What If I Need A Break?

Dear Judy, I am exhausted and sometime’s my little ones nursing demands just wear me out. My baby is nearly 2 years old and it seems like he always wants to nurse.

Dear Mom, I know where you are coming from. It can get exhausting when your little one seems to need you so much. Remember that nursing is a relationship and in any relationship there is give-and-take. Both parties of the relationship have to be happy with the state of the relationship. So if you are not happy – that’s OK. You need to do what is best for both of you – not just what is best for your baby.

When my son was about this same age, I started implementing some gentle weaning techniques. You’ll have to figure out what works for you – but here are somethings that I did that worked for us:
– I implemented a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Offer” policy – so if he didn’t ask to nurse, I didn’t offer.
– I discovered “triggers” that made him want to nurse -and I avoided them. For instance – we had a yellow chair in our living room – and it was the place where we usually nursed. Whenever I sat in that chair, even if he wasn’t looking to nurse at the time, he would see me sitting in the chair and would want to nurse. So I moved the chair to the other side of the room and I stopped sitting in it.
– My little guy often nursed sitting up – and I found that if I held him facing me, he would ask to nurse (because he was in the “position” that we nursed in). So I started holding him facing out instead of facing me – and he asked less.
Distraction – distraction is great at this age – offer him a toy or read a book or take a walk outside. Go look at a bird’s nest or a swing set – anything to take his mind off of nursing.
Me Time. It is OK to need time away from your child for a little while. Have your spouse stay home one evening while you out with a girlfriend or go to the grocery store by yourself. You deserve a break too. Schedule in a weekly break for yourself.

Bottom line is that you need to make sure that you are taking care of your needs too. This doesn’t mean that you have to wean – it just means that you need to find the right balance that meets your child’s needs and your own.

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