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Extended BF (DD nearly 4). HV/Doc saying this 'babying' is adversely affecting behaviour....not sure what to do for the best. Advice welcomed - NOT judging - thanks

(29 Posts)
EggsOvaryZee Fri 01-Feb-13 13:50:26

Have a very challenging DD. She would still come into bed in the AM for a bit of 'booby'. Occassionally she'd miss it (if I was laready int he shower since she'd slept in for example) but normally that was our time in the AM for a cuddle.
Now, her behaviour has always been difficult. She is very verbal, demanding etc...

Anyhow, speaking to my HV and doc (I'm about to embark on a Triple P course to see if I can get some ideas on how to cope with her - all our strategies aren't working) - they both seem to think that by me still 'allowing' this, I am sending her/giving her confused mixed messages about being both a baby and a big girl...

I agree it's not always convenient, when I'm trying to get showered etc...but also, I really know that she cherishes it as a 'special' time.

We have discussed before with me saying maybe when she's 4, she won't want it...but she doesn't seem keen to give up.

I actually want to do what's best for her - I guess I wouldn't mind stopping so we can get out earlier in the AM's but she's not really liking the idea that we could still have a 'cuddle' in the mornings in my bed and that it doesn't have to involve BF...even though she knows her older brother (5) doesn't have 'booby' - and stopped when he was 1..!

Yesterday, i tried to have a 'conversation' about it - big girl, doesn't need it, we can still have cuddles, mummy needs to get up and ready for work etc...and she was OK for 5 mins but then we had such a hoo-ha this AM over it...she hasn't had it for 2 days but I'm unsure now how to proceed.

Do I stick with it though it is clearly upsetting to her? Do I go back on what I've said - surely that won't be good?

Anyone been there/done that?!

AngelDog Fri 01-Feb-13 23:39:22

Great advice.

FWIW, I think a nearly 4 y.o. is both a baby AND a big girl.

Charleymouse Mon 04-Feb-13 11:22:25

EggsOvaryZee hope you are getting on okay.

ishchel Mon 04-Feb-13 12:06:49

My 4yo (and 4 mos) still breastfeeds. She would also still feed through the night now if I let her. She is also very verbal from very young and while this may make her sound more able, she is still just 4yo with very limited life experiences. I cannot see how sitting down and discussing breastfeeding boundaries with her can make her understand that you want to change the boundaries and have her abide by them.

I have set boundaries by doing like you suggested, (getting up earlier) and insisting on nursing manners at when she is not polite about asking. Sometimes I discourage her for my own selfish reasons and I work on a flexible basis on whether I change my mind or not. She was nearly 4 before she gave up night feeds, still wakes up nearly every night looking for me but I think that is because she is still little and not because I am babying her. Being so verbal and in many ways more perceptive than my older one was at the same age must be a scarier thing for her. She needs that contact at night more than the older one needed it at the same age.

I am reluctant to wean her myself because there are times when it still works as a parenting tool for me and her. Some days she goes two days without milk some days she has it 2x a day some days once. I don't think this confuses her, I think it is a way of weaning her off slowly. Weaning is not a linear process in my experience.

EggsOvaryZee Mon 04-Feb-13 16:09:23

You lot have been ace. Thanks so much.

On Sat, back to BF - no explanations, all fine...nothing needed. but, come Sun, she was too interested in playing with her brother at 6am to ask for it, and I was already up n showered this AM, so no time, but she didn't kick off either.
Cheers all...grin

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