Toddler breastfeeding troubles

Hi everyone! I have a two-year-old and over the last couple of months, breastfeeding has gotten fraught. In my ideal world, I'd be happy to nurse her in the mornings/before bedtime for another year or so, but it seems like she's relying on breastfeeding to calm herself in many situations and also when she's hungry. (Her weight has always been low, so we'd much rather she eat but she will often turn down food.) We've gone through some recent life stress (new house, new preschool) and this weekend, she wanted to nurse literally dozens of times and got extremely agitated if I declined. Has anyone succeeded in setting better boundaries around nursing with a toddler to avoid constant nursing requests/mega tantrums? Or is it better to just wean her altogether?

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I have not dealt with this exact issue but I think breastfeeding is like anything else. You decide whether and when it’s available. She may get very upset if you tell her it’s not available. That’s okay. She’s allowed to be upset (she’s two after all, it’s kinda the name of the game). But you should hold your boundary and not give in because she’s upset. Eventually she will learn that it’s only available when you offer. I do think it makes sense to offer at consistent times every day so she knows what to expect.

Distraction is your friend here. Whenever she asks to nurse, offer a snack first (if you suspect she’s hungry), or a fun toy or game. If she’s tired and seeking connection, offer cuddles first. Maybe start wearing less accessible clothes so it’s more of a big deal for you to nurse her to help yourself put her off for a bit longer. I gently weaned both of my kids around 3, this was the process I used. Then reduce the nursing to when it seems like the most essential times for her. Good luck! 

I had a similar issue but when my son was more like 13/14 months and I decided to only let him do it before/after sleep. It was hard for a few days and then he stopped asking. I would offer a snack when he wanted to nurse. I'm guessing it will be harder w a 2 yo as they are more strong willed but I would imagine setting a consistent boundary will sink in over a few days. Good luck!!!

You can set limits. First I limited it, to home; and then started limiting times of day. The good thing about continuing for a while, is that it is really helpful to be nursing when your child gets sick with an earache or a stomach bug. Once you stop entirely, that source of comfort/nutrition is gone. Also, my understanding is that it is a myth that breastfeeding inhibits growth. We stopped soon after the third birthday because I started feeling too depleted. A lot depends on your work schedule, if you are working in a location away from home. At the time, I was working a little less than full time. Try do keep the same schedule on the weekends as on the weekdays as much as possible.

Once I got to the point when I found myself more annoyed by breastfeeding than convenienced, when my tot was 2 years old, I decided to stop breastfeeding altogether. I didn't like feeling annoyed, and at that age, they don't require the nutrition from breastmilk so much. I used the bandaids approach, putting bandaids on my nipples and claiming "mommy's boobs are broken". The first nurse-less night was heartbreaking, as she was sad to not nurse and I was sad to realize she was growing up, but it only took a few days to wean after that. It's a bit painful, I had to do some expressing in the shower when they got too engorged, but fortunately I didn't get mastitis.

Setting boundaries is probably possible too, I just suck at it :)