29 month-old still bf, showing no signs of decreasing/weaning, and mom's tired...any tips for cutting down?(16 Posts)
DS is 29 months old and still bf's with the same frequency has he did when 12 months old. I've tried suggesting other things when he asks to get him away from bf for thirst, hunger, boredom or comfort and getting him to rely on other things (like water, juice, food, daddy, toys, etc.). This works maybe 3 out of 5 times, and even at that rate he's still bf twice in the morning before work and probably half a dozen quickies in the evening and two long feeds, once when I get home and once at bed time. We co-sleep, and he feeds at night from time to time but I am so sleepy when he does that I couldn't say with what frequency.
He shows no sign of losing interest or cutting back, even with my efforts above. We'd like to have another, and I want to try to wean him before we start trying (I'd like my body back for a while before I am pregnant again, and don't really like the idea of tandem feeding or feeding whilst pregnant).
Can people please recommend strategies for getting my DS to rely less on "tito" with a view to weaning him entirely? I am also interested to hear from women whose toddlers have self-weaned, and when/how?
I would like to know about self- weaning too!!
DS2 (2.7) is still feeding but has cut down a lot.
I strongly encouraged him to have milk in a cup or something else when he asked during the day.
I also night-weaned (google Dr Jay Gordon, nightweaning) and so after a few tantrums, DS now has a feed first thing (can be 6.30am) and then maybe a couple of times a day, if that.
I think it takes a while for the "distraction" techniques to sink in.
I was despairing of DS cutting down at the start of the school holidays (I work in school time) and he seemed to be feeding loads but now there are days when he only wants the morning feed.
Not sure when he's going to give THAT up though!
I breastfed my DD until she was 2 on the dot. i had to stop because i wanted to conceive and my periods hadn`t come back. I`ll be honest, it was horrible. The poor little mite didn`t understand why i wouldn`t let her feed. I would just hold her in bed as she cried. I think my point is that you have to actively make a decision. If you are happy to let him carry on and tandem feed then do that. If you are not, then you`ll have to bite the bullet and let him go cold turkey I do think that pregnancy and childbirth puts a lot of strain on your body anyway without feeding an older child (not that I think the body can`t do it, but I knew I wouldn`t be organised enough to get the nutrition I needed for myself).
I had to cut down as I couldn't conceive either, I cut out one feed every 2 weeks, so very slowly. I offered chocolate buttons as a bribe! I also set a rule of only feeding on the sofa on her room, which at that age they can understand, so that cut out the feeds. I conceived when DD was down to two feeds a day, cut down to one feed, and she self weaned the last feed at 23 months when I was 4 months pregnant, my milk supply plummeted.
I do think with co-sleeping and feeding on demand at night, you will be sending a mixed message about not feeding on demand during the day. In terms of fertility getting rid of the night feeds is the most effective.
I have no advice. None. Nowt.
Sympathy though. DD is 27 months and still feeds on demand. Sometimes a lot during the day, sometimes only morning and night. Feeds a few times at night too.
My periods returned at 14 weeks despite exclusive feeding. I was robbed.
Anyway, like I said. Sympathy. DD showing no sign of slowing down. I've no reason to stop and assume she'll self wean one day.
My ds is 3.10yo and only now has he cut down to morning/bedtime and the odd time through the day now and again.
I tried all sorts of things to get him to cut down, but it had a knock on effect on his behaviour. He was normally placid and easy going, but three weeks after cutting down (I did it twice, and it was three weeks each time) he because tearful, tantrummy and generally unhappy. We upped the feeding again, and he was back to normal.
For us, the easiest thing was to go with the flow tbh. Some days around your ds's age, it did feel like he would never ever stop!
Have you read How Weaning Happens? It's a La Leche League publication and gives a few ideas on how to go about weaning at all ages.
One thing that did sort of work for us, but not at every feed, was restricting the feed to the count of 10. You can count to 10 at whatever speed suits you. This worked quite well for my ds, but not on those feeds where I could tell that he desperately needed it IYSWIM.
Also, when ds hit 3, something changed. He just seemed to suddenly move up a stage, and at this point, I noticed that he needed to nurse much less often.
These posts have confirmed what I suspected - having elected to be an extended bf'er, I am now committed and, because I'd rather let him lead than deal with the heartache of going cold turkey (I am a complete wimp), I will not know when he will choose to cut down/wean. I can encourage, and you've all suggested some very helpful ways to do so, but that's as far as my influence will go.
Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond!
I don't think you are a complete wimp to avoid heartache for you and your child at all; to the contrary, I believe you follow your motherly instincts, putting your child's needs before your own and always will.
Though at times you will do this at the expense of your own sleep, freedom etc. and will raise the eyebrows of more 'conventional' parents/onlookers/people with opinions, you will nurture your child, whilst providing boundaries and the result will be a happy, well balanced child/teenager/adult and you, a very smug and proud mother!!!
Good on you!
I found this article really useful for nightweaning dd2. It's a fairly gentle method and talks about how to nightwean cosleeping babies.
I found that the night feed was the one all my DCs loved the most and clung to the longest, but eliminating the others was accomplished gradually by spending time together instead doing other nice things like reading, singing, and other enjoyable activities. I introduced the concept of being a big kid, accompanied by praise for doing the big kid things, and eventually, among the big kid things was drinking from a cup, and then moving to the big kid bed... I've heard about self-weaning but I think if you get past 1 year it's not going to happen, just my opinion. My youngest DCs bf until past 3yo, but just the night feeding and usually one during the day. Substituting other nice mummy and me activities filled the emotional need. They eventually stopped when I said there was simply no more left. They all took it pretty well and moved on.
Thanks eggontoast! That's very nice to hear.
Sassy, I will check out the article, and thanks for sending it along!
Math, those are great suggestions. To be honest, I had suspected that he wouldn't really "self-wean" but I guess we do cling to hope!
Thanks to everyone for responding!
I think if you are getting tired then YOU have to decide its time to wean and stick to your guns. Say no feeds during the day, at first as it is easier to distract - I took DD out a lot got friends to help too as DD busy playing with other children she would forget to ask for a feed and be ok with something else. There will be tears but it will only last a few days.
Distration and cutting right back on the co sleeping so reducing the opportunities.
Dont feel bad about stopping - its your body too you know and you have gone about and beyond by still feeding up to now!!
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