Respectfully setting some limits... - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 13 Old 02-02-2003, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm getting a little burned out here. DS has started this thing where as soon as we sit down for a meal he starts signing frantically for nursing and for wanting down from the table. It's driving me crazy. I not only want to eat my meal when it's hot, i need to eat at regular intervals because i have hypoglycemia. Delaying meals to nurse ds is making my hypoglycemia even worse, meaning that i get realllly grumpy and shakey and cant think straight. So if i nurse him, then i'm suffering and if i dont nurse him, well, i dont not nurse him because he just wails.

So i guess the question is, what exactly do i do to help ds get thru mealtimes without needing to nurse? I want to be respectful to him bc his needs are important too, but i think it's time to start gently implementing some rules.

ps. I am going to get mothering your nursing toddler from the library the next time we go, but i NEED ideas now!!
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#2 of 13 Old 02-02-2003, 02:19 PM
 
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oh my god, i am walking this same path, but without your hypoglycemia! shoshanna is just a month younger than your bambino, and she too is signing to nurse all the $^&$&*%&%^# time. it's getting ridiculous. she does it when i am trying to dry my hair, when i'm reading, eating, whatever. she'll nurse, leave, play for about 2 minutes, and then come back and ask to nurse! so i'm trying not to sit down very often! i try to distract her with a book or toy or SOMETHING. you may have to eat separately from him, if that's even possible. we've been eating in shifts -- i get to eat while sean reads to or plays with shosh, and then when i finish he gets to eat.
i hope some more experienced moms answer this thread, because i need some help too!
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#3 of 13 Old 02-02-2003, 02:29 PM
 
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Well, I'm a complete pushover when my dd (20mo) wants to nurse so here's a tactic I use: I go eat my dinner while she's still playing or occupied with something else. Actually, we rarely eat at our table. Usually we just eat at the coffee table so dd can run around since there's no telling whether or not she'll actually be in the mood to sit still. We always have some healthy snacks available and just graze most of the time.

Can you find a comfy spot to nurse and eat? If I sit on the floor near the coffee table, dd can nurse while I can still reach my food.

I do hope that someday we'll get to eat a real meal at the table, but right now, I'd rather just eat.
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#4 of 13 Old 02-02-2003, 03:05 PM
 
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hi there

I have diabetes so I can relate what you mean about eating regularly and on time to avoid hypo. I found I had to have snacks and meals that are easy to prepare and eat without too much hassle during the day then when dh is home I can hand dd to him.

i learned to eat and type one handed while nursing.

i would eat anywhere in the house.

be flexible and go with the flow. not sure how old your child is. perhaps he associate your mealtime as his too? if he is a toddler and is eating, perhaps mention when mama finishes her meal then its snuggle and milk time but now is eating time?

i never could restrcit nursing with my dd and still cant now am tandem nursing 2 weeks old and 34 mos.

good luck and remember to look after yourself first. a weak mama is worse than a crying baby. i have to remind myself that too although hard when i have low abd baby or toddler is crying for milk.

hugs and by the way mothering your nursin toddlerr is a great book!!!
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#5 of 13 Old 02-02-2003, 04:17 PM
 
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I've recently decided that I am just not nursing my ds while I'm eating a meal. I just won't do it. I starting telling him firmly but cheerfully, "Oh no. Mama's eating now. We don't nurse while mama's eating. We can nurse right when I finish though." For a couple days, he wailed. But he eventually seemed to accept it as a (possibly sad) fact of life that we don't nurse during mealtimes. It has been a *very* worthwhile limit to set!
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#6 of 13 Old 02-02-2003, 05:49 PM
 
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Aster, and others-

Gather all the ideas from here and from Mothering Your Nursing Toddler. Weaning Happens is another good book. Now, remember, you are an individual (with unique health issues and personality traits), and your small nursing person is an individual too. So, try out and or all of the suggestions. Some may work for you, some may not.

Some moms may have a real need for regualr mealtimes. Some toddlers amy be so spirited/insistent/hungry they won't agree to delay a nurse. If your child gets too upset to delay a nurse while you eat, the idea of sitting on the floor by a low table of food, nursing while eating, may work (esp if he sees the food there, and takes some of it, after nursing. Make sure there is lots of water available too). Or, you could just sneak in your meal, by having it at the counter while he plays, if sitting down is too associated with nursing. No, you won't have to stand to eat forever!

Remember, nursing a toddler is a 2 way street. Your feelings and needs are important too. I am all in favor of teaching "nursing manners" to older babies and toddlers.

For those with tandem nursing toddlers/preschoolers, can you delay or shorten feeds? Can you let them nurse while youc ount to 10, for ex? Really, a 34 mo should not need to nurse as aften, or certainly for as long, as a newborn. All successful EBF moms learn to set limits to make everyone as comfortable as possible. It's called compromise. Don't let an older nursling think they can demand to nurse any time, leaving you feeling used. That is not necc a good lesson to teach your child.

Breastfeeing is certainly a womanly art. It is part of the relationship dance you and your child are doing.
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#7 of 13 Old 02-02-2003, 07:42 PM
 
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Daryll : "All successful EBF moms learn to set limits to make everyone as comfortable as possible. It's called compromise. Don't let an older nursling think they can demand to nurse any time, leaving you feeling used. That is not necc a good lesson to teach your child."

How wise - sometimes we all need this reminder. Thank you.
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#8 of 13 Old 02-02-2003, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There are some great ideas in this thread.

I'd be interested in hearing some more examples of how other mama's set limits on breastfeeding in their homes.
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#9 of 13 Old 02-03-2003, 01:58 AM
 
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I agree with mamaduck and also with whoever mentioned the whole "two way street" thing. I am nursing my 2.5 year old and we have major limits to which he is hapily abe to adhere. When he was about 20 months old, I stopped nursing him for "owwies" because he would dramatize the minor injuries all day long and I didn't like it. I just would hold him, cuddle him and ask, would you like to read a book on my bed?" Soon instead of asking to nurse, my crazy kid would be crying from a legitimate injury, "Read a book!" Surprisingly, it was quite easy to switch his association from nursing to reading when hurt! Also, at around the age of 2, I gradually eliminated all other nursings except two- right when he wakes up in the morning, and right after his one afternoon nap. Lately, he doesn't take the afternoon nap any more- and he knows he only gets the afternoon nursing if he naps, so he rarely asks for that, either. The morning is our sacred time, though. I could probably think more clearly on this and explain exactly how I did what I did to get us to this point, so maybe I'll pm you if I get my mind around it a little better tomorrow. Anyway, I am not trying to wean him and am perfectly happy nursing him 1/2 times a day for as long as he would like!
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#10 of 13 Old 02-03-2003, 12:01 PM
 
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The book HOW WEANING HAPPENS is great for learning that compromise and give and take are a normal part of the todller-nursing relationship.

Have you ever nursed a standing toddler one on side while eating with the other arm? I have

You might enjoy "Freezer Cooking" also known as "Bulk Cooking" or "Once a Month Cooking." The idea is you make up a bunch of entrees once a month (or just double today's dinner) and freeze.
There are sites if you search for these phrases. If you have a friend/mom etc they can help you cook or you can trade off child care.

Starting dinner in the morning can help. A crockpot can help.

Cooking and preparing food when the child is busy can definitely help. Even with older kids I've gotten REALLY flexible about when I cook dinner, about when to expect a meal that is hot, etc.

OH! And your toddler also may need to nurse often because of blood sugar issues (even a normal healthy toddler.) Check out the "nibble tray" idea for kids in Dr. Sears "The Baby Book" where he puts an ice cube tray on a low shelf of the fridge with different snacks in it so if you HAVE to eat NOW your child can grab a snack too.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#11 of 13 Old 02-03-2003, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, okay, thanks for the feedback mama's.

For now i'm going to try nursing ds immediately before we sit down for meals and see if that helps. I'm also going to try to make his food more toddler friendly so that maybe he'll be distracted enough by it to do some sort of 'food play' at meals. I'll also try nursing him briefly if he really seems to NEEd nursing during the meal--and we can work on decreasign the length of the meal-time feed. I really dont know if it's for comfort or nutrition.

It seems like this is kind of a fuzzy area between breastfeeding and gentle discipline. Boo needs to be fed and needs the comfort of bf'ing but also needs the ritual and structure and socialization of regular daily routines like mealtimes.

Being a parent is so tough, it's hard to know what the right thing to do is sometimes. ITA that nursing a toddler is a 2way street. It's just so hard to make sure that my needs get met too. It seems like it's just easier to make sure that everyone else's needs are met first. Intellectually i know that i need to take care of me first or there's going to be nothing left for anyone else, but in reality it feels like it's my job as full time nursing mom to make sure that boo's needs met first. I guess that's why i'm feeling burned out.
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#12 of 13 Old 02-03-2003, 06:31 PM
 
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Hmm, I don't think it is a fussy distinction. Respectful relationships are a major goal of GD, and breastfeeding is a part of that.

But I agree about the parenting being tough part!!!!
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#13 of 13 Old 02-03-2003, 08:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aster
Intellectually i know that i need to take care of me first or there's going to be nothing left for anyone else, but in reality it feels like it's my job as full time nursing mom to make sure that boo's needs met first. I guess that's why i'm feeling burned out.
I can totally relate. And once in a while, when I try to do something for me, dd (20mo) cries about me leaving. But just in the last week or two, dd has cheerfully let me leave her with her dh or left me home to go with dh. It felt SO good. I'm so glad that I've always done my best to meet her needs. I think we each have to judge our child's temperament and act accordingly. (And our own temparent, too.) We also want to set a good example for our kids (by not sacrificing too much.)
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