Still BF at 17mo -- she's down to morning, when I come home from work, bedtime, and 1-2 times through the night (we co-sleep). Lately, as her molars have been coming in, she has been grabbing at my nipples -- mostly at night, as that is when she can get at them -- I think for comfort. She doesn't want to breastfeed: she'll suck her thumb and knead at my nipple either with the hand in her mouth or her other hand. If I try to get her to latch on, she'll fairly quickly stick her thumb in her mouth and knead with the hand now so conveniently close.
I find it very uncomfortable and keep removing her hand and/or turning so she can't reach. But then she'll get all upset, and we normally solve it by then I BF upset DD briefly and she drifts back to sleep. I wouldn't mind BF for comfort, but I can't stand this grabbing/kneading thing. Any advice on how to get her to stop? It doesn't seem right that my only solution at the moment is to make her so upset she does want to BF.
Ugh I feel your pain, my dd is 15mo and she does this all the time when she is feeding or if she sleeps in beside me when not well. I hate it, drives me mad so if I am feeding her I take a small cuddly toy for her to hold or if forget I hold her shoulder with my other hand so she can't raise her arm up to get at it. That seems more effective than keep pushing her hand away. With the sleeping thing I can't stop her so I turn my back on her and she scratches at my back for a bit then gives up. It's horrid!!! Could you wear a vest top and bra in bed so she can't get at you so easily? They are monsters at this age; my dd can grab my nipple when I am fully dressed and I'm popping her in her car seat!
Glad to know I'm not the only one! I'd thought about wearing a top in bed, but I'm quite large-breasted and night is the only time I don't have something cutting into my skin to hold them, so I don't really want to wear something then, too.
I tried a soft toy tonight, but she didn't seem very keen on it. I guess I can keep trying. I don't want to hold down her hand, because she does get comfort from sucking her thumb! Hopefully this phase will pass soon.
No solution sorry, but my 20m old has gone through phases of really annoying, toe curling nipple twiddling! It sets my teeth on edge and makes me want to scream! It seemed to be a compulsion and removing her hand made her v v upset and stopped her feeding. I read somewhere on a blog or website that the mum gently put the babies hand on their own tummy button everytime and they started fiddling with that instead. I know that if I have another I am going to crack down early before it becomes a habit!