Weaned 3 yo still obsessed with grabbing my breasts! - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-22-2010, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I weaned dd almost exactly a year ago, when she was about two years and three months old. It was, depending on your definition (!), basically CLW--that is, when we weaned she was at the point that she was only nursing at bedtime anyway and then, after a while, I tried putting her to bed without nursing her and she (a bit surprisingly, in fact) had NO problem with that. And that's it...with very little ceremony thus ended our nursing relationship!

Sort of! The thing that I notice (boy do I notice!) in the year since is that she remains *obsessed* with my breasts. She ALWAYS has to be grabbing them--especially in bed, in the bath or if I'm holding her. She likes to squeeze them, play with them, play with my nipples or just hold on to them.

She knows that I CAN'T STAND IT. Since breast feeding her my breasts are really sensitive and I *hate* the feeling of her constantly grabbing and groping them! I tell her non-stop to STOP DOING THAT but she doesn't listen.

Can anyone suggest any strategies for breaking her of this habit. It drives me crazy (and has occasionally led to a bit of public embarrassment as in the case of her reaching down my shirt and grabbing my boob and jiggling it while I was in the middle of talking to a professor at school!)

HELP PLEASE!

FWIW-She doesn't actually want to nurse and never asked to nurse again after she weaned except for a couple times in the bath as a joke; she was clearly interested but was laughing the whole time like she knew it was silly.

Mama to a beautiful girl since May 2007 and a beautiful boy since August 2010! :
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:14 AM
 
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No advice, sorry. My 4 year old does the same thing, and I weaned her the same exact way when she was 20 months. She even groped my best friend today cause she had some cleavage goin on. And I, also am very sensitive and it drives me insane. I try not to tell her not to because I know it makes her want to do it more but while I was pregnant (up until 3 weeks ago) I couldnt help it.

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Old 05-24-2010, 01:01 AM
 
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I'm going to move this over to The Childhood Years since it's more a parenting issues than a breastfeeding one.

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Old 05-24-2010, 03:13 AM
 
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I started telling my dd to stop and quietly getting up and moving away from her if she didn't. I don't know that it has anything to do with breastfeeding because my friends didn't breastfeed and both of their sons went through a phase like this also. One went through a butt grabbing phase when his mom put her foot down about the breast grabbing phase.
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:14 PM
 
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No advice, only commiseration. My son was weaned at the same age in much the same manner, and has been doing this ever since. I hope you get some helpful replies, because I'd like DS to cut it out too!

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Old 05-24-2010, 08:52 PM
 
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Have you considered offering an alternative that you ARE okay with? Like my DD sometimes drives me nuts wanting to touch or hold onto me in different spots, and sometimes I will say, I don't like being touched there, can you hold my hand (or give me a hug, etc.) instead? Or, if you have a toy or something that she might enjoy fiddling with, offer that? I think sometimes she does this out of boredom/not knowing what else to do, and giving her another option helps sometimes. Also, I talk with her about how she would feel if someone kept doing something with her that bothered her, and to realize that mommy sometimes feels like that too (at least gets her thinking).

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Old 05-25-2010, 01:10 PM
 
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Have you specified that it hurts (vs. "bothers") you? That might break through a little better. I don't know, when DS repeatedly touches me in any kind of painful way I skedaddle away from him (like to the other side of the room, obviously putting him down first if I'm holding him or something) and tell him I have to keep myself safe from being hurt. Then if he asks me to come back I tell him I'll hold him again, but that he can't hurt me. That usually stops the behavior for a couple of hours at least. So far that's the only thing I've been able to figure out that consistently makes any difference. He doesn't grab my boobs so much but he often picks at me, climbs on me, hits me, kicks, etc. I'll be interested in seeing other suggestions. A distraction does sometimes help.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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No advice, just commiseration. My 3 year old is still nursing, but he likes to hold and rub the one he isn't nursing and feel around at other times. It hurts! I tell him to stop and have threatened to stop nursing him if he cannot stop, because it hurts me too much.
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:45 PM
 
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I hear ya!  My DS is 2 1/2 (weaned fully right before his 2nd birthday) and he loves grabbing my boobs (especially the nipple)!  He's a very affectionate, lovey little boy, so it can be hard for me to kinda burst his bubble and tell him to stop.  My breasts aren't necessarily sensitive, but I've been getting "touched out" really easily lately (I'm preg w/our 3rd).  Usually I just take his hand and put it up more near my neck and say "No grabbing Mommy's nips (that what we call nipples, heehee)."  I was calling them "nuhns" which is what he used to say when he wanted to nurse, but I stopped that b/c I had the feeling it was almost reminding him of the good ol' days of mommy milk haha.  Really, as much as it kinda drives me crazy, I don't have a clear cut solution.  I ask him nicely to stop, and if he doesn't I simply put him on the ground or move away.  I'm sure he'll stop one day.  ;)

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Old 04-28-2011, 05:42 AM
 
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It doesn't drive me as crazy as it does you, but DS certainly shares your DD's obsession!  DS nursed until a little over 3, and as he transitioned away from nursing he would often ask to "hold the boobies" instead of nurse - for example, when going to sleep, when reading a story, or when hurt. 

 

It seems to me that for him my breasts are his comfort objects (he never took to any other) - and I don't think this is that unusual for other BF kids.  I talk to him about being gentle, touching with an open hand vs grabbing/pinching, appropriate times/places. 

 

There are times when he really wants to stick his hand down my shirt & squeeze, but I can softly remind him that my body needs privacy, and he will generally be okay with leaning his head on my chest & laying his hand across the general area but through my shirt. 

 

But when we are at home or among friends I haven't tried to restrict him yet.  He really seems to need it.  It's amazing how quickly it will help him relax when he's upset or tired.

 

What about starting with directing how/when she has access, and then gradually tappering off?  (For us this is how DS weaned from the breast, not completely CLW, but definitely with an eye to his level of comfort with moving on.)

 

Good luck!

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Old 04-28-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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My 3 year old does this. If I am not wearing a bra she thinks it gives her licence to pinch my nipple. I always give a stern HEY! and then she covers her eyes like she is embarrassed or she is ignoring me. I cant quite figure out what the covering eyes thing is. Anyway, i think its curiousity for the most part, but I find it irritating as well.


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Old 04-28-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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We're in the same boat here too. My (just turned) 3 year old son stopped nursing when he was 20 months, right before his sister was born. I knew I wasn't going to be able to tolerate tandum nursing but really, the way he wants to "just touch" constantly, I may as well still be nursing him because the both of them are all over me. When she's nursing, he's touching (or pulling, picking, bouncing) my other breast. It drives me up the wall. And I feel bad telling him it does. I know I shouldn't let my own guilt over ending our nursing relationship get in the way of how things are now but honestly, it does a little, and now I find myself in a situation where the typical bedtime story is read with my 15 month old nursing on one side and my 3 year old holding the other boob, OR the 2 of them are fighting over who gets to touch the one she's not nursing on. Really bad nursing manners happening all around here! :(

And I honestly don't even know what to do to stop it...so, I'll be checking in here to look for answers and remind myself I'm not alone ;)

Thanks for posting!

 

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Old 04-28-2011, 09:19 PM
 
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Hi. My ds is 51/2 and is still doing this. BUT, it has gotten better. I weaned him at 3.5. He didn't want to at all, but it was just time (and I had surgery which was kind of a good stopping point). Although the grabbing and touching was annoying to me, I realized that it was his comfort object. He never had anything else - so we had to gently ween from that as well.

 

This is what we did. I started by limiting it to home only. We also started talking bout alternatives, hugs, holding my hand... A few months later, we made a deal that when he turned 4.5, it had to stop. He was ok with this (well, he agreed...I should say). Again, alternatives were given.

 

It is amazing, like a pp said, how when tired, scared, upset or sick, they just naturally gravitate there.

 

I remember one night before we made the deal that it would stop when he was 4.5, I was fed up and just said, "No. No more milky starting tomorrow." (he calls them milkies and squishy's, lol) He suddenly let out a cry that I had never heard from him before. It was this amazingly sad, sobbing cry...I couldn't believe it really. That's when I knew how much comfort this brought to him. I couldn't just pull it away - it required a good deal of sensitivity.

 

He's done really well since. He still talks about milky and we reminisce, lol.

 

I would just say to continue to be sensitive and take it slow. Start setting some boundries and see how it goes.

 

Best of luck!

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Old 04-29-2011, 10:13 AM
 
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We have the same sort of problem except it's with my belly button.  DS weaned about 6 months ago (he'll be 4 this summer) and he used to try to grab my nipple while nursing.  I kept moving his hand away and he found my belly button to play with.  He would just rub his hand over it at first and then he would stick his finger there and scratch (ouch!).  Well now that he's done nursing, he still wants to "beep my beeper."  I thought he would give up now that I'm gigantically pregnant and my belly button is almost non-existent, but nope.  He still goes for it several times a day.  It gives his comfort, which is weird in a way, but sweet in a way.


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Old 02-02-2012, 04:38 PM
 
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slap her hand every time she does it. she'll learn.

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Old 02-02-2012, 06:03 PM
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We do not allow advocating of hitting children on MDC.  Please have a look at our Statement of Purpose to get a better idea of what we are about.  I am happy to answer any questions. Further posts advocating hitting will be removed.


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Old 02-06-2012, 02:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eli. View Post

It doesn't drive me as crazy as it does you, but DS certainly shares your DD's obsession!  DS nursed until a little over 3, and as he transitioned away from nursing he would often ask to "hold the boobies" instead of nurse - for example, when going to sleep, when reading a story, or when hurt. 

 

It seems to me that for him my breasts are his comfort objects (he never took to any other) - and I don't think this is that unusual for other BF kids.  I talk to him about being gentle, touching with an open hand vs grabbing/pinching, appropriate times/places. 

 

There are times when he really wants to stick his hand down my shirt & squeeze, but I can softly remind him that my body needs privacy, and he will generally be okay with leaning his head on my chest & laying his hand across the general area but through my shirt. 

 

But when we are at home or among friends I haven't tried to restrict him yet.  He really seems to need it.  It's amazing how quickly it will help him relax when he's upset or tired.

 

What about starting with directing how/when she has access, and then gradually tappering off?  (For us this is how DS weaned from the breast, not completely CLW, but definitely with an eye to his level of comfort with moving on.)

 

Good luck!

Yes, mine asks for "hand on breast" (yes, clinical!) and it is totally a comfort thing for a kid who was breastfed a long time. I have been trying to not make a big deal out of it (as long as it is in private), because I think our culture totally fetishizes breasts as sex objects and that part of the problem is that immediate refusal--"no, Mommies breasts are not available to you, a breast will not be available to you again until you are grown up and viewing it as part of sexual contact." I think this barrier actually sexualizes them early (reverse of what some might think, I realize). So am trying to treat it as natural while easing away from it. To a BF kid, breasts represent not just nutrition but intimacy, and who would want to suddenly deny their child a form of intimacy that was the first they experienced? But interested to hear others on this site, as there is a wide range of viewpoints on this, I think.
 

 

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Old 02-06-2012, 02:01 PM
 
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Oh, and setting limits to when and how seems good as children develop the understanding that Mom has needs too, and that everyone has personal space and has bodily autonomy.

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Old 07-23-2012, 12:22 AM
 
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Still have this issue with my 31-month, weaned at 28-months when I became pregnant, but have reduced it significantly, using baby steps:

1. Nipple Pads: silicone from Victoria's Secret, keeps your nips from getting too much wear & tear, doesn't let him smell the milky smell your breasts (same smell that comes from your linia negra gets when you're pregnant or nursing). Defeated part of the purpose for him, but the breast is still there for comfort.

2. Limitations: Right after weaning, I set no boundaries since it was difficult for the both of us; we both missed the intimacy nursing provided. Next, I cut out car-time cuddling (if he was having a rough day, I used to hold/nurse him in the car). Next, only letting him hold them at home. Then, I started postponing and being really busy when he'd ask, which cut down on the amount of time or he'd forget. Finally, having him hold stuffed animals got one hand diverted away.

Was thinking of doing this next:

Wearing a t-shirt and thin bra, so the smell is there but he can't reach down, just hug and snuggle.

Tickling once he starts to reach down, so he gets that hugging and holding stays sweet, reaching for boobies means playtime and little to no comfort.

Best of luck to all of you ladies! Just remember, this phase is over in an instant. When they start asking for the car keys we will be WISHING they were still small, asking to be held and comforted. Stay loving, always.
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