toddler would rather nurse than eat - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy > toddler would rather nurse than eat
mom2august's Avatar mom2august 05:53 PM 03-12-2005
My DS is 31 months old. We have had a great nursing relationship for the most part although he has always nursed more often than I sometimes feel comfortable. He is not a great eater - very picky and often doesn't eat. He would rather nurse than eat. This is especially difficult for me in the evenings when he eats little to no dinner - he snacks on me all night. It is not uncommom for him to nurse 5 to 7 times a night. Sometimes I think he just uses it to get himself back to sleep (another habit I would like to see him break) but most of the time I think he is hungry so I allow it. Occasionally he will accept my refusal but only for a short time after which I give in so I can go back to sleep and not feel too guilty. Is anyone else having this issue? I love nursing him but it is hard to sustain a 39 pounder with breast milk.

Hollycrand's Avatar Hollycrand 08:49 PM 03-12-2005
My 19 month old dd is pretty much the same. Some days she eats well, others she doesn't eat anything. Only nurses. Last week she wanted to nurse every 5-10 minutes, 24 hours a day. I was exhausted and really lost my cool a couple of times when she asked to nurse.
I've found that during the day when she asks I sit in our 'nursing spot' and offer. Many times she just wants to be close to mama or for me to give her some attention, so I do. But if she wants to nurse, it's okay.
Dh is allergy prone, and I think dd has a few allergies (but haven't been able to pin them down because of her picky eating habits).
I do believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel somehow. I'll be watching this thread to see if someone has been down this road before and has some tips or guidelines.
dulce de leche's Avatar dulce de leche 09:50 PM 03-12-2005
Thank you! I feel better now. Dd is almost 14 months and except for an occasional taste of whatever we're eating, nurses exclusively. She doesn't like mashed or pureed stuff. I don't know anyone IRL who still bf, so it is encouraging to hear that other kids prefer mami milk, too!
lizabird's Avatar lizabird 08:13 PM 03-13-2005
I've been wondering about this too. DS is 15 months old and loves to nurse, often instead of eating solid foods. Toddlers certainly are picky eaters, but then there are certain nutrients that they need to get from solid foods that they can't get from mom milk (like Iron). I don't have any proven suggestions for you, but we've just been trying to offer a variety of foods at different times during the day, and he'll often nibble on them (and then still wants to nurse), but at least he's getting the idea that solid foods can be yummy too!

Good luck to you,
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 08:40 PM 03-13-2005
I think it's pretty normal for toddlers to want to nurse more than eat solids. My son nursed more at 13m than he did at 11m!!!

With a baby about 18mo or under, my instict is to go with the flow and trust the child to take what he or she needs. With the 31mo, I'd probably be more inclined to gently encourage solid foods in the evening to take some of the pressure off my body.