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Extended BFers, help! How do i manage/stop my 14 month old pulling up my top and grabbing my chest in public?

(5 Posts)
Balthamos Fri 03-Oct-08 00:18:27

My 14 month old DD is demand fed, bf, shares a bed for most of the night (from about 1 in the morning when we bring her through). I am a SAHM so am with her all day and whilst i am very happy bf-ing her at home, i am no longer happy when out and about. How can i stop her pulling up my top and grabbing at my chest? If i don't give her milk she goes mental. Any tips? I realise that she is probably confused and doesn't understand why she can have milk sometimes (at home) but not at others (i.e. when out) but i just can't do it when we are out - but at the same time i don't know how to manage this behaviour. So really need some tips to get us through this!

I want to continue bfing until she self weans (or gets to the age of 2) and i have resigned myself to the comments from friends and the in laws, as well as to the lack of sleep (she wakes 3 x per night and endless other feeds) but i just can't resign myself to these chest attacks when we are out and i am worried that in the end it will put me off and we'll go cold turkey.

policywonk Fri 03-Oct-08 00:22:57

Have a look at this page from kellymom - although it does say that children under 18 months might find the concept a bit hard to grasp.

morethanasong Fri 03-Oct-08 13:50:16

Honestly, I found it hard to refuse a bf when my dd was that age. It was ok if we were somewhere interesting, because she'd get distracted, but otherwise it was just easier to feed her. If you're not actively weaning, maybe you could plan trips out around times when she's likely to feed, or plan rest stops in places where you don't mind feeding. I know what you mean about not wanting to feed in public after a certain age - part of me wants people to see that it's normal to bf a toddler, but most of me doesn't want to be embarrassed!

I hadn't read that kellymom page, but interestingly it was around 18 months when I found it easier to distract dd. She's 21 months now, and I haven't fed her in public for several months now (except when we were travelling for our holiday, and she needed that extra comfort). These days, I give her water and a snack if I think she could be hungry/thirsty, and otherwise find something for her to play with or look at. If she needs comforting, I'll hold her on my hip so I can still cuddle her (and rock her as necessary) without her being temptingly close to the milk! If I need/want to hold her on my lap, I just make sure she's facing outwards and again give her something to do. I also say something like 'no milk now, sweetie, you can have it when we get home/after lunch/whatever is appropriate'. I know she doesn't understand now, but I'm hoping that it will come in useful if we bf for much longer.

katpink Fri 03-Oct-08 16:44:25

i don't think you can stop them doing it compeletly. i often distract DD with a snack, if it impossible to feed her, she likes goodies oat bars as she thinks there chocolate and normally settles.
i normally do the sad face and say don't hurt mummy it makes her sad, when she pinches me particularly hard, this normally results in fits of laughter rather than sympathy. but normally stops her.
i have also for a while spent some days away from DD so i know she can go all day with out a BF and i think she also relises this on some level.

Balthamos Sun 05-Oct-08 22:27:54

Thanks all for feedback. Kellymom was an obvious source that I should have thought of myself! Don't know why I didn't, so thanks for the reminder!

Morethanasong, I totally agree with your sentiment about wanting people to see that it is normal to BF a toddler, but at the same time not wanting to be is a hard line to tread. I am passionate about it being normal, but not so passionate about putting my money where my mouth is (ie. feeding her in a busy public place). Although I too also feed her when travelling - I visit my parents once a month by plane and ALWAYS feed her on the flight. I reckon other passengers have the choice of seeing that (and i have had some funny looks)or having a crying/running around/shouting/ over excited toddler!

I will try the distraction tips and carry an emergency kit kat (she is obsessed with them) for any time when I just can't convince her any other way (love the fact that I BF her because I think it is so healthy, feed her all organic food but then turn to kit kat's when desperate - hmmm).
Katpink, the pinching is quite hard to deal with, I actually have scratches on my chest. But I am going to try your sad face idea and hope it works.

Thanks again all. It is hard when BFing a toddler as I know so few people in RL who do it (apart from a lovely nct friend who frequents Mnet - wave - and my sister) so MN is a great place to bolster my resilience!

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