What does child-led weaning mean to you? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 02-27-2013, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone wave.gif

 

We get lots of questions about weaning toddlers and young children and sometimes want to move the threads here for input. Sometimes we do when the parent is looking to night wean but fine with nursing through the day. But that raises the question as to what everyone feels about what child led weaning is. So, I thought I'd post the question to the mamas of the forum.  love.gif

 

What does child-led weaning mean to you? Is it absolutely child-led? Or is night weaning or staged weaning okay as long as the child makes the final complete weaning choice? Thanks for sharing your thoughts. smile.gif


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#2 of 25 Old 02-28-2013, 02:45 AM
 
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That's a good question.  In the past, I've felt that Child Led Weaning meant completely child led.  This was the feeling I got from reading posts in the CLW forum, so I never called what I did CLW.  In the Granju Attachment Parening book, she referred to it as Child Respectful Weaning.  In LLL it often is called natural weaning.  Natural weaning to me seems to be about the mother and child deciding when to wean, with the child leading the way, but the mother's feelings and reactions will contribute to the duration of the relationship also.  

 

Child Led Weaning has always seemed to be about avoiding most of the techniques such as night weaning, don't offer don't refuse, limiting duration or places of nursing.  Suggestions would be made that if the mother was putting limits on breastfeeding, it wasn't child led weaning.  My children weaned on their own, but there were times when I didn't want to nurse an older child, and would defer it until later, or limit the duration.  This could have led to them weaning earlier than they otherwise might have, but I feel like there is always give and take with weaning.  

 

Personally, I feel that natural weaning and using limits with breastfeeding can still fall under the umbrella of CLW.  I think if you are practicing CLW but you want to night wean, that can be discussed her also.

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#3 of 25 Old 02-28-2013, 08:01 AM
 
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What a great conversation to have.  We just weaned.  I'm feeling a bit sad because I think she's still a bit young, however, she was not draining a breast at any nursings, and was thoroughly distracted and not terribly interested for quite a while.  So I stopped offering, and she didn't ask except once.  That one request, I told her "Maybe later." and that was that.  She didn't even blink.  I don't consider what I did to be child-led weaning, but I also don't consider it to be sheerly parent-directed.  She was (obviously to me) 99% done, to the point of rejecting a breast when offering regularly, and I was unwilling to maintain a single 2 minute "just because we always have" nursing session.  We cuddle during that time still.  Personally, what we did feels "more natural" to me than sustaining that short "force of habit" evening session.

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#4 of 25 Old 02-28-2013, 08:10 AM
 
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Interesting question. I've always thought that don't ask don't refuse was parent led, or maybe I read that here, but I guess it does seem like it could go either way. Nightweaning feels more parent led to me, as someone who has done it, but it certainly can be done very gently. Putting off nursing until you get home oddly doesn't feel parent led to me but just a compromise as to location. This seems like something where everyone will have different personal feelings based on our own experiences.

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#5 of 25 Old 02-28-2013, 08:41 AM
 
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It is interesting, because I'd always felt that if the parent is consciously employing a weaning "technique" - even a gentle one, like "don't offer, don't refuse" - then it's not child-led weaning.  However, this thread is making me realize that if the child is shooting you down almost every single time you offer...well, then continuing to bug them about it would be parent-led nursing, IMO.  

 

Coming from an EC perspective for a minute, if I keep offering my child the potty, and he keeps refusing, what I need to do is back off.  He is clearly communicating to me that he wants to be in charge of the decision.  Listening to him, and letting him take the reins, is certainly child-led in that context.  So now I can see how that same dynamic could apply to nursing, and to "don't offer, don't refuse."

 

Night-weaning, on the other hand, I don't think is CLW.  That doesn't mean it's not sometimes necessary or done gently with respect, etc. - just that I don't particularly think it's CLW (unless the you were waking up the child to nurse and they refused, which I doubt is the case winky.gif).


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#6 of 25 Old 02-28-2013, 09:03 AM
 
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I think the night weaning question is a tricky one.  

 

My eldest nursed until 5.5 and my youngest is still nursing and she'll be 4 on Tuesday.  She doesn't night nurse any more, but I wouldn't say we nightweaned her.  The fact that there is a term for it makes me feel like it is a parent led decision to not nurse at all at night.

 

It is natural to want more sleep, and I'm no exception.  By the time our kids were 2/2.5ish  we started letting Papa handle the night wake ups.  Most of the time their needs were easily handled with a hug, a song or a trip to the bathroom.  On the occasions that they did need to nurse I was totally there for them.  Day or night, I found, nursing wasn't always the answer to every 'trauma'.  Sometimes it was, though :)

 

I have actually found over the years, that the less I think about nursing or what 'technically' constitutes CLW the closer I feel to a natural, respectful nursing relationship with my kids.  


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#7 of 25 Old 03-02-2013, 09:59 AM
 
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I would only consider it child-led-weaning if the decisions were completely the child's.  CLW is not something I ever aspired to, personally. 

 

I nursed all my children 2-4 years but I claimed my body more and more for myself as they got older.  I was always fine having the boobs 100% on call for them when they were babies but by the time they were walking and talking I would start to create some boundaries starting at night. I think that any kind of night weaning is generally the parent's choice so not CLW but "Don't offer-don't refuse" still leaves it up to the child and that is therefore within the realm of CLW.

 

I like the term "Child-Respectful" better.


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#8 of 25 Old 03-06-2013, 11:48 AM
 
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I do not ID as CLW but I'd like to share what I thought the definition was and were the lines were drawn. I thought CLW was really child driven. I would have included "don't offer, don't refuse" in CLW because I think an older child can be in charge of asking for food, shrug.gif and I can imagine some restrictions like not nursing 15x or not switching breasts a million times in public also falling under CLW. The distinction being that I thought CLW choices should be made to create a mutually agreeable nursing relationship so the child could continue to nurse until she/he was finished.   


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#9 of 25 Old 03-06-2013, 01:03 PM
 
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I always thought that CLW was a very strict view that the child must direct weaning 100% and any effort by the mom to nudge towards weaning would not "count." But I also associate CLW with kids nursing until they are 4 or 5 and anything earlier would be considered "too soon." I'm not sure where I got that idea, but when I hear "CLW" that's what comes up.

 

Because I had this strict definition in my mind, I wasn't interested in it. I always felt like breastfeeding was a relationship, therefore a 2-way street, therefore I should have a "voice" in how and when weaning happened. I fought hard through some breastfeeding struggles early on and had to compromise in order to get through them (including a little bit of formula feeding), so I felt like I wasn't a "purist" and there was no reason to be dogmatic about my breastfeeding journey.

 

Reading the responses above, I wonder if there is a more flexible interpretation of CLW that would have appealed more to me. It sounds like the inflexibility is something I invented.

 

I nursed DD for 33 months. We night weaned at 30 months, which was much, much later than I wanted it, but probably somewhat earlier than DD would have preferred, if it had been completely up to her. I think she was basically ready to wean at 33 months, but it definitely took initiation from me. I've never regretted how we did things.


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#10 of 25 Old 03-08-2013, 09:01 AM
 
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Hmmm... I guess I am a bit less flexible. I did/am doing CLW with my children and have two that nursed until just past their 5th birthdays, one that weaned at 4 1/2 and one that is still nursing strong at 3 and no signs of slowing down yet. 

I do see "Don't Offer, Don't Refuse" as a parent-led weaning technique and in many cases, and it does lead to what I think is premature weaning. For example: a parent using the DODR technique with a 10 month old will wean quite quickly as babies are easily distracted and often go through nursing strikes. Many parents call this CLW and would have to disagree... 

However, as a parent-led weaning technique at any age, I do see it as the most gentle and respectful towards the child.

So all that being said, I also don't think that CLW should be ALL about the child either, nursing is a relationship.

The way I do CLW is that I often nurse when asked, I sometimes delay, I sometimes refuse if it is not convenient, I also then offer when it is convenient. I offer when I see my child needs comfort. I offer just because.

The older my children got, the less they asked, the more they started refusing if I offered, the less I offered and nursing slowly tapered off until it once in a blue moon. In all three of my children that have weaned, I have no recollection of their last nursing session, I just realized that they hadn't nursed in a couple weeks and that was it... 


 
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#11 of 25 Old 03-08-2013, 09:09 AM
 
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I do see "Don't Offer, Don't Refuse" as a parent-led weaning technique and in many cases, and it does lead to what I think is premature weaning. For example: a parent using the DODR technique with a 10 month old will wean quite quickly as babies are easily distracted and often go through nursing strikes. Many parents call this CLW and would have to disagree... 

Yes, for sure...and this would apply even more so for an infant where obviously the parent MUST offer in order to sustain life. I don't think "don't offer, don't refuse" can be remotely CLW until the child is VERY verbal and able to interpret all hunger cues and etc. When I said I thought DODF can be CLW, I was thinking of a MUCH older child. We're grazers though...and don't tend to offer food at all to anyone in my family past about 3 years old. I just wait till they ask for something to eat. Not that I even consider myself CLW in the first place. 


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#12 of 25 Old 03-08-2013, 10:18 AM
 
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Yes, for sure...and this would apply even more so for an infant where obviously the parent MUST offer in order to sustain life. I don't think "don't offer, don't refuse" can be remotely CLW until the child is VERY verbal and able to interpret all hunger cues and etc. When I said I thought DODF can be CLW, I was thinking of a MUCH older child. We're grazers though...and don't tend to offer food at all to anyone in my family past about 3 years old. I just wait till they ask for something to eat. Not that I even consider myself CLW in the first place. 


I do see what you are saying yet still respectively disagree that it will be CLW. I am not saying that it doesn't work for many families or that it is "the wrong way"

Maybe this might be clearer... I see DODR as being one sided. The parent is being taking a passive role and is withdrawing from the relationship by no longer offering.

As with most relaitionships, it is hard to maintain a one-sided relationship, the person doing all the work will eventually withdraw themselves (but it wasn't really their choice to end the relationship).

With CLW, or what I believe to be CLW,  both the parent and child have active roles in the relationship. There can be limits in place, it isn't only about the child, nor only about the parent. Like any relationship, there are compromises made on both parts, however, the child is the one that starts to actively withdraw from the relationship on their own. That is, in my opinion, what makes CLW really Child-led. 

ETA: We do graze also here, but I do offer food also. If I make popcorn, I'll ask them if they want some. If I make supper, I offer them to come eat if they are hungry. If we are out and they are playing for hours and hours and and having too much fun to eat I will offer them something they can snack on the go. I don't force them to eat, but I will offer. 


 
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#13 of 25 Old 03-08-2013, 11:01 AM
 
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I do see what you are saying yet still respectively disagree that it will be CLW. I am not saying that it doesn't work for many families or that it is "the wrong way"

Maybe this might be clearer... I see DODR as being one sided. The parent is being taking a passive role and is withdrawing from the relationship by no longer offering.

As with most relaitionships, it is hard to maintain a one-sided relationship, the person doing all the work will eventually withdraw themselves (but it wasn't really their choice to end the relationship).

With CLW, or what I believe to be CLW,  both the parent and child have active roles in the relationship. There can be limits in place, it isn't only about the child, nor only about the parent. Like any relationship, there are compromises made on both parts, however, the child is the one that starts to actively withdraw from the relationship on their own. That is, in my opinion, what makes CLW really Child-led. 

ETA: We do graze also here, but I do offer food also. If I make popcorn, I'll ask them if they want some. If I make supper, I offer them to come eat if they are hungry. If we are out and they are playing for hours and hours and and having too much fun to eat I will offer them something they can snack on the go. I don't force them to eat, but I will offer. 

 

nod.gif  Thanks for articulating this so clearly (all of it!).  This really resonates with me (and fits my original interpretation of CLW, which, as you said, may not be for everyone and that's cool).  I still think bugging the crap out of your child to nurse is disrespectful communication, but I can see how you could follow their cues and simply offer less often over time - it's all a dance.  That would be more appropriate to CLW, IMO.


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#14 of 25 Old 03-08-2013, 12:34 PM
 
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nod.gif  Thanks for articulating this so clearly (all of it!).  This really resonates with me (and fits my original interpretation of CLW, which, as you said, may not be for everyone and that's cool).  I still think bugging the crap out of your child to nurse is disrespectful communication, but I can see how you could follow their cues and simply offer less often over time - it's all a dance.  That would be more appropriate to CLW, IMO.


Thanks :)

Of course you don't bug a child to nurse... but I honestly don't see that happening.(unless there is a reason to...  like if they are still very young, are really sick etc) 

I think that view is more of a perception of those that have not experienced it. By the time CLW occurs, children are older, the nursing relationship is quite different then nursing a baby or even a toddler or even a 3 year old. Weaning is not something that will happen suddenly and instead it is a very gradual process which can happen over months/years. So the scenario that you mentioned above of a parent badgering a child to nurse and the child continually refusing would be very unlikely to happen because it is not the reality of nursing an older child. 

With my children, at the end of all of our nursing relationships we were down to nursing once a week or so...  I would offer once in a while when I realized that they hadn't nursed in a few days and I felt like it was a time they might need/enjoy it, they have accepted or refused, then they would ask once in while after they hadn't nursed a few days when they felt they needed it or wanted it... then at one point we would realizes that it had been quite a while since either of us had offered and all three times at the point, we tried and they had simply lost the ability to nurse (all children will loose the ability to latch and suck at one point) and that was it.  

 


 
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#15 of 25 Old 03-08-2013, 01:51 PM
 
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nod.gif  Thanks for articulating this so clearly (all of it!).  This really resonates with me (and fits my original interpretation of CLW, which, as you said, may not be for everyone and that's cool).  I still think bugging the crap out of your child to nurse is disrespectful communication, but I can see how you could follow their cues and simply offer less often over time - it's all a dance.  That would be more appropriate to CLW, IMO.


I highly doubt that you can "bug the crap out of your child" to nurse, maybe other people who practice(d) CLW can chime in. Speaking from experience, I was almost begging my kids to nurse on rare occasions when I suffered from terrible plugged ducts, but when they don't want to nurse, they simply won't, no matter what you do.

 

To answer the original question, DODR is a weaning technique when nursing simply has to be replaced with something else (formula, cow milk or a pacifier for sucking needs). A 1y/o still needs milk for optimal development. Most 2 y/o also need some form of sucking to help them calm down when they are upset.


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#16 of 25 Old 03-08-2013, 02:06 PM
 
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Maybe this might be clearer... I see DODR as being one sided. The parent is being taking a passive role and is withdrawing from the relationship by no longer offering.

Yes, and I can certainly see how that could be. In reality, I shouldn't have really given my opinion anyway because I have never aspired to CLW. But, I was curious about this because I wanted some gentle weaning advice and I saw a lot of that here.  Because I have never nursed an older child, it's difficult for me to picture this kind "we're in this together" idea that you're describing. 

 

I tend to be a somewhat lazy mother and will offer the breast QUITE often. My interpretation of DODR is more of a way for me to check that I'm not offering the breast out of lazyness for other types comfort/food/attention. At this point DODR serves that purpose and is having a great effect - especially because my near 2 year old (who is less interested in BFing than my first child) often wants something else but I often find myself trying to just stick a boob in it. eyesroll.gif  But, again, that may not be how some define DODR and it certainly doesn't need to be anyone's definition of CLW anyway.  

 

I definitely think the definition comes from the individual first and then from the community of mothers who are practicing CLW. 

 

Sounds like a lovely way to stop nursing, BTW. <3 


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#17 of 25 Old 03-08-2013, 03:25 PM
 
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Yes, and I can certainly see how that could be. In reality, I shouldn't have really given my opinion anyway because I have never aspired to CLW. But, I was curious about this because I wanted some gentle weaning advice and I saw a lot of that here.  Because I have never nursed an older child, it's difficult for me to picture this kind "we're in this together" idea that you're describing. 

 

Conversation and exchange is never a bad thing :) It might be difficult for you to imagine, that is normal. But knowing that there is a difference, may allow for more openness, just simply understanding a bit better. 



 

Quote:
I tend to be a somewhat lazy mother and will offer the breast QUITE often. My interpretation of DODR is more of a way for me to check that I'm not offering the breast out of lazyness for other types comfort/food/attention. 

If that is lazy, then I am the same nod.gif... the difference for me is that I see the value in nursing for comfort/food and attention.I also trust that if a child doesn't want/need it, they wouldn't take it and will tell me what they want instead. It has happened with all four of my children so I can't imagine other children would be different. 


Honestly, maybe because I have never experienced it, I just can't imagine not having nursing as a parenting tool, it has come in so handy and kids will transition away from it on their own (way sooner then many will think) and will, in my opinion, be more independent and confident because it was a natural progression and was up to them. 

Of course, since my daughter was sick a bit over a year ago (between 18-22 months), that has become even more evident to me as I could have very easily lost her and breast milk was most likely what saved her life when she got sick. 


 


 
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#18 of 25 Old 03-08-2013, 04:41 PM
 
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I don't think it's laziness, I think it's instinct. Nursing can very well satisfy need for attention and especially comfort. I didn't wean my kids as toddlers because nursing was an amazing cure for temper tantrums.

If nursing is not food/attention/comfort, then what is it?

 

Here's the link to an article that offers a different perspective on breastfeeding.

I especially like this part:

 

"Then I moved away from Canada, to Mongolia, where my husband was conducting a wildlife study. There, babies are kept constantly swaddled in layers of thick blankets, tied up with string like packages you don't want to come apart in the mail. When a package murmurs, a nipple is popped in its mouth. Babies aren't changed very often, and never burped. There aren't even hands available to thrust a rattle into. Definitely no tummy time. Babies stay wrapped up for at least three months, and every time they make a sound, they're breastfed.

This was interesting. At three months, Canadian babies are already having social engagements, even swimming. Some are learning to "self-soothe." I had assumed that there were many reasons a baby might cry, and that my job was to figure out what the reason was and provide the appropriate solution. But in Mongolia, though babies might cry for many reasons, there is only ever one solution: breastmilk.


.........

By Calum's second year, I had fully realized just how useful breastfeeding could be. Nothing gets a child to sleep as quickly, relieves the boredom of a long car journey as well, or calms a breaking storm as swiftly as a little warm milk from mummy. It's the lazy mother's most useful parenting aid, and by now I thought I was using it to its maximum effect. But the Mongolians took it one step further.

During the Mongolian winters, I spent many afternoons in my friend Tsetsgee's yurt, escaping the bitter cold outside. It was enlightening to compare our different parenting techniques. Whenever a tussle over toys broke out between our two-year-olds, my first reaction would be to try to restore peace by distracting Calum with another toy while explaining the principle of sharing. But this took a while, and had a success rate of only about 50 percent. The other times, when Calum was unwilling to back down and his frustration escalated to near boiling point, I would pick him up and cradle him in my arms for a feed.

Tsetsgee had a different approach. At the first murmur of discord, she would lift her shirt and start waving her boobs around enthusiastically, calling out, "Come here, baby, look what mama's got for you!" Her son would look up from the toys to the bull's-eyes of his mother's breasts and invariably toddle over.

Success rate? 100 percent."
 


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#19 of 25 Old 03-08-2013, 07:26 PM
 
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To me, the term "child-led weaning" means not turning your kid away when he/she wants to nurse (day or night); but also not doing things to influence your kid to nurse longer, because you aren't ready for them to wean.  Examples of the latter would be:

 

- Not trying out any bedtime routines for a toddler besides nursing to sleep.  If that winds up being the only thing that works 'til he's 2-1/2...and it doesn't interfere with the needs of other family members...fine.  But introduce the idea that a predictable bedtime routine (without milk) can be soporific...the same way you introduce other ideas of self-regulation, like running around outside to burn off steam instead of misbehaving inside; or using words to express your feelings instead of hitting.

 

- Not at least introducing other types of milk to a toddler, the same way you offer him a variety of other foods, to see what interests him/suits his taste.

 

- Offering a toddler the breast every time he/she is out of sorts, instead of waiting for him/her to indicate he/she wants it.  If a 3-year-old who still nurses every now and then falls on the playground and breaks his arm, by all means whip out a breast!  (I did.)  But if he's just in a bad mood and he's not insisting that the only way he can resolve it is to nurse, then follow his lead and help him try some other things.

 

The only one of my kids I was able to nurse (my last one) only did so as an occasional hobby, by 2, and was done altogether by 3-1/2.  Since I never had a kid asking to nurse past that, I don't know, but I wonder if some mothers who nurse much older children (like 8) subconsciously influence their kids to nurse longer than they would, if weaning were truly and completely child-led.  I don't think nursing older children is gross or offensive or anything (as I've sometimes seen it portrayed).  I just wonder whether those mothers' comfort with nursing - or their own need for that nursing relationship - might be interfering with opportunities for them to teach their children other self-comfort skills, which at some point before they hit puberty they will need to acquire.

 

But, in general, where nursing is concerned, I think it's best not to assume one knows for sure what's right for another mom - better than she knows, herself.  This also goes for weaning a child before they're ready.  Sometimes there may be a good reason.


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#20 of 25 Old 03-08-2013, 09:55 PM
 
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You of course feel the need to point out that we should not judge another moms. Yet, do you not see that in your message you are openly judging moms that choose to let their children wean naturally? By invoking an idea that somehow CLW is/may by about the mom more than the child and that a parent could actually "influence their kids to nurse longer than they would". 

Quote:
 wonder if some mothers who nurse much older children (like 8) subconsciously influence their kids to nurse longer than they would, if weaning were truly and completely child-led.

I just wonder whether those mothers' comfort with nursing - or their own need for that nursing relationship - might be interfering with opportunities for them to teach their children otherself-comfort skills, which at some point before they hit puberty they will need to acquire.


I can assure you that this a widely thought misconception that has little to no basis in reality. What you are doing here is projecting your idea of nursing a young baby/toddler/young child on what nursing an older child is like. Nursing has nothing to do with holding them back, I can't even imagine how that would work. Children can and will develop their own self-comfort skills while still maintaining a nursing relationship. The two are not mmutually exclusive. You would not be able to tell a nursing seven year old from a non-nursing seven year old at a sleep over. 
Also, personally, my kids never needed to be "taught" "self-comfort" skills, they were quite intelligent enough to be able to develop them on their own. 

 

Quote:

but also not doing things to influence your kid to nurse longer, because you aren't ready for them to wean


The natural weaning age for humans is between 2.5 years and 7 years of age. Parents that practice CLW are not influencing their children to nurse longer then they are supposed to, they are simply letting weaning come at a more natural age instead of weaning prematurely. All children will lose the physical ability to nurse at one point (often coincides with the loss of milk teeth)  and there is NO WAY to nurse when that happens. 3 out of 4 of my children self-weaned. Those three were 5, 5 and 4 1/2 when they weaned. I never stopped offering, I never trained them to fall asleep without nursing, they ate and drank like any other kids their age. Near the time they stopped nursing they were down to nursing a couple times a month and then they simply lost the ability to nurse. 

 

Quote:
Examples of the latter would be:
- Not trying out any bedtime routines for a toddler besides nursing to sleep.  If that winds up being the only thing that works 'til he's 2-1/2...and it doesn't interfere with the needs of other family members...fine.  But introduce the idea that a predictable bedtime routine (without milk) can be soporific...the same way you introduce other ideas of self-regulation, like running around outside to burn off steam instead of misbehaving inside; or using words to express your feelings instead of hitting.

I see nursing to sleep as being a part of a healthy sleep routine, which, like most things, will evolve over time naturally. For us, nursing to sleep is pleasurable, it is easy, it is predictable, it is comforting, it is relaxing and it helps us connect after a long day and I know it won't last long. Just a few years (or less) and then they just don't want it anymore.

Do you really think that a child that is nursed to sleep every night needs to be introduced to something different for them to do it? My three year old nurses to sleep every night. She just woke up a few minutes ago and I asked her to go lay back down because I was writing. No problem. All four of my children have done the same. They don't need to be taught... nor can they be forced to not learn. It comes naturally. 
 

Quote:

- Not at least introducing other types of milk to a toddler, the same way you offer him a variety of other foods, to see what interests him/suits his taste.


Seriously? Breastfeeding is not about just about drinking milk. It is another grave misconception that children that nurse don't drink and eat the exact same way as other kids their age. I would think that the only reason a parent would not offer other types of milks would be that they do not see the value in drinking milk. Milk is a beverage. Nothing more. 

Human milk and breastfeeding is much more then just a beverage. 
 

Quote:
Offering a toddler the breast every time he/she is out of sorts, instead of waiting for him/her to indicate he/she wants it. If a 3-year-old who still nurses every now and then falls on the playground and breaks his arm, by all means whip out a breast!  (I did.)  But if he's just in a bad mood and he's not insisting that the only way he can resolve it is to nurse, then follow his lead and help him try some other things.

 

Very black and white here. I have a three year old and she nurses often... not just now and again.

Sometimes, if she is upset and wants to nurse, I will nurse her.
Sometimes, if she is upset and doesn't want to nurse, I will offer and she will refuse.
Sometimes, it she is upset it doesn't even cross either of our minds to nurse. 
Sometimes, she wants to nurse but I refuse if it is a problem that I think needs resolving in another manner. 


What you are suggesting however, is the "Don't offer, Don't refuse" parent-led weaning technique. It is a weaning technique that many choose but it is not something that many CLW aspire to do.

Sorry that was so long but I simply had to respond.


 
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#21 of 25 Old 03-27-2013, 04:09 PM
 
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I would add another dimension to the definition.

I woudl say that for CLW to be 100% true, there should be no mother-child separation.

also no bottles, no pacifiers.

 

For example, I work2-3 days/week. When I am at home, baby has unlimited access to th breast day and night. But the fact that he can't nurse when I am not home (even if he is getting my milk in a bottle on demand), will result in premature weaning, even if weaning happens at 4-5 years, it would be still earlier then without separation with me.

 

I nursed DS1 until 2,5 years. We weaned during the 8th month of my second pregnancy. Now DS2 is 13 months old.

I really feel that DS1 weaned prematurely and I missed nursing as a parenting tool.

I hope that i would be able to nurse DS2 until he weans himself.....but I know it wouldn't be CLW, because I work outside (despite co-sleeping, night feeding on demand ect)
 

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#22 of 25 Old 03-30-2013, 03:39 PM
 
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I would add another dimension to the definition.

I woudl say that for CLW to be 100% true, there should be no mother-child separation.

also no bottles, no pacifiers.


 

IMO, this is not feasible. Moms are also humans, not machines.

No one could possible stay near their children for 3+ years, available day and night, not giving a pacifier, not leaving kids with family etc. I don't think anyone can do that.

 

I work full time, nightweaned around 2 y/o and ds CLW-ed (is this a word?) shortly after 4 y/o, and my 3.5 y/o dd is still nursing.


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#23 of 25 Old 03-31-2013, 04:53 PM
 
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I know moms who do it for sure.

STAH moms or those who work from home and can stop to nurse the 2 or 3 year old when needed.

a lot would leave their kids only on occasions and for short periods of time (like 2-3 hours).

It has nothing to do with being a machine....it's just physiological.

 

but what I am doing: leaving my nurseling 3x10 hours / week is not CLW. I am convinced that it speeds up weaning, even if they end-up nursing 4-5 years. (they would have probably nursed longer or more frequently if I didn't work outside)

 

I don't think that CLW is necessarily desirable. Not for me.

But I think it is the ''physiological gold standard of our species''. It is not compatible with regular and long (more then 3-4 hour) mother-child separation.
 

 

I also think that ''weaning'', is not just the age of the last nursing session, but also the rate of decrease in nursing.

because I am working outside, my kids might decrease ''rapidly'' to 1 or 2 nursing sessions a day at age 2 or 3, but ultimately wean completely only at age 5.

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#24 of 25 Old 04-01-2013, 08:33 AM
 
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a lot would leave their kids only on occasions and for short periods of time (like 2-3 hours).

It has nothing to do with being a machine....it's just physiological.

 

Yup, that's what I mean. It's not physiological to never leave your kid's side until they decide to wean.

I also know moms who occasionally gave a bottle or a pacifier and then breastfed for 4+ years. An occasional bottle when the babies had troubles latching on doesn't make the process less of CLW.


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#25 of 25 Old 05-17-2013, 09:10 AM
 
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I am a teacher and went back to work when my first daughter was 6 months old.  I used a pacifier and bottles when she would take them (she mostly didn't and just waited for me to get home).  I don't think she ever willing decreased the amount she nursed - I had to do so when I was pregnant but nothing I ever did made any impact on her desire to nurse.  She nursed for 5.5 years and at that point I decided that we were done because I also had a toddler nursing lots and logistically it wasn't working for us.  She is now almost 7 and told me that she would happily nurse again if I would let her.  I don't know how much longer the process would have been if I had been with her full time.  It seems like her natural weaning age would be around 12 :)

 

My son is now 2.5.  I went back to work when he was 5 months.  I also used a pacifier with him (they both stopped using it at about a year) and tried (and mostly failed) to use bottles.  He has no notion of cutting down nursing.  In his ideal world, I just sit on the couch all day and am available for constant snacking.  I put limits on this but like his sister, the minute I stop limiting access, he immediately will nurse more.  He is just like his sister in his nursing habits.  Maybe my milk is just super awesome and they can't resist.  I think if I did no limits/constant access child led weaning, they'd nurse forever.
 

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