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My Weaned Toddler Keeps Touching My Breasts



Reply Date

Jan 08, 2018


Salaams Counselor, I have 2 girls, the youngest is 3-year old. I stopped breastfeeding her when she was 2-year old, but since then, she never sleeps without touching my breasts and putting her hand on them. When I try to stop her from doing this, she starts crying and screaming, is that normal? And what shall I do to change this behavior?



As-salamu alaykum sister,


Shokran for your most important question. It is very common for children of this age to continue to fondle, want to touch and caress their mother’s breast after breastfeeding has ended. Children usually do this as they associate the breasts with food and comfort . Often this last up to a year or longer as the association lingers. This has been referred to as the last stages of weaning. As she is still young and it has been a year, it may have turned into a habit that is comforting to her.

I would kindly suggest sister that you provide her with lots of extra cuddles at bedtime as well as putting her hand on your cheek to stroke it and then kiss her hand and hug her. In time insha’Allah she will associate the warmth of your face and your kiss and snuggles with security and comfort. She will continue to try to touch your breasts for awhile as she knows this to be the source of comfort, food and your scent. By replacing that with your cheek and letting her stoke your cheek and re-enforcing that with kisses and cuddles, she will insha’Allah transfer the need to touch your breasts to the need for a goodnight cheek, kiss and snuggle.

When she does try to touch your breast you can begin to wean her from that by wearing a shirt that is hard to access your breasts and state “oh mommy is cold, so only one time over my shirt.” If this suffices then put her hand on your cheek and reward her with a kiss and snuggle. Insha’Allah with repetition and patience she will begin to lose interest in your breasts as she begins to enjoy a more mature way of self comfort, with you still being her source of origin. She will also take comfort in the loving eye contact that you can also provide while she touches your cheek.

You are not alone in this issue sister! Other mom’s have had this issue and have used various diversion tactics. Some other ways to break this habit is to suddenly substitute a new cuddly toy when the child reaches for the breast. This usually surprises the child, and mom and child can sit comfortably cuddling while briefly playing with the new toy. Other mom’s have said “Oh wait a minute sweetie, I need to get so and so…” and left the room for a few minutes and upon their return, their child has forgotten about the breast. Some have used a cute hot water bottle in the shape of a furry bear or animal to get their child used to stroking or cuddling the furry warm toy. Whatever method you use sister, just be consistent and in time your daughter will not be as clingy concerning your breasts.

I would kindly suggest not making this a major, traumatic issue with her because as stated, it is part of the weaning process. The more you say no and deny, the bigger of a deal it will be to her as she may feel you are rejecting her from her source of comfort and security. Insha’Allah, by replacing your breasts with another means of comfort and decreasing access to your breasts which will reduce the touching time, she will be fully weaned in no time!

We wish you the best sister.

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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