My son turned two a week ago and is as much an attachment baby as ever, maybe even more so. I love to hold him, and cuddle him, and even sleep with him when he comes into bed in the middle of the night. I am fine with him sitting on my lap during meals and crawling all over me all day long. The problem is, there are times I can barely stand nursing anymore.
We have been going strong for two years and over the last few weeks I have begun to find certain aspects of the process irritating, stifling, and uncomfortable. I am more physically sensitive than I used to be, and he has a full set of teeth, so the process is often uncomfortable. Also, he has gotten into the habit of reaching into my shirt and tugging at my other breast while he nurses, which drives me insane. When I take his hand out of my shirt, he will cry and fight to put it back in. I keep taking it out, but he’s two, so it becomes a battle royale and unpleasant for everyone involved. He even got his first time out the other day because the “hand in shirt” war resulted in him intentionally hitting me for the first time.
I am getting to my wit’s end. He is clearly not ready to be weaned, and I am just as clearly having trouble continuing to nurse him.
I have tried to strike a compromise by cutting back on nursing times. We started only nursing when he wakes up, at nap time, and at bed time. Initially, this seemed to help. He was a little cranky in between nurses, but seemed to be getting used to the idea. Then suddenly he began to refuse food and cling desperately to me until the next allotted milk time. Now the limitation seems to be making him ask for milk more often than he did before we started the weaning process.
A lot of people are telling me the only way to handle it is to cut him off cold turkey, including my husband, but that feels so intrinsically wrong to me. I can’t imagine just telling him the milk is all gone and being done with it. He has nursed his whole life, he still loves it and derives a lot of comfort from it.
My initial goal was to nurse until he was two and a half. I am not sure six more months is going to work out for us. I feel really bad about weaning him before he is ready, and at this point I don’t even know if he is ready. I tried reading his signals, but they keep changing. Sometimes I am afraid that he will want to nurse forever, and that I will be nursing him during his college interviews.
I am so frustrated! Does anyone have any advice? I want to do what’s right for both of us, but I don’t know what that is!
Scylla from Law and Motherhood