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To think that no, I'm not breast feeding my toddler "for me" ....

(94 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Fri 01-Jul-16 09:44:34

Breast feeding my toddler is not fun, it is a PITA!

He's 2yrs and 3m and I wish I had a time machine so I could travel back in time to when he was a year old and stop breastfeeding then because at his current age it seems impossible to do.

I'm fed up of him groping me, pulling at my clothes, asking for milk all the time and crying when I say no, I'm fed up of him having his hand inside my bra all the time and him still waking at nights and breast feeding being the only way to settle him off again. The whole thing just really annoys me!

I was at work the other day, talking to a colleague about my latest bad night with my toddler when another colleague jumped in and said, "It's because you're still feeding him, that's where all your problems lie."

I started to respond to her but she interrupted and smugly said, "You're only doing it for you...." angry

I saw red and shouted back at her, "No I'm not actually because I FUCKING HATE IT!"

Needless to say my outburst killed the conversation and she walked off. I did feel a bit guilty about snapping at her but the comment had really annoyed me.

AIBU to think that the concept of breast fed toddlers apparently being forced into it in order to satisfy the mother's needs slightly odd?

If anyone is being forced into it then I think it's me.

As an aside, any tips on how to stop breast feeding a toddler would be much appreciated..... smile

EsmeraldaEllaBella Fri 01-Jul-16 09:47:18

Yanbu. It's hard going. Is there anything you still like about it? The reconnection at the end of the day? If you want to start weaning Sarah ockwell smith has some lovely ideas - try her webpage or fb group flowers

SchnooSchnoo Fri 01-Jul-16 09:51:50

YANBU! I'm still feeding my 20 month old and I feel the same. I stopped at a year with my older dc and it was easy. Unfortunately younger school has had a lot of health problems and hospital visits so I feel like she still needs it for comfort and nutrition (eating problems) so I don't feel I can stop just yet, but I'm definitely not doing it for me! I have had lots of hcp's implying that it's for my benefit, not hers, despite the fact that for along time she just couldn't keep anything but breastmilk down. Infuriating!

Also, she would go ballistic if I tried to stop, and I haven't mustered up the energy for that fight yet. No tips I'm afraid. I'll hang around and see if anyone else has any.

GloGirl Fri 01-Jul-16 09:52:04

Glad you set her straight. I don't know why anyone thinks they have any reason to comment dismissively about someone's breasts and how they use them (or don't use them) angry

Everything I have read about stopping weaning a toddler involves replacing it with chocolate milkshake and chocolate buttons.

And two bras and straightjacket like clothes grin

SchnooSchnoo Fri 01-Jul-16 09:52:24

Younger dc, not school!

ChocChocPorridge Fri 01-Jul-16 09:58:47

What does that even mean!??!

Of course you're not, any more than you feed them any other food 'for you' you're doing it because the alternative is persuading them to stop (assuming your toddler doesn't want to), which seems even harder than carrying on!

AdrenalineFudge Fri 01-Jul-16 09:58:53

Not to be dismissive but what would be wrong with just stopping. Keep on saying no to your dc and ride out the screaming and shouting? It'll be a nightmare for a while but then it would phase out wouldn't it?

Blablabla1984 Fri 01-Jul-16 09:59:45

Oh bless you!! Breastfeeding is lovely. I did it till my little one was 15m old and enjoyed every minute of it. The bond it builds is the best!!
I stopped because I was going back to work.
The way we stopped it was cutting a feed during the day every week and we got to a point where I fed him only mornings at nights. Then I cut the morning feed and substituted it with water. The night one was the toughest one but my husband would take him after a bath and rock him to sleep. It works within a week.

JillyBoel Fri 01-Jul-16 10:01:12

YANBU. I never understand what it means, anyway, it being 'for the mother'. Nobody ever seems to make clear exactly what the supposed benefit is to the mother of apparently forcing their toddler to breastfeed (toddlers being notoriously docile and accommodating of their mother's whims...). And it's always said in such a way as to make it sound slightly sordid, isn't it?

I weaned DD down to one feed per day at around 2 by a mixture of distraction and refusal, tbh, particularly overnight feeds. I assumed that she'd self-wean eventually, but then she was 3 and still having one feed per day!

Then I got pregnant and it started to bloody hurt, so I cut her off blush. Things that helped - inaccessible tops, DH doing night wakings, time. And lots of cuddles.

Good luck!

Elisheva Fri 01-Jul-16 10:01:40

I have just weaned my 2y 4mth old. I weaned my other two at 2 years old.
With all of them I cut back and then stopped daytime feeds apart from nap time. Then stopped nap time feeds, then night time.
It takes a bit of determination to stay calm and matter of fact about it, and a lot of energy to distract and redirect. But I found with all three that once they understand you mean it then apart from a bit of grumbling they accept it. Decide on what you can offer instead, and lots of cuddles to keep up the contact/security thing.

RosesareSublime Fri 01-Jul-16 10:02:55

Op I know how you feel I have literally last weeked stopped feeding my toddler - who is just over 3 shock I never imagined we would go this long shock its been amazing but the last year has been hard and then got harder every time. It was literally only very quick in the pm and in the am too. But it was hard.

Ideally I would have liked to let her wean herself off but I cant bear it any longer for all the reasons you say, the pawing etc.
I went away for the weekend and toddler stayed with parents. When we got back I said it was gone. She has asked a few times and I have said its all gone. She pointed and said " whats that then" but I said it was empty. I feel relieved!

RosesareSublime Fri 01-Jul-16 10:03:55

grin @ jilly!!

WorraLiberty Fri 01-Jul-16 10:04:44

AIBU to think that the concept of breast fed toddlers apparently being forced into it in order to satisfy the mother's needs slightly odd?

Yeah but you've got the wrong end of the stick there.

No-one's saying toddlers are forced into it, just that they feel their are some Mums who don't even try giving it up, because they personally want to continue for their own reasons.

But that would be their business anyway.

Tummyrumbled Fri 01-Jul-16 10:04:47

I was on your position few years back. What I did was counting 1-10.

I counted 1-10 aloud and stopped my toddler to breastfeed. It probably took 3 months for my DC to "get it." (stopping after 10 then eventually weaned off)

It was hard when my child was ill as she wanted to breastfeed more but we got there in the end.


NikiSaintPhalle Fri 01-Jul-16 10:09:10

they feel their are some Mums who don't even try giving it up, because they personally want to continue for their own reasons.

Yes, but no one ever specifies what those mysterious 'own reasons' are? What are these people actually saying?

PeppasNanna Fri 01-Jul-16 10:10:53

I think many people who stop bf within about 18 months, dont really appreciate tbe complexities & difficulties of weaning sn older dc especially after 2.5-3 yrs.

Its time you made a decision, make a plan & then get everyone & anyone you csn to help & support you esp your OH.

Look after yourself.

Fiona80 Fri 01-Jul-16 10:13:36

I know how you feel my 2.1 year old wont stop and I've had all sorts of comments. From you are being lazy to its free compared to cows milk. And people telling me to cover them in lemon or vinegar so she won't like the taste and will stop. Has anyone ever done this?

MarianneSolong Fri 01-Jul-16 10:17:15

I went 'cold turkey' - because I felt no more feeding was easier for a very small child to understand, rather than 'Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't.'

We put new rituals in place that would be a (partial) substitute for the physical closeness and comfort of feeding.

But I'd argue that it is the parents job to lay down boundaries even if the child may not instantly be happy with those boundaries.

Also if the parent feels resentment because of the pressure to keep giving something she doesn't want to give any more, how does that affect the underlying relationship?

joellevandyne Fri 01-Jul-16 10:19:43

I weaned both my 2yoDD and 3y8moDS at the same time, which I thought was going to be a horrific nightmare, but was actually surprisingly easy. This is how I did it:

1. OH started doing night wakings (for DD, who was 20mo at the time. DS night-weaned by himself around 15mo). DD did not like it much at first and there were probably a week of rough nights but then she started sleeping through.
2. I didn't officially cut any feeds but as far as possible tried to avoid any day feeds, so they were just having morning and evening feeds.
3. I picked a last day about a month ahead and started talking regularly to the kids about how mummy milk was running out and one day it would be all gone. About 10 days out I told the the specific day it would finish, and explained what we could do instead (have a cup of cow milk, have a smoothie, have cuddles, etc). By the last few days I was reminding them every feed.
4. I really treasured my last feeds, took photos, told the kids when it was the last one ever, let them nurse to sleep if they wanted.
5. On the day after the last day, OH got up with the kids and whisked them off to have breakfast (change of routine). I put band aids over my nipples for a couple of days and reminded the kids that mummy milk was all gone. I was amazed at how easily they accepted it. DD told me "I really want mummy milk" a couple of times but I just said, "I'm sorry darling, it's all gone," and she was fine (did NOT expect this as she is normally very strong-willed!).

The anticipation of stopping is so much worse than the reality. Have a plan you feel good about and stick to it.

TinyTear Fri 01-Jul-16 10:20:16

My eldest stopped at 3y2m but that was because her sister was born that day... she went cold turkey but towards the end she was just having a couple of minutes in the morning (and not every day) and five minutes at night most days.

After 2y I did "don't offer don't refuse" and some days she forgot to ask... and also after 2y we only fed at home

ShowOfHands Fri 01-Jul-16 10:21:06

Oh I've been there.

What we did was say that milk was only for when I was in my armchair and only when in pyjamas. That way, I began to enjoy it again. Both dc needed to continue but I was becoming rageful. I had to put a stop to the fucking twiddling of the other nipple at the same time.

I was NOT doing it for me.

Backhometothenorth Fri 01-Jul-16 10:23:36

I know how this feels. I cut down to one feed just before dd's second birthday and then I started telling her that when she was two the milk would go and we would just have extra cuddles instead. We talked a lot about this before i eventually stopped - I wore extra clothes/ swimming costume in bath confused for ages so as not to cause any temptation. Stick to your guns- after a couple of days she just seemed to accept it and has slept 12 hours a night since that day smile (unfortunately hands down bra thing lasted for about another year though!!!). Honestly once I had genuinely decided that we had finished it was not so bad at all.

timelytess Fri 01-Jul-16 10:24:38

It was all a long time ago but... at five months I noticed my baby's determination to get into a feeding position whenever she needed it, and I knew I wouldn't willingly stop her from feeding if she wanted to.

We went on to 4 years 3 months. We stopped because when her father and I split up, I couldn't bear the physical contact, and she was old enough to understand. We'd agreed to stop on her fourth birthday, before the split, but she'd had a cold and needed feeding. She says she doesn't hold it against me that I couldn't feed her at a time when I could hardly sit still for a moment.

I didn't feed her 'for me', my motivation was 'for her'. But I loved being her mummy, and that we were so close. I think I'm still feeling the benefit of that, in our relationship, today.

user1465823522 Fri 01-Jul-16 10:26:13

Personally I never breastfed, it just wasn't physically possible with my first and I never felt inclined with the other three.

It's fine to stop. Dont beat yourself up over it and don't allow other people to judge you on it either.

wheresthel1ght Fri 01-Jul-16 10:26:21

Yanbu but if you hate it so much why carry on?

From your post you are becoming resentful of doing it so why carry on?

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