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Help weaning toddler

(7 Posts)
Rinceoir Wed 01-Jun-16 06:59:43

I've been on before for advice about weaning my 2 year old, but it's not going very well and I need help!

DD is recently turned 2, she has been breastfeding once most days, occasionally twice. However she's becoming more and more demanding about it- yanking my top down, twisting my nipples, wanting to stay latched on for hours and having complete meltdowns if I say no- all of which irritates me no end. I can't bear her sticking her hands down my top. So I've been trying to wean her, but it's absolutely torture. I know she's not entirely ready, but I don't think she'll get there on her own any time soon.

Don't offer, don't refuse wouldn't work as she still asks a lot. I've tried cutting down the length of feeds with a countdown- she becomes absolutely distraught. I offer cuddles instead which turns into a terrible struggle as she pulls at my clothes. I explain that she can't have it now, but later and she has a tantrum. If I sit with her for stories/to watch something on tv as a treat it turns into a tantrum.

She's absolutely fine when I'm not around but I need to be able to comfort her without breastfeeding. She woke up an hour ago, so I got her up for a cuddle which ended in a horrible standoff again, so DH had to take over. I feel that out lovely relationship is suffering terribly.

I know I probably should keep going, but I've been ready to stop for quite a while now. Constant comments from my family who seem to think I want her to breastfeed forever don't help.

Does anyone have any advice for gentle weaning that won't end up with both of us frustrated and upset?

CatsCantFlyFast Wed 01-Jun-16 07:17:00

I think once you get to this age you have to expect it to be quite emotional unless they're ready to stop on their own. They can express their feelings vocally and loudly so that is probably going to happen I'm afraid.

I had similar just before 2 and cut down to one daytime feed at nap time. I'm not saying there weren't tantrums involved - I tried to stay calm and offer an alternative (bottle) and or very exciting distractions. The hardest times were when she was upset or hurt - so maybe try and find something that can offer comfort and distraction specifically for these times?
Perhaps something visual may help - "you can have milk when the clock is in the green zone" - can you butcher a clock to have one or two green zones and only the hour hand to point to them? That way it's not you saying no, it's the clock, iyswim

Dropping the final feed for us was a case of explaining in advance that soon she would be too big for breastfeeding. Kept this up for a week, then on the last day was very clear this was her last feed and tomorrow she would have a drink of milk instead. She was upset, and she continued to ask, and grab for my top for weeks but it wasn't awful.

I'm sure there will be better tactics from others. Good luck

Rinceoir Wed 01-Jun-16 08:30:01

Thanks Merkin. She seems to be ramping up the requests in response to my trying to cut back. And she doesn't give up, she will continue to claw at me and cry. When I talk to her about being a big girl she shakes her head and says she's a baby. It's very hard!

I might try the clock idea- the thing is she has been down to one feed for ages, but my trying to stop that has lead to her asking all the time.

Miffyandme Wed 01-Jun-16 10:08:25

Crikey! This is what I fear about continuing to feed. My 1 year old is already sticking her hands down my top all the time which I hate. I will watch for ideas....

blackkat1978 Thu 02-Jun-16 23:54:15

I feel your pain. I day weaned my daughter off bf at 1 year by going down the don't offer don't refuse path & she was quite happily fobbed off with bottles of water or breadsticks or fruit.

My son is nearly 19 months & does exactly what you're describing. I really hate the hand down the top & the twisting nipples on the side I'm not feeding on. With that issue I hold his hand so he stops & I'm hoping that will stop in time. I've also found that letting him hold his favourite soft toy rabbit (the only soft toy he loves) helps keep his hands busy).

If you're trying to stop because of others than I wouldn't push the issue & let her wean at her own pace. (I swing from wanting to stop & wanting to carry on). I'm not sure if I've got any advice but some of the things I do to try & hold off the feed is to keep him busy. I find he wants to feed the moment I sit down or just yells & points at the sofa as that's where I feed him. Today I tried to stay off the sofa & play games with him & basically distract him as much as possible. Mostly this was successful but also tiring. I try to give him a long feed 1st thing in the morning then after dinner (my hubby tends to do bedtime) but during the day it depends on the situation.

Sometimes I can distract him with food or water but the upset times are definitely the hardest.

Sorry I don't have more advice

WiMoChi Sat 18-Jun-16 22:20:49

I'm pregnant and feeding my 22 month old and feeling a bit the same. Is it a bit of aversion I wonder? There's some great FB groups for nursing aversion support. I've come off FB so i can't remember what they're called.

So sorry you're feeling this way. It's fucking hard work. I've got moles sort of near my arm out and between boobs and ahe fiddles with them. I literally cannot stand it. I have to writhe around to move her hands. You're not alone. Well done for persevering and being patient xx

icclemunchy Sat 18-Jun-16 22:28:07

When she feeds does she just have one side or both? Some mentioned in a la letche meeting I went two was initially removing one breast from the equation ( possibly even going so far as to cover the nipple with a plaster!) and referring to that one as sleeping. Once she has the idea of that you can extend it to the other one with distraction like oh it's sleeping at the moment lets got do xyz till it wakes up.

I can't remember how the lady said she made the final cut or if she just found that her DS naturally stopped, but it might help with the pulling at the clothes and hands down the top

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