Question about natural weaning

Sherree - posted on 03/14/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi, my daughter is 17 m. She is still breastfeeding (or shall we say soothing on my breast) on demand. Whenever I'm around she likes to nurse at least once an hour, let's say, on average. She does it mostly for comfort. Like if someone new comes over, she wants to nurse. Or if she hurts herself. Or, sometimes I wonder if she does it just cause she's bored. She is very demanding lately. She will temper tantrum and cry like she's lost her best friend if I don't respond immediately when she wants it. She looks into my eyes so pitfully and cries her heart out, it's really hard to take. Other times, she is visibly angry and that just makes me mad and not want to respond to her at all. I don't like feeling manipulated. It's getting to that point just lately.

I always wanted to let her self wean. I still do. My question is, is she just at a really needy stage right now and will it get better? Will she self wean eventually (by age 2 hopefully) on her own or is she going to be just getting more and more demanding and I'm going to have to start putting her in time outs and letting her temper tantrum. I'm confused in my responses to her. I've tried ignoring the tantrums a couple times in the past week but in the end, they always end in her coming over to make up, which means nursing her. If I let her come over to make up and pick her up, and don't nurse her, then it starts all over again. I don't think I can follow through on hurting her over and over like that when she's trying to make up. So I nurse her, so what really was the point of letting her cry it out in the first place when I knew that was what she wanted? Other than to teach her that I won't nurse her when she's angry and screaming and being too demanding, only when she's apologetic.

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Denise - posted on 03/14/2010

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Sherree, is your daughter still teething? getting her 1st set or 2 yr. molars? Which was the worst w/my 1st daughter and we are at the beginning stages of them w/my 18 mos. old daughter who is still. Is it mostly times when she is tired (close to nap/bedtime). My youngest gets to a point when I think she needs to nap early, but she will nurse for a little while and be content and ready to go, then nap at her usual time.

My 1st daughter "pregnancy" weaned @ 3 yrs. due to my hormonal shifts and milk drying up. She had a bit of a hard time w/it. But her nursing habits changed so much from about 18 mos. to 3 yrs. She nursed almost 24/7 (literally) from birth to 18 mos. and it was for long periods of time as well, I felt that was the only thing I did besides a load of laundry between that - then life really started getting her attention. Then is was mostly nap and bedtime, comfort times, growth spurts, developmental stages, etc. There are so many factors. But she was still HAD to have it. She would get a bit demanding, but I would always talk to her and only let her nurse when she was calm no matter what (unless she was hurt or scared). If your daughter is not calming down, maybe offer to snuggle/hug her until she does (or maybe she just needs to let is out?).



I wish I had more advise, but thought I would give you my thoughts and experience. Just remember what you have given your daughter and yourself by nursing her... that really kept me going through the more challenging time.

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Sherree - posted on 03/14/2010

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Thanks, it is reassuring and helpful to know someone else had a baby that nursed this frequently at this age. She already has 12 teeth (4 molars). Should I be expecting more right away? She has been fairly young in getting her teeth from what I've heard. She cut her 4 molars about a month ago. I will keep at the nursing on demand I've decided. I don't really have much choice. I will just try to teach her to be gentle and not scream, if that is possible. I don't know if she can learn anything much when she has "lost it". It's like she goes out of control with anger and can't hear me. She won't take a hug or cuddle. She will slap anything away, including me when she is that mad.

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