Help- I'm torn - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 05-08-2005, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm am really troubled about even posting this so please bear with me. I believe in child led weaning and I followed through with that philosophy with my dss. They both weaned themselves shortly after they turned 2 years old.
My dd is 32 months old. I was hoping to do the same with her. But lately is not such an enjoyable time. I think her whole personality is changing the whole 2 year old struggle of independence vs dependence. So I realize things are hard or changing for her. However, our trouble is she is becoming very demanding about nursing. I mean screaming and even trying to bite me when I say wait a moment or not right now. She'll want me to stop whatever I am doing just to nurse her. Or after she has nursed and I want to get up she will scream that she wants to nurse more. I guess this past week it has become such a struggle trying to be patient with her. Trying not to lose my temper when she bites me. Nursing is starting to feel like a chore. I hate that I have those feelings. Part of me really wants to wean her and part of me knows it will be such a loss. I remember feeling very sd after my dss weaned.
I'm not even sure what kind of help I am asking to receive. Maybe I just need to vent a little because I feel so upset at myself for wanting to push her away. I feel like she is never going to wean. Dh and I were discussing this morning if I should start to wean her. I have no idea how to wean or even if I truly want to wean. Sorry to sound like such a flake. but this is eating me up. Dh is trying to be supportive, but he feels I need to make a decision. Like to stop nursing cold turkey and he will help. I just don't know what to do.
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#2 of 10 Old 05-08-2005, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is everyone just as stumped as I am about what to do?
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#3 of 10 Old 05-08-2005, 04:23 PM
 
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Alright I'm clueless. But I feel for you mama. Have you tried talking to her about "appropriate" nursing behaviour?

Disclaimer: I know I am talking out my and I have zero idea what almost 3 yr olds are capable of. I hope this turns out well for you mama...
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#4 of 10 Old 05-08-2005, 05:07 PM
 
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I also don't know what to do, Yinsum...

Willow is 21 months old and is also very demanding about her nursing (Perhaps they will be demanding women who don't take crap from anyone when they are older?)

I wish I could be more help...

Jenn - Mom, Photographer, Barista 

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#5 of 10 Old 05-08-2005, 05:25 PM
 
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OK, I don't know if this is "in line" with child-led weaning or not, but here's what I would do.....

When my DD was around 20 months old, she began some of that behavior. It was completely unacceptable to me, so I began to instill some nursing limits. I wanted her to know when I would say yes, and when I would say no. I don't know if you are already doing this, but it sounds like you are not. I think that predictablilty and consistency alone would probably help a LOT of the behavior problems with regards to nursing.

I decided that DD could nurse upon waking, before & after nap, once in the afternoon, and before bed. So I picked one block of time to work on - the easiest for us was the time from when she woke up to nap time. If she asked to nurse, I'd reply that she could nurse at sleepy time, and offer her food, water, and cuddles instead. Then she could nurse on request for the rest of the day. We did that for about 3-4 weeks before I moved onto the next time block. So we worked on it very slowly. I also included night-weaning in all of that.

She wasn't all that thrilled about the process, but once she got used to it, she was fine and so was I. It was so much nicer to be able to say "you can have Na Na again at _____ time" and not have a meltdown over it. And, I feel that in the long run, we would be able to nurse longer because of it.

And I must say that a few months after we got our routine down, she became quite ill for 3 weeks, and then she was teething, and then we were moving. So, upon the onset of her illness, I had resumed nursing her as much as I could, including at night. We JUST completed our move about 2 weeks ago, and I am planning to start setting those limits again - slowly of course.

Of course, I recently posted about my own dilema about the possibility of weaning. I had hoped to let DD wean herself.
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#6 of 10 Old 05-08-2005, 05:36 PM
 
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How long have you been negotiating with her about when she can nurse and when you need her to wait? It took a long time before Bleuet was able to handle some requests to wait. Is she backsliding on that -- was able to wait before but not now? If so, I wonder if she has someother stress/develomental stuff going on now that's making her needier?
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#7 of 10 Old 05-08-2005, 06:32 PM
 
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Bleu-
Sounds like Pilgrim has a good idea. This is similar to some limits I put on breastfeeding after the first 1.5 year. I was usually pregnant at the time and just couldn't handle the constant nursing. I think it did actually lead to me nursing longer, because I not only took into acount my childs needs, but mine as well. You have done such a wonderful job nursing for 32 months, so make sure you give yourself credit for that. Don't beat yourself up for these feelings. And realize that she is probably at this stage trying to exert her control over what she can, so she is probably trying that with nursing. Maybe you could even start offering her choices? Like if you can wait 5 minutes, you can nurse then, and maybe set the timer. That might help her feel like she has some control and will get to nurse, but will also help her learn patience. Remember, nursing is a relationship that should be pleasurable for you both. Maybe with some limits it will become pleasurable for you again too. You don't want to begin resenting your daughter because you aren't taking your own needs into account. Good luck and I hope everything works out for you both.

 
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#8 of 10 Old 05-08-2005, 07:33 PM
 
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mama

don't be troubled about posting here. You need to listen to your feelings & posting here is an excellent place to get feedback, encouragement & advice as well as validation.

You got some good advice so far & I second (third) the idea of setting certain limits. Dd will be 3 tomorrow & is still nursing. She was not much of a biter, but I have a mole right below my collarbone that she *loved* to play with & I would *hate* it. I told her no milkies if she plays with the mole because I don't like it. She learned pretty quickly that the nursing relationship is a two-way street. I totally agree with a pp who said it has to be mutually enjoyable.

I generally don't limit how much she nurses but the week before my period (now!) is torture. She understands to be gentle & when I say not now because my breasts are so sore. This definitely takes awhile & there have been times she has been really upset, but physically I could not do it.

Sorry if this is rambling; I didn't mean for it to be so long.

(btw - I don't think people were ignoring your post but it being Mother's Day the traffic on MDC was probably slow)
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#9 of 10 Old 05-11-2005, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the wonderful advise. I have taken a moment to see whats really happening and it does seem to be a power struggle. So I have been trying to allow her to feel that she has some control. Instead of saying not now I ask her to be patient and to give me a few minutes. I thank her for waiting.
Tonight is the first night since my post that she nursed and went to sleep without a major struggle. YEAH!!!
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#10 of 10 Old 05-11-2005, 01:32 AM
 
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Sorry I don't have any specific advice on what to do about your nursing situation. I just wanted to say that although my daughter weaned herself at 32 months, now 2 months later we are seeing basically the same behavior you are describing except in regards to other things she wants since nursing is no longer an issue. I guess what I'm saying is the behavior is probably an age/stage thing and she would act the same way over other things even if you did wean her. And maybe you could try to separate out your emotions about weaning and think, how would I handle this situation if she was demanding another story or another cookie or having a meltdown over having the wrong color socks.
Good luck!
Jen
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