Breastfeeding Two Year Old Is Wearing Me Out

Updated on August 09, 2010
C.M. asks from South Padre Island, TX
28 answers

For two years and 4 months I have breastfed my son on demand. He was born a demanding, clingy, high-maintenance little guy. I don't have a problem with breastfeeding, but I do wonder if the "on demand" schedule has groomed him to be the demanding tyke he is today. Tantrums, whinning, and the need for constant attention. I am plum wore out and ready to trade him in for a puppy! He eats healthy, no sugar, organic, and limited wheat products. I take him to work with me and and have practiced attached parenting. We have a family bed. Again, all those great books I read on extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting all promise positive results. Where are these results and why do I live in grouchy two year old hell?


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So What Happened?

Thank you for all the input. These days life with the busy tyke is better. Boundaries and naps! Attachment parenting was not the problem, it really pointed back to me. I was allowing the drain by not setting some guidelines. I suppose they do go through phases and I will say this one is busy curious and is always on the go. I have found just by changing rooms in the house helps him maintain a happy disposition. He gets bored easily and needs constant stimulation. That's ok, I am coming up with creative ways to keep him stimulated! He is smart and will grow up to support me! Update at 4 years!! Attachment Parenting is the way to go. Almost 2 years after my original question, and a total of 4 years breast-feeding (self weaned at 4yoa) My guy is a mover and wants to know how everything works, very intelligent and very very independent now. He is also quite the conversationalist and we are working on reading skills. I do very much believe the continual comfort, attachment, and closeness to mom in his early years gave him stability and confidence! He is his own man!

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

Kudos to you for breastfeeding
now it's time to stop the breastfeeding. he has gotten all that he needs months ago. Attachment parenting is good to a certain extent. Now you realize it's time to teach him independence, which also includes introducing him to his bed. I believe he may have been led to believe you and him are one, and his needs, in his mind, need to be met the second he expresses them.
Teaching him a bit of independence is the right thing to do for him and for you.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

The on demand thing for feeding is great when they are 2 months old. if he is 2 years old he should not be breast feeding constantly anymore. bedtimes I get but other than that he should be eating / drinking people food lol. I have never been a big fan of the co sleeping thing but it sounds like all the on demand stuff is not working for you. you might want to give something else a try.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I personally have do not practice or believe in the benefits of attachment parenting due to seeing how that panned out for my mother over the past 30 years...My goal is not at all to criticize your parenting style, because I think we all RIGHTLY do what is best for our families, but clearly it is not working well for you or your child. I think parenting style has to form to the personalities. If it is what you strongly believe in, you might see if you can find some literature on some more liberal versions of attachment parenting, and how to WITHIN YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM set some of the boundaries for your children that the rest of the world is going to start setting for them in only a few short years, ie. eating time is between x and y o'clock: if you are hungry here are your times, otherwise you can wait until the next time. That give him the demand, but within your guidelines. Try this with all areas, but you'll have to ease him into it. He will not at all appreciate having his "on-demand" taken away, but at some point it has to be, or kindergarten will do it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

No no no... on demand feeding does not make a demanding child.
It is personality....

I breastfed on demand, both my kids... until they self-weaned. Both my kids have different personalities.

My son self-weaned at about 1 year old.
My daughter at about 2.5 years old.
Now, for my daughter, by that time she was not nursing constantly... she naturally lessened the frequency. That is what self-weaning is....
ALSO, once she was that age, I taught her MANNERS about nursing... it is MY body, she has to ask nicely, she can't just pull up my shirt, NOT in public at that age (my preference) etc.
ALSO, if she 'asked' sometimes I would tell her "In a minute... " then I would make myself busy and then she would get distracted.....
I ALSO by that age, talked to her about it... that one day, she would not need to nurse....
Also by that age, my kids were on whole milk, organic. They were also eating foods just fine.

The thing is, when my daughter was 2 years old, although I allowed self-weaning... I ALSO talked to my daughter about it and taught her manners about it.
Then one day she self-weaned... and she told me "I don't drink from you anymore...." and then she laughed about it... and that was it. She was all done with nursing. All on her own.
My son on the other hand, just didn't want to nurse anymore at 1 year old.. .he'd just slap my boobs away and said NO.

all the best,

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Wow, you have done a great job breast feeding! It sounds like you are done. Also sounds like your son is ready to not be so "attached". How long do you feel you want to continue breast feeding?

Personally, if your child can walk up to you and lift up your shirt, it is time to let them go to the fridge and get their own cup of prepared milk.

Whining and throwing tantrums is a way for a child who cannot express themselves to show frustration. Ususally the frustration is "I want," "I need",
" I can do it." I am frustrated, angry, tired" ..

Allow him to have the words for all of this and not be dependent on you for all of this. To avoid tantrums, you watch for signs of what he is experiencing.

"I can tell you are frustrated, because we cannot find your sandals. Would you like your tennis shoes or your crocs? "

"You seem disappointed because the pool is closed. Would you like to slide or swing instead?"

"I can tell you want to reach the apple by yourself, may I help you this time?"

"You seem frustrated, may I hold you or do you want a few minutes by yourself?"

Maybe he is tired of going to your work? Maybe he would enjoy a few days at Mothers day out or co op day care? Kids this age really need a lot of physical activities, running shouting, climbing swinging, riding trikes.. Make sue he gets this for an hour in the morning and again in the afternoon.. Than he needs creative play a couple of times a day too..Or organize a playgroup once or twice a week.

Children thrive on a schedule. They like to know exactly how the day is going to be and do not always do well with changes. Give your son a heads up if the day is going to be different..

I am sending you strength.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on


I am an advocate for breastfeeding to those who can and are willing to. But I also believe that 2yrs old is a fair amount of time to wean. For some reason high demand boys tend to want to nurse longer, and after about a year, it is no longer breastfeeding for nourishment (they have teeth, eating solid foods, walking, etc), it is for comfort and used as a pacifier. I too am trying to wean my 18mo old and he is demanding as well. I have tried substituting with other things (teddy bear, bottle, blanket, hugs), nothing works, so the last resort for me is either cold turkey or rub some safe deterrent on my nipples. I really think it has become of a manipulative habit that inwardly I think once you break it, they would be ok with it. I am also going to try breaking off in interims. I only do this once a day, and I work, so it makes it harder for me, since this is my only connection, but I feel he is ready by the look he gives me when I say no - It's almost as if he is testing me to see if I mean it and if I look "defeated or weak" he will whine. As a perfect example, while I am there ALL he needs is nursing, so I offered him milk in a sippy cup and he refused it. As soon as I walk away, what did he do, picked up the milk and drank it. So I knew, I was the problem here. As long as I allow him, he will nurse. Hope you try to find a happy medium.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My oldest son is now 9. He sounds very similar to your little one. We also follow attachment parenting. The first 3 years were really hard. Now he is very mature and VERY independent. There are certainly still hard times, but he is a great kid. I'm always getting compliments about sensitive he is to others' feelings and how respectful he is. Attachment parenting and a high-need kid doesn't mean no limits or consequences, of course, and we're pretty strict according to lots of parents. I don't think parenting style would have changed your child's basic nature. My second son (also breastfed for a long time and attachment/co-sleeping) is completely different, even from birth. Kids are just wired differently. You did not create a demanding tyke with your parenting created him with your DNA :-). The attachment parenting books are often overly positive...I think it's because it's such hard work. A lot of the authors turn out to be more cheerleaders than anything else. We need more practical advice sometimes!

My mom was completely dubious and critical of our parenting style at first, and now tells everyone how important it was for my first child. I think it's the hardest ones who benefit the most. But it's exhausting. It helped that I had a friend who had a child with a similar temperament and also did attachment parenting. There are easier ways to parent, but I do think it's worth it. Despite the very difficult early years. Sending supportive thoughts your way....

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

i think your answer is: your child is 2.
no anything is going to change this stage of development.
i'm there w/ya!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would start weaning him. I nursed both my kids exclusviely for 12-13 months (that is no bottles, only mama!). We practice attachment parenting an extent (no family bed...but absolutely no cry-it-out method). Maybe he's used to "demanding" things from you (i.e. nursing) & is transferring this to other needs of his. I think you've given him a great start nursing this long. I'm not sure how long you planned on going, but I don't believe he will lose out on anything heatlh-wise if you start weaning him now. You obviously have a tremendous emotional bond that's been well-established, and again I don't think weaning him now will negatively affect that. It may teach him that Mommy isn't always at his beck-and-call, sometimes he needs to wait.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I teach alot of the attachment parenting techniques in my newborn care classes, but I always emphasize boundaries. It is equally important for you toddler to feel attached to you, as it is for them to know there are boundaries, and they need to be their own person at times. I would start practicing little changes, and implementing "big boy time". I did this with my daughter. I would give her an activity, and I would grab a book and sit down with a timer. First I would set it for one minutes, and say ok! The next minute is big girl time, play with your toys while Mommy reads. Then I worked up slowly, all the way to a half hour as she got older. It was hard at first, and she fought me on it. I was an attachment paretner too and she was used to my full attention whenever she wanted it. I stayed strong, and kept gently reminding her, this is your big girl time. Eventually, she grew to like it, and now is very independant, while we remain very close. Good luck to you!


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answers from New York on

It sounds like you BF him a few times a day. I think you are doing the right thing by wanting to wean him. My son is the exact same age and was a demanding very unhappy baby. He was only happy being held by me and or breastfeeding. We have been down to breastfeeding just before bed for the last 6 months or so. I think that should be your goal at this point. I do give in though if he is legitimately ill. Make sure he is getting enough sleep and there is nothing "sneaky" bothering him (I took my son off dairy and that helped him be less irritable). Then you just have to stick to your guns. Some kids are going to be tougher than others. Does he maybe have some sensory issues? Try to occupy him with different things and if you need to put on his favorite educational video instead of nursing, then by all means, do it! Soon he will only nurse if really feeling bad, and I don't think that's such a horrible thing!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I was ending up with the exact child you are describing...and I think it was due to the "attachment" parenting style that I had brought in to while researching how to raise my first child.

I gave everything on demand and was with him actually physically touching me 24/, arms, lap, even co-sleeping. He was quickly becoming a tyrannical dictator in my home.

I had an aunt that sat me down and told me that this was not going to end well...she is in her 80s and seen many many children raised with many different parenting techniques over her life time. I cried for a couple of days that I had ruined my child and he was only 16 months old. I had to reevaluate my parenting strategies. I re-read books and developed a new way of doing things. I even asked a question on here if a child can be too son was...

Only you can decide if you want to continue the style of parenting you are currently using and if it is working for you and your son. I made a change and I am really glad I did...he is now pleasant to be around (he is now 5) and other people find him pleasant to be around...BUT I am still fighting some behaviors that I think developed because of the attachment parenting philosophy.

Maybe it does work for some...but it didn't work well for me or my son. We needed some "detachment".

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

You live in a grouchy 2-year-old hell because your son is strong-willed and you have been "blessed" with the job of training him so his strong will does not allow him to run the family. This is one of the times in his life where he wants to know how much control he has, and if he is like our daughter, he wants ALL the control. You need to teach him that you love him but he cannot be in control of your family. The parents make the decisions. Deep down, it is very reassuring for kids to know that their parents are in control.

Now is a good time to read some wonderful books on parenting a strong-willed child (not a bad thing, just the personality he was given). Dr. James Dobson was my favorite author. I would read the following 3 books in succession, over and over again: "The Strong-Willed Child," "Parenting Isn't for Cowards," and "Dare to Discipline" (which is now "The New Dare to Discipline," I believe. I'm sure they are at the library or you can get them used online at

Dr. Dobson was my cheerleader, as I had to learn how to train our daughter to be able to accept our roles as parents and not yet crush her spirit.

Do his tantrums and whining get him what he wants? They don't work if you don't "reward" him by doing what he wants when he does it. It will take time but you can teach him repetitively that the only thing you will answer to is calm requests. My daughter would throw a tantrum and I would walk away, telling her I will be in the kitchen when she is done. When she did it in a grocery store or at church, we would walk outside, give her a stern talking to and then we would go back. No rewards like candy for good behavior, just praise and hugs, and bragging to people in front of her of how good she is behaving, etc. (even strangers). He needs to learn to behave to get your approval.

If he needs constant attention, it is because you have taught him that you are his entertainment. Find things that he likes to do - creative things - that he can learn to work on for a few minutes at a time without you being right there. It is exhausting because his attention span is very short at this age, but if you diligently and consistently give him opportunities for creative play on his own, a few minutes (with much praise and admiration) will turn into a few more minutes, etc. Be sure to display his work and show it to everyone who comes over. It is important to play with him, but he also has to learn to play by himself.

Call his grandparents and brag in front of him about what he made or how nicely he played by himself. Make a big deal of it. My daughter needed lots of praise and needed to know we loved her and were very proud of her in those early years.

Hang in there and don't get discouraged. When that strong-will has been trained, it will be amazing in the upper teen years! We finally got to sit back and go, "Wow!"

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

i agree with most of the other moms, its his personality, not the attachment process, sounds like you are an awesome mom! He will not do this forever, your child is secure in the fact that you are going to take care of him and keep him happy and safe. He has all the time in the world to learn the fact that life isnt perfect, for now, do as u are already doing, its sounds responsible, healthy. Even though it may be this way now, you will see results. Ive raised 2 children the same way, and they each started branching off different ways., at different times

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answers from Minneapolis on

Its personality. He needs some boundaries, and some rules on when he can nurse and how to ask politely, and also how to control himself. Teach him some signs for words he cannot use yet, and also insist he use words or signs to ask for what he wants. Get down to his level, speak calmly and slowly.

Something I've found to be true for my boys, is the 1/2 years are always THE WORST! I think when my boys were 3.5 I was ready to sell them both. My youngest was worse than my oldest, but even now at 8yrs old, my oldest gets testy and ornery at his 1/2 birthdays. My youngest is almost 5, and thank God he's done with 4.5. :)

Anyway, teach him some manners, that its your body and to be respectful. Boundaries are your friend right now with a 2yr old, and teaching him some signs, keeping him busy too.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I breastfed all of mine until they were two (My 5th is now 3 months old) but only fed on demand for the first few months to a year. After I introduced foods, I scheduled their breastfeeding time. I think it's your son's personality. I have a couple of high maintenance kids and a couple who aren't. But I sort of did the same things when they were younger. Gently teach him not to be grumpy and demanding. One step at a time. Be positive and cheerful but yet stern, when you need to. Good luck and congratulations on breastfeeding for so long.

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answers from Cleveland on

He sounds like a normal two year old boy. I nursed my also high spirited daughter until she was 2 1/2 (on demand) and let me tell you there are times when I still wish I was nursing her (she is now 4). You don't know how valuable that tool is until it is no longer there anymore. That being said, if you are ready to be done then you should start the weaning process. You have done an amazing job nursing him this long! If you would like to continue then just do as other PP have mentioned and set boundaries. Let him know when it is and is not okay to nurse. Being bored is going to trigger the desire to nurse so be sure to keep him busy. If he's distracted by having fun, he probably won't even think to nurse.

The attachment parenting philosophy is that by creating a strong attached relationship beginning in infancy and through childhood you are paving the way for you child to grow into a confident, loving adult. It's something you have to be dedicated to for the long haul. It does not mean that you won't have a child that does all the "bad" things that kids do. They will still throw tantrums, they will still be bossy, they will still test their limits, etc. because these are all normal developmental stages for children. Attachment parenting is just how you choose to deal with the exact same things that other women are going through with their children.

Don't let the other people, with totally different parenting philosophies, discourage you from doing what in your heart you feel is right. You are not doing anything wrong by co-sleeping, practicing extended breastfeeding or attachment parenting. It is hard doing things differently then most of the world around you and I am sure you are being faced with criticism for your parenting choices (I know I have). But one day, you will look back on these times and realize that all your hard work and determination paid off.

Find yourself an on-line community (try or your local LLL so that you can surround yourself with other women who believe in the same parenting styles you do. You don't know how valuable that really is.

I would like to add, since a lot of mom's are stating that your style of parenting will not produce an independent child, that this is NOT the case with my daughter (and I doubt it will be with your son). She was a very high needs, and clingy infant and toddler but she has quickly become a very independent and out going child. She still loves to snuggle though and knows that she always has me to fall back on when she is having a tough time with things. Which is not to say that I do everything for her, quite the opposite. I do push her to do things herself but I don't have to push hard because she loves to be independent and feel like she can do anything herself without me.

I would also like to add, that I believe because of the way I parented my daughter that it helped tremendously when her brother was born. She did not seem to have an once of jealously or resentment towards him at all. She loved him from the moment she met him and is so great with him. There was none of the negative things that I had heard about and had braced myself for (like regression in potty learning or behavior, or aggression towards the baby). Instead, I believe that she was so confident in her attachment to me that she knew how much I loved her and that she was not in any way being replaced by her brother. That I was simply giving to him what I had, and still am, giving to her.

I'm so sorry if this sounds as all preachy but I really felt as if my way of parenting was being attacked a little with some of the responses here and I really wanted you to hear some good positive things about the attachment parenting life style. Instead of a bunch of negative things from women who admittedly don't know much or anything about the philosophy or the children that grow from it.

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answers from Austin on

C., I was in the same shoes as you, almost exactly. I nursed my eldest on-demand for three years; only mine had colic in the early months on top of that!! She never had formulas, baby foods, or bottles, nursed almost every 20 minutes round-the-clock, seemed forever hungry or needed the cuddle, and took only cat-naps rather than long sleeps. As a result, I wore her in a snuggli for her first few years, even while cooking or doing laundry. By the time she was 4, it was obvious other things were going on with her, both with health and with learning disabilities. Even though I ate only organic foods and home-prepared only healthy meals, she had severe allergies that affected her cognitively and behaviorally, and her allergies were spreading. I could say so much more, but I'll keep this short.

After undergoing a rotation-diversified diet to clear up what the allergist called 'brain allergies', she became an AMAZINGly capable and confident young girl and moved into the gifted classes (no more disabilities). Following my v-e-r-y ugly divorce, the family therapist told me it was those early nursing years that gave my daughter the emotional resources to endure such hardship unphased. Now my daughter is patient, reliable, self-disciplined, and wise, and often now sought by other parents because her children are so secure. She has thanked me many times for her early years. I nursed 5 children that way, but only one had such difficulties.

If you provide consistent boundaries, clear expectations, and are responsive and available in other way, consider that your son may have underlying needs.

Look up Dr. Doris Rapp and her work on the allergic tension-fatigue syndrome.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have a daughter that is 2 years, 4 months., I did semi-attachment parenting with her -no CIO, she spent the first 12 months of her life living in a sling, etc.

She weaned at 12 months. She throws some tantrums, but she doesn't' whine and she doesn't need my attention. In fact, she plays outside in our yard by herself all the time (with me watching from a window.)

That said, I do think it is the attachment process to some extent. If you respond to ever whimper immediately, they learn to whimper. If you respond to whining, they learn to whine. If you always shower them with attention, as opposed to redirecting, then they expect attention.

I have an 8 month old that plays contently by himself. Why? Because when he fusses, I give him what he needs and/or if he doesn't need a diaper, food, etc. but is just checking in, I redirect him if I am in the middle of something. I do give him attention if he really needs it of course, but I think teaching them self-sufficiency early on is a good thing.

It's all about habit and the way we condition them.

So, when your son whines, tell him we don't speak whinese in this house. Tell him to use his normal voice. When he throws a tantrum, tell him you will talk to him when he is calm and able to use a normal voice. It is all about what you expect of them. They so want to please us. All we have to do is listen to them and meet their very simple needs. Just set up some rules about how you want them to ask for what they want.

At the end of the day, a 2 year old is a 2 year old. They will be demanding little tykes that whine and whine and whine- --if we let them. If you haven't read any of the parent effectiveness training books, I highly recommend them. They help with a lot of that behavior, most of which is the result of them being 2!

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answers from Houston on

He is 2 and sounds like he is acting like a 2 year old. I'm sure most parents whether they want to admit it or not have gone through tantrums, whining and their kid needing constant attention with their kid at some point.

Good for you for breastfeeding past a year. There are so many benefits to extended breastfeeding. Good for you for having a family bed. There is nothing wrong with your way of parenting. You are doing a good job. You can attachment parent and also teach your child boundaries and have a happy well adjusted tot.

I would see if their are any triggers for your child's tantrums and if their is any consistency to them. Maybe your child might need to have a more structured day or if it is too rigid a little bit more flexibility? When your child tantrums what is your reaction to it? How do you react to the whining? Your answer might be in how you are reacting to the situation.

These are normal 2 year old behaviors. They will and should get better as your child learns how to express himself better.

With the attention, I honestly do not know many 2 year olds who do not need a lot of attention. This again is normal. He will eventually be able to play by himself. It takes time. You can play with him, get him interested in things and watch from a distance. If you need to cook, let him play by you. Again, nothing wrong with that.

I have a 4 year old and believe me, he is one of the most independent, outgoing kids. He is also compassionate, caring and a kid who looks out for other kids. If he hears a baby cry, he tells me mom can you pick that baby up and make it feel better? He melts my heart when he says things like that.

Hugs to you. Good luck to you and your son.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Our family practices attachment parenting also. We have two daughters, both with VERY different temperaments. My oldest was just like the way you describe your son. Now that she's 4 we are seeing some of the "results" as you call it. She is more "clingy" and needs more maintenance, but that's just her. My youngest is the opposite- very independent.

I don't think it has anything to do with breastfeeding. My oldest daughter breastfeed until 1 year and my youngest is still going strong at 16 months.

There's a great series of books called "Your X Year Old" by Ames that gives you an idea of what's going on developmentally for each year. Reading up on what's going on physically, emotionally, and developmentally helped me because I could see the whys behind the behavior and that it was part of normal development not a flaw of my parenting.

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answers from Little Rock on

I'll admit, I don't know what attachment parenting is. The way I see what has been described her and in other postings, it sounds like the child is with you 24/7, possibly touchable close at all times. I agree with Retta below. This is not going to end well. You want a well rounded child who can be independent. I child that is attached to mom or at arms length of mom is never going to be independent. Do you want this child still hanging on mom apron strings at 35 - 40 years old? It sounds to me like that parenting technique is going to produce a child that even in adulthood can't do anything for himself.

I put my children in their own room at 3 months even though I was breastfeeding them. I had a baby monitor, so I knew when they needed me. I did not want my children in our room. It is stressful on you marriage. Putting them in their own room promotes independence as they grow older.

I breastfed mine until 7 months, 1 year , and 1 year. I stopped early on the first because of some prescription meds I had to take for several months. I weaned the first with bottles of combination breast milk/formula. The other two, I gave a cup of whole milk and all was over. My mom breastfed my sister till she was 18 months on demand. She was lactose intolerent and mom had trouble finding something she could drink instead. This of course was 25 years ago before soymilk was so readily available. At 18 months mom ended up putting her on isomil formula till she was 3.

Yours is an attachment problem. If he is eating well off the table and will drink cows milk or soy milk, I would begin weaning. I would start by refusing a feeding that was not at nap time or bedtime (those should come last) and instead offer something else. He probably is not really hungry, it is just for comfort or special attention. You could offer him cows milk, or soy milk, or you could try offering him a favorite blankey or stuffed animal or cuddle up with a book. If he does not have a favorite blankey or stuffed animal you could take him shopping for one and explain that he is a very big boy now and that he needs to find a substitute for breastfeeding because he is getting to old.

I encourage my children to do things on their own when I feel they are old enough to handle the task. I don't go get my 9 year old a glass of water. I tell him to get it himself. If my 4 year old wants a cup of water he gets it himself with supervision.

I also don't think a kid should get everything they want. They are not going to get everything they want when they get to the real world outside of your home. People are not going to cater to them. You don't want him throwing tantrums in public because others won't do his bidding. I know we all call our children little Prince and Princesses, but we don't want them acting like the demand little tyrants, ordering others to do their bidding and expecting obedience from all.

If you give them everything they want, they will only want more. If you limit what they can have, they will be thankful for what they are allowed. Try it. It will take a while seeing that he has been catered to but he will learn eventually and be thankful for what he does have.


answers from Houston on

As far as his demanding little ways, sounds like he is just a strong willed dude and that is just his temperament, not good or bad just is what it is;) But I would say feel free to wean:) You have done just an awesome job, so if you are ready just go for it! Since he is two maybe have a little bye-bye ceremony. My son got into this habit at about 2.5 yrs that he would lay down at night and want to be the "baby" and have me hold his sippy for him while he drank. I was prego and this was getting tiring and I knew there was no way I could do it and nurse a newborn. So one day we told him that at night we were going to say bye bye to the baby. I held his sippy that last time and then we all said "bye bye baby!" I never held it again after that. If he asked I would say "oh remember when we said bye bye to the baby!" He would remember and take his own cup. My son is also a head strong dude with his own ideas about things and this worked great. So maybe tell him that tonight is going to be the night we nurse and say bye bye to the baby, boobie, whatever you want to say:) If you are ready, it might work great! I don't know a lot about the attachment parenting model but I will say that in whatever ways you can, try to give him definite boundaries bc the head strong rule the world type of kid does better with some finite rules I think. Like if we are out somewhere and he wants to run around, we will say "Ok, you can go from this chair to that wall, that's the boundary area. If you go out you will have to sit in this chair, have a time out, whatever..." So wherever you can showing him specific boundaries might help him focus and relax a bit. BELIEVE me I understand a rambunctious, strong willed boy. Mine actually had me in tears yesterday and I think of myself as a pretty patient parent!!!! So I am not criticizing at all...hopefully some of these ideas might work. Take care!!:)



answers from Austin on

Two and three year olds are realizing that they are their own people and seeing what they can do. The "terrible two's" is that move towards independence, and it can be difficult for all parties. It may be even more difficult in your case due to the extended attachment style that you have incorporated. That is not to say that there is anything wrong with what you have done. It may have just made the road to independence a bit longer and more bumpy. Your son is now at the right age for the developmental shift, and his body is telling him so. At the same time, because of the attachment parenting, he may not be emotionally ready for this shift. That makes for a confusing time. I wouldn't suggest any dramatic changes, but a gradual and positive move towards more independence might benefit you both. First, I would think of ways that you can create activities for him in which he can gain confidence and independence that are not necessarily taking away the nursing or co-sleeping (teaching him to dress himself, clean up his own spills, brush his own hair, prepare his own snacks, pour his own water, etc.) Once he realizes that he is able to do so many things on his own, it may be time to start weaning. At this point, I would encourage a gradual shift as dramatic changes can make a child of this age even more clingy. Good luck!


answers from Provo on

I really like Laurie's, Lola, and Sarah G's answers. combine them an you would get mine. But adding to Laurie saying that his tantrums are his way of expressing his feeling. Perhaps you could try ASL. My son is only 9 months old and now can tell me when he is hungry with out he either guessing or having him cry. They make a tv show or you could just learn from the books.


answers from Cincinnati on

I hesitate to respond, and I would never intend on being rude, you have all very positive responses, so I will be positive as well. I will just say that I have a 2 year old son who is low maintenance, never clingy, and rarely demanding, and didn't breastfeed past 6 months. Your "two year old hell" could have been so much better if you had stopped breastfeeding once your son no longer benefited from it (around 1 year). After that age, it is much more for the mother than the toddler. Can you say this the way you wanted it? I don't think you would have written this post if you were happy with it. Again sorry if this seems rude, but you are complaining about a situation that you alone created, not your son. Your child needs to learn independence.



answers from Houston on

I think some people have been a little hard on you and others have given really good advice. I just have a couple of things to add. I breastfed my first son (with a similar personality to yours) until he was 22 months. I pulled the plug because I was 10 weeks pregnant. So, I completely get where you are coming from. Like with anything, it's likely your little guy is the way he is from a combination of nature and nuture. He has a demanding personality, and attachment parenting just feeds right into that. I think beyond age one, it's important to instill "breast-feeding manners." Your son is at an age where it's not necessary to feed on demand. He has to start coping with the disappointment of not getting what he wants (using the strategies other moms have already talked about).

I wish you luck, I know this isn't easy!

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