Forced weaning at 3.5 years (language delay) - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy > Forced weaning at 3.5 years (language delay)
Ydolem's Avatar Ydolem 12:36 PM 12-08-2012

My son is 3.5 and I am more than ready to wean! He nurses often and for long periods of time through out the entire day. My other children were nursing only to sleep by this age. I am looking for advise on ways to wean. Not only am I feeling impatient while he nurses I am in pain. When he was almost a year and again when he was 2 I developed a deep crack in my nipple that left it scarred and sensitive. When my son nurses it is painful. He also has this habit of pulling on my other nipple while nursing and stopping him from doing that most of the time is 50/50.I would nurse from the other side but he had a strong preference to one breast and I just went with it. I try to get him to nurse off the other and it turns into a fight. That is perfect word for our nursing sessions sometimes. Fight. And I feel bad that this is supposed to be our time and it turns into something else. I just can not sit there and take the pain that often thought out the day any more and my reaction just upsets him.

A very important factor to this situation is that my son has a language delay so talking to him about it is out. He simply does not understand. When I try to talk to him about not nursing or try to distract him it turns into a huge fit every time and I end up giving in because I know he just does not understand. Not being able to communicate has been a struggle for him with his temper and these "battles" we have seem to have gotten worse. He has no other way to voice his anger except to yell and hit. It is the main issue we are working thru.

I have always thought that putting something on my nipple that tasted bad would be a negative way to wean but since I can not talk to him and reason then the idea of making it not pleasurable is becoming more appealing. I am hoping for all sorts of advise. I hope you can all leave advise without hurting others here who have chose more drastic routes. I also hope to hear of some natural things to put on my breast to discourage nursing. He is such a busy boy that I think he may just move on if it tastes bad.

Thank you for reading and I hope you participate or find help weaning too. ~~Melody

pumpkin's Avatar pumpkin 01:20 PM 12-08-2012
I weaned DD at 3. I'm pretty sure she would have been happy to keep nursing, but I was done. There were definitely some fits at first. The first limits were the hardest. I told her we could nurse 3 times a day, morning, midday rest (would have been nap if she took one), and bedtime. At other times she could have cuddles and a cup of milk. Sometimes we did chocolate milk. After that battle, I dropped the midday. A few more weeks and I dropped the morning. I wanted to drop the evening first, but DH was handling bedtime at that time and he begged me not to change to routine. Them I started limiting the time in the evening. I warned her 3 days out that we would be stopping. The last night I didn't make it a big deal.

There were tantrums along the way. I held firm and I think most importantly was willing to offer treats. A small cookie and cuddles goes a long way to replace mommy milk.
Silverring's Avatar Silverring 12:10 PM 12-11-2012

Is there someone who can help you do this?  If his distress is too much for you, you can kiss him and walk away and he will still have someone to comfort him without resorting to nursing.  


Ready snacks in place of milk are a good idea too.  


I'd be worried about him biting if there was an unexpected bad taste.  What about turning that round?  A good taste on your finger might encourage him to suck that instead?  But still in the huggy 'feeding' hold?  Maybe dip your finger in a smoothie or yoghurt or even melted chocolate as a short term measure.


I remember getting to the same point with our youngest and we spent a few days with me hugging him and walking away whenever he wanted to feed - and my husband was around to cuddle him and distract him.  It only took a couple of days.