Extended bfers - can you give me some encouragement/advice
DD is 17 months and we still bf but just for the last couple of weeks I've started to feel that it's too much for me sometimes.
First thing in the morning is fine. But bedtime can be a real struggle with her pinching and biting me (not deliberately), bobbing on and off constantly and wriggling and twisting around loads. I feel a bit battered by the end of it.
Am I just going through a phase? I had thought I would keep feeding her through the winter and then see what happened. What can I do about these feelings?
Possibly not the best person to ask as I've just weaned my son off the breast (at just short of 2yo). I just wanted to say that I too found the last few months difficult - at times it was just a couple of feeds a day, but when he was teething or feeling poorly, he would bob on and off all day, needed a feed to re-settle at night, and I was beginning to despair of ever being able to wean him off. And although I really don't give a stuff about what other people think, I was getting p*ssed off regularly by the "bitty" comments that people felt entitled to make.
That said, I had very mixed feelings about weaning as it seems very final and there are obviously times when feeding him was wonderful, and like you, I felt that weaning him through the winter months was a positive benefit in view of the all the bugs and viruses about.
In the months prior to weaning though I started to get my DP to feed DS before putting him down in the evening, and that did help everyone - DP got a cosy cuddle last thing in the evening, I got the opportunity to get out if I wanted to in the early evening, and I guess DS learned to settle himself without a bedtime feed.
It might help you deal with the complex feelings you have about BFing if you could offload the bedtime feed (assuming you have a partner). If you are, on balance, happy to continue, I think you just have to stick out all the acrobatics that toddlers do as they BF, and just try to enjoy that special closeness you can share for a few more months.
Have a look on Kellymom here about nursing manners for older babies/toddlers.
Aww, sounds like it's your dd just going through a phase rather than you!! This is classic age for this type of behaviour from nurslings.
My ds did the bobbing from side to side, and for night feeds, it involved him mountaineering from one side to the other, he would lie on my head to feed, and just generally be a bit crazy! Sometimes I found it funny, other times, it was just a giant pain in the arse, enough to test the patience of a saint!
But, as with most things, it was just a phase and he got over it. I seem to remember doing a bit of bargaining with him along the lines of lie still, or you're off. But i think he was a bit older than your dd when we started that.
For the last goodness knows how long, he has been a very considerate nursling, and has been a wee honey co-operating with a big wide mouth etc for my poor pg boobs!
I guess you have to decide whether you are willing to ride it out or not, and take it from there.
Each and every time she bites or pulls on your nipple, remove with a firm 'no'. Takes the fun out of it and they do stop. DS is 15 months and I'm still feeding him and DD who appeared to have self weaned is still asking for milk now and then (3 today!) Have been through the whole poking/biting/wiggling thing and honestly, it does pass.
Thank you so much for replies and helpful link. Good to know it's a normal phase.
DH can settle her at bedtime but unfortunately he's usually working at that time. When we decide to wean I think we'll start by doing that when dh is on holiday.
I've just remembered that I have a nursing necklace so I'll try that tonight to see if it distracts her, and keep telling her what's acceptable to me and what's not.
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