My 3 1/2 year-old son continues to want to breastfeed even though the milk has dried up. It's been like this for about six months and I'm wondering if he'll eventually want to stop. I tell him "the milkies have dried up" and he says "no they haven't." So we continue on. We nurse in the morning and it's a bit painful as there is no lubricant.
Should I tell him that the time has come to "no more milkies?" We have a wonderful bond, we've co-slept since day on and both my husband and I are stay-at-home parents, working part-time from home.
What to do?
Yes, it can be quite painful to nurse when you are not exclusively nursing. First, I would ask that are you sure the milk has dried up? Children are very good at extracting milk when we think we might be empty. Second, perhaps your son needs more touch, cuddling, physical proximity. We think they are big boys at 3.5 years, but they still need a lot of physical closeness. Third, weaning has to be mutually respectful. Whoever says "no" rules. If you are uncomfortable nursing, please honour your feelings and simple say, "My breasts are empty. Lets sit here, cuddle and read a story instead." Boundaries are important for everyone.
Author of the print bestseller, Discipline Without Distress: 135 tools for raising caring, responsible children without time-out, spanking, punishment or bribery, and the new book, Parenting With Patience: Turn frustration into connection with 3 easy steps. President and best of all, Mom of three adults (in university) and two teens! Judy just co-founded Unschooling Canada Association