Need Support: Weaning a Toddler

(25 posts)(8 voices)
  1. Hello all, over the past several months I have successfully gotten my 26 month old toddler down to nursing twice per day - before going to sleep and upon waking up... Now I am in the final round of weaning and trying to cut out these feedings so that I can be ready to start estradial and begin cycling by June 16 (FET)... Today he wanted to nurse before napping and it was awful... He cried and cried and raged and raged for 45 minutes... After awhile, I started crying with him. I feel awful, but it is time for us to wean and even if I wasn't planning to cycle, I would still be done. I am mentally done in... Yet, I still feel awful... Any other moms going thru this?

    xo, WB

  2. I just wanted to give you some support, weaning is so hard. I think in the long run, it is harder on the moms. I weaned at a younger age (16 mo and 18 mo) and they seem pretty okay with it, but it was hard on me. I would bet that within a few days it will get much better. Good luck.
    Jennifer

  3. Thank you so much for responding Jennifer... I was at a low point earlier today... Good news is that when I put him to bed tonite, he was more mellow about it. I read him a ga-zillion books though and he went to bed 1.5 hrs then normal. Ironically enough, even though he didn't cry, I still felt bad... Nursing him for me was in a way holding on to his "babyhood"... Now let's see if we can get through the early am desire to nurse!

    xo, WB

  4. I am mentally done in... Yet, I still feel awful... Any other moms going thru this? xo, WB

    WB- My DD will be 23 months. I really didn't plan to go past 15 months so I'm definitely mentally done. We're down to once a day (right before bed) but I'm not making progress on stopping.

    I know this sounds really cold, but at this point, I'm not even sure if stopping will be that hard on me; I really think I'll be okay with it at this point. I just worry about stopping cold-turkey (so yes, I feel awful for her in that way) and how it will affect our routine at bedtime. I think we feel awful because perhaps we had hopes they would do it all on her own?

    Hang in there and GL on your upcoming cycle.

  5. WB - Glad it wasn't too bad. Hoping the morning goes smoothly.

    M - Tonight was the first night I didn't nurse. I am feeling okay about it. I was sad last night thinking this is the last time but I was also ready.

    Jennifer

  6. Hey Jenn and M, other then not sleeping very well last night, this morning went ok... I had a sippie cup of milk in a mini cooler at bedside and gave it to him first thing this AM when he popped up bright and early asking for 'ti ti' (his Dad taught him this)... Additionally, rather then stay in bed we all got up very early - which on top of not sleeping well means that I am a wreck right now... Good news is that he only whined a tiny bit and went on his way... During the morning, before the daycare provider arrived, he did ask for it several times, but no crying... So now I'm at 28 hours - and counting - of no nursing... This is the longest I've gone without since he's been born... I do have some slight engorgement... Any tips on how to handle?

    xo, WB

  7. WB- Sorry about not getting much sleep, but it sounds like you did a great job distracting him. It might be a couple of rough nights.

    As far as engorgement, I had a bit of it when I really cut down feedings last fall (dropping the AM feeding). I took some advil and I started up my allergy meds and decongestants (for some sinus problems I have), which are supposed to help dry you up. (That didn't happen for me obviously, but I know some swear by it.) After a few days the uncomfortable feeling went away. I do think it was the AM feeding going away that was the hardest on my body. Let us know how it goes!

    Jen-I'm glad it went so well last night. I'm going to give it a try this evening--perhaps we just need to alter the routine a bit. We shall see!

    Another thing I've noticed and have been meaning to ask....I definitely notice my DD is doing more things where she needs contact with my skin. Such as lifting up my shirt and has to put her hands or face on my tummy. She's not going for my b00bs or anything....Just enough to reveal my muffin-tops (Yay!) This has been happening ever since I cut back on feedings around at 14 months. I'm not sure how or if I should discourage it--she's doing it for some kind of comfort and I just wonder if it has to do with weaning. Perhaps another thread....

    Melissa

  8. Hey Melissa, when I cut out the earlier feedings going from nursing on demand to twice per day), I would tell my DS "you can touch"... So he has been ok with touching my boobs rather then nursing, except for the nursing sessions before sleep and upon waking... I figure though that if this is what he needs for comfort and I can be semi decent about it, ie not flashing folks in public, then I'm fine with this.

    xoxo

  9. Another thing I've noticed and have been meaning to ask....I definitely notice my DD is doing more things where she needs contact with my skin. Such as lifting up my shirt and has to put her hands or face on my tummy. She's not going for my b00bs or anything....Just enough to reveal my muffin-tops (Yay!) This has been happening ever since I cut back on feedings around at 14 months. I'm not sure how or if I should discourage it--she's doing it for some kind of comfort and I just wonder if it has to do with weaning. Perhaps another thread.... Melissa

    Melissa,

    I weaned DS#1 at 15 months. I did it very slowly (over 3 months), but he really needed the skin-to-skin contact. He would lift up my shirt a bit and lay his face on my belly. To be honest, I can't remember how long it lasted, but it did stop...without any intervention on my part.

    Funny thing is, he's 5 now, but still loves to hug "bare skin." If I'm wearing shorts, he hugs my legs.

    Michelle

  10. WB - So glad it went well today. I think if the engorgement gets too bad, you can pump a tiny bit to relieve it. Not to empty, just to take off the pressure. But if you can avoid pumping then that is better.

    Melissa - Hope it went well tonight. I just offer milk from a sippy and we read some extra books. Better would be to have DH do this, but mine is usually busy with DS. I think it is okay to let her have the skin contact, just tell her only at home.

    I haven't even had any engorgement, but I also stopped taking the domperidone at the same time. DD has been a little crabby at bedtime, but I think it is more she doesn't want to go to bed. I wonder how soon AF will come back?

    Jennifer

  11. WB- I'm curious to see how it went for you tonight, too.

    Jen- AF came back for me right before her first birthday...we were on vacation, and there it was out-of-the-blue, and no warning or symptoms ahead of time. With my older daughter, I got it at 7 months PP (but I was exclusively pumping at that point). I'm glad it went well for you tonight!

    Michelle-That's exactly what my DD does! My shirt stays down for the most part, but she needs to either touch my stomach, sides or back with her hands. If I'm sitting down, she will come over and lift my shirt and put her head on my bare skin. I'm glad to hear this sounds normal.

    I've been reading a lot on different sensory issues (this could still be one) but I do think it might be because she is a more cuddly baby and part of the weaning.

    As for us tonight, we tried it and I think we had some success. We did the sippy and the books and she literally had a 10 second nursing session, stopped and then started "discussing" the book with me. So, she may have been distracted, which is how I wanted it to happen. Not bad for day one...I'm going to try the same routine tomorrow.

  12. Melissa - Sounds like a good first day. I hope tomorrow goes well too.

    I got my AF back when nursing DS at 7.5 mo when I was on a trip to World Youth Day in Germany. Didn't have anything with me, so had to find a pharmacy. I don't know why I haven't gotten it this time. I wonder if the domperidone has anything to do with it? I am definitely not complaining

    Jennifer

  13. Ladies, how do you really go about weaning? I'm still b/f my 17 month old dd three times/day. She's pretty attached to these three feedings, and even signs for "milk" at those times. She'll actually ask for it at other times during the day... I try to distract her, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I just don't want this to turn into something where she screams and gets frantic b/c she can't b/f. So, what is the best method? Distraction, along with changing the routine? Are we just destined to a few weeks worth of crying and trouble sleeping??? I really don't want it to end this way. But I feel like it's only going to get harder if I wait. I don't ever see dd giving it up all by herself. UGH.

    (Did I mention I'm not really ready to give it up either?)

    -Alison

  14. Oh Hopeful, I definitely know what you mean... While in the main I think it's time for him to wean (he is 27 months to your little one's 17), a part of ME isn't quite ready!!

    Jen and About, you both asked about last night... Well, I was so full and sore and rather then pumping, I told my son, you can have a "little bit" and I let him nurse for 2-3 min on both sides. Oh you should have seen! He kissed me SMACK on the lips when I let him nurse ... He whined a tiny bit when I delatched him, but I laid down with him and patted, patted him... He went to bed with his little hand on my boobie... This am he woke up and asked "jus a liddle bit" (I've opened up Pandora's Box!)... I told him "no" then went into major distraction mode... It is turning out to be easier then I thought as far as his reaction, but it is tougher then I thought in terms of MY reaction/feelings!

    If I wasn't cycling, I would likely have taken a more gradual approach to this, ie cutting out yet another feeding (perhaps am) and continuing pm before bed nursing until HE was ready to quit. Sigh...

    xo, WB

  15. WB - so glad it is going better than you imagined. I know what you mean about being forced to wean to cycle. That makes it harder I think.

    Alison - If you aren't ready to wean, then don't. I only think you should if you are really ready. We cut out the daytime feeds first. DD didn't really ask for it (she was only 14-15 mo at the time). Your DD is old enough that you could explain only at night and in them morning. And when you are ready to drop the morning you just say only at night. Changing the routine will definitely help. I think it is a little easier to wean when they are younger, because they forget quicker. Off topic - but how is your DD eating? My DD is doing so much better it is almost like a different baby. Still not gaining really fast, but she will just be tiny I think. Hope you are doing well!

    Jennifer

  16. Oh, what a timely thread! I am considering slowly weaning DS. With our upcoming move, I don't want to do it too soon because I think that will be a big enough change for him to adjust to. I have a feeling it will not be that hard on him. He still nurses pretty frequently when we are home (probably 5x per day at 17 months old) but if we are out, he can go a very long time without. We were out the other day and he ended up only nursing 3 times that day...and the one time I sort of made him because I was feeling the pain! He is slowly, but surely, becoming a better eater so I feel he is getting better nutrition from his meals these days. Though the days still vary with how much he eats, but I suspect it will be that way for a looooong time

    Anyway, my plan was to nurse til he is 2. Part of me is ready some days now to stop sooner, part of me cries at the thought (definitely holding on to his babyhood.) We both enjoy the cuddle time, especially at night.

    It is good to hear your stories and know that I am not alone in having a hard time with this issue...and that it doesn't have to be so hard to do.

    Good luck to everyone weaning right now! Hope it continues getting easier each day!

    ~ pb

  17. Hey PB, welcome! As your DS gets older/more active, it will get easier to stop the day time nursings... The bedtime/getting up nursing (at least for me) will be toughest and may linger on a bit... In fact, if I weren't getting ready to cycle, I would likely just wean him away from the morning nursing and keep the bedtime one's... As for cuddling, there will still be PLENTY of that after weaning. In fact, my DS is even more clingy/wants to cuddle, which is a bit tough on my DH, since he now wont go to him, but wants to stay with mommy.

    Hopeful, I echo Jen, Why stop if you're not ready? You are on the right track with distraction... One thing that works well for us as far as distraction are videos (Disney/baby) or Sesame Street... I know that tv is a bit controversial for babies/toddlers and mine is a bit older at 27 months, so perhaps this is a technique that you'll want to try later.

    Last night, I once again let him nurse for 2 min (I timed) on each side). He cried a tiny bit when I delatched him, but then fell asleep cuddled up next to me. This am, he wanted to nurse and I told him 'no'... He continued to ask for it during the morn and when I told him 'no', he seemed to accept it... I am feeling a bit better about things too, although I definitely miss it. This morning, he asked me for a kiss out of the blue. It feels a bit like he wants the reassurance that mommy is still there for him and she is. So LOTS of cuddling and loving going on right now.

    Thank you Ladies for being here!

    xoxx, WB

  18. WB-your little guy sounds so adorable! Yes, since we started the process (months ago) I do notice my DD is more cuddly than her older sister was at this age. I did the same as you last night. Just a minute and she sort of stopped on her own. And then a round of Itsy Bitsy Spider and that was it.

    Allison- I agree with the others. If you're not ready--don't do it. I had a lot of pressure as soon as my DD turned a year. And a lot of it came from my mom who is usually very pro-bf. Obviously just not a day past 12 months--I kept hearing how there isn't any nutrional value/no benefits to me or the baby after that point,etc. I kept it all on the downlow after she turned 14 months and only DH knows we're still going. My MIL probably thinks I should have stopped after I let the hospital, but thats a whole nother story--she's anti-bf! As far as how we did it gradually: We cut back a little different from the rest of the ladies here. I first cut out the mid morning feed, then the afternoon feedings. I kept first AM, naptime, before dinner and then bedtime. The next I dropped were the dinnertime, and then the first AM (that's the big difference). I began offering a sippy first thing in the AM--which wasn't hard because she saw me give a sippy to my older DD. We then got down to only naptime and bedtime. We're now just bedtime. It's taken us since September/October to get this far.

    Jen-I'm certain it's easier when they are younger. That was my original plan. As far as eating...she's still so picky--I haven't seen a change. Although she did eat a few bites of some protein last night! I'm glad to hear your DD is eating better!!!

    Hi PB! My DD is very cuddly now. That's where I feel bad (see my earlier post on this thread) because she seems to be doing extra things for comfort--since she's getting weaned. I think with the move and how you'll be extra busy--I would wait until you're all settled in. Especially if he's going to eventually get his own nursery--It might be way too much to do at once--at least you'll need to keep the night feeds. (Does he still nurse through the night? I can't remember if he stopped or not).

  19. I just weasned DS 2 weeks ago. He is 2y8m. Even though I was ready, I am still so sad to be done.

    A few days before I stopped, I started to tell him that Mommy's milk is almost all gone. He protested and said things like "mommy milk is my FAVORITE" and "I NEED it". He did not cry too much, but then the negotiating started. "just a little bit mommy, just a little bit." I was very careful not to let him see my in just a bra. He asked for milk every night for about a week.

    After his swimming lesson last Saturday, I had to change out of my bathing suit with him in the dressing room. I tried to turn away from him so he wouldn't see my nipples, but he saw me get undressed and when he saw my nipples, his eyes got HUGE and he said "MILK!!!" Then he asked for just a little bit. I let him suck on each side, but he only stayed on for about 1 second, not even enough to get any milk (even if there was any left). He proceeded to say "Mommy milk all gone" and he has not asked again since then.

    He is ok with it now, but I am still not. I miss nursing him. I am emotional (more than normal) and I just feel "off." I think most of my sadness is because my last baby is growing up.

    Sandra

  20. Okay, so I thought we were done. We went 4 days without bfing. Then school started back up and ds had a huge melt down. The biggest one ever so I let him nurse and we are back to the bedtime nursing session. I feel that it is time to stop as he is 30mo and 1day now, but at the same time he is my baby and ... I know many of you know how I feel.
    Summer school is out on Friday and I will be home again so I will try again with the night distractions. It's just too hard with the melt downs when I am only home for a few hours with him. I feel bad enough about that and to take away his "milk".
    On Saturday we are turning his room into a "big boy" room. The crib is being turned into a toddler bed as he's now climbing in and out. The nursing chair is leaving the room. Hopefully with the bed and chair change the weaning will happen.

    Terry
    Franky 2 1/2yr

  21. Yes, on the weekends, my DS does not nurse very much at all during the day. So I think those will be fairly easy to stop...when the time comes. You're right, M, so much going on in his little life. Thankfully I'm not super eager to stop. I have my days, but for the most part, I am so happy that we are still going strong. I think of those early days and cannot believe how far we've come. Yes, since we co-sleep, he does still nurse during the night sometimes. It's not very much and it's only for maybe a minute...literally!

    Oh, Sandra! I feel for you...especially with your DS getting so excited at the thought of more MILK!

    It seems like it is generally a very long process, huh? Well, we're in no hurry. Though thinking of possibly cycling again. But I will let this take it's time. I know I'm not getting any younger, but we have a little time.

    How has everyone else been doing the past few days??

    xo ~ pb

  22. Hi Ladies,

    Sorry to ask a question, and then abandon ship! Thank you so much for your support and insight.

    More than anything, I am conflicted. I know we're getting close to the end of b/f, and it's hard to let go. She is our last baby, and I guess it is my way to hold onto that last little piece of her babyhood. I love the opportunity to hold her and cuddle. It is the only time she really settles down and allows me to get close. She is a busy toddler, what can I say?! Anyway, my fear is that if I wait much longer, dd will really protest and I'll have the made the situation even worse. KWIM? Over the last four months, we've dropped from 7 feedings in 24 hours to 3. Not a bad start, but now we're to the feedings that she is extremely attached to (ie first thing in the morning, before nap, and before bed time). UGH.

    Melissa- Like you, I also feel some pressure from the outside to stop. And oddly enough, I feel like I'm also having to figure out where I stand. I never thought I would be one of those moms to b/f a toddler, but here I am, and now it doesn't seem so weird, LOL. I think my dh would prefer that I stop soon, but he is also very supportive. We also try to keep it on the downlow. My MIL thought I was crazy when she found out I was still b/f dd at 15 months.

    Jennifer- It sounds like your dd is doing great! That is awesome news!!! It seems we have good days with feeding, and other days when I'd swear dd is on a diet. In the end, I think my dd is just going to be petite. I'm hoping she'll hit 20lbs by her 18 month visit, but that would require a major growth spurt over the next few weeks, so we'll see. I'm still working on getting her to drink cow's milk, but she's not sold on the idea as of yet.

    Terry- That is too funny about the nursing chair! We have one in dd's room, which is the only place she nurses (unless we're on vacation). I can't even hold dd or rock her in that chair without her signing for milk. I honestly think I'm going to have to get rid of the chair once we move towards weaning.

    Sandra- With a little more time, I hope this gets easier on you. Hugs!

    WB- How's it going?

    PB- Thanks for checking in and offering support, too.

    Hope everyone is having a good week.

    ~Alison

  23. Hopeful, no worries. I swear at times I fear that I've become the biggest flake in the world, because btween work/toddler/volunteer stuff oh and a bit of time thrown in now and again for my hubbie, at times I feel so overwhelmed with life - but happy though! One bit of advice I have to offer is that you shouldn't worry about weaning until you really feel you're ready to move down that path... The reason why I say this? I spent all these months worrying about weaning my son when I should have just been enjoying the process - to the fullest... My worrying about it didn't change the outcome. Not one bit... Don't get me wrong, I did have many moments of enjoyment, but I also feel I wasted a lot of energy (on top of all theother stuff I have going on) with the darn worrying... OK off my soapbox. And dear Alison, I hope you don't take offense at me telling you this... Truth me told, I'm talking more to myself then to you, cause I do worry too much... xo

    Sandra, I had to chuckle about the swimsuit scenario... I am in a mode right now where I'm trying to hide my boobies from DS... When he sees "them" it just makes him more frenzied to get at the "ti ti's"... lol

    Terry, let us know how the "big boy" room idea works out... I am thinking about something like that for getting my son to sleep in his own room - rather then with DH and I... I want to have him get firmly on the path towards weaning though, cause I don't want to hit him with too many new things at once.

    Hey Ladies, are any of your LOs more irritable then usual around the weaning business? I feel like my happy little guy has turned into a whiny, fussy little soul... He even trys to hit/slap me when I tell him no to "ti ti"... I sure hope this is temporary. I want my happy guy back.

    xo, WB

  24. Hi Sandra and Terry!

    Hey Ladies, are any of your LOs more irritable then usual around the weaning business? I feel like my happy little guy has turned into a whiny, fussy little soul... He even trys to hit/slap me when I tell him no to "ti ti"... I sure hope this is temporary. I want my happy guy back. xo, WB

    Really quickly- to answer your question WB: YES! lol!

    Friday night we had a bad night. She was up once an hour. Turns out she was coming down with a little viral thing. She's fine now, but was waking up crying. At first we thought she was having those night terror ("arousal wakenings") but in the AM she was right around 100.4, and a bit of a runny nose. So here we're still doing the nightly 30 second thing, so I'm hoping it just dwindles my supply to nothing and we can be done.

    Any other status updates?

    Anyone know how long after weaning to go in for a baseline mammogram? It would be my first one. Admittedly, I'm a little bit freaked out after reading the stories on the boards here with the inconclusive ones, that I want to be sure I'm empty.

  25. Hey About, I hope your LO is better soon... The mammogram center in my area requires that you go for 6 months after weaning before they will do a mammogram.

    xo, WB

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