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How committed are you to CLW vs. just 'extra extended' nursing? - Page 3

post #41 of 91
I did not have an age in mind and was committed to nursing my DS as long as he wanted to.

However, life had somewhat different things in store for me. He started nursing less and didn't latch on well. Also I think the last of my milk dried up, because nursing started getting more and more uncomfortable.

So I would say it was a relatively mutual decision - he didn't nurse too much anymore, and I set some very mild limits.

Many people would probably consider it child led weaning anyway, but in its strictest definition it was not.

I didn't want to ruin all of the wonderful nursing memories we had (3 years of them!) by trying to nurse when it didn't feel right to me (and now that I know what it feels like, trying to nurse when your body is totally rejecting the idea... no mama in that position should be criticized, whether her baby is 1 month old or 5 years old! JMHO.).

So anyway, I was very committed but you never know what is going to really happen in life. I'm really proud for nursing him that long and I think it was good for him.
post #42 of 91
Before dd was born, I thought I'd shoot for 1 year. Then when we got started, I felt like I didn't care if she kept nursing as long as she needed. Now she's 2.5 and to be honest, nursing can be physically irritating (as described in the "nursing makes my skin crawl" thread), especially since my cycles returned around 27 months. I am having guilt issues because I logically know that looking at tribal communities and comparing to non-human primates, I should probably be nursing her every 80 minutes until she's 6. However, my body isn't dealing well with anything over 3 or 4 times a day at this point and even that sometimes makes me fidget depending on the time of the month. I hate it. I wish I could happily let her nurse as often as she likes, but I'm having to really set some limits, like cutting her sessions short or first asking "do you want a snack? do you want water? do you want to snuggle?" before nursing...which actually, I'm finding she often asks to nurse when hungry and when I ask if she's ready for a snack, she stops asking to nurse and runs to the kitchen.

Anyways, the short answer is, I'm not sure! I won't force her to wean before she is ready, but I'm having to set some limits for my personal sanity. If she was only nursing once or twice a day at age 4 or 5, I can't see myself stopping her all together. I guess I'm more about limiting frequency and duration of sessions rather than the overall duration of her nursing if that makes sense.

Funny thing is, just last summer I remember feeling a bit critical of people who weaned before age 4 or those who felt happy that their child was weaned. Now, I get it. unfortunately. I really honestly want to make it to 4. I don't know why, but 4 is this number I have in mind as a good minimum. We'll see where life takes us, though. I've learned to never have too many plans as a parent.
post #43 of 91
Well, my guys turned 3 this week so this has been on my mind. I NEVER was committee to CLW (still am not), I am just keepin' on cuz it's easier than weaning It fits with my lazy & procrastrinative personality
post #44 of 91
not very. ds2 is 21m, but golly if I nursed him as much as he wanted i'd never get ANYTHING done...plus he's making my oversupply issues way worse. I do nurse him a couple times a day still. dd is nursed on demand and I hope to do CLW with her, unless I have to set limits for her too.

i dunno I find these days that i can't stand nursing either of them. I make myself do it because it is important but it definitely isn't something I *want* to do right now.
post #45 of 91
I don't plan to use any kind of limits. Honestly every time that DS has a day where he nurses a little less than usual I always think "oh no I hope he doesn't want to wean yet."
post #46 of 91
DS is almost 3.5, and he has always been such an avid nurser that I assumed he would continue until he was at least 4 or 5. I've never had an upper limit age in mind (although I have joked "kindergarten" with my sister-in-law, just to give her an answer that might shock her enough to stop her from asking the question again). My DH has said that he can envision a 4-year-old nursing, but 5 seems too old to him (again, is it because they're "school-aged"?).

Anyway, for about the past six months, DS has stopped nursing during the day (except for the very rare nap, which only happens when he's totally exhausted). He would nurse 2-3 times, between going to bed around 10:00 p.m. and waking up around 8:00 a.m. But the 8:00 a.m. session was really starting to bug me, because it meant that I had to interrupt whatever I was doing (making breakfast, packing lunches, etc.) to go back into the bedroom and nurse him, often for 20-30 minutes (which felt like an eternity). And sometimes that would actually put him back to sleep, which made it that much harder to get out the door in the morning.

So I discussed it with him, telling him that if he woke up and I wasn't in bed with him, that meant that I was already up doing what I needed to do. I told him that he should get up and come find me, because our mornings are just too busy for me to spend a lot of time in bed nursing after I've already gotten up for the day. I told him that I was perfectly willing to nurse him on the couch if he really wanted to nurse after he got up. The result? Now, instead of screaming from the bedroom for me to come nurse him and help him get out of bed, DS gets up himself, goes pee, gets his clothes out of his dresser, and comes out to find me. I make sure to have breakfast on the table, and even if he asks to nurse when he first sees me, he immediately changes his mind when he sees the food sitting there for him. I feel like setting this reasonable (in my view) limit on the morning nursing session enabled him to recognize that he was capable of taking more responsibility for himself, and it has made the morning routine much more pleasant, I think for both of us.

Anyway, this is all to say that I think it's important, even for CLW'ers, to recognize that sometimes nursing (even if it's just one particular session of the day) may be holding the child or the parent-child relationship back from moving on to a new place that the child is actually ready for, but just needs a little help reaching. I set the limit on nursing out of frustration, but the result was really eye-opening for me. I would not have stuck to it if it seemed like DS still really needed that last morning nursing session, but it appears that he really doesn't, and he's a much happier kid in the morning now that he's taking more responsibility for himself. And now that he's down to 1-2 nursing sessions per day, and those only at night, I have no objection to him continuing to nurse until he decides he's done.
post #47 of 91
My still nursing ds is 3.5 and I haven't for one minute felt uncomfortable about his age and nursing. It feels completely natural. I am very commited to child led weaning, but I can't for sure know what will happen in the future. I can't imagine circumstances that would make me want to MLW...but you never know!
post #48 of 91
I am committed! When I was first pg I also thought I would shoot for a year. I never imagined I would be nursing a 2,5 year old let alone a 4.5 year old, or even crazier - BOTH! But, after my ds was born I learned about CLW and knew that was what I wanted to give my children. I feel really lucky that it has worked out so wonderfully for all of us and that it has been very easy for me. I will be sad when they wean, my youngest dd has recently dropped down to only once a day somedays. She is only 2.5 and a little peanut, and my baby and I am amazed when she doesn't always want to nurse upon waking (but she wants me to hold her and she puts her head on my shoulder and hugs me and we just stay like that for a while instead).
post #49 of 91
DD2 is 32 months old and nursing once or twice a day. Most days, she doesn't ask for more than that, but I have started setting some limits that I didn't ever set with DD1 who naturally weaned around 22 months. For example, I no longer want to nurse DD2 at restaurant tables, in the hallway outside DD1's kindergarten classroom, or any other sort of bustling, noisy, crowded spot -- I just don't like exposing myself anymore. It didn't bother me when either daughter was younger, but now, I think either I'm just plain tired of the constant fight to keep my nipple covered (DD2 is a mammary gymnast!) or I have reached the limits of my culturally-engrained tolerance of publicly nursing an older toddler. So, we nurse just at home or occasionally at other people's homes, but mostly just first thing in the morning.

The thing is that I also find I just simply don't want to nurse her very often anymore. I am not creeped out by it or anything, nor do I for one moment think it's wrong, but I just don't feel like it. I don't feel like sitting there being pawed at and sucked on. I am happy -- thrilled even! -- to take lots of snuggle breaks throughout the day, where DD2 and I sit quietly and hug, or nuzzle noses or do other things that involve both of us, but perhaps what I am really done with is what, for DD2 and I, is a very one-sided nursing relationship. I "give" her my breast, she "takes" my milk, she is not very gentle, she doesn't settle in and relax and ooze love -- she just kind of gobbles at me, like my breast is a sandwich, like this is another food for her and it doesn't have anything to do with her love for her mommy. Does that make sense?

What gets me down sometimes about being really committed to CLW is that it seems to force a mama also to be really committed to total self-sacrifice with no way out. If you are 100% committed, there are no limits, no encouragement to take your relationship to the next level, etc. I love what CalBearMama said about teaching her DS to get up in the morning and find her -- that's an example of setting a gentle limit with a carrot instead of a stick -- but would probably fall under the category of mother-led-weaning and therefore somehow make her less than 100% committed to CLW.

How about the idea of FLW -- "family led weaning?" This is where the nursing relationship ends eventually as a result of the needs and strengths of the entire family. It can be influenced (not forced) by a pregnancy or new baby, by a mama that feels "done" and wants to move on gently and help her child do so, by a mama who goes back to work, by a daddy who lives elsewhere who wants to have overnights, by any other number of parts of living in a group of people who ALL have needs. A newborn or baby should, in my opinion, get to be the one whose needs get absolute first consideration, but when you have a 3 or 4 or 5 year old, I think that child can be considered part of a group of people whose needs ALL must be met -- including the mama.

Just my two cents. I'm not against CLW (and in fact love the idea) if everyone involved is happy!
post #50 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by haleyelianasmom View Post
Before dd was born, I thought I'd shoot for 1 year. Then when we got started, I felt like I didn't care if she kept nursing as long as she needed. Now she's 2.5 and to be honest, nursing can be physically irritating (as described in the "nursing makes my skin crawl" thread), especially since my cycles returned around 27 months. I am having guilt issues because I logically know that looking at tribal communities and comparing to non-human primates, I should probably be nursing her every 80 minutes until she's 6. However, my body isn't dealing well with anything over 3 or 4 times a day at this point and even that sometimes makes me fidget depending on the time of the month. I hate it. I wish I could happily let her nurse as often as she likes, but I'm having to really set some limits, like cutting her sessions short or first asking "do you want a snack? do you want water? do you want to snuggle?" before nursing...which actually, I'm finding she often asks to nurse when hungry and when I ask if she's ready for a snack, she stops asking to nurse and runs to the kitchen.

Anyways, the short answer is, I'm not sure! I won't force her to wean before she is ready, but I'm having to set some limits for my personal sanity. If she was only nursing once or twice a day at age 4 or 5, I can't see myself stopping her all together. I guess I'm more about limiting frequency and duration of sessions rather than the overall duration of her nursing if that makes sense.

Funny thing is, just last summer I remember feeling a bit critical of people who weaned before age 4 or those who felt happy that their child was weaned. Now, I get it. unfortunately. I really honestly want to make it to 4. I don't know why, but 4 is this number I have in mind as a good minimum. We'll see where life takes us, though. I've learned to never have too many plans as a parent.
Great post! I have a goal of 4 also. I know he may wean sooner but I think I would be quite devastated if it happened before 2. Right now I imagine nursing past 6-7 would be too much for me, but things could change.

I wonder about supply though. I'm noticing at 1 year my supply is starting to peter out a bit. At what point is the nutritional aspect not as important to them?
post #51 of 91
I don't really know the answer right now. DS is 2.5 and still very much needs to nurse and I am quite happy to nurse him, so I don't even have thoughts about stopping now. I did have some burnout around his 2nd birthday that I think was related to his teething, but I came to this board a lot and checked out Mothering Your Nursing Toddler from the library and those helped me to get over my burnout phase.

I honestly can't imagine that I will wean him, but you never know how things could change. If I do end up weaning him, I would want to do it in the most gentle way as possible. But these are things I don't spend a lot of time thinking about... just taking our lives a little at a time.
post #52 of 91
I dunno, I think I have a pretty loose definition of CLW. I'm letting my DS (3 years) so far decide when to wean. But I don't nurse him every single time he asks for it. Although I sometimes turn him down, I also still offer, so it's not like I'm actively encouraging him to wean. But he's old enough to learn how to wait in certain situations and if I honestly can't nurse him because I'm busy or if it's somewhere I feel uncomfortable, I talk to him about it.

Anyhow, in terms of limit, I don't know that I have one. I never thought I would nurse past 6 months, I never thought I would SAHM, and here I am nursing my 3 year old while on extended maternity leave. I know I have a limit on how old to NIP. I'm starting to feel uncomfortable in certain situations or around certain people and that will only increase as DS gets older. I'm also at the point where if nursing becomes really painful and I start cutting down on nursing sessions or if he weans abruptly if I go on away for a week without him (my mother is terminally ill and living very far away, so this may be a possibility), I'm okay with it, because I feel really good about making it to 3.

Right now I all I can say is I'm totally cool with DS still nursing at 10 if he so pleases, just not in front of my mother
post #53 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Is every year an achievement? Is this CLW? I see this as more mama-promoted nursing, no? Why have an age goal? I don't get that. I mean sure, maybe at 2 or 3. But we've passed 2, 3, and 4 and I'm staring down 5 and 6. These ages are not goals for me. It's not that I'm having a hard time with nursing or feel at the end of my rope etc, but that I wonder when the limit is. Yk? When a child is not CL*W*ing, and they are getting bigger, where is the limit (if there is one), for myself and others is what I was wondering about. The pep talk about transforming limits into goals kind of rubs me the wrong way. It's like 'turn that frown upside down!' or something, I mean if you want to have a goal that's fine but not what I was asking about.
I was thinking the same thing. It seems like pushing for another year (or whatever goal) isn't so much CLW as mama-led... um... opposite of weaning.

Anyway, my dd is almost 2 and nurses 3-5 times during the day and 2-4 through the night. I can't imagine the day when she doesn't nurse. We both benefit greatly from it. OTOH, I can't imagine nursing a 5-year old. 4 might even push my comfort level, but I don't know yet. I guess I have no intentions of nursing her once she starts kindergarten, so that means I'm not 100% committed to CLW.
post #54 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryJaneLouise View Post
Well, my guys turned 3 this week so this has been on my mind. I NEVER was committee to CLW (still am not), I am just keepin' on cuz it's easier than weaning It fits with my lazy & procrastrinative personality
That's my reasoning too. My dd is almost 2 and it's just easier to continue than to try and wean. My dh was very uncomfortable with past a year until dd got to that age. Now I just tell him that if he wants to wean then he has to take over all nighttime parenting since dd expects me to nurse her. So...no more mentioning of weaning from dh. He appreciates his sleep too much.

Now however, I'm coming to the realization that nursing may be inhibiting my ability to conceive, so that's a whole other issue for me to work through.
post #55 of 91
I'm committed to CLW.
DD self weaned at 4years 4mos, ds at 3yrs 9 mos~ I wasn't quite ready for that he cut back through 2 pgs and after the second loss he weaned all together.
We tandemed for 2 yrs, it was incredibly difficult at times and incredibly wonderful, though for me actually nursing them both at the same time was often overstimulating and I waaay prefered the indiv. attention that nursing them individually brought.
DD2 is now 6 mos and she will self-wean . Our Babes self -feed as well.

I just can't imagine choosing to wean. It has never been my experience.
post #56 of 91

Age limit

I think no age limit--it really depends on the child.
post #57 of 91
I started out thinking I was only going to go to 6 months, then realized that as long as they wanted to nurse, I would let them . DS nursed until he was 4.25 years old, when he just gradually stopped (I will never forget the last time as he was choking on a large ice cube at a party and it was instinct to just nurse him). I think he still thinks of it but he says he doesn't want to. He tried once about a year ago and he forgot how. I can still imagine him nursing though.

With DD there is no end in sight. She is a huge girl, almost as big as her brother (who is big for his age) and a little bit heavier so when I'm nursing her, it looks like I'm nursing a 6+ year old. She nurses a LOT, way more than DS did at her age. I get the creepy crawly feeling sometimes and will get her to stop or switch sides if it gets really bad. Other than that, I don't limit her. We still occasionally NIP, but it's just a quick nip and she's off. I have no idea how long she will go.

I find how you feel about it changes over time.
post #58 of 91
I don't think I'll ever have the heart to tell them no, so here we are...for the long run I'm sure. She loves her bubbies!
post #59 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalBearMama View Post
DS is almost 3.5, and he has always been such an avid nurser that I assumed he would continue until he was at least 4 or 5. I've never had an upper limit age in mind (although I have joked "kindergarten" with my sister-in-law, just to give her an answer that might shock her enough to stop her from asking the question again). My DH has said that he can envision a 4-year-old nursing, but 5 seems too old to him (again, is it because they're "school-aged"?).

Anyway, for about the past six months, DS has stopped nursing during the day (except for the very rare nap, which only happens when he's totally exhausted). He would nurse 2-3 times, between going to bed around 10:00 p.m. and waking up around 8:00 a.m. But the 8:00 a.m. session was really starting to bug me, because it meant that I had to interrupt whatever I was doing (making breakfast, packing lunches, etc.) to go back into the bedroom and nurse him, often for 20-30 minutes (which felt like an eternity). And sometimes that would actually put him back to sleep, which made it that much harder to get out the door in the morning.

So I discussed it with him, telling him that if he woke up and I wasn't in bed with him, that meant that I was already up doing what I needed to do. I told him that he should get up and come find me, because our mornings are just too busy for me to spend a lot of time in bed nursing after I've already gotten up for the day. I told him that I was perfectly willing to nurse him on the couch if he really wanted to nurse after he got up. The result? Now, instead of screaming from the bedroom for me to come nurse him and help him get out of bed, DS gets up himself, goes pee, gets his clothes out of his dresser, and comes out to find me. I make sure to have breakfast on the table, and even if he asks to nurse when he first sees me, he immediately changes his mind when he sees the food sitting there for him. I feel like setting this reasonable (in my view) limit on the morning nursing session enabled him to recognize that he was capable of taking more responsibility for himself, and it has made the morning routine much more pleasant, I think for both of us.

Anyway, this is all to say that I think it's important, even for CLW'ers, to recognize that sometimes nursing (even if it's just one particular session of the day) may be holding the child or the parent-child relationship back from moving on to a new place that the child is actually ready for, but just needs a little help reaching. I set the limit on nursing out of frustration, but the result was really eye-opening for me. I would not have stuck to it if it seemed like DS still really needed that last morning nursing session, but it appears that he really doesn't, and he's a much happier kid in the morning now that he's taking more responsibility for himself. And now that he's down to 1-2 nursing sessions per day, and those only at night, I have no objection to him continuing to nurse until he decides he's done.
Thank you for this post, it's got me thinking.
post #60 of 91
Quote:
How about the idea of FLW -- "family led weaning?" This is where the nursing relationship ends eventually as a result of the needs and strengths of the entire family. It can be influenced (not forced) by a pregnancy or new baby, by a mama that feels "done" and wants to move on gently and help her child do so, by a mama who goes back to work, by a daddy who lives elsewhere who wants to have overnights, by any other number of parts of living in a group of people who ALL have needs. A newborn or baby should, in my opinion, get to be the one whose needs get absolute first consideration, but when you have a 3 or 4 or 5 year old, I think that child can be considered part of a group of people whose needs ALL must be met -- including the mama.
I think this is a good idea.

I don't have any goals past 2 years. Of course, if I had a LO who really truly weaned prior to 2, I'd be okay with it.

Dd2 weaned around 28 months when I was pregnant with dd3. She was never a big comfort nurser and once the milk was gone she just didn't care about nursing anymore. It was a little sad, but we were both ready.

We'll just see with dd3. I'm not zealous about CLW. I think it's great but for me, it's a "within reason" thing, not a "at all costs" thing, ykwim? I know that looking at my 6.75 year old, I think "Man! Nursing her would be SO WEIRD!" but I think probably everyone who ended up nursing a 6 year old thought the same thing at one point, you know? Heck, with dd1 I was like "zomg I'd never nurse past 6 MONTHS, that's so icky!" And then I nursed a 2.5 year old and became a LLL Leader.

So I don't know.
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