Weaning in a bad mood?

(12 Posts)
NellWilsonsWhiteHair Sat 14-Jun-14 14:26:21

I am having a really hard day/week with my 26mo.

He is still largely bf on demand (apart from a couple of smallish rules - not in the morning when we're getting ready, and not on buses/trains any more), including usually fed to sleep. He has been really unpleasantly chewy through the last few nights, which is very normal teething behaviour but I feel far less tolerant of it than I have done previously. I have been planning in any case to night wean for some time. Today he has now bitten me repeatedly on both sides, and I just feel completely that I've had enough - I don't want to ever, ever nurse him again.

I'm not sure of the wisdom of this - I have a feeling that weaning in such a horrible context will leave at least me, and possibly him too, feeling quite bad for a long time. But I wonder also if this means that I have already continued far beyond the time I should have given it up.

I don't know what to do. Breastfeeding was so horrible for months and months at the beginning and now the ending is horrible too and I wish I'd never bothered with any of it.

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Sun 15-Jun-14 12:55:49

I have days like this too. It can be really hard feeding a toddler (obviously a very different kind of hard to feeding a newborn) and I really identify with what you write about sometimes never wanting to feed again but not wanting to stop on bad terms! Their demands can be a bit relentless.

I night weaned DD and stopped feeding her to sleep a month ago and this has really helped me. I tried the Dr Jay Gordon method at first but it seemed to confuse her, so we went cold turkey on night feeding but with lots of cuddles. I feed her before bed, then do stories and teeth and then no feeding until the morning (currently 5am. But that's another thread) It was only one night of lots of crying but I stayed with her the whole time. I think she was cross rather than upset iykwim.

My next task is dealing with the on demand day feeding. Like you I feel like it has gone on too long! I hope you can reach a compromise with your DS, it is horrible being bitten and feeling touched out. flowers

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Sun 15-Jun-14 12:58:53

Oh and I like your nickname. Fuck knows what colour Bill's hair would have gone if she had to deal with a stroppy feeding toddler as well as the Nazis. grin

CheshireDing Sun 15-Jun-14 13:05:44

When trying to stop bf at 12 months with DD I still fed her to sleep and cut down the night feeds by DH giving water at first if she just woke crying, then if she specifically asked for a snack she got malt loaf (my theory being it's quite heavy so would weigh her down til morning.
For me the fed to sleep was the last to drop. I will try the same with DS too.

NellWilsonsWhiteHair Sun 15-Jun-14 18:28:11

thanks Thank you. It really helps to feel less alone.

I have regrouped a bit and worked some things out - mostly that I need to pick a future date for the night-weaning, and also that I want to distract/delay/keep short ("while mummy counts to ten" - he's remarkably good with this trick) all daytime feeds. I think we will go together to choose a special cup for water in the nighttime when there will be no more milk at night, but I want to time that so it actually happens on the day - can envisage frantic night-long feeding if I confuse him by saying we're stopping and not then stopping immediately. grin Not that we're far off frantic night-long feeding as it is, mind.

Gunpowder, when you do the 5am (sympathies, ugh) feed, is that on the basis that she's already up for the day, or does she go back to sleep/do you want her to? I have a fantasy that I want to keep a morning (in bed) feed going, partly because I don't think we're ready to wean altogether (it would be a convenient and meaningful feed to keep, i think) and partly because I like the idea of getting to stay in bed a bit longer, but I'm not sure, pragmatically, how to make this clearly different from a "night feed". I know the Jay Gordon thing is that you simply look at the clock and have a 'no nursing' timeframe, but I had wondered if that might prove confusing (as it seems to have done with your DD) and am planning to drop the feeding to sleep altogether.
Also, are you on/have you seen the Chalet School threads in AIBU? Was my latest namechange inspiration!

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Sun 15-Jun-14 19:20:38

The counting to 10 is a good tip, I am going to try that. I offered her a water cup too but that was mostly thrown at me in fits of rage! Once she did have a drink and was obviously thirsty.

I would love DD to go back to sleep after her feed at 5 (she has it in our bed) but it seems to have become a signal that it's morning and she is then up for the day. I think it's because when I decided to night wean I kept saying to her 'no na-nas (her word for bfeeding) until the morning' so maybe that was a mistake as when it gets light at 5am she quite rightly assumes it is morning.

I'm not painting a great picture, but 6 weeks ago DD was feeding every hour from 11pm and then constantly from 4-7am, so a 5am start is actually an improvement. She asks for a cuddle at night now rather than for feeding so we are making progress.

Good luck with it all, keep us posted. It is nice for me to be able to discuss cutting down with people who don't think I am a bit odd for feeding post a year. smile

I tend to steer clear of AIBU but will head over there to find the Chaletians! <excited> thank you.

NellWilsonsWhiteHair Sun 15-Jun-14 19:52:40

Aha, that is exactly what our nights are looking like atm, so your post really does serve as the reassurance it's intended as! I am hoping to get DS to an osteopath to kickstart the night weaning for various uninteresting reasons, so need to phone up tomorrow to arrange that and then from that I will decide exactly when the grand night-wean will begin. I will def come back here and grumble/report news of progress. I am wondering whether to begin with a week of Jay Gordon ish v short night feeds (not right to sleep, followed by cuddles) before totally cutting it out, or whether to cold turkey the lot of it overnight. I wonder if he has two sleep associations at the minute - the going to sleep feeding, obvs, but also the going to sleep bellyful of milk. Might be worth dropping one before the other.

Counting to 10 worked really well here, almost immediately. (It did probably help that he was used to the 'counting to 10' concept when using his asthma inhaler daily, but even so I was impressed because most efforts to delay or distract are usually met with exactly that kind of beaker-hurling fury!) I also find it really calms me, plus I can speed up or down depending on just how much I don't want to do any given feed. I hope it's useful for you too. Are you trying to wean completely in the near future, or just make the whole business much more manageable? I'm v much inclined to the latter, but I also feel that if his response to night-weaning etc is to completely wean, I'd be alright with that now.

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Sun 15-Jun-14 20:55:31

I don't want to stop either, although I think I do on bad days. I want to just make it more manageable too.

I had imagined feeding post a year, certainly post 18 months, would involve calm quiet feeds twice a day, not DD trying to unleash my boobs on the bus and demanding more feeds than her 4 month old cousin! The La Leche 'don't offer, don't refuse' is tricky when she asks constantly. I think the counting 1-10 will really help us, especially the slowing down/speeding up part which is genius. smile

I think with us it was the going to sleep with a bellyful of milk that was actually the bigger sleep association, so maybe your gentle method will work. Hope so. I hope the CO is helpful too. FINGERS CROSSED!

NellWilsonsWhiteHair Tue 17-Jun-14 20:09:25

Yes, I've never entirely understood what "don't offer, don't refuse" is all about, as a step towards weaning. It seems exactly the same to me as feeding on demand... Maybe some toddlers are less demanding. grin

Osteopath now booked for a week Thurs. I am trying to keep night feeds as short as possible, to try to gently move away from the bellyful thing, whilst still allowing him to go to sleep on the boob. (This may be entirely ineffectual, but hey.) Then I think, from the day he's seen the osteo, I'll feed but not to sleep, before cutting out night feeds altogether. Will do the short feeds for 10ish nights I think, which sounds like ages, but means I can schedule the first milk-free night for a Sunday - so we can go out that day together to buy a 'special cup which big boys have at night when they don't have milk any more', and so I can nap a bit the next day while he's at nursery. Although maybe 10 days is much too staggered... Maybe I should do it that Sunday, so it's only 3 nights of v short feeds, then straight in to the proper thing.

I am really glad I didn't just wean in a huff the other day. It definitely wouldn't have been the right time.

flipflopsonfifthavenue Wed 18-Jun-14 12:42:38

Not quite the same as I night weaned at 13mo and quit alltogether at 18mo, but it was a bite at 11pm that finally pushed me over the edge and I decided there and then I simply wasn't feeding him at nighttime anymore. I was sick of sitting there several times a night while he comfort sucked and I sat there weeping to myself... I knew then it was time to quit!!

I did the Jay Gordon method-ish and it worked well, and he started settling himself without milk at bedtime and in the night, and then started sleeping through within 2 weeks or so.

I was then left with a morning and bedtime feed - it helped that I'd gone back to work so simply wasn't around during the day - and I slowly dropped the morning feed and then bedtime was last to go. I still remember the last feed smile

After feeding on demand, including to sleep for all naps and at bedtime, for over a year, I knew it had to be a gradual and gentle process to wean, otherwise I was worried it would be too traumatising for him/me.

It must be said, as soon as I night weaned I rediscovered my love of bfing and enjoyed it again for the remaining months, rather than resenting it, like I'd started to.

NellWilsonsWhiteHair Wed 18-Jun-14 20:16:00

This is all v useful to read, thanks. And esp reassuring to hear that night-weaning was so successful really quite quickly, and also that it helped you fall back in love with feeding. I hope I will find similar. I have lost patience especially with the prolonged chewy teething feeds at night, bleurgh. I'm feeling a lot better about it already though, now I've got a definite(ish) plan with a very definite date set for winding it down. smile

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Wed 18-Jun-14 20:57:12

Nell I think making the plan is the hardest thing. Once you have done that everything else follows.

Chewy night feeds are the worst. DD has become a lot less bitey since we night weaned, but I am still a bit low on patience for the all day feeding. Have been trying counting 1-10 but she doesn't seem to get it yet. Not sure if this is because she doesn't understand the counting or is choosing not to listen. smile

Am with you on the demanding toddler thing. Hopefully their tenacity will ensure them great success in later life. grin

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