Difficult weaning or easy weaning

Merry - posted on 01/01/2011 ( 56 moms have responded )

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I know many moms think that weaning has to be a hard time, they learn tricks and tips to make it easier, it's a long drawn out time with a lot of effort on moms side.
Some moms I see just don't bother with that and wait until their child weans themselves so this way it's simple and easy for both.

What are your thoughts about this? Should weaning be a big ordeal? Or should we just let nature take it's course?
I mean sometimes we have situations beyond our control, like a sick mom, or a custody issue, etc that means weaning has to happen on a time frame, but in general, do you thik we expect weaning to be a battle when it could be so easy?

Is there a thought process that it should be hard work? That continuing until self weaning is lazy or something?
Maybe it's one time that the easy way is the best way....

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Merry - posted on 01/01/2011

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It is sad that we don't even know it's an option to let them self wean, I know I had no clue that could happen until Eric was almost a year and I was wondering how the heck am I supposed to wean him? It felt so wrong but I didn't know there was another option. Those what to expect books are messed up, they never mention self weaning but they give you pages and pages of advise on how to wean your baby.
They also say it's bad to nurse past a year so honestly I wish those books would dissappear, but it's sad that many moms that's the only book they read! And so obviously assume it's hot every info they need. But it's all very one sided, no mention of self weaning at all.

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When people ask, how long I'll be nursing Nina, I generally say 'until one of us gets sick of it'. I hope I can hang in there until she weans herself, but if I'm not happy with it anymore I will wean her before that - very slowly and very gently. At sixteen months she is still nursing an awful lot and is really quite fond of her 'boo', so I'd feel bad weaning her now. I don't think it should be hard - if it's hard it's upsetting baby, isn't it? Then again, I havn't been there, so I really don't know. I agree with Laura about all those super-popular books talking about nothing but weaning. I actually make a point in looking up breastfeeding everytime I come across one, and unless they are AP books, they NEVER mention the option of 'just keep going'. It's almost as if this battle with your infant is something every mother is supposed to experience. At my first La Leche League meeting I met some women who were nursing toddlers plus there were books about the subject. Also my Public Health Nurse kept telling me how she had been breastfeeding her son for 15 months. I think without that I might very well have weaned early, and knowing my daughter it would have been absolutely horrible (she is seriously head-strong!). Though I really don't think letting your child self-wean is lazy! I wish only once I could peel some potatoes without having missy demanding her 'boo', or actually do ANYTHING without being interrupted by a demanding 'BOO'! And then there is the social stigma, if you want to call it that. Not easy either! I think going through a few tough weeks of weaning would probably be 'easier', just not for baby and, well maybe not in the long run with the increased risk of illness. Oh, I'm rambling... What's my point again? Yes, moms are probably never allowed to be lazy. Each to their own, just be nice to baby.

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I don't think anyone is passing judgement, just discussing something every BF mom thinks about. I was terrified of weaning. I thought it would be so hard. Once I researched and found out that it's ok and beneficial to nurse past one I decided to go for it. If a mom wants to initiate mother-led weaning then she should. As Celeste said BF is a two-way relationship. Even if you do mother-led I don't think it has to be a huge ordeal. As long as it's done slowly it can be easier on mom and baby. I love kellymom's tips on weaning (even though I've never weaned a baby lol).

Celeste - posted on 01/01/2011

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I think it depends on the circumstances and on the mom. In general, I think that society has made weaning hard because it believes that children should be weaned by x age. I think that many mothers (including myself at one point) didn't realize that self weaning was an option, thus making weaning a little harder than it should be.

However, I think that there are circumstances that need to be considered. For many mothers, they're just ready to wean. Breastfeeding is a 2 way relationship.

I think that self weaning is the best way to go, but it's ok to mother led weaning if the breastfeeding relationship isn't working anymore.

After experiencing mother led and self weaning, those are my thoughts LOL

Sally - posted on 01/09/2011

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Self weaning was the norm for most of the world until formula was invented. Unfortunately, the "scientific" culture of 1950's US made a lot of very unhealthy for babies things the "norm". Thank goodness we're starting to figure out how wrong some of it is. All of my children will wean when they are ready and I will make sure everyone I know has the information on how healthy and normal that is so they can make an informed decision.

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Merry - posted on 03/30/2011

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Margot, my son is very similar to your daughter emotionally. He is 2 and he also demands frequently. If I try to redirect him he gets very offended and sad and clingy. I notice when I give in every time, he asks less often and more courteously. If I try to refuse he gets very insistent and asks a ton more!
It's hard, but I think it's his right to breastfeed until he decides he's done, so I try to allow him whenever it's possible. But I am battling some personal aversions to breastfeeding him as I'm 8 months pregnant and I think my brain is trying to focus on the baby coming, and so I don't enjoy breastfeeding my son as much anymore. It's hard because I know I want to continue until he is done, but I'm not enjoying it like I used to.
If she enjoys it, and you enjoy it there's absolutely no reason to wean.
If she enjoys it but you don't, then it's a judgement call, you can continue until you feel she's better equipped to stop, or you can start stopping her, or you can decide to continue despite your feelings.
The only time weaning is a certainty is when she decides she doesn't want it anymore!
And if her dad thinks you should continue, I think that's a great sign that you are doing the right thing! Don't under appreciate his support, many women don't have that.

And if you do decide to wean her, don't do it by the 'abandonment technique' it rarely works, and often causes emotional harm to the little one.

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Margot,
Don't let others pressure you into weaning. It's a decision between you and your child. If you're happy to continue then do so. If you're ready to wean then you can wean gently. You can also do anything in between. If you feel you need to set some limits then you can try that. You don't need to explain yourself or defend your choices to anyone. You're doing a wonderful thing for your daughter!

Margot - posted on 03/29/2011

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First I want to say that I really enjoyed reading all your posts. My youngest is 2 1/2 and still nurses on "demand" literally. She'll crawl in my lap and cry, and tug at my shirt all while saying "Peas mommie I have nummies". So is it wrong to let her do that? She seems to take no really hard. If we are on the go all day, she doesn't ask for it, unless she's really tired. Then I find a spot to rest and let her nurse. I don't care if I'm in the doctors office, the mall or at a friends house. I try to explain to them that it's like her "pacifier", but I get a lot of pressure from my friends to wean her. That's it's not ok when she can "ask" for it. My husband says to "just give it" to her and if it makes her sad to "not" give it to her, then she's not ready. What do I do? And when it's time are there things to make it easier? Or do I run away for a week and come back to her weaned?

Victoria - posted on 01/13/2011

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I thnk weaning should be a process, which both the mother and baby should go through, it might not be an easy process but according to me am going to wait until my son makes 2years, if by that tym he hasnt stopped breastfeeding, then i try to reduce on the times i BF him in a day, may by then he'll be alittle grown and will adjust accordingly

Senae - posted on 01/12/2011

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I worried and worried about weaning. My little boy was embarassing me in restaurants when he wanted to nurse by putting his hands down my shirt and trying to get to my breasts. So, I was determined he would stop nursing by his 2nd birthday, but I didn't know how to wean him without hurting his feelings, because he so obviously enjoyed nursing. Then, on vacation 2 weeks before his 2nd birthday, he just didn't want to nurse anymore. He said it was yucky. I had salmon that night for dinner, which I hadn't eaten since he was born since I was typically a vegetarian. I wondered if it made my milk taste funny. But whatever the reason, he never wanted to nurse again. And that was that. Allowing a child to self wean is ideal but may not work in all situations. My friend's little boy still wanted to nurse at 4, but she was done. It was hard because at that point he was trying to negotiate in lengthy explanations why he should still be able to nurse. He even cussed at one point over it, which was kind of hilarious to me, but nonetheless, his 4th birthday was the day he was cut off, and I can't blame her. I wouldn't feel comfortable nursing a 4 year old myself. I think we can read and read about it, but it's truly different for everyone, and it probably never goes as we plan for it to. It just happens as it will.

Jessica - posted on 01/11/2011

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My personal experience...
For my first child, it was a combination of my returning to work, her starting whole milk at age one, and then my getting an ear infection and ending up on medication that encouraged he weaning process. She didn't reject the idea much, we just substituted her sippy cup during the day for the nursing sessions. At night, she weaned when she was ready. I think she was around 18 months when we weaned.
My second is not interested in weaning, and I'm not really forcing her, even though her father and I are divorcing. I just pump when we are separated and supply her father with the expressed milk. She is 18 months old, so she is old enough that she could wean if she wanted to, but she has an issue with dairy, so I'm perfectly happy to keep nursing her while she wants me to. I don't really know why I changed from Mom led weaning with the first to self-led weaning with #2, maybe it's a change in my outlook.

Emily - posted on 01/10/2011

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Gretchen- You will be surprised how much easier it will get to wean the older she gets. At that age though, if you want to completely wean, I think that it is going to be a challenge. It is a good thing that your husband is willing to help, that will make a big difference! Also, keep in mind that you might not have to wean (unless you want to of course) just because of your trip. I think there is a good chance that if you could get it down to 1-2 nursings a day, she would be just fine without it while you are gone. Bedtimes and naptimes are generally the last they want to give up, so I would suggest incorporating Dad more and more into your routine. It might work to make nursing the first thing you do instead of the last. You could nurse her in the living room, and then have daddy take her to bed, where they have their own special routine (try singing songs, reading books, even watching a movie at first if you need something extra fun). Expect her to fight this at first, but she should get used to it, and then start looking forward to it. My baby got to the point where he would ask for Daddy instead of Mama. Once you are down to 1-2 nursings, it shouldn't be hard to either pump or hand express while you are on the trip to relieve any pressure. You could just do it in the evenings while you shower or something. Then you wouldn't have to cut her off completely, and you could come back to a toddler who has gotten used to nursing less and spending more time with Daddy.

That is my advice. Take whatever is useful for you, and discard the rest. Good luck!

Gretchen - posted on 01/10/2011

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My daughter just turned one and we are discussing weaning. I would like to let her lead the way, but have to be gone for a week in April, so am trying to guide her. It's been a struggle. There are times she simply WANTS to BF and nothing else will console her. I don't want this to be hard for her, but am worried about what will happen in April when i have to be gone for work. My husband is really great and is trying to step up over night and at bedtime, but she's still BFing 2-4 times a day. Any tips on the most gentle way to get her ready would be very much appreciated.

Emily - posted on 01/10/2011

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I think that there exists a lot of middle ground. I waited until I felt like my son was starting to wean himself, but I also gave him a few nudges in that direction. I have never stressed about it. When I got pregnant I knew that I didn't want to nurse more than 2-3 times a day. We went down to this amount easily because I think he was old enough to handle it (almost 2) Now we are happily nursing 1-2 times a day, and I think he will probably be done by the time he is 3 but maybe earlier.

Jessie - posted on 01/09/2011

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weaning does not have to be hard but it takes time. I start to 'wean' myself from pumping when my son was around 11 months old, pumping less often until I was only pumping once while I was at work, and then not at all. this took about two months. After Hale's first birthday we introduced cows milk in a cup at meals and found out a few weeks later he was dairy intolerant. He stopped eating well, had diarhea and a rash on his face (excema) and I had the doctor do a blood test. We then switched to soy milk for meals and snacks and I began slowly cutting back on nursing. by 15 months we were just nursing early morning and before bed. We then found out he was allergic and intolerant to wheat. I had to eat a dairy and wheat free diet until he was weaned. I ended up getting mono, inner ear infection, and some other lovely viruses and I ended up stopping offering him the breast at bedtime and he stopped asking for it. It's been almost two months and he wants nothing to do with nursing (I've offered at particularly fussy times, teething, etc). I would have continued our bedtime nursing until his next birthday for sure but it just didn't work out. Now that I am back in college it is a bit of a relief not worrying about him missing his mama milk while I am away. It wasn't a 'natural' weaning but I tried to make it as seamless as possible for both of us. no trauma, no drama. :)

Rachael - posted on 01/09/2011

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I think even weaning on a time frame can be done gracefully. It is all about listening to your body, instincts and child and making sure all needs are met. You can't quit cold turkey, but you can cut down on length of sessions or cut one out completely replacing it with another enjoyable bonding activity such as cuddling, reading, ect. It does not have to be either child led weaning or torture. there is a happy medium you just can't forget that 1/2 of breastfeeding is the bonding and comfort that is offered to your child. While you can replace breast milk with other food the comfort needs to remain there.

Samantha - posted on 01/09/2011

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Thanks Pamela, I went to Bon Jovi a few weeks ago in Sydney and he did exasctly that. I fed before I left and he didn't take a bottle at all, he fed when i got back. He has started taking some water from a cup but is refusing any bottle.

Pamela - posted on 01/09/2011

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@Samantha -- I started sending my son to full time daycare at around that age and he never took bottles. He just waited until he was with me again and nursed in the evenings and at night. We're still going strong. He never showed any signs of weaning at all. Good Luck!

Samantha - posted on 01/09/2011

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I am looking at returning to work over the next 6 weeks and my 10 1/2 mth still feeding 6 times over the day. I am hoping that he will be fine over the day and with that assume he will still feed when I get home and at night as he does currently. We will just have to wait and see. I am not pushing for him to wean and will let nature take it's course but on that note I won't be feeding him until he's 5.

Pamela - posted on 01/09/2011

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i never expected to nurse as long as I have been (28 months) and I kind of would like to stop but I don't feel strongly enough about it to push the situation. We don't really nurse out and about anymore, it's mostly an at-home thing. Every time I've tried to push a little with weaning, my son pushes back harder with needing more so I'm thinking he' snot ready and I will regret doing it by force.

I travel for work and I've even been gone for several nights (up to a week away) and the second I get home, he's all "Hi Mama! boobie?"

so, we'll keep going and I won't let anyone stress me out about it.

Teri - posted on 01/09/2011

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I didn't really have a problem weaning any of my kids. I just slowly over the course of a month or so removed a feeding here and there. Now, I weaned at 12 or 15 mos though, if you plan to wean before 1 yr I would assume that there are far more challenges with milk supply and engorged breasts etc.

I weaned when my kids were fully eating food 3 times a day, so they did not technically need the food -- although they still liked the connection.

TERi

Mahnaz - posted on 01/09/2011

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I started weaning my firs after he turned one. I think you should whatever you are comfortable with. I know many moms who don't breast feed at all, and several who did so for a couple weeks to 6 months. They say whatever amount you do is better than not doing it all. The way the dr. told me to do which i found went fairly smoothly was to go by one feeding at a time. I left first thing in the morning, lunch time, and before bed for last. I did it slow so it took me about 3-4 months to get him fully off breastfeeding. I wanted to be comfortable with it and me too so I took my time. If you choose to go this route, you should keep at least 3-4 days apart the letting go of each feeding session. The hardest one for my son and longest was the last feeding before bed. Good luck

Leanne - posted on 01/08/2011

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This post has been a fantastic read, ive been planning to wean my daughter around the 2ish mark. I have been wondering how I was going to accomplish this and how we both would feel and after reading this post I think things are going to be much easier for us both. She is a huge booby baby. She will try and feed whenever she can if we are at home. If we are out even from 6 months old she wasnt slightly interested. The lunch feed is the first feed im planning on cutting out. Just by trying to get her to have a cup before her nap and then stick with that for a few months and hope that she decides after she hits the 2ish mark that she has had enough of her booby.

Chelsea - posted on 01/08/2011

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I expected my Daughter to not want to take formula and weaning to be horrible but she didnt even care, the first time i gave her formula she was fine and never asked for the breast again, for me however i was devastated i didnt understand how she could not care, i was hurt and cried alot for about a month after stopping and now i cant wait till the new baby is here so i can have that bond again. For me it was loosing the bond that was hard

Jo - posted on 01/08/2011

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Hi Laura, I think the best thing is that as many others are inferring - that you think through the questions that are important to you about breastfeeding. hearing other people's stories helps you think through potential questions that the sleep deprived might otherwise miss!!

I knew my DS would be my only, as he is also my husband's 3rd, so I didn't want to make the decision to stop BF lightly as I absolutely loved it and wouldn't get another chance! We had a rocky start 10 days in with loosing half a nipple to a too-long night time feed [don't ask, I still occassionally get bitter with some issues with the hospital educator "missing" me because of the time of year] that then imploded into several rounds of infective mastitis, nipple thrush, nipple vaso-spasm and finally 3 abssess all in the one breast. Basically my chest was a war zone, but the other side, nicknamed "fountain of youth" kept going strong and inspired me to just keep going until it all healed up, which 4-5 weeks later it did, and combined with feeding lying down which took so much pressure off my body, we never looked back. I followed the solids/breastfeeding schedule down to 2 feeds by around 12 months old and could have gone on indefinately; i knew there would be "a sign" to know when it was time. Then at around 14 months, a friend mentioned how she forgot between each baby how much energy she got back once she stopped BF. Because of some external life challenges, once the notion of getting some more energy took hold, i couldn't stop mulling over it for about 8 weeks and then I knew it was time. We organised for my DH to take DS away for the weekend, so he went from Friday am feed to next seeing me Monday morning and he was fine. Over the next 8 months he only asked twice, and each time we told him it was only for babies, and there wasn't any "baboo" [his generic term for liquid] left. Which he completely accepted!!

Is there anything I would have done differently? Well the timing with winter and having just started child care was regretable, as there was an instant increase in snotty noses and illnesses that he then gave me - so it took a long time to see that "energy" return. So maybe I would have stuck to a 1-day feed over winter for the health benefits... because unfortunately the external pressures are outside my control and that's one thing you certainly do learn as a parent - let go of the things you can't control!!

It shouldn't be hard work; it should be what you both want it to be. Good luck.

Linda - posted on 01/08/2011

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I cried after weaning my son after one year. I wish I hadn't weaned him but I was having some complication with cracked nipples and other illnesses. Still I regret it and hopw that with my daughter we go until she self weans

Marsha - posted on 01/08/2011

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I myself decided to go with self-weaning. However, my oldest nursed till she was about 17 months old, and I had to wean her because she was very sick... that sucked very much - because my nursing her was such a nice way to help her to feel better and have comfort from me. And for me to be close to her. What I did was pump and lay with her the same way but gave her the bottle... I think this helped her wean.
My second daughter is 20 months now and still nurses. Usually just when she is going to bed at night. I don't mind at all, gives us some "us" time. She actually went a week in the summer without nursing when I was away, and was fine when I came back to start up again. :)
I am sure she will wean herself by around 2years... sometimes she doesn't have much interest in it.

Erica - posted on 01/06/2011

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My 23 month old just weaned herself three weeks ago. It was SO EASY! She did ask to "drink milk" a few times, but I distracted her with objects or comments and it was no big deal. I miss breast feeding, but she was ready to stop and I am glad that I let her make that decision. Good Luck!!

Emily - posted on 01/05/2011

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Gawd I'm so glad weaning was NOT a battle for us. Self-weaning was SO easy, and SO natural. I can't imagine doing it any other way.

Danielle - posted on 01/05/2011

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I am letting nature take it's course and I am letting my children self wean. I am nursing my 3 and 1/2 year old and my 9 month old. I hear most kids wean themselves around age 4. I don't mind nursing the boys since I"m SAHM.

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Lesley, I'm glad your daughter took to weaning so well. I've been talking to my son for MONTHS about how he's a big boy and doesn't need it anymore.... he doesn't care. I tried to wean him since he had to go spend a week w/ his father..... he freaked out. He did fine for the week w/out me and w/out nursing. Came back into the house. Wandered around looking lost for a couple of minutes.... and asked to nurse. ;)

I think it's definitely a case by case thing depending on the child and we all as mother's just need to do whatever we feel is the best for everyone. :)

Ricki - posted on 01/05/2011

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As with everything in life it all dep[ends on the person and the situation.
I've breastfed three of my children and am still currently breastfeeding my fourth, the weaning process has been different with each one.
With my eldest I feel pregnant and she slowly weaned herself a month before her sister was born, she was 2 yrs old. I didn't notice that she was weaning until one day she was just so busy playing she never had a feed and then that was it. She never asked for it or wanted it again. She was quite happy with her nromal meals and drinking milk and water.
Now my second child is another story I tried so many different ways of weaning her and nothing worked!! In the end I was that desperate to wean her my Mum wached my girls for the weekend and I went and stayed with a friend. But the minute I got back she wanted a feed and was hysterical that she had gone two days without one! Mind you she was not a baby she was 3yrs old! In the end I just told her that booby was broken because she was too big. And that booby was for babies not big girls and if I had another baby then my boobies would be fixed :-) lol And astoundingly she was fine with that, she never asked for it again!
With my thrid it was a case of we both weaned each other, lol. I again fell pregnant whilst breastfeeding and it was becoming really painful to breastfeed because my breasts were over-sensitive. So one day I gave him a bottle, just to take the pressure off myself. But then I felt bad like I was neglecting him, so I didn't make it an everyday thing. But there was a bottle there in case my breasts were really really sore and I just couldn't stand him feeding. In the end he had a bottle acouple of times and pretty much self weaned a week before his brother was born. He was 21 months when Jaydenw as born and he continued to have few more feeds once he saw Jayden feeding. So he was pretty much weaned by 21 months but was completely weaned by 22-23 months.
And my lil baby Jayden is turning 1 in a week and a half and is already seeming to self wean. He has always been a huge booby baby. So whether or not he is just calming down and feeding less often or he is trying to self wean who knows. But I'll just wait and see what he does. I'm hoping he continues to feed till at least two years old as that is always my goal. But if he weans earlier than there's nothing much I can do.

Look some babies happily self-wean when they are ready, and if that suits the Mum and bub then all is good :-) But sometimes due to circumstances beyond our control Mother lead weaning has to be done. And in that case trying all the tips and tricks out there is neccesary.

Corey - posted on 01/05/2011

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I originally told myself that I'd nurse for a few months. That turned in to, I'll nurse until she get teeth. Then turned into I'll nurse until she bites me. Then it was, I'll nurse until she turns one. Then it was when my husband come home from deployment. Needless to say it was a never ending, I'll nurse until.....
Finally, when my daughter was 32 months she decided she wanted to be potty trained and stopped nursing, all in the same week. It was AWESOME! She is now a "Big Girl , not a baby! (her words). I think even though I wanted her wean, she wasn't ready. So I believe allowing her to cut that tie, empowered her.

Dora - posted on 01/05/2011

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In my opinion weaning should be left as a personal choice. In today's time many many women must work full time while raising their little cutie pies. I am a full time working mom and fortunately with the job I have I was able to pump whenever I wanted to while at work. Because of the pumping I was able to continue with breast feeding until my son was 14 months old. I weaned him because it was extremely tiring breast feeding, pumping, and working full time. I think what made the weaning process so simple for us i hat from day one I got my son used to the breast and the bottle. He never had nipple confusing and what was nice about using a bottle was that loves ones around us were able to help with feedings. I mean how do you tell the grandmother and grandfather no you can't feed your grandchild because of a bottle. I personally would feel bad because all they want to do is share in my child's everyday life. I do recommend to breastfeed/pump as long as possible just because of the amazing nutritional value. Also a perk for us mommies is the quick weight loss and tummy tuck LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

I have to say that I am pregnant with cutie pie #2 and am planning to breast feed once again. It is definitely an amazing experience and I wouldn't miss it for the world. This time around we are hoping that I will be able to not work. I will breast feed and get this baby used to the bottle again but I will be able to pump much less.

Lesley - posted on 01/05/2011

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Seriously, it was ALOT easier than I expected it to be!! I think we make a bigger ordeal out of everything - have it in our mind that our child is going to outright protest or throw a tantrum and we will never wean.

My daughter is 2-years old and I was hoping to have her weaned by the time she turned 2 for personal reasons. However, that was not the case but I did get her down to 3 times a day (wake up, naptime and bedtime). Then I had an opportunity to interview in another country that would take me away from her for 3 days and knowing that she has never drank milk from a bottle and wasn't about to start, it seemed as good a time as any to stop. Cold turkey. So I did. I made the decision and I talked to her about it and I actually think she understood me!

I stopped the naptime one. Told her the milk was gone and that she was a big girl and such a good girl for helping mummy get through this. She protested for about 5 mins. That was that. Then came bedtime - again, I told her what I told her at naptime and after 5 mins, she was fine and went to sleep.

The biggest challenge was when she woke up. She was not happy for the first 20 mins, then got over it as I took her into the kitchen to help me get the cereal out and such. And she never once asked me again for the boob! I am so proud of her - and of me for going for 2-years. It's more than I could have hoped for considering I struggled in the beginning with it.

I could have let her go on to self-wean but I honestly believe she would be one of those children who would be quite happy nursing till she was 3 or older. And seeing as I'm 40, I would like to have a 2nd one - breastfeeding was making my period wonky and it was already wonky to begin with!!!

Good luck to those that are considering weaning. Don't underestimate what your child knows or understands - talk to them about why it's over and trust me - they will understand!!! We don't give them enough credit!

xox

Ruma - posted on 01/05/2011

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I bF my babies for two years starting with solids at 6 months for daughter and at 4 months for my son.And touch wood both were happy going children.My son is 6.5 months.

Janice - posted on 01/04/2011

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I definitely do not think that letting a child self wean means that Mom is lazy. BFing takes time.

I was really worried about weaning when my daughter was little and I thought "she will never want to stop!" Although my 14 mo. old still BFs 2x a day getting her down to that amount was so easy. I think for women who plan to wean they think they will need to do it quickly when their baby turns 1 year. But if you wean very slowly it isn't a major event. My daughter went from 6-7 feeds to 2 feeds over 3 months with no problem. Although I can't really say how removing the last 2 feedings will go ( no intentions right now) I can say from experience, if you can stretch out weaning over a few months it is not that hard.

Julinda - posted on 01/04/2011

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I bf both of my kids. My son, 9, was bf until almost two. After 15 months it was only at naptime and bedtime. When I finally decided I was done, I refused to nurse one time during a nighttime feeding. He never asked again. We were done.
My daughter had a harder time. I weaned her b/c she refused to eat food if she could nurse. She was 18 months old and we weaned very quickly. It was not good for me to nurse her all day long. She would only eat for dad. This was hard for me, but it only took a day or two for her to understand.

Kendra - posted on 01/04/2011

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I am BFing my 15 month old (almost exclusively... he gets about 70% from me and 30% from other foods by his choice) AND my 3 1/2 yr old who still nurses 1-3 times per day. She is weaning slowly but surely... I see her nursing infrequently at age 5 still! I HOPE my son makes 3 yrs too!

Elena - posted on 01/04/2011

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My daughter is almost 14 months now. I'm still breastfeeding her, whenever she wants, as I did from the start. Yet, since she discovered food, she wants the breast less and less. She forgets about it during the busy day of toddling and only asks for it when she's sleepy. Even that doesn't happen every time, she's starting to say "no no" when I'm offering the breast to her. Its funny, sometimes she asks for it, but then she doesn't want it and falls asleep without.
I started to feed her seriously (non only tastes and bites) when she was one year old. Since then the quantity she was able to swallow increased, but it was and still is a very slow process, sometimes frustrating for me. But, I'm glad she clearly says no when she've had enough. I like to see her say "no no", it means she knows her needs. I must say I was encouraged by a Spanish pediatrician Carlos Gonzales who wrote a few books about weaning and stated clearly that there is no need to push the food into the baby, they actually need very small (in our concerned eyes) quantities. http://www.amazon.com/My-Child-Wont-Eat-...

Kendra - posted on 01/04/2011

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Weaning should be easy... and natural and the child's idea. I always wondered why we would take something so beneficial away from children forcibly...?

Melissa - posted on 01/03/2011

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My son just turned 20 months old on New Year's Day and he's not showing any signs of slowing. I thought for sure he'd lose interest by now but that hasn't happened! I think I'm almost ready to wean him but I know it isn't going to be easy. At first I just wanted to make it 8 weeks, then it was 3 months, then 6 months and then a year. Here I am at 20 months still going strong! I'll be sad when it's over because if it's up to my husband we won't be having anymore children. :-(

Noreen - posted on 01/02/2011

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I am all for full term nursing and self weaning. I am still nursing my 15month old and NO have plans on stopping anytime soon. :)

Karla - posted on 01/02/2011

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I think it is offensive to say child-led weaning is easy and any other way is difficult. And even more offensive to say "the easy way is the best way".

Merry - posted on 01/02/2011

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I think the key is that as long as the baby is not emotionally hurt from the weaning then it's all good! I just hate hearing about moms weaning by going on vacation without baby. That sounds so hard for the baby.

Momof1 - posted on 01/02/2011

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I guess it depends mostly on the baby. I've been going back and forth on how long to nurse. (I'm sure you've seen my posts.) My son is just about 13.5 months. New Years Eve, I didn't nurse him. I just didn't offer it and he didn't seem to mind. (I did nurse him at his night time feed, because I was afraid if I didn't, he would wake up and since I was having some drinks, I new I wouldn't be able to nurse him, if he woke up.) Anyway, New Years Day, I worked. Normally I would have nursed before I left, but I didn't and I didn't when I came home. And he is fine and sleeping fine. In a way, I am sad about it. It wasn't my plan to wean yet, but it just happened. Although I'm sure I could nurse him today and bring my supply back.

I don't think it is lazy to self wean, to an extent. Depends on how old the child is. I think it is fine for all the drink breast milk, but not to nurse after a certain age. But, that's just me and I don't judge anybody who does. Some babies need some feedings dropped. I'm lucky my son wasn't like that. And luckily my breasts are fine, because once he hit a year, I stopped pumping, while I worked on weekends, so I was already going for over 27 hours without pumping/nursing. I don't believe there is one best way, just whatever works for your baby and you.

Amy - posted on 01/01/2011

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I think every mom has the right to decide what's right for herself and family. If a mom chooses to wean that's her right to do so whatever the reason and no one should pass judgement on her and her decision.

[deleted account]

Thanks ladies. He is very attached to his sisters, so I was hoping he would do ok. I think one of them kind of became his 'mommy' while they were gone.

Celeste - posted on 01/01/2011

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On a side note, Teresa, I'm so glad that your son did well with his dad! I know you were worried about it.

Merry - posted on 01/01/2011

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Yay! So glad he managed well, and also glad he jumped right back to normal with you, sounds like he has a great understanding of it all.

[deleted account]

All I have to offer is my personal experience...

I weaned my twins at one (started weaning at 13 months... done at 15). It really was easy. The only feed they put up any resistance to dropping was the morning nap, but that only took 2-3 days before they didn't care anymore. While we probably 'could' have continued nursing. I don't regret stopping at the time we did.

My son (2 years 9 months) just spent a week straight w/ his father and no 'baboo' (for the first time in his life). He did pretty well w/ it. I just got the kids home and just nursed him down for his nap (he asked... I didn't mention it). I'm totally ok w/ things the way they are at the moment. He's good w/out it for his dad and good w/ it for me. :)

Merry - posted on 01/01/2011

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I'm so glad I found out when I did, I would have been so mad if I had done the weaning thing and found out what I missed. I owe it all to circle of moms! Once I saw everyone advising for kellymom.com I went there and seriously my life was forever changed.

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