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Right - obviously you can't force a child to breastfeed, but is my 20 month old self weaning? [sad]

(15 Posts)
theSuburbanDryad Wed 24-Sep-08 09:11:49

We have just got back from holiday and while we were away, ds went on a prolonged nursing strike (about 4 days) and didn't nurse at all. He seemed extremely upset about it, and seemed to really miss his nursing - especially after he woke up from naps and in the night. If i tried to get him on the breast he would arch his back and sob, "No no no!" sad We got back yesterday and he is nursing in the night again, but he still won't have his bedtime milk and won't nurse before or after a nap.

I wouldn't mind him weaning, if it was his choice, but it feels like I'm forcing him off - he seems so upset by the whole thing. I'm also quite astonished at how much a part of my parenting breastfeeding is - and I don't want to lose that tool. If he weans, then he weans, but it seems very early (he's not yet 2) and I'm wondering if my being pregnant is the reason?

StormInanEcup Wed 24-Sep-08 15:36:20

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BabiesEverywhere Wed 24-Sep-08 15:57:59

Sorry to hear DS is on a nursing strike, I understand how useful a tool nursing a toddler is

Do you think it might have been the change of enviroment which might of triggered this off ? Though I suppose you might never be sure what the trigger was and it doesn't really matter.

I understand that most children break their strike given enough time and the fact that he is still nursing at night is great. I would keep offering and try not to react if he refuses (easier said than done)

Congratulations on your pregnancy (How pregnant are you btw ?)

Couple of links which might help.LLL page Kellymom Page

Lazycow Wed 24-Sep-08 16:14:43

Well ds breadtfed until he was 2 years old but never really on demand after about 8 months old because he rarely asked for it IYSWIM. I would offer at appropriate times of the day and he generally deigned to accept lol!

The last few months he started to be very resistant to breastfeeding unless he was very relaxed or at night and quite frankly I had no wish to start breastfeeding again at night so I would only let him feed once a night at the most by that point.(I wasn't pregnant).

As he fed less I found my supply went down and he would find breasfeeding more frustrating and over a few months he just tailed off feeding. He stopped completely just after his 2nd birthday.

My story is a bit different in that breastfeeding was something I didn't really enjoy that much and was really not much part of my general parenting strategy. E.g - I never used it to calm him down if he had hurt himself etc and he had never been a baby to breastfeed to sleep much - I often wished he was!

Because of all this I wasn't too sorry that he stopped, althoug he did get a tummy bug shortly after we had stopped nursing and for the first time I worried about how to make sure he was sufficiently hydrated. In the past I had always just breastfed him when he had a tummy bug.

I have heard that pregnancy affetcts the taste of the milk and also it may make the supply less abundant making feeding more like hardwork. You really need the advice of someone who has tandem fed a toddler and baby - hopefully someone will come along.

BabiesEverywhere Wed 24-Sep-08 16:20:11

"You really need the advice of someone who has tandem fed a toddler and baby "

I am doing this (2 year old DD and 5 week old DS) but different mother's nursing whilst pregnant/tandem nursing experience is different.

My DD cut down to one nurse a day in the middle trimester but never reacted like OP's DS. His arching back and sobing 'No' sounds more like a nursing strike than pregnancy related but I could be wrong

BabiesEverywhere Wed 24-Sep-08 16:23:05

For information on nursing whilst pregnant, this website has some good stuff on these topics here

Hilary Flower also wrote a book called Adventures in Tandem Nursing (Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond)

Plus this Mumsnet thread Pregnant and Nursing Support Thread


StormInanEcup Wed 24-Sep-08 16:55:35

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theSuburbanDryad Wed 24-Sep-08 17:52:13

Hi BE - glad to hear the tandem nursing's going well smile I'm 19 weeks (i think - keep losing count!) I'm on that nursing and pregnant thread but keep losing it off my active threads list! Maybe I'll ask on there and see if anyone else's older child is going off nursing.

The thing is, we were going to try night weaning when we got back off holiday, but I'm worried that if he night weans he won't nurse at all, and then by the time the new baby gets here he'll have lost his latch IYSWIM. The one feed I would have been happiest for him to drop would have been the night one(s) and that's the only one he's kept - cussed little sod man!

It's not that I mind him weaning anyway - it's the fact that he seems so distressed by not having his milk that upsets me.

The other thing I was wondering was do I offer cow's milk at bedtime instead? I do like him to have a milky drink before bed as it seems to help him sleep, and he likes it, but obviously offering him warm cow's milk in a cup means he'll have less incentive to nurse - and will drop my supply even more than it already is! But by not offering the cow's milk will I be making my life much harder at bedtime?

Califrau Wed 24-Sep-08 18:19:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

georgimama Wed 24-Sep-08 18:22:37

A bit OT but I always find threads like this interesting as I'm dreading attempting to wean DS off his bedtime feed (he's 18months) because he still nurses to sleep blush and seems to have no real means of settling himself to sleep without it (not when I put him to sleep anyway, and not practical for DH to do it).

Someone tell me he will just magically decide he doesn't want it and wants to go to sleep by himself??!!!

theSuburbanDryad Wed 24-Sep-08 18:25:37

If this is him self-weaning, then I'm really confused as to why - I know the milk changes during pregnancy, but he gets so much comfort from it, it surely can't be just the milk which would put him off?

I'm also quite astonished at how much it's upset me - I always thought I'd be quite happy for him to wean, and I've really not been enjoying nursing these past couple of months, but when he refused to nurse (sobbing hysterically the whole time) I found it really distressing. Not sure if it's about the nursing or him being upset and me being unable to comfort him though. Nursing has always been his primary comforter, and I was fine with that, I don't know what to do if he won't nurse or be cuddled. sad

theSuburbanDryad Wed 24-Sep-08 18:30:12

georgi - When my ds decided he didn't want to nurse to sleep anymore (he was a little bit younger than yours - about 14 or 15 months i think) he just sobbed himself to sleep instead. No amount of offering to nurse, or cuddles, or music, or reading, or gradual withdrawal, or patting seemed to help. Eventually, dh took over bedtime because I found it too upsetting, and that seemed to help a lot, as though if I was there then ds felt he should nurse to sleep but didn't want to, if that makes any sense at all. When dh plays him his bedtime music and reads a book he (mostly wink) goes to sleep without too much fuss.

I always said I'd never let him CIO, but there's not much you can do when the child refuses all comfort! sad

georgimama Wed 24-Sep-08 19:38:18

So really I suppose I wait until he decides he doesn't want it anymore. He only has bedtime and morning feeds, and still seems pretty keen, although he has started to bob off the breast as he is falling asleep and then snuggles into the crook of my arm until he is asleep.

Wish I had some advice to offer you in return, sounds like he is ready to drop the breast feeds but is a bit confused about it. And nearly 2 isn't early by any stretch of the imagination, you have done really, really, well.

theSuburbanDryad Wed 24-Sep-08 20:31:54

I guess it's not really early. I just imagined him nursing until he was 3 or so - and I so wanted to tandem nurse.

Really, really mixed feelings about this.

StormInanEcup Wed 24-Sep-08 21:24:20

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