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Having a hard time with weaning young toddler threads - Page 4

post #61 of 96
Every momma and child has a personal and long history. Many times I've seen people make assumptions without knowing the full story.

Here is the short version of mine. dd was just over 2.5 and I was pregnant. Everytime she nursed I had to suppress the urge to push her away. I loved cuddling her but something about nursing made me extremely uncomfortable. So I started trying to gently limit. As much as she wanted to wake up or go to sleep. Then during the day I'd count to 10.
It was actually quite painful to nurse so dh started putting her to bed so she could go to sleep without nursing. When dh put her to bed she never asked to nurse and was not at all upset.
As I said it was painful and really uncomfortable so I started offering substitution with the idea that if she persisited and wanted to nurse she could. Every time I offered a cracker or water instead she accepted except once the first week then she didn't ask again till 2 weeks later. Since then she's nursed a few times when she was ill. And tried once after her brother was done.

There were no tears except mine when I realized she was really done. Yet I felt extremely guilty because of the ideals of many CLWers. I felt like she should be nursing till 4 or 5 even though it was clear that she was ready for that transition.
And each time she picked up a little illness the guilt was even larger because I wondered if she maybe wouldn't have been sick if she was nursing.

By most mainstream accounts I did an excellent job but to some people's standards I was a failure.

In my opinion there is a huge difference between the needs of a child and their wants. I give my dd was she needs and I give her a lot of things she wants--but if those things are bad for her or impede on someone else she doesn't get them. She clearly didn't feel the need to nurse only the want of food or a drink and a cuddle.
Some kids do need to nurse till 4 or 6 and some till only 2 or 3.

I too feel frustrated when parents want to wean before their kids are ready but we have to realize that not ever member here follows every AP and NFL aspect the same as you. The best we can do is educate, share our experiences, and lead by example. We all are in different places in our walk of life and we need to understand that and respect it. In my experience people respond better to gentle and loving help than criticism.
post #62 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamao'two
Some kids do need to nurse till 4 or 6 and some till only 2 or 3.
I see a HUGE difference between weaning at 14 months and 30 months. I have, personally, known many children (IRL & on line) who no longer *needed* to nurse at 2-3, not so for 8-18 months.
post #63 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99
I feel you guys too......the subject feels, well, I guess "inapropriate" is the best word...here at MDC...just like you would not come here to discuss your "patient choice elective C/S" or how eagerly you're looking froward to circ'ing your child, or how CIO is so wonderful.....you know what I mean?
What I think really bugs me is that, from the threads I've seen and the simple fact they are here at MDC, that these women KNOW better. I love the quote "when you know better, you do better", so it really kills me when women who KNOW better choose not to do better.....


MMMmm... I can understand not discussing it on a CLW forum, but I thought part of the reason there were two different boards (breastfeeding beyond infancy) was b/c of the difference in viewpoints. To me MDC has a strong connection to bf'ing... but it doesn't necessarily mean every single mom HAS to CLW....

As another poster said, many times a person asking advice for weaning, there is an element of 'crying out' to it. In addition, if someone is on MDC and looking for 'weaning' info, it is probably b/c they are looking to do it as gentle a manner as possible.... kinda similar to not training... a person might be completely against CIO, but not necessarily against helping their child with sleep at some point in time.

My case, dd is 21m.... my situation is she still doesn't sleep through the night. The first year was nothing short of nightmarish.... I was up 6+ times every night, spent 3 horus every night trying everything to get her to sleep, the first three months I nursed in complete pain. She is VERY, very high needs. At somepoint here, I will be looking for help on weaning (not on this forum, b/c this is for CLW... :-) ), but part of the reason.... high needs kids are draining, so much more so than your average child. I get one hour a week to my self (yoga), and any more than that, I can't do b/c she nurses. It would be nice just once in a while to go on a mother's night out. I can't. DD needs me. That's fine... I can't help with my mom's club garage sale this weekend... why? B/c setup is in the evening (she nurses/sleeps and needs me home), and I can't help in the early morning (she nurses nonstop for a 2 hour block between 4am - 8am...)

Nursing is fine, but at some point I need a portion of myself back. I'm not asking for much, just a little, and setting limits with a high needs child is nigh impossible.

Anyway, I think it is as another person posted... a person that has nursed this long and is looking to wean.... it's at least in part b/c they don't see other options based on their particular situation. People then ask on MDC as opposed to other sites, b/c this is the best place to get 'gentle' weaning advice or options. People that ask on this board... well, they just haven't been around long enough to understand this board supports CLW.

Tammy (a lurker on this board, since I don't know if it will be possible to wean a HN child, and so at the moment I'm not, although I did night wean b/c things were spiraling out of control, which some of you consider to be weaning and some of you don't, but did compromise and she nurses for two hours solid when she wakes, and this really is a novel, but too often things are not as black and white as they seem :-) )
post #64 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamao'two
dd was just over 2.5 and I was pregnant. Everytime she nursed I had to suppress the urge to push her away. I loved cuddling her but something about nursing made me extremely uncomfortable. So I started trying to gently limit. As much as she wanted to wake up or go to sleep. Then during the day I'd count to 10.
It was actually quite painful to nurse so dh started putting her to bed so she could go to sleep without nursing. When dh put her to bed she never asked to nurse and was not at all upset.
As I said it was painful and really uncomfortable so I started offering substitution with the idea that if she persisited and wanted to nurse she could. Every time I offered a cracker or water instead she accepted except once the first week then she didn't ask again till 2 weeks later. Since then she's nursed a few times when she was ill. And tried once after her brother was done.

There were no tears except mine when I realized she was really done. Yet I felt extremely guilty because of the ideals of many CLWers. I felt like she should be nursing till 4 or 5 even though it was clear that she was ready for that transition.
And each time she picked up a little illness the guilt was even larger because I wondered if she maybe wouldn't have been sick if she was nursing.

By most mainstream accounts I did an excellent job but to some people's standards I was a failure.
I just wanted to say that the same thing happened to me. My DS was 2yrs-3m and I was 6 months PG and just couldn't take the nursing anymore as it was just so painful. I felt the same guilt, especially when DS #3 was born 7wks early and DS #2 had totally 'forgotten' nursing at all. It made me very sad indeed.

My DS #3 will be 3yrs in January and I plan to CLW.
post #65 of 96
Hey! I read almost this whole thread. I made a post to 'starting to resent nursing 2 yr old'. Then I saw this thread, and misunderstood what it was about. I am glad I stepped in though, cause it helped me realize how my post might have sounded to people that don't know me. If you are a kind, helpful angel please step over to that thread and read my two posts. I am an earthy momma that needs some support, not weaning advice, just coping strategies for health reasons.

Thanks,
With Love,
Carrie
dd 29 mo
post #66 of 96


Really what I'm doing right now. I was on MDC when pregnant with ds #2 and our computer got fried. We just got up and running and I'm back here.
Now he's nearly 8 m.o. and hasn't nursed since he was 6 months . He just wouldn't nurse anymore and I had no other info re: his screaming and refusal to nurse other than give him a bottle, which just perpetuated his refusal to nurse, as I began to dry out . I wish I'd had you all.

Especially because ds has been sick for the past few months. Could this have been avoided? I'm gonna say yes .
post #67 of 96

just a question



I am not trying to add to your grief, but help you find a way through it. Have you kept up your supply through pumping? When you say a bottle, is it mm or formula? You can reestablish your supply. You may be able to get your son back on the breast. It has only been two months... I would have to say from the reaction you say he had to your breast that it was related to something you were eating (I know it seems like an old wives tale, but my daughter also had problems at the breast until I eliminated many things from my diet, but with us it was from 2-6 months, at 6 months I was able to have dairy again in moderation, see http://www.kellymom.com there is a ton of stuff there. I am even able to answer my own question from yesterday after a little looking around there. Have you taked to a lactation specialist? or LLL? If you really want to breastfeed there may be a way...

With Love and Hugs,
Carrie
dd 29 mo

PS I am getting tons of info about alternatives to commercial formula too if you find you are unable to reestablish supply.
post #68 of 96
Quote:
I never know if I can even post in this forum as I can't swear to child led weaning but after reading and feeling so alienated... I just couldn't move on without comment.
I don't know if I can, either. My kids were all over 5 when I weaned them. But I took such an active role in our breastfeeding relationship that I can't match it up with how most people define CLW.

When it comes to weaning young toddlers, I think mothers hope it will solve the *neediness* issue. It won't. It typically just emerges in other forms. Young toddlers need mom a lot. Regardless of breastfeeding.

I've also discovered that age and personality specific routines and limits can help a mom continue the breastfeeding relationship and not feel so closed in on. But, again, that often falls outside the scope of CLW definition.

I'm torn. I do not want to support weaning of young toddlers. But I do want to support moms at their limit.
post #69 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHSer
I'm torn. I do not want to support weaning of young toddlers. But I do want to support moms at their limit.
I think the two are not mutually exclusive. I think it's totally possible to "hear" someone who is at their limit and still not encourage something I don't believe in. I always just turn it back to myself and my own experience. Maybe talking about those times when I thought I wasn't going to survive another almost-no-sleep-because-of-her-inability-to-stay-sleeping-unless-she-was-latched-on-for-hours-at-a-time. And, how those times passed. How when I almost lost it all (mind, body, etc.) due to the stress of it, it seemed that one second later, she slept a longer stretch than ever before. etc. etc.

So, an "I hear you," and an "I've been there" and then an "and this is how I did it."

--Heather
post #70 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHSer

When it comes to weaning young toddlers, I think mothers hope it will solve the *neediness* issue. It won't. It typically just emerges in other forms. Young toddlers need mom a lot. Regardless of breastfeeding.
post #71 of 96
karika - am pm-ing you...
post #72 of 96
i have such mixed emotions about this. i personally can't imagine weaning or even trying.I wouldn't know where to start because i can't not respond to dd's needs.I do feel however that it is each womans decision and that alot of factors contribute to these decisions.I try to respect that. i am not working, but any mother that nurses and works has my vote for as long as she can do it.That must be pretty challenging.I am no closer to weaning now than i was a year ago,but if others choose to do so i will try not to be judgemental-that's not what i'm here for.
post #73 of 96
Quote:
My case, dd is 21m.... my situation is she still doesn't sleep through the night. The first year was nothing short of nightmarish.... I was up 6+ times every night, spent 3 horus every night trying everything to get her to sleep, the first three months I nursed in complete pain. She is VERY, very high needs. At somepoint here, I will be looking for help on weaning (not on this forum, b/c this is for CLW... :-) ), but part of the reason.... high needs kids are draining, so much more so than your average child. I get one hour a week to my self (yoga), and any more than that, I can't do b/c she nurses. It would be nice just once in a while to go on a mother's night out. I can't. DD needs me. That's fine... I can't help with my mom's club garage sale this weekend... why? B/c setup is in the evening (she nurses/sleeps and needs me home), and I can't help in the early morning (she nurses nonstop for a 2 hour block between 4am - 8am...)
My son did not sleep through the night until he was 2.5. I didn't night wean him (tried once or twice and it was a disaster -- very traumatic for him and me. He's extremely strong-willed and not the type of child to do *anything* he's not ready to do.) I've been in your situation and I know how draining it can be.

My son is now 3 and we are CLW. He doesn't nurse much during the day anymore. Mostly he nurses at night and in the mornings (we co-sleep). Sometimes before his nap during the day (when he has one).

I just want to say the needs and the nursing *will* decrease slowly and naturally as they get older. My ds is still high needs (extremely spirited and also Highly Sensitive -- a very challenging combination!). But every day it gets a bit easier. I'm glad we are still nursing because it does make parenting him easier.

Hang in there.
post #74 of 96
I too am made sad by early weaning, but I think that it is important that the comunity as a whole respect and support moms doing their best to meet their children's needs. When a mother is looking for weaning advice some people can offer that advice. Others can not post. Others will post to say what limits or distractions worked to make nursing more pleasant at that age. Then the person asking the question can take what is useful to her.

This community includes a variety of viewpoints. For those who have compared weaning to CIO, I think cold-turkey weaning might be the right thing to compare to CIO. A slow gentle weaning might be more like using the No-Cry Sleep Solutions gimicks. You are trying to cause your child to reach a mile-stone sooner (sleeping through the night or being done nursing) but you still look to your child to see how he or she responds to each step.

We are a family who practices EC (elimination communication) and sometimes the discusions of big thick diapers and the number of hours babies go between changes makes me a little sad for the babies sitting in their own waste, but I realize EC is not something every parent feels ready for.

I hope that I can continue my commitment to CLW, but my child is only 3. Who knows if I am that strong. She nurses so much still and is SO active while she does it.
post #75 of 96
Very good points, and an excellent post, Liliana.
post #76 of 96
Quote:
just want to say the needs and the nursing *will* decrease slowly and naturally as they get older.
This is true for many kids.

But not all, and that's why I no longer embrace CLW as an ideal. I've come to believe it's an artificial construct that emerged in response to a separation minded, accelerated independence loving, bottle feeding culture.
post #77 of 96
I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I do see CLW as the ideal. On the other, I know the realities of parenting a toddler. I love nursing my toddler - and he loves it as well. He has cut way back since I got pregnant, and even refused to nurse for two days. Now when he does nurse, it is very short. Not only am I pregnant, but I am in a lot of pain from kidney stones. So nursing during the day is very uncomfortable for me, while nursing in the morning is much easier.

That being said, DS is almost 22 months old. I am proud that he and I are still nursing. And if he weans when I have my upcoming surgery, I will be sad... and I will miss it... but part of me will be relieved.

Nursing is between a nursing pair. And when one member of the nursing pair wants to cut back some, and the child is not dependent on nursing for nutrition (i.e. a toddler over 18 mo), why is that wrong? Why should a mother feel a backlash - from other nursing mothers - that perhaps a year and a half of nursing several times a day (and night!) might be enough for a person? Why when a mother decides that this is the best for her and her child, that that is considered selfish?

When a mother prematurely weans a child before age 1, such that a child needs to receive artificial milk, I am sad. When a mother prematurely weans a child who is 13, 14, 15 months, I am sad but less so. But why do we say that if you cannot (or don't wish to) reach 3-4 years, that isn't enough?

What of the child that chooses to wean, for a variety of reasons - at 18, 19, 20 months? Is that premature?

That being said, I absolutely support moms putting some limits on nursing so that they can continue nursing. Isn't it better for a mother to cut one or two sessions for her own sanity and comfort, than to wean completely?

I am glad that this forum is here. This has been an eye-opening discussion for me.
post #78 of 96

what is CLW?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryMom2e
That being said, I absolutely support moms putting some limits on nursing so that they can continue nursing. Isn't it better for a mother to cut one or two sessions for her own sanity and comfort, than to wean completely?
Help me out here, folks... Does CLW imply that you NEVER say "no" to a request for nursing? I mean, you stop what you are doing no matter what and nurse?

I've set some limits (no longer willing to nurse when I'm going to the bathroom, for example!) and have said not right this minute a LOT lately, though it's clear that this is making her need to nurse more so I'm going to start tomorrow with making sure our environment allows for me to say yes all day.

Just what does CLW mean? I read through the forum's notes and still don't get it...

Thanks!

--Heather
post #79 of 96
[QUOTE=Ruthla]My feeling is this: if they're going to wean young, why should we also turn them off to all other aspects of AP and NFL? If they feel that MDC is warm and welcoming, they might stay and learn. If they feel "attacked" then they'll go away and grumble about "those crazy hippies."

I believe ANY mom breastfeeding as long as is possible deserves MDC (or any)support, even if she weans before some of us would. For some, a year is long term nursing, and after that it is time to move on. This was not my choice, but it is that way for some moms. I say good for them for doing the year rather than criticizing that effort by admonishing them for weaning.
post #80 of 96
My views:
Yes, I do have a hard time with/get sad reading threads about the forced weaning of infants and toddlers (except for those looking for support because they NEED to do so for medical reasons).

I support all breastfeeding mothers, whether they nurse for 6 days, 6 months or 6 years.

I will not support the forced weaning of a child who isn't ready to wean (except when the weaning is needed due to medical/other reasons).

I would rather a mother get information about gently weaning a child than not get information and cut the child off cold turkey. I've known mothers who planned to gently wean and ended up nursing for several more years because simply cutting down the nursing frequency and getting support helped tremendously.

I believe that all children have a right to be breastfed for at least two years - ideally for as long as they have the need to nurse.

I understand that WAY too many mothers lack the information and support needed to practice child-led weaning - or even to nurse past a year. When the topic of weaning comes up I try to give the mother information and support in hopes that she will feel empowered to listen to her child and continue nursing. It's fine for all of us to spread CLW love, but for some moms in real life the lack of support combined with harsh comments from friends and family day after day make for a hostile environment in which even the best of intentions can seem impossible.

Many of you know that I fully believe that it's a child's right to nurse for as long as they need to nurse. Some of you don't know that when I was pregnant with my first child, I reluctantly agreed to my dh (son of a LLL Leader) to give breastfeeding a try. I couldn't imagine nursing a baby over 3-6 months old. It was only through being empowered to trust my instincts, through the support of friends IRL and online that I learned so much about myself, my baby and breastfeeding and went on to have the nursing relationships I do with my children. My oldest (soon to be 7 years old) self-weaned on his fifth birthday. I'm currently triandem nursing my 5 year old, 3 year old and 11 week old. I've been nursing for almost 7 year straight, have nursed through three pregnancies, tandem nursing through two of them, and am triandem nursing for the second time. Support, encouragement, empowerment and education are all needed (in most cases) for a successful nursing relationship - and especially so for a successful CLW relationship.

I would love to live in my ideal world, where everyone is informed about normal, natural nursing relationships, where everyone has support and encouragement IRL, and where the topic of forced weaning would only come up due to medical reasons - but the reality is that many of the mamas who come to MDC aren't educated about normal, natural nursing relationships and do not have support and encouragement IRL. I see the need for weaning threads - not because we should support forced weaning, but because we should (if we choose) use them as opportunities to educate and give alternatives.

I love it that we have this forum (Child-Led Weaning) to retreat to when the weaning threads get to be too much.

I hope some of this makes sense - I'm totally sleep deprived and am amazed that I can form a few coherent sentences!
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