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Thread: Some support for ending "extended nursing"

  1. #1

    Default Some support for ending "extended nursing"

    My ds is nearly 3.5. I cut daytime nursing a couple of months ago and told him it was only for night time which has gone pretty well. Lately, however, he is throwing tantrums here and there during the day because he wants to nurse. I do not nurse him but find other ways to console him.
    The night wakings (3-4 times per night) are killing me. I never feel fully rested and nursing a big kid is different than a baby/toddler and it's not so easy for me to just fall back asleep. I want to be rested. My children and my health depend on it. I also would like to have the option of not being home at bedtime sometime in the near future so I can be somewhat social again. So last night Was my first night of not nursing( I did nurse him to sleep at bedtime and also back to sleep this morning or he'd have been horribly sleep deprived. But he woke 4x in the night) and it was awful. He cried so much and told me I was rude, mean, how much he loves nursing, how sad I'm making him. It's breaking my heart and I feel like I'm breaking his.
    I won't end co sleeping so that's not an option. Nor is having his dad attend to night wakings.
    Can anyone share a similar experience? Tell me it's going to be better tonight? Assure me I am doing the right thing? A hug??? Lol I always hoped it would happen on it's own but I see no end in sight and...I'm tired.
    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    12,063

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    I haven't nursed that long, so I don't have any advice. But .
    I hope someone else can help.

  3. #3

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    I understand how you feel COMPLETELY!! I've night weaned two DS's and it can be tough. Especially when they have words to tell you that you're rotten!

    I night weaned DS2 twice, actually. I night weaned him for good at the beginning of this year. It helped that I had a trip planned to be away for 2 nights. He wanted to resume nursing when I came home, but we didn't have any battles in the middle of the night about it after that.

    That's about all I have for words of wisdom. We are cosleepers, as well, and it's hard when you sleep together. A coworker once told me that her pedi said that if we were sleeping next to a piece of chocolate cake we'd have a hard time not waking up for a piece in the middle of the night.
    Dorcas (35) DH (36) 3/13



  4. #4

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    no experience but it should start going better once he realizes that this is the end of night time snacks from mom.
    hang in there!



  5. #5

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    I weaned Ds2 when he turned 3. He was waking up to nurse and i was dooooooooooone. At the that point i had been pg and/or nursing for over 5, close to 6 years. My body was exhausted. I needed sleep. I wanted to be able to have two glasses of wine without worrying about when he will nurse. Just done.

    He got used to it in 2 months. I told him my milk is stopping coz he is getting old. He kept asking when my milk would come back and I said a womans milk comes when she has a newborn and eventually dries out. He took that explanation but kept asking for another year when we will have a baby. Lol.

    My dh cannot do nights because he has too many early court appearances which require local travel. I would be too worried he would get into accident. And i am still cosleeping with both boys much to all our friends shock but they are still not ready to move out of our bedroom.

  6. #6

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    It will get better and in our case it stopped the night waking. He missed it and i missed it too but it was the right decision for us.

    Hugs.

  7. #7

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    Thank you, everyone. I appreciate the support. Nursing older children is not common in my area and I don't think any of my friends or family know I'm still nursing him. They'd be shocked, and probably find it bizarre so I choose to skip the discussion. It's nice to find support here.
    Tanya, 2 months??? OY. I hope it doesn't take that long! It's 10am here and he is still sleeping so I know he had very little rest last night. As did I, of course.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,933

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    Would it help if you dried yourself up, so there is little reward for his effort? Can you offer something he would love to take to bed, in return for not asking to nurse?

  9. #9

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    I'm still nursing my dd who will be 3 in sept, and my BFF nearly flipped out when she found out i was still nursing but i do have a couple friends still nursing their kids the same age.

    I think how long it takes really depends on the child. i was all prepared for nights and nights of screaming and no sleep with DD because that's how it was with her older sister. But Daddy got up with her, took her to the living room and rocked her, she cried only once for a few minutes and it only took 3 nights. her next older sister took much longer though, at least a week of tantrums and another week or more of still waking but not nursing, maybe more.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    14,873

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    It's an enough of an emotional thing to do without a child being able to give you the guilt trip and call you names! That must be very hard.

    I didn't go that long so I have no real advice but I think it's probably the same as anything else....be consistent with whatever method you are using, push through the rough parts, and you will see results eventually.

    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  11. #11

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    No experience. I only made it 12 weeks with Sophia and I was very sad about it but, I had issues that I needed to deal with. I didn't try. Pulling at a few straws here I am wondering if there are any child appropriate books for him about extended breastfeeding. I do want to say I admire you and other women that can do extended breastfeeding its a huge commitment.
    *** Lindsay ***



  12. #12

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    I am sure it depends on the child and i really hope it takes a few days. It was not too bad the whole 2 months though. It came in waves, he would do fine for several nights, then wake up to nurse a couple nights and so forth. Within 2 months, he knew it was over (just kept asking for a sister or brother). But both my children are unusually stubborn and persistent and remember like friggin elephants. My mom keeps telling me i was the same LOL so i cant complain.

    I do not know if u can dry yourself up with herbs. I tried but ds2 was 3 yo and apparently an absolute expert with a very strong latch. He would make my milk flow regardless of my efforts. Haha. I should have rented him out to moms with milk supply issues. Haha, just kidding of course

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanyachap View Post
    I am sure it depends on the child and i really hope it takes a few days. It was not too bad the whole 2 months though. It came in waves, he would do fine for several nights, then wake up to nurse a couple nights and so forth. Within 2 months, he knew it was over (just kept asking for a sister or brother). But both my children are unusually stubborn and persistent and remember like friggin elephants. My mom keeps telling me i was the same LOL so i cant complain.

    I do not know if u can dry yourself up with herbs. I tried but ds2 was 3 yo and apparently an absolute expert with a very strong latch. He would make my milk flow regardless of my efforts. Haha. I should have rented him out to moms with milk supply issues. Haha, just kidding of course
    LOL about asking for a sibling! I am pretty sure i have no milk, as a few weeks ago DD asked what was wrong with my boobie because it was empty. I told her she drank all the milk up. She still wants to nurse sometimes, just to suck i guess.

  14. #14

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    I so feel for you, I nursed Gilly until he was about 3 years 3 months. At that time he was only nursing 1-2x daily. I had a talk with him that the momma milk had helped him grow into a big strong boy and he didn't need it anymore. I told him we could have extra snuggles and read books in bed, but no more momma milk. He was pretty okay with that. I know you said you don't want to end co sleeping, but what about him sleeping with the Kai or Savanna? Would they like that?
    Shelley-mom to DS, 6

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by raspberry View Post
    I so feel for you, I nursed Gilly until he was about 3 years 3 months. At that time he was only nursing 1-2x daily. I had a talk with him that the momma milk had helped him grow into a big strong boy and he didn't need it anymore. I told him we could have extra snuggles and read books in bed, but no more momma milk. He was pretty okay with that. I know you said you don't want to end co sleeping, but what about him sleeping with the Kai or Savanna? Would they like that?
    Eventually, yes, he will move in with them. They share the entire lower level that used to be the daycare. Right now, however, that is their sacred space to be without their meddling 3 yo brother.

    Last night I brought a puppet to bed with us and Sawyer had a nice long discussion (and I mean looong! I was nodding off) about nursing and growing up. It wasn't without tears but he fell asleep without nursing and didn't nurse at his night wakings either. He fussed a lot but nothing like the night before. I did nurse this morning in hopes he would sleep later, (no dice) but just for a few minutes. I'm feeling a lot better about things. Thank you all so much.

  16. #16

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    Yay, sounds like some great first steps.
    Dorcas (35) DH (36) 3/13



  17. #17

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    Sounds good
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  18. #18

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    So glad last night was better! I weaned Noe when she turned 3. I had begun to suspect she was waking often during the night TO nurse, which was making both of us tired. Night weaning didn't work at all for her -- it had to be "all or nothing." So when she was close to turning 3, and was excited about her birthday, we began to mention occasionally that she would be done nursing then, too. She had a few nights of difficulty going back to sleep (we also still cosleep) but I just reminded her that we could cuddle instead. She used my boobs as a pillow for a while, but it didn't take long for her to get used to the new normal - and yes - she stopped waking so much at night! Now she wakes once to go potty & come into our bed, but that's it.
    She would occasionally ask if she could nurse and I know she has very fond feelings about it still ... she is 4.5 and she asked me just the other day if she could just "try it even though there's no milk left." But I was surprised that the transition was shorter and smoother than I had anticipated. I hope it is the same for you and S!
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  19. #19

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    great news! I hope he adjusts quickly.

    DD through a huge fit over nursing yesterday. usually i can just distract her, but for whatever reason yesterday she took a stand and would not calm down for the longest time. she rarely asks to nurse during the day do i really didnt expect that!

  20. #20

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    I had to stop co-sleeping to get Jericho to stop nursing...he was 23 months and never slept through the night. I let him sleep in his older siblings room, he loved it so much he NEVER looked back. Night 1 he slept through the night, and has been ever since.

    ~*~Katrina~*~ Momma to Xander, Hayden & Lily (6) and Jericho (3 1/2)

  21. #21

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    Things are sort of a standstill not getting better or worse. He still really struggles at night but is waking less.
    Funny story when we were doing puppets. (He LOVES talking to the puppet "about stuff") I had the puppet ask him what his mama says when he asks to nurse and he said, "She screams at me." Lol! (I do NOT! I swear!) It took a lot of restraint for me not to defend myself! I let the conversation continue and asked him if that makes him sad when his mom screams at him (hmph!)
    He said, "Oh, wait. I made a stake. I actually scream at her!"
    hahaha! That is more like it buddy!

  22. #22

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    My dd is 17 months and im looking to end nursing at night.... good luck bridget! at least hes old enough for logical conversations about it! Like others have said, I would tell him that your milk is dissapearing because hes getting older, maybe read stories about other mammals that nurse their young, how they end it as well.

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