will she ever wean on her own? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 05-09-2011, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

My dd just turned 7 years old, yes I said 7!!  Will she ever wean on her own, or do I have to lead her there.  My impression of CLW is that she will just say "ok I'm done" or she will gradually just stop.  This is not happening, she does not seem to have any desire to stop.  She still nurses to sleep and when she wakes in the morning.  I have never been in any hurry to wean her(obviously) but lately it has been making me feel a little uncomfortable.  Any thoughts on this?  Just today she said,  'I think I'm ready to do everything on my own, even stop nursing",  I said "really?", and then she quickly said "well not right now!!"  I just told her whenever she was ready to stop nursing it was ok, but should I be leading her differently?  Please share any thoughts or ideas.  Thanks,

 

Heather

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#2 of 13 Old 05-09-2011, 03:44 PM
 
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I don't have any experience with nursing a child that old as my DS weaned himself fairly early, but the thought that crossed my mind was that maybe she needs permission and to know that *you* will be okay if she stops nursing.  I can still recall having this huge sense of responsibility as a kid to not "grow up" too fast.  I don't know that it was really something my parents put on me as much as it was just a feeling I had that they would be sad as I started doing more mature activities, etc., and stopped doing other activities.  Just a thought.  Could be totally wrong too.  It just struck me that she said it to you and then kind of took it back, like maybe she was testing the waters and it didn't seem to her that you were 100% okay with it, or maybe she could sense a hint of loss or something.  I know I was relieved when DS weaned, but I also felt a loss.  Good luck, mama!

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#3 of 13 Old 05-10-2011, 03:29 AM
 
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Wow, she's more into it than even my son! 

 

I agree with the other poster, that you need to make sure she knows that you're OK with it.  Maybe she's worried, maybe she's not, but it's probably good to cover that ground just in case.

 

 

My son is 6 and hasn't nursed in a couple months...he's been in a very very very long process for nearly 2 years now.  He goes months and months, then asks, nurses, then goes more months.  And I still create milk, which is the wild part.  Actually, not so much now...I can tell when there's a backlog, and the backlog has progressively taken longer and longer to build.

 

I do have to confess that I don't always say yes to him...he asked tonight but it was absolutely out of left field and I wasn't prepared mentally for it, and I just said "not today" and he moved on.  I personally think it's nice that we can have real talks; other times I'll ask him why he wants to nurse, and he's totally able to tell me, and sometimes he realizes that he actually just needs the closeness, so we'll just snuggle or read another book or something.  Other times he says he just really needs the milk, so...OK.

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#4 of 13 Old 05-16-2011, 11:09 PM
 
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I have been asking myself that question for a long time as I am tandem breastfeeding 7 and 8 year olds. I have been very committed to clw but am getting frustrated. i have definitiely let them know that it is ok with me if they wean. I know I will experience a sense of loss when they finally do wean, but the wait has gotten very long for me. I wonder if I should push them a bit or continue on this path knowing that no kid ever went to college still breastfeeding- or did they?

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#5 of 13 Old 08-15-2011, 09:21 PM
 
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i read these posts with a heavy heart!!! lol! I have a 2yr old who is attached to my hip! We co-sleep, I'm a SAHM and I fear he may never want to CLW! He nurses as much now as he did when he was 1! I don't want to lose the closeness we have, but would love some personal space! or at least be able to sit down for 1 minute without him ripping off my shirt! 

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#6 of 13 Old 08-16-2011, 07:04 PM
 
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Heather, I do think some children will always need a nudge or even stronger help to make certain leaps.  Is this her personality in other areas?  Is she a child who is really reluctant to move outside her comfort zone, doesn't do new things willingly or easily, won't try something new if she thinks she can't do it perfectly?  I think it's a good sign that she's talking about weaning and being ready to give up nursing sometime soon.  But if you think she's going to have a hard time taking that final step, then giving a gentle push might be appropriate.  Depends on how you're feeling.  I'm all in favor of if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  I truly believe that every child will wean on their own at some point!

 

My older two did wean on their own, DD at 5 1/2, DS at 6 and some months.  Not quite as long, LOL, but it did feel some days like they were going to be nursing when they started college!  For us, giving up nursings was definitely something that happened in fits/starts.  It wasn't a slow, gradual process.  The nursing to sleep was the last that went for both children.  We eliminated the nursing in the morning by the simple method of Mommy getting up before they woke up.  If I wasn't in bed, they didn't ask to nurse.  And at some point, they just didn't ask even if I was in bed.  DD weaned completely when we attended an LLL conference and I said, "Wouldn't it be great to wean at the conference?" (because where else can a 5 year old announce weaning and get positive responses?).  And she thought it was a great idea.  Honestly, I wasn't trying to push weaning, I was just making an observation out loud.  But it appealed to her extroverted nature and got her a lot of positive attention.  DS kept nursing to sleep at night for almost another year until he told DD that he would wean "tomorrow" after she asked when he was going to wean.  The next night, he asked to nurse, sister reminded him of what he'd said, he laughed and said, "Oh, yeah."  and was done.  Sort of surprising how fast it happened at the end, for both of them.

 

I got pregnant w/ DD2 pretty much at the same time DS weaned, which was just a coincidence, but DS was the first to "diagnose" the pregnancy.  I was getting undressed one evening and he observed that my nipples and aerolas were bigger.  That made me wonder, and sure enough. . .  Trust the barely-weaned, boob obsessed boy to notice winky.gif

 

 

Bethseth, nursing a preschooler or gradeschooler is so different than nursing a 2-year old!  Compare what it's like now with what it was like when he was a baby. . . and I think it's even more different than that, so don't let the idea discourage you.  These kids are nursing once or twice or maybe 3 times a day, not the on/off all day  (and night!!) long that most 2 year olds do.  If I had to keep that up for years, I'd definitely wean my kids!  I keep telling myself that "this too shall pass", and it really does. What I always said to moms who were worried when seeing my older kids nurse was "your child probably won't nurse this long."  Which is true - most children who are allowed to CLW will wean well before 5 or 6 or 7.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bethseth View Post

i read these posts with a heavy heart!!! lol! I have a 2yr old who is attached to my hip! We co-sleep, I'm a SAHM and I fear he may never want to CLW! He nurses as much now as he did when he was 1! I don't want to lose the closeness we have, but would love some personal space! or at least be able to sit down for 1 minute without him ripping off my shirt! 



 

 


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#7 of 13 Old 11-16-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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I am flabbergasted and totally out of the loop...I am going to have to rethink my entire premise on mothering and breast feeding ... I have five kids ages 40 to 18 and had them all at home naturally and breast fed them all....but I am blown away by this thread...7 years...6 years....my first reaction is cut the cord...I obviously have missed a whole line of thought...I did tandem breast feeding for my first two as they were 11 months apart but all of my kids weaned themselves pretty early...I never withdrew the titty but they just sort of didn't need it anymore...one made it obvious that she wanted a bottle (breast milk) from here dad at 5 months...rather than to be nursed by me...(or at least that was her preference at night)...another just looked at me at 11 months and pushed my breast away and was done...the longest I breast feed was 16 months and that would have gone longer except major surgery interfered with our process...

I would like to say here that even though I am shocked and amazed by this thread...it really is about choice and I am totally supportive of those mothers who are still breastfeeding their kids at 6 or 7.  I personally would not have been happy doing so and am glad that there was no pressure or sigma for having a child wean by 1 year...

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#8 of 13 Old 11-17-2011, 05:54 PM
 
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Maybe she needs to have an idea that when she stops nursing, she'll still get lots of mommy cuddle time. Maybe she doesn't feel she needs nursing anymore, but she's afraid if she stops, she won't get to be close with you like that anymore. Have you ever tried asking her if she'd like to nurse or snuggle in bed with you and a book? Or if she'd prefer nursing time or tickle time? Maybe just knowing that giving up nursing doesn't mean giving up mommy close 1:1 time, she'll be more secure enough to give it up.

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#9 of 13 Old 11-28-2011, 07:32 AM
 
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Here's my thought, what is your goal?  Are you afraid that if you just say no, and she cries or is hesitant about stopping, and that's the end of it, that you have somehow failed?  I sense that in circles where CLW is considered the "right" way to wean a child, that there's a silent judgment going around, that if you end with the child crying, or if you refuse, well than you can't really claim that you CLW, and then you're not part of the awesome club of superior mothers anymore.  I know that sounds harsh, and that MOST mothers truly think this path is the healthiest for their child, but I DO think there's some negative energy that goes around, putting mom's in a place like yours, getting to the end and not really knowing what they're supposed to do.  So I would say if you're ready to be done, and she is (and I believe she is, she told you she was), you just need to stop.  She's 7, I would treat her like she's 7, no baby-talk, just tell her it's time to stop nursing, that you think you're both ready.  The end. 

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#10 of 13 Old 11-30-2011, 07:33 AM
 
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Have you asked her about it?  If she's bringing up the topic of weaning, IME she's a lot closer to it than you think she is.  You can talk with her about what she'd like the plan to be, and you don't have to set it in stone, just kicking the idea around is planting seeds.  She really will wean in her own time, but you can certainly lead her to that conclusion.

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#11 of 13 Old 12-07-2011, 10:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meredith&Alexander View Post

Have you asked her about it?  If she's bringing up the topic of weaning, IME she's a lot closer to it than you think she is.  You can talk with her about what she'd like the plan to be, and you don't have to set it in stone, just kicking the idea around is planting seeds.  She really will wean in her own time, but you can certainly lead her to that conclusion.



ITA.

 

Do you plan on doing anything to commemerate this time in your life?  If so, I would use that as a way to talk to DD about it.  "DD, when you're ready to stop nursing, I'd like to do something special to remember it and celebrate what a big girl you are getting to be.  What would you like to do?" and then give some options--- party, dinner out just the two of you, a special piece of jewlery or a gift that symoblizes *to her* that she is growing up.

 

With DD we went to Build A Bear when she decided she was done nursing and it was great.  DS was very proud of himself when he weaned and I got him a DS game that I considered to be for "older" kids and he knew that.  I had talked to them both numerous times.  With DS he always had a date in the future and then we just realized it had been a couple weeks without nursing and he was excited and said that, yes, he had weaned.

 


 

 

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#12 of 13 Old 12-25-2011, 10:22 PM
 
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Thank you for this post!  Lots of great responses too.   I needed to read something like this tonight as I'm finding myself surprised by the fact that I'm nursing a 5 year old...


Mama to Nell (11/15/06) and Maggie (10/9/10) . AFTER 2.5 YEARS, I AM AN AUNTIE!!! joy.gifHOORAY TEAR78 and welcome Anika and Brand New Baby Boy!!!!  Circumcision: the more you know, the worse it is; please leave the decision up to your son!

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#13 of 13 Old 03-13-2012, 05:29 AM
 
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From one who has been there: I essentially made my son stop the day he turned 6 years old. We agreed ahead of time on that date, and he did it. That was 1.5 years ago. He *still* wants to nurse, but I haven't let him. He cuddles with me, especially my chest, but that's it. But he still would be nursing if I let him, I think some kids would go a long time....

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