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Old 04-11-2012, 10:26 AM   #1
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14 month old nursing 24/7

I feel like I should add that this is my second nursling. My oldest nursed until she was 3, I'm familiar with kellymom/LLL, and my best friend is a former LLL leader.

My 14 month old is TINY. She weighs right at 18lbs (1st percentile). She is NOT a good eater as far as solids go. She has a dairy allergy, and I've heard that kids with food allergies may take longer to eat solids as a natural protective measure. Most of the time she will put food in her mouth and then spit it everywhere.

We offer her food all the time. Her favorite foods are green vegetables. I've tried putting olive oil on them...I'm trying to get in natural fats, but 95% of everything that goes in gets spit right back out.

Our ped wants to see her again next month just to do a height/weight check. Her height is 50th percent, so she's not terribly concerned, because of her activity level. She is off the charts with her movement...she climbs, jumps, and runs full speed all day long. She takes one nap per day. She is just BUSY.

So that brings me to her nursing. I completely understand that in order to fuel all her activities she needs calories, but I am SO SICK of nursing her at this point. On a whim, I decided to count the number of times she nurses today. It is 11:26am. We've been up since 8 and she's nursed 17 times.
When she sees me, it is an to me. Climb into my lap. pull my shirt up/down. I know some of it is comfort too. She won't take a bottle or sippy regularly...she never has.

Does anyone have any tips whatsoever for a kid like this? I am so frustrated. Weaning isn't an option.

ETA: 11:35 - 18 times
another ETA: 12:04 - 19 times


Last edited by Hopper Graphics; 04-11-2012 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:14 PM   #2
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Re: 14 month old nursing 24/7

My #4 sounds a lot like yours. He's small for his age (which is a first for my kids) and he pretty much refused solids until 12 months. So, I've felt guilty about trying to wean him. At 21 months he's still a picky eater-- though not so much "picky" as he is just too busy to eat. He still nurses a lot-- like at least 8-10 times a day, including once or twice at night. I've gone through stages that I started to really resent his constant nursing. But, when given the opportunity to wean him (DH and I went out of town for 2 days) I felt so bad about weaning the small fry that I let him nurse as soon as we got home. He's not showing any signs of giving it up either.

While I'm still a little worn out over bfing all the time, I'm okay with it now. I think he might eat solids better if nursing wasn't an option, but it's not a battle I want to deal with right now. I don't know when I'll try weaning him. Maybe when he turns two.

This is probably no help, but just thought I'd share.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:39 PM   #3
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Re: 14 month old nursing 24/7

Sometimes I think we all need to hear that it is okay to say, "No." Your baby may be depending on your for much of her nutrition, but you are a person too. You don't have to nurse her 20+ times a day for her to get what she needs. As my babies get older, I always begin setting limits to what is okay for nursing. Rule number 1 has always been no helping yourself.

There are lots of ways to reduce nursing while still meeting your child's needs. They all sound a lot like weaning methods because they are. However, I doubt that going from 20+ nursing a day to 12 would truly be called weaning.

How this would look if I were going to do it:

First of all, I would talk to my child. Explain that I was worried that they were spending so much time nursing that they were missing getting to play with toys, trying new things, eating new foods and learning about the world. I would ask my child if they had any ideas as to how to have more fun and not nurse quite so much. (You might be surprised at what even small babies can come up with). If my child came up with nothing, I would say that we were going to try nursing less and playing more.

Specifically, I would set aside a time each day where there would be no nursing. Perhaps only 30 minutes to start. Offer to nurse immediately before and then set the timer. Explain that until the timer goes off, there would be no nursing. I would then take out a toy, blocks, puzzles or something else fun and interact with my child. Read stories, whatever. I wouldn't be super strict about the 30 minutes if it seemed my child completely melted down over being told no, but I would do my best to enforce and offer other things to do.

At first those 30 minutes would be definite interaction time with mommy. Sometimes the frequent nursings are just a request for attention. Once the 30 minute time frame worked for a few days, I would add more 30 minute time slots and try extending the 30 minutes to first 45 minutes, then an hour. I would also begin making some of those times opportunities for my baby to play independently.

After a while, your baby should create a reasonable schedule/routine that feels better for both of you.

Some babies do better with this when taken out of their usual environment. Perhaps frequent trips to the park (where you say there is no nursing at the park), a mommy and me gymnastics class, or playdates at other peoples houses. That said, babies with anxiety will only nurse more in those situations, so know your baby. Note, I have NEVER met a baby that nursed less at LLL Meetings. Every one I've known, nursed like crazy at those meetings.
Tibeca, Certified Breastfeeding Specialist

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Old 04-12-2012, 03:19 PM   #4
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Re: 14 month old nursing 24/7

My son is tiny too. 17lbs @ 13 months old. He doesn't like the bottle or the sippy but what I found work is to drink the milk from a regular cup with a straw just like his older brother.

He always wants to do what the oldest one does. So for, he has being taken the milk, water and a littlebit of juice like this. He is not the best eater, but I am consistent. I only nurse him morning and evening and the rest of the time I just offer food. It is fustrating when he doesn't eat but I keep at it and offers him every chance I get.

We have been giving pediasure also per pedi reccomendations. Hope that helps. Keep at it and being consistent. It also has been hard this week because we stop nursing during naps times and he being crying but I stay in the room with him and soothe him the best I can. He getting the hang of it. He doesn't do it when I leave him with my husband because my hubby does not breastfeed lol. So they know what to do.

Do you leave him with your husband sometimes? or anybody else to see if he will take a sippy?

It is going to be hard but know that you are doing great and things will get better.
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