Extended Looks like my 3yr 3month ds2 has stopped bf. Feeling a bit sad - but proud

(34 Posts)

I havent fed him since monday morning sad This is the longest he's gone without a bf. He's missed the odd feed here and there either if I've been out or he's forgotten. But if he's missed a night time one he will have had a morning one. He has only been having one before bed and one in the morning since he was about 2 - I think, I can't really remember.

Dh has been wanting him to stop breast feeding for a while now, maybe a year.

grrgh posted too soon. Sorry.
And please ignore the random 'extended' in the title hmm

Where was I?.... yes dh has been wanting him to stop bf for a while. Has been saying he's too big, too old etc. I was/am happy to continue feeding him . I'm not sure how long for , but for a while yet. Ds2 liked it and he was very quick. It wasn't in any way a hassle to me . He had become able to manage his emotions, when I was out and unable to feed him it at bedtime. This was a huge turning point as that part had been quite restricting - as he would be very upset if was not there.
I didn't ever plan to feed him as long as this, it just happened. Dd was fed for over 2 years and ds1 only 6 weeks ( something I felt very guilty about and wanted to 'rectify ' with dd). Ds2 was allergic to soya and dairy for a long time so couldn't have any other milk, but tbh I doubt he would have had a bottle of cows milk even if he wasn't -dd wasn't allergic and she never had a bottle.

Anyway on monday ds2 saw something when we were out that he really liked, so dh said if he stopped feeding he could have it. And that is how we have reached this point. He hasn't cried or asked for it, other than a half hearted ask this morning , to which I replied 'we don't have milky anymore' and that was that.
There have been other attempts for him to stop in the past but they have never worked out. He would agree to stopping ,then become upset at bedtime and I would feed him.

I'm not sure why I'm posting this. I'm just feeling a little bit sad. I don't really tend to talk about him feeding in RL, unless it comes up. I'm not ashamed or embarrased and I tell people if they ask, but I haven't told anyone we have stopped. It's the end of an era (sp?). I had a bit of a cry in the shower today and I've been making sure I'm extra covered up so as not to remind him or confuse him.
Anyway ramble over x Thanks for reading.

charlottery Wed 16-Jan-13 22:19:16

Well done, you should be really proud. I'm not surprised you're feeling sad, my dd had a one day nursing strike and I was in bits. Dreading her stopping altogether.
xx

Thanks charlottery x
How old is your dd?

I am worried that he might get upset and ask tommorow night or the next and then I probably would say no - as it will have been a few days of no milk. That would be so hard for me. I know you are supoosed to not offer and not refuse - and that is what we have been doing, but after this length of a break and at his age and as dh is keen to stop, I think we would have to.

Dh cannot understand me feeling sad at all. He keeps saying things along the lines of 'it was well overdue him stopping'. he's really pleased.

Ds2 is asking when he is getting his toy. I supoose I should order it! I held off in case it arrived and then he went back to feeding!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 16-Jan-13 22:40:03

Well done. You've done fantastically well and should be so, so proud smile. It can be so hard when you stop feeding your last. If its any consolation, at the weekends and holidays our dc now get up, make their own breakfast and leave us in bed. We've also booked a night away, just the two of us. It's not better now we've stopped bfing, there's just different things to appreciate smile

TameGaloot Wed 16-Jan-13 22:57:40

Don't really know what to say but wanted to say something
My three year old stopped a couple of months ago and I can completely understand all the feelings you will be having including the slightly pushy dh (though mine got short shrift)
I found it weird because I wanted a last feed so I would know it was the end but it kind of just happened.
He's my last so that's beast feeding over for me. It makes me sad but also happy that my small boy is growing up happy and healthy
X

TameGaloot Wed 16-Jan-13 23:03:12

And if it makes you feel reassured I cried writing that

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 16-Jan-13 23:16:45

Know exactly what you mean tame but your typo made me smile

Thank you for your replies . X
I understand about wanting to know when the last feed would be . I wanted that too. But on Monday I didn't know it would be the last one so didn't think of it as my last feed iykwim!
I do remember that one of his last feeds , it was in the morning , was really lovely and snuggly. In my bed in the dark, under the duvet, I was holding his chubby little hands, so grateful to be cuddling him- and having him as my lovely baby. Aww now I feel teary.
And yes my dh is being pushy but I do sort of agree that it has to stop at some point. I just wanted it to be entirely ds2's choice.
Dh has been supportive about me bf generally, it's only been as ds2 has got older. Ds2 has got clingy-er ( for other non bf reasons ) and dh thinks the bf makes him even more clingy/dependant on me and only me. So that's another reason why he wanted him to stop.

SirBoobAlot Wed 16-Jan-13 23:30:46

Feel hugely proud, well done!! My DS weaned himself in October, just before he turned three, and I still feel a bit sad at times. He's asked a few times since, mainly when I've said no to things wink but we talked about how it was gone, and then looked at me and said, "It's gone because I drank it all", which he thought was hilarious.

He had been going a few days without feeding, or forgetting to ask etc, and then one day, I realised it had been about five days, and that was it.

I do miss it a little bit, but at the same time, am so glad I was able to give him the opportunity to do it in his own time.

TameGaloot Wed 16-Jan-13 23:37:54

If ever a typo were apt grin

zgaze Thu 17-Jan-13 13:29:16

I'm also beast feeding a 3.4 year old and can only dream of the day he self weans. Having come this far I really do want him to wean when he's ready but I'm so over it, even though he's down to just the bedtime feed. It's harder because I'm also feeding my 12m old DD so I can't go down the 'my babas are poorly' road and he's not open to bribery either!

Thank you smile
I wish I was self weaning him - we had been but I don't feel this is strictly self weaning anymore as I have refused now. sad He woke this morning at about 5am and asked for milky. He was sort of still half asleep. Normally I'd have said he could in the morning , but today I said it had all gone sad
He was upset but I managed to comfort him and he got though it.
He also asked this evening but I distracted him with stories.
I've ordered his 'I'm a big boy' treat online this evening , he will so excited when it arrives grin

Spiritedwolf Fri 18-Jan-13 18:29:01

You've done so well to get to this point smile I'd imagine you haver some of that bitter sweet 'my baby is growing up, I'm loving discovering who they are becoming but I do miss them being small' feeling.

I wonder if you are annoyed at your DH though, and if that's why you posted? I would be extremely annoyed if my DH tried to force an end to breastfeeding with a bribe without my prior agreement.

If you and your son are ready to stop then that's fine, it just stuck me that it seemed to be taken out of your hands and I wondered if that was affecting how you were feeling about stopping.

My DS is only 5.5months and I don't know how long we'll feed for, but I'd want it to be DS's decision, or mine and I'd have stern words for any one who said he was too old (starting with asking the rude individual what age they were when they stopped drinking cow's milk). I would be upset at my DH undermining breastfeeding in front of DS or trying to get him to stop. As a parent, he could talk to me about it if he was concerned about the feeding for some reason, but not in front of DS, and I'd be furious if he tried to manipulate him into stopping before either of us were ready.

Your DS may well be ready since he hasn't resisted it, so it's totally up to you if you want to take advantage of the lack of feeding and to carry on and refuse if he asks. I'm just saying I could understand if you were annoyed at your DH for initiating the stop in the way he did and felt you'd been cheated out of making the last feed special (though I'm sure it was).

As none of the other posters have reacted this way, and as you didn't say it, maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree and thinking too much about how I'd feel if it was DS.

Spiritedwolf Fri 18-Jan-13 18:50:05

and I'm so bloody minded I'd offer to feed DS forever just to make a point grin maybe not, but that's how I'd feel!

Hi Spiritedwolf , I am annoyed with dh about it. He's been saying ds2 should stop for ages and ages. He said it to him and me and the other children in front of ds2. In fact when he'd gone to work in the mornings , ds2 would say 'I can have milky now cos daddy's gone ' . He could have had it when he was there - but ds2 knew ( even at age 2) that dh didn't want him to have it. Dh used to say all the time 'he doesn't need it , he's too big ' etc
I told him that by continually saying that he's not helping. I think ds2 would have stopped himself if dh had never behaved like this . About a year ago he started to forget a few bedtime feeds and I think that would hv continued but by dh saying hd should stop it made him more determined to feed.
But saying all this I do agree that he did have to stop at some point hmm and if that time is now , well I should go with it. If ds2 had really resisted to the 'getting a treat' plan then I would not have gone ahead with it .

I'm scared to cuddle him too much in the mornings and bedtimes at the moment in case he wants a feed . I don't want him to feel like I'm teasing/tempting/reminding him. And I miss that sad sad but I'm sure in a few weeks when the new way is established it will be ok to cuddle loads in bed again .
sad

scoobydooagain Sat 19-Jan-13 08:42:22

It wil be fine , I stopped last year when my DS was 3.4 and he still talks about it just the other day he said that he had been fed the best way not with a bottle! (must have been nursery talking about it not something I have ever said). As a bonus I have lost a lot of weight since stopping and by looking on MN seems that is not uncommon after stopping extended breastfeeding.

Iwillorderthefood Sat 19-Jan-13 08:50:50

Nothing to add, I stopped because I went back to work and DD2 would not take to bf at home and bottle at nursery. It felt too soon, she was 9.5 months, I felt really emotional about it. Again was in part making amends as just could not do it with DD1.

Well done with doing so long and I too would feel out if sorts with DH.

Spiritedwolf Sat 19-Jan-13 15:53:13

That's sad garlic. I haven't weaned a child off nursing before (so I'm speaking from instinct not experience), and I can see how you'd maybe not want to 'tempt' him by holding him close but I think you could be cuddling him when you and he want to.

He's going through a change at the moment, by stopping nursing, it would maybe be good to show him that it doesn't mean the end of cuddles and moments of undivided attention. The message: Mum can comfort him without milk and she still loves him lots. Maybe reading would be good because he'd be sitting with his back to mummy but still close and cuddly?

I know people are different about making changes and maybe he would find it tempting, but if your instinct is to hold him close, I wouldn't fight it. If he gets upset or confused about missing milk you can talk about it together.

He's weaning off milk, not mum!

(and grrrr @ insensitive H angry and watch out for him undermining you and the children in other ways - its not a nice attitude at all, children grow up because its what happens and what they instinctively want to do, they don't need dad bullying them into it - from experience it just makes one feel insecure) Sorry - projecting a bit. Totally understand why you decided to go with it though, if DS wasn't ready to stop then I doubt it would've worked. But I reckon if he's ready then he should probably be able to hug you without being too upset by not nursing. Sounds like you miss the cuddles and could do with one.

We have had cuddles this evening watching a DVD. And stories . I'm not not cuddling him, just being careful not to make him think of milky iykwim.
sad I've cried a few times today sad I got really quite upset at his bedtime (after he'd gone to bed) as he was asking for milky again. I told him it was broken. He said 'why mummy?' I said 'sometimes things just break baby' I told him that it's ok to be sad and that I was sad too. The other night I stuck plasters over my nipples (ouch) to reinforce the broken milk scenario. I know it's a lie but I didn't want to say 'we can't have milky cos daddy doesn't want us to' sad
I told dh I was upset and that I only agreed to this as I truly thought ds2 would change his mind after one missed feed- but he didn't .... I'm gutted.
I have tried all this time to let him self wean and now I've done this. We weren't hurting anybody while feeding . I was so upset tonight , Dh told me I should go and feed him now or in the morning. Now that would be ridiculous and very confusing for him after a whole week.
Sigh

SirBoobAlot Sat 19-Jan-13 21:29:44

Oh Garlic, big big hugs. I'm so sorry your H wasn't supportive, your DS asking if he could have milk now daddy was gone made me well up.

DS has been asking for milk today, so I let him try to latch, of course he had forgotten. He was then asking where the hole was for the milk to come out. I made a joke out of it, and we giggled for a while, but it made me a bit sad - with all the gyne problems I now have, I don't know if I will ever have another baby, and breastfeeding being really really over upset me a little bit. The little darling, he then tucked my boob (he still calls my breasts ''milks'' even though he knows what they are called) back into my nightie and said, "I tuck your milks back in now Mummy. I'll give it a kiss first! Thank you milks. [DS] look after you. Aww, love you milks." It made me well up a little bit.

Sirboob how long has it been since your ds had his milks? I wonder how long it would take for him to forget.
And would it be terrible/wrong if I let him feed tommorow if he asked?
I'm very tempted .

SirBoobAlot Sat 19-Jan-13 21:59:16

He weaned himself in October. I was relieved and sad all at once. Relieved because my health has been so crap, and having him on my lap or even laying down to feed was getting so painful (I can't lay on my hips for more than a few minutes) and sad because... Well, think that goes without saying.

You want my honest opinion? I'd have harsh words with your H, and tell your DS he could feed if he wanted to. But that is only because you sound so miserable over the way things have ended. You could tell DS that your milk / boobs / whatever he calls them are all fixed now, so he can have some if he would like.

On the other hand, if he is coping okay without it (and it sounds like you are dealing with him wonderfully over it), then I think it may be worth thinking about much longer from now you would have ideally wanted to have feed him for.

Big hugs either way. xx

Thanks Sirboob. I'm sorry your health has been bad sad
I really, really wanted him to stop all by himself. Whenever that was - within reason - before 4 I think. And I really didn't see any problem with him feeding. I didn't want it to go on forever but I am sure it would have phased out naturally in the end.

My eldest ds had started calling ds2 a baby when he saw him feed - copying all the things he heard dh say. hmm

I think I am going to see what ds2 says in the morning. See how he is. He hasn't ever cried to a huge degree or been terribly upset when he hasn't been able to have it, and believe me he can get VERY upset over things!! But he has asked for it in a sad, teary way. If he had been desperately upset I would have fed him.

Dh still thinks he is right. He said 'he's too old'. I know that if I did feed him tommorow he would think this was a wasted opportunity to stop. But it's not entirely up to him is it?

SirBoobAlot Sat 19-Jan-13 23:26:08

I think you need to have a word with you H regardless in that case, as it sounds like his attitude (which is disrespectful to both you and DS2) could start to cause issues between the boys sad

And no. I'd go as far as to say it's not actually up to him at all - he's made his opinion perfectly clear, and is going about it in quite a nasty way sad.

Even if you do decide to stop now, I would let you H know just how much his attitude, frankly, sucks.

You poor love. What a hard place to be in.

Hi, well this morning ds2 asked for milky but he really wasn't that distressed when I said it was all gone. So I didn't feed him.
And this evening as we came down for stories and what used to be milky time he said 'Milkys broken' and I said yes ds2 and made a sad face. Then he had stories and went to bed beautifully . Dh was out with the kids and for a second I thought "ooh I can feed him - nobody's here..! " but I didn't . Ds2 wasn't even really upset it would have been silly if I had. Gosh as I'm writing this my boobs are tingling :-/
I think dh knows how I feel about his attitude .... I've been telling him for a year that he needed to stop going on about how ds2 needed to stop milky - and for a while he did stop saying it. It just sort of started happening again. I don't want to keep having an argument about it . And when I talk about it , I feel upset .

I'm hoping that I've turned a corner with how I feel though. I am feeling more positive and less sad and teary.
Reading your messages in really helping . X

Satine5 Mon 21-Jan-13 15:28:23

Garlic, Your thread has actually made me cry. I must be feeling particularly hormonal.
I also BF my DD who is 18 and as much as I want her to self wean, she is very firmly attached and I doubt she will consider it before 3 or later. My DH is supportive, I would say very supportive, but not sure if he is going to be when DD is older. She still doesn't sleep through and DH thinks it's because she is BF and has a very strong boob/sleep association. To the point that her word for milk is the same as her word for sleep!
Your thread has really hit home with me-I am not sure wether it is because it reassured me that it's ok to feed way into toddler years (I don't know anyone who does, and come from FF family, so does DH) or whether your weaning story was so sad, clearly not what you wanted to happen and I feel for you.

I am sorry that I have no advice, just wanted to send you hugs and thank you for sharing your story. sad

Thewhingingdefective Mon 21-Jan-13 16:16:39

Another one here, blubbing.

I hope it's getting easier for both you and your DS, garlic. Sorry that the end came before you were both ready though.

Thanks for your messages Satine and winged. I am feeling less sad about it and I haven't cried since the weekend. Ds2 was asking for it yesterday eve but the difference is, before , when he was feeding , there would be no way I could calm him and not feed him, but last night I did. He went to sleep happily after a little chat and a cuddle about what he'd done that day.
He asked again this morning but it was as if he knew he wasn't going to get is as he was asking iykwim.

I'm sorry this has made you cry hmm But if it has helped in anyway then it's also a good thing.
You said you don't know anyone else that has fed this far- well I don't/didn't either. I was alone! The only one! By about 2 years!!! My friends were all totally cool with it though. smile
I loved loved breastfeeding and so did ds2.

Satine5 Tue 22-Jan-13 14:38:48

Garlic, it's great to hear that you are feeling more positive about it. Can I just ask you what was your experience of sleep/bf association with your DS?
I am a bit worried that my DD entered a phase when there is no way she will fall asleep without sucking if I am around. On occassions in the past, she was able to fall asleep after a feed, but in my arms but that phase is gone. She needs to have my nipple in my mouth to sleep and although most of the time I don't mind, I would like to have a choice, but she gets so tantrum-y and hysterical, I started to worry a bit and just get on with it for her/my own peace at bedtime.

Hi Satine5 . ds2 used to always fall asleep whilst feeding - as a very young baby. Then at around 4-6 months I did the pat/shush nap method to try and get him to sleep without being fed. This worked for naps but he still fell asleep at night time during a breast feed. Gradually as he got older he would not fall asleep during his milk ( unless i fed him for ages till late...!) so we started to take him up awake. We were amazed when he first went to sleep ( at night time) from being awake. shock So pretty much for the last year, most nights he went up to bed awake . After milk and stories. Unless he was incredibly tired and then he'd fall asleep during milk.
He definitely associated night time ( and morning) with having milk . But in the end not actually physically falling asleep with milk . ( is this making sense?!)
About a year ago he had started to become interested in stories AS WELL as milk - as apposed to his only goal at bedtime being MILK!! He would feed - sometimes very quickly on both sides , and then say he was finished. It was as if he wanted it as that was his routine but sometimes it was almost like it was a cursory 'ill do this as its the routine' feed. And If he didn't remember to have both sides he'd get upset when he went to bed and then remembered! Funny little thing! Xxx
He asked again tonight btw but we just had stories and chatted about his teddies envy

Satine5 Thu 24-Jan-13 15:12:53

Hi Garlic, sounds like my DD is a bit different, she is s 'sucker' still and I wonder whether I should have done something about it earlier on. She started throwing almighty tantrums if I try shush/pat or just cuddle instead of falling asleep with a boob in her mouth.
However, she was such a poorly baby with silent reflux and a comfort feeder, she still has gastric issues and it brings her comfort. I think I am going to stick with what we know and try to change routine when she gets more teeth (she is a very late teether and I expect that's also why she is such an adamant comfort sucker.
I may start a thread to ask other extended bf mums about their experience. I have no one to talk to about this and it feels lonely!! xx

TomDudgeon Thu 24-Jan-13 15:57:21

Glad it's going ok
It might not have been the best thing but is happened in a good way
I felt the need to write it down at the time too. Talking does help
(Tame under a change)

Thanks all smile Yes start a thread , it might help x
We're nearly at the end of the second week. He's still asking every morning and every night. But he's not crying when we explain its all gone. He has tried to get into 'position' a few times which was hard but I just distracted him. He'd jump at the chance to feed if he could :-/
But I'm thinking positive and forward .

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