22 month old nursing me to death LOL - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 11-19-2009, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I recognize that this is probably not nearly as big a deal as most of the challenges being posted here, and, really, I have been blessed with two excellent nursers from day one. We've never had anything worse than a mild bout of mastitis and an even milder bout of thrush, and both of those were with my first baby, who is four now and no longer nurses.

My challenges now are with my second daughter, who will be two in January. She's 22 months old and still nurses like she's 6 months old. Anytime I sit down, anywhere; on the floor, on the couch, on the toilet, at the dinner table; she climbs in my lap and says "Mama, I want MILK". If I don't get to it quick enough for her, she WILL raise my shirt herself. It's funny, if you're not living it. :

So, I am completely unable to sit down during the day. When we go to sleep at night, she nurses down, which I have NO problem with. I do, however, have an issue with the nursing gymnastics; latching on to my breast and then trying to climb the wall, or turn over, or play with the dog, or run a marathon, or whatever. I also take issue with the constant pinching, clawing, and the occasional BITING.

I know that I dealt with similar challenges with DD1. I remember clearly having bruises on my arms from her pinching them while she was nursing, in fact. But, the major difference was that DD1, by this age, was nursing MAYBE three times a day. DD2, well, like I said, I can't sit down without the MILK demand beginning.

I am feeling resentful of nursing her. I want to be able to sit on the floor and play dolls with DD1, without DD2 climbing in my lap to have milk. I want to be able to sit down and eat dinner without DD2 demanding milk. I want to be able to sit on my couch and have a conversation with a friend, without my adorable toddler lifting my shirt and informing all present that "I WANT MILK, MAMA!"

I've been going back and forth about weaning her. I mean, obviously, this is a very real need for her, you know? I have moments of guilt where I feel awful for even thinking about taking something away that she so obviously needs so much. But, then, I think, cripes, I've been pregnant and/or nursing for the past FIVE YEARS of my life! That's a long freaking time to not be in charge of all parts of my own body!

I guess what I've come up with is that I'd rather not wean her, but will if I feel I have to. But, I'm hoping someone will have some specific ideas for setting limits with this little parasite

She really is, just the most absolutely adorable, sweet, little girl. She's generally perfectly agreeable, and happy. She does eat solid food, and plenty of it. The ONLY times she really gets unhappy is if I try to do something besides nurse her when she wants milk (if I try to redirect, forget it. We've also tried "Time to say night night to the milk!" She says "Good Night, milk" and then latches back on )

So, thoughts, ideas, commiseration, haikus...all welcome. Thanks!

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#2 of 4 Old 11-22-2009, 07:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharonAnne View Post
I want to be able to sit on the floor and play dolls with DD1, without DD2 climbing in my lap to have milk. I want to be able to sit down and eat dinner without DD2 demanding milk. I want to be able to sit on my couch and have a conversation with a friend, without my adorable toddler lifting my shirt and informing all present that "I WANT MILK, MAMA!"
First of all, congrats on the 5 years of nursing/pregnancy! It IS a long time, and it is completely understandable to feel resentful and want your body back. I think we all feel that way at least part of the time.

What struck me about the paragraph above is that all the examples you listed were times when you're not focused on your DD. I wonder if she's using nursing as a way to get more attention from Mom. After all, it's a part of your relationship that she doesn't have to share with anyone else. Does she have time each day when you sit down and focus on just her? Maybe giving her more 1:1 time (because with two children, I know you have tons of extra time ) would help. Or setting a time each day that's just "hers" when you can focus on her. If she knows she's going to get that time, perhaps the constant "MILK!" requests would decrease some.

Also, from the times when nursing my own toddlers were hardest, I often found that my efforts to decrease their nursing made things worse. They just wanted to hold on more to that security when it was being challenged. As counterintuitive as it seems, offering to nurse MORE for a while might help reassure her and help with the constant requests. It also might help gently transition to nursing at specific times/places, if you take care to always offer at certain times or only in a certain location.

With my two nursing toddlers, I found that distract/redirect NEVER worked if they'd already gotten the idea of nursing. I had to be one step ahead, anticipate the request before it happened, and be offering something else equally appealing before they thought to ask to nurse. Otherwise, no go (unless it was something like ice cream or a trip to the toy store ). So if you know that DD will ask to nurse as soon as you sit down, try to give her something else to do BEFORE starting that game with big sister or that conversation with your friend. Proactive discipline is a lot harder in the short-term but always seemed more effective to me, at least when I was mentally organized enough to remember!

The very first nursing limit I set with my twins was "no nursing while Mommy is eating." And that was at about a year. I was SO tired of never getting a meal without someone attached. That was a pretty hard-and-fast rule, so DH and I were insistent about it. Took about a week before the requests and tears stopped, and then it simply was never an issue. I also found that all of the limits I set (we night weaned at 2 1/2, another rule) with nursing, if I was at all uncertain about it, they woudn't accept it. Once I was resolute (and I don't mean being unkind or ignoring your child's very real unhappiness, but I do mean not backing down about the nursing and instead giving some other type of comfort), they eventually accepted it.

Cheri
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#3 of 4 Old 11-25-2009, 03:04 AM
 
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I have a 15-months-old that wants to nurse every 5 minutes, and he knows how to get my breast out. Rolling up the blouse, fishing the breast out in the neckline of the shirt, going from the sleeves, nothing will stop him. If I won't give him beast, the major cry that won't be consoled by anything will occur.
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#4 of 4 Old 11-25-2009, 03:21 AM
 
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Sha I read the title and thought of you, and then realized it was your thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheriK View Post
I also found that all of the limits I set (we night weaned at 2 1/2, another rule) with nursing, if I was at all uncertain about it, they woudn't accept it. Once I was resolute (and I don't mean being unkind or ignoring your child's very real unhappiness, but I do mean not backing down about the nursing and instead giving some other type of comfort), they eventually accepted it.
THIS is absolutely 100% right. I have another friend who was going back and forth with weaning at 3, and having SUCH a hard time setting ANY limit, and she was able to realize that it was b/c she wasn't totally sure herself what she wanted to do. So take some time, figure out something reasonable, and believe in it so you can stick to it, and DD2 will believe you too.

I have pretty strict rules about manners, but I can see that my DD is much more stubborn than DS ever has been about nursing, twiddling, etc. I think part of it is that it's so hard to take care of two kids early on that you just let the 2nd one do whatever she wants if it makes her happy... and then set up bad habits. That is my experience, anyway.

I hope it gets better soon.

WAHMama to Allen (2-10-05) and Alexa (6-27-08)
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