need advice for an 18-month old who doesn't want to stop breastfeeding

L - posted on 07/07/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

9

1

2

I'm posting this for my sister who has an 18-month old girl who doesn't want to stop nursing. My sister would not be in a rush to wean her except for the fact that nursing has become a source of contention for her daughter. If her daughter can't nurse the moment she wants to nurse, she throws a fit. So my sister's been trying to wean her because a) she's not producing very much milk any longer and b) it only seems to be making my niece more angry vs. happy to be nursing now. My sister's now outright denying her daughter the breast, but it's been a very unnerving several days for both my sister and her daughter who asks to nurse all day long since she's being denied. Does anyone who's gone through weaning at an older age have any advice for my sister to get through this without so much angst? I can tell she's really worn out by the experience and I want to help her but haven't experienced this myself nor do I know anyone who has.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Dawn - posted on 07/08/2009

3

17

0

no need to stop breastfeeding over this. mom can set limits although daughter won't like it (they never do at 18 mos...or at any age for that matter!). this is just a battle of wills and breastfeeding happens to be the battlefield. don't stop something so wonderful because of typical age-related behavior. try to handle this the same way that any other tantruming behavior would be addressed.

Rhonda - posted on 07/09/2009

138

6

2

dis is ok. let da babe feed. babes shall self ween when they redy. babe use da brest for food and lovein so y take it away. in mi house wi self wean

Joyce - posted on 07/08/2009

2

2

0

I have great empathy for your sister and her daughter. I weaned my daughter at 3 1/2 years, not because either of us wanted to - but it was in her best interests due to a visitation agreement after my divorce from her father. As I recall (of course every child is a little different), my daughter was still breastfeeding 3-4 times a day up till age 2ish. This gradually reduced to once or twice a day usually before nap and bed time towards the end. The time I spent breast feeding my daughter was absoultely precious time, that I still treasure even now. My daughter just turned 7 last month.



If it is no longer comfortable for your sister and niece to continue their current breast feeding relationship, then she should try to actively wean. If your sister is feeling pressure (social or otherwise) that she shouldn't be breast feeding any longer then she should ask herself this question: Am I doing this because I believe that it is in the best interests of my daughter and me? A mother can never be wrong if she makes a descision for her family based on the love in her heart.



I weaned in part due to the social presures I was feeling. There are many people who think that they have something to say about how we as parents should raise our children. When in fact these are personal and private choices that we must weigh in our own circumstances. I find that I just prefer not to disclose some of the parenting descisions I make to avoid the potential for this kind of dialogue. I wish your sister and your niece all the best I hope that whenever they make this transition - that it is as loving and peaceful as possible.



Blessings, Joyce Jones

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

15 Comments

View replies by

AJ - posted on 07/10/2009

1

16

0

Your sister has a real power struggle on her hands. Best I can suggest is a mother-daughter trip to get a special cup or water bottle, a gentle time out for the tantrum (you may go sit in your feel-better chair until you can talk to me with a happy voice, or whatever works for 18 month old speak), and minimize the breast issue.

Jakki - posted on 07/09/2009

731

11

26

At around 18 months I reduced breastfeeding down to once a day early in the morning. We kept this up for quite a long while, even when I went away for work for a couple of days it didn't make any difference. This continued until my daughter was 3 and half. I didn't tell anyone because people reacted like it was weird, but I agree with the person above who said it was an incredibly special time. It was great for the bond with my little girl. I still miss that time.



I think at 18 months, your niece might be able to understand that breastfeeding is something that only happens in certain circumstances (eg at home in bed, first in the morning, or whatever). But then your sister has to stick to her rule, and not allow any exceptions.

Ladonna - posted on 07/09/2009

1

0

0

Go to the health food store and get sage in pill form it drys the milk and weens the child at the same time if the baby isn't getting as much as normal she will want it less and theres no caking

Tiffiny - posted on 07/09/2009

84

32

1

try putting something that would taste very nasty on the nipples then she wouldn't want them anymore . suggestions are hot sauce, horseraddish sauce, whiskey, or u can think of something that would taste nasty its up 2 u. try it

Carrie - posted on 07/09/2009

6

0

0

Thinking there isn't much nutritional benefits or older kids is a myth. There are several recent studies showing that milk for toddlers is richer in nutrients. Weaning can be difficult. I've weaned three children at 14, 18, and 22 months. Sometimes they nurse for comfort. If so, increase cuddling time. I've weaned my kids during vacation. I didn't really plan it, but it got them out of routine, and I made sure they had lots of drinks available, made sure they were busy, and they would just forget they wanted to nurse, and it got them out of the habit. When giving them drinks from cups, praise them a lot, make a big fuss how great cups are. Hope this helps.

Debra - posted on 07/09/2009

1

0

0

When I became pregnant with my second child I was still nursing my 2 year old. After my first doctor's appointment for the new baby I explained to my 2 year old that she was a big girl now and didn't need mommy's breast for nurishment anymore. She would ask for just a little bit mama and I would let her just put her mouth on my nipple (no sucking) eventually she stopped asking. My suggestion is to limit feedings once at night before bed first. Maybe if she knows what to expect when she will be more comforted.

Meredith - posted on 07/09/2009

9

12

0

If the child is really enjoying the suckling sensation your sister might be wise to move to a bottle rather than a cup. Some babies seem to enjoy the comfort of suckling more than others.

[deleted account]

My mother had the same problem with my sister, Lana. She said that it was more for comfort and not really for nourishment. Mom finally left Lana with the grandparents if mom wasn't around for Lana to nurse she had to just get used to it. It worked for mom but I don't know how long Lana stayed with the grandparents.

[deleted account]

I think it's great to explain to her why she can't nurse anymore but at 18 months she will not understand the correlation between throwing a tantrum and being sent to her room. Have your sister try asking her what she wants instead of nursing when she's asking to nurse. Maybe she just wants some time to cuddle with mom or maybe she is thirsty and she wants a drink.

Sarah - posted on 07/08/2009

4

4

0

Maybe she should try just restricting nursing to certain times of the day...like just before her nap and before she goes down at night. Maybe then it would not seem like such a sudden shock to her to suddenly stop nursing alltogether. She would have to be strict on it though and only give it to her at those times so as not to confuse her. As for the temper tantrums....hopefully once she knows that her Mum won't give in she will stop...

[deleted account]

I tried to find something that my child loved drinking from a big kids cup, nothing too sugary or anything (my youngest son loves apple juice) and when he would want to bf I would give him his cup with his favourite drink in it.



Try to get her to make a big deal when your neice drinks from a big kids cup. Make sure she explains that bfing is for babies and since she is no longer a baby she doesnt need mommy's milk anymore. She should not under any circumstance let her bf anymore no matter how foul she gets as it will just feed the fire.



If its a taste thing, see if she can pump even just a little milk but put it into a big kids cup and explain that mommy is running out of her favourite milk and she should try some big kids milk. At 18 months she can have cows milk if she isnt lactose intollerent, not a lot just in case she gets gas from it.



You can help as well by making a big fuss when she drinks from a big cup and when she asks for a big kids drink and not a drink from mommy "look at how big you are now that you are drinking from a big kids cup"



it may take some time but she will get over it, though her mommy may end up with a gray hair or two from it!

Gina - posted on 07/07/2009

85

27

1

I can't give any advice on the weaning but I can on the temper tantrums. When your niece starts to have a tantrum your sister should send her to her room until she is ready to behave properly. Has your sister explained to your niece why she can nurse anymore. If she hasn't then maybe she should try. Children are more intelligent at any age than we give them credit for if things are explained right aka in terms they understand.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms