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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My DD is 1 yr and still nursing strong, which is great even though I had originally thought to wean her at this point but now that it's here I can't imagine doing it. Here is my question though, is it possible to nurse her too much at this age? We nurse usually once in the night, once or twice in the morning, once or twice in the afternoon and before bed. Sometimes I "use" nursing as a way to calm her down if she's overtired or cranky or whatever but I'm starting to feel like I use it as a way just to make her quiet down or calm down (like the way my cousin uses tylenol for her over tired crazy from sugar kids)..............can you use BF like a drug? Should I be helping her find other coping methods at this point or is it still ok to use BF like this at this age? I love BF DD, but I worry about her associating food with comfort later. Do I have a reason to be worried or is it just my mother's voice in my head?
 

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:LOL Welcome to the powers of breastmilk. It seems that you are seeing a shift towards breastfeeding for comfort. It's all completely normal and natural! It's one of the greatest parts of the breastfeeding journey. What a wonderful way to parent a child, surrounded by love, comfort and security. Go with it. There's no such thing as breastfeeding too much (though it will seem like it at times). And breastfeeding is an excellent way to help soothe a child regardless of age. Your dd will only get benefits from it. She will "grow up" in her own time, there's no reason to push independence on children before they are ready. As for coping, breastfeeding actually helps a child cope with life because they have that ingrained sense of security.
 

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Its just your mother's voice!
You can't breastfeed her too much! Breastfeeding is for nourishing AND nurturing babies and young children! And at age 1, especially, breastmilk should make up a significant part of your baby's diet. Follow your heart, mama - you're doing good!
 

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Sounds perfectly normal to me
One year is still pretty young and she is still exploring the world and I am sure nursing is a wonderful comfort to her (and to mom at times too!) It is so nice to be able to calm a tired, crabby, scared, etc. child -- I often felt bad for non-nursing friends when their toddler had a meltdown! And you can't force a child to breastfeed -- they will only nurse when they want to so don't worry about overdoing it. Enjoy your little one!
 

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sounds normal to me mama...

have to admit, when I saw the title of your post I thought, "well, it has a drug like calming effect on me.".... :LOL
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I don't see how a toddler could see nursing as food and later associating food with comfort. Nursing and eating food are so different.

It is possible to nurse when other mothering techniques should be used. Sometimes this practice leads to toddlers demanding to nurse when they should be able to handle what is going on in their environment. This can lead to difficulties especially when you are out in public. Its OK to offer breastfeeding as comfort but this is also a time for learning other mothering skills.

Most mother nursing toddlers really enjoy it. Some don't and it is often the mothers who have used breastfeeding in inappropriate ways that don't enjoy it because now they have a demanding child. In ways it is a balancing act.
 

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Quote:
It is possible to nurse when other mothering techniques should be used. Sometimes this practice leads to toddlers demanding to nurse when they should be able to handle what is going on in their environment. This can lead to difficulties especially when you are out in public. Its OK to offer breastfeeding as comfort but this is also a time for learning other mothering skills.

Most mother nursing toddlers really enjoy it. Some don't and it is often the mothers who have used breastfeeding in inappropriate ways that don't enjoy it because now they have a demanding child. In ways it is a balancing act.
I respectfully disagree. Healthy mothering skills are learned naturally along with nursing, not in lieu of nursing.

Breastfeeding has nothing to do with whether the child is (or will be) demanding. How can giving a child the comfort and security of breastfeeding (whether at home or in public) make them more demanding?

I just don't agree with the mainstream push to make children independent before they are ready. They are not little adults, they are children. We all know that the self-driven need for independence will come naturally. A child's needs are very instinctive and basic, they let us know what they need. If we listen to them along with our own instincts then we have healthy balanced parenting. It's when we fight those instincts and deny them, that is what makes a child demanding because they are fighting to meet a need.

Also, no offense intended, but what do you mean by "breastfeeding in inappropriate ways"?

 

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Yeah, what Mother Sunshine said. I too disagree that nursing a toddler is a bad first choice. It's a GREAT first choice.

The World health organization, the American Academy of Family Physicians and UNICEF all recommend nursing at least 2 years, for all nations. (see kellymom.com) Peggy O, who is the editor of Mothering magazine, (you are here!) said the average throughout the world is 4 years plus, for weaning.

It's normal that breast milk contain natural "drugs" as you put it that relax the child. They also relieve pain, and build human bones and brains in the most ideal healthy way. This is normal and the way God/Mother Nature/science designed us.

It is normal to nurse very frequently for comfort or hunger. Dd was nursed often for comfort as well as hunger and thirst, even as a toddler. She does NOT overeat for comfort now that she is weaned. As for me, weaned as a tiny infant...that's a different story!
 

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I too agree with mother_sunshine and Momtwice!
and also my mother and sister were formula fed and never knew the comfort in their mothers breast but my grandmother and I did and my mother and sister are the ones who have a very hard time seperating food as a comforting tool, where my grandmother and I take comfort in our mothers... I still snuggle at my moms chest when Im upset(usually lay my head on her heart and listen to it) and I dont see anything wrong with that
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks guys. I love being able to come here and ask these questions.
How would you explain the difference between giving DC motrin or tylenol to help them get to sleep and nursing to calm a cranky child? With Breastmilk there is at least some nutrient value and no artificial 'stuff' but what else could I counter with? need some help explaining if not defending my choice to my family............besides the fact that it calms me which is a good thing.

I can be seething mad, nurse dd, and then all is right with the world again. As a result I probably experienced something closer to post partum elation then depression. Powerful stuff.
 

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if you give her motrin or tylenol when she doesnt have a fever she can build a resitance to it and when she does need it and you give it it wont work because shes immune to its affects.

Also if shes cranky shes probably tired AND hungry, LOL, only SHE knows what she is so if she wants to nurse she must be hungry or thirsty, why else would she nurse? When DS is just tired sometimes he lays down on his pillow and falls asleep, Im sure if she was just tired she could do the same.
 

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I only use motrin if I think DD is in pain (as from teething or the latest bump on the head) to the point that nursing doesn't settle her down, calm her, and make her feel better and/or she has trouble sleeping, and/or she just seems miserable. In other words, in the same situations that for me some quiet, a nap, or something to eat isn't going to make me feel better.

Nursing is a natural response to a need in the child, not a drug. It's a well-evolved mechanism that involves a child and mother's whole being, not just a nipple and a digestive system. Science didn't provide it, and is only just beginning to give a glimpse into what it provides us. It's part of being human, and has been for millions of years.

Of course, taking analgesic medications might have been around for millions of years, just not as many. Chimpanzees have been observed in the wild to chew on plants with medicinal properties when sick or injured. But that's off-topic and beside the point.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by violafemme
How would you explain the difference between giving DC motrin or tylenol to help them get to sleep and nursing to calm a cranky child? With Breastmilk there is at least some nutrient value and no artificial 'stuff' but what else could I counter with? need some help explaining if not defending my choice to my family............
Breastmilk is something that is made by the mother's body specifically for that child's well-being. It has natural calming effects, sure, but healthy calming effects (among everything else that is healthy and natural about it), not the kind of artificial calming (and perhaps addictive) short-term effects of a medicinal sleep aid.

Breastmilk lasts a lifetime (brain development, lower rates of cancer, immunological, emotional connectedness and security of breastfeeding itself, etc), drugs are just temporary and hazardous (especially if used continually).

I can see how breastmilk can be vaguely compared to drugs (whether western or alternative meds/herbs) in that they relax and may heal (depending on the drug, NOT tylenol or motrin though), but breastfeeding itself goes so far beyond "drug-like calming effects" that it is ignorant of anyone to think the two are equal.

Simply put, drugs like tylenol and motrin trick the mind into thinking there is nothing wrong. Breastmilk tells the mind that everything is alright (and it is).


It sounds like you have your hands full with family's misunderstandings. I hope we can help you help them see breastfeeding for what it is (although it really is nobody else's business except for yours and your DC's).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by violafemme
How would you explain the difference between giving DC motrin or tylenol to help them get to sleep and nursing to calm a cranky child? With Breastmilk there is at least some nutrient value and no artificial 'stuff' but what else could I counter with? need some help explaining if not defending my choice to my family
With all due respect, its your family that should be defending their choice to drug their children. You have nothing to defend!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks guys, this is just what I needed. I knew in my heart this was best for us but needed the words to explain it.

An hour ago Dh slipped while carrying Dd down the stairs, both were scared and a little banged up (Dd has a knot on her head
, Dh has a bruise or two) but no one was seriously hurt thank goodness. After checking her for injuries, I just popped her on and in a matter of minutes she was calm and happy again. It felt so good to be able to "fix" things for her, to be able to take away the pain and hold her close until she was ready to get up and "lecture" Dh on how to load the dishwasher properly LOL.

BFing is so much better than drugs. Thanks guys.
 
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