Advice on not weaning - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 10-24-2005, 02:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I hope this is an appropriate forum for my question. I'm asking here because I a huge part of me doesn't want to wean, and I'd appreciate advice from people who won't rush to say "Wean her!"

My dd is 2 years old. She nurses a minimum of 3-4 times a day, and a maximum of who knows. Some days, she nurses a lot. She nurses 0-2 times at night. She'd be fine without the night nursings.

The problem I'm having is at bedtime. She nurses before bed, and then her dad puts her to sleep. (She doesn't fall asleep while nursing). When she's done with the serious nursing, she gets rough. She'll hit, pinch, and sometimes bite me. If I try and head off the problem by noticing the moment she stops being serious, she will still attack me. She'll even hit my glasses off my face or pull my hair.

She's a physical child, and this is all a part of her personality. In other words, there is no quick fix to her behavior. She gets rough in other situations too. (Both with me and other people).

I've been maintaining my calm about the evening nursie-attacks, but in all honesty when she does this I feel fed up. Why share my body with someone who abuses it? Yes, she's just a toddler, but at what point does my physical integrity count for something?

I don't know what to do. The world won't end if I decide to wean. But I don't want to punish her. I just want to not be abused! If I don't have the choice, do I keep nursing and work through the frustration, or do I wean?

Like I said, I realize this is an iffy place to ask "Should I wean?" but I value the insight and experience you mamas have.

Thank you so much, and I hope I haven't offended by posting this.
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#2 of 9 Old 10-24-2005, 03:04 AM
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I would not wean. I think she knows that you are safe and she is testing the world around her. I would talk to her - in a way that you would a grown up- and tell her that you don't like it and it hurts and it hurts your feelings etc. They understand more than we usually give them credit for.

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#3 of 9 Old 10-24-2005, 11:54 AM
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Do you know any thing about sensory integration disorder?

I don't think my children really have it, but some of the therapy that they do for those kids who need more and more stimulation really helped with my youngest. The idea is that these kids crave lots of stimulation in thier bodies--they like to jump off tall things, hit things hard, go faster, higher, and longer.

If you are interested, I'll post more ideas.
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#4 of 9 Old 10-24-2005, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I do know a little about SID, and I had dd evaluated by an OT some months ago. She is definately a child who seeks out extra stimulation, although she doesn't have SID. We were alrady doing many of the things the OT suggested, and we've incorporated some of her suggestions that we weren't trying.

I suppose I could write a social story about how to nurse.

Thank you for the inspiration.
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#5 of 9 Old 10-24-2005, 05:58 PM
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Mallory - this sounds a little like my ds. Not to an extreme but he sure is much more intense than my laid-back first son. Enough to make me go out and get "Parenting your Spirited Child", lol.

He went through an extremely intense phase of hard-core twiddling during bedtime nursing where he would have both hands going, in hurtful ways, that made me feel betrayed in a way. I chose to end nursing sessions more quickly, and it did work out. Now he's at the age where I can talk to him about hitting and hurting. It's a work in progress.

Ds seeks out major stimulation at bedtime and if we don't provide it he creates it. He has some really active reading sessions with daddy where he blows off some steam before I nurse him.
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#6 of 9 Old 10-25-2005, 09:13 AM
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I would not wean her, mainly b/ c I doubt breastfeeding is the cause of her behavior. (My son nursed until he was 4, daughter #2 until she was 3). There were times, esp with my son, where if he was too active in a way that caused me pain while nursing, I stopped the session right then and there and told him exactly why. I wanted nursing time to be calm, quiet, for settling at night, for quick "check ins" during the day, etc, special time between us which it often was. If he was too rough I explained this to him, ended the session, and told him we would try again later. At the beginning of the next session I reminded him to be gentle. A few days of this consistancy diffused problems quickly. I am all for long term nursing, but Mom should enjoy it too, and should not feel like she has to sit there and bear pain (even with a newborn!). The advantage with older kids is that you can explain to them what the problem is and why you are chosing to end a session, etc. Here is a dramatic example: I remember being at a friend's house and her 3 year old daughter approached to nurse, but my friend was not ready for that as she was in the middle of something else. She took her daughter on her lap and explained they would nurse "soon". The kid starting beating her mother's chest with her fists and screaming "Nurse me! Nurse me!" over and over again." The mother gave in. I would have sent that kid to her room or at least away from me until she could be kind and calm down a little before nursing. Instead, she pulled violently at her mother the whole time, asserting her control, which she clearly had. This was so stressful for my friend, who contunued to nurse under these conditions rather than teaching her daughter to be respectful of her mother's body (and thus, her own and everyone's body).
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#7 of 9 Old 10-30-2005, 02:38 PM
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I second, I do not let my daughter hurt me during nursing. But this is something I have always taught her, so she doesn't want to hurt me then, yk? We talked about this at my last LLL meeting. It is possible she's ready to try giving up that nursing, and have dh put her to bed, but not weaning. Or she needs a rough and tumble play, as a pp suggested, before or after the nursing session. If you have been letting her be rough, it will be confusing for her if you abrubtly change. But I do think that allowing her to treat you as you do not want to be treated is setting a dangerous precedent, and the stage for later behavior and power struggles. My dh has interfered when dd has treated me roughly, and this helped her to understand that this wasn't something only mommy found unacceptable, everyone finds it so.
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#8 of 9 Old 10-30-2005, 11:41 PM
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I think you could set firm limits regarding behavior during nursing, or that specific nursing session comes to an end. "Oh no, that hurts mama. Bye-bye nursers, we can nurse when --- is more gentle and wants to nurse nicely" That is kind of how I did it with my kids. Even trying again in 2 minutes sets the limit that hurting or rough-housing is not allowed during nursing.

Good luck!
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#9 of 9 Old 10-31-2005, 05:27 PM
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I don't see any link between nursing or stopping nursing and her behaviour - so my inclination would be not to wean but rather to be firm in stopping the behaviour quickly and effectively before or as soon as it starts eg. holding her hands, telling her firmly that she is not to do that. You feel abused but she is not in reality abusing you - she is releasing some kind of tension - I think it is more your job to try to divert this energy in some other way..........sorry I can't come up with any other concrete ideas
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