Breastfeeding toddler-regression and tantrums...help!

(4 Posts)
BazilGin Sat 18-May-13 20:45:59

Warning-long post!
Where do I even start? I need some perspective on this, I think I may be losing the plot.
Ok, so a bit of background...DD has always been a high need baby, silent reflux and just feeding for ages from birth. Lots of comfort sucking, always falling asleep on breast. Never SSTN. (gosh, does it make me a shit parent? I feel a bit stupid writing this!). I was always up for attachment parenting, no CIO, not refusing breast etc.
DD is now 21 months and something changed very suddenly. In the past, the best situation (the most comfortable for me) was that at night she would wake up once and be fed to sleep in our bed, then put back in her own cot, in another room. During the day, we have a rule of feeding at home only and many times when she asked and it was not convenient for me (cooking or too close to dinner), she would be quite easily distracted with something else. Although, i should also mention, the border line was , she would never skip any 'scheduled' feeds (morning, before lunch, (sometimes after lunch, before bed, at night) and if I am around, she will not accept my DH to put her to sleep or for a nap (I know, another mistake...)

So here we are now, for the last 2 days she has a massive, full on screaming tantrum when she asks for BF and she doesn't get it immediately. E.g. we were coming back from a walk today, she demanded bf just before got in, I explained she will get it as soon as we take our jackets and shoes off-massive tantrum. At night, she wants to suck for ages and when I try to stop (for a cuddle, just to give my boob s a rest!) she has a full on screaming tantrum.

This is making me feel so sad! I am actually teary writing this. I feel trapped more than ever, don't know what to do. I don't want to wan yet, but our breastfeeding relationship is so unpleasant at the moment, I just don't know what to do. I think I also have feeding aversion at the moment, I can't stand it for too long and tonight, she sucked to sleep for 50 mins!

Any advice? Has anybody been through anything similar?

BazilGin Sat 18-May-13 20:49:07

Oh, I forgot to say, she has had a tummy bug and was fed lots as it was the only thing she would keep down.
Could this be the cause of this regression? I should also mention, I was very calm during the tantrum, trying to giver her a cuddle, talking calmly but every time she gets to a state she is close to throwing up. I have never seen anything like it!

Fazerina Tue 21-May-13 01:43:42

Hi there! Just read your post and didn't want to leave it unanswered. Sorry to hear you're having such a rough time with your LO. I'm not the most experienced breastfeeder on here, but hopefully one of the ones, who've breastfed/are breasfeeding more than one toddler/baby will be along soon as well to offer some reassurance.

My DS just turned 2 and I remember him going through a similar phase a few months back. With us it was especially aggrevated, as we went on a holiday to my country (his first time there) and were surrounded by loads of strange people (strange to him), a foreign language and a foreign environment all together. It was a culture shock for him to say the least and he kept asking to BF every hour and in the strangest places and would go completely hysterical if I tried to delay it.

Of course with my DS, it was the holiday that made it worse, but I'd say he was getting quite 'intrusive' (for lack of a better word..) Even before our trip and I remember having to feed him in playgroups and so on, which I hadn't done in months.

I've read that they go through a major developmental leap at around 18 months, which lasts for a few moths. I noticed with DS that at that stage he started to display the typical 'terrible twos'-tantrums and his independence grew more. But at the same time, he wanted constant reassurance and comfort that BF offered. Perhaps your DD is going through something like this?

I'm not sure what could help with the tantrums other than BF, as I never tried anything else tbh blush. But then again, I somehow never found myself in a situation where it would have been impossible to BF so I just caved in to avoid the tantrum. Of course, any other kind of tantrum is best ignored or then I normally distract or if all else fails, make him laugh.. I think it's a phase though, as at least we're back to normal now after a few moths. Hope things will settle for you too soon.

BazilGin Tue 21-May-13 14:57:50

Hi Fazerina,
Thank you for sharing your experiences with me, it is reassuring to know that your DS went through something similar and that phase is behind you. DH suggested night weaning, but I think this is the worst time for it at the moment.
I hope that this is a phase and will pass soon. I would ideally love for her to be able to self settle after bf and not suck for as long as she need to fall asleep, because it's killing me! Don't get me wrong, when it works quickly it's brilliant, but recently it seems to be taking forever and I feel like I'd like a change.
Tantrum wise, they have settled but that 's because I try not to delay it anymore at the moment. Any other tantrums (apart from bf ones) are ignored. Would love to hear other people's experiences!

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