Can nursing ever cause unhealthy dynamics? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 05-19-2014, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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My daughter is 28 months old and still nurses 3-5 times a day, and sometimes more.  We've enjoyed a wonderful, sweet nursing relationship.  Lately, though, it feels like things are changing.


She is going through a very demanding phase (typical, I suppose), and also a VERY annoying "control Mama" phase, in which the very second I try to work around the house, cook dinner, wash diapers, etc, she starts tantruming and wanting to be held, and asking to nurse.  The other day, she spent the entire day screaming - she wanted me to hold her, standing up, in the kitchen.  Nothing else would do.  Sometimes I can put her on my back in the Ergo, but she's potty training so that doesn't always work well.  When I try to distract her, she ramps it up and starts pestering me to nurse, or to watch TV.


I'm starting to feel (sometimes, often) very manipulated by nursing.  As if she's wanting to control me, keep me trapped in a chair at her disposal.  This doesn't apply to every nursing (like, nursing to sleep), but it happens a lot during the day.  I am feeling very unbalanced.


Up until now, I've held the position that she needs the connection, needs the closeness and nurturing, I may not know why, but I'm gonna give it.


Then we nightweaned a few months ago, and after the (tough) transition, she suddenly started sleeping through the night.  Like, a total transformation.  Even started taking long naps for the first time ever.  I was shocked - it was as if the night nursing was maintaining an unhealthy pattern, and all we had to do was break it and she did great.


I can't help but wonder if the same holds true with daytime nursing.  So my question is this:  has anyone ever weaned, and it actually broke an unhealthy cycle and improved things?  Or is that just wishful thinking?

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#2 of 4 Old 05-19-2014, 06:40 PM
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I had a tough time weaning my son, and I felt the same way, he was getting very demanding. I have read allot about happy weaning and child lead weaning, however, my son would still be nursing at almost four if I didn't wean him. He nursed till he was almost three. If you're feeling like you're done, she can feel that too, and it may be making her demand more. At least it was like that for me and my son. He knew and I would tell him that I was done nursing.  


So I did things like "not right now, let me get you some milk and crackers." Or "mommy doesn't want to her boobies are taking a nap." etc I also decided that he needs that snuggle time, so I made extra time in our day for sitting down reading with him, or watching a show (when I really needed to unload the dishwasher). Eventually he started asking less and less, then none at all. 


Good luck:):) 

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#3 of 4 Old 06-04-2014, 08:29 PM
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My 2-1/2 year old is going through the same phase, while I am currently suffering an extreme aversion while nursing. He has 3-4 full sessions a day (where I sit with a book so I can cope). He asks an add'l dozen or so times. I offer him 5 seconds per side and count down for him. He readily accepts this. I can expect a tantrum if I flat out refuse or attempt to distract. I think it's something about just *knowing* that the connection is available...maybe you should give this a try?

Happily married to DH 
Stay-at-home mama to DS1 (01/12) & DS2 (01/14)
Expecting our third! (due 01/16)
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#4 of 4 Old 06-05-2014, 09:46 PM
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I feel like the nursing and tantruming are ways of asking for and receiving connection, and I don't know if weaning completely will solve the problem, or the same behavior will continue in a different way. I've heard that these difficult phases are often transitions to a new developmental stage, and I felt like that was true for at least one of my children. But in our case, the weaning and sleeping through the night kind of happened after the bad phase was finishing up, so it was part of the process.

But I did have to put limits on nursing at some point, because I started to get a real aversion too.
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