To say "Enough is enough" with extended breast feeding.

(60 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Sat 09-Apr-16 07:42:40

My DS was two years old recently and still breast feeds. I have managed to cut him down to twice a day: once when he wakes up in the morning and again when he wakes up after his afternoon nap. He's still always asking for it at various other times of the day too and can have a little tantrum when he's told no but he can be distracted and then it's forgotten.

I do believe in the benefits of extended breast feeding, hence why I still am, but I think I've had enough now. My DH has also been making comments that DS is too old for it now but they don't go down well with me hmm

I know ideally we should just let the toddlers self wean, and I don't want to force him to stop by just denying it him anymore but sometimes instead my head I'm shouting, "Will you please just leave me alone" every time he lunges at my chest.

I spoke to a friend about it yesterday, who is also feeding her toddler, and she told me that she would never just stop her son from feeding and she would have no problems feeding him up until he was 5 if that's what he wanted - she also added in that she has her husband's "full support" on this matter. It was all said very smugly.

I just feel like I've done my dues now and if I don't go cold turkey on the feeds, despite knowing it will upset/confuse him, I don't see how he will ever stop of his own accord??

Has anyone else ever enforced the end of breast feeding with their toddler and how did you do it?

I know it's good for him, I know it's something he finds lots of comfort in but I really do feel like I'm ready to stop now and that it's time to put my wishes first - though I feel pretty awful and selfish even just writing that sad

Fraggled Sat 09-Apr-16 07:50:20

I fed my son until he was around 2.5, and my daughter is around the same age now (still feeding).

I did instigate the end of it with DS. He was down to one feed, he asked for the first few days and I just kept saying 'you've been such a good boy and finished all the milk now. Well done' There were no great dramas. I remember I had definitely 'had enough' by that point, and felt he was waking up early for his feed.

I'm happy carrying on with DD for now, but at some point I'll probably play the same card with her unless she self-weans first!

It's a two-way relationship, and if you feel you have had enough you don't need to feel bad about stopping.

WellErrr Sat 09-Apr-16 07:50:24

Yes, I'd be touched out by that age!

It's fine to stop. It's your body. A friend of mine did plasters over nipples and just said no more milk now, and went out with her DS to buy a special cup for cows milk. Worked fine.

Yeahsure Sat 09-Apr-16 07:52:30

Just stop?

It's like dummies or bottles instead of sippee cups or anything else a child needs to grow out of.

Good luck.

Frickle Sat 09-Apr-16 07:52:52

I don't think you're being "awful and selfish' at all. Even if not bf a toddler, you can feel so damn mauled. I used to want to get a suit of armour sometimes!

No advice (just envy, as I wasn't able to BF at all, and still feel sad about it), but I think you should feel entitled to stop, after giving your child such a great start.

Yeahsure Sat 09-Apr-16 07:53:04

Or nappies or pull ups...all has to end, it's not cruelty it's part of a child's development.

Nodney Sat 09-Apr-16 07:53:36

I'm kind of there myself OP. My DS is 2 and I'm ready to stop but not sure how to as he loves it. He also wakes early to feed

curren Sat 09-Apr-16 07:53:56

It's up to you.

Your friend sounds like a bit of a bitch. I don't get why people are so offended that the father of the baby has an opinion. He isn't telling you, you must stop is he.

What's right for her has no impact on you. If you want to stop, stop.

NightWanderer Sat 09-Apr-16 07:56:29

I bit the bullet when DD was 4. I hoped she would self-wean but she was showing no signs of doing so. It was mostly at bedtime that she missed it as she had never gone to sleep without breastfeeding. I just bit the bullet and told her no more. She cried a bit the first few nights but was fine after that. I just kept talking to her to distract her and eventually she fell asleep.

FishWithABicycle Sat 09-Apr-16 07:56:39

It's entirely your choice, your body. You do what is right for you. It may be that stopping bf frees up more physical and emotional energy for engaging with your growing child in other ways which could be more beneficial to him than continuing to bf whilst feeling drained and slightly resentful.

Itscurtainsforyou Sat 09-Apr-16 07:56:41

Completely agree with other posters. I believe that if you want to stop breastfeeding ( at any point) then it is completely your decision to do so.

katienana Sat 09-Apr-16 07:59:30

I stopped at 18 months. Its fine to stop if you don't want to do it anymore. It was the bedtime feed we were still doing, I just got dh to take over bedtime for a few nights. It was fine and didn't affect our bond at all.

Pteranodon Sat 09-Apr-16 08:01:15

La Leche League have some tips on gently weaning a toddler here:

www.llli.org/faq/weantoddler.html

And some info on Kellymom here:

kellymom.com/ages/weaning/considering-weaning/how_weaning_happens/#motherled

I agree that your friend was unkind to brag about her supportive husband etc. Ignore her, do what's best for you and your child.

Cuppaand2biscuits Sat 09-Apr-16 08:02:52

I know exactly how you feel, I was worried that by forcing the breastfeeding to end I would spoil all the closeness we'd enjoyed because of it.
My dd self weaned aged 2 years 3 months, I was pregnant and I think my milk dried up.
When my ds got to a similar age I decided to wean him off. I work 1/2 evenings a week so he's used to going to bed without my boobs. I left the house for 3 consecutive bedtimes, he's not really missed it. He only asked for it when tired for a week or so. He's never made a fuss about it at bedtime, just sometimes if we were out and he wanted to sleep because previously he would breastfeed and fall straight to sleep even in a busy soft play.
Good luck. X

TychosNose Sat 09-Apr-16 08:03:26

I'm in the same boat. Ds is 2 and I have no idea how to properly wean him off the boob but it's got to happen soon. I'm done!

No need to feel bad though. If you wait for self weaning you could still be feeding him at 5yo. That's a long time to carry on if you're not that happy about it.

When I weaned dd I got dh involved so he got up with her in the morning (that was the hardest feed to drop) and I stayed in bed, working on a sort of out of sight out of mind principle. It was actually easier than I expected it to be. Within a few days dd stopped trying and soon forgot all about it.

Jw35 Sat 09-Apr-16 08:07:40

He doesn't need it anymore so it's just a comfort habit. Just find an alternative and say no more boobies. I don't see the point in extended bf but it's up to you.

RoseDeGambrinus Sat 09-Apr-16 08:08:08

I weaned DS at the same sort of age. Instead of taking him into my bed first thing I got up with him, got books and toys out and he was generally ok apart from one morning a few days after we'd stopped when he was poorly and got upset that I wouldn't feed him. But fingers crossed you wouldn't have that.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 09-Apr-16 08:14:01

Thank you everyone for your replies and I'm glad I'm not the only one dealing with this.

I know DS is fine without my milk as due to my job I'm sometimes away from him for over 48 hours but when he's home with me he seems to want to breast feed all the time.

He climbs on my lap and says "Milk please" (in a very, very cute toddler manner) and if I say no he will start kissing me and saying, "Please milk, mummy milk please" and it can be very wearing.

He still has his hand down my top all the time too, in fact I can't remember the last time I held him or had him on my lap when he didn't have his hand down my top. He started doing this ages ago, maybe 7-8 months ago, and I hoped it was a phase he'd grow out of but obviously not.

Mistigri Sat 09-Apr-16 08:27:09

My DS eventually weaned (at 2) when I went away on a business trip. When I got back it was as if he'd forgotten what breasts are for. He never showed the slightest interest ever again.

Mothers have rights too: if you've have enough of bf, cut down or stop. The key is probably changing your routine for a bit so that you schedule something else (preferably something he enjoys, or at least something very distracting!) when you'd normally be bf.

witsender Sat 09-Apr-16 08:28:28

2 isn't extended...it is in line with WHO recommendations.

It sounds like he is using it as a way of bonding with you when you're home.

Are you wanting to wean?

TychosNose Sat 09-Apr-16 08:35:51

Even toddlers who have never bf put their hands down mummy's top. They like to touch skin. I used to offer dd my arm or let her put her hand just up my top on my waist while we cuddled. There are lots of ways to still be physically close with out bf.

CesareBorgiasUnicornMask Sat 09-Apr-16 08:43:02

I'm quite pro extended breastfeeding OP but only if both mother and child are enjoying it. Although breastmilk still has benefits for toddlers I'm pretty sure they're negated if the mum is feeling fed up all the time. I'm feeling the same as you tbh and DS is only 20 months blush. DH also making noises about stopping. I alwayd thought I'd feed him until at least 2 but I'm going away for three days in June, a month before he turns 2, and I think I might just use that as a chance to go cold turkey. He's absolutely fine when I'm not around but when I am he asks every time he's a bit bored.

Ninjagogo Sat 09-Apr-16 08:43:29

Fully understandable, I weaned DC1 by offering a cup of cows milk when she asked for milk, she was very happy with this, I felt oddly miffed! Good luck.

YoJesse Sat 09-Apr-16 08:48:06

I replied to another Bf thread yesterday saying it is really hard to keep going when your partner is uncomfortable with it. As people have said, if you want to stop you can but you will be in for some hard work.
I regret weaning when I did 17m because Looking back I tried to make out it was because I wanted to when actually it was because dh and others were making it uncomfortable. My last breastfeed ended horribly with dh shouting at me in the night to 'fucking stop feeding him' but somehow keep him quiet and get him back to sleep hmm. Haven't thought about this for ages but it still hurts.

Fourarmsv2 Sat 09-Apr-16 08:48:23

I stopped with DS1 at 22m as I was 22w pg - I was exhausted and it hurt.

DS2 was 34m. He had a period of severe illness between 2 and 3 when he stopped eating so didn't wean down naturally. We went cold turkey and it was absolutely fine. I wished I'd done it years earlier!

It's up to you as well as the child.

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