tips for weaning 20 month old - please help I am going NUTS

(13 Posts)
microferret Fri 05-Aug-16 10:09:34

I can't take it any more. DD seems to breastfeed recreationally. I try to distract her, but in the middle of reading books / playing with toys / eating lunch etc she suddenly pulls at my top and shouts "BOOBIEEEEEE". I wouldn't mind so much if it was just now and then but when we're in the house - which is unavoidable sometimes - she is just obsessed. And when she feeds on one her hand is forever trying to get into my other bra cup so she can tweak and pinch my poor, abused nipple.

I am at the end of my tether. "Don't offer, don't refuse" makes no sense. I don't offer and occasionally refuse and I still constantly have a toddler attached to my boob all day. I've tried using dummies and bottles with formula with no luck. And she feeds in the night too, often for a full hour early in the morning. I have gastritis this week and can't eat and I feel like my life force is being sucked out, quite literally.

My mum's (serious and persistent) suggestion was to paint a scary face on my tits. Does anybody have anything more sensible to suggest? Is there a website that helped you? How did you do it? Did anyone try the tit-face?

HELP ME.

CarrotPuff Fri 05-Aug-16 10:32:56

You'll just have to say no like you say no to anything else. She's not a small baby anymore that needs to be fed on demand.

I would also stop feeding during the night. A 20mo definitely doesn't need it, it's purely a habit.

If she feeds so often during the day I wouldn't go cold turkey. Decide how many times/how often you want to feed her and stick to it. Drop a feed every week. Keep distracting. I know you said it doesn't always work. Does she ask if you're out and about? I know you have chores to do at the house, but I'd really try to be out of the house as much as you can manage for the first week at least.

microferret Fri 05-Aug-16 10:46:08

Sounds like sound advice. I think that's what I need to hear. She doesn't need it at all, does she? It's funny, I have no issue being firm with her on other things but I feel awful saying no to feeding. She cries like her little heart is breaking.

Ginmakesitallok Fri 05-Aug-16 10:47:45

Just say no. She doesn't need breast milk.

kinloss Fri 05-Aug-16 10:49:59

Can you go away for a week/a few days, and have her father look after her? If the two of you are together.

If you're not there, you can't feed her.

Then when you're back, tell her the milk has gone away.

microferret Fri 05-Aug-16 10:56:59

kinloss yes we are together - childcare is split fairly evenly now (we have a small business and in the summer we don't sell much). He seems keen to do that, I think it might work.. Worried about how much it may unsettle and upset her though, she's never been away from me before. I do sound a bit indulgent don't I, in general I'm quite strict. I just need reassurance that it won't damage her. I read somewhere that a child should never be away from the primary caregiver in the first two years, but she's nearly two now anyway I suppose.... And I could do with a weekend away!

AliceInHinterland Fri 05-Aug-16 11:06:08

You know it won't damage her right? When I wanted to give up (at about 17m) I was hating it (pregnant and made my skin crawl), and I thought it was better not to resent my son.
I would talk to her about it for a bit beforehand and go cold turkey in the day. Say she can still have a bedtime feed and a morning feed, then aim to cut one of those out (I found bedtime easiest as my partner could take over with a warm cup of milk). The morning feed is hard because you have to get up earlier, but it's worth it. My toddler understands 'all gone' when he's not allowed more of something. He doesn't always like it, but he knows what it means!
I also heard plasters on your nipples in the day can help to make them less accessible.

ToastyFingers Fri 05-Aug-16 11:07:44

Oh my god, Scary Tit Face really made me laugh.
Dd was like this at 18 months and to be honest with you, the only thing that worked was a firm no and a very high cut top.

She never really took to cows milk though, trying to substitute breast for bottle/cup Was futile.

Hastalapasta Fri 05-Aug-16 11:16:12

Have you tried offering a snack during the day when she campaigns for a feed? That and a juice bottle of water being available might work. I have nothing to recommend for breaking the night feed habit other than suggesting that your DP tries to settle her. Easier said than done. Sounds like you address doing a great job, hope it goes well for you.

microferret Fri 05-Aug-16 12:31:45

thanks all - very helpful suggestions. I will try plasters on my nipples Alice , plus just cutting out all but morning and evening feeds. I think this has given me the will I need to do it. It's good to hear that she really doesn't need it and that withdrawing access won't harm her. Now we just have to get her interested in other drinks....

KP86 Fri 05-Aug-16 12:36:17

I read another poster's story about how she picked a date in the calendar (maybe two weeks away) and started telling her DC that milk would be finishing on that date, and then as it got closer, ok, only five days left and then milk is finished, etc etc.

Band aids over the nipples is a good idea. And just saying there's no more milk over and over and over.

You don't need me to tell you that you've done her a great service to feed for so long, and it's perfectly reasonable to want some autonomy back!

AliceInHinterland Fri 05-Aug-16 13:37:24

Yes, you've done an amazing thing for her so far, and you sound lovely. It will be hard for her but her caring mum will be there to support her. Remember you are the adult in this situation, and clear boundaries are more beneficial than any amount of breast milk for a toddler, they like to know where they stand. Good luck.

T0ddlerSlave Fri 05-Aug-16 15:01:28

I know some friends who refused unless first thing in morning or last at night, then warned them milk was running out.

Counted down the days then put plasters over their nipples and said it was all gone.

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