So I always saw child-led weaning as a fairly peaceful process of the child in question gradually cutting back on his/her own and eventually just stopping altogether. This morning, though, I started to wonder if sometimes we'll get other signs that aren't so peaceful.
Here's the issue. For the past nine months, my son has gradually been decreasing his nursing; for several months we've been down to sleep-time only nursing (before naps, bed, after waking up, etc.), and generally nursing no more than 2-4 times a day. He wasn't quite night-weaned, but we were getting there and both of our sleep patterns were improving. And to be clear, he would only nurse when I was the one putting him down--my husband can get him to sleep on his own, as can my mother, though it does generally take some cuddling.
Then he started teething--molars--and the nightweaning went all to heck. He had been nursing at bedtime, then again when he woke up and wandered in to snuggle with us (anywhere between midnight and 4 am), and then one more time when we were ready to get up for the day. Since the teething started, about a month back or so, he's been wanting to nurse ALL NIGHT. As in, I swear he smells me when I come in to go to bed (we have only one bedroom, so his toddler bed is on one side and our bed is on the other), wakes up, comes into bed with us, and then is extremely resistant to pulling off and just sleeping. Needless to say, our sleep has been terrible, because either he's dozing and nursing and I'm dozing and hoping to disengage myself, or I'm saying "No, I want to sleep," and he's throwing a horrible temper tantrum.
This morning was the last straw. He came to bed with us around 3:30-4 am, tried to nurse for the next two or so hours, and when I finally put my foot down at around 5:30, he threw a huge temper tantrum. At one point we got him calmed down and back into a snuggle with us, but then he started plucking at my sleep bra again, I said "No," and he threw another temper tantrum (kicking, yelling, flopping on the floor, throwing any pacifier we tried to give him, etc). The end came when he stood up, looked at me, picked up his water cup, and deliberately threw it at my face (and since I was lying down, it hit relatively hard). That resulted in me leaving the room and Daddy sternly telling him no. He eventually calmed down enough to want Daddy to snuggle him, but DH and I talked about it, and we're interpreting the sleeping issues and temper tantrums as a sign that maybe it's just time to wean altogether. Yes, DS likes nursing still, but it seems to be causing more negative problems than positive benefits, partly for me, but also very much for him in the form of the refusal to sleep well when there's a boob close by.
So this morning was probably it. I'm going to try and just wean him. I'm really not thrilled about this, but it seems to me that it's time, now that nursing has become an interruption and not a regular part of the schedule. Just to be clear, I guess what I'm looking for is a bit of support that I've probably made the right decision, and I'm not just being selfish here . . .