Monday, January 24, 2011

Get this kid off of me!

I breastfed my oldest child for 9 months, but stopped at 4 and 5 months for my middle two. Not once did I imagine that my little toddler would still be grabbing at me shouting "Boobie! Boobie!" past the age of 2! (She turned 2 in December)

She is rarely actually doing it to drink milk. She does it when she's trying to go to sleep. She does it when she's cranky, tired, upset or just bored. I can't sit at the computer without her squeezing herself into position so that she can force my shirt up to try and help herself. I can't lay down without her wanting her boobie. Most nights I can't even get out of bed to have some time to myself because she wakes up when I'm not next to her!

I wanted to wait until she weaned herself. It doesn't look like it's happening. She really isn't even breastfeeding anymore, simply breastsuckling for 1-5 minutes at a time (besides overnight). She drinks milk from a cup & I'm her human pacifier. A position I never thought I would be in, and I want out! I'm tired all the time, my nipples have little to no feeling left in them, and it's about time my older kids stop seeing her expose my breasts throughout the day. Not only that, she has made it a habit to pinch and squeeze the opposite nipple while she's suckling, and the lack of feeling doesn't help there because I can most definitely feel it and it's not nice.

It isn't bad when we aren't home. She seems to accept when I tell her "Not now, wait until we get home" but since we are home 95% of the time this is only a small relief. I looked for tips online, and one I found suggested putting vinegar on my nipples just before feeding. Now, I thought this sounded a little strange but decided to try it anyway. First, vinegar on nipples stings! I guess I should have, but didn't expect that. Next, toddler latched on, pulled back to make a funny face and a hm sound, then latched on again for a minute before heading off to the kitchen.

Did she go to the kitchen to play with the toys? Color at the table? Pull the containers out of the cupboard? Nope. She went to the kitchen and grabbed the vinegar that I left on the counter. She must have liked it so much that she was now dabbing it onto her finger and licking it off. How did she even know!?

My baby is a genius. Any ideas for me? Am I stuck breastsuckling until she decides she's done?


Girl With Fire said...

My daughter did the exact same thing. She was 20 months before I had her weened and at almost 3yrs she is still trying to grab at and rub my breasts every time she is within 3 feet of me. My only suggestion is to be a complete hard ass about it. Buy a truckload of straws and something she really likes to drink as a reward when she has had a good day. (I buy Sunrype Fruit plus Veggies).

The sore nipples suck, especially with the pinching and rolling. If you are like me, you will panic every time something is within 6 inches of your breasts for a while.
My daughter was really into hugging and kissing my breasts and telling them she loved them; this is when I cut her off. When weening her I allowed her to sit with me while she drank, and rest her head against or rest her hand on my breast. It comforted her and eliminated the pinching which is UNACCEPTABLE. It hurts, she needs to know that.

Like I said, I KNOW how hard it can be, the reason my daughter wasn't weened at 12 or even 18 months was that every time I told her no and she would scream like somebody was torturing her for up to 4 hours. I knew my downstairs neighbours hated us already (the did not like it when my children ran across the floor and threatened to call the police over it) and was terrified they would call childrens aid or the police.

I hope you find something that will work for you soon!Good Luck!

Amy Brown said...

I had a similar problem when my daughter was 1.5 and I wanted to stop nursing her. She finally gave in and took a bottle (I can't believe I resorted to that). She still insists on having a lot skin contact with me and as often as she can possibly get it. She'll be happy enough to lay with her cheek on my stomach as long as she's got the bottle also. She's 2.5! It's my dirty little secret that she still has that bottle at home. I'm sorry I have no advice, just so you know I feel your pain. I guess all you can do is remember she won't do it forever and one day you'll want to hold her close and she'll say "mom! you're embarrassing me!"

laura20v said...

If you find the answer please let me know. My son is KILLING me!! He turns 2.5 on the 28th of this month and still screams....I want milk as soon as I get home from Anywhere! Like you said it's a comfort thing, but the bad part for me was he doesn't drink reg. milk and we've tried strawberry, choc. lactaid,..etc.!! I don't know what to do but i'm feeling relieved that i'm not the only one dealing w/ this. He will pull my shirt up and do whatever it takes to get milk! I still have milk but not that much!! Not to mention that he also is my last baby so i guess the guilt is on me. Thought he woulda wanted to stop by now!!

Unknown said...

My little guy turned 2 last November and is still nursing. When he hit that milestone, I decided that nursing should be only for naptime and bedtime. Whenever he asked for "boobin'" I would say, "Ok, then it's naptime, right?" Of course, unless he was sleepy, he'd give me his emphatic "NO!" Then, over and over (like a million times!) I explained that "boobin' time" was for sleepy time. Eventually, he got it and now he gets nursed, or 'suckled' as you aptly described it, for 5-10 minutes before he goes to sleep. It seemed to take forever for it to click, but it finally worked for me.
I have noticed that he was asking for boobin' when he was thirsty, so I usually could avoid a tantrum over the whole thing by filling up his juice cup.

Unknown said...

@Girl With Fire

When she started the pinching, I had read something that said to shout "Ouch!" to discourage it. That didn't work. I can usually distract her from suckling, sometimes for the majority of the day - but if I stop her from the pinching that's when she screams!


My second son used a bottle when I stopped nursing him, and I had a hard time getting him to give it up too. He eventually moved on to a sippy cup but didn't give it up completely until he was about 4.5!


That makes it harder when he won't drink regular milk! Good luck! She is probably my last baby too, but I still held onto my favorite outfits just in case ;)

@Alicia C.

Mine doesn't have a scheduled nap time and really only naps if she konks out so I don't think that would work with her. I can distract her with juice or milk, but after drinking that she usually comes for her boobie fix anyway!

Babes Mami said...

I have no advice but I am happy to see there are several ladies who can relate!

Life Is A SandCastle said...

I'm sorry I'm no help, never could breest feed, my reduction took that from me. When you said you are a human pacifier, I feel like that sometimes because if I get out of bed in the middle of night I'm usually running into a child hunting me.

Anonymous said...

Your the mother...its NO and follow through. At the ages everyone is saying their children are STILL nursing, they should of been weaned a long time ago! Grow a set ladies and stop trying to be your childs friend, be their parent!!

Unknown said...


From my experience, the only people with opinions like that are the ones who have not been through it themselves. Allowing our children to self wean has nothing to do with "being their friend" and certainly doesn't mean we are doing anything wrong as a parent.