40 answers

Breastfeeding Jealousy

This is going to sound a little crazy but here goes, My third child was born in June and she is strictly breastfed. My son who turned 2 in May is having a lot of jealousy issues w/ my breastfeeding. Majority of the time he is too busy to even notice I'm breastfeeding her but others he screams and crys for me to let him breastfeed! He hasn't been breastfed since he was 5 months old!! He gets very upset when I tell him that the baby needs to breastfeed and he doesn't and he throws a huge fit pulling on my shirt and trying to get to my breast. My husband says let him try it, he probably won't like it and we can move on but I'm afraid he will like it! I know people breastfeed children that old but to start then seems kind of sick?! I don't know what to do or how to make him understand the baby 'needs the boobie'!!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

First of thanks to everyone who replied! There was a great array of advice, alot of it we had tried and some we tried over the weekend. I just coudn't bring myself to breastfeed him again or let him try. I know that is completely normal for children that age to 'still' be breastfeeding but for him to start felt very uncomfortable and unnatural compared to when they are smaller and grow up doing it so The first time he did it this weekend I did the explaining it to him (which i've tried before)didn't work so tried a snack,book (also tried b4) and he wasn't having it but gave up eventually w/ daddy home. The second time he tried it I made him a sippy w/ chocolate milk and took off my shirt so I was just in my nursing bra and let him lay on my other side that I wasn't nursing on. He just laid his head on my chest and watched tv but seem so relaxed w/ me. So I was ready when he did it again and again we did it and he remained calmed and just rested w/ me and he popped up much sooner and went on his way! I think he just wants the comfort of knowing he is still mama's baby and although we spend alot of one on one time together while baby is asleep and big sis is at school this was one thing he felt left out on and we fixed it! Thanks again!

Featured Answers

awwww. the little guy is jealous of the bonding time I bet. not so much the breast. He sees you spending one on one time with the baby who is already the center of attention everywhere else he goes. I bet he just needs some mommy time. Maybe when he gets upset and says that he wants to breast feed, you can try telling him that you need to feed the baby right now, but after she's finished, you and he can sit down and have a snack or play a game or whatever he's into.

I bet he just misses being the baby :) I know i did! :) my parents still tell stories of me trying to boot my sisters off my parents laps when they were feedign them. :)

By no means try it!!!You would be opening a new can of worms. You are exactly right the might like it and he is already past that phase in his life. He will learn it is not for him in time.

I to breastfeed all 3 of my sons. When my middle son was 2 I became pregnant with the youngest. When the milk started to changed he pretty much gave up the breast. Every once in a while he would try again and decide it was still YUCK! After the baby was born he wanted to try again. I let him. He still said YUCK!- The baby was only 2 days old. He did try a few more times when the baby was older but would just do it for a few minutes then decide that he would rather play.Good Luck

More Answers

2 yr olds have not had enough nurturing. That is why he is jealous. Get a front carrier and strap her on, so you wear her all of the time. That leaves hands free to cuddle 2 yr old. Tell him all of the time to get a book he likes because when baby gets fed, big boy gets a story. I read all of the time to my 21/2 yr old. Had breast fed for a year to him, and never had an issue. You may be making too big a thing out of having to feed her. If he continues, tell him that you are going to feed him after you feed her. When she is full, lay her down and feed him. There won't be much left, and I don't think he will stay interested, but he will have tried, and that is the point, he wants to see for himself! Sounds like you are a very good mother for being so young, good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E.,
Sounds like you've got a very normal two year old!
I have recently gone through the same thing - I have a 3 month old son and his big sister is 22 months older. When I got home from the hospital with the new baby, she was not impressed. She was very jealous of time time I was spending with baby brother. She too wanted to nurse, so I let her try - she couldn't make it work and that was the end of it. I have adjusted nap times so I can spend more one-on-one with big sister. My husband also has made a special point of doing activities with her on the weekends. Now that life is a little more "normal" and we have all adjusted to the new routines everyone is happy.
By the way, I exclusively breastfed my daughter who self weaned at 14 months.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with your husband. Let him try it. Ask if he'd like a taste. I allowed my son to taste my breast milk after our daughter was born. He smiled and went off happy.
I don't know what reaction you will get after having refused to allow him to taste it, but, I would think it would be fine. Just be calm and smile and ask him, how is it. And say, okay,(all done) maybe have something interesting to distract him. He may want another taste,right then, or at another time, so, let him.
You may explain, when appropriate, maybe, as he's eating some of his favorite food(s), that, his sister cannot eat that, show her gums, no teeth, etc.
Just go with the flow, no pun intended.
The breast to him is very natural and he sees it as what it was intended.
Hope this helps.
My children are adults, now. Enjoy your family.

1 mom found this helpful

Chances are he will not remember how to. The way a babe sucks while nursing is different they would from a bottle, sippy, or regular cup. So he would probably only do it for a second and realize that he can't get anything and be done. But...if he does...then it is not a big deal. He is two...I know a lot of two year old that are still nursing...mine included. He probably won't do it for very long. Congrats on the new babe...and keep up the hard work mama!

1 mom found this helpful

My oldest son was 2 years old when his brother was born. I would get him a sippy cup of milk, cookies, and a stack of books. We would read books while I nursed the baby. He would hold the book and turn the pages and I would read to him. It worked well--no sibling jealousy. He got attention every time the baby got attention. We called it "Mommy time." They both got mommy!

1 mom found this helpful


Sounds like what he really needs is close, private, personal time with you. Perhaps there is a time of day when someone else can take the baby that you can spend intimate, uninterrupted time with your son. Even if only 15 -20 minutes a day. He needs reassurance that you will still take care of him, too.

He has been the baby for two years, the transition to 'big boy' will be difficult for him at times. Get him as involved in caring for the baby as possible, to help him see how 'big' he really is. Have him get the blankie or the diaper or point to things in a picture book to show the baby new new things. This will give him a sense of importance & responsibility towards his new sister.

Hang in there, you will find your way!


ps. my son was 2 when I had my daughter & one day he came up to me, hugged me, patted my belly and said "she needs to go back inside..." A little extra love & attention seemed to really work.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know why starting then seems any different than continuing to/through that age.

I agree with your husband. Let him try. He may not even remember how to breastfeed in which case he'll get bored with it and move on.

If you are really against trying with him maybe you could have a special basket of toys and books that he can play with and look at with you while your breastfeeding your DD.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

He's only two, he still needs that feeling of love and security that breastfeeding provides. Why did he wean at only 5 months? That is way earlier than the APA promotes. I'm with your husband, let him try. Chances are he will be satisfied with just one "taste". His curiosity will be satisfied and let it go at that. But if he "likes it" it means he was weaned prematurely and should be given a chance to make up for those lost months. Providing for his emotional needs now means he will be a more secure independant person in the long run.

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