse and just work on shifting my expectations. I can't know what it will be like when the new baby comes and it is silly to try to make those plans now ; ) 

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