I nursed all three of my kids. Both of the boys nursed until about 18 months, and I vaguely remember having to cover up the other nipple so that they wouldn't play around with it while nursing. But that was that. They quit when they were ready, and we happily moved on to sippy cups and cuddling at night, and my boobs did not re-enter the picture.
This little girl of mine is a different story. She was completely happy to keep nursing. Eighteen months, nineteen months, twenty months... nothing. She was happy as a clam. Totally loved the boob. But she was also becoming an annoying and bossy nurser. She didn't need it anymore. She just wanted to play around and snack here and there and do other things while nursing, like jerk her head to watch TV or chomp down really hard every once in a while or hold her baby doll too (My sister can understand). And then she would try to nurse ALL NIGHT LONG for NO REASON. I was done. We started the long, hard process of weaning. She eventually realized I was serious, and was happy to not nurse if she could just have one hand down my shirt while falling asleep.
Now I am a pretty relaxed parent. Not as far as behavior in my children, but when it comes to milestones like potty training, weaning, sleeping through the night... stuff like that, I figure that they'll get there when they are ready. I don't see any sense in forcing them into something just because a book says that all kids should be potty trained and sleeping through the night by 9 months (exaggeration - I've never read that). Although my patience has been tested on the sleeping through the night thing. But, my rationale is that there aren't very many otherwise normally developed 18-year-olds who still crawl into bed with Mommy and Daddy, or suck their thumb, or nurse. So, I let the kids determine their own timeline for that stuff.
Well, I think I must have pushed Leilee too far when it came to weaning. She wasn't ready, and now it is all my fault that she is still going for the boob. Mind you, she doesn't want to nurse, she just wants a handful. Once we put her in her own bed in her bedroom, I got to the point where I wasn't running in when she cried and sleeping in her bed with her all night (yes, I have my own issues too!). She was soon happy holding my hand or resting her hand on my arm or neck (much more appropriate places) while falling asleep... unless...
Unless, she is super crabby, or over-tired, or sick... then it's straight for the boob all over again. And sometimes, I give in. When I am tired and she is tired and the only way I can see that we will sleep is for me to let her have a squeeze, I just give in. And, reassure myself that she won't be doing this when she's 18.
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