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How young can they really Child Led Wean? - Page 4

post #61 of 107
I had every intention of nursing my son for longer than two years. Unfortuanatly that didn't happen. Around 12 months he stopped nursing during the day. I offered it all day, every hour or so for a long time. He had no interest. He wanted to play. He still nursed for bed time and when he woke up. He quit his morning nursing soon after that. I tried, but he honestly didn't want to. Then I got pregnant after a few weeks he would take a few sips and push me away. He would then cry and want dh. I was so devestated. Here he wanted to, but wouldn't. After a week or so, he quit even trying at night. When I miscarried I tried to nurse him again, but it was like he forgot what to do and it had only been 3 or 4 weeks since he had last tried. I wasn't ready for him to quit and I tried, but he didn't want to. If someone wants to say he didn't wean himself I don't care. I am the only one who was here and knows what was goin on, how he was acting. I was glad just to nurse him that long. I didn't get to with dd. We had alot of issues and I didn't have any idea that I could do more than what I was doing. It was a precious gift to nurse him that long and I won't let anyone take any of it away from me.
post #62 of 107
Regarding ecological breastfeeding: I just heard of it myself a few weeks ago, when a friend of mine told me that that is what I had been doing. It is linked to natural childspacing and lactational amenorrhea (see KellyMom: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/fertility.html).

Quote:
You can achieve higher effectiveness by practicing ecological breastfeeding:

- keeping baby close
- nursing on cue
- nursing at night
- using nursing to comfort your baby
- nursing in a lying-down position for naps and at night
- using no bottles or pacifiers

If you practice ecological breastfeeding:

- Chance of pregnancy is practically zero during the first three months, less than 2% between 3 and 6 months, and about 6% after 6 months (assuming mom's menstrual periods have not yet returned).
- The average time for the return of menstrual periods is 14.6 months.
- Moms whose cycles return early tend to be infertile for the first few cycles. Moms whose cycles return later are more likely to ovulate before their first period.
I think that you can continue to ecologically breastfeed for at least the first two years, especially since my period did not return until just after ds' second birthday. We continue to practice all aspects of ecological breastfeeding, even though he eats solid food now.

I'm sure that bc I am breastfeeding this way, our breastfeeding relationship continues longer than it would have if I were not to have. But I have to say that ds is a very spirited child and made me the mom and breastfeeder that I am today! I take it day by day, month by month, year by year.... I never knew we would nurse this long, and I continue to learn about natural durations of breastfeeding, especially here at MDC!

I hope that I haven't been coming across as offensive or anything in my posts here. I really don't mean to! Just passing on my personal experience with breastfeeding, which is nothing like I ever expected it to be.
post #63 of 107
I'm having a hard time understanding a few things:

1. Why it matters whether any particular woman claims to have practiced CLW vs. CRW with their children, based on various criteria. Does it really matter? There is no prize for nursing a longer time, or for having a "better" weaning by some exalted definition. Let's remember it is about a relationship between mother and child, and that's all. I think maybe the difference between CLW and CRW may be more subtle than all of that. It is a give and take between mother and child. Of course, I haven't experienced final weaning yet. But even the LLL materials I have been reading don't make this grand distinction between what is and isn't CLW.

2. How is a child deciding on their own to wean during a pregnancy, not considered CLW? Especially assuming the mother did nothing in the way of limiting nursing to regain her fertility, and did not plan the pregnancy but let the universe decide, how would that weaning be considered mother-led?

3. Someone made the comment that a mom who used "don't offer, don't refuse" at some point could not be considered to be doing CLW. So, if a child nurses until he, on his own, seemingly outgrows the need, and does not ask anymore, well past the point when he/she is verbal --but the mother is not offering, though she is still available by request --some of you do *not* consider this CLW? Are we supposed to continue offering even when the child does not ask, in public or private, at 2, 3, 4 years and upward? This was implied by at least one of the posts.
*At what point does "dont' offer, don't refuse" just seem to become a natural part of the nursing relationship, and not so much a mother-led technique? * (I ask partly because I still offer at times when my son seems to need it but doesn't ask).
post #64 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by clothcrazymom
I remember reading something that one of the moms who's child weaned at around 7 posted about not understanding how someone can consider themselves to CLW when they haven't been there yet. I found it very interesting because she was talking about her own experiences and how she thought it would be a certain way and it wasn't.
I think this was probably me, though I'm not sure I understand your second part re: how I thought it would be a certain way (maybe it wasn't me?). I do think that child-led weaning is exactly that, weaning that is child-led. No stretch of the word "wean", just the complete cessation of nursing. I understand what others mean when they say that once the child starts solids the "weaning" has started, therefore the entire length of breastfeeding from-late-infancy-on is considered a weaning process. I have always seen child-led-weaning in a very simple way, the ultimate decision to stop breastfeeding is made by the child. Once a child reaches a certain age, say 4, then the mother usually knows whether they are in it for the long haul (child-led weaning) or not. Though other in-tune well-informed mothers know from the get-go that they will let their child wean when they are ready regardless of age. Our children show us what is right for them. I honestly didn't even know there was a term child-led weaning until my daughter was well past 5, then the phrase just seemed to fit what we were doing, I didn't make what we were doing fit the phrase, KWIM? It is a term, IMHO, that helps us find one another for support and kinship, definitely not to one-up anyone nor compete with anyone for who can go the longest, the strictest to the term, etc. My daughter simply nursed til the outer edges of Katherine Dettwyler's statistics (though I believe even that is a little short). I know there are others like us, here at MDC too, and I so wish that more mothers would be brave and trusting enough to let their children nurse as long as they wanted.

I was one of those mothers who night-weaned dd when she was a young toddler, before she was ready. I also introduced solids at 6 months, dr. said to and she wanted to...this was all before I had any support. I fit a lot of the criteria that others have said are not CLW, yet my daughter continued to nurse until age 7. I even did don't offer, don't refuse when she passed 4yrs. Would I recommend others follow in those same footsteps? No way, especially if it leads to early weaning for their child. I would recommend that every mother stop listening to society's harmful ignorance and start listening to their children. When it all boils down to it, dd did (and still does) come first and foremost. Getting all caught up in advice and "THE right way to do it" is dangerous for everyone's well-being.

Other people believe CLW is letting the child completely lead the way through the nursing relationship. I think that's fine. I do have a different view on it, and that's okay too. I would consider it child-led breastfeeding (how's that for another term to add to the pot?). Both views take the child's well-being into account and place a high value of, and level of trust on, the child and I think that's wonderful. I consider us to have practiced child-led weaning but I have no problem with anyone who disagrees with me due to their own ideals. It's okay. IMO I wouldn't consider any of us (early weaning, late weaning, in-between weaning) against one another, or one-upping each other, or criticizing our differences. We simply have different views on it. Diversity is healthy.



(Not sure if that clarified anything or if I just added another chapter to my wordy novel. It's late and I'm so tired. :yawning: )
post #65 of 107
Me too. I didn't think of nursing in terms of child lead weaning but to me thats what it was. She was almost 6 years old when she totally weaned.

We also night weaned, talked about weaning, talked about a weaning party, don't offer don't refuse.

But I also feel I let my kids learn to use the toliet on their own too. I did not potty train, but we did talk about it.

Its a learning process. Not everyone potty trains the same and not everyone nurses or weans a child the same.

But we still are all similar
post #66 of 107
Thread Starter 
It's really interesting to hear of all the different experiences!

Just to let you know, Mother Sunshine - It wasn't you I was referring to....but your reporting of your own experiences sounds similar to what the other mom talked about. The other mom talked about how her child weaned around 7 and by some of the conversations now on these threads they wouldn't fit into the "CLW" definition. That was hard for me to understand personally because I would certainly think that someone who had bf so long would be in the CLW category but now in reading what some feel the criteria would be...I can understand where age really wouldn't have anything to do with it (I guess) but then I would think it could be stated that age wouldn't have anything to do with it on the other side either...for those with younger children.

It's sortof confusing

While I sortof hate all the extra terms getting tossed out lately....I think the Child Led Nursing term might be a really good one! LOL

Firemom - good analogy with the potty training!

I think it's easy on these boards to get caught up in very specific listings of what something is or is not. But that isn't reality. In life nothing is so concrete.
post #67 of 107
just found this thread and enjoying the posts, although have to say that it is a bit more defensive on the part of mothers whose children have weaned, self or "urged/encouraged"- beofre two, which is disappointing.

i got the latest motheringin yesterday-- there is an article on a child breastfeeding at 5. it was a beautiful vision for me, and brought tears to my eyes. i haven't read the whole thing yet, just skimmmed, but i look forward to it. my dd is 20 months, and i look froward to a long nursing relationship, and hope i have the inner courage to allowr her to truly self wean.

i personally "self weaned" at 9 mo - but my mother used a pacifier, fed me foods starting at 4 mo, and did not co-sleep w/ me. so my food and psyeudo "nurturing" needs were "me"t in other ways. i was so relieved to read about ways to encourage the breastfeeding relationship so that this would not happen w/ me and dd.

dd is pulling on me- hav e to go.


lisa
post #68 of 107
Just my own answers:

Quote:
1. Why it matters whether any particular woman claims to have practiced CLW vs. CRW with their children, based on various criteria. Does it really matter?
Nope, doesn't matter. Does it *really* matter what you call the color red? No, but there is an ACTUAL color red. Saying that something is not what another is saying is is is not putting them down

Quote:
2. How is a child deciding on their own to wean during a pregnancy, not considered CLW? Especially assuming the mother did nothing in the way of limiting nursing to regain her fertility, and did not plan the pregnancy but let the universe decide, how would that weaning be considered mother-led?
Lets say a mother put spicy powder on her nipples. Then the child weaned. Was that "child-led"? No. Why? Because the child did not have a *real* choice in the matter. There is NOTHING the mother can do at that point, but at the same time there is not a *real* choice given to the child. It is a matter of semantics, and there, IMO, should be no negative associations w/that weaning or mother, but it *is* different is some fundamental ways.

Quote:
3. Someone made the comment that a mom who used "don't offer, don't refuse" at some point could not be considered to be doing CLW. So, if a child nurses until he, on his own, seemingly outgrows the need, and does not ask anymore, well past the point when he/she is verbal --but the mother is not offering, though she is still available by request --some of you do *not* consider this CLW?
I am confused by that as well. I can see it's application towards a younger child (or an out of control child--- sometimes they get so stressed they just don't *think* to ask) but I don't consider it the mother's responsibility to actively seek nursing past a certain age. To each their own

Seren, I don't want you to feel defensive, but:

Quote:
Around 12 months he stopped nursing during the day. I offered it all day, every hour or so for a long time.
So was he just not eating *anything*?
post #69 of 107
as far as "don't offer, don't refuse", it's a well-known weaning technique suggested at LLL meetings all the time (at least in my town, it is). I would say that not offering the breast to a 4yo is just as common as offering it. I know lots of mamas who offer the breast as soon as their kid gets hurt. Or if they want the kid to take a nap. So, not offering is suggested when those mamas want to cut back on nursing. Don't refuse is self-explanatory, I think.

I know 2 of my kids weaned due to pregnancy. That cannot be considered CLW, b/c, if I hadn't been pregnant, chances are great that those children would have continued nursing. Now, my dd1 nursed thru my pregnancy, and we ended up tandem nursing. She was just more persistant than the others, I suppose. But, it doesn't mean that the ones who weaned during my pregnancy CLWed.
post #70 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
Seren, I don't want you to feel defensive, but:



So was he just not eating *anything*?
So, at what age is appropriate to start giving solids? I don't remember the exact age, but it was some time before that. Not just for my own benefit. My son was almost labeled failure to thrive. We starting feeding him food, trying to get him to gain any weight at all. Rather than 1 ounce in a few months. And, like I said, I refuse to allow anyone to make me feel guilty.

Sorry, I'm cranky today.
post #71 of 107
As I said, I am NOT trying to make you feel defensive OR guilty.

But, this was supposed to be a discussion on the ability of children to CLW before a certain age.

I also introduced solids to my children well before their first birthday. BUT, if they showed dimenished nursing I cut back on their other liquids *first*. Why? Because bmilk was the healthies thing they ate--- if they were going to limit what they ate, I was going to limit their choices to what was best for them.

I am not attacking you, just pointing out that there are all different takes on this situation.

Kay
post #72 of 107
Seren---

I wanted to add a few things:

1)

2) I wanted to clarify while I believe certain things, and I would recommend certain things to a mother in this situation (such as offering nursing before food, etc...) I in no way would want to instill guilt *after* the situation is over and gone. What is done is done and there is NO way to tell if you could have done anything to alter the outcome. If you are not having additional children, put it out of your mind.
post #73 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
I'm one of those. I'll be happy to discuss it with you, if you like - just generally prefer not to get caught up in another "Do I fit someone else's criteria for CLW?" thread. (Says I as I happily nurse my almost-4-year-old for the umpteen millionth time today).
I agree with Dragonfly (that's a surprise!) I have never believed that my nursing relationship with my children was so tenuous that to have to delay (not just out of "convenience") or when pregnant, to *ask* my dd if we could nurse at 6 am, instead of 5 am (which often left us both awake and tired for the day) would lead them to weaning. My dd was 4 at that time and quite ok with it. When my son wanted to nurse *again* and we had to meet my dd at the door of her music lesson, I asked him to wait until we collected his sister (he was 3).

I shudder at such absolutes on these forums and hope that moms who are reading and aspire to CLW realize they can set an occassional limit or make adjustments if they need to, and it doesn't spell the word "wean". I am not talking about solids at 4 mos., pacifiers or dad walking a crying baby at night.

Perhaps I have been fortunate that my children have been eager nursers, but I think sometimes moms need encouragement and support....that may actually help to preserve a nursing relationship. Perhaps it is the trust my children have that I respect our nursing, and will never make the weaning decision for them that has enabled us to continue. We practice CLW, it is just that the precautions you take as infant not to encourage weaning can change as the child grows into childhood.
post #74 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom4tot
or dad walking a crying baby at night.
you make such good points .

i do want to say i think dad walking a crying baby at night does not need to spell wean either.

we moms are only human. i can vaguely remember my dh walking and trying to comfort one of our babies at night because my exhaustion had reached the point that it was no longer safe for me to not let him help. i certainly don't think of that as the first step in clw.

even now, with my youngest nurslings being toddlers, there are times that i am too tired to continue nursing them both safely and still more times that they refuse to nurse with the other baby. i don't see that dh taking one of them to rock until the other goes to sleep is a step clw, i only see it as what gets us through another night.

and finally, i have another child who i would like to let clw. however, when she was 2 years old i had twins. i only have two breasts . she is still nursing but i did have to put limits on it. if there are three wanting to nurse at a given time someone has to wait.

the strict definitions and ultimatums just don't always work in real life.
post #75 of 107
Forgive me resimom. I wasn't referring to the scenario you describe

I was actually referring to moms who are attempting to wean, but the night nursings are of course, the hardest. As a LLL leader, I have asked if they have help at night...that sometimes dad can soothe the baby eaiser than mom who the baby knows could nurse him/ her. It sounds like you could use an extra boob!
post #76 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by resimom
i can vaguely remember my dh walking and trying to comfort one of our babies at night because my exhaustion had reached the point that it was no longer safe for me to not let him help.
to clarify: i did not reach this point with my singletons.

but then i was thinking, there were some times (few, very few) that a teething baby would not nurse and preferred to be carried by dad. our kiddos teethe late, starting at about a year, so i think dad carrying a cryer can be child led.
i guess i'm feeling a bit defensive about the crying thing. when i had singletons i almost never heard them cry. my twins have cried more, it is just impossible to meet all their needs instantly especially if you refuse help from dad.

my dh jokes that even though he is a seasoned dad he didn't really get to help with a newborn until we had twins.
post #77 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom4tot
It sounds like you could use an extra boob!
lol! we were cross posting. no more boobs for me tyvm .
post #78 of 107
I agree about dads helping out doesn't rule out clw. My dd cluster nursed as an infant, from 6 pm to 12:30 am. There were a few nights around 11 or when dh walked with her for a little while, when my breasts couldn't take it anymore.

Ben sometimes cried in the evening, he wouldn't nurse. He would cry for a half hour or so. Totally different from dd, who never cried and nursed 24/7. Babies can be so different. I know it is hard to hear them cry...I can't imagine twins AND a toddler
post #79 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by resimom
there were some times (few, very few) that a teething baby would not nurse and preferred to be carried by dad.
This discussion and particularly this quote caught my eye...because my baby almost always prefers to be with dad to go to sleep, and has since she was under 1 mo. old. SO many of my friends are starting to worry that their babies have "suck-to-sleep association," and I'm sitting here WISHING my babe had such a wonderful thing!

My dd is only 4 mos., and I *thought* our nursing relationship was pretty good - she's fat and happy, etc. Except, nursing is often hard for her, because of my continued overactive letdown, and she often refuses the breast for an hour or two before she will calm down to nurse for bedtime. She rarely nurses to sleep, for naps too, and usually prefers to be rocked/bounced/walked by DH.

So am I jeopardizing my future nursing relationship with her? How do I improve the nursing experience? We have done everything we can to deal with the letdown issue - she still nurses on one side for 2-4 feedings. Nighttime is good; she loves nursing while asleep (literally - eyes never open), but daytime feedings are getting less and less frequent already.

Help! (Should I start a new thread?)

Sarah
post #80 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom4tot
I shudder at such absolutes on these forums and hope that moms who are reading and aspire to CLW realize they can set an occassional limit or make adjustments if they need to, and it doesn't spell the word "wean". I am not talking about solids at 4 mos., pacifiers or dad walking a crying baby at night.

Perhaps I have been fortunate that my children have been eager nursers, but I think sometimes moms need encouragement and support....that may actually help to preserve a nursing relationship. Perhaps it is the trust my children have that I respect our nursing, and will never make the weaning decision for them that has enabled us to continue. We practice CLW, it is just that the precautions you take as infant not to encourage weaning can change as the child grows into childhood.
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