I've been ready for DD to wean on her own whenever she was ready. It's not really a huge deal that she's still nursing and I don't mind most days. But other days, it's just one more thing to do. She has been on the pure CLW path all along and has cut herself to nursing just once before bed. My husband can put her to bed if needed, but she prefers me. Even if she wasn't nursing, she would prefer me. I'm not ready to wean her quite yet, since I'm still holding out hope she'll do it on her own. Any one been there done that with words of hope? She'll be 6 years old in two months so we're at the point where it's really hard to find others in the same situation.
I did not do CLW with my oldest. I did what I called child-respected weaning. I weaned him right before 5 years old because I was ttc and tandeming and have rough pregnancies. So, DD has nursed longer than he did, but I'm done having kids so there was no reason to wean her. I'm also nursing my youngest who will be 3 years old next month and nurses 6+ times a day - though I think it was 6 times alone during the night last night. (Which isn't common for him. 8 times during the day is common but he's usually wakes 0-1 times at night to nurse).
*Edited to add: Some of it may have to do with how long I've nursed. I've nursed at least 5 times a day for 8+ years now straight. In May, I'll hit 9 years in a row of nursing. As of now, I've spent 5 years of that tandeming.
I remember seeing my friends (who were LLL Leaders & child-led weaners) have their kids wean between 2-4 and sometimes feeling so *done* and so jealous even. It was so frustrating that it seemed like I had to try so hard when their kids just naturally were down to nursing only a few times a day by 2.5 and tapered off so easily. I remember finding the LLL toddler group when DD was a toddler and feeling so good being around the women nursing older children--- and then years later having the oldest nursling by far. It is hard because it starts to feel so different.
With DS we did as close as I could get to child-led weaning and he was 5.75 years old. And it was *totally* worth it. I felt really good about letting him go at his own pace and he felt really good about deciding on his own.
Have you talked to DD about weaning? I didn't encourage DS to wean, but I let him know that it was something he would want to do, and that was great when he decided and that we could have a celebration because it was a big deal (he didn't want a public celebration so I got him a DS game, lol).
I have asked her when she would like to wean. It was "when I turn 5," then "when I turn 6." Now that 6 is less than two months away, it's "whenever you make me." I know it won't be tramatic if I wean her. She likely will get upset, but she'll get over it. (Plus, she's very dramatic. She cried yesterday because she wished she had a big head). However, I would love for her to be able to do pure child-led weaning. I just want her to hurry up with it!
With ODS, I did do a weaning cake to mark the end. But I weaned him, doing what I call child-respected weaning. He was almost 5 years old and it was very gradual. I did the weaning cake since we needed to mark the end with something concrete- or he would have been asking to nurse afterwards for a while. I don't want to bribe DD with something to get her to wean, but will be fine with something concrete to mark the end so she's less likely to ask more after. I figure I'll use that tactic once she starts skipping days in a row.
LOL, she should have given herself more space! I think DS was up to 9-10 at one point (when he thought he would wean).
When a child is 5 or 6 CLW is just one way of weaning. If you are talking about a toddler CLW may be best but with an older child other ways may work just as well. With one of my sons we had a set weaning day and had a weaning party. I think it was the best weaning of my 3 sons, the other 2 were CLW. The youngest was before I was ready and a surprise since he was less than 3. I spent 10 years breastfeeding, 3 tandem so I know what you mean by it seeming like having been nursing forever and or pregnant forever. I've never met anyone in real life that breastfed longer than me.
: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons
Maybe the first thing to do is to sort through your own ambivalence. I seem to recall reading that it's easier when you have made a decision one way or the other. Have you done any journaling on your feelings about this?
Are there certain situations where you feel especially annoyed by her nursing? Maybe you can negotiate with her, and set limits that work for you. It is a two-way relationship, so I think you have the right to cut back if you are feeling the need.
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