cross-posted with childhood years. i am posting it here, though it is not exactly related to weaning, as i noticed that nursing beyond infancy is devoted more to younger toddlers.
ever since dd was a baby, she wanted to be conforted by nursing. before i had my ds, i sometimes wondered if it was me, offering too much. now i know -- ds does not like to be comforted by nursing, and is very clear about it. and i never just silenced her with my boob, but it was clear to me that this was what she wanted, and it was always offered in the sight of hurt or upset, together with other comforts, such as hugging, cuddling etc.
dd is not a cuddly child, has never been.
she will be 4 in 1.5 months.
several months ago she was nursing more than her 15 m old baby brother. and she was losing her latch, thus making nursing quite uncomfortable. i started to hint to her that maybe she could go without nursing, and we had several weaning parties, after which she would pretty much tell me that she was not done, and i allowed her to change her mind, as i saw she really needed it. after the weaning parties she started nursing only once or twice a day.
for several weeks she would even skip days.
in the last weeks she asks to nurse several times a day. we do not have any rules re how many times she nurses. she nurses when she wakes up, most days.
then during the day, when either really hurt or upset or frustrated, or obviosly faking being hurt (like falling on her knees in front of me and crying) she asks to nurse: "I am hurt, therefore i need to nurse".
i tell her that i will comfort her in other ways, and offer hugs, and cuddles. most of the time she refuses. she says that only nursing calms her down. i have to admit this attitude does irritate me to some extent, and i am also worried that she is not accepting other ways of comfort.
if i ask her to brainstorm, she refuses, and only speaks of nursing.
i usually try to talk to her and comfort her through my words and actions, and tell her that she can nurse when she is calm. but i feel conflicted about this too. i usually try to avoid being conditional.
sometimes she would request cow's milk instead of nursing, and she feels that the milk with honey is enough to comfort her.
i am becoming concerned about this.
her other approach, like for example right now, is to come to me and to insist that she is a real baby (not just feeling like a baby, as i suggest) and to request nursing. she is usually good at stopping when i ask her to.
but my basic worry is her intense desire to nurse or to drink milk when she needs comfort. i don't want her to be dependent on food.
is she too yougn to generalise from this?
any ideas on how to deal with it?
i don't want to wean her, as she is obviously not ready, but i am not too thrilled with her nursing, and especially when her requests to nurse are related to faking upset. she is so desperate to be nursing. i think she will nurse till she is 18