Our daily fight and my mama tantrums need some help asap. - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-31-2009, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is 33 months old and night weaned. Every. Single. Morning. for the past few weeks, he has woken up extra early and demanded to nurse. He won't take no for an answer, and I need it to end. I am not ready to wean him, and I don't want to stop co-sleeping, but waking up to a HUGE fight that often ends up with both of us yelling, crying, and waking up COMPLETELY needs to end.

I am getting so tired, he is so stressed out, and I HATE that I end up yelling at him. If he doesn't get to nurse, he will hit, kick, scream, etc. I can't tolerate this behavior, but I know that I am certainly not modeling the best behavior when I end up yelling at him.

Any suggestions would be so appreciated. I am getting desperate for sleep, and to find a way to solve this without weaning, or putting him in his own room.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:26 PM
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When my DD was that age she still occasionally woke to nurse an hour or two before getting up. Your DS is probably hungry and really wants to nurse. I don't see how this is a discipline issue. It sounds like you and your DS have needs that are conflicting. You need to stay asleep and he needs to nurse. I don't have any real advice because I never really 'night weaned', my DD stopping waking to nurse about a month after turning 3. She recently weaned herself a few weeks before turning 4. Your DS may not be nursing too much longer why is it so important to not nurse him back to sleep?
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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I think it is pretty reasonable to not want to nurse really early in the morning at this age. Obviously the power struggle isn't working though. If you need him to stop, most likely he will if you stay calm and don't give in after a fight. The It takes a while for things to change and when you are tired and resentful, it is so much harder! The hardest part is staying calm. If that isn't working then maybe just accepting that this is the deal for awhile might be ok too.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:35 PM
 
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I haven't nursed a 3 yr old, but I've nursed toddlers and I remember it was either the early morning nursing or get up and cook breakfast! I understand wanting sleep, but what you are doing clearly isn't getting you the extra sleep anyway, right? Even if your DS accepted your "no" without tears, he probably wouldn't go back to sleep and you'd have to get up to get breakfast, read or play with him, etc. So I say either keep the early am feeding, or see if you can encourage a later wake-up time. Maybe inch bedtime sightly later for a few nights and see if the wake up time also shifts. Or, if he's waking early from hunger, give him a bedtime snack with some protein.

I like a video on Naomi Aldort's site titled, "The child is always right" or something like that. The point is, assume your child has good reasons for what they are doing, they need to do it, they are right. If you child is climbing on the table, rather than yell to get down, recognize they are telling you they need to climb and then you can provide a safer alternative. I would say your child is expressing a need and encourage you to find an agreeable way to meet the need rather than struggling to get him to stop asking.

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Old 01-02-2010, 01:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies. I guess it really isn't a discipline issue, now that I think more about it. He most likely does need the calories first thing in the morning, I am just so tired, and 5am is sooooooo early. I think I just thought I would be able to sleep in a bit later by this point in his life.

He will occasionally agree to play on the floor by our bed with puzzles, books, and his wooden animals while I get a half hour or so more sleep, but not always. The hard part about nursing him at that hour, is that it isn't going to lead to him going back to sleep, but he will nurse for about an hour or so, twiddling the other side the entire time while I constantly ask him to stop. That will also turn into a battle of wills that I just can't stand. If I wait to nurse him downstairs, he will be much better about not twiddling, and we can keep it to a half hour or so, which I feel better about.

Maybe I should post this in the Night time parenting forum. I am just so tired all the time and can't quite figure out how to get him to sleep longer in the morning.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:32 AM
 
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If the main problem is the twiddling with the other hand, does it help if you trap your other breast with the blanket or your nightgown? My one year old tries to do that and I seriously like bandage up my other breast so she can't get at it at all, because it drives me INSANE.

My other suggestion would be to have a sippy cup of milk for him right away. Not sure if you could just keep one in the fridge and go get it for him, or maybe keep it in an insulated cup thingy. Or you could keep an easy snack by your bed that he could sit on the floor and eat while you at least have more of a rest. I know, 5am is waaay too early. It does seem like maybe it would make sense to try to get him back to sleep, but I know how hard that is. Does he drink water at night? My first child used to drink a cup of water at night after he nightweaned because he was SO thirsty at night. Just a thought. Good luck.

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Old 01-02-2010, 03:47 AM
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If the waking to nurse at 5 am started after the night weaning it could be helpful if you nursed your DS when you went to bed, if you go to bed later than him, so he won't be hungry as early. I was wondering why nursing woke you up so much, but twiddling would do that. I didn't let my DD twiddle. I just said it hurt and I couldn't give her milk if it hurt. I also kept the other boob covered.
The way I control when my DD gets up in the morning is by changing her bedtime. Maybe if your DS goes to bed abit later he will sleep later. Though I know a few people that have children that get up at 5 no matter when they go to sleep.
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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Maybe he is going through a growth spurt right now. Perhaps a snack right before bed, or having a snack / drink when he wakes. My DS twiddles also, and yes it gets annoying. He has even had tantrums because I won't allow him to twiddle. One thing that sometimes distracts him is to redirect his hand elsewhere, usually something else he also likes to do. Sometimes putting his arm between my breasts and his hand up out the neckline of my shirt distracts him. Usually putting his fingers in my mouth works (I know yuck, but it is better than the alternative.) During the day we play a game where I stick out my tongue and he pushes it back in. I add sound effects, like a slide whistle going up in pitch when it is out and down in pitch when it goes back in. This game helps keep his hands out of my mouth, but it is a little disruptive at night. Anyway, maybe your LO is already doing something else he will accept as an alternative when redirected.
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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My twins are very early wakers (4:30 for a bottle, then the other is up at 5 - my two self-weaned at 11 months). I really struggle with it, and I also struggle with my own (surprisingly powerful) temper, especially if there's a run of several nights of bad sleep then daytime nap issues.

If I was in your situation, I might 1) make a little book to read with him during the day about what is going on, honoring his apparent need and giving him a solution, and 2) bring a prepared snack for him to have ready when he wakes. Maybe you can start redirecting him to eat rather than nurse? Sometimes I put my early waker into a pack and play next to my bed and turn on Signing Time on our small portlable DVD player to buy me an extra half hour. It's not great, but it gets me a little time to "wake" up, if you want to call it that.

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Old 01-02-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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My DD is 2.3 and we had the same super-early request. I had to make a rule "it is still dark out, no milkies until morning when it is light outside and the sun comes up". I just kept saying it.

The first couple nights were hard, but I didn't give in, and she quickly accepted it. Now, she still asks, but when I say no, she just cuddles up and goes back to sleep. As long as she can stay in my bed and cuddle, she is fine and quickly quiets back down. She just always asks "just in case"!

Maybe DH could help get through the first 2 hard nights?

I HAD to do something, my DD would still nurse 24-7 if I let her. So one night at 5 am, next night it was 4, then 2am, etc. She just wanted more and more and more. I found this idea on MDC and it worked for us.
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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I third (or fourth, or whatever) having a snack and some water ready to go at bedside when you go to bed so when he wakes you can give that to him. I did this with my own kiddo when she was about the same age - though she was completely weaned by that point. I had a cup of water and an organic fruit/grain bar ready to go when she woke up at 5am so I'd crack it open, throw a few books in her direction and roll back over to sleep for another hour. I don't think there's anything wrong, with an almost 3 yo, to set a limit that they can have snuggles and a snack and water at wake up, but not nursing. If this was a 6 month old, or even an 18 month old my answer would be different. But an almost 3 yo, yep, I'd be totally comfortable setting that limit. And he might not be happy about it for several mornings, but if you keep the same response and routine and don't give in he'll eventually get it. I definitely think he's old enough for a limit like that.

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Old 01-02-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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I didn't read all the replies, so this might have already been mentioned, but he may be waking up because he is legitimately hungry. With my older DS, we left a snack (banana, granola bar, bread, something) next to the bed and when he woke up we offered it to him. He could lay in bed and eat, and I could go back to sleep. When he was done eating he often went back to sleep too.

Also, have you tried sitting down with him later in the day when you are both removed from the heat of the moment and telling him that you are not willing to nurse that early and that if he asks you will say no? Sometimes with my DS he needs me to be REALLY clear what the expectations are or he gets angry because he doesn't know what to expect. Before you go to sleep at night you can remind him that you will not be nursing that early in the morning. Then when you do actually say no at the crack of dawn he maybe won't get so angry because he knew it was coming. Good luck!

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Old 01-02-2010, 04:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my_baby_love View Post
Also, have you tried sitting down with him later in the day when you are both removed from the heat of the moment and telling him that you are not willing to nurse that early and that if he asks you will say no? Sometimes with my DS he needs me to be REALLY clear what the expectations are or he gets angry because he doesn't know what to expect. Before you go to sleep at night you can remind him that you will not be nursing that early in the morning. Then when you do actually say no at the crack of dawn he maybe won't get so angry because he knew it was coming. Good luck!
This is a good point, too!

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the suggestions mamas. This morning was the earliest ever. He woke up at 3:30 and was saying "Nay-nay Mama! I want Nay-Nay!" Then he started saying he was awake and wanted to go downstairs to play, but he wanted me to come with him. I was literally so dead to the world tired that I just said "It is the middle of the night. We are not nursing now. If you want to go downstairs and play, you may, but I am going to sleep." I then turned my back to him and closed my eyes. He did end up getting down off the bed and wandered downstairs for a few minutes, but then came right back up and climbed back into bed and went back to sleep. If only every morning were this easy...

I will definitely keep a snack by the bed, along with a sippy of water just in case he really does need to eat first thing in the morning.

I will also try to talk to him about it during the day a bit too. He understands so much more than I give him credit for. Maybe he will get it a bit more when we are both a bit more calm and rested.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:43 AM
 
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I would also guess that it is a growth spurt, need to eat thing. The hard part is that if you feed him (even a sippy cup) he will most likely continue to want that 'meal' for a time to come. I am trying to think what I did at this stage, and I think even though I had night weaned that early am feeding was always one I gave since I could continue to sleep in. Hmmm, maybe a nursing toy would help too with the twiddling.... that is something I couldn't do for an hour in the early am.

33 months is still sooooo young.

I am now able to sleep with a tremendous amount of regularity and my DD will just lie in bed with me if she wakes up early.... she is 5 years and several months. I don't think this phase started until she was 4.5 years old though.

Just a little longer for you
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