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For mamas who want to wean without saying "no"

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
while i was on holidays, i was talking to one of my mama's oldest friends about breastfeeding and weaning. this woman has had six children and breastfed them all (from 9 months to 3 years). i was telling her about how i am finding it hard to night wean melia, and she shared with me her weaning method that she used on four of the six kids.
some 20 years ago, a child health nurse told her to smear vegemite (www.vegemite.com.au) all over her nipples and offer the breast to the child. she said the child would be so revolted by the sight of the nipple, that they would not want to nurse.
so she tried it, and said it worked extremely well.

i was so intriguied by all of this, that once we returned from our holiday, i decided to try it. 2 nights ago i smeared vegemite all over the right nipple (the one i use 90% of the time) and offered it to melia from across the room. now, normally melia would jump at the opportunity, but instead she just shot me a really confused look as she examined boobie. she came to latch on, but then pulled herself back, took another look, whined for around 5 seconds, and then walked away. she did this around 10 times.
i told her that it was sleep time now, and so we went to bed together. she pulled my shirt up again to see if anything had changed. once she realised it hadn't, she rolled over and tried to go to sleep. it took a little longer than usual to get her to sleep because there was no boobie to lull her to sleep.. but there were NO TEARS! no tantrums. nothing of the sort. just a calm little melia who didn't want to nurse (and kept giggling and rolling around in bed). and i think she felt calm because she rejected the breast, instead of me rejecting her.

she would wake up throughout the night and yet again check out the goods to see if anything had changed. she'd realise nothing had changed, and would go back down to sleep. i found that she hugged me more and slept on my chest more than usual. she'd also leave my shirt up and just put her face in my chest. poor kiddo.

come morning, and i wipe all the vegemite off. i offer her the breast. she shakes her head to say "no". i offered a few more times after that and she just kept shaking her head. i felt a little sad because i didn't want to wean her entirely, so i hand expressed some milk and put in a cup for her to drink. she drank some, then handed the rest back to me and shook her head again.



i then remembered the left breast hadn't been "traumatised" with the vegemite and offered it to her. she recognised it was the left one and latched on right away. had i not offered the left breast, she would of weaned entirely.

i did it again last night, and she whined maybe twice when she'd take a look, and again there were no tears. she would still get up and have a look during the night though. in the morning i wiped the vegemite off and she latched on right away.

tonight i did the same thing and the cheeky little girl was watching me put the vegemite on! she kept following me around and poked her head to see what mama was doing with boobie. when she saw it had been put on, she didn't ask for boobie. she just shot me a little smile as if to say "oh, this again".

five minutes ago she woke up, latched on by accident and quickly pulled off with a disgusted look on her face. she went back to sleep within a few seconds.

and this is all coming from a toddler who can nurse at least 4-5 times in one hour and still ask for more. if i even so much as said "no boobie now", you'd better block your ears and run for the hills. her world is boobie, boobie, boobie. i'm really shocked that she is taking it this well. it seems almost like a magic potion.

anyway, i'm going to keep this up, and hopefully in a week or so's time, she will realise that when night time falls, boobie tastes like vegemite. she is already falling asleep much more easily than before. i can tell she is starting to realise that there is life after boobie. and hugs and kisses are just as good.

so yeah... i just thought i'd share this with you all. some mamas may find this method cruel, but i don't. to me, it's alot less traumatic then gradual weaning or saying "no, not now" and making the babe feel rejected each time you say it (that's what happened with my dd). and holy crapola - it works!

i'm not sure if you can get vegemite in the states, but it's worth a shot to have a look around. i think you can order it online.

and
post #2 of 61
Thread Starter 
please don't mind my spelling. it's late at night and i can't be bothered.
post #3 of 61
That is cruel and not an AP practice at all. I would never do that to my child.

-Angela
post #4 of 61
I cannot even find the words.
post #5 of 61
I needed to add that it is well within "normal" for a 17 month old to still nurse at night.
post #6 of 61
Wow. That's reminiscent of "training" a dog not to get into something by tempting him and then smacking him on the nose when he gets close.

I support you in wanting to wean...but not the tactic.
I agree with Tired. It IS "normal" for a 17 month old to nurse at night. Night nursing is usually the last thing to go. My almost 3 year old still nurses at night.
post #7 of 61
THere is nothing un-ap about weaning a toddler.
Not everybody is willing and able to nurse until the child is ready to wean on their own.
I respect that this woman has find a way to do it that is gentle for her daughter and less traumatic than traditional methods have been.
Geez.
Momamelia, I am glad you found something that works for you and is tear free for your dd.
And GOOD FOR YOU for sticking with it this long.
Most babies dont get mama milk for more than 6 months, and despite what the PP's think, you deserve credit for nursing this long.
post #8 of 61
This method is not gentle or respectful to the child. It is deceptive and mean. Also WHO says that all children need to nurse until at LEAST 2 years old.

-Angela
post #9 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
THere is nothing un-ap about weaning a toddler.
Not everybody is willing and able to nurse until the child is ready to wean on their own.
I respect that this woman has find a way to do it that is gentle for her daughter and less traumatic than traditional methods have been.
She is encouraging others to try to SCARE their young toddlers away from nursing. THAT is not AP.
post #10 of 61
Oh my god. I can't even believe you would do that to your child. What a horribly cruel thing to do and stand by and be amused by. I'm disgusted
post #11 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
This method is not gentle or respectful to the child. It is deceptive and mean. Also WHO says that all children need to nurse until at LEAST 2 years old.

-Angela
But WHO says nothign about night weaning a child over the age of 1.
And if the child is happy and not cryign who are you to decide this is not respectful for this child? I think this mom knows better what is and is not resepectful for her particular childs temperament.
post #12 of 61
Quote:
Oh my god. I can't even believe you would do that to your child. What a horribly cruel thing to do and stand by and be amused by. I'm disgusted
Yeah that...just wow.
post #13 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
But WHO says nothign about night weaning a child over the age of 1.
And if the child is happy and not cryign who are you to decide this is not respectful for this child? I think this mom knows better what is and is not resepectful for her particular childs temperament.
It is not an AP practice.

I am 100% comfortable saying that. SCARING your child is NOT AP. If she wants to do this--- that is her choice. Do I commend her dedication thus far? Of course. Do I think it an appropriate location to come and ENCOURAGE others to terrify their children? No. What if someone wanted their child to sleep in their own bed and so told them that there was a boogieman under it--- so if they got out of it the boogieman would get them. Then laid under the bed and popped a scary puppet out every time the child tried to get out. If the child didn't cry would that suddenly be AP?
post #14 of 61
I reported the OP. That is disgusting and abusive.
post #15 of 61
There may be nothing un-AP about weaning a toddler; however, you cannot honestly tell me that you think it is ok for a mom to spread Vegemite on her breasts & then OFFER the breast to her child. Especially a 17 month old. When I read the OP, I somehow missed the age- I thought she was weaning a child of three for some reason. 17 months is a BABY.

My son weaned himself when he was ready, at almost 4 years of age, but I don't have a problem with moms gently encouraging weaning. Vegemited nipples are not gentle. It is the same as the moms who put hot sauce on their nipples, or nail polish remover on their child's hands to prevent thumb sucking.

I feel sad for the mom of six, who really thought she hit on something with her miracle Vegemite cure... she missed out on something beautiful- learning to go through the weaning process with her child.
post #16 of 61
Oh, this is awful. How can you maintain a loving close relationship with your child when you are scaring your child away from you? A similar technique was described in the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It was cruel then, and is cruel now. Would you do this for any other behavior you wanted to discourage? If you didn't want your child in the cookies, maybe you could rig the cookie jar so it scared the crap out of your child if she opened it. Maybe next time my toddler whines, I can turn around and scream in his face to frighten him. That would be AP, right? After all, I'm not hitting him or saying no.
post #17 of 61
But Johub her daughter almost stopped nursing altogether because of it. What if she had rejected the other breast as well. The are better ways to night wean. More respectful ways.
post #18 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
She is encouraging others to try to SCARE their young toddlers away from nursing. THAT is not AP.
Scare? Really?
Fear? Horror maybe?
I see. Yes. This is what is happenning.
Not simply making nursing less desirable/palatable.
Right, what was I thinking.
Better she just tell her 17 month old "no" and then deal with the cries.
Yes of course that is more gentle.
post #19 of 61
I reported this post and c and p'd and sent it to Cynthia. It disgusts me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamelia
he said the child would be so revolted by the sight of the nipple, that they would not want to nurse.
so she tried it, and said it worked extremely well.
How is "revolting" your child remotely AP?
Quote:
and i think she felt calm because she rejected the breast, instead of me rejecting her.
So, was this all about you not feeling bad about saying no? You would rather she reject you than you reject her?
Quote:
. i found that she hugged me more and slept on my chest more than usual. she'd also leave my shirt up and just put her face in my chest. poor kiddo.
Yeah, poor kiddo was probably scared to death that her mama had some sort of deforming disease.

Quote:
anyway, i'm going to keep this up, and hopefully in a week or so's time, she will realise that when night time falls, boobie tastes like vegemite
Yeah, it's amazing how you can condition kids if you approach it like dog training.


Quote:
so yeah... i just thought i'd share this with you all. some mamas may find this method cruel, but i don't. to me, it's alot less traumatic then gradual weaning or saying "no, not now" and making the babe feel rejected each time you say it (that's what happened with my dd). and holy crapola - it works!
You know what I also have heard works? Just slapping the kid every time they ask to nurse. I know some people may find it cruel, but it conditions them a lot quicker than saying no, and is less cruel than gradual weaning.
That was hyperbole. Spanking sucks just as much as this technique.

Just because something works, doesn't mean it's good.
Quote:
and
You have got to be kidding.
post #20 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
It is not an AP practice.?



Quote:
I am 100% comfortable saying that. SCARING your child is NOT AP. If she wants to do this--- that is her choice. Do I commend her dedication thus far? Of course. Do I think it an appropriate location to come and ENCOURAGE others to terrify their children? No. What if someone wanted their child to sleep in their own bed and so told them that there was a boogieman under it--- so if they got out of it the boogieman would get them. Then laid under the bed and popped a scary puppet out every time the child tried to get out. If the child didn't cry would that suddenly be AP?
I just dont see where the whole "SCARING" part is coming in.
Perhaps if you are not from Austrailia Vegemite might seem pretty frightening.
But "terrify" now that is just a gross misuse of the Engilsh language.
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