I voted for 19-24 months as the EARLIEST I would consider it child-led. I think the median is more like 3.5-4 years.
Originally Posted by mamazee
So the question is, when is it self-weaning and when is there outside influence?
I really think without any outside influence at all, most kids would probably nurse till at least three years, but we influence in different ways - some big and some small - and they add up. Some of the influences are probably unintentional, and some are probably even out of our control, but they are all outside things that help influence a child to stop nursing. This is just my feeling on the matter, so I don't have any way to prove it or back it up, but that's my opinion.
Originally Posted by forestrymom
But are there ever truly instances where there aren't those influences? Are there mothers who never limit? Is this natural? I guess I just don't see how setting limits isn't still child-led...I get the point, but I don't see how its possible or practical. Of course, I work, so for me its even harder, but it seems that a child who truly has a need to suck wouldn't wean even if there weren't milk, regardless of the reason. A child with a need to suck will suck a milkless thumb, a milkless pacifier, and therefore a milkless breast (if the other interferences are absent).
My DD kind of self weaned at 40 months. It was kind of sad. She forgot to nurse on Halloween and when she tried to the next day, she couldn't figure out how to latch on. her mouth just wouldn't work right. She wasn't terribly sad and we tried a few more times, but she just couldn't do it.
I didn't have the internet resources I do now, and had NO CLUE that she was severly tongue tied until a dentict told us when she was 7
!(her tongue is almost forked like a snakes). Women in my family have soley breastfed without issue for generations, so I had no clue there was a real problem. I didn't know she wasn't supposed to latch on with her teeth for 2.5 years
. I had no clue that was why she couldn't figure it out after one day. She was totally still needing to suck and to this day still sucks on her fingers and chews on random things (let's hope she never gets hold of a cigarrette.
There was no real outside influence . It was a weird sort of weaning. I'm not sure how I would label it.