Fellow Extended Breastfeeders... Help!

sebsmom's picture

Okay, so I have NO ONE in real life that I can talk to about this subject anymore who won't get all weirded out. Whenever the Bash will ask to nurse when other people are around they get this embarrassed look on their face, sometimes followed by comments like "Oh my god, you STILL BREASTFEED HIM? Ew! Isn't that abnormal?" When I say that no it's not then they say things like, "Yeah, but obviously it becomes unhealthy at some point. You can't be nursing the kid when he's in high school. If he's not too old now then when WILL he be?" It never really bothered me THAT much before. I'd just think "eff those people - they're just not educated on breastfeeding. I'm comfortable with my choices." But now I'm starting to buckle to the societal pressure.
DS will be 4 in June so he's a little more than 3.5 years. For the most part we only nurse at bedtime but sometimes I give in and let him nurse at other times as well. The other thing is that lately he always just wants to be touching my boobs. Like he's always putting his hand in my shirt and trying to touch them and rub them which I'm not comfortable with. I KNOW it's a totally innocent thing on his part - that's not my issue. It's just physically bothersome to me - does that make sense? I try to tell him please not to do that and that we don't touch other people's bodies without their permission and especially not if the other person asks you to stop. When he persists I'll say something like "Hey, that's not nice, I asked you not to do that" and he'll get all whiney and say, "No mommy it IS nice". When I ask him again to please stop he'll get all distressed and say "But PLEASE?!? I want to!"
So there's all of that plus... I just feel done with the nursing. I'm ready to stop but he is most definitely not. My plan all along was to let him self-wean but sometimes I'm not sure if he ever will. If I ever go out and someone else is watching him or something then he'll go asleep without nursing with pretty much no problem. And he's been fine when he's stayed with his cousin or at my mom's overnight so he CAN go without. But if I'm around he wants to nurse. He is so emotionally dependant on it that it feels cruel to take it away.
I think I would be fine to continue for a while if I believed that he would eventually stop on his own within a year or so but right now it just feels like that will never happen.
So... I don't know. If anyone who is in or has been in a similar place and has any advice or can just let me know I'm not alone in this that would be wonderful. Like, I can't even explain how wonderful.

Comments

mommy2Layna's picture

Hey mama. So I totally hear you on extended bfing. Mine girl i almost thee and while ive been trying dont offer dont refuse and slowly trying to daytime wean i sometimes think if i didnt care so much about what others thought then i would love to bf her whenever still. Its hard when you cant change other peoples minds and they start pressuring. She loves to hold my boobs to lol. I think they get attached to them like favorite teddys but better. Maybe you could ask him to hold your tummy instead? a friend of mine did that with her little one and now he goes to sleep with his hand on her tummy. he is four to. Your doing such a good thing for your kid by extending bfing! you know whats best for you guys. I know what you mean when you say your physically not into him holding your boobs it can be rather irritating. sometimes i just want to scream give me my body for five minutes to myself. but i dont and i usually can distract her with something more entertaining. good luck to you both:)

Nikkei

rebeccaeee's picture
Submitted by rebeccaeee on

I nursd my son till he was three. I will admit we used the "when you're three, you'll be a big boy and big boys don't need milkies anymore" argument for awhile. He was day-weaned from about 2 1/2 on but night weaning was tough. I started wearing tshirts with less access for sleeping then tried to get him to sleep on his own (still a problem and he just turned four). He did let it go eventually, with a combination of "milk is for babies and you're a big boy" brainwashing as well as changing his environment so the habit was not reinforced. I didn't cuddle in the recliner so much-- we played on the floor instead. I let him pick out new sheets and pillows for his big boy bed, I gave him sippy cups of water at night. It was not easy but it did fade away. I feel you re: emotionally attached to it and being cruel but to me, it was more the *habit* he was attached to, not the boobage. We replaced it with different habits. Mine's a hair grabber, so he cuddles hair instead of breasts. We encouraged bringing a stuffed friend to bed, etc. And it seems to me about 3 1/2 is the age boys discover their privates and hey- maybe he'll end up fascinated with what's in his pants instead of what's on your chest. Seriously. It's all body bits, not sexual, and my boy is amazed by his parts. Takes the fascination away from mommy's parts. Good luck!

shadeshaman's picture

L-Dawg till she was three and T-Dizzle till she was 3.5. I can relate to the time in your life when YOU feel done with it. If the nursing relationship is starting to bother you, that is a good sign that it's time to wean. It's your body telling you that you are done--you are likely not producing the same level of nursing hormones. I totally went through this with each kid.
With L-Dawg, it was a little easier than with T-Dizzle, in part because I was tandem nursing, and it did become a conversation about babies and milk vs. big kids and milk. With T-Dizzle, it was more complicated. And it really took years. I mean, the actual weaning took a month or two, but getting my body back---uh, she was still my little tumor (don't tell her I said that) until she was twelve. Still wanted to sleep with me, still wanted to put her hand in my shirt--although I did train her to be a belly toucher.
Ultimately, it's your call, your body, your kid. He will be FINE without nursing. Really. Relationships grow and change.

"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius"--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

loveislikewoe's picture

Hey mama,
You are definitely not alone. I JUST weaned Indy last week and she just turned 3 last week. She still has been asking to touch my boobies occasionally, but she's handling it well. I went to Seattle for 4 days and left her with dad and it seemed to be the right time for both of us.
If you are ready, then go for it. If you're not- keep at it. Everything I've ever read says they will wean themselves when they are ready. I haven't had that experience with my three kids, but who knows??? I'm sure they would wean themselves at about 5 years, but I wasn't willing to nurse that long.
I replaced nursing with Indy with dancing with her. She loves to be held and dance around the house. So instead of our nursing sessions we do that. Maybe find something that your little guy loves to do, if you want to wean, and substitute.? Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

"Life may not be the party we hoped for but while we're here we might as well dance".- Maya Angelou

denessasma's picture
Submitted by denessasma on

hey mama how you doin? well i didnt bf i pumped but carlisle is totally obsessed with boobs i can relate to the touching. she puts her hand down my and my mom's shirt will randomly pull it open and peer down our shirts and kiss our boobs it's startin to weird me out a little, but she too gets highly offended when told not too.good luck mama glad to see u tho.

Jessica
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind~~Dr.Seuss

Glamorous's picture
Submitted by Glamorous on

It's hard when you are done and they still want to bf.
My oldest daughter nursed til 2.75 yrs and her sister until 15 months. It was complicated to wean because I was breastfeeding both at the same time. They would sit beside me each smoking a boob, and I'd read a book to them. I couldn't very well nurse the younger one while refusing the older.

The older one was a very demanding nurser, while the younger one didn't seem too attached to it. The younger one weaned herself. She simply stopped asking. I stopped offering. Done.

After that, I started to tell the older one that the milk had "run out" in the boob, like it does in the carton in the refrigerator, and sometimes we have to drink something else. I offered soy milk, juice and water, put them in sippy cups that she could get for herself. I felt sad for her when she would cry for it, but reminded myself that when she cried over soy milk, the carton did not magically refill itself because it felt sorry for her.

It took a month or so...yes a whole month of why why why and please please please. We both survived.

When our guinea pig had her babies, she weaned by biting them when they tried to latch on. They would run after her squealing and wailing, and she would growl. They gave up trying after just two days! For some reason, this made me feel better. At least I hadn't bitten mine yet.

Good luck.

Glamorous

Memory is a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food. ~Austin O'Malley