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Nursing Rules for toddlers

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default Nursing Rules for toddlers

Post by Kasia80 on Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:08 am

http://web.archive.org/web/20010212054840/parentingweb.com/lounge/bf_discipline.htm


Nursing Rules
by Keri Baker


Many of the negative opinions people have about older children nursing stem from the fact that they simply do not understand the benefits of breastfeeding past the first year. They have read, or been told, that it is detrimental to healthy development, which is patently false information.
Before I became a mother I was guilty of the above ignorance, but I also had a negative impression of older nurslings for another reason. Quite simply, I had witnessed behavior in older children who nursed that closed my mind to the positive aspects of the experience. Toddlers who screamed and whined to nurse, an older child, who despite requests to stop, persisted in ripping open his mother's shirt while she was trying to hold a conversation....every occasion ending up with the mother saying something to the effect of "well......okay sweetie.....sigh."
This is the sort of thing that closed my mind to extended nursing. I would venture to guess that there are other people who oppose extended breastfeeding for similar reasons. I know there are people that think it is "sick" and even sexually abusive to nurse older children, but I'm not going there....that odious mentality belongs in a class of it's own.
Looking back, I have to laugh at myself. I knew I would breastfeed before she was even born, I just hadn't really thought much about how long. I did know I had no intention of having a child who was "still nursing" when she was old enough to nearly hold her own in a game of Candy Land! When she was an infant I figured, "I'll probably nurse her until she is one or so...but I am not nursing a child who is walking around and asking to nurse." Annika walked and spoke her first words when she was 10 months old. I swallowed my former declaration and set myself up for another fall. "Okay" I said to my husband later, "I'm just not going to be nursing her when she is asking in complete sentences." He gave me a strange look.
What in the world was I thinking? Of course, sentences came before I knew it. After further reading about the benefits of extended nursing and some time spent thinking about how much she still seemed to need to nurse, I started paying more attention to my instincts rather than the misplaced cultural values that had been guiding me. I finally realized how ridiculous it was for me to be placing such arbitrary time limits on breastfeeding. Physical development has little to do how long a child can benefit from breastmilk and breastfeeding. The new, "evolved" me could finally say, "I'll wean her when we are ready" and feel strong and positive about my convictions.
However, I still wanted to avoid the behaviors that had so turned me against the concept of extended nursing in the first place. I knew that not everyone would be supportive of me nursing her until she was ready to wean. There would be occasions that demanded discretion. By this point I had realized that behavior like this has nothing to do with the act of breastfeeding itself. It has much more to do with parents who are unable to set limits for their children and let them whine their way to anything they want.
Please don't misunderstand me, I do not believe that parenting is about "controlling" children. I do believe that good parenting includes effective discipline - lovingly helping your children learn appropriate behavior and develop self-control. It is also imperative that you understand that I am not advocating strict rules or control when you are breastfeeding an infant, I am speaking of older babies and toddlers who are beginning to understand concepts like limits and compromise.
It makes sense to me that discipline would be a natural part of a healthy nursing relationship. When your baby was younger, you may have had to teach her that she could not bite you while you were nursing her. This is an example of applying discipline to breastfeeding. As your baby blossoms into a toddler, you might discover other applications of breastfeeding discipline. For instance, once your child is not relying on breast milk as her main source of nutrition, you can teach her that mommy gets to help decide when it's time to nurse. This can be useful in a variety of situations including nursing around other people. If you do not want to nurse your toddler publicly, you can teach your child that "We don't nurse when we are shopping, you can have some juice now....when we get home, you can nurse". If you do choose to nurse your toddler wherever you may be, by requiring that she asks politely and doesn't rip your clothes off of you, you can convey a positive image of extended nursing to whomever might be watching.
As much as I enjoyed breastfeeding my daughter when she was an infant, I realized that in order for me to maintain that enjoyment, I needed to direct certain aspects of our nursing relationship. I knew that I could very easily reach the point of being burned out and "touched out." I also wanted to make sure that she didn't become overly dependent on breastfeeding, or come to rely exclusively on nursing to provide comfort. Though nursing is a wonderful source of comfort to a toddler, we are teaching her to be able to comfort herself in certain situations with increasing confidence. Of course this is a long term expectation and I plan on being her primary source of comfort as long as she needs me to be. I also wanted to ensure that breastfeeding never became a power struggle between us.
I taught her that my breasts are part of my body, and though I am willing and happy to "share" them with her, we both have to enjoy nursing if we are to continue it. And I established a few nursing "rules":
1.) I am the one that lifts my shirt and opens my bra. This has eliminated her groping and pawing me when we are in situations that I would be uncomfortable nursing in. She has free license to "help herself" at night so that I don't have to wake up!
2.) No pinching, pulling, twisting or twiddling of the nipple she is not nursing on. The sensation is extremely annoying to me. It didn't bother me much when she was a baby but it sure does now. I taught her that if she needs to touch me she can pat the other breast with an open hand which isn't physically uncomfortable for me.
3.) I am no longer willing to nurse every single time she asks. Rather than "demand feeding" we have a flexible "schedule". She usually nurses in the morning, afternoon, and at bed time. Of course if the situation merits (illness, nightmare, injury, emotional upset, etc.) I am very open to spontaneous nursing. Sometimes she just wants to nurse, or seems to need it for extra comfort. Every day is different, her needs vary, our moods fluctuate and I take these things into consideration. Hmmmm...maybe I am still nursing on demand! :-) Seriously though, if it is an "extra" nursing that she is asking for I make sure that she is not hungry, thirsty, in need of extra attention or bored before we nurse.
4.) She needs to ask me nicely when she wants to nurse. Just as we don't respond to whining or yelling when it's a snack or a favorite toy she wants, I won't nurse her if she has asked in an unpleasant way.
These rules work for us because they consider my needs as well as hers. She gets the physical and emotional benefits of breastfeeding until she is ready to stop. I get to maintain the level of control over my body that makes it possible for me to continue nursing her without physical discomfort or emotional burn-out. We both benefit from the additional nurturing: It enhances our relationship and provides an oasis in the turbulence of toddlerhood.
You may not have a need for this type of discipline in your nursing relationship with your child. That's fine! As long as you and your child are both happy with breastfeeding you're doing the right thing.
If you and your older nursling are breastfeeding out in public and promoting a positive image of extended nursing then you have this breastfeeding advocate's heartfelt thanks. You never know how powerfully the two of you might influence a future mother.http://web.archive.org/web/20010212054840/parentingweb.com/lounge/bf_discipline.htm
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Kasia80

Female Number of posts : 4575
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Tell us about yourself : \"If breastfeeding in public makes people uneasy because the breasts are considered sexual, then bottle-feeding must be the equivalent of whipping out a dildo\"
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default Re: Nursing Rules for toddlers

Post by Natasha on Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:14 pm

Thank you for that Katie! :aww:

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Breastfed Lottie for nearly two years and Livi for 13 months.
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Natasha
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Post by Kasia80 on Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:54 pm

no probs, hun... :aww:


Maya has a new game going on today...she call's it "taste and test the mummy" Surprised

She gently, gently bites my nipple. like just puts her mouth around it and teeth so i feel teeth but she is not clamping, if i make sense...and she is watching me all the time...waiting for my reaction... Rolling Eyes
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Kasia80

Female Number of posts : 4575
Age : 37
From : Oxfordshire
Tell us about yourself : \"If breastfeeding in public makes people uneasy because the breasts are considered sexual, then bottle-feeding must be the equivalent of whipping out a dildo\"
Your mood today : Happy
Thanks and Reputation points : 20
Points : 549
Registration date : 2007-08-04

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Post by Natasha on Sun Nov 11, 2007 6:17 pm

Razz I know that game!

Have you played the other one where they start pulling your nipple out while their teeth are around it pale

***********************************************
Breastfed Lottie for nearly two years and Livi for 13 months.
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Natasha
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Female Number of posts : 6312
Age : 31
From : Solihull
Tell us about yourself : Breastfed Olivia for 13 months and planning to breastfeed Lottie for longer ;-)
Your mood today : Tired
Thanks and Reputation points : 61
Points : 2115
Registration date : 2007-07-05

http://breastbuddies.nice-forum.com

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default Re: Nursing Rules for toddlers

Post by Kasia80 on Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:36 pm

oh no...I'm to well trained!!!

She didn't do it again today, so I think she is bored...
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Kasia80

Female Number of posts : 4575
Age : 37
From : Oxfordshire
Tell us about yourself : \"If breastfeeding in public makes people uneasy because the breasts are considered sexual, then bottle-feeding must be the equivalent of whipping out a dildo\"
Your mood today : Happy
Thanks and Reputation points : 20
Points : 549
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Post by Natasha on Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:52 pm

Razz Maybe im just not quick enough, she gets me when im off guard.

***********************************************
Breastfed Lottie for nearly two years and Livi for 13 months.
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Natasha
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Female Number of posts : 6312
Age : 31
From : Solihull
Tell us about yourself : Breastfed Olivia for 13 months and planning to breastfeed Lottie for longer ;-)
Your mood today : Tired
Thanks and Reputation points : 61
Points : 2115
Registration date : 2007-07-05

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default Re: Nursing Rules for toddlers

Post by Kasia80 on Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:01 pm

secret is never nurse in a totally dark room...and watch her like a hawk!
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Kasia80

Female Number of posts : 4575
Age : 37
From : Oxfordshire
Tell us about yourself : \"If breastfeeding in public makes people uneasy because the breasts are considered sexual, then bottle-feeding must be the equivalent of whipping out a dildo\"
Your mood today : Happy
Thanks and Reputation points : 20
Points : 549
Registration date : 2007-08-04

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