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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am heartbroken.

DD is 2.5 and I am 30 weeks pregnant. Anneke has been so difficult to live with recently. She has been tantruming like crazy about every little thing and it is really hard on all of us. She wants to nurse a lot. A whole lot. I let her nurse as much as she wants for the most part, but she also wants to pinch the other nipple which I do not allow her to do. This makes her furious.

She also is always begging to nurse when I'm in the shower, when I'm eating, basically any time I'm not paying 100% attention to her.

DH thinks that nursing make the tantrums worse since many of them deal directly with nursing -- if I can't nurse her that second, she freaks out (like rolling on the floor screaming and hitting and kicking and yelling "GO AWAY DADA"), if I don't let her hit/kick/pinch me, she freaks out. It is so hard. Sometimes I really do wish I had weaned her a long time ago -- like six months ago, or even a few months ago when I had no milk and it seemed like she would have been okay with it. (Sleeping through the night, even!) I would love it if she decided to wean right now, but I would just feel horrible pushing it when we have a new baby coming who will be nursing all time time and we will also be moving shortly after the baby is born. It would just break her little heart, I think.

I just feel like I can do it if I can just make it over this hump. I feel like she's going through some kind of major developmental hump and also getting over a cold and that nursing really helps her through that. But it is so hard when DH is dragging me back. I tried to explain to him that I feel that nursing is a personal choice between me and Anneke, but he already feels like Parent Number 2 and wants to be involved.

I just don't know how to talk to him about it. Does anyone have any great extended nursing links? Like AFTER age 2? Thanks for reading if you made it this far.
 

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Hi, I am also 30 weeks and nursing my four year old. Nursing is finally easier for me since my breasts are not as sore as they were earlier in the pregnancy.

I want to send you some really big <<<<HUGS>>>>> because I know how awesome you are for making it this far with pregnancy and toddler nursing.

Can I also reassure you that your little girl is going through a completely normal stage and that this will pass. Her need for you is very intense because she is still so very little and this is a huge time of development for her. She is going through that first adolescense of growing from baby to big kid and soon to be big sister. It is an awful lot for a little one to go through. She will still need to be your baby too for a long time but will also spread her wings and become more independant. Each day will seem like one step forward and two back. But as you look back you will see how far she has come and be so proud of her accomplishments.

I really believe what works best for me during these times is to do a nurse-in. That is where I spend as much time as the child needs nursing or at least as much as I can without getting sore or touched out until this intense need passes. It will pass. During that time I do not allow my husband to interfere. It is really hard for dads because they want to help and they want to protect us as mothers from what they may see as overwhelming demands. Sometimes we are sending negative messages that make them want to rescue us like eye rolling or statements about being touched out. I have to be careful about that. It is better to let them know that you need help with cooking or laundry for a few days so that you can help the child through whatever is bothering them. This stage will pass and one day she will be daddy's shadow and you will wonder where your baby went.

Are you getting support at LLL or another place?

Hang in there. I promise this can get better. You might look for Hilary Flowers book on Tandem Nursing too. It is really great.
 

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hugs.
i wish i had some great links, but i don't. what i do have is personal experience.

my boys (now 2.5 and 4) are 19 mths apart and although we, too, went through some rough spots, i am soooooo glad i did not let anyone (including dh who thought it was too much to still be nursing) talk me into weaning.

ds1 transitioned beautifully when ds2 was born with the help of nursing. we did work on nursing manners and things that are and are not ok. i felt like, hey, i am a person too...i need consideration and boundaries for tandem nursing to work...and for me to not be resentful. we did not have the set backs and jealousy stuff i hear many moms talk about. ds1 was allowed to nurse whenever ds2 did, but only after mom was situated and ds2 was well into the nursing session. in the beginning i made special nighttime time for ds1 to nurse alone....this warped into me nursing both of them and rocking them to sleep...stomping my foot on the floor (upstairs) so dh would come up and get ds1 into bed, then ds2. tandem nursing has been like magic for us.

i say go with your gut. you are the one who will be alone with two babies once dh goes back to work (assuming he is taking a few days to be home). and it is not easy to meet everyone's needs, but nursing did help me A LOT!

your dd also feels all of the pressure, stress, whatever of your changing family. taking nursing away now (unless it is what you need to do to be a sane mama) might only make all of it harder. just my opinion...good luck.
 

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oh, been there, mama. been there.

have you talked to him about the reality that if you try to wean her the trantruming will only get worse during that time, not better? also the fact that cutting her off this close to when the new baby arrives might make her feel really rejected, which could in and of itself cause her behavior to worsen (or could cause regression in other areas, like pottying or sleeping). six months ago is one thing, but allowing for a gentle process that will take at minimum a few weeks, if not several months, the timing would really be awful for your DD, IMO. just when she needs to know nothing's changed and mommy will always be there for her, that will be thrown into question.

my DH had a hard time with my choice to nurse through pregnancy and to tandem - largely because i had always said i didn't want to, and he worried that i was doing something i wasn't happy with out of perceived guilt. but when i talked to him and explained that what really changed in my mind was that i realized how much DD still *needed* to nurse, and that when we did put limits on her nursing during pregnancy it was *so* hard for everyone that it made me realize she just wasn't ready - whatever i wanted, i didn't want her to be miserable, which she clearly would have been if i tried to wean.

he also was concerned because she was soooo mommy focused at that stage, didn't like to accept comforting from him much at all, and he was worried i was "spoiling" her. but now that she's a total daddy's girl 4 yo, he realizes it was just her stage of development, and that if anything having me there during that critical time in the way she needed me to be allowed her to branch out in her own time to other relationships and feel secure that i'd always be there when she came back, kwim?

honestly, it wasn't until i MLW'd my DD when she was 3 yo, after tandeming for almost a year, that DH truly understood. there were no tears, no fits, no looking back. at that point it was easy for her to let go of nursing - it was rare that i nursed her when she fell, for example, at that point. she would often just ask for a cuddle or kisses or to read a book or to have a drink or a snack. or literally just say "mama, i need some attention." whereas a year earlier nursing was the answer to everything, and trying to wean her would've been a nightmare for all of us.

with DS, the subject hasn't even come up about if or when i'll wean him. i think DH now realizes it will happen in its own good time, when DS and i are ready. and all those worries he had earlier have cleared from his mind as he's witnessed our DD grow into a well-attached and delightful young girl.

perhaps by sharing this story, and others, with your DH, it will help him to understand? it is really so hard to BF'd for a longer period of time than is societally "acceptable" - not just for the mamas, but for the papas too. do you know any families that have been through tandem nursing, or even just extended bf'ing? maybe if he could talk to another dad whose BTDT, it'd help ease his mind. much like i did at the time, DH felt pretty isolated in our weirdness - none of our close friends even nursed their kids to a year, let alone 3, and all supplemented with formula from the get-go, pushed solids at like 4 months, etc. so he just felt like a weirdo. it's really helped that now we know some crunchier families that do things like we do - makes him (and me) feel like we're not *quite* as wacko as some might think


oh - ETA - just had one more thought, which is that he is probably also just a little stressed out about the impending changes that your family is going to undergo. it's hard to see into the future or to know how a new baby is going to affect the family, and it can be stressful and nerve wracking. i had to remind myself when i was pg both times that it wasn't *only* about me and the baby, that DH was part of it too, and in a way because he was not a direct participant physically, it made it harder for him in some ways to prepare and feel included. so that might be part of it too?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for all the wonderful responses, I really appreciate it.

I have talked to DH about how hard it would be on all of us -- much harder than it is now -- if I weaned her now. I really don't want to start out with resentment towards the new baby. He still thinks that weaning her now would give her enough time to get over it. That's two months. I just can't see myself doing it at all.

Thank you to those of you recommended I try to look at it from my DH's perspective. I know that deep down, the reason that he wants me to wean is because he knows that nursing hurts me right now and he sees me struggle to get her to stop pinching and hurting me. I just can't get him to understand that it would be so so much worse for me if she wasn't nursing. It would be bad.

I love the idea of a nurse -in. It really doesn't hurt as much as it did and I think I could nurse her a lot if I relaxed some more. We're going camping this weekend, but I'll be home alone with her all day on Monday, so maybe I'll try it then. We'll camp out and read books and nurse all day.

I just wish I understood what she is going through. She just seems so full of frustration and I just don't know how to help her. Dh has a really hard time with tantruming and the fits she throws. It's like she's totally changed in the last month or so. And it really scares me to have another baby.
 

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I don't yet have a two year old so take from this what you will.

At that age their tantrums are a developmental thing. It's not really about nursing, it's about them pushing boundaries and being frustrated when they can't express their emotions with their words. And two year olds can also be dealing with separation anxiety which may be why she doesn't respond well to your husband's attempts to calm her.

My niece and SIL, not breastfeeding, stayed with us for a weekend back in March, she was 26 months at the time. My niece threw many tantrums in the three days that they were here; at least five a day. Whenever my SIL walked out of the room my niece would start crying and screaming "Mommy, mommy, mommy" and would not stop until SIL was back from the other room, bathroom, where ever she had gone, even if my niece was perfectly happy playing with someone else before SIL left the room.

These things really have nothing to do with breastfeeding or not breastfeeding. And IMO abrupt weaning will only add stress for your child. If you were to wean the tantrums wouldn't go away they would just be about something else.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ani'smommy View Post
... I just wish I understood what she is going through. She just seems so full of frustration and I just don't know how to help her. Dh has a really hard time with tantruming and the fits she throws. It's like she's totally changed in the last month or so. And it really scares me to have another baby.
ani'smommy,
My best guess is that DC1 is conflicted between her growing independence and her strong need for you. And this is converging on a big impending change. I'm no expert but am inclined to agree that nursing is a good tool to have in your parenting kit during the challenging times ahead and that now is probably the worst time to try and go without it.

She is likely to be even needier when DC2 is born by virtue of the fact that she has had a good coping mechanism taken away from her at the very time she needs it most.

Having said that, if you were physically uncomfortable I'd be the first to support a gentle Mother Led Weaning ... well as gentle as possible. Typically that means lots of extra hugs and cuddles, distraction, re-direction, play dates, getting out of the house, lots of new activities, etc, etc, etc. The problem with that is it can take even more energy than nursing. Of course DH can help with the distraction, re-direction, etc. and he can't help with the nursing.

Perhaps you could try to strike a balance by gradually removing one nursing a day, and seeing how that goes. I'd suggest replacing it with half an hour or so of special time with Daddy. It would probably be more effective if the special time were initiated just before a typical nursing time, in other words before she actually goes looking to nurse, so you are pre-empting the request.

This might actually ease the transition when the baby is born.

Good luck, ~Cath
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, if it was up to me, I would tandem. I just don't feel like there is enough time to wean her now before the baby's born. She will totally remember and want to nurse when she sees a baby nursing.

And really it's getting more comfortable.

It is just so frusterating because I have worked so hard to nurse her this long, battleing many months of thrush and mastitis, not to mention all the pumping, and then to have to quit like this. It just sucks.

DH hasn't brought it up again, and nursing isn't as painful as it was, so we'll see what happens.

And yeah, weaning her woudl be a hell of a lot more work and stress for both of us than to continue nursing.
 
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