Need to Be Freed from Breast Feeding

Updated on December 19, 2008
A.B. asks from Charlotte, NC
13 answers

Ok Ladies,
My beautiful 2yr old daughter is addicted to my breasts. I am to a point where I don't know what to do. SHE WONT GET OFF!!! We live with my mother for now, and I tried to just say no and let her cry, but then my mom gets involved, and start fussing about her crying and how it disturbs her and the neighbors (she never breast feed and doesn't understand). I feel trapped in the world of breast feeding. It doesn't even feel natural anymore. I want my body back but have this 2yr old attached to it!! I also tried using her sippy cup and even a pacifier she found that she likes. When she wants the boob she throws all of that away. I know cold turkey is hard, so I have tried weening a little at a time. I can get her where she only has it when she wakes up from her sleep. ANY SUGGETSIONS PLEASE!!!!!!She is in daycare daily, and puts herself down with no problem, (I asked her teachers how she does with sleep time).

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answers from Raleigh on

Congratulations on brestfeeding for 2 years! The American Academy of Pediatrics says to breastfeed for AT LEAST 1 year and the World Health Organization says AT LEAST 2 years so don't worry about negative people who say things about you nursing for so long. It is an amazing gift you have given your daughter!
Having said that I understand wanted to wean. 2 years is a long time.
Nursing is as much for comfort in an older child as it is as for nutrition. Your daughter may feel rejected when you refuse to nurse. Try paying more attention to her, more cuddling, etc. Remember she is only 2 and no matter how much you explain she really doesn't understand why she suddenly can't have mommy in that way anymore. You said you are living with your mom for now?? Weaning during stressful times is harder on everyone. You did say you can get her to where she only nurses in the morning can you try getting up and going for a while?? As soon as she is up if you are both moving and on the go it may be enough of a distraction to take her mind off it.
Kellymom has some really good info about weaning
and there is a sweet letter someone wrote about nursing a toddler
I know it's hard and you want your body back and you will have it soon enough. Try to remember you are her world and she needs comfort from you so if it's not in the form of nursing try to find another way to spend quite time with her and give her that affection/time she was getting while nurising.
One day you will be standing alone watching your big girl do everything on her own not needing you and be saddened by it. The time you spent nursing her will be a wonderful memory for you!!
Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

In my opinion, she is too old to still be brestfeeding. She is probably draining you and therefore you feel drained. I would say look at the big picture. Are you always going to give in to her demands? It may be breastfeeding now, but it will be much bigger problems later. They call it terrible twos for a reason. She may cry for awhile, but put her in time out in her bed or sit her in a chair each time she throws a temper tantrum, because that's what it is. Hope you don't take this the wrong way. I just have had a friend that went through this and she had to finally decide that it was her body and the child didn't need the breast milk anymore. She decided to make it the first time where she taught her son that she is the parent, he is the child and she makes the rules. Your child may be 2, but I have 3 children that went through the 2's. Yes, you are living with your mother, but ask her if she would like to be attached to your daughter as much as you are. She raised you, now let you raise your daughter.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

A., I BF till my DD was 2 and my DH put her down.. or held her till she fell asleep.. I NEVER let her see my undress and I couldn't sit in the chair we always sat in... if she wanted to nurse, I distracted her... by telling her we were going to do this or that and then I kept doing that... If you can get to a point of not nursing her at the time she normally does... that will help dry you up. You also might talk to your OB/GYN and ask for a pill to help you dry up. They used to give it if you weren't going to nurse when my oldest was born, he is almost 20 yrs old. (yes, I have 14 years between my children) :)

It is hard doing it solo.. and you do need your mom's HELP not hindrance.

You also can contact the local LLL (La Leche League) and they will offer some sound advice and support... especially when you can't get it elsewhere.

One thing to consider is that you may have to be gone from the house during the time that your DD goes to sleep.. so that your mom or whomever can get her down or allow her to fall asleep without nursing.

We did it for a week and it helped tremendously. We also co-slept till she was 3 1/2... if you do this may be a challenge since she is right there...OH, I almost forgot, I used to tell my DD that I would rub her back and I sang to her.. this helped her go back to sleep.

She also may be BF as a sign of distressing or unwinding for comfort. As at this age, they are BF more for nurturing than for nourishment.

A., Do what is best for you and your family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

Tell your Mom that you are the mother and you want her to stop breastfeeding. When your daughter wakes up have a sippy cup ready. I would not even start the pacifier, that is another thing you will have to break very soon. Tell your daughter this is the last time you are going to nurse, Feed her for the last time then as soon as she is done, put on a tight sports bra to stop the production of milk and also harder access to the breast! Keep the bra on for at least a week. After a week you will stop producing milk and your daughter will be weaned! Good luck and cograts for feeding for 2 years!



answers from Jacksonville on

I weaned my 17-month old by letting him take a bath with me, and putting some ginger-flavored body wash on my breasts, then offering them to him. He was repulsed, and tried one more time, then gave up, and that was pretty much the end of it. So, maybe put something nasty on whenever she comes around (that won't irritate your skin) and help her lose interest a lot faster.



answers from Wilmington on

I breastfed my first and third for 18+ months. They weaned themselves. My middle son nursed for 2+ years. He's now 21 and I believe he would still be nursing if I hadn't stopped.

I tried all sorts of methods.
The absolutely only thing that worked was for me to leave town for a weekend. I left the kids with a babysitter who I trusted. When I returned, he was content using a sippy cup.

I assume that when I came home I probably had to tell him "we're not doing that anymore", or something like that, but I don't remember there being any problems.
As a matter of fact, what I DO remember is that I was a little bit hurt that he didn't fight more to continue.=)
I agree to check with La Leche and some of the web sites that have been recommended by other moms.
Good luck!



answers from Lexington on

sounds to me like a comfort thing. but if you have no milk, she'll probably lose interest in nursing. i've always heard that when you are nursing, not to take antihistamines cause they try up your milk supply, so maybe if you start taking a daily zertec or claritin , it'll help dry up your milk. and you need to explain to your mom as nicely as possible that it is time to ween to your daughter and for a time she's just going to have to listen to her fuss for a bit. it really only takes about 2 weeks to break a habit...she's old enough to try the distraction method. when she starts asking for your breast, change the subject, get her involved in something, puzzles, read a story, pop in a favorite video...whatever takes her mind off nursing for that period of time.



answers from Lexington on

Breastfeeding is not just for nutrition benefits. Especially at your daughter's age, it's mostly a form of comfort. I am currently breastfeeding my third boy (who just turned one). My first weaned at 14 months. My second weaned at 22 months (and only because he was really sick; he'd probably still be breastfeeding if that hadn't happened!) There is nothing wrong with someone who wants to continue, but also nothing wrong about wanting your body back. The milk drying tips you have received are okay, but if she's still nursing, you're still producing at least some milk. I would not recommend leaving her for a few days, because you'd not only be taking away the breasts, but yourself too! She'll need you to comfort her in lots of other ways during this time.
Your little one is old enough to understand some limits. Explain to her that she can only nurse in one location. Stand your ground. Eventually she should get tired of stopping playing to get up and go to that spot.



answers from Louisville on

eek 2 year old still bf! no wonder you feel trapped. when she wants it does she just lift your shirt? if so try wearing a body suit one that snaps at the crotch. not the most fun but it will keep her from pulling up her shirt. tell your mother that you arnt going to go to college with her and have your boob hanging out of her mouth maybe she will get the hint that this is just what they do for a few days then it gets better. good luck



answers from Knoxville on

I breastfed all my sons and they do finally wean although my Mom who never breastfed would always say that she could see them going to school or playing sports and having to stop for a boob break. They never did. The one thing I remember helping was I chose a time when I would let them have it, like when they woke up then any other time they wanted it I would just say I am busy right now and can't do it now. Then try to redirect their attention to something else. As far as your Mom not understanding I can relate although I never had to live with her when it was an issue. If you can realize that your children are only little for such a short while then they grow up. My sons were little it seems just yesterday and now they are all taller than I and I look at young men now instead of my little guys. They are 21,17 and 14. So just sit back, relax and enjoy her while she is little.



answers from Greensboro on

is it possible during the time she usually feeds for you to be out of the house for a week or so and let someone else take care of her? if you could get another routine established it might help. plus you won't have to deal with the heart wrenching tears. My kids both just stopped on their own, but my son did so out of necessity. I had to have my gall bladder removed and let my mom just give him bottles, by the time I came home he was quite content without nursing - suprising since he was such a good nurser. it seemed that just the modification in the routine was enough to do it. In either case try not to stress over it or make a big deal since she probably picks up on your frustration (righfully so) and wants comfort in the form she knows. Good luck. :)



answers from Memphis on

I weaned my younger son when he was 22 months old, and just went cold turkey. I weaned him then because he was *still* waking up in the middle of the night at least once and sometimes even three times a night, and I was ready for a full night's sleep. I had planned on cutting him back gradually, but just decided that since he was pitching such a fit over nursing, he wasn't "getting it" that I was trying to cut him back, and that it would be easier in the long run to just go cold turkey. It was a long week, but as soon as he got used to "no nursies" it was better.

Sometimes I still feel guilty about weaning him when he obviously still wanted to nurse -- that it was selfish of me to want to sleep through the night, and (as you also said) to have my body back. I'm still a big proponent of extended breastfeeding, as long as both mother and baby want to. You seem to be at the point where you're just *done*, but if you want some support in extended breastfeeding (being supported may make you feel more like continuing nursing -- I stopped nursing when my husband started saying things like, "Isn't it about time he stopped nursing," so I know how much difference it can make to be supported in nursing and not), there are numerous resources out there.



answers from Charlotte on


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