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Suggestions for weaning an extended nurser?

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BuckeyeMom Posted: 07-28-2009 11:48 PM
DS is now going on 26 mo. I had intended child-led weaning, thinking he would wean 15-18 mo. I now feel it is time. I need to get my health back on track before winter comes. He has been healthy (no colds or viruses that plagued us) for a few months now. Any suggestions? He DOES put himself to sleep at daycare, but he nurses to sleep at home. I will become a SAH mom in 3 weeks. I will probably wait until then to do it so I can be consistent. Right now, I cannot allow him to take 2-3 hours to put himself to sleep when he needs to go to daycare the next day. It's not fair to him or the teachers. Not to mention I cannot function at work on that lack of sleep Stick out tongue. But I do want to plan to wean when I become a SAHM.
TIA,
Donna
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PattyLA replied on 07-30-2009 12:37 PM
Your expectations for clw were unrealistic. It is extremely unusual for a child to self wean at the age that you expected it. 2.5 is pretty much the youngest to expect clw and much older is not unusual at all.

Two books I will recommend for you are Mothering your Nursing Toddler and How Weaning Happens. Both books are LLL books and if you are a member of a group they will almost certainly have a copy or two in their library. I haven't weaned or even significantly limited nursing on a child as young as yours so I don't have any advice there but others have. It sounds like your real issue is how long it takes for him to go to sleep. No Cry sleep solution for toddlers may have some ideas that work for you in that department. You may also find that once you have been home for a while the whole dynamic shifts. Nursing a long time may be his way to get some uninterrupted mommy time and that may be more plentiful when you are a SAHM and he may not need so much nursing time. Do you have a carrier that you can wear him in? My dd really needs that closeness but doesn't really ask for it but I notice that if I take the initiative to wear her on my back for a significant length of time each day she is much calmer the rest of the time and gets that closeness she craves w/o it having to be a nursing time.
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BuckeyeMom replied on 07-31-2009 9:21 AM
Your expectations for clw were unrealistic. It is extremely unusual for a child to self wean at the age that you expected it. 2.5 is pretty much the youngest to expect clw and much older is not unusual at all.
So basing my expectations of DC#2 based on the fact that DC#1 self-weaned at 15 mo was dumb. Got it.
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zane replied on 07-31-2009 11:39 AM
Every child is different, and so while your dc may have weaned early, that is not the expected biological norm. CLW has a much larger range.
"In societies where children are allowed to nurse 'as long as they want,' they usually self-wean, with no arguments or emotional trauma, between three and four years of age ... The minimum predicted age for a natural age of weaning in humans is two and a half years, with a maximum of seven years." -- Katherine Dettwyler, PhD, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Nutrition at Texas A&M University, and author of "Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives."


What is child-led weaning like?
Each child has his own developmental timeline for child-led weaning - the age that a child is ready to self-wean varies greatly from child to child and commonly ranges from age 2 through age 4 (though you certainly see children on either end of this range). When mom initiates weaning, then the closer the child is to weaning on her own, the easier it will be (for both mom and child) to accelerate this natural progression.


Child-led weaning occurs when a child no longer has a need to nurse - nutritionally or emotionally. It's relatively unusual for a baby younger than 18-24 months to self-wean if they are not being encouraged in that direction (though things like mom's pregnancy may also affect the timing).

A child who is self-weaning will almost always cut down on nursing very gradually over a period of months, one session at a time (anything abrupt is most always a strike). Many children will continue with only a nighttime, morning or naptime nursing session (or a combination) for months before weaning. When a child self-weans, she will also have been drinking well from a cup and getting the vast majority of her nutrition from solid foods for a while.



For more ideas on actively weaning, kellymom.com has some great info
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/how_weaning_happens.html
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PattyLA replied on 07-31-2009 3:22 PM

ORIGINAL: BuckeyeMom

Your expectations for clw were unrealistic. It is extremely unusual for a child to self wean at the age that you expected it. 2.5 is pretty much the youngest to expect clw and much older is not unusual at all.
So basing my expectations of DC#2 based on the fact that DC#1 self-weaned at 15 mo was dumb. Got it.


I never said you were dumb, just uninformed. Your first child self weaning at 15 mos has no bearing on when your second child will wean and it is extremely unusual for a child to self wean at that age. Since you said you wanted to do CLW I assumed you had not done any looking into the issue and had no idea when CLW usually happens. I was informing you. To expect CLW at that early age, no matter what a previous child had done is pretty unrealistic. It is like expecting your child to read at 2. A very small number of children do but I would tell any mom who was stressed because her 3 year old was not reading yet because they expected it to happen at 2 that their expectations were unrealistic.
I'm sorry if you were offended my my choice of words. That was not my intent.
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jillybird replied on 08-03-2009 12:03 AM
My girls were 28 months when I weaned them. I was pregnant and had no milk left when they weaned. When I started weaning, they were nursing whenever they asked, but they had night-weaned a few months prior.

I started by offering other ideas when they asked to nurse outside of wake up and sleep times. "I can't give you milk right now, would you like some water? An apple? Cheese?" I tried to figure out why they wanted to nurse and meet that need in a different way -- bored, hungry, comfort, etc.

Then I stopped nursing after nap. I offered a popsicle a few days in a row and that worked.

Then I stopped nursing before nap and rocked them and sang to them. I warned them a day or two in advance.

Then stopped first thing in the morning nursing while we were on vacation & there were lots of other things to do.

I stopped bedtime last and also told them ahead of time that bedtime nursing would stop in X number of days.

I got severe agitation nursing while pregnant, so I was also shortening the length of time they could nurse to what I could stand. It was truly truly horrible. So while I was sad that I was weaning them, I was very relieved to stop. Still I feel badly about how it ended -- it was clear to them something was up with me because I was rocking them at a frantic pace while nursing and racing through the songs I typically sang to them while nursing at break neck speed.

So that's my weaning a toddler story. It was very easy, but I had no milk & was acting in very atypical ways because of the agitation.
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Susannah replied on 08-03-2009 11:33 AM
I have slowly started weaning my 24 month old. Not really weaning, but giving him limits, for the first time.

I first stopped the nursing sessions that he was doing that were maybe out of boredom.
DS: "nursey?"
Me: "would you like to do a puzzle, read a book, go outside?"
Offering him things he enjoyed doing usually made him forget about nursing.

Now, he only asks to nurse during our designated times. (going to sleep or waking up)
I am currently working on stopping the nursing session when he wakes up from his nap. I offer him a drink in a cup he really likes, or some ice chips, which he loves.

Yesterday, when he woke up from his nap, he asked for ice instead of nursing. I can't remember him even waking up without wanting to nurse.

It is a process; I'd like for him to wean in the next 6 months or so.
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doxiegal replied on 12-11-2009 8:13 PM

I'm working on weaning my 25 month old now. Here's the journal I've been keeping about his process. HTH!!

http://www.ftm-forum.com/index.php?topic=6359.0

Danielle   My Blog

Mama to Sean (11/1/2007) and Madison (4/1/2009)

Preggo with #3...due January 3, 2012!

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