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Extended b/f'ers who stopped - tips wanted for giving up b/f my nearly 4yo please

(18 Posts)
BlessThisMess Tue 28-Oct-08 14:17:50

Both my DDs have been super-enthusiastic breastfeeders who just didn't want to stop. Both times I have hoped they would self-wean but no chance! I stopped feeding DD1 when she was 4.5 years old - I explained in advance and dropped the last two feeds (morning and night) with a week inbetween. She seemed to be old enough to understand this and accept it.

DD2 will be 4 on Monday, and I've been telling her for months that b/f will stop when she is 4 because she will be too big then. We are now down to the last week and I am nervous that she simply won't accept this and that it will be a nightmare.

I only stopped daytime feeds a few months ago, and she still nags and complains when i won't b/f during the day. She says 'yes' when I say that b/f will stop next week, but I think when it comes to it (esp. that early morning sleepy feed) she might be really upset. It just doesn't seem to sink in with her that it really is going to stop completely.

Does anyone have any tips as to what I can do in this last week to smooth the transition?

Notanexcitingname Tue 28-Oct-08 14:21:14

Not personally, but I recommend "How weaning happens" There is info in there on weaning a child from anywhere in the range 6 months to 7 years

Notquitegrownup Tue 28-Oct-08 14:26:31

I had two milk addicts too BTM. I stopped feeding ds1 at 3 plus a few days. We were down to one feed at night, which he would ask for (I was waiting for him to self wean too) and so I explained that he could have his drink or he could choose a big-boy present instead. For a couple of days he chose the drink, but then opted for a trip to ToysRUs for a plastic policeman's helmet (£1.49). I had been ready to go up to a bike!!!

Tried the same with DS2, at 3.5, but he wasn't buying it at all. No present was worth giving up his much loved drink. So I told him, as you have, that it would stop on a certain day, and then Dad took over and planned a special bedtime for that day (and the next, and the next) and simply told him I was a bit busy that night. It seemed too cruel to have them in the same room as him, and to keep on saying no, as I know that he is impossible to distract. We had to be really determined, as he kept on asking (for well over a year later!!) However, I just used the line that he was too big for that now, and he has eventually stopped asking.

HTH. Best of luck.

BlessThisMess Tue 28-Oct-08 20:49:12

Thanks, Notquitegrownup, that does help. Just to hear that he kept on asking but isn't permanently scarred for life (I assume!).

Notanexcitingname, I have read that book - back when weaning DD1, I think - but I doubt I could get hold of it quickly enough now to help. I do remember there was lots of good stuff in it though. Thanks.

mawbroon Tue 28-Oct-08 21:35:24

No advice blessthismess, but watching with interest.

My ds was three last week, and he would feed all day and night if i let him, so I would not be surprised if I find myself in your shoes next year!!

I have twice tried to cut out feeds, a while back we cut to morning and night. It was fine at first and after about a month, his behaviour slid from angelic to unacceptable. I cut out night feeds around a month ago, and have noticed the same, so I guess I will go back to feeding at nights. It really seems to be such a strong need for him as he behaves really well when he is not being denied feeds.

I too have read How Weaning Happens, and the laugh of it was that I read most of it while ds was feeding!!!

Have you just had enough? Or is there another reason why you want to stop now? they do all wean eventually - although I know there are some days when it just doens't feel that way!

BlessThisMess Tue 28-Oct-08 22:38:28

Yes, I have just totally had enough. 7.5 years of non-stop b/f'ing and tandem feeding for a year too! It is a most peculiar feeling, having totally loved it for the majority of the time. It happened with DD1 when she got to the age where I just couldn't bear it any more, and now I am at that stage with DD2 as well. About 3 months ago I was wavering and considering letting her carry on, but I haven't felt anything except determination to stop by age 4 for the past couple of months. I think that means it's time.

mawbroon Wed 29-Oct-08 08:21:07

Wow! I take my hat off to you - that is a fantastic achievement. I was hoping to be able to tandem feed, but it is looking like I will be one of the few women who can't conceive when BF sad

Like they say, carry on as long as both parties are happy with the arrangement, but clearly you're not.

Sorry I don't have any helpful tips for you, but good luck with it all. smile

Anna8888 Wed 29-Oct-08 08:25:27

Do you actually have any milk left?

I left my daughter (then 3.8) for 4 days and 3 nights this summer, and my milk supply finally dried up during that time. She still wants to suckle from time to time, but there is nothing there. We talk about this too.

Since having no milk, I find her suckling really annoying. So it is stopping, just because I keep pushing her away.

Bucharest Wed 29-Oct-08 08:33:13

I'm at the same point as you, dd was 5 three weeks ago and would still be a milk-o-holic but I have to be honest and say I'm tired now....not tired of bf per se, just a bit physically tired....so we've had a chat and gone from morning and night (twice on both sides IYSWIM) to morning and night (but only once on both sides) and she herself is now saying that in a few weeks she'll stop......

Anna- Occasionally, after a long day, I know she's just suckling and there's now't there and it grates on me too....don't know why.....That said, since she's dropped the "both sides" bit, I have masses of milk again. Mad.
Good luck to all anyway...

RoseOfTheOrient Wed 29-Oct-08 08:42:45

She may surprise you - I bf my DS until the night before his 3rd birthday. Had explained that his friend had stopped bf, and it was his turn now...he was a big boy now etc.
He asked for boob on the night of his birthday, and when I reminded him that there was no more, he cried like his little heart was breaking for about 20 minutes sad and then gave a big sigh, turned over and went to sleep. I thought there would be much more fall out....but he never asked again, but was a BIG boob-fiddler (sticking his hand down my top, to cop a quick feel!) for ages! I stopped that by saying he could put his hand down the BACK of my top....which was his comfort thing until he was about 6 or 7. I smile about that now, as he is a big strapping 9 year old, who squirms away from hugs now...sob!

mrsgboring Wed 29-Oct-08 08:52:02

RoseOfTheOrient, that's a fab idea about putting hands down the back of top - I shall try that with DS, as the fiddling drives me mad.

Congratulations on such a brilliantly long feeding career BlessThisMess*

*Mawbroon,
were our DSs separated at birth? My DS is 3 and I've never tried to wean him day or night, though I cut his daytime feeds down to morning, noon and night (he sometimes forgets about the lunchtime one)· Must nightwean him though. I'm pregnant and so so so tired so haven't had the energy for any kind of weaning. I hope TTC is successful for you soon.

BlessThisMess Wed 29-Oct-08 10:22:40

Thanks all for your lovely comments.

Anna8888 - yes I still have milk. My birthday present from DH in August was 2 nights away - clearly not quite long enough!!!

Mawbroon - My periods returned once I mostly stopped night-feeding, even when I lapsed sometimes and fed in a sleepy daze. You might find that things are kick-started now even if you go back to night b/f.

Bucharest - it will be interesting to see if your DD does choose to stop soon. My DD (7.5) would still b/f if she could!

Rose - that's very encouraging. I decided to make her birthday the last time, rather than risk making her birthday a sad day, but I would be pleased if she does accept it like your DS. I don't mind the boob fiddling as long as there's no nipple twiddling! That was banned a LONG time ago!

MrsG - I didn't nightwean DD2 successfully until she was about 3.4. Tried before that but, like you say, was just too tired to see it through properly. Good luck.

mawbroon Wed 29-Oct-08 12:20:09

Blessthismess, it's not the lack of periods that's the problem in my case.

I have a fairly regular cycle, but I ovulate much later than I did before, so my luteal phase isn't long enough to allow implantation. Even when ds slept through regularly and was at his least amount of feeding (terrible english!!) I was still ovulating around day 17 or 18 of a 27 day cycle which left 10 or 11 days which isn't long enough.

One thing I do like is it takes the responsibility of choosing an age gap between children out of my hands!! smile (I hate decisions!!)

BlessThisMess Wed 29-Oct-08 12:53:14

Mawbroon,

Please do your own research on this - I am not a doctor - but investigate the use of natural progesterone cream which you rub in. I used this when I had a short luteal phase and it did help. It is exactly the same as the progesterone your own body should be making, so should not be harmful for b/f (though as I said - do check). The herb Agnus Castus can also help. I also had Chinese herbs (from a properly trained practitioner) and acupuncture, and all those put together meant I conceived DD1! Good luck.

mawbroon Wed 29-Oct-08 13:14:27

Yeah, I've been on Agnus Castus for about three cycles and it's made no difference whatsoever.

I am toying with the idea of going to the doc for progesterone cream, but think I will be laughed out of the surgery and told to come back when I've stopped feeding!!

BlessThisMess Wed 29-Oct-08 13:57:39

I bought mine over the internet - from Jersey or Guernsey or something like that. I knew my doc wouldn't pay any attention to my request at all!

mawbroon Thu 30-Oct-08 15:22:44

I have now made an appointment for next week.

If no joy at the GP, I will scour the internet.

Thanks for the tip blessthismess.

BlessThisMess Fri 31-Oct-08 09:17:56

My work colleague did manage to get natural progesterone off her GP for menopause issues after taking a load of internet printouts about it. Good luck and let me know what happens!

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