what sort of limits do you set on toddler nursing? - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy > what sort of limits do you set on toddler nursing?
cww's Avatar cww 10:22 PM 10-17-2012

My 21m old DD is still nursing pretty regularly.  Typically we don't see each other during the workday, but on days when we are together, she often wants to latch on for extended periods, usually when we are out and about (like when I am walking, pushing the carriage, and trying to pick up dog poop and hold an umbrella, all at the same time... :)).  I have occasionally told her that she needs to wait, and she understands that but doesn't stop repeatedly asking to nurse every few seconds.  I don't mind nursing her on demand for the most part, but feel that I should have a way to tell her no sometimes when it is particularly inconvenient, and have her respect that.  However, I haven't really done this because I don't know how to do this in a consistent way that she understands.  It seems that it would be confusing to tell her no sometimes and not other times.  Maybe she is old enough that I should limit her nursing to just at home, but I don't think this is something either of us is ready for yet.  I'm not sure what feel most natural to me at this point, and was just hoping to get some ideas by asking what you guys do - do you set limits for your nursing toddler on when, where, or how long they can nurse sometimes?  If so, how do you communicate or enforce those limits in a positive way?  How did you decide on what limits were right for you?

 

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. :)



skycheattraffic's Avatar skycheattraffic 09:49 AM 10-18-2012
My 18 month old also nurses pretty often. I'm at home with her though so we don't have incessant nursing days outside of illness or teething. When we are out and about, I will nurse her if there's a reasonable place to do so. If we are walking and she asks to nurse, I say "yes honey, you can have milkies when we get to the park/store/bench/etc." I try to pick a nearby objective and keep reminding her when she asks again (every 5 seconds or so lol). Once we can see it, I point it out which seems to help. At home if I'm doing dishes or something I can't drop and she asks, I say "yes, milkies in a minute, mommy just has to wash her hands, etc". Works fairly well when I'm on the toilet too eyesroll.gif
I have three places I nurse in the house and if she asks elsewhere I say "yes but we have to go into the living room", etc. I think maybe at this age they think "ok then I'll wait" but forget because the urge is still there. When I have to delay nursing, it's pretty much a constant dialogue until we can nurse but I'm hoping that because she sees that later means later, not no, that when she's older, she will drop it for maybe a full minute before asking again smile.gif
cww's Avatar cww 07:50 AM 10-22-2012

Thanks for your response, skycheattraffic - it's reassuring to hear that it isn't unusual for her to be so insistent. :)

I don't actually mind BFing her while walking (we do so much of it), but it's definitely a pain when I have to push the carriage and/or deal with carrying other things. And of course sometimes, particularly when she is in a more fragile and demanding mood and nursing constantly and repeated, I get tired of just being an ongoing milk dispenser (and she is never a calm or still nurser, so sometimes I feel like I'm in the middle of a wrestling match...).  Thanks again for the response!

 

If anyone else has other experiences that they are willing to share, I'd love to hear those, too. :)


gemasita's Avatar gemasita 07:37 PM 10-22-2012

Sometimes I'll let my 20-month-old nurse for a few minutes and then say, "Ok, you go play with blocks now," to get his mind on the next thing.  And sometimes I'll follow it with "Mommy's going to go get some water/get the laundry" so that I can stop him for a few minutes at least!


kansasunflower's Avatar kansasunflower 10:04 PM 10-22-2012

My daughter is 25 months and an avid... AVID.... nurser. In general, we have a rule she knows and can say: nurse at home or nurse in car. She will repeat it to herself sometimes if we are out and she wants to nurse, which is adorable. She still asks sometimes if we're out, but mostly she does not ask unless we're at home or in the car. This has been a limit which our life and rhythm needed and it has worked for us. Since she knows I will almost always say yes to nursing in those two places, I think that security makes her willing to wait.


Lovesmila's Avatar Lovesmila 02:04 AM 10-24-2012

I've been considering this lately as my 2.5 year old can be a non-stop nurser and I wonder if I need to set more limits. She is in daycare 3 days per week while I study and likes to make up for lost time when she's not! I often tell her not right now, you can have water, milk in a cup or a snack if you're hungry... But even so I feed her 10+ times a day some days and end up feeling touched out.

 

I'm also trying to teach her not to twiddle my other nipple while she feeds - man, it gets on my nerves! I just ask her not to, tell her it hurts and remove her hand if she forgets... which she does, after about 5 seconds!
 


mamafromgrays's Avatar mamafromgrays 06:55 AM 11-20-2012

im nursing 3 times now, and he is 18 months. im plannig to stop when he is 2yo


Oliver'sMom's Avatar Oliver'sMom 07:31 AM 11-20-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovesmila View Post

I've been considering this lately as my 2.5 year old can be a non-stop nurser and I wonder if I need to set more limits. She is in daycare 3 days per week while I study and likes to make up for lost time when she's not! I often tell her not right now, you can have water, milk in a cup or a snack if you're hungry... But even so I feed her 10+ times a day some days and end up feeling touched out.

 

I'm also trying to teach her not to twiddle my other nipple while she feeds - man, it gets on my nerves! I just ask her not to, tell her it hurts and remove her hand if she forgets... which she does, after about 5 seconds!
 

 



My 28 month old is just like this!  Nipple twiddler and all!  I also offer drinks or a snack when he asks to nurse, and often times he'll accept that alternative.  We also have the rule that we only nurse at home on the couch.

 

When he tries to play with my nipple, I tell him not to.  If he continues, I pop him off and tell him we can't nurse if he touches my nipple.  He cries, I distract him, then 5 minutes later we start the whole process over.  Drives me crazy!


flyrabbitfly's Avatar flyrabbitfly 11:03 PM 11-21-2012

Pretty  much the only time I say "no" to nursing is when we are on a crowded metro train and I just don't feel comfortable whipping my boob out and trying to keep my 30 mo old DS from kicking other passengers while he nurses. I just say, the train is too crowded, and I don't feel comfortable nursing here. We'll find a bench at our stop. Depending if he is super tired or something, he will keep asking, and I keep telling him. If he gets upset I just hug him and say I know it's so hard to wait. We'll have boobie when we get off the train. If he is more just hungry, he will go for a snack instead.


girlspn 07:43 AM 11-23-2012

So far I haven't set any limits for my 17 month old dd. She still wants to nurse constantly. I can easily nurse in public with help of nursing shirts, and people can't tell I'm nursing even in crowded areas. But I am wondering whether I should start setting limits. It's so natural for us now that I don't notice, but when my sisters are with me, they will shield me for fear that my boob will accidentally hang out. 


hollydolls's Avatar hollydolls 11:56 PM 11-23-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyrabbitfly View Post

Pretty  much the only time I say "no" to nursing is when we are on a crowded metro train and I just don't feel comfortable whipping my boob out and trying to keep my 30 mo old DS from kicking other passengers while he nurses. I just say, the train is too crowded, and I don't feel comfortable nursing here. We'll find a bench at our stop. Depending if he is super tired or something, he will keep asking, and I keep telling him. If he gets upset I just hug him and say I know it's so hard to wait. We'll have boobie when we get off the train. If he is more just hungry, he will go for a snack instead.

 

I did the same thing. My daughter was able to understand where we were going or what we were doing well enough for me to say, "Yes, you can have milkies when we get home!" or "I'm sorry, but my milkies are hurting right now [because I'm pregnant]; can you wait until nap for milkies?" I also offered snuggles or food/drink. She was about 24-26 months at the time.


willfulmama's Avatar willfulmama 09:59 AM 12-17-2012

Ha! I was coming here to actually post a similar question. My two-year old, who had largely stopped nursing while I was pregnant, began nursing almost non-stop since his brother was born. I had anticipated him wanting to nurse again after my milk came back in, but I have to admit I have been stunned by how OFTEN he thinks about it.

 

Does anyone have helpful advice on how to deal with a toddler who asks almost constantly? (Or, maybe I just feel like a human vending machine since I'm nursing two kids full-time, it seems.) He really does ask quite often and has started saying "please" and giving me a kiss on the cheek. It's really hard to feel like I have any personal space but it's also difficult to find a way to set boundaries that make sense for him when he's just doing it in an effort to be close to me, I think. I want to respect his feelings and his needs, but I'm starting to feel as if it's at the expensive of mine which will eventually drive me crazy. :D

 

He's also not super verbal and reasoning with toddlers is, well.... yeah. :) 


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