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To breastfeed my 29 month old even if he's been naughty?

(32 Posts)
RoRoMommy Thu 20-Aug-09 07:56:42

My DS is 29 months and a really avid breastfeeder. when he's upset, he asks for "tito", and I give it to him unless there are other, more obvious ways of comforting him (he bumps his head, I kiss it, for example), or it is impossible or inconvenient at the time.

But I do not refuse or withhold breastfeeding if he's having a strop and requests it, as I find it calms him quite effectively. My husband thinks this is coddling, and that tito should be refused if he is being naughty. I don't want to use breastfeeding as behaviour currency. Am I being unreasonable? What do others do?

PM73 Thu 20-Aug-09 08:03:22

Is this for real?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 20-Aug-09 08:05:16

I've replied on another of your threads - why have you posted everywhere at once?

diddl Thu 20-Aug-09 08:05:18

I can´t help thinking that when they are old enough to ask, they shouldn´t be bf anymore!

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Thu 20-Aug-09 09:14:14

When he is naughty, you give him something he likes. Sorry but tito might as well be chocolate buttons. Lazy. You need to put boundaries in round this.

Reallytired Thu 20-Aug-09 09:20:55

I think you are a journalist. No self respecting extended breastfeeder would have their child call breastfeeding "tito".

TheCrackFox Thu 20-Aug-09 09:23:56

I was thinking that too, Reallytired.

violethill Thu 20-Aug-09 09:30:33

journalist or troll.

If by some remote chance you are for real, then using bf as behaviour currency is precisely what you are doing. If you use bf as a means of stopping a 2 and half year old throwing a strop, then god help your husband or indeed, anyone at nursery, who tries to discpline your child. Don't you think it's a rather futile to use a form of behaviour management that only you can use? Are you a control freak? hmm

piscesmoon Thu 20-Aug-09 09:41:23

Troll! I don't think we are ready for another long, contentious bf thread-at least I'm not!

FaintlyMacabre Thu 20-Aug-09 09:52:03

I don't think this is a troll, and I think it is perfectly reasonable. The main reasons for tantrums in my toddler are hunger and tiredness. A quick breastfeed sorts both of those things, and can 'reset' his behaviour to cheerful and co-operative. If I'm not there then he is fine to be calmed by other methods.

And as for the 'old enough to ask for it is tool old' argument- oh please. If considered for longer than about 2 seconds it makes no sense at all.

FaintlyMacabre Thu 20-Aug-09 09:52:54

tool too!

HarryB Thu 20-Aug-09 10:20:22

This has "bitty" written all over it.

Acanthus Thu 20-Aug-09 10:21:13

trip trap ,yawn.

violethill Thu 20-Aug-09 10:24:19

I agree that the 'old enough to ask for it' argument is nonsense. Nothing wrong with bf beyond the point where they're talking - I bf mine for ages!

However I am still very sceptical about the idea of using bf as a behaviour management tool. It's unfair to the child's father for a start - how is he supposed to manage a tired/fractious toddler if they are trained to respond to a bf?! I would prefer to think of bf as something special between mother and child, but not to the point where it excludes the other signficant people in a child's life. A two and half year old is likely to be at nursery/CM/playgroup as well as (hopefully) spending good chunks of time with just dad as well as just mum, and I can't see how it helps the child to rely on something only one adult can provide.

RumourOfAHurricane Thu 20-Aug-09 10:46:51

Message withdrawn

RoRoMommy Thu 20-Aug-09 11:00:46

Oh my god. I am certainly not a journalist or a troll. I've been on mumsnet since my son was born, maybe shortly before.

AND I can't believe anyone would still say something like "if they are old enough to ask for it, they are too old." That demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the issue and is completely judgmental and rude.

AND yes, he calls breastfeeding "tito." His nanny is Mexican, and this is close to the word for breast in Spanish. Also rude.

Yes, I posted in several places at once thinking greater coverage would help getting some constructive and worthwhile, helpful answers. Should I have avoided AIBU. Lesson learned.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Thu 20-Aug-09 11:04:18

Yes you should! You have a totally different set of responses over on 'breast and bottle feeding' which is the right place for this. AIBU is more 'robust'!

diddl Thu 20-Aug-09 11:06:04

Sorry if my comment offended.
I thought this wasn´t a serious question, so responded in kind.

RoRoMommy Thu 20-Aug-09 11:06:06

Thanks to FaintlyMacabre. Very helpful, and exactly the experience I have had - he's usually tired or hungry, and bf sorts out both, and can turn the corner before a strop gets really out of hand.

I don't think comparing bf to chocolate buttons is quite right. I don't give him candy if he's naughty. I don't think bf is the same.

And I don't think I am "ruining him" in terms of being disciplined by others. He's a very good boy, and my husband, mother and nursery have no trouble controlling his behavior without bf.

My point is that to say, no you've been naughty so you can't have bf is more akin to me with saying, no you've been naughty so I am going to withhold my love/cuddles/comfort, than saying no you've been naughty so you can't have any candy. I think it could become a landmine to associate it with reward/punishment in controlling behavior, which is what I believe you do if you say no bf because you've been bad.

violethill Thu 20-Aug-09 11:09:42

OK - apologies for thinking you might not be genuine, but I stand by what I said in my post. I bf long term, but I still think you are doing exactly what you say you don't want to do ie: turning bf into a behaviour management tool, when it should be something special between mother and child which doesn't exclude the other signficant figures in your child's life.

You say in the OP that your DH doesn't agree with you on this - which to me rings alarm bells because if you believe both parents are equally signficant, then surely you need to come to some agreement about how you parent your child.

As far as advice about what to do.... at 29 months your child should be at the stage of being able to respond to simple sanctions. I would work on having some simple consistent responses to tantrums which (most importantly) your DH and nanny can use as well as you. It seems very unfair on everyone, child included, to use something that only you can provide as a means of managing his behaviour. It undermines your DH.

StealthBearWipesBumOnDailyMail Thu 20-Aug-09 11:16:26

RoRo is definitely not a troll, well I recognise the name anyway!
Not sure about this one. I bf my 27month old, but we're down to only morning and night now, and he doesn't tend to ask during the day. I did go through a period when he was still feeding during the day of wondering how to handle this sort of thing. On one hand I feel that his feeds should be the one thing in his life he should be able to rely on - I've always fed him as much as he wants it and while we put boundaries on other aspects of his life I want bf to be different. On the other hand, practically his demands for feeds have to fit in with me and my life. Suppose I've taken a soft approach to having my own way (putting off / distraction but not refusing it if he's desperate) and he's naturally fallen into a pattern that suits me. OTOH he doesn't tend to demand it when having a tantrum, only when he's very hurt or upset (and of course then I wouldn't refuse).
not sure if that helps at all or if it's just rambling! This is just something I've been thinking about as well.

StealthBearWipesBumOnDailyMail Thu 20-Aug-09 11:22:08

Just seen the other thread and FaintlyMacabre has said exactly what I was trying to say:

"I don't use breastfeeding as a reward, or withholding it as a punishment. It is outside those things. "

violethill Thu 20-Aug-09 11:31:38

My last post crossed with the OPs.

From what you say in the last one, it's difficult to see what the problem is! You say your child is a good boy who responds to his father/nanny etc on the occasions he has a strop!

Still think you need to talk to your DH though, as your OP says that he is unhappy about the bf situation. I think major aspects of parenting (and in my book, bf counts as one of the mojor isues) need to be agreed between parents. Where one parent is unhappy, and feels their pov is being ignored, the child may pick up on it. So, talk to your DH and find out what his reasons are.... maybe he doesn't feel as confident as you do that your child responds to him? There is no right or wrong here, but you need to both agree on how to parent your child.

AMumInScotland Thu 20-Aug-09 11:34:41

I think the bf issue is not really the main thing here - you and DH need to talk through what kinds of behaviour you need to deal with by comforting DS, and which need to be challenged. If it was a cuddle, not a bf, when would each of you think that was the best response to DS's behaviour, and when would you want to tell him off, or "punish" in some way? You have to get a reasonably consistent set of messages to steer his behaviour towards what you want to see and what you want to get him to stop.

Once he's been shown that something is not ok, it's fine to give a cuddle (or bf in this case). But it's not ok to automatically comfort the child when they're misbehaving, without making it clear that you don't lioke their behaviour.

BitOfFun Thu 20-Aug-09 11:36:48

You seem to have a solid opinion on it anyway, and if your husband/Mexican nanny haven't shifted you, I don't see what you are looking for from posting tbh.

Teta (which I assume is the word you're referring to) is still vulgar in Mexican Spanish btw. Just in case he repeats it in the wrong place.

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