DD is 4 yrs and for the past year or two has only been nursing 2-4 x a day (always before nap and bed and sometimes upon waking from nap or nighttime...plus the occ really upset/hurt nursing session)...but recently we have taken two trips and on both trips she barely nursed at all while maintain a normal routine just in a different place and daddy around (5 day trip only 3 nursing sessions, rather than the normal 10-20)...without any effort on mine to decrease her nursing...now we are back home and she is back to nursing like before...it just feels like her nursing is more a habit than a need (on vacation no new behaviors surface...like thumb-sucking, etc)...I know hard to separate out...But would appreciate any insights?? Thanks!
i am going to base my reply with my experience of dd.
i think one important aspect of bfeeding is ignored. and that is the therapeutic aspect of it. its not just nursing. its the whole 'warm glow' of something familiar. the whole emotional aspect of it. for some children like mine that is a life line.
i think she was distracted by her trip.
now she is back home, back to familiar things which is bfeeding.
could bfeeding be a bad habit? i suppose it could. it depends on how her reaction is if you try to wean. even a habit at that age is a reason to self sooth. if you tried to wean and she threw a fit - i would see it as a 'need' as opposed to a 'habit'. honestly i dont think at that age one just develops a habit. it is developed for a reason (perhaps again it is just semantics in their world). its role is still self soothing which i think they are still young enough to need and we shouldnt deny it to them.
however if you are DONE, just DONE with bf then yes its time to wean because its not worth it to pass on that body stance to our kids who always pick up on that - no matter how hard u try not to show it.
oops btw i dont mean to say wean. i just realised this was the child led weaning forum.
Thanks for your reply meemee...i agree with you on the therapeutic aspect of nursing...for dd the nutritive aspect of nursing has not really been the motivator for some time...the way i think of it is that nursing is a way for her to connect with me emotionally, to be close...and i didn't mean it was a "bad" habit, just a habit nonetheless...so i guess for me, is if nursing is a way to connect, it isn't the only way to connect..obv on the trip we were still very connected even though she didn't nurse often...so i am just wondering if it is a habit of circumstances and less about connecting, although obv she is connected through it, but she (if we started a new habit) might be just fine (more than fine) in fact cuddling at times throughout the day, esp before rest periods...and yes i confess, i am all for clw, but it has not been fun for me since being pregnant with ds (2 years ago now) and would be happy if she did wean...don't want to wean if still is a need, but it is seeming to me that she has a need for connection (like all of us) and might easily accept other ways of connecting, except we have a 4 year set pattern...oh my, that is a jumble...does it make sense, any thoughts? wish i had someone to chat about this with in person...
(I know this is the CLW'ing forum but you sound open to other paths so I hope it's OK that I say that here...)
However, I do think a trip would be a distraction... I know DS nurses less when we are out & about & doing fun things... it doesn't mean he's ready to wean, just that he doesn't have a need to nurse in certain situations. I want to say, if she's still nursing, then she still technically has a need to nurse. You don't continue a habit unless it's fulfilling some kind of need, right? But I get what you're saying, and maybe she hasn't even questioned NOT having milk at home... have you discussed it with her at all?
I just helped my daughter wean this weekend! She's 3.5 and I was hoping she'd wean herself but I was starting to not enjoy is at much, mostly when i had PMS, but I decided to give her till 3.5 and then try some more persuation. We were nursing at night, moring, and a few little times in the day, I was able to cut out some nursing gradually, but it got to a point for me, that I thought it had to be all or nothing.
So I told her we had 3 days left of nursing, then they were going byby. She said "OK", but I wasn't sure if she really got it. Each day I reminded her, and then we had our last nursing and I told her it was the last time and that I had a treat for her, and she nursed quickly, and was more interested in what I got her. : ) I got her a cupcake to celebrate.
She's asked a couple of times for it, but put up no resistance when I said no. And she seems to be fine with it all! And while she's asked for nursing, she's never cried or gotten upset when I said no. I think its more like testing the boundaries.
I was really worried, and hoped to let her wean herself, but I was just done, and I'm in shock at how well its going honestly. NO CRYING at all!! Seriously. I'm glad I took the steps to make it happen! We still cuddle, and now she likes to have her hand down my shirt at times we'd normally have nursed. I'm fine with that for now.