Mothering Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,460 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
<p>DS will be 2 in a few days and is (FINALLY) eating more 'normal' amounts of table food. His constant nursing has been wearing on me for many months but because he wasn't eating much food I felt like I had no choice but to continue to nurse him pretty much on demand. I can get him to wait a short time or redirect him or distract him with a snack sometimes but he still asks to nurse multiple times an hour (and very often I comply). We get together with friends with newborns & DS nurses WAYYY more than them. He's just always been very... demanding... about his 'yummy milk'. He still wakes up hourly to nurse most of the night (though can do a longer 3-4 hour stretch at the beginning of the night, unfortunately BEFORE I get to sleep).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Typically I see advice to cut down on nursing sessions or only nurse at certain times (nap time, bed time, wake up time) but I don't feel like that would work for him or me. Part of the problem is, I HATE nursing him down for naps/bed. Most of the time I despise & resent it. I don't mind middle of the night nursing as much (though I'd love to sleep better, I feel like such frequent night-waking may be why I'm constantly stressed/tired/annoyed/angry during the day -- mostly with the cat lol, or DH). DS seems to NEED to nurse most before going to sleep... and we're not talking a 15-minute peaceful session, we're talking about often HOURS of nursing & tossing & turning etc. before he conks out. And that's hard on me because I have back/neck problems and feel so much pain from trying to stay in a nursing-friendly position. Then during the day, I don't mind nursing him as much, but I still feel like it's way too constant. I don't mind when we are on playdates so much (because I think he gets kind of anxious with all the chaos, or new situations, etc. and needs to ground himself)... and I have succeeded at getting him to not nurse during short errands, story hour, etc. However I hate nursing him down for his nap but he won't go down any other way.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I don't know what I'm trying to say here.... I guess that he seems adaptable to less daytime nursing, but I don't mind the daytime nursing as much. He seems INCREDIBLY resistant to nursing less at night, but that is when I most want him to stop nursing. Our needs don't match up here, and I'm not sure what to do about it. I feel like I'm being very inconsistent, and arbitrarily refusing to nurse him is making him want to nurse more because he doesn't know when he'll get another chance or something. But at the same time I do feel he's 'ready' for some limits and I *need* it for my sanity.... Any ideas??? I do not want to wean him completely, he's nowhere near ready for that & I do sometimes enjoy nursing him too, so I want to be sure not to push him too far & accidentally wean (hard to imagine that happening with him though lol).</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,347 Posts
<p>((hugs)) mama i know you've had a difficult 2 years!! my suggestion would be to limit nursing gradually.. like, start with only nursing once every 2 hours. and limit the length of time (whatever is comfortable for you- say 15 minutes?)  you let him nurse. i would keep increasing the time, until you are down to wakeup, before/after nap, before bed (or whatever times seem most important to him) but keep the 15 minute time limit. no hours of nursing. it will not be easy, but if you decide to go with this you must be consistent. ((hugs))</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
<p>well im right there with you i have a 21 months old and im 21 weeks pregnant and i am still nursing we have been trying to cut him down but the more i try the worse he gets he now nurses several times an hour. i cant tell him no or he throws a fit and starts hitting me or crying. we are finally getting his hitting under control but he doesnt ask to nurse he just trys to pull my shirt up or down. i also have inlaws that never nursed and hate that i did and still do nurse so this whole screaming toddler who is pulling at your shirt all day doesnt help with them thinking its okay.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,120 Posts
<p>It's harder to set limits and have them accepted at this age (it gets a little easier after 2), but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try.  Try to set more "yes, this is where and when we can nurse" than "no"  limits.  I can't recommend "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler" enough (I read it 3 times).  Toddlers often sense mom's ambivalence about weaning and this sometimes causes them to dig in their heels even more.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My friend night weaned all her 3 kids around this age, but getting up with them when they woke in the night, taking them into the kitchen, turning on all the lights and making them food.  They looked at her like she had lost her mind and after a few nights of this, they decided waking Mom up in the night was not worth it if she was going to do that!  I had a nightlight set on a timer that went on at 5 or so (you can set it for whatever time you feel okay about) and I told my nursling that she/he couldn't nurse until the light went on, that before that it was sleeping time. Some people have luck with limiting the length of nursing session by counting or singing a song.  </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,409 Posts
<p>Our limit setting started with my ending the nursing session early.  She still got to nurse whenever she wanted, but I let her nurse until I was feeling "done" and then told her that we'd be all done after I sang the ABC's.  This is our "time" song for other things like brushing teeth, so she was familiar with it.  Once I was done singing the ABC's I'd take her off and work like hell to distract her if she wasn't happy about it.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Now it's a mutually decided thing about how long nursing sessions are.  I will tell her that I want to be done & why (she's really just playing, I need to do something, etc.) and either she will pop off without a fuss or she'll negotiate that she wants a little longer.  Sometimes i still resort to singing the ABC's as her "little longer".  It's sooooo much nicer having a say in how long I will be sitting nursing for any one session!  I also make sure that every once in a while she gets to nurse as long as she wants, I don't abuse my power. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>The other thing I did was cut out bedtime nursing.  We nightweaned DD at 18 months, but she was still nursing to sleep and like your LO could sometimes take hours of nursing to finally fall asleep & my body ached & my sanity suffered.  I didn't want to wean, couldn't stand the thought of cutting down to only the times that I hated nursing, ect.  I started by doing the same kind of time limiting on her falling asleep nursing and telling her it was time to snuggle to fall asleep.  It was surprisingly gentle & with barely any fuss and now she nurses anywhere from 5 seconds to maybe 5 minutes, pops herself off and tells me it's time to snuggle.  It's harder to stay awake & get up after she's finally asleep since snuggling with a cozy toddler in the dark is VERY sleep inducing, but I now love putting her to sleep instead of dreading it all day.  The other thing is that now she's usually asleep within 5-30 minutes instead of hours. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anyway, all that to say you're not alone & it's perfectly reasonable to decide to start setting some limits!  I think you just have to start slow & work gradually up to cutting out whatever you need to.  I intend to keep nursing my DD this way for as long as she wants because now it feels so much more like a relationship & my needs matter as much as hers.   </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,460 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone!!<br><br>
I have started experimenting a bit to see what kind of limits he'll really accept at this point, and he's surprised me quite a bit.<br><br>
For the past few days, I've been able to say things like, "One more minute & then we're all done with milk," and he'll actually stop & say, "All done" when about a minute has passed!! I'm still in shock, but it often seems that when *I'm* ready for a change he ends up being ready too, so I guess I shouldn't be so surprised. I like the idea of negotiating, Amber Lion... so far he hasn't really asked to stay on longer but I have AF & he always nurses a little differently during that time so I'm sure in a few days he may be more likely to need to negotiate a bit...<br><br>
I also got him to fall asleep the last 2 nights without nursing, which is a HUGE victory, and may have contributed to fewer nightwakings??? The first night he slept about 7.5 hours straight before waking to nurse, and then last night he only woke up once in the first 8.5 hours of the night, which is great -- previously he was waking as often as every 1/2 hour!!<br><br>
I guess what I'm really leaning towards -- if he continues to seem agreeable -- is cutting out nursing to sleep, and not worrying about other times right now (though it seems cutting down at any point of the day seems to affect him the rest of the day/night & he nurses less overall??) I just hate nursing to sleep. He had a bit of a hard time falling asleep -- though really not much more so than when he nurses, I suppose -- but it was really wonderful to be able to rock/sing/cuddle him to sleep for a change. I kind of feel bad that I'm "making him cry" (even though I'm right there & he cries/fights sleep even when I do nurse)... it's just hard when he's crying specifically for "yummy milk," I guess, and I wonder if I'm making a mistake (hurting him emotionally, nutritionally, or whatever). We do have a habit of quickly falling back into old ways though so I don't know how well we can sustain this, but it makes the daytime nursing much more enjoyable if I'm not nursing all evening long...
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top