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DD has been a very avid nurser for 4 years now. Most of our extended nursing friends weaned with little parental encouragement months if not years ago, but she's still going strong. Too strong.<br><br>
Between her and DS (18 mo), I'm woken up about 5 times a night, and it's really getting to me. Nightweaning her doesn't help - she still wakes up and pleads, and when told no gropes at me saying she "just wants to touch them". A few weeks, maybe a few months of this I can handle, but a few years is taking it's toll.<br><br>
She battles any limits I've tried to set, like waiting till DS (18 mo) is done when I get home from work. I used to nurse them together when I got home but as he got older the 'playful' kicking and eye-poking and hair-pulling between the two got to be too much.<br><br>
I'd tried to nurse her as much as she asked hoping it was a temporary reassurance thing, but she continues to ask more frequently than I'm comfortable. Any minor upset or boredom sends her back to me again. I've tried to engage her in other ways instead, but she's not interested.<br><br>
As much as I was hoping to CLW, I just don't know if I'm cut out for it. I'm really starting to get bothered by even a regular nursing session with her. She makes a lot of slurping noises now, and it kind of grosses me out. I started to wonder if maybe <b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">I'd</span></b> hit my natural weaning age - the point when the mama dog is snapping at her pups.<br><br>
A few months ago, tired of the constant battles about limits, DH started to tell her that when she turned 4 she'd be a big girl and wouldn't nurse anymore. Her birthday was this weekend. I had reservations, but I thought we'd give it a shot and see how it went. She made it through two days without too much incident, but we weren't at our own house. She didn't ask at all the first morning, but by Saturday night was saying "I hate being four" - all because she wasn't supposed to nurse anymore. We got back home Sunday night, and she had a big meltdown. I can't tell if it's all about the nursing, or if she was also unwinding from her busy birthday weekend. She seemed happy Monday morning though, and didn't ask to nurse before I left for work.<br><br>
DH and my family were all pressuring to stick with it - they're all really weirded out by extended nursing, and horrified at the thought of it continuing for another few years. Monday evening I spent some time searching the CLW boards, trying to decide what to do if she put up another fight that night. I wanted advice from the other side, the side that matched my gut. She asks so much because she has a need for it, and I'm being a good mama by filling that need. Aren't I? I'm reading about skilled relaxation and its benefits for adults' health, and I thought why would I take away that ability from my daughter?<br><br>
Monday night we talked about it for awhile. She told me why she wanted to continue to nurse - it makes her feel better and she likes the taste. I explained that the reason we told her she had to stop at four was because my body was tired of having kids on me all day and night long, and I didn't want to fight about it anymore. I know she's young, but she seemed to get some of it. Was I putting too much on her?<br><br>
I told her we could nurse before bed, but not later at night. She was happy, she slept well, and didn't put up much of a fuss about it the next morning. I got home from work and she wanted to nurse again. I thought "she's had a busy day, missed me, and could use a chance to reattach and some calmness to process what's gone on so far during the day to make it through the evening - isn't that what this is supposed to be all about? Why not allow it?". So we were going to nurse when I got home AND before bed, but that's it. I explained to her the new rules. When I get home and before bed and that's it. Not at night. Not in the morning. "Okay mommy."<br><br>
She asked over and over again throughout the night. Woke her brother up a few times whining about it and flailing. She pestered again this morning. We're back to square one.<br><br>
I know I've sent her mixed signals. My family is already going to be disappointed that I didn't stick to total weaning at four. I don't want it to continue the way it is with all the whining, but I can't handle the demand she puts on me when I allow as much as she wants. I also don't know if I'm comfortable with the idea that she might not be able to give it up till 6 or 7.<br><br>
I hope this doesn't scare anyone away from CLW and extended nursing. DD has just always been very extreme about it. My sisters and I all sucked our thumbs till 6, 7 and 8, so I wonder if there's some 'suck-drive' gene in the family.<br><br>
Sorry for the marathon post. I just don't know where to go from here.
 

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I have no experience with this, but I'd say go with your gut and DON"T feel guilty about it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I just made a similiar post. DD was 4 in October and for the same reasons as you we decided to wean at that time. At first she was pretty ok with it but she has kept asking four months later. She doesn't have a fit but even when I offer her other forms of comfort she will still say that she wants to nurse. Today I finally let her and I don't know if it was the right choice or not. I know DH would be annoyed but I just really didn't expect her to still be asking so frequently this long after weaning.
 

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I think you need to be consistent, tell her she can nurse in the morning and during the day...if she usually does and at night....but once she is asleep..she must wait till it is light out to nurse again.<br><br>
Hug her, love her....hold her....I bet in a few nights....and she will be able to handle this change.<br><br>
What a good mom you are for nursing her *still*...you both will get passed this!<br><br>
Mary
 

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I don't have any experience with this either, but I want to say please don't beat yourself up. It's very important for us to stay healthy as mamas and that means sane, too. If it's causing you resentment and exhaustion, that's important to pay attention to. Also, 4 is an age for testing boundaries <i>hard</i>. Like the pp said, choose your limits and be consistent with them. It will probably be rough for a little while, but learning limits and self-discipline is part of growing up. That includes weaning. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s:<br><br>
Maybe you can help her with this process by making a weaning story with her? Draw up a simple book and write the story in it together. She may be able to help you come up with alternatives to nursing at night (a close snuggle, etc). There is a season for everything and this too will pass! (that's my mantra for those really tough days <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> )
 

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I know it is probably really hard to make a decision, but if there is any way you can make a firm decision about how much nursing you can handle, then do it and stick to it.<br><br>
My dd, now 4.5 yo, was also a very avid nurser. I was never particularly philosophically committed to CLW, but I figured I would keep on with it until I felt we had reached a point that stopping was emotionally okay for both of us. I had a very difficult time nursing her for various reasons after she was three years and a few months (her little sister was born just after she turned 3). We made it until she was 4 years and 3 months before we weaned. I think some firm limits were key in us continuing to nurse as long as we did. For example, I night weaned her around age 3.5 years (she was partially night weaned before that, but this is when we fully stopped all night nursing). I have mixed feelings about the timing of weaning. On the one hand, I almost feel that she would have gotten just as much out the experience if I'd have weaned her at age three, since so much of our nursing relationship was unpleasant after that point. I sometimes think *I* prolonged things further than they needed to go. On the other hand, I sometimes think that I could have nursed her another year fairly pleasantly, as long as it was the once-a-day type of nursing.<br><br>
You can try different things to help you feel better about nursing her more often (distracting yourself, meditation, other ways of taking care of yourself, etc.). If those things are just not enough, then just make some firm limits and feel no guilt. I think that once she senses that you have set what you truly *believe* are reasonable limits, she will accept them. If she senses your guilt, resentment, and notices inconsistency, then I think she will just want to nurse more. Of course you will make sure you develop your relationship via other avenues (hugging, snuggling, reading, spending fun times together, etc.).
 
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