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How young can they really Child Led Wean?

post #1 of 107
Thread Starter 
I was having a conversation about this with someone and I know it comes up from time to time on different boards where mom's say their baby weaned at a year or 18 months or whatever.

Just wondering what you all think.
post #2 of 107
My DS weaned himself when I was pg....he was 16 months old. Now I will admit that in the first trimester nursing was *very* painful and I was *very* sore so I did limit the amout of time he was on the breast...but once it passed he had free range again and simply stopped nursing one night and never asked again....
post #3 of 107
I think that it depends on the child, but in my opinion I think even 2 is very young to self-wean (provided the mother is still making milk and is making breastfeeding readily available to the child).
post #4 of 107
I can't answer the question because my nursling is too little.

I do get a little irked when I hear moms say "DC weaned her/himself" at 18 months or less when it's obviously a nursing strike or another non-CLW scenario. I'm not trying to castigate women who need or want to wean, I just wish everyone would be more fastidious about the language and not misues the term. Calling a nursing strike "CLW" is a sign of either confusion or dishonesty and there's too much of both surrounding breastfeeding in our culture.

Uh, that was a little rant, wasn't it? Hope it was too derailing-ish, Crazyclothmom!
post #5 of 107
On a related note, I hear very few people make the distinction between CLW and CRW. There's nothing wrong with CRW -- it's very gentle and very AP -- and I hope that I hear the term used more frequently, because it seems to more accureately reflect what happens. Keep in mind, this is just my unfounded opinion, having never done any of it!
post #6 of 107
What is CRW?

The other day a mother told me her child stopped wanting to nurse at 9 mos. I found that more than a little hard to believe, but I don't know the situation so....

~ Robin
mama to Evan,8 Maya,5 and Gwen,16 mos.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleu
On a related note, I hear very few people make the distinction between CLW and CRW. There's nothing wrong with CRW -- it's very gentle and very AP -- and I hope that I hear the term used more frequently, because it seems to more accureately reflect what happens. Keep in mind, this is just my unfounded opinion, having never done any of it!
post #7 of 107
I did not "need or want" to wean my 17 month old ds. He was not on a nursing strike, I tried and tried to keep him nursing. I pumped when he wouldn't nurse to keep up my supply, I offered the breast at every opportunity, I took warm baths with him several times a week for over a month, I did so many other things to keep our nursing relationship going.
Even after he stopped nursing completely, I pumped to keep up my milk suppy in case he wanted to nurse again. This went on for almost two months when finally I decided I was pushing it for myself and that he really was ready to wean HIMSELF.

I cannot believe how insensitive the above poster is being, I have been mourning the loss of my nursing relationship with my son for the past 5.5 months and to read how you think a mother who "claims CLW" is either lying or confused, well it just cuts me to the core.

I know I am sensitive about this issue and probably over reacting but I know from very sad experience that yes, they "really can wean that young". I wanted a child that would nurse until he was 3 or 4 and beyond
but instead I got a very independent little toddler who decided that he didn't need his mama's milk anymore and he decided it on his own.

I apologize if I am coming off harsh here, but I don't even know what the point of this thread is.

Jane

edited to add, I was taking issue with bleu's first post in this thread but it took me too long to type this response.
post #8 of 107
New to this forum and NAK

My daughter weaned at 18 months, but it was definitely not completely her decision- I was pg and taking progesterone to maintain the pregnancy. That said, however, she was always less "committed" to nursing than my first son, who nursed throughout another progesterone-supported pregnancy until age 3.

Annette
post #9 of 107
Can't us mama's give each other a break already? I mean if a baby nurses for 18 months that is a wonderful gift that mama gave that baby! We should all be proud of the mama and baby!
I don't think that anyone can ever say all babies do this or no baby has ever done that. All people are different and unless you know the specific situation at hand I think it's always a bad idea to generalize!
post #10 of 107
BTW, I didn't mean to imply that a child who nurses past 18 months is not independent. I certainly don't believe that.

mraven...
post #11 of 107
I still don't know what CRW is! I'd like to know about an alternative to CLW that is gentle and good....
post #12 of 107
[QUOTE=kaimama] I cannot believe how insensitive the above poster is being, I have been mourning the loss of my nursing relationship with my son for the past 5.5 months and to read how you think a mother who "claims CLW" is either lying or confused, well it just cuts me to the core.
QUOTE]

ITA- that's a very painful comment to make towards any mother. but I've also heard people say this about the 3 or 4 year old who weans her/himself also.....kind of sounds like a "last one standing" philosopohy to me- a contest to one-up the next mama (i am NOT referring to pps specifically- hope it doesn't sound that way, reference is to other clw/crw comments).....if we know our own children the *best* and our instincts are to be *trusted* and *nurtured*- and i believe in my heart these are all true- then who is someone else to judge?? my son will wean when HE is ready- not when someone else (be they mainstream or ap) thinks he is. if someone else deems that "too early" frankly i'd put them in the same category as the people who already deem me "nursing too long"- disrespectful to the uniqueness, individuality and beauty in each nursing relationship.

i also agree that many people don't understand clw versus crw (child-respectful weaning which i use in cojunction with gentle-weaning but this may not be totally accurate so anyone feel free to correct me!!) versus nursing strike, etc. but when someone says "hey yes, i do know these terms and THIS is my situation" my only response is compassion and respect.
post #13 of 107
Most 18 month old that I have know don't really go on nursing strikes.....they simply decided they don't want to nurse anymore (if that is the case) why is that so hard to believe????? Why if they obviously don't care about nursing should a mom feel like they need to somehow 'make' the child want to nurse? Why should they continue to offer or freak out about it? I mean we are not talking about a little baby that truly is on a *nursing strike* we are talking about a toddler that has decided for themselves (like they often do ) that they don't need to nurse any more......I just don't understand why this is so difficult for some people to believe and understand.
post #14 of 107
I do believe that the vast majority of children who wean before about two had decisions made for them that encouraged that weaning (for example, earlier solids introduction, use of bottles or sippies, etc...). That said, I don't really care either.

People on this board have allowed me to say that my DD "self-weaned" though IN REALITY, she did decide when her last nursing would be, but the limits I put on her *before* that completley changed her nursing timeline (IMO).

I have a good friend who's children have nursed 13, 16 and 15 months. She considers them to have weaned themselves down to one nursing daily and then she pushed that last one. Now, if she wanted to nurse longer, I would have MANY, MANY suggestions to make to change that but she doesn't want to change it, so I don't. KWIM? So, if she wanted to change that for a future child, that would be easy (IMO) but to say that her children didn't cut down *on their own* is pretty meaningless. And especially after the fact saying, "well, if you didn't start bottles at nine months maybe he wouldn't have weaned at 18 months" doesn't even make senseto do, imo.

That said, I don't really even think about CLW until after at least two, probably more like three (not think about doing it, but putting it in that context) because I figure children that age really can't make a *real* long term decision anyway.

Honestly, probably some of my opinions come down to good ole jealousy though. I would LOVE my children to self-wean right at 2.5-3. I get so jealous hearing these wonderful loving stories of self-weanings at 2-2.5 when I think about how HARD it was to nurse through a pg, tandem nurse, deal w/thrush and a two year old, etc... So, chalk up any negative feelings I exhibit to a bad attitude
post #15 of 107
Quote:
Most 18 month old that I have know don't really go on nursing strikes.....they simply decided they don't want to nurse anymore (if that is the case) why is that so hard to believe????? Why if they obviously don't care about nursing should a mom feel like they need to somehow 'make' the child want to nurse? Why should they continue to offer or freak out about it? I mean we are not talking about a little baby that truly is on a *nursing strike* we are talking about a toddler that has decided for themselves (like they often do ) that they don't need to nurse any more......I just don't understand why this is so difficult for some people to believe and understand.
I cannot answer why it is important for others, but I can for me. I believe that the chance that a child who was ecologically bfed from birth to wean before two would be rare enough to be statistically absent (not to say it doesn't happen, just that you can gamble on it not). I feel very strongly that every child deserves to be nursed for two years minimum. Since I believe that, I would have a lot of problems "allowing" my child to wean before that time frame. If there was nothing else I could do, I would pump, pump, pump as much as I could until at least two. I can't imagine my children doing that (for one thing, they would have no milk source, lol, and hardly any food intake!) but that is the decision I have made for my family. It is something important to me--- is that difficult for you to understand?
post #16 of 107
My post was insensitive to you, Kaimama; I'm sorry you felt bad over it. I'm also sorry that your son weaned before you wanted him to. I would be very upset if my son weaned before I was ready, too. Actually, I think I might be upset, or at least wistful and missing it when he weans no matter what.

Honestly, I wasn't really trying to be sensitive to various breastfeeding mothers and their histories; I was writing about how nitpicky I am about language use. We were talking about breastfeeding (mis)information in the abstract, not dissecting a particular nursing relationship (e.g., yours). You weren't in this thread yet when I posted, so it really wasn't as if I criticized you; you presented your account after I posted.

I also specifically said that I was NOT intending to bash anyone, including anyone in this thread or forum. My personal pique (which I think is a lot less judgmental than a lot of what I've read on this forum) doesn't mean I go around correcting other mothers and denigrating the validity of their experiences!

TiredX2 said "I do believe that the vast majority of children who wean before about two had decisions made for them that encouraged that weaning (for example, earlier solids introduction, use of bottles or sippies, etc...)." That is what I was referring to when I said people are misstating it when they say a very young toddler has CLWed.

Mamatoo3, CRW is "child-respectful weaning."
post #17 of 107
what TiredX2 said - I would have said essentially the same thing but she posted first!
post #18 of 107
Kellymom has good info about selfweaning Here's the page:

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/babyselfwean.html


Based on a biological perspective it seems logical that only a small number of babies would choose to stop nursing before they are nearing two years. As we all know so well, they are all individuals and follow their own path. I saw a post yesterday from a mom whose 12 month old seems to be meeting all the natural criteria for self weaning. I do believe a few babies do this, and it doesn't reflect on the mama in terms of quality of mothering.

That said, I am one mom who inadvertantly encouraged weaning with my first child and had no idea that I was doing it. So I accidentally weaned ds1 and then misidentified the process as 'selfweaning' when it really wasn't. I've since learned more about it and ds2 will either be CLW or CRW after the age of two, I really don't know til I get there.

I hope that when a mom asks about selfweaning we can give out the accurate info she needs, not so that she will choose what we think is right but so she can understand what she is doing when she does make a decision. I feel this way because a) you can't force a child to continue nursing if they don't want to, and b) true selfweaning at a year or 18 months is not going to have dire consequences. I think it's as unrealistic to expect 100% of children to nurse past the age of two as it is to expect 100% of children to follow a set growth pattern. Most probably will, in general, but some won't. In nature, normal is variable.
post #19 of 107
i GUESS IT DEPENDS. i WAS 7 MONTHS PREGNANT WHN YANA WEANED. (SORRY CAPS) I know it was because my milk was drying up but she stopped asking, I never limited her she stoppd on her own. I think if I had more milk though she would not have. she was 16months.
post #20 of 107
I have a friend whose middle sone self-weaned at 15 months, however she was pregnant at the time. Now the mom is still nursing his older (5year old) brother and his little ( 1 year old) brother. It was certainly child-led on the part of this child.
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