I forgot this board was here! My name is Ruth and I am nursing twin boys who just turned 14 months. One of the boys, Brian, is getting less and less interested in nursing. He's also become quite a biter. It makes me pretty nervous, although he still somehow thinks of it as a game and thankfully doesn't ever bite that hard (but it still hurts!). When he does bite me, I immediately pull him in so he can't breathe for a second and then put him in a pack n play while saying firmly 'no bite' and walk away for a few minutes. He is, of course, devastated by this (I really hate it, too), but he doesn't seem to get it. His latest trick is to bite and then pull back with my nipple in his mouth. I don't have time to pull him in before he lets go, but I still put him in the pnp with the 'no bite' talk.
Anyway, how do you know when it's time to wean? How can you tell if they're truly weaning or if this is possibly an extended nursing strike? I'm really sad to think that he might be done, but I certainly don't want to 'force' him if he doesn't need anymore (as if you could truly 'force' a baby to nurse! ha!).
I am definitely know you can't force a baby to nurse! I've been trying for a week!
Is he biting after nursing, or as soon as he latches?
From what I've read, the main difference between a nursing strike and weaning is that weaning usually happens gradually, while a nursing strike means they suddenly quit cold turkey all together (which is what Lainey did).
Lainey also went through a phase where she'd bite as she was done nursing. What I had to do what be constantly watching her. As soon as she was no longer nursing with intent, I kept an eye on her. If she started getting squirmy or just suckling for comfort I'd know the bite was coming, and I'd pop her off like it was no big deal and distract her with a toy or something. If she actually ended up biting, I would unlatch her, say "No biting" and then wouldn't let her resume nursnign for a bit. It ended up just being a phase, and she quit the biting on her own.
Have you considered just popping him off when he bites? Don't make a big deal about it, pop him off saying "No biting" firmly, but don't put him down. Or maybe don't react at all, maybe just take him off and don't let him nurse again. Maybe he's looking for a reaction?
As far as when to wean, well, that's really up to each mama and baby. If you're ready and he's not that interested, you could always gently persude him to do other things besides nurse, and gradually cut back on nursing sessions. If you're not ready, well, that takes more work but could be worth it in the long run if that's what you really want.
You are amazing for nursing twins so long! You should really be proud of yourself!