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please come and talk to me about a toddler "losing their latch"

(12 Posts)
KeithTalent Wed 22-Jul-09 09:02:31

I am not sure what to do.

I have dts of 2.1. Dt2 is still nursing a couple of times a day. Dt1 gave up at about 16 months. I am not sure if this was self-weaning or a nursing strike. They will be my last babies so I am happy to nurse them until they want to stop.

Dt1 has some health/developmental issues, and I feel he would benefit from being fed by me(as his sister still is).

Is it too late? Will he have forgotten what to do? I am too scared of him biting to just offer it without asking you lovely lot!

When he gave up I was so sleep deprived I didn't keep offering, now I am less tired and thinking clearer I feel sad and guilty about this.

My older (single) children were breastfed until about 18 months due to pregnancy/work issues, so feeding toddlers this old is new to me.

Thanks if you have read this far!

TAFKAtheUrbanDryad Wed 22-Jul-09 09:09:12

Hi Keith.

I force weaned my ds when I was pg with dd and he was about 19 months. When dd was born he asked to nurse again, and because I was so sad about weaning him, I said ok. His latch was quite shoddy to start with, but as he nursed more it seemed to come back.

The good thing about teaching a toddler to latch (as opposed to a baby) is that you can talk to them and tell them what to do. With ds I did a "nipple sandwich", and I'd tell him to open his mouth really wide, and then kind of flick my breast into his mouth, so he got a good mouthful.

If you want to start again, and he is amenable then there's no reason why he can't re-latch. Of course, he may not want to, in which case of course you can make him. smile


TAFKAtheUrbanDryad Wed 22-Jul-09 09:09:54

You can't make him. Sorry. Ds trying to bounce on my head!

piscesmoon Wed 22-Jul-09 09:25:32

I expect he has moved on-I can't see why he would want to go back.

pigletmania Wed 22-Jul-09 09:28:45

I tend to agree with TAFKA you cant make a toddler who does not want to. Anyway surely its time now not to look back at what did not happen and what went wrong and look forward and continue to feeding your DT2. Now he is weaned why do you want to go back to that. Just my opinion that all really.

mawbroon Wed 22-Jul-09 11:00:56

I guess all you can do is to offer him and see what he says/does.

Like the UrbanDryad says, you can't make him do it.

Do you think he would benenfit from the milk or the contact? (or both?) If it's more for the milk, would he take expressed milk - if you are able to express of course.

Good luck, I hope it works out well, whatever happens.

KeithTalent Wed 22-Jul-09 12:23:23

Piglet- I would not make him if he doesn't want to. And I would like to see if he does want to for the health/developmental issues outlined in my op smile

UD- thanks for that- I don't know anyone in RL who has tried to do this so that is why I posted here.

Maw- I would think he would benefit from both. I can't express- I HATE IT- so that's out, and I carry him as much as possible in the day time, but I can't co- sleep as he has to wear a heavy metal brace (Ponsetti) on his legs as night which would seriously injure his twin if he kicked here with it.

Oh bloody hell it seems so unfair on him- she gets to be breastfed and slept with and he doesn't sad. I have tried to co-sleep with both of them as much as possible, but he has always been the better sleeper, and I can't risk having both of them in bed before dh or I go to bed, so he has had the cot and she's been in bed.

Crikey, I don't want to MAKE him feed, but do you see why I'd like to give him the chance if he wants to?

mawbroon Wed 22-Jul-09 12:35:20

I can absolutely see why you want to give him the chance.

Can you give one of the breastfeeding helplines a call to see if you can chat it through with a BFC?

I know with a younger child, you would be advised to do plenty skin to skin relaxing together, but there may be other ways to coax an older child back to the breast that I am not aware of.

Would it be possible to co sleep with him in one bed to see whilst your dh slept with dt2 in another? Or is she still night feeding?

It must be so hard having one feeding and the other not.

pigletmania Wed 22-Jul-09 12:42:05

Sorry did not understand the extent of your DS needs. Well like others have said on here, you could try and see if he takes it, and keep offering to see if he does. If not I am not sure, mabey an expert like Tiktok might see this thread and help you.

TAFKAtheUrbanDryad Wed 22-Jul-09 18:14:04

How is his speech? Are you able to talk to him about it? I know that ds was very keen to start nursing again, once my milk came in again after dd was born, and asked to nurse. He was 2.1 as well, and had a gap of about 5 months.

The only issue we have had (after the latch issues were sorted) was that he wants to nurse All The Time, which has been pretty wearing with a newborn as well. I have had to put restrictions on it, although I know the best thing to do would be "Don't offer, don't refuse" I just can't, as he would be attached all the time! grin

I don't think you can do any harm to offer, and if he goes for it then all well and good, and if not then you know that he's past it, and you can put it behind you too. I would definitely second the suggestion that you talk to a BFC about it, either way, as you may want to talk through the early weaning, or latching.

Sorry to keep banging on about the latch, btw, it was our major issue, and it was Not Fun to have cracked nipples from a toddler nursing when dd was tiny and needing fed all the time!

KeithTalent Wed 22-Jul-09 21:26:48

His speech is not as good as his sister's. I wouldn't be worried about him nursing all the time as we are quite busy and I'm sure he'd be just as happy with a drink and a biscuit if I didn't want to feed him.

I think I may have to bite the bullet and ask for him to be assessed again. I had been putting it off because at first it seemed his problems were just physical, but now his sister is outstripping him in all sorts of ways. Oh dear, this appears to be turning into a whole other thread sad.

Anyway, i hadn't thought of phoning a bf helpline because I thought they were more about establishing feeding- also, I'd guess it's a fairly rare query.

Off to phone...

mawbroon Wed 22-Jul-09 22:44:30

I hope you manage to speak to someone helpful. Even if your ds doesn't go back to feeding, the BFC can maybe help you work out how you feel about it all in terms of his breastfeeding.

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