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I NEED to stop breastfeeding 17mth old

(15 Posts)
hopperdee Sat 06-Sep-08 22:52:26

I want to stop breastfeeding my 17mth old daughter. I've cut it down so that I only breastfeed her in the morning and for bed time (and if she wakes in the night). The only thing is, I don't know how on earth to get her to sleep without the breast. She goes down at a normal time if I feed her to sleep but if we try anything else or anyone else has to put her down, she fights sleep until about midnight! Other mums I know managed to stop and said the babies didn't seem to want to feed any more. Mine goes crazy when she wants the breast and just tugs at my top non-stop. Any tips? She just won't settle without it and I'm not happy feeding any more.

If I sleep away for the night, she becomes hysterical for about 2 hours before finally falling asleep. I don't want her gettting in such a state, just because she is still crazy for the breast. This means it's really upsetting if her dad has to put her down, for him and her.

berolina Sat 06-Sep-08 22:59:06

My ds1 bf to sleep until he was 2, and then quite naturally and surprisingly stopped needing it to sleep. He's still bf, but for a while he didn't ask for a feed in the evenings.

If your reason for wanting to stop is that you worry itwill never happen on its own, rest assured it will. Why aren't you happy bf any more (if you don't mind me asking)?

policywonk Sat 06-Sep-08 23:00:01

There's an article about gentle night-weaning here - it's for co-sleepers but could probably be adapted if you don't co-sleep.

hopperdee Sat 06-Sep-08 23:12:19

Thanks policy - I'll check it out. I used to co-sleep but managed to get her to stay in cot a couple of months ago as i needed my bed space back, now she only comes in if she's ill/teething.
berolina, the reason I want to stop breastfeeding is that I've been ok with it for a long time but it makes me feel depressed now. I want my body back + putting her down gently into her cot has given me severe rsi in my wrists. It would be great if she could fall asleep whilst in her cot already. I think it would help her day naps too as she can't do this by herself (needs buggy/car).

berolina Sat 06-Sep-08 23:18:42

Ah, you see I do understand that feeling but can't help practically, I'm afraid, as I chose to go the self-weaning route. (ds1 is 3.3, I am tandem feeding and tbh there are occasions when I think I'd be pleased if he self-weaned but he's having none of it). IME the ability to drop off by themselves sets in later, although that does vary a lot, I suppose. Might it help the RSI to lie down to bf her to sleep, and then get dh to transfer her to cot when she is asleep?

featherboa Sat 06-Sep-08 23:28:24

Berolina - out of interest, what do you think are the benefits of BF to toddler level (if I have understood your post correctly)? Is something I am open-minded about for when the time comes (am pg with no1), but haven't found much in the way of support for generally as yet.

berolina Sat 06-Sep-08 23:39:21

The physical/health benefits are much the same as those for younger babies (and do not magically evaporate at 6mo/a year, as some might have you believe hmm). The emotional benefits of allowing to self-wean (often inaccurately called extended bf, more accurately natural term bf) are (IMO and E) great security for the child and ease of transitions to new situations as and when the child is ready. It has just seemed, to me, unnecessary and not desirable to deny ds1 something that gives him connection with me and great comfort.

hopperdee Sun 07-Sep-08 00:20:17

I would really emotionally benefit from stopping! Seriously.
I also don't want to get into the lying down to feed thing again as this was part of the co-sleeping routine which I've now broken. I was miserable co-sleeping by the end as she woke so much to feed (sometimes every 20mins) that I felt like a milking cow and i was exhausted in the day. She now sleeps way better and so do I. Co-sleeping was fine when she was younger though.

solo Sun 07-Sep-08 01:18:44

I'm so glad you asked this as I was summoning up the courage to ask the same for 20mo Dd. She's making me sore again and I've had enough now.
She too tugs at my top/bra and prods and squeezes my breasts. I got it down to just before sleep at night, but somehow she's started to demand and feed at different times of the day/night. I can't do it anymore, but don't know how to stop her dependency...I'll be watching this thread with eager interest. Thanks for asking the q? hopperdee.

Tangle Sun 07-Sep-08 17:51:02

Featherboa - have you come across KellyMom? There's masses of information on breastfeeding in general, including some info on the benefits of BF toddlers.

I haven't got anything constructive to add on the OP, though. DD is 17 months and does exactly the same thing. I've become resigned to the fact I can't do that much at the moment, although I do sometimes get frustrated with the limitations. I'll be interested to see what suggestions there are.

mamazee Thu 11-Sep-08 01:00:52

i posted a question about breast feeding a couple of weeks ago and someone answered talking about 'breastfeeding manners' which really resonated. i was letting my 17 month old ds pull and pinch and yank at clothing assuming it was part of breastfeeding a toddler but after that post i have become more aware of my own boundries and feeding is MUCH easier. i don't plan on stopping anytime soon but i went through a patch where i had HAD ENOUGH but i guided him to slightly shift his relationship to it. he knows that it is always there and i rarely say no but the 'how' was important to me. i believed he was old enough to understand that things were not ok to do and it worked.
for me it was the first lesson in putting my own needs before his...once...and it feels great. he is blooming. i was seriously burnt out and he needed ME to find a way for US to get through it.
i don't believe that me breastfeeding and resenting it helped anyone.
also my dp was finding it hard to watch him pushing and pulling me.
the getting to sleep without the breast is beyond me at the moment but the people i know who have managed it have used dad
good luck x

mybabywakesupsinging Thu 11-Sep-08 02:15:41

I think it might take different times for different children: ds2 (angel baby) has been fine settling himself since about 7-8 months. Still bf after his bath (17 months), but it isn't his last feed of the day. Ds1, however, had to be rocked to sleep with much shouting when he stopped falling asleep on the breast at his late evening feed. And getting him to go to sleep in a cot was a very slow thing - gradually went from almost holding him, to holding his hand, to sitting by the cot, to asleep by himself at about 15 months. I think giving him a teddybear helped a lot. Dad didn't work for us he just shouted for me!

leothelioness Thu 11-Sep-08 06:01:46

Hi hopperdee I do conpletely understand where you are coming from. I really admire the women on here who bf until a dc self weans but it is not for everyone and congradulations on making it this far already.
I stopped bf my then 23 month old ds at the end of June who by the way still co-sleeps. He was feeding at nap time and bed time and used me as a dummy when he woke at night generally 2-3 times a night and I was exhausted. I stopped the day time nap feed by going out lots for a week or so and then started to cut the time for the night time feeds when he woke I would not wait for him to let the nipple go but rather take him off once he seemed to be settling, this sometimes worked and sometimes he woke up. then I decided to go the whole hog and wore a thick cotton bra firmly covering my breasts and making it difficult for him to get at them he whinged for a while but fell asleep. He used to say 'bed' when he wanted a bf so I told him 'bed hurts' as I was really sore anyway and once showed him a plaster on my nipple, I am surprised that he took it at face value and did not really insist. Within a week with he was falling asleep at night with a cup of water which is what I chose to offer him as a bf substitute it worked and we have not looked back. I hth and good luck.

leothelioness Thu 11-Sep-08 06:03:57

oh, by the way, dad did not work for us either he just wanted me and did scream if I was not there to take him to bed.

hopperdee Fri 19-Sep-08 23:45:13

Thanks so much for the tips! Any more are very welcome. I haven't had the energy to start the big experiment yet but i will post any success or failure here.

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