Weaning a 3-year-old during pregnancy - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy > Weaning a 3-year-old during pregnancy
nsmomtobe's Avatar nsmomtobe 03:37 PM 12-12-2012

My son will be 3 next month and it has become very painful when he latches because I am 6 weeks pregnant. For this and other reasons, I have decided that I do not want to continue nursing during pregnancy or tandem feed when the new baby comes.

 

I suspect my supply will be affected, which will make weaning easier, and to prepare him, I have told him that as kids get older sometimes their mommy's milk runs out. He uses that line now when he wants to switch sides, "I want that one because this one runned out of milk" but it doesn't seem to deter him at all.

 

Now I am wondering if it is appropriate to plant the idea that when he turns 3 he will be too big for "mommy milk." Or would that be damaging? What is the best way to approach this discussion? I can't just cut him off without warning, right?



MrsTani's Avatar MrsTani 04:27 PM 12-12-2012

I went through this with my older daughter... sensitive breasts, etc. I decided to nurse through the pregnancy and tandem nurse. DD1 was a little over 2 years old went her sister was born, but she has not yet weaned herself (and she's older than 4 now...) completely. But it is a lifesaver if she's feeling sick, and she is able to understand when I don't want to nurse her. If he can understand about being gentle - having him say "ahh" might help - and it works to make it easier I wouldn't try to wean him. It's going to be enough of a change for him to have the new baby around that nursing through the pregnancy and tandem nursing might actually make it easier for him to not be jealous of the new baby. Actually, for me, the later weeks and months in the pregnancy were less painful, so since this too will pass, I wouldn't make the sensitive breasts the main reason to wean. See if there's someone with LLL who can help you out.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NSmomtobe View Post

My son will be 3 next month and it has become very painful when he latches because I am 6 weeks pregnant. For this and other reasons, I have decided that I do not want to continue nursing during pregnancy or tandem feed when the new baby comes.

 

I suspect my supply will be affected, which will make weaning easier, and to prepare him, I have told him that as kids get older sometimes their mommy's milk runs out. He uses that line now when he wants to switch sides, "I want that one because this one runned out of milk" but it doesn't seem to deter him at all.

 

Now I am wondering if it is appropriate to plant the idea that when he turns 3 he will be too big for "mommy milk." Or would that be damaging? What is the best way to approach this discussion? I can't just cut him off without warning, right?


cocoanib's Avatar cocoanib 04:32 PM 12-12-2012

My DD is a little over 2yrs 9 months and she currently nurses maybe once per day for a couple of minutes.

We started night weaning a few months ago due to pregnancy and my breast and nips not being able to take it anymore. We then started lessening the daytime nursing as well. I am not interested in nursing 2 at night once the baby comes and don't want all day tandem nursing situation. I am okay with her 1 nursing session per day.

 

My milk has been gone for awhile now and that really didn't deter her from nursing. She would probably still be night nursing if I had not initiated the weaning.

 

I talk honestly with her about why we have lessened nurisng and why it hurts me sometimes. I have never told her she is too old for nin nins though. In our situation, I don't feel that's true and if I was not pregnant, we may still have a full time nursing relationship. We talk about how my body is making a baby and can't make milk right now. We also talk about how the baby will need to nurse a lot when he get's here.

 

Talk openely with your son. I would not recommend just cutting him off cold turkey though. That could leave some bad feelings of nursing for him. Start the weaning process, but keep the communication going.


lilitchka's Avatar lilitchka 07:27 PM 12-12-2012

I don't know if a child turning 3 understands what it means to be ',3 years old''. I think if you plant the idea that at 3, he has to stop, it will still be a surprise, when his birthday comes. I think this works for a 5yo, maybe even a 4 y.o. not sure about a 3y.o.

If you don't offer, and gradually encourage other activities when he asks for nursing, there is good chances that weaning will happen gradually.

 

I got pregnant with baby2 when DS1 was 22 months old. he nursed 8-10 times in 24hrs then. at 6 weeks, my nipples started getting very sore, and he could see that it was very painfull for me, and would stop nursing sessions earlier. I night weaned him then, because pain was worse at night. I also rapidly weaned him from the most painfull breast.

I was not very happy to tandem nurse, but I decided that if he didn't wean during pregnancy, despite gentle and gradual efforts, then we will tendem nurse, since this means that it is still very important for him.

tandem nursing did not happen. his last nursing session was exactly 2 months before the birth of his brother. (he was 2 y.o and 4 months)

by the way, at around 15-16 weeks, nipple pain has disappeared.and by then, he was only nursing 1-2 times/day.
 


nsmomtobe's Avatar nsmomtobe 05:23 PM 12-13-2012

Thank you, everyone, for the replies.

 

 

MrsTani, as I said initially, I would like to wean during pregnancy--not just because of the sore nipples but also because he is very active and I worry about him trampling a newborn--either during a feeding session or in bed. He is basically nightweaned, fortunately, but I need to get him out of my bed to make room for a baby. I can see potentially keeping an evening or bedtime feed, but not an early morning feed, especially when I am exhausted from constantly feeding the baby. I get what you are saying, though, about it maybe helping prevent jealousy with the new baby.

 

cocoanib, I will try to be more open with him about it. He doesn't know about the baby yet because I feel that it is too far in the future to be a useful concept. Once I start showing, we will explain that there is a baby in there. I didn't want him to associate the baby with the lack of mommy milk out of fear that that would breed resentment. But I don't want to give him a complex about his age either. I just figured he would understand that as people get older, they don't need mommy milk anymore. 

 

lilitchka, he has some concept that his birthday is coming up (after Christmas) and he will be 3, but I agree that it is not a good idea to go cold turkey. I think I can reduce him down to 2-3 nursing sessions easily (1 morning, 1 evening, and 1 before bed) and once I get that under control, I will try to cut one of them. I will try to distract him on days that he wants to nurse more. And if he doesn't completely wean by the time the baby comes, oh well. We'll work something out.


Lewprivette's Avatar Lewprivette 09:39 PM 12-14-2012

I don't have any real advice in this category, but wanted to add that I am in a very similar boat. I am 16 weeks pregnant and my daughter is about 3 yrs 4 mos. She only nurses to go to sleep and then in the middle of the night/early morning to go baack to sleep, but like you I'd really like to wean her during this pregnancy. I want to do this mostly because nursing right now is painful and becaue I would just like a short break before I go back to nursing someone full-time again. I had been talking to my daughter a lot about how she would have to stop eventually, how the milk goes away sometimes and my "milks" get sore because I'm pregnant. She finally decided that she'd rather have pierced ears than milk every night, so I told her that when she learns to fall asleep without milk, she can get her ears pierced. This has been going on for about a week now, and some nights have been better than others. I am trying to wean her in stages: get her to go to sleep without milk first, then get her to pur herself back to sleep without milk next. The only thing I've figured out so far is that if you say "No more milk" you really have to stick with it.

 

I hope this is encourging even if it doesn't have much advice.


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