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Old Mar 6th, 2017, 09:03 AM   1
Mum (Mom)
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Weaning stubborn boy at almost 21 months

I am so grateful to have BF my second child for this long (my daughter had a host of feeding problems and I had horrible PPD and anxiety after all of it) and she was FF, I'm grateful for formula too.

But weaning from the breast is so much more difficult and no one ever tells you that. They just tell you breast is best and to start out breastfeeding but the weaning, OH GOD

I'm a SAHM. My son is with me most of the time. but now he is way too demanding. sleeps horribly. my daughter is almost 5 and needs me and I can't be tied down nursing all the time anymore. I can't even set limits because if I try to sit down, he's pawing at me and screaming if I don't feed him

I am exhausted and completely depleted. My DD is almost 5 and very high energy/spirited and i need a break from both of them but the BF is taking a physical as well as emotional toll

I have tried cutting him back,if we are out and about it's OK but once we're home, I can't even SIT DOWN in my own house without him coming over to be fed.

I don't care what people think about an older child being BF, that's not what is' about, I need to stop because I no longer WANT TO and that's all.

I don't want to look at my son with dread when he's walking over to me. I feel awful

He will drink tiny amount of water or whole milk from a cup and that's it. he's extremely picky with food right now too which I know is age related as much as it could be BF related.

Thank you for any advice, I'm feeling sad, guilty , exhausted

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Old Mar 7th, 2017, 03:23 AM   2
Mum (Mom)
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There are a few things here that might help to think about. A toddler's behaviour around breastfeeding and related tantrums can be approached the same way a tantrum about being picked up, or wanting a toy someone else has, is approached. That is to say, if he is being unacceptable (for example hitting out at you when you wont feed) then it needs to be tackled the same way any other unacceptable behaviour would. However it is also common for mums trying to wean to attempt to physically distance themselves from their children, go out more, sit down less, instigate fewer hugs etc. This can be effective for a child who is ready to wean but feeds out of habit (whenever sitting in front of the TV for example) but for a child who is still very emotionally dependant on mum, this sudden distance can be upsetting and actually lead to a child wanting the comfort of breastfeeding even more. So imagine you've been out and about all day, you are both over-stimulated and tired. You might put the kettle on for a cup of tea and look forward to that release of sitting down cosy with a warm drink. He will see breastfeeding the same way, but suddenly he's told he can't have it. At that age a tantrum is a very normal way of processing his feelings. There are lots of ways to deal with tantrums depending on what your parenting style is, so I'm not going to go in to that here, but I think the key is that if you know his tantrum is about wanting his needs met but you can't meet those needs by breastfeeding, how else can you meet those needs?

Possible ideas:

Set aside cuddle time with your LO where you read a book, tickle fight, sing nursery rhymes (whatever your LO would like best) but make sure you are physically close and comforting. Preferably have some of this one-on-one without your older child. If LO tries to feed say something like "It's story time now, not *feeding/boobie/milky* time. You can have *milk/boob* after lunch". I give that as an example, but you have to decide for yourself how many times you are willing to feed LO and when. It is often not helpful to say to a child "later" because this means nothing to them, but using set events that they know are regular like 'before bed', 'after lunch', when we get home from the park' are more reassuring. If LO has a tantrum deal with it as you would any other tantrum.

If LO stays with anyone else in the family, ask them how they wind down with him, comfort him when he is upset or show him affection.

It is OK to not want to feed, and you shouldn't have to if you don't want to, but it helps to understand how confusing this can be to a child who isn't in the same place as you. Over time your LO will understand that you can show him love and he can be comforted in many different ways.

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