Poll: When is it ok for you to mother-lead wean? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: when is it ok to mother-lead wean?
at anytime that the mother wants to wean (from birth on) 35 15.84%
from 12 months on 72 32.58%
from 24 months on 81 36.65%
from 3 years on 12 5.43%
from 4 years on 10 4.52%
never, it's not ok to mother-lead wean 11 4.98%
Voters: 221. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-10-2004, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When does it become ok to mother-lead wean?

(btw, I'm playing devil's advocate here, I don't have a problem with mother-lead weaning)

BUT seriously, *WHEN* for example, do you stop judging a woman for weaning her child? (we all know we should not judge but I am asking honest answers) also, I see that a lot of you are ok and respect mother lead weaning AFTER a certain point. this is why I am asking. Because I have seen posts saying something like "oh she weaned him at 12 months that was too soon" but if she weans her toddler, it's ok? (again, I'm not stating it's my opinion, I'm just genuinly curious) because for example, I love nursing my baby boy but I don't think I want to nurse until he's 6, for example, but I don't feel comfortable taking something so important away from him, so when is it ok? 2 years old? 3 years old?

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Old 09-10-2004, 10:34 PM
 
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Carmen, you like hot button topics, dont ya

Hmmmmm, my gut response is that is i shouldnt judge any mom on this issue (not withstanding the research that shows the benefits of nursing for 1-2 years and the fact that i nursed my own 3 kids).


I am curious to see what the other mamas out there will say.
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Old 09-10-2004, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetbaby3
Carmen, you like hot button topics, dont ya

Hmmmmm, my gut response is that is i shouldnt judge any mom on this issue (not withstanding the research that shows the benefits of nursing for 1-2 years and the fact that i nursed my own 3 kids).


I am curious to see what the other mamas out there will say.
well, this board has been quiet for a while, and well, I like a good, calm debate once in a while

I agree that we shouldn't judge, I truly do. but I really want to know when it's ok to mother-lead wean according to us all here.
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Old 09-10-2004, 11:14 PM
 
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I voted the WHO line of at least 2 years, but really I have enough to do with running my own life and making my own parenting decisions that I don't worry about when a mom decides she's had enough. As long as she's given factual information and is not mislead that she should be weaning at any particular age, I don't have a problem with any fully informed decision.

"What will you do once you know?"
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Old 09-10-2004, 11:28 PM
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Hi!

I think that most of the time it depends on the baby.

If the baby is still getting most of his/her calories from bm, then it's probably not a good idea to wean, unless it is an extenuating circumstance.

But if the baby isn't nursing very often, then hmm...things get murky.

I guess it's each mother's right to decide in conjunction with her baby's needs. I think we can encourage mothers to go as long as then can for the attachment and for the immunities, but at some point, each mother has to make her own decision for her family and it's not really my business anyway.

Ciao!
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Old 09-11-2004, 12:54 AM
 
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I actually said anytime a mother wants to, because I do think that women have the right to make any choice about their body on their own, free of my opinion. However, that said, I think that the number one reason why women who start breastfeeding but don't continue past 3 or 6 months is because they don't get enough support. A lot of women start off breastfeeding not knowing a single other woman who has ever breastfed, and I think it could be very hard to get through the first couple of months in that situation. I think we should hold society in general accountable for the lack of breastfeeding, not individual mothers.
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Old 09-11-2004, 01:14 AM
 
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I think women should be able to at any time. It is their body. However, i'm actually ok with it after 12 months. I think then it is a lot better. Every baby is different. My 22 month old has severe food allergy issues and breastmilk is very important to his health. In some ways I think another mom weaning their 12 month old would be better than me weaning my ds.

Misty, mama to my nurslings William(11/4/02) and Parker(7/13/04).
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Old 09-11-2004, 01:23 AM
 
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I think the "how" (and maybe why) of the weaning is more important to me than the "when." My cousin's wife nursed their son for exactly 3 months. Then she stopped. Totally cold turkey. He hated bottles but she refused to nurse him any more so he eventually got used to them. It broke my heart to think of this poor baby not getting mama milk anymore. He was a born nurser, perfect latch, only nursed every 3 hours or so (he was nursed on demand), just the perfect baby to bf. She weaned him because she wanted to start smoking again and didn't feel right about nursing if she was smoking I don't think I would have felt too bad if she weaned him gradually or if she had several problems or was miserable nursing. As it was the whole situation just made me sad.

I never really enjoyed nursing, but did it until L was about 20 months. She is dairy allergic, so I was dairy free for a year of that. She got to the point where she was only nursing once a day for 5 minutes or so (she was never a comfort nurser) so I finally decided it was time to stop. I was starting to resent the nursing and I didn't want her to sense that. She never really seemed to miss it.

j
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Old 09-11-2004, 02:06 AM
 
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I agree with the other mommies that each woman has to make her own choices, but personally I hate to see a baby weaned much before 12 months. I just don't like when women stop nursing because they think it's icky or they don't like pumping. I had a friend who stopped nursing because she didn't like how her milk "got everywhere" when she was pumping. It's a shame she couldn't figure out how to pump without making a "mess", but unfortunately she probably made one because her milk supply was so good. Her dd also ended up being lactose intolerent and she wasn't willing to change the way she ate. That kind of annoyed me too, but to each her own.
Personally I have much more respect for my friend who had twin premies who never really learned to suck right, and became lactose intolerant, and she was still willing to cut out dairy and pump up to a year, even though they needed to suppliment anyway.
Kudos to her and others like her.

treehugger.gifMom of one angel1.gif(12/28/02) ,one babyboy.gif(12/2/03), one babygirl.gif(12/28/05) and 2 dog2.gif and 2 cat.gif

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Old 09-11-2004, 03:57 AM
 
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I was going to say it's never ok. But then I thought, if you really meant NEVER, I don't know if I'd agree with that if it meant going outside my personal comfort level for age. I don't know if I would want to nurse a kid over age 5 or so. I'm not sure yet, since I haven't had the opportunity, but that's just what I think. So if my dd hasn't shown any interest in stopping around age 4, I might try to encourage her to at least cut down.

I actually thought the poll would be about more than just age - like, is it ok to wean if you get a really great job offer that requires lots of time away from home? Or, if the kids are biting you every day? Or, if you are pregnant and can't stand the sensation of nursing? You know, stuff like that.

I went through a biting-every-day phase with dd1 and I'm glad I stuck through it. She bit every day from 10 mos to 16 mos. I seriously considered weaning. I now see I was handling the biting all wrong and I hope I can avoid it this time. That's one thing I'm afraid of.

So I voted from age 4 on. As far as when I'd stop judging another mom, I figure if she goes for 2 years or so and the kid isn't too upset about weaning, it's OK.
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Old 09-11-2004, 04:04 AM
 
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I voted 24 months, even though I don't consider myself to judge people who do so before then (since that would be almost everyone). I just picked that because I consider 2 years to be the minimum a child *should* be nursed.

Honestly, I am more likely to judge some people (a good friend who is a LLL is currently weaning her 2 year old) than others (I would be so impressed and happy if my SILs would nurse more than 6 months). If a mother sees no value in continueing nursing after a certain point, it is hard to judge that, kwim?

Really, though, imo, it comes down to what is best for the child. There are some children who easily wean at 15 months. Others where it is obviously cruel to be weaning them at 2.5. I would have much more sympathy for the mother of the 15 month old (who's child readily stopped) than for the 2.5 year old (who it negatively affected).

Mostly, though, I don't care

 

 

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Old 09-11-2004, 02:06 PM
 
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Of course a woman has a right to do as she chooses, but I do believe in child-led weaning. I think it's important for children's physical and emotional well-being to let THEM decide when they're done. The longer a mother breastfeeds, though, the happier I am about the situation. I don't want people to think "well I can't please those child-led weaning types no matter how long I wait to wean, so I might as well wean at 1 year instead of holding out until 2 years." The more breastfeeding, the better.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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Old 09-11-2004, 03:42 PM
 
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This is such a vocabulary specific issue as I've learned from other threads around here about when a person is "allowed" to use certain terms like self-weaned or whether you can claim to have child-led weaned when you don't offer/don't refuse or whatever...anyway.

My opinion of the subject is that for a minimum of one year you should do everything you can to see to it that your child gets breastmilk, be that nursing, pumping, working through a nursing strike, etc. From a year on I think that you should continue nursing as long as your child desires, but that you're not necessarily obligated to constantly be trying to get to them to nurse if they're not interested.

If it's situation where the mother is tired of nursing for whatever reason then I agree with a pp that it's more how they go about it rather than what age. If it's respectful of the child and takes their needs into consideration then I could understand a mother encouraging weaning.
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Old 09-11-2004, 05:18 PM
 
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I don't like the term "child led weaning". I think it's misleading, at least when you're talking about a mother-toddler nursing relationship. When I was nursing a toddler I didn't just let him nurse whenever and wherever he wanted after a certain point. I had a say in how much/how often he could nurse and I think that's the natural progression when you breastfeed past infancy.

I've largely stopped judging people on this issue; I was very judgemental of people for if they bf and how long when my first child was a baby and it took too much of my energy and I had negative feelings about it a lot of the time. I'm thrilled when people are informed about breastfeeding. I'm sad to hear people say that a speaking child shouldn't nurse. I like hearing if someone nurses for a whole year or longer and try to understand that I'm not in their shoes if someone chooses to bf for less than a year or not at all.
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Old 09-11-2004, 06:04 PM
 
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Child-led weaning just means that the child takes the lead in the weaning process. It doesn't mean that the mother has no say in the breastfeeding relationship.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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Old 09-11-2004, 08:37 PM
 
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I voted for anytime the mother is uncomforatble, ideally I would love for each child to be nursed at least a year but I know that its above some peoples comfort level.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
Really, though, imo, it comes down to what is best for the child. There are some children who easily wean at 15 months. Others where it is obviously cruel to be weaning them at 2.5. I would have much more sympathy for the mother of the 15 month old (who's child readily stopped) than for the 2.5 year old (who it negatively affected).
Just wanted to ask about this, I am currently weaning my 2.5 year old and am feeling a little guilty so that's where this is coming from; but how would it be cruel to wean a 2.5 year old. My ds is not very happy about weaning but I've been feeling done for about 8 months and have stuck it out for medical reasons, now that he is thriving and doing great medically I have started weaning him. He isn't happy about it but he still gets lots of cuddle time. Anyway just wanted you to clarify a bit.
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Old 09-11-2004, 09:26 PM
 
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I guess I prefer to call it "natural weaning" instead of child-led. Seems like healthy weaning can be a pretty complex process with mom "leading" at times and the child leading at others. IME at least.
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Old 09-11-2004, 09:45 PM
 
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Around here, I consider it a blessing if a mom makes it to a year!

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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Old 09-12-2004, 01:01 AM
 
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Just wanted to ask about this, I am currently weaning my 2.5 year old and am feeling a little guilty so that's where this is coming from; but how would it be cruel to wean a 2.5 year old. My ds is not very happy about weaning but I've been feeling done for about 8 months and have stuck it out for medical reasons, now that he is thriving and doing great medically I have started weaning him. He isn't happy about it but he still gets lots of cuddle time. Anyway just wanted you to clarify a bit.
I'm happy to clarify. As I stated before:
Quote:
There are some children who easily wean at 15 months. Others where it is obviously cruel to be weaning them at 2.5.
Each child is different. If a 2.5 year old is taking in little to no solids, has a medical condition where bmilk is vital, or any other possible reason, I would consider it cruel to wean *that* child. Some children regress severely when weaned, or show signs of real anxiety (pulling out eyebrows, etc...), prolonged crying... I really hope those mothers would, if at all possible, continue nursing the child.

In my heart of hearts, I believe children are resilient. For example, I consider co-sleeping to be the *best* nighttime arrangement but sincerely believe that probably 95% of children would do fine in a crib, wheras 95% of children would do fine in the family bed, too. BUT, if you are a parent of one of those 5% (either direction--- those who WILL not sleep cuddled, or those who sleeping alone is tragic experience) I feel it is your responsibility to do what is right for *that* child.

Do you see what I mean?

In your situation, you are doing what you feel is right and I assume your child still continues to thrive. I do not know your life, so I can not even give an *opinion* on what I would do in your situation, how it is affecting your child, etc... I would, though, encourage you to nurse him as long as you are comfortable (and at whatever level you are comfortable with)--- as I have stated in the past, the only thing I regret (in my nursing relationship with DD) are the artificial limits I placed on it. At the time, I really needed those limits (night weaned her for 4-5 hours nightly at 25 months, and some additional limits while pg & then tandem nursing), and given the same situation I can see myself making the same choices, but now 1.5 years later I can see how much of a baby she was then. It also disappoints me that she was not allowed to follow her biological timeline for weaning. I can never know how it would have been different if I had behaved differently, but I do take responsibility for the choices I made.

 

 

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Old 09-12-2004, 01:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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ladies...

and THAT is why I *love* TIREDX2! she's my hero!

tirex2.. please PM Cynthia right now and request your SMT to be "MDC heroin"

's
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Old 09-12-2004, 01:40 AM
 
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and THAT is why I *love* TIREDX2! she's my hero!
Thanks

Quote:
tirex2.. please PM Cynthia right now and request your SMT to be "MDC heroin"
Don't mean to be presumptuous, but...

Am I a MDC Heroine (girl hero) or MDC Heroin (MDC narcotic)? Either way, I'll take it as a compliment :LOL

 

 

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Old 09-12-2004, 01:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
but I don't think I want to nurse until he's 6, for example, but I don't feel comfortable taking something so important away from him, so when is it ok? 2 years old? 3 years old?
I guess, for me personally, judging other people, I'd say AFTER 15 months.

But, I really don't pass judgement on people for this. If you ask me to give you a #, that's mine.

MY STORY.

I really wanted to do child-led weaning. I was absolutely determined to BF till he was 2. I thought he'd self-wean around 2ish.

HA!

At 3.5 he was still going strong (nursing at night and sometimes during the day) and I knew I'd have a 5 yr old nursling if I didn't wean. So I did. (BTW, I have no problem with other people who want to nurse past 5. It's just something * I * didn't want to do.)

Honestly, it's up to the mama/child pair. Ideally, they go past a 1.5 yrs, but the world is not an ideal place.

10 - boy
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Old 09-12-2004, 01:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arizonawillow
I guess I prefer to call it "natural weaning" instead of child-led. Seems like healthy weaning can be a pretty complex process with mom "leading" at times and the child leading at others. IME at least.
I agree. Another term I've heard, from the Granju Attachment Parenting book, is child respectful weaning. For some, child led weaning means letting the child make all the decisions on when to nurse, but I didn't do it that way. I usually stay out of the CLW threads. I've nursed my daughter at 5 and some at 4, but she was mostly done at 3.5. I've even offered to let her nurse a number of times. Still, there were times I refused her or tried to redirect when she was in her 3rd year of nursing. I feel like my feelings probably played a part in why she chose to give it up.
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Old 09-12-2004, 01:52 AM
 
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Edited because I was saying nothing of value (not that that usually stops me)

 

 

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Old 09-12-2004, 02:47 PM
 
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When you think of nursing an older child, what does that look like to you? Older children don't usually nurse all day like younger ones do. Mine was only nursing once a day from about 18 mos on.
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Old 09-12-2004, 03:35 PM
 
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Quote:
When you think of nursing an older child, what does that look like to you? Older children don't usually nurse all day like younger ones do. Mine was only nursing once a day from about 18 mos on.
That was what I thought before DD certainly :LOL I figured I would nurse her to at least two, at which point she would be nursing maybe twice daily.

When she hit two she was generally nursing more than a dozen times daily. We cut back to the 3-5 range by the time she was 3 only because I was pg. DS has recently cutting back a bit and is more in the 5-8X/daily (he turned 3 last month). Now, that is both cut down a lot for them from their infant time, but still... more than many 6 month olds nurse

 

 

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Old 09-12-2004, 03:52 PM
 
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T

Greaseball, my almost 3 year old son was bored at home... and when I sat down on the couch, he would climb on me to nurse! I couldn't even sit and relax. This happened several times in a day!

If we were out and about, it wasn't a big deal.

I was desperate, in Jan of 2003, I started looking for a preschool (a fun environment for him to play in). I had to wait until SEPTEMBER to get in.

I did mother-led weaning (first night - he was nursing several times a night, then I cut out the day time nursing) that summer.

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Old 09-12-2004, 04:00 PM
 
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I say anytime after one is great for the majority of North American mothers, because so few make it to that point.

I would like to see a child bf for two years or longer, though.

I weaned both of my children very gently and effectively. I knew I wasn't pushing it (I would have stopped if they were very upset or being traumatized) because it was so easy for us. I weaned them both at the age of two.
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Old 09-12-2004, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
Thanks



Don't mean to be presumptuous, but...

Am I a MDC Heroine (girl hero) or MDC Heroin (MDC narcotic)? Either way, I'll take it as a compliment :LOL

tiredx2, OFCOURSE THE NARCOTIC!!! :LOL

no, I meant heroine! you are my MDC heroine, also piglet (love her) and other mamas.. too many to mention!
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Old 09-12-2004, 09:58 PM
 
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IMO it depends on the individual situation. I personally feel an absolute minimum of 18 months is desirable. I will probably go at least 2 years. My son has food allergies that I feel make it more important for ebf. But I do have a comfort level of not much longer than that.
I try not to judge a woman who bf'ed at all, but I hurt for the child who is weaned way too early or not even bf'ed at all. Especially the children who have health issues and/or food allergies.
Mother led weaning does not have to be a difficult experience for the child if the mother does it gradually and gently.
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