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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every now and then my almost 3 year old has an evening where he doesn't want to eat anything all night. He just wants to nurse. He'll get angry at me if I suggest even his most favorite foods. If I do make him a plate of something he'll either put it on the floor for the dog, throw it at me, or dump it in the trash. The child even turns down icecream!

The problem is that he nurses excessively during these times, so much that he's made my nipples bleed. And he wakes up periodically through the night to nurse, and then is awake for the day at 5am (after keeping me awake all night). I am not a happy Mommy the next day.

SO what should I do? Should I ignore his tantrums and just refuse to nurse him unless he eats something solid? That doesnt seem very AP. But at his age, breastmilk is no longer enough to fill him up. I'm at a loss of how I should handle this.
 

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Hmmm, while I find mlw better for me, I also never push it to tears or tantrums. Is there any set pattern you are seeing, or does he just prefer to have a liquid meal on those nights? I mean, like, could this be teething, sick, maybe ate something earlier that hurt his tummy or do you guys have any known food allergies or maybe it was a very busy day and he's banking on that time to cash in on extra cuddles and one on one time? Could you try both? Like sit him on your lap, w/food, and let him drink, but then tell him he has to eat some solids and wash it down w/mama milk. You could rub his back, stroke his hair, give hugs and do like one bite food, then we'll nurse to 10, then more food, then more nursies...I'd at least give it a try. Z is still very much on the younger end of 2, but I know he drains me bone dry and still wants more and sometimes refuses to eat solids. He has pretty much never had a solid breakfast in his whole life, so I can only imagine how draining that is for you, doing that for dinner, only to follow that up w/the night feedings. oy
 

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I think refusing to nurse him will exacerbate the problem. And if he's refusing food, it almost seems like you have to nurse him in order for him to get *some* calories and not go hungry. ( as frustrating as that must be! ) How often do these episodes happen?

About waking at 5am...well this is just me but unless someone is sick, hurt, hungry, or the house is on fire I could not get up that early. Thankfully my 1yo sleeps from around 8:30pm to 7:30-8:30am, wakes for a drink around 6am, but once he's done with it he falls back to sleep. I saw a suggestion once in a magazine about this issue. It said to set a clock radio for the time you want to get up, and explain to your child that until they hear the radio come on that its not time to get out of bed yet. ( now if they have to go potty, want something to drink/eat, etc...then take care of it but go right back to bed when you're done ) Maybe you could try something like that?
 

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I would not make it a fight, no matter what. Have you talked to him about it? About how mama milk isn't enough to fill his tummy now that he's bigger. That he needs to eat some food to be big and strong.



good luck!

-Angela
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by alegna
I would not make it a fight, no matter what. Have you talked to him about it? About how mama milk isn't enough to fill his tummy now that he's bigger. That he needs to eat some food to be big and strong.



good luck!

-Angela
Well, he's a previously lead poisoned child with a serious speech delay, so talking with him about it isn't going to work. He seems to understand everything that is said to him, but is communication skills are around that of a 1 year old.
 

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I think your last post is your answer...thank the goddesses that he is still nursing. Many three years olds refuse food...but I would offer a plate, then offer to nurse. Follow his wisdom.

Look at what he eats in a week, not in a day.

My concern, is that he is nursing and making your nipples bleed??!! Frequent nursing SHOULD NOT DO THIS!

Is he biting? Is it both breasts...that are bleeding???

Mary
 

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I know from my own experience that sometimes an experienced nursing mama will have sore nipples when her child is older because we're no longer as careful about how he gets latched on & how he de-latches. And, during times of increased nursings it could even be more so. Bleeding.....I don't know - I think it could be helped by making sure he's nursing similarly to how a newborn would - chest turned towards you & good latches. No nursing gymnastics.


My .02 cents on your little guy is that when they do something like this (refusing food & just nursing) they must need to. Keep on nursing him & showing him compassion. Toddler proof your bedroom, keep some books or other small toys ready, & let him pummel your back. It's an ideal back massage.


These things always do pass......
 

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Could there be an exterior reason for his reluctance to eat? My three year old has a hard time eating when he has a cold sore. He wants to, but when I serve him he ends up so frustrated he blows up and tantrums. I'm sure if I still had milk and he was in the habit if nursing daily he might prefer to nurse.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama Poot
About waking at 5am...well this is just me but unless someone is sick, hurt, hungry, or the house is on fire I could not get up that early. Thankfully my 1yo sleeps from around 8:30pm to 7:30-8:30am, wakes for a drink around 6am, but once he's done with it he falls back to sleep. I saw a suggestion once in a magazine about this issue. It said to set a clock radio for the time you want to get up, and explain to your child that until they hear the radio come on that its not time to get out of bed yet. ( now if they have to go potty, want something to drink/eat, etc...then take care of it but go right back to bed when you're done ) Maybe you could try something like that?
This is a great idea! I'm going to try it. Though I don't know if my 21 month old is rational enough to get it. I think he goes more by light and dark.

To the original poster, I don't have any wisdom as my 21 month old would love to live on bm and lollipops!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mama in the forest
My .02 cents on your little guy is that when they do something like this (refusing food & just nursing) they must need to. Keep on nursing him & showing him compassion. Toddler proof your bedroom, keep some books or other small toys ready, & let him pummel your back. It's an ideal back massage.

okay, i have to put in my .02 on this. i don't think its EVER okay to let your child hit you (or anyone else). it may be a good back massage, but it sends the wrong message. i also think its totally unacceptable for him to throw food at his mama. i would certainly NOT nurse a 3 year old who threw a plate of food at me, but that's just me.
 
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