I stopped breastfeeing my 2 year old son and now having problems! HELP!!!!!

Nicole - posted on 12/25/2010 ( 32 moms have responded )

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He doesn't want to eat anything. He eeven doesn't want to drink milk. I have tried many ways and gimiks on making him eat and drink milk and no success! HELP ME PLEASE!!!!! I am getting depressed. Should I breastfeed him again? but he is already 2 years old. It's only been 5 days since I stopped breastfeeding. Please help me. Thank you in advance. =)

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Tessa - posted on 01/03/2011

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congratulations on BF for two years for a start! I desperately wanted to but issues with the father meant that both my daughter and I were forced to stop - no weaning or anything just suddenly stoped. She was taken off me for a month because we had no parenting plan in place and the police said it was up to me and him to sort things out and well long story short, after a month I got her back. She still wanted to breastfeed (duh, she was torn away from her mummy and had/has major abandonment issues!) but I didn't have any milk left, while she was gone I tried expressing but I was so stressed and upset, stress decreases milk supply. Anyway, the point is.... She didnt want to eat or drink, she didnt want to go with anyone else, she didnt want to sleep in her own bed, she just wanted mummy and she just wanted boobies! I made sure that I would sit down and read stories with her (sitting on my lap having cuddles while reading a book in the day, lying down having cuddles reading a book in her bed at night) What we did was give her snacks that were brightly coloured and tasted yummier than any kind of chocolate milk ever could! Cherry tomatoes, banana's she loved them mushed up with custard and avocado, kiwi fruit, manderines (after taking out the pips for her) for drinks, watered down juices and weak sugar free cordial. Also making bacon, eggs and toast for breakfast - I made smiley faces and things with the food so it was more fun for her.
If you don't want to keep breastfeeding then I do not recommend continuing. Otherwise, next time you try to wean him he will think, well last time I just refused to eat so mummy let me keep going, ima do it again!
However, if you are only stopping because some fool told you he was too young to be breastfeeding still, then keep going hun!

Mary - posted on 01/02/2011

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Hi Nicole!
I agree with the post about sitting down with him at meals and offering him a good variety of foods while you eat yourself. I have a little 5 year old that still seems to hardly eat anything, and he is very skinny too... but he at this point loves milk and wants to drink constantly, so I try to limit his drinks at mealtimes and bargain with him to "eat first" and then he gets his huge drink.

Milk doesnt' taste as good as breastmilk to a just weaned baby. It is perfectly fine to start with chocolate milk and then make it less and less choclatey until they realize they can enjoy plain cow's milk.

If you want to go back to nursing that is ok too, but you may just be setting yourself up for an even longer bout of this when you do decide to wean. I know lots of people on here are all into "child led weaning" but some people still like to make a few choices of their own, instead of leaving everything to the child, and some people are just not comfortable nursing until their child is 6, and they have every right to want to wean earlier. I think nursing unitl 2 is commendable. Your child will be fine and healthy on water and milk and food when he decides to stop being mad at you for weaning. I also agree with giving him LOTS of hugs and cuddles and love to make up for the lack of the closeness of breastfeeding which he is missing and feeling sad about right now.

Take care and God bless!

Lauren - posted on 01/01/2011

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Well, if it makes you feel better, my still-nursing 3 year old barely eats some days. It can be alarming but with toddlers, try to think about their nutrition in terms of the week, not the day. Some days, it may just be a few crackers and some juice. Some days he'll eat nonstop. As long as he continues to be healthy and doesn't lose a lot of weight, it won't be a threat to his well-being (This is what my doc said when I asked him the same question!). It's your call whether or not to reintroduce the breast.

Lisa - posted on 01/01/2011

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it sounds like your lil boy is having a pouting power play on you. I wouldn't go back to nursing, but I would snuggle him and hold him and give him comfort. Then I'd place food on the table and say "breakfast time, lets eat" and sit down and start eating. Ignore his eating or not eating, don't make any comments, don't beg, threaten, be happy or sad about him eating or not eating. Remove the food after a reasonable time, and just keep offering food at the normal food times, breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner. He will eat when he's hungry. If you watch carefully he may actually be eating, but only on the sly. Good luck.

Kristin - posted on 01/01/2011

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I agree that bf is a good thing even after two years. If it were me I would resume bf at this point. However, if there is a good reason you are quitting, or if you feel it is the right thing - you can probably make it work. You could try just offering him fun-looking foods - crackers, cookies, cereal, whatever he likes to snack on - to see if he will take it. If he does then there is probably nothing wrong with him, he just wants his momma milk back. And in that case, don't worry, he will start eating if he gets hungry enough. A pediatrician once told me that a healthy toddler can go two days without any food as long as they are drinking water. (But most will give in and eat before then). My little boy turned two in November and is still a devoted breast-feeder. Some days he hardly eats any real food. Especially when we are traveling or if he is sick. Occasionally I get frustrated and I want him to eat food three times a day like his brother and I want my sleep back at night, but the benefits are so apparent in his mood and the mood of our household that I am willing to stick it out for him. But also, I really do love it most days and I'm grateful to have a little person next to my side.

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Ruth - posted on 03/29/2011

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we had a similar prob but I made fruit smoothies she now drinks her milk no probs she just didnt like the different taste going from my milk to cows milk so the fruit smoothies helped with the transition and she was getting her fruit at least

Nicole - posted on 03/20/2011

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Moms! thank you so much for all of your support.I have not logged back in since i posted this last december. Thank you so much! I am happy to share with you that my son's hunger strike only lasted for about a week or two then all was a walk in the park since then. He is now eating veggies and drinks his milk in a glass. i will not lie to you, there are nights after i weaned him that we would slip, his dad would caught us nursing, but it's all okay now. =) but sometimes, he would pull up my shirt and just kiss my breasts. he would say that he would just kiss it, because i told him that it was sour so he wouldn't dare suck them no more! =) It was just hard adjusting on how to make him sleep at night, so every night in exchange of breastfeeding we would watch a movie so he could sleep, he now knows every dialogue and every song in most of disney movies. =) Thank you so much! I got a little depressed during those weaning times though, probably separation anxiety, or i miss breastfeeding him! thank you all so much! i'm glad those sad weaning days are over. =) kudos to all breastfeeding moms!

Sammie - posted on 01/04/2011

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If it were me, i would definitely nurse him again. And then i would gradually wean him. Its just so hard on little ones to be weaned cold turkey. Its something they have done their whole life and it is very comforting to them. And it is hard to have that suddenly taken away.
Good luck.

Manveer - posted on 01/04/2011

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Completed unrelated to your problem - and I wish you all the best and hope he gets better soon - but how did u manage to wean him at that age?! My son is 21months and will not stop - and he is now at the age where he can ask for it and pull my top in public!!!!!!!!!! Advice appreciated

Ruth - posted on 01/04/2011

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im still breastfeeding but a friend went through the same thing, the dr suggested she try putting a little bit of milo in the milk he will get iron from it and he is encouraged with the flavour

Christie - posted on 01/04/2011

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My 2yo self weaned at 15months and let me just say she hardly eats a thing either! We joke that she lives on love, air and sunshine ;) What I am getting at is it is more than likely totally unrelated that your toddler is going through a fussy eating phase, it is ridiculously common. If you have made the decision to wean because it is something that you think is right for you and your child at this time then please don't beat yourself up about it. Mother guilt is a killer! You did a fantastic job to breastfeed up until 2, and you will continue to be a fantastic mother whether or not the nursing relationship continues ((hug)). A healthy child with never willingly starve themselves to death. Just continue to offer healthy food and drink options to graze on as well as regular meals and it will all work out in the wash. HTH :)

Amanda - posted on 01/03/2011

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Teresa I believe the post was removed because as Beverly tried to explain she posted on the wrong page and her comments were not directed to you

[deleted account]

I read it, but since my name was referenced and it was deleted.... I was curious. How do you post a comment calling someone cruel as an error? ;)

Kristin - posted on 01/02/2011

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Mary, based on nutritional logic alone you have to admit your advice is not rock solid. In no way does chocolate milk replace breast milk. I do agree that if Nicole weans her son now he will be probably be okay, but I do not agree that the act of weaning constitutes a parents ability to "make a few choices of their own, instead of leaving everything to the child". I'm sure your not trying to say that responding to what a child needs represents a parental inability to make choices. If you had a child that was miserable at school would you be willing to take her out and find her a new place to learn? Or would you tell her that she needs to learn to get by in the real world and make her stick it out? I don't think one or other is the only right answer, but the point is they are both choices which require thought, intuition and courage. Choosing to be attentive to a baby's needs even if it's not convenient, easy, or socially acceptable is a very valid choice. On another note, I really can relate to what you described about your five-year-old. My four-year-old also would prefer to just drink milk so I just don't offer it to him, but if he asks I'll let him have a small glass as long as he has already eaten a regular meal. There is better quality nutrition in vegetables and whole grains.

Amanda - posted on 01/02/2011

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Clearly nobody read the apology about the creul comment it was posted in error!!!

Heather - posted on 01/01/2011

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Oh, and a friend who's a child behaviorist warned me when I was concerned about my own child's barely eating that some children WILL starve themselves until they end up hospitalized. It's a reaction to losing control over their environment and two things that a toddler can control is their input to their body (eating) and output (specifically, pooping) if the need to 'control' something. I have a friend who chose the opposite route at 2-3 years old and had to go to the doctor for regular help evacuating because she absolutely refused to poop until she was sick from it, over and over, because... well, frankly, she's a control freak and was even back then I suppose. But her world was very out of control for her often and it was all she had and she did permanent damage to her body from it.

Children have ended up in the hospital on IV nutrients from the "just let him starve" angle. It's not 'tough love', it's actually criminal neglect and it's illegal. The problem is that force-feeding is no better, so the best thing to do is try to make food and mealtimes enticing.

I wouldn't suggest cookies and crackers because you would be depriving him of nutrition, but 'fun' food is definitely a good idea! Make things colorful, tasty, etc. If he drinks cow's milk or chocolate milk, you could try Ovaltine (if you're not boycottig Nestle--which, while I am, I had to give in there because there's nothing else quite like it) as it has a ton of vitamins added to it. If you're not comfortable with that, then you might like to start kids' vitamins anyway to help fill those nutritional gaps :)

If he doesn't like veggies, you can try 'hiding' them in foods he does like.

Oh! I just remembered--one of the ways I got mine eating again was smoothies! Yogurt and frozen fruit and veggies (a little broccoli and carrots, specifically--frozen broccoli, pureed carrots) in the blender. It was way easier than I realized and delicious and packed full of vitamins. You can add flax seed meal for fiber and... I can't remember what else, lol, just that it's healthy, but it can make it a little gritty.

I hope that helps! Sorry I was so brief earlier, but as I said, I was nursing, so it took me the same amount of time to write that little bit as this longer bit!

Sally - posted on 01/01/2011

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I personally wouldn't have stopped until he wanted to, but I don't know your situation.
Did you wean him because you thought he was ready or because you wanted to? If it was for you was it because you had really had enough or because someone told you he was "too old"? Did you break him off gradually or cold turkey? If it was just because of his age, why is the number 2 so important? I know western 'culture' often tells us that nursing past 6 months is odd, but for most of human history and even today in most of the world people don't consider weaning until at least 2 years and many children aren't fully ready until school age.
If it was because of his age and especially if it was cold turkey, imagine how you would feel if your favorite person suddenly cut off your favorite food and best form of comfort for a reason you were not capable of understanding. Most 2 year olds aren't very verbal yet. Not eating may be the only way he knows to tell youhow upset he is. If it is upsetting you that much, maybe you weren't as ready as you thought you were either. If you are going to nurse him again start soon because the longer you wait the less milk you will have. If after starting again you still want to quit; break it off slowly and gently one feed at a time over at least a couple months.
Good luck

[deleted account]

Since the post where I was called cruel has been deleted, I don't know the reasoning, but from rereading the remaining posts it 'sounds' like I was called cruel for having my breastfeeding son go away w/ his father for a week straight..... Can anyone that read that post clarify?

If that IS the reason..... I didn't make, let, or WANT my son to go w/ his father for a week. It was forced on us by a court order since his father and I are divorced.

As I've said somewhere on this board... I TRIED to wean him for the only reason being that upcoming visit and my son freaked out completely. He wasn't ready to wean. He DID ok for the week and is home as of today and still nursing.....

If that wasn't the reason I was called cruel then please disregard this entire post. ;)

Jenelle - posted on 01/01/2011

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Whats with some of the name calling..calling someone cruel because of how they chose to wean thier child is not ok. She is not doing anything wrong. It's not for everyone to bf after the 2nd year, and it's not for everyone to wean in the same way. We have to do what works for us, as long as we aren't harming our child.

Merry - posted on 01/01/2011

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But toddlers work off of instinct mostly, when they get stubborn about something it's likely because they still need it.
We don't force them to learn to walk,or to learn to talk, or to toilet train. When they resist it's likely because it feels wrong to them for now.
You can trust your Childs feelings to come through, when it's obviously upsetting them, feel free to oblige them. Spoiling happens when you ignore their needs and fill it with wants.
Give them their needs and they won't spoil. They will thrive!and *some* children need to breastfeed longer then two years. So we all as moms need to listen to our kids cues and not deny them what they feel they need.
Emotions are just as important as physical needs.

Sheila - posted on 01/01/2011

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My grandma gave me the best and toughest advice, let him starve because it is a battle of wills, he will eventually eat, he's not going to win. My daughter is a picky eater and as soon as I stopped trying so hard to force feed her, she eventually started eating albeit just a limited variety of meals. But it is better than nothing. At this age, they will battle over everything and sometimes you just have to be reasonably firm over your decisions. My daughter is 18 months and I want to wean her, I think she realized it because now she is more fervent in her bf sessions. I want to wean her because I am not enjoying it any longer, she feeds all day and she bites a lot. I've tried holding it off but I feel that this is a step we're both ready for. Anyway, my cousin has a son who is 3 months younger and he did the same as your son; he went on strike for 2 weeks but he soon gave up. Your kids are a true reflection of your character, if you are stubborn then expect them to be even more stubborn so just brace yourself for more battles of wills. I know I've said a lot but I hope it helps. Believe me, sometimes I also need to hear myself say it to believe it.

Jenelle - posted on 01/01/2011

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I breastfed both my boys for about 18 months each. They were extremely hard to wean. But they did eventually eat something when they got hungry, as well as drinkin their whole milk warmed in a sippy cup..which they really liked. Good luck and contact your dr. He has to eat and drink SOMETHING. :)

Heather - posted on 01/01/2011

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(NAK, please excuse typos) I agree that if age is your only reason for weaning, I'd resume nursing. If you needed to stop, then maybe talk to a pediatrician for help with replacing the nutrition lost from not nursing. Either way, maybe try experimenting with new, nutrient-rich foods. I agree also with looking at weekly nutrition more than daily (although water needs to be daily!). It's pretty normal for 2-5 year-olds to eat the way you're describing, while pigging out once or twice a week.

BTW, either way you choose, congrats on making it two years!

[deleted account]

What did I miss??? If I was called cruel I would like to know why. ;) I don't need help weaning my son and I am most certainly NOT cruel for doing what I believe is best for him.

I would like to say that other than a few tears... my son has done very well w/ his father this week.

Merry - posted on 01/01/2011

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Lauren! That's an awesome saying for toddlers eating. Ya some days he eats nothing but my milk, and peanut butter lol but other days it's like constant food and drinks and food!
I'll keep that in mind next time I'm left wondering if he's getting enough, or too much lol.

Merry - posted on 12/27/2010

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If it were my son, I'd go back to breastfeeding.
Natural weaning age is estimated between 2.5-7 years.
So while some 2 year olds might be ready, some 6 year olds aren't ready!
So if you are thinking he isn't ready, then he likely is not ready.
There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding a toddler, but if it feels wrong in your gut to wean, then that is wrong.
Weaning shouldn't have any regrets, you can't redo it if it goes wrong.
Listen to his needs, and give him what he needs. And it sounds like he needs breastfeeding a bit longer!

Beverly - posted on 12/27/2010

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I apologize completely!!!! I thought I was posting on another thread! Nicole, please accept my apologies!

Dora - posted on 12/27/2010

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Beverly you need to realize that every parent raises their child/children differently. Just because you don't agree with what Teresa is going to do does not mean it is cruel. It might actually work for her. No one way is the right way for every child. Remember every child is different and adjusts in different ways. Using the word cruel towards a mother who is using her own method of weaning is just cruel in itself. I can easily call you cruel for allowing your child to cry all night. What you did with your child was what you decided to do and what Teresa is deciding to do is her own decision. Breast feeding is tough enough even though it is well worth it. Instead of using harsh words you could have easily given her suggestions on different things Teresa can try to help wean her child.

[deleted account]

If your main complaint about continuing to nurse is that he's 2.... keep going. From my experience w/ my son.... age is not a good reason to wean. He's 2 years 9 months and seems no where near ready to wean. Of course, he's about to go w/ his dad for a week straight (never been w/ dad longer than 10 hours straight so far), so who knows? He may come home weaned. Right now he seems to be 'stocking up' to hold him over though. ;)

Beverly - posted on 12/25/2010

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I just stopped BF my son as well. He's almost 26 months and currently on day/night #6. But he's eating and drinking plenty. You should check with pediatrician. Without knowing all the details, I would say to stick to it, almost threre, but not if your son is not eating enough food/drinks.

[deleted account]

Did he eat well before you weaned? Is he sick or does he have any teeth coming in? That seems strange. Maybe he's upset by the weaning.

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