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Attachment parents/extended breast feeders please

(47 Posts)
AngelaD Sat 13-May-06 10:15:08

My DD aged 2 is showing no sign of stopping and it is driving me nuts to the point I don't want her near me because she'll want to feed all the time.
It starts at bedtime about 8pm and she feeds from one side and pinches the other nipple and rolls it between her fingers (drives me up the bloody wall), then when I get into bed at 11pm she wakes for another feed until she nods off. At about 3am we have a big fight because she wants feeding and I lie on my front so she can't get to it and she screams until she falls asleep again until 6am when it all starts again.
I'm sat here on the computer and she's literally hanging off my boob it, she's not hungry she's just had 2 weetabix and a piece of toast for god sake.
As soon as I sit downn she's got her hand up my top clawing at my bra to get to me, I've got to the point where I hate it.
What's the kindest way to stop this ?

emkana Sat 13-May-06 10:27:17

I think at this age you can impose rules - which I did with mine at this age and earlier.

So for example I said - only while at Mummy's at the computer, or only before going to bed or whatever suits you.

They don't necessarily like it (probably won't!) but mine accepted the rules pretty quickly and things became much better.

harpsichordcarrier Sat 13-May-06 10:36:21

yes, I agree with emkana
you can start to impose limits if you want- only at bed time, only in your bedroom, only after meals - whatever. This will of course lead to negotiation . my dd1's ambition used to be to be fed "downstairs" or (Holy Grail) "on the sofa....." - now it is "altogedder" i.e. at he same time as dd2 <rueful>

FrannyandZooey Sat 13-May-06 10:50:11

I also stopped feeding on demand when ds was 2. I would use distraction in the daytime or sometimes just say "not yet, wait until...."

At night time I did continue to feed on demand because he was never a great sleeper and it was by far the easiest way to settle him back to sleep. Of course as you have no doubt guessed once you do crack the night time feeds they sleep better anyway, oh the dilemma...

I found the period from 2 to 2 and a half was about the worst for frequent feeding and I often flet like you. I think it may help to bear in mind that they are going through huge periods of change and that life is very challenging for them at this age. Any comfort or reassurance we can give them has got to be good, and in the long run having you on tap to breastfeed her will help her become a secure, independent happy child. Attachment parenting has great long term outcomes IME but bloody hard sometimes in the short term.

In your situation I would stick it out for a little bit to see if it calms down of its own accord. If things continue then make some changes. I would say one night time feed at 3 is not that bad myself but then I have some twisted ideas after 3 sleepless years I think at this age you can certainly bargain and make rules. If you are really determined to stop the night time feeds then explain to her that there is going to be no more feeds in the night, but that you will feed again in the morning. Try reading Elizabeth Pantley for lots of good night time weaning tactics and also talk to your local LLL leader, who will understand this sort of problem and not just go "still feeding???? "

HTH. Good luck with it.

fattiemumma Sat 13-May-06 11:24:07

im not a breastfeeder so no direct advice to offer but i would like to add this.

If your DD was doing some other behaviour that you did not like what would you do?

you have stated that she isnt hungry so it seems it is simply habbit or maybe for comfort in the night.
i would say no. maybe express some into cups/beakers and if she attempts to get to the breats say No, if your hungry you can have your cup/beaker.

it may take a couple of days but she will learn soon enough. you just need to be strong.
i think from your post you are adamant you want this to stop so you just need to get that across.

Good luck, i doubt it will be easy but hopefully it will pay off soon enough

Papillon Sat 13-May-06 11:59:18

I tell dd that boobie is sleeping, or not working. I told her only once or twice a day. I did not have her feeding at night at 2, but just don´t feed her at night any more. She will complain but she already does at 3am so I think cold turkey is a good idea. I have noticed that about feeding dd, I used to first thing in the morning, so I made it after breakfast because she would wake up at 6am and it made me feel resentful.

While she feeds keep your other nipple covered, just don´t let her do it. If it drives you mad then stop her, she is still being feed and it will be better for both of you. Hope things improve for you.

FrannyandZooey Sat 13-May-06 13:58:29

Fattiemumma, I totally disagree. Breastfeeding is not just about food, it is about comfort. It is good for Angela's dd to ask for comfort and receive it. She is not doing anything naughty or inappropriate. Your advice sounds to me suitable for a child who is being deliberately annoying. Breastfeeding can be a very important part of a child's life and to stop suddenly and punitively as you describe is IMO cruel.

ruty Sat 13-May-06 14:03:07

my ds is 20 months and the nipple twiddling thing is a bit of a struggle. I keep an elbow clamped over the other breast, but he seems to want to twiddle as much as to feed! I still feed on demand, but he has a bit of routine to the day [his own] where he feeds in morning, just before afternoon nap, and before bed. He does still wake at night for feeds, but i haven't addressed it yet, as we just sleep together and i get better sleep that way. Interesting to know F&Z's experience.

FrannyandZooey Sat 13-May-06 14:32:50

Just wondering if a special soft toy or blanket to hold might help with the twiddling? I imagine it would drive you spare. They sell little comfort blankets with lots of tags on to fiddle with, so I think it is a natural instinct for little ones to fiddle. Ds just kneads the one in use which can also be annoying but at least I can see the point of it - he says it makes more milk come

ruty Sat 13-May-06 17:40:55

ds not very attached to soft toys. just to my boobs!

Filyjonk Sat 13-May-06 18:06:10

same here ruty. before ds was born I read all the stuff about how great ap was-kids got attatched to people not things, fab.

Now 3 years and 2 children and one sore filyjonk later and I'm thinking, hmm, maybe I can interest these kids in a nice plastic teddy...or some fimbles...

FrannyandZooey Sat 13-May-06 18:48:14

Some people have some luck with breastfeeding necklaces, but I think the idea is that you introduce them when the baby is quite young, so they get the habit of twiddling that instead.

Have heard of babies who twiddle hair instead - that would also annoy me

ruty Sat 13-May-06 18:50:09

it is true isn't filyjonk! I know i'm only on my first child, but at the moment i think it is worth it - though I need to address the night thing at some point. What i do find though, is he is not clingy with me at all in social situations, and much more friendly to other adults/children than some others i have noticed. Might be a personality thing, i don't know, but i'm glad.

ruty Sat 13-May-06 18:56:14

i might try the necklace FZ - but it might be a bit uncomfortable to wear it at night! We've got very lazy at night, co sleeping and breastfeeding.

FrannyandZooey Sat 13-May-06 18:58:34

Ruty I had not really thought of that.

We still co-sleep and bf, ds is 3

Hey at least I have never ever had to get out of bed in the middle of the night

ruty Sat 13-May-06 19:02:32

yes FZ we didn't co sleep for the first four months and it was a nightmare. Then we started and since then we have just all slept so well! But i haven't been short of of the 'rod for my own back' comments!

FrannyandZooey Sat 13-May-06 19:04:09

Have we had the "it's my rod and my back, now F--- off" quote on this thread yet?

Papillon Sat 13-May-06 19:07:39

dd is by dh and ds is by me. our room is just about wall to wall beds!

FrannyandZooey Sat 13-May-06 19:08:21

Yup we have 10 foot of futon in our room

Papillon Sat 13-May-06 19:12:16

I am too lazy to get out of bed! ds is really heavy in the sling in the day - much heavier than dd which is hard work.

AngelaD Sat 13-May-06 19:22:46

The 10' futon sounds great where did you get that from ?

rosiesmumof4 Sat 13-May-06 20:01:17

All my DS's went through this phase at about that age. I used to spend whole days not sitting down because as soon as i sat down there would be a child on my boob
It passes eventually, like all phases, but i do remember getting a bit fed up with it from time to time.

teatimethatswhytime Sat 13-May-06 20:05:30

Just like to add that I demand fed and co slept dd till she was 3 and a half . At 4 and a half she now sleeps in her own room, own bed, (througout the night most nights) and nolonger has boobie. No tears involved!
If i got fed up with boobie twiddling tried to wear tops that denied uninvited access!

Filyjonk Sat 13-May-06 20:06:25

ds is also very confident socially, especially with other kids. I mean, I think its worked all this AP business, know. I think its that I never get a break, it really is 24/7. But then, I suspect it might be easier, espcially once they're toddlers-ds is very easy because he basically wants to do the right thing and we know that and he knows we know that.

Want a 10 foot futon now...(oh, and a house to put it in...)

ruty Sat 13-May-06 20:08:50

Paps that sounds lovely. Now where can we get that 10' futon?

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