21 month old feeding frenzy - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 09-19-2012, 01:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 21 months and has started wanting to feed ALL the time to the extent I am starting to get fed up bfding. He is also really clingy and will have massive tantrums if I try and put him off or say no. I try and explain he needs to wait like when I pick him up from childminder etc but he gets really hysterical and screams all the way back in the car.

Not sure if its relevant but he has always been a picky eater and has dropped percentiles in his weight so is now a littel small and thin for his age. He doesnt sleep well either and when he wakes will be attached to me all night. (We cosleep when he first wakes).

I am being told I spoil him and of course breastfeeding is the blame for it all!

I love him so much but I am starting to feel like his personal human dummy!

Could this be a phase he will grow out of? Feel like I have created a bit of a monster from letting him feed on demand and I am getting a bit worried about how it will continue.

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#2 of 9 Old 09-23-2012, 07:49 PM
 
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Welcome to MDC! I haven't had your exact experience, but I do come from a place that breastfeeding, comforting, and meeting your child's needs are not spoiling your child. I'm bumping up your post. Anyone have experience or advice to share?


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#3 of 9 Old 09-23-2012, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your reply. I was feeling rather overwhelmed when I posted. I truly believe that I am not spoiling him by feeding on demand however it I do find it very hard sometimes and am pretty exhausted. Last night he was feeding every 30 mins to an hour. There are few people I can turn to for advice as I don't know anyone still nursing their child at this age. I do worry about my son sometimes as he has changed from a very happy go lucky confident little boy to being very clingy and having a lot of tantrums. I just hope he is going through a developmental leap or something. My mind has been going into overdrive worrying if he is now unhappy at the childminder or something else is bothering him like illness. I would love to hear about people's experiences or advice as there is no way I would wean (it would be near impossible the amount he feeds anyway) but also don't know how much more I can go on.
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#4 of 9 Old 09-24-2012, 06:31 AM
 
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I just want to say that my son is the same age (2 in November) and is doing the same kind of things.  I was at the point a few weeks ago where I started putting limits on nursing so that it would preserve the relationship on my end, and he did well with it...but then all of a sudden he is asking for it ALL the time again.  We have other various issues that may or may not be contributing, but I have a feeling that this is a transitional time for my DS, so maybe it is for yours as well? I feel your pain though, and I hope that he goes back to his usual nursing pattern soon.  it's been about 2-2.5 weeks for us...all of my DS's leaps seem to be relatively drawn out though.  Oh yeah, my DS is drooling a ton too, so it could be teeth. 

 

I guess just Hugs and you aren't alone :)
 


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#5 of 9 Old 09-24-2012, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you it's comforting to know I'm not alone and I think you may be right about a leap or teething. Come to think of it he has been drooling a lot today and he does suffer with his teeth.
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#6 of 9 Old 09-24-2012, 08:11 PM
 
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My almost 20-month old has also ramped up the nursing as well as had poor sleep recently -though not quite as exhausting of nights as you've had greensad.gif While searching for a possible cause I read about a 19/20 month sleep regression. I think it was tied back to developmental leaps around this age such as language. Also there's the possibility of teething as mentioned before. Either way, I'm pinning my hope on this being just another phase to endure. Good luck to you!
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#7 of 9 Old 09-25-2012, 05:09 AM
 
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OP, from what you have written, it seems as if he is seeking your connection and comfort, especially after being away from you, whether he has been in another room or away at the childminder, it's a very healthy need for a child to want to be with mother, it is instictive to survival.

 

In western culture we tend to view breastfeeding as nutritive, but it is so much more. The non-nutritive suckling fulfills so many needs, especially for child who is away from mother for a period of time. He may have difficulty unlatching for fear of you leaving his side, but the more his need is fulfilled the more he realizes you are there to trust, love and comfort him.

 

I was reading in a Le Leche League book, Playful Learning, a good analogy pertaining to fulfilling a child's needs......something along the lines......... if your child is cold and needs a coat, we put one on, need fulfilled....when a child needs comfort of mother's presence it's also a need, and unless fulfilled will always be there......or similar...along those lines.

 

Fulfilling the child's needs satiates him instead of him yearning for more, and struggling to get that needed connection and comfort, very basic needs. Breast means mother to a child, when they want breast, they also want mother.

 

Long story short, I would roll with it until he is more comfortable. Don't ever believe those who say you are spoiling him, that myth only came out in the last century or so, mainly when the 'so called' child experts starting telling parents how to 'parent'. I live in the US and in 1880, 96% of American children were breastfed 2-4 years. I doubt many back then called it 'spoiling.', they were just fulfilling their child's needs, it was well accepted. Yet today, people commonly say that about breastfeeding a child, it's doesn't make sense at. Try not to let those people get to you, they must have been reading too much 'Luther Emmet Holt', ughh, some very cruel advice, He should have stuck to medical advice instead of parenting.......never the less many people believed it and worse, passed it down generations.

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#8 of 9 Old 09-25-2012, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Asiago -thanks for your reply, I have wondered whether this comfort seeking behaviour was related to some sort of insecurity. I work 3 days a week and he has always been fine with the childminder however in the last few weeks he has started to get upset when I drop him off and resists getting his outdoor clothes on and getting into the car seat almost in case he is going there. She is now doing a nursery pick up around the time when he used to nap, so his nap is being pushed to later and he doesnt get tired til 9-9.30 at night but is waking at the same time in the morning, so I dont think he is getting enough sleep either.  Or something has happened there to upset him. I am looking into changing him to a nursery but I also worry that this might unsettle him more!

 

To be honest I am so worried about this real change in behaviour I cant stop thinking about it....I am trying hard to go with the flow as much as possible and feeding whenever he asks as well as playing cuddling him to try and build his confidence up again. I guess I will have to monitor it and see how it goes over the next few weeks.

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#9 of 9 Old 09-26-2012, 05:32 AM
 
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You're welcome and best wishes. Follow your maternal instincts, they are strong and have your child's best interests at heart. You'll figure it out.

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