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Does breast feeding to stop a tantrum encourage and reward tantrums?

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  • Does breast feeding to stop a tantrum encourage and reward tantrums?

    I have been breastfeeding my 2.5yr old when he throws a fit to stop the tantrum, which does work, but my mum says that this is rewarding him and that he needs to calm down first. Is this correct? Have i been encouraging tantrums? She says that its like just sticking a dummy in. She is pressurising me to stop breastfeeding in general because she says he will be pulling up my top in public and throwing tantrums to breastfeed till 6 or 7. He is really demanding about breastfeeding now and is still dragging me to the sofa sometimes literally every 5minutes if im trying to do something which is getting a bit annoying but if i say no he screams and cries and hits and drags me back. At night he wakes me up at least ten times which is really starting to annoy me. His behaviour in general seems to be getting worse and worse. Shouting and demanding orders. Screaming 'no' to everything and everyone and constantly looking grumpy and angry. I have been trying to cut it down a bit by breastfeeding whenever he cries to breastfeed then taking it away. Is this encouraging him to think that if he cries he gets the boob? Appreciate some advice as surrounded by non ap parents and family. xxxxx

  • #2
    Attachment Parenting is different than behaviorism (the use of rewards and punishments). It sounds like you are looking for more direction in the area of Positive Discipline. I highly recommend you read some AP-friendly discipline books like Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn or Connection Parenting by Pam Leo. They underscore the idea that AP is about making connections with your child while still maintaining boundaries. So regarding whether you should breastfeed to stop a tantrum, that would depend on the situation. When he has a tantrum, try to focus on the WHY rather than stopping it. What need is he trying to meet? How can you help him meet that need? Maybe it's bfing, but perhaps there is something else that he needs that would be more appropriate in the particular situation.

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    • #3
      Funnily enough, just after writing this post ,he stopped having tantrums. That always seems to happen when i write, asking for advice on this site. I didnt change anything in particular but maybe my thought changed and he sensed it.
      Thank you so much for this site! xxxAnnaxxx

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