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BFing a toddler & newborn - nursing aversion & tantrums, funny please help!

(7 Posts)

I've posted in the behaviour section recently (sorry don't know how to ljnk) but I think this is an issue with breastfeeding. I'm at my wits end and really don't know how to handle the situation.

In a nutshell the issues are:
* my toddler (22 months) wants to nurse all the time for up to 2 hours at a time (he's been ill recently and is eating very few solids)
* im suffering with nursing aversion (since pregnancy) and I can only stand about 10 minutes each side, I also don't want to feed him in public or during the night/early morning, the aversion is worse when I feed both together
*his teeth dig in and leave painful marks on my areola, having him open his mouth wide doesn't help
*any time I say no or end a session (with warning and a countdown) before he's ready he has a screaming wailing tantrum. They are increasing in length, this morning was just over an hour.
*he's started to ask when we have company, when we are out and about and during the night - all of which we had stopped until and after DD was born (she's 8 weeks and this started around a week ago) I really don't want to go back a step although I would happily feed more often during the day if at home if it will help
*he's waking earlier each day demanding milk, I'm I don't mind if he wakes early but I don't want to breastfeed him until say 7 and the rest of us cannot sleep while he screams khe refuses all offers of solid food, drink, cuddles and other distractions - I also feel that by offering a these I'm reinforcing the early wakings

He's very verbal and can express himself well just don't know how much he understands and, he just doesn't like to be told no.

I appreciate any perspective if you've been in a similar position but I'm really not looking to wean.. I just want to find a way to handle the situation so we're both happy and don't lose our bond or ruin our relationship sad

I have no idea how 'funny' ended up in the title, it's anything but.

Should add that I understand a regression is probably normal as are increased feeds after illness.. Just need to know if i go with it (I've always been very baby led) will I be able to cut it back again? If so how long might it take?

I do plan on calling a helpline (which one?) but it's finding a time to do it

I hate ignoring his screaming but anything else seems to make it worse. Is ignoring a tantrum different to ignoring a baby crying? It feels so wrong but if I try and comfort him he tries to nurse or squirm and fights me off (whilst saying "need cuddle!" - its very confusing!)

AngelDog Sat 22-Dec-12 18:53:11

No experience from me, but much sympathy.

I'm having mild aversion with DS1, and if DS2 is crying, I find him impossible to deal with.

I find that when DS1 works himself into a complete state, nothing will calm him down. What I do is stay nearby and just say every so often, "Let me know when you're ready for a cuddle." I don't think that being with him is 'ignoring' the tantrum in the way you'd be ignoring a baby crying.

I think you perhaps need to be completely consistent every time to help him cope best. So every time you feed you could set the timer for 10 minutes (or whatever), and do the countdown when it rings. If you do it every single time it might help.

If it were me, I'd feed in the early morning if he'll then go back to sleep - that way you maximise everyone's sleep. The better rested he is (and you are), the easier the daytimes will be. But DS1 is quite a bit older, so I know I could reason with him and stop doing those early morning feeds again when things were a bit easier.

stuffthenonsense Sat 22-Dec-12 19:05:52

Oh it's hard when they've been ill. Dd4 was exactly the same during her illness last month, days often ended with he in tears because of the sheer desperation I felt at being 'needed' so much by two small people. I thought it would never end, but as she slowly began to eat more and sleep better the demands for milk subsided and the tantrums eased and six weeks later she is returning to her normal pattern and sunny nature.
It will change. Stay strong.

Thank you both. His appetite seems to be returning, he's eaten 3 meals today! But is still asking for milk constantly, I think it's partly wanting the attention and closeness, partly it tastes so much better than before and partly boredom as we're not going out as much in this weather. I think we need to get out and about outside a bit more even if it means donning the raincoats and wellies to go splashing in puddles.

He won't go back to sleep once he's awake in the morning whether I feed him or not, it's just quieter for a bit if I do feed him but he lets rip whenever I ask to stop whether that's after 10 minutes or 2 hours! I like the idea of using a timer. He loves the new microwave which has a timer, maybe I'll use it for the 'extra' feeds beyond what was our routine (morning, nap time and bed) - he's been coping really well if I ask him to wait until a certain thing such as DH getting in and taking off his coat, I think I need to make him feel more in control.

He's been very whingy today but no screaming fits thank goodness

Poppedcorn Sat 22-Dec-12 19:20:18

Sorry I don't have much time to post as trying to get DS2 to go to sleep, but this time a year ago we were in a very similar position as you. I had a 23 month gap between my two, and for the first few months DS1 would ask for milk all the time - as soon as he woke in the morning he would demand it. I was so drained by it, and also suffered some aversion.
The only way I could manage it sometimes was by limiting him, so counting to 10 out loud (pick your speed!) this started in pregnancy, so he understood that at 10 we stopped. 3 months after DS2 was born, he suddenly calmed right down and was nursing a lot less. I found that aversion was worse if I hadn't been drinking enough water through the day. I think the problem was that he just felt so different to nurse than DS2 - it did get better slowly, but only truly went away when DS2 got a few teeth at 8 months, so they felt similar to nurse. Strange I know!
Sorry about the rushed post - will pop back later. Feel free to PM me if you want to chat though. It WILL get better for you though.

AngelDog Sat 22-Dec-12 19:28:56

Just been reading the other thread - I think 5madthings has some good ideas.

You sound incredibly patient. I yelled at DS1 at top volume right in his face today because I'd had enough of him refusing to do as he was asked. sad

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