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Extended breastfeeding, can't wait for self-weaning, hand-holding please!

(14 Posts)
YankNCock Fri 09-Nov-12 20:48:58

Tonight I did what I hope is my final breastfeeding session with ds1. I just can't do it any longer. I wanted a more natural end, and when I got pregnant with ds2, I thought maybe ds1 would self-wean. Nope, it was him feeding that helped start my labour!

So then I felt like I couldn't stop because he'd be resentful of ds2. Then I wanted to get potty training sorted (we'd had a failed attempt before ds2 came).

Now I've run out of excuses. I'm fed up, feel annoyed at least half the times ds1 feeds, then feel guilty for considering stopping when it's clearly so important to him.

But he's 3 years, 2.5 months today and shows no signs of giving up. We only got down to once a day at my insistence. Particularly when he is ill, he'd always ask for more. So for the last few weeks I'd told him that at some point he wouldn't have 'boobies' any longer. Then yesterday I told him his feed tonight would be the last one.

I felt really emotional, had to tandem fed him and ds2 (3.5mo) because ds2 just couldn't wait and I had nothing expressed.

I know I could carry on feeding ds1, but I just don't want to. Don't they say 'for as long as is mutually desirable'? It's just not mutual now, and I'm finding myself resenting ds1,getting sick of being touched, being annoyed when I've got to spend time feeding him.

I don't want to go back on it, but I was so sad tonight that I'm scared I might. I think my own emotional issues with this might actually be harder than putting up with ds1's screaming tomorrow night.

I would really like to hear from other extended feeders who didn't wait for self weaning - - how did you do it and how did you get over the guilt?

Yes, I'm a firm believer that after a year you continue for as long as suits you both. Your needs matter too.

With ds it was a gradual tailing off but even that had to be instigated by me. I gave him his last feed the day before his 4th birthday and while he asked a few times (still does now at 5 and a half) he's never been upset or crying. And this was a boy who never missed a feed unless I wasn't there.

Imo the trick is to change the routine. Can your partner put him to bed for a few weeks? Buy a new book he's really excited by they can read together. While you stay downstairs after a loving kiss and cuddle?

I tandem fed and apart from a few times didn't really like it. Feeding the two together was very cute but so tying. Feeding separately more practical but took so much time.

RemindMeWhatSleepIs Fri 09-Nov-12 20:58:27

I'm here to hold your hand.

I don't have much advice to give I had it a lot easier than that; my DD stopped when I got pregnant with DS and my milk tasted funny. She was pretty keen to start again once DS was born though, but I wasn't so keen.

Hopefully someone with something useful to say will be along soon. smile

YankNCock Fri 09-Nov-12 21:00:28

Yes I think dh will do bedtime for a while now, that's why I wanted the first two nights ds1 goes without breastfeeding to be on the weekend, so I could be sure dh would be home in time for bedtime. With the time change, ds seems to think as soon as it gets dark it's time for bed! And then he starts asking for boobies. I don't know if he really understands but he was saying 'last booby' when he'd finished tonight. Bracing myself for tomorrow, it will be a miracle if there's no crying/screaming.

RemindMeWhatSleepIs Fri 09-Nov-12 21:00:33

Cross posted with shriieekk who had lots of useful things to say. blush

legallyblond Fri 09-Nov-12 21:10:01

Holding your hand as I sort of understand the emotional side. I didn't really, truly do extended feeding - I stopped about 4 weeks ago when DD was 2.3 days.... She would have continued and still asks for it (not terribly seriously) now. I did want to stop.... But felt like I still wanted her to need me and be close as I work full time (DH is SAHD). So I know that feeling of relief at the thought of stopping, feeling sad because you love bf, feeling guilty because DD/S isn't self weaning but still having the sense that "it's time". Consider your hand held! X

legallyblond Fri 09-Nov-12 21:11:34

D'oh DD was (obviously I hope!) 2 years and 3 days... Not 2 days old!!!!!

legallyblond Fri 09-Nov-12 21:14:40

Oh and actually, she hardly cried. She made it quite clear she didn't want DH rather than me and we talked a lot about cuddles instead of bf. I would say she cried, having cuddles, for about 3 minutes. I am a softie (v keen on Sears & Sears) so am happy for now to cuddle and sing her to sleep.

YankNCock Fri 09-Nov-12 22:46:37

Thanks everyone, have had a little cry about it, will just have to see how it goes tomorrow. I appreciate the hand holding!

How did it go?

MoelFammau Sun 11-Nov-12 00:46:59

My DD is 18mo and I'm desperate to stop. She loves it though and recently it was the only thing that she'd drink while suffering gastric flu.

But I work long long hours (16hr days) and it's exhausting. Any advice on weaning her off would be appreciated!

YankNCock Sun 11-Nov-12 15:27:52

Well, miracles do happen. On Saturday morning ds climbed in our bed and I could tell he was sort of thinking about having a feed, but I clamped the covers over me and he settled for a cuddle.

Then in the evening he was upstairs with me putting away laundry, and he said he wanted to get his jammies on. Ok I said, since it was nearly 7pm. And finally here mentioned it, 'I have boobies in mummy's bed.' Deep breath. 'you remember last night was the last boobies right? There's not going to be boobies any more. You can go downstairs and have milk from the fridge if you want.' Braced for tantrum, but it didn't happen, am still astonished. He went down, had a sip of milk, then went back up with dh for teeth brushing and stories. Went to sleep with no trouble.

Today he managed to bash his head on the sofa, attempting to do a flying leap on to dh. I could see he really had hurt himself, and he came to me crying, wailing 'boooobies!!' and trying to get his hand in my top. I said 'remember you don't have boobies any more, but come and have a cuddle.' and he was okay with that, still cried a few minutes but didn't keep trying.

I just can't believe it's been this easy. Will try not to get too excited as it's not even 2 full days, but I'd expected so much worse by now! Thank you for all the hand holding!

RemindMeWhatSleepIs Mon 12-Nov-12 19:28:50

I'm really pleased to hear it's going so well for you. smile

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