Weaning 4 year old/don't offer don't refuse out the window - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 6 Old 01-20-2005, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey all,
I'm about 18 weeks pregnant and have a 4 year old son. For the majority of my pregnancy so far it hasn't been so bad with nursing, but recently it is just unbearable.
Started with the heebie jeebies, now it's just full on pain
The problem is, he's asking ot nurse and I'm saying no. My plans for CLW are also out the window like I've read others say in other posts, but I'm wondering if this is really traumatic or if it's just a break in routine for him.
His usual nursing routing nowadays is to nurse to sleep and when he wakes up in the a.m., he automatically just says "boobie". Not so sure that it's because he necessarily needs it to start his day, but something he's been saying for what, 3 years????
When the pain began we talked about it and I told him we'd have to do boobie for only a minute or even a few seconds. Incredibly when we started this, even if it was for five seconds that I could stand it, he'd unhook himself and be asleep faster than he would have been had he been nursing. This was my first clue that maybe he's actually ready and my pregnancy is coinciding with this.
Now, for the last few days he hasn't nursed at all, and it's really only because I'm telling him no. He's not putting up much of a fight or even raising his voice when I tell him that we just can't do it (in so many words.). So again, is this telling me he's really ready anyway? And by the way, when we go to sleep now, I just put my arm around him and he's asleep very quickly. We go back and forth two or three times about no boobie and then that's it. I think now we're just at that point where the last step is to just not ask for it anymore.
I asked him if he wanted a boobie cake and he really doesn't. We talked about getting a boobie cake when he stopped nursing; this was a while ago, but he does remember it. He understands what's going on and I'm sure it's because he doesn't want to mark it as an end. In all honesty I probably wouldn't mind if he started back up after the baby is born. Then again he's very territorial when it comes to nursing and I am thinking it's best to put some time between him not nursing and the baby coming rather than try to delegate boobs.
I haven't noticed any marked change in his behavior since this has happened. The kid has nursed every single day of his life so far, so I expected something but I really haven't seen a change.
The sad thing is I can't really say that I'm upset about it. I am not feeling compassion and maybe it's because I don't need to, or because I'm being selfish???? Who knows!!
Anyway, I guess this is just a vent; wondering if anyone is going through something similar!
Karen
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#2 of 6 Old 01-24-2005, 01:13 AM
 
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well, I don't have any advice. but I am in a similar situation, although I am not pregnant. I need to wean my just turned 4 year old because I need to take some long-term medication that I cannot do while my daughter is nursing. I am concerned about traumatizing her by just withdrawing the breast. I have started telling her stories about animals that have milk, then get older, then don't have mamma's milk anymore. I'm hoping it will set her up for either weaning herself (which I would be surprised if it happened that way), or me telling her we have to quit because I have to take medication.

Nursing has been a big part of our lives, and I would like it to end pleasantly. I really just don't know how to go about weaning her. If you have any suggestions, I would welcome them.
Dawn
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#3 of 6 Old 01-24-2005, 02:31 AM
 
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Dawn, before you wean her, I'd post in the breastfeeding forum with the name of your medication, and let some of the mamas there look it up for you in Hale's. From what I understand, there's almost no medication that is truly incompatible with breastfeeding, although pretty much every doctor will tell you that you must wean. They don't really know. Hale's is supposed to have the real deal on meds.

~*Kristi*~
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#4 of 6 Old 01-24-2005, 04:07 AM
 
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Moved this to breastfeeding since its not about CLW

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#5 of 6 Old 01-24-2005, 04:23 AM
 
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Karen, I had to ask dd to dramatically shorten nursings and unlatch to fall asleep early in my pregnancy (I dried up and was having pain and aversion issues). I wasn't trying to get her to wean, but it had a weanish affect, since it set off a big change in her nursing pattern. Anyway, I eventually felt that dealing with the nursing situation was part of how we had dealt with the pregnancy, and getting used to a new baby. That probably sounds pretty much like, wean the old baby so she'll be more independent, but that's not what I mean. In some ways, we became more intimate, and she assumed a place in my bodily consciousness that gives me my feeling for how she and I and the baby will be connected. She has an amazing awareness of the pregnancy. Now that the colostrum is here and my hormones seem to have changed again, she can nurse for longer periods and sometimes falls asleep nursing, but that feels just right now, and the psychic change is still there.

So I doubt you are being selfish. This is an area where one has to go with the flow.

Oye Yemaya oloto
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#6 of 6 Old 01-24-2005, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Since your daughter is 4, it's a great idea to talk about it a lot; she will understand! It's not as if she's 2 or even 3. When they're this age, and especially when they're girls they'll at least know where you're coming from even if they don't like it.
What we had been doing is I'd let him nurse, but we'd have time limits. Shortly after we began doing that he was asking for time limits (koo koo!!!) in a way anyway... Then when I'd say it was time he'd be fine with that.
I didn't think we'd be boob free this quickly, but we pretty much are. I'd say just give it as much time as you can because you really have no idea how long it will take. The more time you have the more gentle you can be, not as much pressure. on either of you.
In our case I was concerned he'd have baby resentment. I just tell him like it is; with a baby inside of a mom, there are chemicals that go into my body that make my boobs hurt. This kid is big on chemicals by the way so that's why I said it like that. Just be honest with her and it will be appreciated.
I think that's really all I can say!
Take care,
Karen
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