How young can they really Child Led Wean? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-03-2004, 01:58 PM
 
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Ack, busy at work and no time to read the whole thread (only got to page 2), but clothcrazymom, do I know you from another board?

I unfortunately got a little emotional on another board last week on much the same subject (in a nutshell, a woman was concerned her 9 month old was self-weaning (it was clearly reverse cycling) but that led to a clamor of posts about babies who had self-weaned before the age of 1 year)

Like others, I believe based on what I have read that the child who truly self-weans (as opposed to CRW as defined previously in the thread) before the age of 18 months or so is extremely rare. Nearly every time there are predisposing factors. I argued this on the other board, as I feel the semantics are very important when one talks about them with other people, as it perpetuates the notion that self-weaning at an early age is common and discourages moms whose babies are going through a nursing strike from aggressively pursuing ways to reverse the strike.

I'll come back and read this whole thread over the weekend hopefully.

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Old 09-03-2004, 02:02 PM
 
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Kaimama, I believe you- but more importantly I believe in your instincts as a mom, your little one's instincts and your ability to foster the best nursing relationship for both of you I don't know about the rest of ya, but I live in a very not-breastfeeding friendly environment and thus i REALLY value support, info and love from other bfing moms- ALL bfing moms. The community where I am in daily life is so small I can't imagine making further divisions.....definitely not the message I want to send to ds either.

I like mother_sunshine's idea of "child-led breastfeeding" for me, this emcompasses my relationship with my son. from what some ppl are saying, it appears that others belive CLW to be defined mostly, if not entirely, by the last nursing session- i.e. was it the child's choice to stop or not, did they inititate it, etc. OTOH, i'd like to think of nursing ds as a dynamic, creative, relationship that is more about (constant, hehe) bfing- not about weaning.

it's also not parent-led either though- i offer when he uses nurses, when he's hurt, etc. but if he doesn't want to bf that's fine. i'd never "cut back" on his food to try to get him to nurse more. he will make the choice that is right for his body. i know breastmilk is better than broccoli but i also know that even as a toddler he deserves to have his opinions and desires taken seriously. the times he has refused- when he's playing intensely or sees a food he wants- he just "makes up" for it by nursing more later.....

peace
h*mama

Edited to add: please forgive the grammar mistakes!! In re-reading I realized that some may consider me, as the parent, "leading" since I do offer the breast but I tend to envision our bfing relationship as somewhat intuitive, so perhaps I too need a new term to describe everything

Reverse cycling?? My son still does this at 20 months.....all the time.....even when we are together the entire day/night. Maybe some are just night-eaters
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Old 09-05-2004, 10:30 PM
 
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kaimama, finally read more of the thread and didn't want you to think i was directing my comments at you. personally, i think 18 months (while less common) is perfectly within a range for CLW. the moms (and dad) i was talking with were talking about babies as young as 4-6 months in cases where they were nightweaning, using CIO, supplementing with formula, etc.

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Old 09-06-2004, 03:56 PM
 
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Chiming in a bit late, but I wanted to address
Quote:
I shudder at such absolutes on these forums and hope that moms who are reading and aspire to CLW realize they can set an occassional limit or make adjustments if they need to, and it doesn't spell the word "wean". I am not talking about solids at 4 mos., pacifiers or dad walking a crying baby at night.
What is the point in having terms if they don't have meaning? If a term like "child-led weaning" exists, it's b/c there are certain things that fall under the category and certain things that don't. Perhaps different people have different perspectives, but that doesn't mean all perspectives are correct. "Child-led" means "child-led". If parents want to guide their kids, that's fine, but that doesn't mean the child is actually leading. Just like "choice" is not always "choice" amongst parents. Someone above mentioned offering a twinkie and if the child takes it, was that not a decision, even if the child didn't instigate the twinkie issue. Sure, it's a decision, but it's not a child-led decision. Child-led means the child instigated it. I don't think having that as an absolute is such a big deal. Actually, it seems critical in understanding terms such as this.

It's standard at our LLL meetings to point out that anytime anything other than the breast is put to the child's mouth for feeding times, weaning has been introduced. That's usually pointed out during discussions of "what to tell people when they ask when the child will wean". Perhaps if that's not truly what LLL Leaders mean, they should rephrase.

If one's baby wants to nurse, the mom knows the baby wants to nurse, but offers something other than the breast, what is that if not instigating weaning? Offering limits is not "wrong", but shouldn't we be completely open about what can trigger a child to wean and what encourages weaning?

CLW can occur on a huge spectrum. But, there has to be a solid definiton of CLW if there is to be such a term in existance and it be something to discuss and aim for in our relationships with our children.
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Old 09-06-2004, 07:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaka Falls
It's standard at our LLL meetings to point out that anytime anything other than the breast is put to the child's mouth for feeding times, weaning has been introduced.
If that's the case, then child-led weaning doesn't really exist, does it, if a child is ingesting food before he/she can seek it out, obtain it, and fix it up for him/herself? (In which case, probably not at all in our society).

[quote]Offering limits is not "wrong", but shouldn't we be completely open about what can trigger a child to wean and what encourages weaning? [.quote]

The operative word there, though, is "can." Perhaps setting limits will encourage one child to wean while another's nursing rhythm won't be at all impacted by limits.

Quote:
CLW can occur on a huge spectrum. But, there has to be a solid definiton of CLW if there is to be such a term in existance and it be something to discuss and aim for in our relationships with our children.
Absolutely - it's a huge spectrum, as we see from the experiences of the mothers on this board. What I'm seeing here, though, is no acknowledgement of that spectrum. I see the desire to employ absolutes and give CLW a very narrow definition. that would exclude many people who seem to me to still be practicing CLW.

I guess I would ask what the point of that is. Yes, there needs to be a definition, but why adopt a definition that excludes those who actually do have the sort of nursing relationship that the term, taken literally, would describe? It seems that one group has decided that the term should be defined to include only one end of the spectrum and is using it as a faulty guage by which to evaluate everyone else.
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Old 09-06-2004, 09:26 PM
 
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Dragonfly and Mom4tot said it so well, but I'll add my 2-cents (again).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaka Falls
What is the point in having terms if they don't have meaning? If a term like "child-led weaning" exists, it's b/c there are certain things that fall under the category and certain things that don't. Perhaps different people have different perspectives, but that doesn't mean all perspectives are correct. "Child-led" means "child-led".
The point of having CLW discussions here at MDC is not to give mothers stringent guidelines to religiously follow (and if they don't then they don't "belong") but rather to invite support and understanding of one another's experiences for those who are choosing to let their children wean when they are ready. I think that is the only absolute you can place on CLW, the child stops breastfeeding when he/she is ready. Everyone has their own ideas and ideals for their breastfeeding relationship, we are all different and alike in some way. Placing such stringent expectations on a mother is not the point. I don't want to scare mothers away simply because a very few are placing a very narrow definition on CLW to the point that they are saying those who don't follow it are parent-led weaning their children regardless of when the child decides to fully wean. To me, that is ridiculous and I too shudder at that. If it were a true and absolute scientific definition, which it is not, then I don't think anyone could call themselves CLW (if you wait until each child has fully weaned). I have noticed those who vocalize the stringent definition tend to have children who are still in the very early stages of breastfeeding. I have nothing against that as long as it is clear that it is their own definition not the defintion of the word.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaka Falls
It's standard at our LLL meetings to point out that anytime anything other than the breast is put to the child's mouth for feeding times, weaning has been introduced. That's usually pointed out during discussions of "what to tell people when they ask when the child will wean". Perhaps if that's not truly what LLL Leaders mean, they should rephrase.
Yes, in the stretch of the word "wean", weaning does start when anything other than breastmilk is introduced. But in the absolute of the word, even in this case, "wean" is ultimately the complete cessation of breastfeeding. I don't think anyone could argue with that.

I have always seen the use of "we are weaning" as a means to either get people to stop asking "when will they wean?", or to soothe the mother's worries that her child "will never wean", or simply to open the mind of the mother to see that breastfeeding is a process and weaning does happen naturally not suddenly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaka Falls
If one's baby wants to nurse, the mom knows the baby wants to nurse, but offers something other than the breast, what is that if not instigating weaning? Offering limits is not "wrong", but shouldn't we be completely open about what can trigger a child to wean and what encourages weaning?
I think the key word here is "baby". I think we all agree that babies should be nursed on demand without limits. When I think of childled weaning, I personally think of children beyond toddlerhood (or at least well into toddlerhood) only because that is when weaning will eventually happen, and that is when the mother (not all, but most, generally speaking) ultimately knows whether or not she will let her child decide when to wean or not. This is when limits, within reason, are a healthy part of life. Children need their parents to teach them what limits are.....learning how to wait, compromising, meeting and respecting one another's needs....to teach them what it is to be a part of a loving relationship. Childled weaning shouldn't mean letting your child completely dictate the breastfeeding relationship.

Quote:
CLW can occur on a huge spectrum. But, there has to be a solid definiton of CLW if there is to be such a term in existance and it be something to discuss and aim for in our relationships with our children.
In the past couple of years that we have had discussions on CLW, only recently have I heard such narrow definitions on the term. We need to be very careful here. Some mothers are already excluding themselves because of a very few who call it "all or nothing". I think if we place such stringent guidelines on CLW then it will become an obsolete term which will inevitably leave many mothers out who thrive (and will thrive) on one another's support.
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Old 09-06-2004, 09:33 PM
 
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Old 09-07-2004, 01:40 AM
 
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Quote:
If that's the case, then child-led weaning doesn't really exist, does it, if a child is ingesting food before he/she can seek it out, obtain it, and fix it up for him/herself?
I don't agree with that. IMO, if there is food on someone else's plate and a child propels themselves to it and stuffs in in their own mouth, they made a choice.

 

 

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Old 09-07-2004, 02:38 AM
 
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Coming in late in the thread. I have only read the first couple pages but wanted to answer the OP's question.

The youngest I have witnessed a child self wean is about three. This is my experience with my close friends. Most of their kids weaned somewhere between three (or slightly before) and about 4- 5 years.

One of my friends thinks that she CLW by creating an end date and stopping cold turkey. She stopped directly after her son turned two. There was at least a month of defiance and anger coming from her normally gentle son, but she felt it was a step she needed to take. She still wants to call it CLW..I think to help her with her desision.

The others I know that allowed their children to subtley, intuitively wean did not go through that stage.

My DD is almost three and I see signs of her decline in bfing, more interest in cuddling. I stay present, try to see the subtle signs of weaning she offers and take cues from that.

Take care all
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Old 09-07-2004, 03:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
I don't agree with that. IMO, if there is food on someone else's plate and a child propels themselves to it and stuffs in in their own mouth, they made a choice.
I don't agree with it either, necessarily (I was just responding with a possible interpretation of Chaka's statement). I think some would agree, though. There is another view that even when a child grabs food, puts it in their mouth and swallows, they're not necessarily ready to eat and allowing it is a step toward weaning.

It's just another example of how many grey issues there are with respect to CLW.
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Old 09-07-2004, 02:25 PM
 
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There is another view that even when a child grabs food, puts it in their mouth and swallows, they're not necessarily ready to eat and allowing it is a step toward weaning.
I guess I just don't understand how a child could initiante getting their own food then. If picking it up and feeding themselves isn't good enough. I'm not attacking you, I just would love to know what "child led weaned" kids do in this belief system.... suddenly go to the store with their saved allowance when the are five and buy some dinner?

 

 

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Old 09-07-2004, 05:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TiredX2
I guess I just don't understand how a child could initiante getting their own food then. If picking it up and feeding themselves isn't good enough. I'm not attacking you, I just would love to know what "child led weaned" kids do in this belief system.... suddenly go to the store with their saved allowance when the are five and buy some dinner?
That's my point, exactly, Tired. I don't get it either.

So at what point is it not parent-initiated weaning to offer a child food? My guess is it differs for everyone and is mostly contingent upon the child's nursing rhythm (which, hopefully, the mother is in tune with). This is just one example of why I'm really uncomfortable with such a narrow definition of child-led weaning.
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Old 03-02-2006, 11:47 PM
 
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Hi I have never heard the term nursing strike before. How do you know when your child is on a strike and what do you do? Could it be that they are just not getting enough from you? I enjoy nursing so much. My daughter is 5 months old she is my fourth child. My past three nusing experinces did not go very well. I think they may have been on a strike but I thought they were weaning themselves. Why is nursing strikes not spoke of more often? Any helpful advice for me so this nursing experince goes better. Thanks Canadianmomof4 Amber

sorry I posted this twice It is my first time posting. I am not that used to the computer.
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Old 03-02-2006, 11:48 PM
 
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Hi I have never heard the term nursing strike before. How do you know when your child is on a strike and what do you do? Could it be that they are just not getting enough from you? I enjoy nursing so much. My daughter is 5 months old she is my fourth child. My past three nusing experinces did not go very well. I think they may have been on a strike but I thought they were weaning themselves. Why is nursing strikes not spoke of more often? Any helpful advice for me so this nursing experince goes better. Thanks Canadianmomof4 Amber
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Old 03-03-2006, 12:31 AM
 
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I generally would consider any refusal to nurse to be a nursing strike unless my child is over two. I think one of the reasons that in North America, especially the US, nursing strikes are not spoken of is that culture here values independence and sees weaning as a sign of it, so any refusal to nurse is more likely to be seen as a positive thing instead of being recognized as a negative. People here seem to want their kids to drop their infant needs as quickly as possible, so it doesn't occur to them to see the disadvantages of premature weaning.

Here are a couple of articles about nursing strikes:



http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html

http://www.seldomfar.com/nurturing/nursing.htm
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Old 03-03-2006, 01:49 AM
 
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Holy Thread Revival Mamas!

Ok, so when I posted on this thread originally, my ds was about 2.5 years old and nursing up a storm.

Now, he's about to turn four, and still nursing to sleep, nursing at night, nursing to wake, and nursing once or twice or even not at all during the day.

I say we still have about a year to go, but he says he'll nurse until he's sixteen
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Old 03-03-2006, 03:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velcromom
I generally would consider any refusal to nurse to be a nursing strike unless my child is over two.
I would also closely look at any *sudden* change in nursing frequency carefully. If your child has set an end date that is one thing, but if they are nursing 4,5,6 times daily and then suddenly NOTHING, there might be another issue than simple weaning readiness.

 

 

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