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deperate!! 18 mth bfing 20+ times a day. Tantrums. How can i stop? HELP PLEASE

(12 Posts)
kalo12 Thu 30-Jul-09 09:41:42

please help me as i am at the end of my tether.
ds has always been a total bosom monster (and poor eater). Dairy intolerant too so introducing formua has never been an option.

he wants to bf constantly, 6 times a night at least and more so in the day.

he will only unlatch if i force him, (after very long feeds) then he screams and kicks and gets very angry. I keep trying to cut down, offer chocolate buttons etc. I have tried everything. He gets so angry. The minute he wakes up he wants feeding, if we are in or out makes no difference. he just wants feeding all the time.

I am getting so frustrated and often now get so angry and end up shouting at him as he is constantly pulling at my top and if i don't feed he kicks and pushes me. I can't go on.

In trying to be a good mother and bf and comfort i actually feel i am being a bad mother in that i get so stressed now with him.
Therefore i am wondering whether to just go cold turkey as that seems to be at least more consistent for him and might be less traumatic than me feeding him then unlatching him.

I don't really want to go cold turkey, but is it really that bad?
I would be happy to continue bfing if it was just a couple of times a day, but i don't know how to make this happen anymore.

I don't want to wait another year or so to self wean as i want to TTC and have a history of miscarriages and am quite old.

Do you think dairy intolerant plays a part? I am reluctant to give up entirely as he is off the bottom of the weight chart, although perfectly healthy in every other way.

Any experience of total bosom monster or cold turkey?

All advice appreciated as I am really at the end of my tether with this and it is spoiling my relationship with my ds not to meantion my dh

kalo12 Thu 30-Jul-09 09:43:11

also meant to say do offer rice milk and oatly too but he is not keen

kalo12 Thu 30-Jul-09 09:50:48

bump please

tiktok Thu 30-Jul-09 09:52:40

kalo, hope you get some good help here.

Seems to me this is not a breastfeeding 'problem' but an issue that is the same as any other situation where a toddler is insisting on doing something that you want to curtail or amend in some way. Something that's not wrong in itself but which demands your attention at times which is inconvenient and with a frequency that you don't want.

Clearly, bf is very important to him and going cold turkey will be upsetting and baffling for him - it would be the same as going cold turkey on cuddles or hugs.

But just as with any other toddler behaviour, part of his growing up will be to learn when and how the world responds instantly to his wishes and when it doesn't

Some mothers deal with this by having a special chair for feeds in the day - if you are not in the chair it doesn't happen (obv you need to be consistent about this). Or by having special times only - again being consistent.

(Saying 'only four times a day' is no good for a young toddler)

You might get other ideas from others as well.

Kicking and pushing is something you cannot ever respond to positively - just as you would not 'give in' if he kicked and pushed for something else he wanted.

But as he is only 18 mths, you have craftiness and guile on your side - you can spot times when he looks like he is going to ask (when you are not near 'the chair', say) and distract him with a piece of fruit, a drink, a game or anything else you know will grab his attention.

As for long feeds, you might want to tackle that one after you have sorted out frequency, but toddlers can understand a bell ringing - either a clock, a kitchen timer or a bell you ring yourself to say 'time'. He can as a treat ring the bell himself at these times, after you...but at no other time. Hide the bell between times.

Hope these ideas help.

kalo12 Thu 30-Jul-09 09:59:50

thanks tiktok. am trying the chair idea at the moment but he just cries and points to the chair and gets angry when i don't go, which i don't.

is this normal for an 18monther to want so much breastfeeding? seems everyone i speak to says just cut down, and they feed morning and night and thats it, but my ds wants it all day long.

am going to try dr jays night weaning first, I think. then tackle days. the bell sounds a good idea, (makes note to get one that doesn't hurt when its thrown at yousmile)

tiktok Thu 30-Jul-09 10:07:38

It's not abnormal to want so much breastfeeding....but it sounds to me as if this is a thing you are both fighting over and because it's a battle he tries to win it every time (which is normal toddler behaviour, and something, as I say, you as a parent have to calmly resist )

You could buy a fun squeaker (soft) instead of a bell, or even make one - buy a squeaker to put in a soft toy of a character you know he likes (you can get toy parts on ebay). The key to this would be never, ever letting him have it to play with outside the sanctioned times.

HoppityBunny Thu 30-Jul-09 10:13:58

TIKTOK's right.

kalo12 Thu 30-Jul-09 21:26:13

thanks for advice tiktok. am much calmer now.
bumping for eveing crowd

Babieseverywhere Fri 31-Jul-09 18:17:59

I am not sure I can add much to Tiktok's posts, but wanted to let you know you are not alone with a happy breastfed toddler.

I am trying to think back to how much my DD nursed at 18 months but I can't remember. However today she nurses on average between 3 and 6 times a day and she is 2.11 years old.

I night weaned my DD at 18 months by offering water in a cuddle hold, I had to do it as I was too tired and pregnant to do
multiple night feeds at the time.

I found the easiest way to put off a feed was to agree to one later. When DD asked to nurse I would say 'Yes, after lunch' or 'Yes, when we find a chair' Sometimes she would then forget about milk for a couple of hours.

I also found proactively offering a nurse when I had spare time helped a lot. Somehow me taking control and offering made it easier to put off other feeds.

HTH

kalo12 Fri 31-Jul-09 20:38:15

how was the night weaning? did your dd scream and shout? how long did it take?

Babieseverywhere Fri 31-Jul-09 22:33:57

Although I was very tired, I was not willing to upset her just to night wean her.

So if she shouted and pushed the water away, I would just breastfed as normal. I can't remember how long it took for her to accept water as a nighttime drink at least a few nights maybe a week or so.

Now she is older, she goes to bed with water and if she asks for milk (when she moves to our bed in the middle of the night) I say 'Yes, in the morning' and that seems to calm her. Considering I am co-sleeping and breastfeeding her baby brother though the night (he is just 11 months old) I think she is very understanding.

picklemumma Mon 10-Aug-09 23:05:47

I seem to have managed to night wean my 20 month old son, following advice and encouragement on another thread, though I never thought it would work! I go and lie down with him in his room if he wakes, but took to wrapping myself up in the duvet so he couldn't just help himself,and just rubbed his back and repeated something like 'night time's for sleeping, we can have milk in the morning'. The duvet protection layer definitely worked, especially whilst feeling weak and half asleep.The first night he cried and thrashed about for about half an hour, the next night, about 10 mins and then he actually began sleeping til the damn morning! Having tried all manner of things unsuccessfully in the past (except leaving him to cry) I'm very relieved. He still wants to feed a lot in the day time, but unlike yours, for very short burst, which I think are for comfort more than actually having a drink. I don't mind this as much now that I feel released from being pestered all night, as it does start to get you down. Good luck!

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