My 24 month-old is nursing a couple of times during the day, but mostly at night and it's killing me! It hurts sooo bad, I just want to scream. What do I do? I want her to wean herself and was kind of enjoying the idea of having a toddler to help with the massive engorgement after baby is born. I have "put-up" with the pain thus far, but it's getting worse and I find myself telling her no and getting frustrated about it. This is not the bonding I want her to experience. Please help!
Grace: Massage Therapist, YL Essential Oils Educator, and busy homeschooling mama to 4 babes.
I was feeling angry and teary and helpless back in November, for pretty much the same reasons you listed, but it has gotten better with time and hormonal shifts, and as I gave myself permission to set boundaries before I got to the breaking point, and also to back off them when it was clearly too much for my son to handle.
I find it hurts a lot less after about a minute, so if you can get her to nurse for longer periods at a time, that might help. I also find it hurts a lot more if I'm cold, or if my little guy has NOT nursed for several hours - I actually remind him to nurse a few times a day if he doesn't, so it won't hurt as much at night. He just turned three, so I have good luck sometimes with telling him to nurse quickly and then go snuggle with Daddy, because my breasts are sore, but I don't think that would have worked for us a year ago. It doesn't work consistently now, but when it does work, boy is it lovely.
It also helped somewhat to read Adventures in Tandem Nursing, just to get an idea of the range of possibilities.
I hope you find some relief, and a balance between child-led weaning and crawling out of your skin!
I nightweaned my 15mo using this as inspiration though I drug it out for months
I'm not suggesting that this is your solution. It worked well and was best for us. We still nurse in the day but I couldn't stand the night pain, being unable to get to sleep/back to sleep.
Boys: 12/94, 1/99, 11/03, 6/11. Girls: 11/06, 10/09, 12/12
we nightweaned too with a lot of help from dh stepping in to a nighttime parent roll. ds still nurses before bed, but it's usually quick b/c he wants to read his story and go to bed. in the morning he nurses for 30-45 mins. it hurts for the 1st 30 seconds and then it's usually ok. sometimes if he won't unlatch i will get sore. i try to offer him food in the morning to get him to finish up. b/c i know that he's hungry and i'm not producing as much milk as i use to. he won't let me unlatch with a finger he just clamps down harder which really hurts so i gave up on it. he doesn't ask to nurse during the day, so i don't offer. this is working for us right now. sorry my lo is younger than your's so i can't offer much advice, only support.
Angel (30), dh (31) (kd to H. 4/25/07 & K. 5/23/11), Vladimir 10/17/09 & Nikolai 7/6/11
Night weaning was always key for me in nursing through pregnancy, if they had not night weaned already. I also at this age limit nursings, it is a partnership between the two or more us.
I just weaned my ds2 (28 mo). My dd (14 mo) is still nursing, though I really limit because she's into twiddling and it sends me over the edge. I've also started getting that creepy-crawly feeling when anyone nurses for too long. When the milk left, ds2 just wasn't as interested. He still would ask but one day didn't so I didn't offer. A few days later he asked again and I cuddle him and giggled "big boys don't nurse!" (I know this isn't *always* true...but it's what I use). He still asks at bed time but it's more pro forma and he's content with cuddling. I think we're at the two week mark now....
I will encourage dd to nurse through though I hope to night-wean her along the way. I've coslept and nursed with two before and I hated it - I was like a rotisserie chicken turning over and over all night.
I think this is like potty-training - you both have to be ready for it to work though you as the parent can do some gentle encouraging if you want to go down a particular road. One thing I had to keep reminding myself was that I didn't have anything to prove to anyone - child-led weaning wasn't a hill to die on for me. Everyone is different, though.
"So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton
We night weaned easily and actually ended up weaning. I was looking forward to tandem nursing, but it was really killing me. DS got that it hurt, that my milk was going away. He was really sweet about it. For a couple of weeks, he would hold my nipple while he went to sleep, now, he pretty much ignores them. He does ask about it from time to time and I remind him that the milk is gone and that Mama is very sore. I thought it would be super sad to wean him, but I feel OK about it. He does, too. I couldn't have done it if he would've protested.
It's really nice to be able to cuddle and snuggle without nursing. I realized we'd had so much nursing, we hadn't had a lot of regular snuggles and they are great!