Conflicted on continuing to BF my toddler. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 11-23-2012, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't even know how to write this because it's been a horrible debate in my mind for months now. I don't want to wean my almost 2 year-old but I don't enjoy nursing her. She only nurses 1-2 times a day because I just can't take having her on me more than that with me nursing her twin sisters all the time. I REALLY wanted to do child-led weaning and let her keep going until she's done. But it feels physically uncomfortable, like too much stimulation when she nurses now. I really hate to wean her since she enjoys nursing and her little face just lights up when I allow her to nurse so it breaks my heart. I just don't know what to do and no one around me IRL knows or cares about this. They just tell me to wean her and she's plenty old enough and probably shouldn't be nursing anymore anyways.

 

To sum it up, I don't really want to wean her (especially since she loves to nurse) but I'm feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated with nursing her and her sisters. Please help.


Emelee married to J in 03/07. 12/10 our DD C was at 41.3 weeks, and 06/12 our fraternal DDs A and V were hospital birth at 41.1 weeks.
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#2 of 11 Old 11-23-2012, 07:52 PM
 
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Hugs to you mama! I'm not there yet myself but I'm headed in that direction: DD will be 2 at the end of March and lil sibling is due in July. I can appreciate (but not quite fully know) how overwhelming it must be to nurse infant twins as well as a toddler. Child led weaning is really about that last nursing session and whether your DD gets to drop it on her own. I think you've done a marvelous job nursing your kids and you found a balance between her needs and yours. She may only be nursing once or twice but she still gets lots of benefits out of it. Nutrition and immune factors are just one side of the coin though. Your DD is receiving reassurance, comfort and acceptance every time she nurses and I bet that with twin baby sisters changing the family dynamic, it means a lot to her. Unless its making you completely miserable and driving you crazy, I implore you not to wean her. BUT it's also important to meet your needs, so how about this: you pick a song for nursing and tell DD that once the song is done, nursing is finished. On rough days, you sing faster and end the session sooner. On good days you can slow the song down and give DD the treat of nursing longer. This will give her the validation, acceptance and comfort she needs as much as it's possible that day. I'm not trying to guilt you into continued nursing, just trying to see it from her point of view. I hope I didn't upset you, you are a wonderful and dedicated mom. It's just that when you described how much she loves nursing, I couldn't help but take her side smile.gif More big hugs mama. I hope you can find a good balance.
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#3 of 11 Old 11-23-2012, 08:38 PM
 
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as someone that is struggling to enjoy my nursing relationship with currently 23 month old twins, i really feel for you, im right there with you in being torn and feeling like something needs to be done.

 

can you find some other really one on one thing you two can share, something that you can step away from everything and give to just her?  maybe its something as simple as brushing her hair or trading foot rubs. maybe it is listeing to her tell a story depending on how verbal she is.  if there is something that can be added to your nursing and then in reasonable time focused on rather than the nursing?

 

i've never weened anyone, but that is how i see possibly doing it at some point. we are getting close if my body keeps fighting my heart on this one.

 

hugs, bottom line you clearly have a done a wondrous job of nursing and you have given your all, your body and your feeling are no less valid and their does need to be compromise, on all sides.


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#4 of 11 Old 11-23-2012, 10:48 PM
 
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I had the same issue with my toddler when I was pregnant. I still let her nurse whenever she wanted. If it drove me crazy (which was often), I would count in my head to, say, 50 or I would sing her one song while she nursed. Then I'd pop her off, say, "That's enough!" cheerily and move her to another activity. It allowed her to keep nursing on demand, just not quite as long as she'd like for each session.

 

Now that we have another nursling, she still asks to nurse occasionally. I let her and she doesn't nurse more than a minute or two, even if she is badly hurt or upset. A lot of times, she'll latch, but never actually nurse. Also the issues I had with the sensation got better after the baby was about 2 months old, so yours may change, too.

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#5 of 11 Old 11-25-2012, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your replies. I think I might try the song idea since I'm always singing to the girls. Maybe that will help her not feel so upset when I'm just touched out and have to end our sessions early. It would not be so hard if she didn't really care about it but I know she loves our nursing bond even though she's nearly 2. I feel bad sometimes because if it wasn't for the twins I wouldn't even be thinking of weaning, it's not her fault they demand so much time. I'm trying to work on not feeling pulled in so many directions at once but it's hard with so many little ones. I do save grocery trips for just her and me. They are rushed because I have to get home to feed the twins but it is some extra one-on-one time. Thank you for letting me work out my feelings.


Emelee married to J in 03/07. 12/10 our DD C was at 41.3 weeks, and 06/12 our fraternal DDs A and V were hospital birth at 41.1 weeks.
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#6 of 11 Old 11-28-2012, 12:57 PM
 
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Hi Emelee,
I'm really just posting to say that I think you are amazing. I'm also from Ireland and totally appreciate how hard it can be to find bf support here. My son is 1yr next week and I have some really tough moments (sometimes days) when he bites despite my efforts, he also nurses throughout the night every night. Like you, I see how much breatfeeding means to him. I couldn't even imagine what it would be like to have 2 more babies. My respect goes your way! I really thought the other response comments were very good too and I hope to remember them in the future.
Take care,
Susan
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#7 of 11 Old 11-28-2012, 11:44 PM
 
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If you need a boundary, you could set a time of the day that's "nursing time." That could be the one time a day that she is able to nurse, part of your routine until the two of you are both ready for total weaning.


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#8 of 11 Old 11-30-2012, 02:03 PM
 
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Good job on nursing your little ones!  It is soooooooooo hard with newborn twins and an older child (BTDT).  I see a couple options: 1) Plan a weaning party and wean her intentionally. At 4 this might be just up her alley!  Just make sure that you make special time for her everyday.  This is harder than it seems, especially as the wondertwins get older and more demanding.  2) Limit her to once a day, and let her know the time and place.  When she asks other times just repeat, "It isn't our special time right now. It's at bedtime, remember?"  She will get it pretty quickly.  And it might evolve into just a story time, but it will still be your special time!

 

As for the icky feelings.  I found reading trashy novels necessary to distract me.  Something interesting, but not too thought provoking or emotional that I could set down at any point or lose my place and not worry about it.  I was the queen of nursing and reading! (I miss those days!) 

 

You can do it Mamma!  Let us know how its going or if you need more help.


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#9 of 11 Old 12-03-2012, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My original goal was to make it at least until 2 years old and she just turned 2 a few days ago. Now I will no longer offer the breast but if she asks I will not refuse (unless it's just one of those days where I'm at my wits end). I think this will help her gradually wean on her own. I've already tried the singing but she doesn't seem to understand just yet that once the song is done she is done. I'll keep working on it.

 

Susan, thank you for such a nice comment. I fear that one of my twins is going to be a biter, she chomps down with her gums and pulls. It's already sooo painful I can't imagine what to do when she gets teeth. She does not understand when I tell her no and I worry about the future of our BFing relationship if she continues!

 

phathui5, I usually only nurse her in the morning and only if she's hurt will I let her nurse in the afternoon. I just feel bad when she's crying because she wants to nurse and I have to tell her "no" or "later" and try to redirect her.

 

cdahlgrd, If she was 4 I don't think I'd be having these feelings of regret for not wanting to nurse her but she only just turned 2. I have at least reached my goal and if it just gets too much I might try the weaning party. I had read about that and I wonder if she could understand already... she barely seemed to understand it was her birthday just that it was a special day, lol!

 

Thank you again for the comments. It really helps when I'm sitting here wondering what to do for all my girls while keeping my own sanity.


Emelee married to J in 03/07. 12/10 our DD C was at 41.3 weeks, and 06/12 our fraternal DDs A and V were hospital birth at 41.1 weeks.
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#10 of 11 Old 12-04-2012, 02:04 AM
 
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Oh dear Emelee... Feel free to pm me about the biting if it gets worse. (Hopefully it won't though!) :-) Susan
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#11 of 11 Old 12-04-2012, 10:09 AM
 
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Emerge, my DD was a biter and I will share what worked for us (and worked in a few days). Anytime she did anything painful while nursing (clamped down, scraped the nipple or actually bit) I quickly unlatched her and put her down for a few seconds. Yes she cried but I picked her up in a few seconds and nursed again. If she bit, we would stop. Every time. Consistently. The first few nursing sessions she tried 4 or 5 times, then twice, then once... And that was the end of it. Over the course of a long weekend I went from dreading nursing to loving it again because I felt safe. She still slipped up once or twice after weeks of no bites but one interruption reminded her that biting = stop nursing. I didn't even say no because the reaction may be strangely interesting. Just very quick, matter of fact: bite ---> floor ---> try again. I highly recommend this method since its not traumatic, but signals baby that mommy can't nurse if she is hurt. Let me know if you have any questions. (BTW I got this technique from a wonderful LC. She's the one that helped us go from EPing to EBFing so I highly value her experience.)
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