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Devastated! My 16 mo quit nursing!

post #1 of 85
Thread Starter 
I was certain we'd nurse for a L O N G time and we'd definitely nurse until HE was done ... I just never thought he'd quit at 16 months!

For many months now, he only would nurse before his nap, before bed and first thing when he woke up. Too, he would only nurse laying down with me - NEVER in my lap since he was about 8 mo. So I don't know if he associates nursing only with bedtime? He LOVES going to bed and sleeping so that wouldn't be a bad association either.

Anyway, I'm having a really, really hard time with this. It's been a whole week now and I still offer the breast every morning and every nap and every night at bedtime. He just turns away and rolls over - trying very hard to get away from me. The one up side is that now he loves to go sleep while I cradle him in my arms (against my bare breasts - I keep trying to woo him!) and I sing him to sleep. My husband says that it's a pretty good trade off. I'm sure it is but I just feel so empty and even "disconnected" from my baby - like our bond has been severed. Is that normal?? And to make it seem so much more final, the last time he latched on was for about 3 seconds then he pulled off and said "Aw done" :-(

I'd love to have some empathy and if anyone has some experiences of hope to share! I'm still holding on to a thread of hope that he may nurse again. This is so, so hard.
post #2 of 85
this sounds like a nursing strike. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...st.html#strike

good luck, i hope you can get him nursing again!
post #3 of 85


Sounds like a nursing strike to me too.
post #4 of 85
Sounds like a nursing strike to me too. Make sure he's getting NO other sucking (bottles, pacifiers, sippy cups) and NO other milk. Keep offering. Try taking baths together and offering then.

good luck!

-Angela
post #5 of 85
I don't know...If his interest has been dwindling for several months, maybe it really is his own weaning. I know you are having a hard time with this since your expectations were for a much longer period of nursing. But if he's doing this, maybe he's just "ready."

Perhaps it is just a nursing strike, but perhaps he is leading the weaning. Some babies choose not to nurse past 6 months or a year. Some babies go longer. I'd keep offering, but also acknowledge that maybe HE is ready to wean. That is what CLW is about, right? Allowing the child to wean when he/she is ready?

I know it's hard. In different but similar enough way of understanding... Our children are almost 8 years apart, not by our choice. We always said we'd have "as many as God gives us," but never for a minute thought that would mean anything different than lots of kiddos spaced 2-3 years apart. It was a tough thing to work through. It's simply that "not always what we have planned" thing that is in common with the two situations.

Hang in there and I hope whatever is meant to be with this, is.

JET

post #6 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jet1295mamajenn
I don't know...If his interest has been dwindling for several months, maybe it really is his own weaning. I know you are having a hard time with this since your expectations were for a much longer period of nursing. But if he's doing this, maybe he's just "ready."

Perhaps it is just a nursing strike, but perhaps he is leading the weaning. Some babies choose not to nurse past 6 months or a year. Some babies go longer. I'd keep offering, but also acknowledge that maybe HE is ready to wean. That is what CLW is about, right? Allowing the child to wean when he/she is ready?

I know it's hard. In different but similar enough way of understanding... Our children are almost 8 years apart, not by our choice. We always said we'd have "as many as God gives us," but never for a minute thought that would mean anything different than lots of kiddos spaced 2-3 years apart. It was a tough thing to work through. It's simply that "not always what we have planned" thing that is in common with the two situations.

Hang in there and I hope whatever is meant to be with this, is.

JET

I have to respectfully disagree with this post, for the benefit of any lurkers. It is extremely rare for babies under 18-24 months to self wean. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/babyselfwean.html There can be a natural lull in nursing from around 10 months to around 15 months, and some mamas think this is self weaning, but it's rarely the case. If you hang in there, nursing will usually pick back up.

And a six month old "choosing not to nurse?" I would definitely treat that as a nursing strike. At that age, a baby can't take full responsibility for the nursing relationship, and still needs breastmilk as the majority of his/her nutrition.
post #7 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jet1295mamajenn


Perhaps it is just a nursing strike, but perhaps he is leading the weaning. Some babies choose not to nurse past 6 months or a year. Some babies go longer. I'd keep offering, but also acknowledge that maybe HE is ready to wean. That is what CLW is about, right? Allowing the child to wean when he/she is ready?
I'm sorry, but you're clearly misinformed. Humans need to nurse for at least two years. How would they survive if they self weaned at 6 months? Cave-moms didn't have formula or cows.

-Angela
post #8 of 85
You might have better luck trying to get him to take the breast while he's very drowsy... even half-asleep, like just as he's waking or nodding off.

Did he have any sort of trauma to his mouth? Teething pain? Is he getting bottles or a pacifier?

Here's my friend Tane''s page about her son's 40 day nursing strike... I think he's 10 now? Something like that...

http://www.tachyonlabs.com/40strike.html

dar
post #9 of 85
Well, my dd weaned at 15 months old. I was about 4 months pregnant, there wasn't a drop of milk to be had and she had never been a comfort nurser. So when the food was gone, she was done. It was very sudden and very sad. I kept offering, but by the time there was milk again she had totally forgotten how to latch.

I'm sorry if it really is the end for you guys, I hope he will come back!
post #10 of 85
I agree it sounds like a nursing strike. 16 month old seems a little young for Child led weaning. I mean if he's drinking a ton of liquid from another source like a sippy or bottle then I could see it easily replacing nursing even if you didn't want that to happen.

I would do what Angela suggested, only offer the breast and food of course. And I think personally I would consider pumping so that my supply stayed up until he resumed nursing again. And if he never did for some reason you could offer the expressed milk in a glass.

Good luck! Hope he starts up again soon.
post #11 of 85
DS1 weaned at the same time and I wasn't ready either. In retrospect, his feeds had been decreasing for months but nothing prepared me for the day he flatly refused. I did try to coax him back several times but to no avail.

I've now accepted that this was his choice and he seems happy with it but sometimes it still hurts.

Just wanted to say that you've done a great job and I hope your little one either has a change of heart or you at least find a way to come to terms with the weaning.
post #12 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlemama77
I have to respectfully disagree with this post, for the benefit of any lurkers. It is extremely rare for babies under 18-24 months to self wean. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/babyselfwean.html There can be a natural lull in nursing from around 10 months to around 15 months, and some mamas think this is self weaning, but it's rarely the case. If you hang in there, nursing will usually pick back up.

And a six month old "choosing not to nurse?" I would definitely treat that as a nursing strike. At that age, a baby can't take full responsibility for the nursing relationship, and still needs breastmilk as the majority of his/her nutrition.
While I'm sure it is rare, there are babies who just lose interest. Sometimes babies DO lose interest if the mom is pregnant again and her milk flavor has changed. I've known of many moms whose young toddlers were done, despite their efforts.

I imagine in many cases if the mom will hang in there, interest will resume. But how long does a mom have to fight with her uninterested toddler to keep things up, especially if it causes her to be more frustrated and emotional that her child really is fighting her on it?

I have NOTHING against EB. My son BF until he was between 2-1/2 and 3. My dd is now 29 months and is still nursing full-force.

I do think despite the norms, there are those children who really stop having the emotional need anyway, by sooner than 18-24 mos. The stories I've heard are strictly anecdotal, but not impossible.

JET
post #13 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by minta
DS1 weaned at the same time and I wasn't ready either. In retrospect, his feeds had been decreasing for months but nothing prepared me for the day he flatly refused. I did try to coax him back several times but to no avail.

I've now accepted that this was his choice and he seems happy with it but sometimes it still hurts.

Just wanted to say that you've done a great job and I hope your little one either has a change of heart or you at least find a way to come to terms with the weaning.
And you did what you could to try to coax him back. He just had different ideas.

JET
post #14 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
I'm sorry, but you're clearly misinformed. Humans need to nurse for at least two years. How would they survive if they self weaned at 6 months? Cave-moms didn't have formula or cows.

-Angela
Look, I'm just going on anecdotal experiences of friends and family. Not trying to start a controversy, just trying to be a support to the concerned mom. If her child isn't just striking, if she tries to coax him back to no avail, but he is ready to wean, she shouldn't feel badly for not pushing it to between 18 and 24 mos. While not within the average, every child is unique.

I have known people whose babies never took to nursing, I have known moms whose babies weaned early, and I have known moms, like myself, who have gone a bit longer. Dh's sister's son self-weaned at about 37 mos. My ds weaned between 2-1/2 and 3, and my dd is almost 2-1/2 and is going strong.

JET

post #15 of 85
These days the mentality in mainstream culture is to wean to formula. Of course humans are not designed to do that. If a child still needs some form of formula or milk for nutrition they are not ready to wean. Period.

-Angela
post #16 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jet1295mamajenn

I do think despite the norms, there are those children who really stop having the emotional need anyway, by sooner than 18-24 mos. The stories I've heard are strictly anecdotal, but not impossible.
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The stories you've heard are impossible, or heavily influenced by factors not disclosed to you. For children 18-24 mos, and certainly for children 6-12 months, breastfeeding is not only an emotional need, but a physical/nutritive need too.

A 6 month old who decides to self wean is committing suicide, as far as they know. If you start feeding formula that is one thing. But if you are just plain old nursing your babe the natural way, babies and young toddlers do not self wean.
post #17 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
The stories you've heard are impossible, or heavily influenced by factors not disclosed to you. For children 18-24 mos, and certainly for children 6-12 months, breastfeeding is not only an emotional need, but a physical/nutritive need too.

A 6 month old who decides to self wean is committing suicide, as far as they know. If you start feeding formula that is one thing. But if you are just plain old nursing your babe the natural way, babies and young toddlers do not self wean.
:
post #18 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
I'm sorry, but you're clearly misinformed. Humans need to nurse for at least two years. How would they survive if they self weaned at 6 months? Cave-moms didn't have formula or cows.

-Angela
: Humans do not need to nurse for at least two years. You say that the way many people say that infants only need breastmilk for a year. :

I admit that six moth thing strikes me really freakin' odd too. HOWEVER yes some children do CLW before that magical two year mark.

To the origional poster: BTDT with my second son. But do not feel to sad yet. He could always come back, I've read of that happening more often than you think. In one story the toddler had been "weaned" for more than four months when she crawled up onto her mommy's lap and started fishing for boob! Good luck. Your always offering is excellent, deffinetly don't stop!
post #19 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maranwë Calafalas
: Humans do not need to nurse for at least two years. You say that the way many people say that infants only need breastmilk for a year. :
Well yeah, except they're wrong and Alegna is right.
post #20 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
Well yeah, except they're wrong and Alegna is right.
Thanks. But yeah. 18 months here and there I buy. 6 months? As mentioned- that's suicide. A year? No way.

-Angela
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