Are you going to wean or let your child wean on their own?

Briana - posted on 09/19/2010 ( 220 moms have responded )

239

23

9

This is not a debate! I am just interested in each individual's opinion and why you feel that way for YOURSELF. I have always planned on weaning my son at exactly 12 months, and am having second thoughts. I struggled so much with being ok with him EBFing, and now I really enjoy the time I have with him and BFing. So I am just interested to hear what other's are doing and why. Also how you deal with the judgment of extended BFing and how you convinced your husband's (mine says ONE YEAR at most). If someone posts something you don't agree with, I would appreciate no arguments. But of course I can't make anyone do anything :)

This conversation has been closed to further comments

220 Comments

View replies by

Brooke - posted on 09/21/2010

83

23

0

@ Leah... Sorry about the biting thing... I feel ya... Literally!!! Have you tried yelling "ouch"? That startled my poor little man and seemed to work after a couple times.

Brooke - posted on 09/21/2010

83

23

0

Great question and if you need help and support, you can look for your local la leche league chapter. I will let my son choose when to wean... I didn't want to pick a random length of time on a calendar... I want hi needs to determine the date. An as ppl who breastfeed know, bf-ing is waaaay more than just awesome nutrition... It's also the best way to help your baby fall asleep, the comfort for a boo boo or a frustrating experience... And the bonding... Etc etc etc. They are only little for a short while... Don't cut yourself and him short before he wants to :) oh, and world health organization (WHO) reccomends beyond 2 y/o for breastfeeding.

Kim - posted on 09/21/2010

1

18

0

My daughter is just about to turn 1 and is still BiF. I intend to continue as long as she wants/needs to. I do give her baby food and finger food but she has severe GERD and often refuses them. She is growing and gaining normally. You know your child and what is best for him and for you. Best of luck in whatever you decide to do!

Marcy - posted on 09/21/2010

1,042

1

277

My sons last nursing day was his 4th birthday. He would have kept going until college I think (HAHA). it was tough on both of us for about a week. We replaced it with lots of cuddles, kisses and some crying for both of us. my hubby was/is a big supporter of extended BF and even suggested I keep going. I have to tell you that I never in a million years thought I would nurse until he was 4 but its been a few months now and I am so proud of my decision.....

The other thing to remember is that as they get older nursing changes. What once was a 10-15 times per day and all night long life for us turns to eventually a 1-2 times per day for a few minutes....just to check in. During the first year its tough to imagine continuing on the type of demanding schedule nursing requires but eventually it dwindles down to next to nothing and sometimes my son even preferred milk. Its a totally different ballgame with nursing a toddler..whatever you decide to do, do it slowly. Good luck and congrats on EBF....

Jacque - posted on 09/21/2010

9

23

0

I have 5 biological children that weaned somewhere between 17 months to 35 months. It was a combination of baby-led weaning and some urging on my part. I did encourage some more than others (I had two girls 19 months apart and I was tandem nursing those babies), When those little girls were almost 2 and 4 months old, I told my toddler that she got to wean on her birthday (emphasis on "got to"). She wasn't totally on board, but managed without too much complaint. It was a smooth transition for most of them. A couple of those toddlers struggled a little more (I have discovered that those two are a little more intense personalities), they had a tearful day at the end, but is wan't too bad. It is much easier on you if you are comfortable with what you plan to do. if it seems right and feels right, then it probably is for you and your baby. I always was thankful that my babies were through with most of the terrible two's and potty training, eating on their own, etc... before they weaned. They are all adults now and we continue to have a close relationship (though there are a couple that say they would have liked to nurse longer-lol). I continue to help new moms and have helped my own daughters and daughters-in-law. It's a sweet opportunity, and I am blessed. I continue to advise young moms to do what you feel in your heart is best. You won't have any regrets if you do that.

Emily - posted on 09/21/2010

2,233

8

295

When I had my first child, I thought I would wean at 1 year also. The birthday came, and nursing was still a big part of my baby's life. At that point, I realized how silly it is to simply wean because of a date on the calendar. Babies' bodies don't suddenly cease to need breastmilk when the first birthday occurs. So at that point, I just decided to let things happen naturally. My son self-weaned at 3 1/2. NEVER thought it would go that long, but I'm really proud of it. He is healthy as a horse, and I think breastfeeding him so long is the reason. My current baby just turned 1, and we're still nursing. I plan to let her self-wean as well.

My husband also was skeptical at first. He was not supportive when I said that I would not wean at a year. But he got over it. Luckily my family supported me for the most part.

Jennifer - posted on 09/21/2010

79

0

1

My plan was to wean at 12 months too, but when the time came, I was really struggling - I liked the connection and didn't want to traumatize him by just "cutting him off." I ended up letting my son self-wean, but he chose to do that at 13 months. It ended up working out well for the both of us! Good luck!

Marcy - posted on 09/21/2010

8

15

0

I still nurse and my kids are 4 and 1/2 years old. It's between you and the child. Do what is right for both of you. I'm planning on ending it on their 5th birthday, because I am done, but they might end sooner. I think it's entirely up to the two of you.

Amanda - posted on 09/20/2010

151

72

5

I weaned my daughter right before a year. She did amazingly well with, and I did well to. She had to have formula for about 2 weeks, and then are her 12 month checkup we got the ok for whole milk, which she loves.

My goal was 1 year and I was just shy by a few weeks. I really enjoyed breastfeeding, but just found that my daughter was ready to wean and so was I.

Jessica - posted on 09/20/2010

78

132

0

My daughter is 15 months old, and I don't exclusively breast feed anymore, but I am still breast feeding. She is actually eating table foods, and eats most everything that we do, but she has difficulty digesting dairy, so I am keeping on nursing. Besides, she enjoys it. I figured I would probably nurse at least to the age she is now, as my first weaned around this age (mainly because I ended up with an ear infection and had to take antibiotics that lowered my milk supply). My husband is a little weirded out by my extended nursing, but I've told him that it is my body and mine and our daughter's choice and he respects that.

Merry - posted on 09/20/2010

9,274

169

248

I was always planning on one year, this is the longest I though anyone did! Then around 9 months I was anxious, worrying that I and he wasn't done. I started researching. I found that not only is it ok to nurse longer, it's healthier, safer, easier, more normal and natural! I was so excited. I showed my husband the web sites stating that weaning at one puts the child at increased risk of illness. That was enough for him! He said it was weird but we just set our minds to reprogram our mentality on breastfeeding. We both still fight off the western thoughts of how it's weird to nurse a bigger boy. But with the medical benefits on his side, and the facts of the average child worldwide weaning at 4.4 years, we agree. I told him how in Mongolia, they all nurse for three to six years. They know breast milk is so healthy they nurse their 'warrior' children longer as they see that more years of breastfeeding makes stronger healthier adults. Ghengis khan is said to have nursed until age 8 so they encourage it there! Also little facts from the world like how the princes and princesses in many countries are breastfed the longest as they are the most treasured children in the land. All this helped my husband get on board. He has stood up to his mom saying 'laura can nurse him as long as she wants, I want him to be a strong boy!' so his family just keeps their mouths shut, I think no one actually agrees, but no one dares say it. Matt being our supporter is awesome, but even if I siding have his support I wouldn't wean easily. My family is not that normal per say, it consists of my sister, and my aunt and her husband and kids. So my sister thinks it's weird, but she now knows the health reasons and is supportive, yet still fighting her own thoughts. My aunt nursed her sons 14mo, 14 mo, and 2 years so she is supportive and she even has a friend nursing her 3yr old and baby too. So I feel she will not be too shocked if I tandem nurse.
So I chose to nurse a minimum of two years because of the health reasons. And then after that I will do my best to nurse him until he outgrows the need. I want to aim my sights at 4 years as this sounds 'average' but I can't say how it will turn out. But two years is my bare minimum.

Minnie - posted on 09/20/2010

7,076

9

786

I weaned my first at 12 months, though at four she likes to still try it every now and then. I weaned her because the doctor told me that my milk 'wasn't good enough for her.' She's in the fifth percentile for weight- well, she has never gone any higher since being weaned.



I am letting my second, nearly two year old, self-wean. I expect a couple more years out of our nursing relationship. I hate that I missed out on the joys of nursing a toddler with my first. My youngest and I have a very different connection. When she was ten months I couldn't believe that had I followed mainstream parenting advice I would be weaning her in two months just like I did with my first. Now that she will be two next month I couldn't imagine weaning her now! It just goes by so quickly.



My husband is very supportive. He's grown in his perception of breastfeding since our eldest was born and so have I.

Celeste - posted on 09/20/2010

3,046

30

870

With my first, I thought 6 months or teeth. Then I said a year. She ended up weaning at 17 months.



With my twins, I knew I wanted to go at least a year. I set time lines but I've always surpassed them because I've felt comfortable surpassing that.



I've dealt with a lot of criticisms. My family isn't supportive at all. They can be jerks about it. I deal with it by just ignoring them. I also have facts to back me up so I feel better about my decision to continue.



I have 3 year old twin boys, one is weaned but the other one nurses once a day. At this point, for me, I probably won't go past 4, which is in less than a month.



As far as husbands, he has always been supportive of me. At first he wasn't sure about my boys nursing this long, but seeing first hand the benefits, he's become very supportive.

Angela - posted on 09/19/2010

149

15

18

im gonna let my son decide. he only nurses 3 times a day now morning, nap and bed. the rest of the time its table food and cup. I am try for a fourth child so am sure that he will quit once im pregnant.

Lise - posted on 09/19/2010

1,738

8

233

Self-weaning here. It is something so healthy for she and I, and it is such a comfort for her - I can't imagine taking it away.

[deleted account]

One year was my original goal. I guess because I didn't know anyone who nursed beyond that and didn't know much about the continued benefits. When my daughter turned 6 months I knew I didn't want to wean at a year. She's 16 months now and we're just going with the flow. Now I have a *minimum* goal of 2 years. My husband wasn't on board at first, but I showed him lots of information on how we both (baby and I) benefit. I also talked about how he would benefit (doesn't have to put baby down for nap or bed time). My daughter turned one year and my husband didn't seem to even notice the breastfeeding. It's a part of our daily routine.

Angel - posted on 09/19/2010

1

60

0

I weaned my first at 15months and my second at 12 months. I'm planning on letting my 3rd self wean, just b/c I know she's my last and I'm not ready to let go of her as a baby, so I'll let her make that decision. She will be one on Friday and shows no sign of stopping any time soon. My husband doesn't care what I do....to him, it's an instant soother. As far as other people...I've never really cared what other people think of how I raise my kids.

[deleted account]

I'm still nursing my 2.5 year old son. I would LIKE to let him wean, but due to an upcoming extended visitation w/ his father... that may be out of my hands. I've had a little encouragement to wean from a couple of friends, but not really any judgement. I guess they probably figure I'm going to do what I'm going to do, so why open their mouths? ;) I'm single, so no dealing w/ the husband part.

I did wean my twins at 15 months. Partly because of my husband and mostly because I just felt like 12-18 months was the RIGHT time for people to wean. I'm different now. ;)

Leah - posted on 09/19/2010

12

31

3

I have also flopped back and forth. Originally I was going to wean at 12 months, then I was going to allow her to self wean. But she is currently almost 11 months and has 8 teeth...and also some biting issues. In the last 3 months I have nursed through 2 infected bite wounds on my right nipple. =( It was agony and if we can't nip this problem in the bud (pun intended) then I'm going to go ahead and wean close to 12 months. If she doesn't continue to bite me, I'll probably set a new goal for 18 months.

Donna - posted on 09/19/2010

657

16

38

im not exclusivly breast feeding any more. But I am still breastfeeding. I know I said the same thing, I'll stop at 12 months, she'll be old enough. Honestly I think I'll just stick to on deman feedings when I'm not working and when I am at work, let my sister in law or husband depending on who's watching her give her milk. She also eats table food and baby food too so we'll probably just continue with that too

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms