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Discussion Starter #1
I'm hoping to CLW. DS is 18mos though & I'm already frequently growing annoyed at his requests to nurse. I don't mind nursing through the night & I love nursing in the mornings, but by the evenings I just DON'T. WANT. TO. NURSE. Lately I have DH take DS to play outside or in another room, because otherwise he'll ask to nurse, and I don't want to.<br><br>
He's a very high-needs kid, and I think part of the issue is that I just need a break by the end of the day. But also, evening is when he wants to nurse every 5 minutes, whereas the rest of the day he's OK with every hour or two. Plus I am just starting to feel better after a 5-year-long chronic illness that now I think was actually food allergies -- so I have a bit of 'spring fever' wanting to be up & about & doing things rather than just being still & nursing, and evenings are when I'm most energetic.<br><br>
I don't want to wean but I don't want to resent nursing! He also doesn't eat a ton of table food yet so he really does rely on nursing for a lot of his nutrition, but he does accept food when DH gives it to him while I'm in the other room. I have a lot of trouble setting limits on it & we nursed on demand until about 2 months ago (he was nursing 20+ times a day & we finally started offering food instead sometimes because that frequent nursing was just driving me nuts). I'm happy to nurse him after dinner & before bed, but I'd love to NOT nurse in between, or maybe only once (there are about 4-5 hours between dinner & bed). Lots of evening snacks help but as soon as he's in my presence all he wants is to nurse. At this rate, I don't know how we're going to make it to 2 years (my bare minimum) never mind CLW!!!
 

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From what I'm hearing, your child seems to be sensing your stress and wanting to nurse to relieve it. He figures, nursing feels good and makes him happy, it should make you feel happy too. However, your best bet might be some me time. We get so tied up giving to our children, that we sometimes forget to take time for ourselves. Sometimes, a 10 minute shower, ALONE, is what we need to recharge.<br><br>
What worked best for me was sleeping in on Saturday mornings. After our daughter would do her morning feed, DH would take her to play, "eat" breakfast, whatever he could do to buy me 2 hours of peace, quiet, and aloneness. Sometimes I would actually sleep, but under no circumstances did I leave the room, otherwise, she considered me fair game for nursing.<br><br>
For me (and I hope I'm not going completely against CLW) it is okay to set reasonable limits for your child. It doesn't seem inappropriate to ask my 2 year old, to wait until I'm done in the bathroom to nurse, or "we'll nurse after lunch."<br><br>
At 18 months, you should be able to maybe delay him a few minutes to finish what you are doing, and then sit and nurse. The toddler years are such an important time to teach a balance between providing what your baby needs and managing what your baby wants. Your baby, isn't such a "baby" any more. The transition to toddler parenting take time and creativity. It is now your job to teach your baby to respect you as a person, and accept that mommy can't do everything, all of the time (and neither can anyone else).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I like that approach, especially teaching him to respect me -- I got so wrapped up in 'providing for him' that it never even crossed my mind that he's old enough now to start teaching him to respect me, my boundaries, etc.<br><br>
I have tried working more 'me time' into the week... it just doesn't really seem to work for me though. I'll go out for 45mins or an hour here & there and come back feeling just as stressed because DH didn't remember to make dinner or change DS's diaper or something... or even if DH does everything right, I get stressed out just being out & dealing with rude people (i.e. other drivers, shoppers, etc.) I guess I am just a high-stress person. I think it will help when the weather improves (it's either unbearably hot & humid or raining) so I can just take a walk by myself or with the family. I need to get more exercise too but it's hard because it seems like DS's need to nurse always interferes. I guess I'm just not good at transitioning from willingly letting him nurse every 20 minutes to "I want some time to myself for an hour" & he's understandably kind of thrown off by my craziness!! DH is really trying hard to help keep DS entertained in another room more often too...<br><br>
I do wonder if you're right, he senses my stress & is trying to relieve it... Because the more stressed & tense I get, the more insistent he is about nursing (which becomes a viscious cycle).
 

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<p>There are lots of limits now DS gets older. When he was a baby I would drop everything and nurse him. Now he's almost 2,5 he needs to wait sometimes. I try to only nurse him before bed and in the morning, but when he clearly needs it during the day I nurse him. But he needs to wait for mommy to go to the toilet first, or get a cup of tea first. I have noticed that he asks for nursing when he needs to connect with me again. I then ask him if he would like to read a book with me, or play with Lego, or whatever. Nine out of ten he chooses that over nursing now. I guess he just wants to know if mommy is still there for him.</p>
 

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<p>I think limits are appropriate and necessary.  Nursing is your child's first (and at this point, most important) relationship.  A relationship isn't about one person, it's about two.  By setting limits to allow you to enjoy nursing, you're teaching your son to respect other people, to distinguish between wants and needs, to compromise, eventually to respond empathetically to other's needs.  Of course, too many or too restrictive limits can lead to an earlier weaning, but so can no limits . . . when Mommy can't stand it any more!</p>
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<p>With my twins, the first limit we set was "no nursing while Mommy is eating."  That was at about 1 year.  There were others as it became appropriate.  We night-weaned at 2 1/2 (big limit!).  I wouldn't nurse them at preschool when I was working there.  At some point, I stopped nursing them simultaneously in public (try to be discreet with two very active preschoolers who are attempting to nurse while wrestling with their sibling. . . heck, forget discreet, try to keep even a tiny bit of skin covered ;-)  For both my DS (one of the twins) and my current 2-year old nursling, a huge limit is "no grabbing Mommy's other nipple" - and I'm very firm about that one, to the point of ending nursing sessions because it makes me crawl out of my skin.  I know there were probably other limits, too!  But as they got older, we didn't need as many limits because the issues resolved themselves and they learned to respect my body, to wait until they could nurse, to accept and even prefer other forms of comfort.  They nursed for 5 1/2 (DS) and 6 (DD) years, so clearly our limits didn't lead to early weaning!</p>
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<p>One thing I did try, with nursing and as much as possible in general, is to respond with "yes" instead of "no".  So I might say, "Yes, you can nurse as soon as I go to the bathroom," instead of "No, Mommy has to go to the bathroom now."  I think knowing that even if they couldn't nurse immediately, they could nurse soon, really helped with accepting limits.  And I always tried to evaluate the need - is the child about to have a meltdown?  Then my tea can wait, we'll sit down and nurse!</p>
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<p>You mention food allergies.  Do you think your DS might also have food allergies?  Some of what you mention (nursing 20+ times a day), not being very interested in table foods, even being "high needs" can be signs of food allergies.  MIght help!</p>
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<p>I definitely think that they sense our stress, and for many toddlers nursing is their biggest comfort.  It sounds like the worst time of day is evenings when your DH is home, and you also mention getting frustrated when you leave DS w/ DH.  Do you think your son might be sensing tension or conflict between you and DH?  My kids all have more temper tantrums and sibling squabbles when DH and I are upset with each other, even if nothing is said out loud.  If part of the issue is that DH isn't getting your frustration with the frequent nursing and your need for him to step up and be the primary parent in the evenings, maybe the two of you could sit down when DS isn't around and really discuss it, come up with a plan for DH to help in the evenings.  Having a united front and a plan can also be so helpful.</p>
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<p>Good luck.  Remember that no matter how long you nurse, your son has already benefited so much.  He's a lucky boy.</p>
 

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<p>I hope you're still reading this stuff as the PP has some great thoughts. Have you tried leaving DH a very detailed list when you leave? I know my DH, unless I tell him "exactly" what he has to do, will do the bare minimum to get by. Sometimes that is ok, and I try not to interfere. It is SO important for our little ones to learn that mommy and daddy are different and we do things differently. Unless your LO was screaming because of not getting a diaper change, it is a battle not worth fighting. BUT, if I need him to start something for dinner or be sure that LO gets a bath or something else important to me being able to come home relaxed, then I make sure he knows my requests and the potential consequences. Consequences like dinner isn't ready so we have to eat out where want, not fast food (a very big deal around here). Or if LO isn't bathed, he still has to do it even though I'm now home.</p>
 

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<p>Thank you for all the input!!! Yes I'm still reading, too tired to formulate a coherent response lol.</p>
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<p>We have been doing better lately but the concept of limits is still something very much on my mind.</p>
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<p>DH has really stepped up lately as I've told him repeatedly how much I need DS to NOT nurse constantly all evening. Sometimes I have to lock myself in the bedroom or leave the house altogether but most of the time DH has been really great for the past few weeks even when I'm right in the room. We really have stepped into pretty set roles of DH being the primary parent at home & me being the primary parent overnight/when DH is working/when I take DS out somewhere. That's helped a lot, though I still feel a sense of guilt at sitting back & letting DH handle things (because it is more related to my illness & physical limitations than an actual desire to lay back & relax all evening, if that makes sense).</p>
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<p>So we are no longer nursing 20+ times a day. I'd say we average around 12 times a day, which I feel is reasonable considering DS is still not eating a whole lot of solids & very much needs the security of frequent nursing. Some days are even better, DS has been in a great mood the last few days & also eating more so in the last 24 hours he has only nursed about 8 times!!! That is probably a record low. However DH goes back to work tomorrow (he had half days last week & the last 4 days off) and I know that likely means DS will start nursing more & eating less again. I wish I could get him to eat for me the way he'll eat for DH.</p>
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<p>Anyway. I really like the thoughts you guys had on how important to the relationship it is to set limits. I do have other limits (like no touching the other nipple) and for some reason the frequency limit was a hard one for me to put in place. I think it's because the other limits mostly concern only my physical boundaries whereas the frequency limit could affect his weight/health/nutrition... He has really slowed down in weight gain & I guess it makes me nervous.</p>
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<p>I did consider food allergies but nothing blatant seems to be at play here... We are vegan & gluten-free & for a while we were also soy & corn free so there aren't too many other potentially allergenic foods that we eat on a regular basis (we try to rotate fruits/veggies/beans/nuts/grains and I haven't noticed any correlation to his mood, eating, etc.)</p>
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<p>I definitely have to get my stress under control... and I've made another appointment with my doc to hopefully figure out some more ways to deal with my own health issues... I think if I can get myself to be calmer & healthier that will definitely help DS out but obviously it's not that easy!!</p>
 
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