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Gentle weaning of a tandem nursing toddler... Any takers? MellowMania 2 kids; Wisconsin 6987 posts
30th Oct '12

My son just turned three and my daughter is 3 months old. I wanted to let him self wean but there are so many factors I completely overlooked :( I knew that he would increase nursing when my milk came back and we got through that despite realizing that nursing them both at the same time is too much for me. I went back to work so all of the nursing sessions got crammed into just a few hours. We were dealing, not entirely well but we were getting by. Now, my daughter is reverse cycling and nursing ALL the time when I'm home including all night (in fact, I've been wanting to post this for a few weeks but didn't have a non-nursing moment to) and only taking 6-9 oz from bottles during the time I'm at work. I feel like nursing, unless I am immediately in the right state of mind and can say "Yeah!" when he asks, is surrounded by negative feelings right now. I want him to remember nursing as a comfortable, safe thing. I don't want him to go away feeling negatively about it. I also know that weaning is a huge huge thing for him. This is the first "end" he will experience and I don't want that to be negative either. Am I delusional?



Right now, my plan is that every time he asks during awake times, I (if possible) will immediately drop what I'm doing and do something fun WITH him. Color, paint, wrestle, games, etc. Something involved so he gets that closeness still. I have no idea how to get rid of the bedtime one (that's the one that persisted through pregnancy) and I've found that days he nurses less he'll sometimes wake up during the night and ask and it's so much harder to deal with "No" when you're sleepy.



I think I'll be sad when we're done but I think it's best for us right now and like I said, I want it to be a happy memory. Any ideas?

user banned 1 child; Boston, Massachusetts 30985 posts
30th Oct '12

your fun time idea sounds great.,



play a game and give him a cup of milk.



sounds like your 3 month old needs it much more than him at this point anyway.

MellowMania 2 kids; Wisconsin 6987 posts
30th Oct '12
Quoting shes*almost*one!:" your fun time idea sounds great., play a game and give him a cup of milk. sounds like your 3 month old needs it much more than him at this point anyway. "


Oh she definitely does. I wouldn't be choosing between them. Her nursing needs come first always.

user banned 1 child; Boston, Massachusetts 30985 posts
30th Oct '12
Quoting MellowMania:" Oh she definitely does. I wouldn't be choosing between them. Her nursing needs come first always."


just sounds like on top of everything else you really dont have time to be doing it. he's 3, i think he'd benefit way more from quality time playing with mom than nursing like a baby

NopeNotGonnaDOIt 6 kids; Cuba 3000 posts
30th Oct '12

well you could be truthful about it and explain that his baby sister needs all of mommies milk to help her grow. Tell him to look how tiny and delicate she is and that the milk inside of you will help her be a big girl, just like he is a big boy. Emphasize the big boy. He's too big to nurse, he has too many teeth to nurse, baby needs mom's milk, he was a baby once and now his sister is the baby, things like that. Only when he is really persistent, otherwise redirection like you've planned works great. At bedtime you can talk about it and tell him that instead of nursing to sleep now, he's grown so big that mommy wants to cuddle him like a big boy and then snuggle with him for as long as you can :)

j0des(+2) 18 kids; Virginia 5095 posts
30th Oct '12

I never got to tandem nursing, once my infant was born my oldest got a nasty cold/sinus infection so I had to cut him off. Unfortunately he got sick the day I had my youngest. I did nurse throughout pregnancy. His second night away from me was the worst while I was in the hospital, he kept his dad up all night. I felt horrible. I was going to let him nurse again if he asked once he was well but he never got around to it, so we were done.



I can say though, weaning is a LONG process. Atleast it was for us. Mine nursed every 2 hours up until around 15 months. Until he really got into table food, I didnt really have an option. We night weaned at 22 months. I seemed to just cut down a session at a time. For the nighttime nursing, I have to admit.. I just wore him out or outlasted him so he fell asleep.



I would definitely replace it with something fun. I always offered a cup of milk and a snack first. Like his favorite snacks I knew hed rather have..goldfish, animal crackers. We also did vanilla soy and almond milk since he was lactose, so he had the option of flavor. We still to this day, 9 months later, have snuggle sessions instead of nursing. He still cant keep his hand out of my shirt either lol it doesnt bother him that I nurse his brother either..

NopeNotGonnaDOIt 6 kids; Cuba 3000 posts
30th Oct '12
Quoting j0des(+2):" I never got to tandem nursing, once my infant was born my oldest got a nasty cold/sinus infection so ... [snip!] ... of nursing. He still cant keep his hand out of my shirt either lol it doesnt bother him that I nurse his brother either.."


aww so cute. My son too, he's always sneaking his hands down my top and we cuddle every night before bed, it's our time. But still during the day he'll snuggle up to my chest at times. I really thought he would be jealous of his brother but he absolutely adores him and totally understands his brothers need to nurse. I didn't make it thru my pregnancy, it was just too painful for me so we stopped at 28 months. But I used all of the above to wean him, what really helped though was my MIL took him and his older sister for a few days of fun. So when he got back I didn't let him nurse again. I had pretty much dried up so I could also use that excuse too, that there was no more milk now, that they were getting ready for the baby.

j0des(+2) 18 kids; Virginia 5095 posts
30th Oct '12

<blockquote><b>Quoting Mommy☠Kate:</b>" aww so cute. My son too, he's always sneaking his hands down my top and we cuddle every night before ... [snip!] ... dried up so I could also use that excuse too, that there was no more milk now, that they were getting ready for the baby. "</blockquote>




The bond that you have is never gone.. I still felt guilty about it awhile though.



I keep joking about weaning the same way this time.. Getting him down to a couple times a day then letting my husband take him a couple nights.

NopeNotGonnaDOIt 6 kids; Cuba 3000 posts
30th Oct '12
Quoting j0des(+2):" <blockquote><b>Quoting Mommy☠Kate:</b>" aww so cute. My son too, he's always ... [snip!] ... weaning the same way this time.. Getting him down to a couple times a day then letting my husband take him a couple nights."


I was a mess at first when this baby came, it was the blues but adjusting to cutting out some bedtimes with him was really hard at first. We still sometimes get cut short if their dad is out and I feel guilty putting him down and not having the time for a good snuggle.

greenmamabecky☮ TTC since Jul 2013; 18 kids; Enfield, Connecticut 20987 posts
30th Oct '12

I'm going through something similar, but my 2 1/2 yr old self weaned at the beginning of this pregnancy and now asks allll the time again. I have no idea why this happened or what to do. So far I just tell him "in a few minutes" and then he gets distracted and forgets. If I had milk I'd be nursing him, but there's no milk and it hurts really bad.

j0des(+2) 18 kids; Virginia 5095 posts
30th Oct '12

<blockquote><b>Quoting Mommy☠Kate:</b>" I was a mess at first when this baby came, it was the blues but adjusting to cutting out some bedtimes ... [snip!] ... sometimes get cut short if their dad is out and I feel guilty putting him down and not having the time for a good snuggle. "</blockquote>




I was a total wreck when this baby came. I just wanted to comfort him the way he was accustomed to being comforted and couldnt, phew. I cried, alot. To be honest, Im still spread pretty thin between the two of them. Its a balancing act..

NopeNotGonnaDOIt 6 kids; Cuba 3000 posts
30th Oct '12
Quoting j0des(+2):" <blockquote><b>Quoting Mommy☠Kate:</b>" I was a mess at first when this baby ... [snip!] ... and couldnt, phew. I cried, alot. To be honest, Im still spread pretty thin between the two of them. Its a balancing act.."


it definitely is! But so worth it! I cried a lot too but I'm getting thicker skin now.



Scarlet - I eventually told my son that they were broken and that it did hurt to nurse. He seemed concerned but then I went into how they were getting ready for the baby and that it was OK.

greenmamabecky☮ TTC since Jul 2013; 18 kids; Enfield, Connecticut 20987 posts
30th Oct '12

<blockquote><b>Quoting Mommy☠Kate:</b>" it definitely is! But so worth it! I cried a lot too but I'm getting thicker skin now. Scarlet - I ... [snip!] ... it did hurt to nurse. He seemed concerned but then I went into how they were getting ready for the baby and that it was OK. "</blockquote>



Thanks for the advice :)
He knows there's no milk left but he's always begging me to let him "try to get some breastmilk out".
I've also told him there will be more once the baby comes but that made everything worse and he asks every day now if there's more milk yet.
I kind of can't wait for the baby to get here to I can tandem lol but idk how I'll feel about it once I'm actually doing it.




Seriously though OP, my son was (and apparently still is) obsessed with my b**bs. He would throw small fits at first when I started to tell him "in a little while" or "not right now" but he'd get over it faster than I expected and very soon after I started doing that just accepted it. If he asked me again or reminded me I would do it, because if you don't they'll think you're lying every time. 3 out of 4 times he'd forget and not ask again though and before I knew it he was down to only once in the morning when he woke up. Eventually he stopped that on his own.
I'm sure its harder with him constantly seeing the baby nurse but just try putting him off a few minutes if the time isn't right and then distracting him. That way, even if he remembers, hopefully you'll be in a better position to nurse him by the time he asks again.

MellowMania 2 kids; Wisconsin 6987 posts
1st Nov '12
Quoting Mommy☠Kate:" well you could be truthful about it and explain that his baby sister needs all of mommies milk to help ... [snip!] ... sleep now, he's grown so big that mommy wants to cuddle him like a big boy and then snuggle with him for as long as you can :) "


I don't want him to think he's too big but the too much teeth is a good one. That one's actually true, if he's not latched just so, it's terrible! I don't know, I want it all lol. I want him to look at it as a good, exciting thing (it is!) I don't want him to think growing up is a bad thing. We've done the baby sister needs the milk to grow, she can't eat awesome food like us yet, etc. She gets bottles while I work (I pump) and he'll tell me "she says she wants a bottle". *facepalm*

MellowMania 2 kids; Wisconsin 6987 posts
1st Nov '12
Quoting j0des(+2):" I never got to tandem nursing, once my infant was born my oldest got a nasty cold/sinus infection so ... [snip!] ... of nursing. He still cant keep his hand out of my shirt either lol it doesnt bother him that I nurse his brother either.."


Just out of curiosity, why did you have to wean him because of the cold?
My son nursed a lot like yours when he was younger. He started sleeping all night most nights when he was around 2 then when I got pregnant he nursed more for a bit then only nursed down to bed (and nap if I was home). I think if his sister wasn't constantly reminding him that nursing rocks lol he'd only be nursing a few times a week.