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Can child lead weaning happen at 12 months? - Page 2

post #21 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by indignantgirl View Post
Absolutely! My kids have all loved to nurse and have nursed until they were 3. My 1yo still nurses 8+ times a day, and if she's anything like her brothers, will nurse that often until she's 2-2.5 years old. I think it helps that usually we don't start solids very early (ds1 started at 9.5m, dd started at 11 months), and we go straight to table food and don't spoon-feed, so they only ingest what they can pick up with their hands or a spoon and get into their own mouths. So they are fully dependant on breastmilk for much longer than most other babies.

So yeah, it was hard to imagine a baby that didn't just *love* to nurse. I'm glad I was with SIL through her breastfeeding year...it helped me to be a lot more understanding about bf issues, since I saw how hard she worked and it *still* didn't turn out the way she'd hoped.
We didn't do baby food either. Almost everything DD has eaten she has fed herself. She refuses to relinqish control enough to let us feed her. At 12 months she could use a spoon to feed herself a yogurt - and she does a damn good job of it. She's had 6 teeth since about 9 months - and has been trying to chew things since long before that (she would 'chew' cheerios at 7 months).
post #22 of 69
How would a weaned 12 mos old get enough nutrition? None of my 12 mos olds had anything but water in a cup and whatever they could feed themselves. If they had had access to sippy cups they might have weaned. I would think a baby who is nursing for 90% of his nutients would be hungry without nursing.

I think weaning depends on whether the baby has been given other foods and drinks. I do think a baby that gets full on milk in a cup etc can easily wean. Especially if he can bring the cup with her wheverever she goes. Breasts just aren't that strecthy for a busy baby. lol If I had a baby I really thought was weaning, I would limit other foods for a time and see what happened. If the child was happy with nursing, I would say she wasn't ready. If the child pushed away the breast for the cup consistenty and was unhappy, I would give her the cup. I just don't see how a baby can get enough liquids and food naturally without nursing. That's my only bais about early 'weaning'. I know someone who who sowre her 7 mos old weaned on his own. I didn't say anything to her, but that baby didn't acutally 'wean'-- he ate so much cereal and drank so much milk from his sippy cup that he had no reason to nurse.

I do think it's possible. SOme babies might not like being held, or they might not be big eaters etc. In the end I would have to trust that the mother was reading her child's cues well, even if it means early weaning. Not all chiildren are the same.
post #23 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kessed View Post
We didn't do baby food either. Almost everything DD has eaten she has fed herself. She refuses to relinqish control enough to let us feed her. At 12 months she could use a spoon to feed herself a yogurt - and she does a damn good job of it. She's had 6 teeth since about 9 months - and has been trying to chew things since long before that (she would 'chew' cheerios at 7 months).
A child who enjoys eating & playing with a bit of food hear and there isn't the same as weaning from the breast. Enjoying finger foods doesn't mean weaing. I know lots of EBF kids who enjoyed all sorts of food. A handful of cheerios doesn't offer enough nutrion or fill a child's nutrional needs.
post #24 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambersrose View Post
I always have considered my oldest daughter to have self weaned at 12 months old but now I am wondering if I am wrong. My daughter never asked to nurse EVER. She did always accepted it if I offered but at a year I just stopped offering and she never asked. Is this child lead weaning since she never asked to nurse even after I stopped offering or am I fooling myself?
What did she eat instead?
post #25 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
How would a weaned 12 mos old get enough nutrition? None of my 12 mos olds had anything but water in a cup and whatever they could feed themselves. If they had had access to sippy cups they might have weaned. I would think a baby who is nursing for 90% of his nutients would be hungry without nursing.
My child lost weight.

She was 16lbs 15.5oz at her 9 month appointment. Then at 10 months she was 17lbs 6oz. At 12 months she was 17lbs 2.5oz. (We have a place close to my house where you can weigh your baby for free). She didn't grow in length at all in that time. She still has almost no hair.

Between 9 and 12 months I was nursing as often as she wanted to. I would offer every hour or two - and I never offered solids unless she turned down nursing. All solids she ate were self fed.

She prefers to drink water out of the same glass that I do. So even though she had sipies of water around - she was more likely to drink out of my glass. In this time she didn't get ANY cow milk and we never 'fed' her food. Everything was self fed.

There were days where she wouldn't eat more than 1 cracker and nurse 3 times over the night.

I would spend all day topless in our house trying to get her interest up. But she would latch on - take 2 or 3 sucks and then pop off and want to go do something else. We co-sleep - but she's started sleeping 5 or 6 hour stretches

At her 12 month well baby check - we were horrified that she'd lost weight. And had effectively gained nothing in 3 months. So we did start giving her 1 cup of cow milk with instant breakfast in it (to up the calories) each day. Some days she drinks it all - and other days she is too busy to drink any. She still prefers water to any form of cow milk/breast milk. In order for her to nurse during the day (so when she's not asleep) there can't be any food or drink around at all. If there is anything out - she would rather have that.

Y - I would have thought that she would get hungry and nurse. But she doesn't. There were days in that 3 month period where I would offer NO food. The best I got was for her to nurse once. She would finally give up at about 3 in the afternoon and nurse (just enough to fall asleep). She would run to the fridge or pantry and point an cry. She doesn't want to nurse. She wants other things.
post #26 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
What did she eat instead?
Not much. A typical day right now looks like this:

7am - nurses and goes back to sleep
10am - she wakes up - I offer to nurse (get rejected) and then offer a sippy with supplimented cow milk (1/2 cup) - put in the fridge after 30 or 45 minutes
12pm - I eat lunch, she is offered some of what I have - she doesn't normally eat much
2pm - I give her some fruit as a snack (and the rest of the cow milk - normally half)
6pm - We eat supper - maybe she eats some - depends if she likes what we're having. After supper we offer the second 1/2 of cow milk - it gets left out for a while
8pm - she nurses (sometimes for 2 minutes - and sometimes a good nurse) - If we are out - she doesn't nurse
11pm - she nurses to sleep
4am - she nurses for less than 5 minutes and goes back to sleep

** Before we started giving her the sippies of cow milk - our days looked the same. Except she wasn't getting the cow milk. She didn't eat more or nurse more - she was just much whinier.
post #27 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinky View Post
I don't think that "self-weaning" at 12 months is always a strike, unless the child abruptly stops. More often, I think, parents (often gradually) introduce substitutes for the breast in terms of comfort and nutrition. I saw this with a friend of mine, who never offered the breast for comfort when her son was upset...she walked him, patted him and otherwise comforted him. I think if you don't regularly go to the breast for comfort and frequent food (which I think so many of us do automatically) that you can inadvertently encourage premature weaning even though you may not ever be actively witholding the breast. Does that make any sense?
I agree 100% with this. This and also introducing milk (like cows milk or whatever) in big quantities. I think both of these can lead to premature weaning.

eta after I read the other responses... I do think there is such a thing as early self-weaning. I think it's rare but I think it happens.
post #28 of 69
Kessed - any reason to believe that your supply would have dropped? (pregnancy, meds, specifically BCP or something like that,even AF returning)

just a thought.
post #29 of 69
Thread Starter 
UUM-my daughter ate what we ate after she weaned at 12 months or at least a modified version of it. We were vegitarian at the time. I know BM would have been better to acheive proper nutrition but she thrived and is a smart, heathly almost four year old now.
post #30 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_McG View Post
Kessed - any reason to believe that your supply would have dropped? (pregnancy, meds, specifically BCP or something like that,even AF returning)

just a thought.
AF returned at 3.5 months PP...

I started pumping at 10 months so that I could return to work at 11.5 months. So I started Fenugreek then to try to increase my supply (I'm a bad pumper). But she had already decreased her nursing before that.

Not other medications or anything else. Not pregnant yet...
post #31 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kessed View Post
I think that it is very hard for people with babies who like to nurse to understand than some babies don't.

She isn't doing a nursing strike. What she's doing looks nothing like a nursing strike. She isn't all that interested in other solid foods either.

I offer regularily and she isn't interested. .. If I try to keep her there and keep offering she throws a fit.

I guess - the fact is that I wish with all my heart that she would keep nursing. I really think it would be the best for her. But, for the life of me, I can't figure out a respectful way to get to to do it. I could take away all other food - but isn't starvation a form of torture?
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniedb View Post
Absolutely. My first self-weaned at about 14 months (either that or 16, I'm pretty sure it was 14).Until he hit a year, he was a voracious nurser. One day, he just decided he was done.
Quote:
Originally Posted by indignantgirl View Post
You don't have to believe that it can happen for it to happen. .. My SIL, who this happened to, thought the same thing. She came to me in tears several times, telling me that she never wanted to be "one of those women" who said that her baby weaned himself early, because she herself had never believed them. She did everything right. She nursed within 20 minutes of his birth, co-slept (and still does), didn't start solids early, didn't overdo the sippy cup, etc...

Things happen. We can do nothing but make the situation as favorable to nursing as possible. It's ultimately up to the baby, because we can't force a latch.

I'm glad for this thread because I thought I was the only one. My daughter self-weaned at 10 months. Like daniedb's son, she just quit. Before, she was voracious- if I changed my shirt in the same room as her, she'd drop whatever she was doing for chichi. She loved it, I thought. I figured I'd be nursing her until she was 2.

One week, she'd had enough. I'd offer all the time. She'd latch on for a few seconds and bite the crap out of me. She did this for a week, while I filled up. Then after a week, she nursed for the last time (my boobies thanked her). After that day, for the next 3 weeks, she'd just bite me- hard. Gums hurt! She had no teeth. After a month, I had dried up.

She was not interested in any other milk either. Too young for cow's milk. We were concerned (and alarmed) because she was small to begin with (always followed right BELOW the 5% line on those growth charts). Docs gave us all kinds of free formula samples, and goat's milk. Didn't want it. She wasn't on a bottle, it was a sippy cup. She pretty much just drank water (and ate table foods).

It was all pretty distressing. Interestingly, a few months later my friend was taking care of her. I started working a month after she weaned, and my friend's son is 3 weeks younger than my daughter. Anyway, she was nursing her son, and said dd wanted some, so she offered. Dd drank for a few seconds, and that was it. No chichi after that.

Once she turned one, we offered cow's milk. She was a voracious cow milk drinker.

Renai
post #32 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kessed View Post
I started pumping at 10 months so that I could return to work at 11.5 months. So I started Fenugreek then to try to increase my supply (I'm a bad pumper). But she had already decreased her nursing before that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renai View Post
My daughter self-weaned at 10 months.
I started working a month after she weaned
so do you really think it is "child led" that mom goes back to work...?
children feel these changes, they cooperate with their mother's wishes. jesper juul describes these subconscious cooperations in: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0374527903/

when you are at work your baby has no chance to nurse (on demand). you know this before, your baby feels it.
don't get me wrong, i'm not talking about blame and guilt. i only want to show you that babies react to outer circumstances, they are influenced by their environment. so i still wouldn't call this self weaning.
there is always an outer reason why they decrease or stop nursing at that age.
post #33 of 69
I think the key in "indignantgirl"s nephew's situation was "He was an excellent eater". Weaning is by definition giving solid foods or anything instead of breast milk. So sometimes giving solids will cause a child to wean.

If you really want to EBF then don't give a lot of solids prior to a year old. Our dd never had 3 meals a day until after a year old, and even then they were small. She didn't start eating other protein/fat foods very much at all until after 18 months old. I figured that was more natural than babyfood that had been cooked to death.

I think in our society, it's easy to forget how unnatural most baby food is. It's cooked so long that it contains very little vitamins/minerals. It's really empty calories in comparison to breast milk. IMHO if you can't feed it to a baby without some fancy contraption (overcooking, blending, grinding) then the baby isn't ready for it yet. Peggy O'Mara says in Natural Family Living to let food be like condiments for the first year. I was happy to read this because we were just following our instincts and what seemed natural in not giving many solids prior to 1 year -and we were getting a lot of criticism for it.

Now our dd showed signs of being ready for solids at 4 months old. We held off til 6 months. And then we started slowly. We'd always just give her little bits of fruit or whatever off of our plates. But only a bite or two. We always nursed before meals and she was used to that being her primary nourishment and the food just something extra and fun.

Also, in "the olden days" babies generally didn't get many solids at all til after a year old.

So I don't think babies self-wean prior to 1 year. I think it's more that they are given a lot of solids, which is a weaning technique, tho most people don't realize it.
post #34 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by nyxx View Post
so do you really think it is "child led" that mom goes back to work...?
children feel these changes, they cooperate with their mother's wishes. jesper juul describes these subconscious cooperations in: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0374527903/

when you are at work your baby has no chance to nurse (on demand). you know this before, your baby feels it.
don't get me wrong, i'm not talking about blame and guilt. i only want to show you that babies react to outer circumstances, they are influenced by their environment. so i still wouldn't call this self weaning.
there is always an outer reason why they decrease or stop nursing at that age.
Actually, there could have been no subconscious cooperation since I did not anticipate working at all. It wasn't until after she completely stopped that I considered working at all. I have no idea what in the environment could have subconsciously influenced her stop. On the other hand, she also loved being in a sling, and I continued sling-carrying her until she was 2.5 years (by that time, she was a bit big for my 4'11" frame). We thoroughly enjoyed breastfeeding and my anticipation was we'd continue as long as she wanted.

And, yes, you are talking blame and guilt. To say there is "always" an outer reason insinuates something other than a child-led choice. By definition, that's placing blame.

Renai
post #35 of 69
Kessed, I would be very concerned in your situation that there was some nutritional deficiency that was causing her to not want to eat or to only eat solids. Did she have any bloodwork that showed all of her vitamin/mineral counts?

In all the other situations I'm reading about on here, the babies were getting meals of solids every day. Again, if you don't do that til after a year, the baby is so used to nursing that they will continue it - and that is really mostly what our ancestors and other nations have done.
post #36 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by nyxx View Post
so do you really think it is "child led" that mom goes back to work...?

when you are at work your baby has no chance to nurse (on demand). you know this before, your baby feels it.
don't get me wrong, i'm not talking about blame and guilt. i only want to show you that babies react to outer circumstances, they are influenced by their environment. so i still wouldn't call this self weaning.
there is always an outer reason why they decrease or stop nursing at that age.
While I did go back to work. It's only 2 afternoons a week. I am gone for a total of 5 hours each time and she is with her dad during this time. She had been nursing to sleep (she would nurse for less than 5 minutes) as she fell asleep. DH offers her a bottle of EBM at the same time. She is starting not to want that either. Now he gives her the EBM in a sippy - because all she does with the bottle is to turn it over and watch it pour out, or play with the nipple and squeeze the milk out.

I know many women who are able to be away from their 1 year olds for that legnth of time without it affecting their nursing relationship enough for their child to wean.

But she had already cut back to a few times a day more than a month before I went back to work.

I didn't have a choice about going back to work. My 1 year of mat leave was running out and if we wanted to keep our house (a small townhouse - not some extravagant mansion) I need to work. I think that being in the office twice a week for 4 hours isn't that much (I also work from home during the other times).
post #37 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renai View Post
And, yes, you are talking blame and guilt.
no. there's a difference between subjective guilt and objective reasons.
maybe i don't find the right words to express it, because i'm no english native speaker.


Quote:
To say there is "always" an outer reason insinuates something other than a child-led choice.
yes, of course, because there is no child-led choice. if you make a decision you have to see different opportunities. do you think a 12 month old baby can compare alternatives in such a way?


Quote:
By definition, that's placing blame.
no, it's only offering explanations.
post #38 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attached Mama View Post
Kessed, I would be very concerned in your situation that there was some nutritional deficiency that was causing her to not want to eat or to only eat solids. Did she have any bloodwork that showed all of her vitamin/mineral counts?

In all the other situations I'm reading about on here, the babies were getting meals of solids every day. Again, if you don't do that til after a year, the baby is so used to nursing that they will continue it - and that is really mostly what our ancestors and other nations have done.
At her 12 month appointment our VERY supportive EBF doctor referred us to a ped specialist. We did have blood work done to make sure that there wasn't a medical reason for her to loose weight. They also did a bunch of urine tests. All tests came back clean (we were kind of concered about her thyroid). They did a few tests (they didn't want the blood draw to take too long so the doc was picky about what tests they ordered) on nutrition and her levels were on the low end of normal for everything they tested.

We offer her both food and nursing all the time. But we have never done 'meals' for her. Like we don't make her special food or use pureed baby food. She doesn't take us up on it. That's the main reason we started giving her instant breakfast.

But this morning - she woke up at 9am. It's now just after noon. She has drunk 2oz of cow milk... She 'fed' herself a Minigo. Well she stood at the fridge and yelled until we opened it. Then she picked a minigo and went to her highchair. she played with it for 10 minutes or so. I don't know if she really ate any. But she sure had fun.

And, for the record, it's a 'go nowhere' day so all of us are unclothed. She sees my breasts everytime she sees me. She has latched on 5 or 6 times - but never for more than a few seconds. She's just not interested in nursing.
post #39 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attached Mama View Post
Also, in "the olden days" babies generally didn't get many solids at all til after a year old.

So I don't think babies self-wean prior to 1 year. I think it's more that they are given a lot of solids, which is a weaning technique, tho most people don't realize it.

In all the other situations I'm reading about on here, the babies were getting meals of solids every day. Again, if you don't do that til after a year, the baby is so used to nursing that they will continue it - and that is really mostly what our ancestors and other nations have done.

that's another good point.
post #40 of 69
I just want to clarify. My DD is 13 months and still nurses once or twice a day (depending on how she sleeps). She doesn't nurse during the day basically at all.

I think that in general babies will keep nursing until 1. But after that I think that it's fair game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Attached Mama View Post
Also, in "the olden days" babies generally didn't get many solids at all til after a year old.

So I don't think babies self-wean prior to 1 year. I think it's more that they are given a lot of solids, which is a weaning technique, tho most people don't realize it.
I have to agree and disagree.

My sister had twins who are 6 months older than my DD (They still BF for probably 75% of their food). It is really interesting to see how my DD acts when we are with them. I think it's pretty close to how a villiage situation would be. Everytime we set out a snack DD will almost fight them for the food. She has little interest in solid food at our house. But when she sees other little children eat - then she's all over the food.

When we go to playgroup - it's like a feeding frenzy. As soon as 1 mom pulls out a snack all the little kids are instantly starving and want food from anyone other than their own mother.

I think that once kids can move on their own and start to explore their world - they will start to eat more and more solid food. My DD started walking at 9 months. So it makes sense to me that she would want to find some of her own food.

I still beleive that it would be normal for her to keep nursing for another year or two. And maybe she will. But she's not a baby who likes to cuddle. She has never nursed for comfort (I had too much milk at the beginning). So she doesn't get alot out of it anymore. She's rather have a nice power cuddle and go back to playing.
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