Average weaning age? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 20 Old 01-05-2005, 01:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
Plummeting's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,373
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It seems like a lot of mothers I talk to on another board say their babies weaned themselves between 13 and 15 months - I mean, a LOT of them. Is that typical? I thought most babies would nurse until at least two if allowed to decide for themselves when to wean. I understand that some babies will wean earlier, but could there be something else going on for so many people to have babies wean that early? I don't believe the mothers are lying at all - I'm just wondering if there was anything else at play or if it's really that normal. I guess I'm also a little worried it might happen to us.
Plummeting is offline  
#2 of 20 Old 01-05-2005, 02:10 AM
 
eminer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,479
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think in most cases, when babies gradually wean that young (never mind the misinterpreted strikes), mom has done a lot to help (sometimes unconsciously). For example, introducing a lot of solids on a schedule -- often encouraged by pediatricians whose schedules assume weaning at 12 mos -- and sippy cups of water, juice, or milk. The baby often runs around the house constantly accompanied by a sippy cup and maybe a pacifier and those ubiquitous baggies of crackers or cereal. Meanwhile, mom has often gently encouraged gradual *wide* spacing of nursings and (often less gently) sleeping in a separate room without waking to nurse. Then some mothers are very restrictive about young toddler nursing behaviors, insisting upon nursing only in a certain place, with no side switching or breast playing, no quick repeat nursings, etc, making it much less appealing to an active 1yo.

Oye Yemaya oloto
eminer is offline  
#3 of 20 Old 01-05-2005, 03:36 AM
 
MamaAllNatural's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Nearest chair with *ONE* nursling!
Posts: 7,185
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree with eminer. Ask them if the baby ever suckled anything again? Usually they do not outgrow their need to suckle that young. I'll bet they had a paci or bottle. I'll also bet they were fed lots of food way too young.

Go do research for us, ok? :LOL
MamaAllNatural is offline  
#4 of 20 Old 01-05-2005, 01:31 PM
 
TiredX2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: it appears to be a handbasket
Posts: 20,475
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do not consider that to be "child-led" (or self) weaning. Rather, as PPs have mentioned, the parents probably made specific decisions to facilitate premature weaning.

Not for this milk bar, lol

 

 

TiredX2 is offline  
#5 of 20 Old 01-05-2005, 01:36 PM
 
Too Busy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: In a house
Posts: 951
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaAllNatural
I agree with eminer. Ask them if the baby ever suckled anything again? Usually they do not outgrow their need to suckle that young. I'll bet they had a paci or bottle. I'll also bet they were fed lots of food way too young.

Go do research for us, ok? :LOL


If my DD had been given a paci (I have this horrible fear of them and was reluctant to give her one) she wouldn't be nursing as much as she is now. A lot of her nursing at this point is not hearty suckling, rather more "comfort" sucking. And if she was satisfying that with a binky, she would nurse half as much as she does now and I would probably think she was weaning.
Too Busy is offline  
#6 of 20 Old 01-05-2005, 06:26 PM
 
kerc's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: The Great White North, Minnesota
Posts: 7,236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i think too, lots of kiddos become mobile and suddenly have LOTS to do all day. Mom sometimes is following the "don't offer don't refuse" plan as well...

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
kerc is offline  
#7 of 20 Old 01-06-2005, 04:17 AM
 
Parker'smommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 3,262
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc
i think too, lots of kiddos become mobile and suddenly have LOTS to do all day. Mom sometimes is following the "don't offer don't refuse" plan as well...

This is it exactly. Moms will say that their kids self weaned but they did, "no offer, don't refuse" which is a WEANING METHOD! They don't realize that this is a weaning method and say that their child self weaned. They also usually did scheduled feedings and their kids didn't know that if they asked that they could nurse, kwim? They were always offered on a schedule and comfort nursing wasn't offered either.

Heather , momma to ' Parker- 10, Carlee- 7 and our baby Genevieve Faith - 8-27-10

Parker'smommy is offline  
#8 of 20 Old 01-06-2005, 12:02 PM
 
Najiasaidi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Republic of Ireland
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My 26 month old son is still nursing as though there is no tomorrow. In fact, just last night he was nursing so much through the night that I had to refuse him once and then gave in because I felt guilty. During the day he nurses regulary but the toughest is at night. Based on my readings and what my mom tells me he should wean himself between the age 3 and 4. He has never used a pacifier or a bottle.
I hope this helps. Good luck!
Najiasaidi is offline  
#9 of 20 Old 01-07-2005, 05:19 AM
 
mother_sunshine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Big Island
Posts: 2,236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Katherine Dettwyler wrote an interesting commentary on the average age of weaning in humans, though I think that her maximum age of weaning is too low.

http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.html
mother_sunshine is offline  
#10 of 20 Old 01-07-2005, 02:12 PM
 
TiredX2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: it appears to be a handbasket
Posts: 20,475
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Katherine Dettwyler wrote an interesting commentary on the average age of weaning in humans, though I think that her maximum age of weaning is too low.
I agree 100% if she means that 100% of children *should* wean in that time frame. I just figured that around 90% of children would wean from 2.5-7 years, so perhaps 5% would naturally wean from 24-30 months and 5% over 7 years (which I never know if that means 7y1m or 7y11m). Anyway, 5% of the population weaning after 8ish (of course, as she points out it is not only culturally specific, but based on the biology of your "culture"--- like how Inuits tend to nurse much longer). AND, of course, I wouldn't be surprised to know that there is a larger difference between humans nursing needs and gorillas/other large apes. *LOVE* her work, though!

Kay

 

 

TiredX2 is offline  
#11 of 20 Old 01-07-2005, 11:50 PM
 
Embee's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 2,102
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Indeed, I would concur that most, (but certainly not all) children who wean between 13 and 15 months were probably ones whose parents noticed how distracted and excited their children were at being newly mobile and jumped on the opportunity to facilitate weaning... in most cases, these kids had help (IMO that is).

I can say with much certainty, that if I had wanted DS to wean, I could have very easily done so at this particular age. Much more so than say, just a few months later at 18 months and then on up.

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
Embee is offline  
#12 of 20 Old 01-08-2005, 01:02 AM
 
eminer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,479
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Embee
Indeed, I would concur that most, (but certainly not all) children who wean between 13 and 15 months were probably ones whose parents noticed how distracted and excited their children were at being newly mobile and jumped on the opportunity to facilitate weaning... in most cases, these kids had help (IMO that is).
This is why your mental timeline makes a really big difference. If you have the idea that your child "should" wean -- or it is a good idea to wean -- or everyone thinks you should wean -- after a year, it might be hard not to facilitate weaning at this point (where some kids' age-appropriate behavior might do little to counteract the feeling that if you keep offering and de-distracting, you are prolonging nursing for your own sake, or just for the heck of it, or whatever).

Oye Yemaya oloto
eminer is offline  
#13 of 20 Old 01-10-2005, 12:46 AM
 
IncaMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 4,431
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
well that wasn't my experience...at 13-15 mos he was nursing even more than before...and is still goin strong at 21mos.
IncaMama is offline  
#14 of 20 Old 01-10-2005, 03:17 AM
 
Still_Snarky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: californ.i.a.
Posts: 3,228
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
nak :LOL

interesting article by dettwyler! :
Still_Snarky is offline  
#15 of 20 Old 01-10-2005, 12:56 PM
 
karlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 874
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by michelemiller
well that wasn't my experience...at 13-15 mos he was nursing even more than before...and is still goin strong at 21mos.
Agreed. My nursling is 16 months, and he nurses more than he did at 14 months. Of course, he can say "nurse" now and lift my shirt up. He's quite demanding, and weaning him now would be extremely hard if I was so inclined (which I'm not).
karlin is offline  
#16 of 20 Old 01-10-2005, 02:36 PM
 
FunnyMummy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Bothell, WA
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
According to my naturopathic physcian, who specializes in pediatrics, women's health, and is a lactation consultant and a doula the gradual weaning process starts as soon as solids are introduced. For us that was around 7 mos. for my DS. She emphasied gradual.

Our DS is almost 14 mos now, eats 3 whole foods meals per day, and is still nursing at least 6x/day (down from 10+). Sometimes it's for nourishment, but often it's a quickie. We started teaching him sign language (ASL) at 6 mos. The first sign he learned was for nurse. He also signs for drink (water), eat, more, and snack. When he asks to nurse I figure he needs to for whatever his reason so I don't refuse him. He still wakes at least 1x during the night to nurse - sometimes as much as 3x depending on his needs.

The naturopath told me that according to her research, it is not uncommon for children to be emotionally and physically ready to self-wean sometime between 18-24 mos. They will let you know. But she also said that they still may want to bond-nurse before bed or when they first wake up in the morning.

My female in-laws, one of whom is a psychiatrist and another a child psychologist and their husbands make off-handed remarks about my breastfeeding. I've mentioned our physcians research findings. But I've found the best response is to say, "DS started weaning at 7 mos. and it's going wonderfully." They ask me the same question in numerous different ways and I just smile and respond with my mantra.

I believe that when it comes to nursing, children know what they need.
FunnyMummy is offline  
#17 of 20 Old 01-10-2005, 09:35 PM
 
mother_sunshine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Big Island
Posts: 2,236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunnyMummy
My female in-laws, one of whom is a psychiatrist and another a child psychologist and their husbands make off-handed remarks about my breastfeeding. I've mentioned our physcians research findings. But I've found the best response is to say, "DS started weaning at 7 mos. and it's going wonderfully." They ask me the same question in numerous different ways and I just smile and respond with my mantra.
I would tell them that it is none of their business (which it's not).
mother_sunshine is offline  
#18 of 20 Old 01-10-2005, 11:30 PM
 
TiredX2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: it appears to be a handbasket
Posts: 20,475
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
First, welcome FunnyMummy! I'm in Redmond

Secondly, I just wondered what you meant by:

Quote:
The naturopath told me that according to her research, it is not uncommon for children to be emotionally and physically ready to self-wean sometime between 18-24 mos.
How is a 18 month old baby physically ready to wean?

 

 

TiredX2 is offline  
#19 of 20 Old 01-11-2005, 08:04 PM
 
mother_sunshine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Big Island
Posts: 2,236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree Tired. If anyone, professional or not, told me this info then I would ask for their research. But even researchers are swayed by subjectives such as personal opinion, societal pressure and such, rather than what is truly biologically natural for a child.

I have learned to take any professional's advice with a grain of salt. It's always worth researching for yourself. Or even just trusting your own instincts and your child's needs, especially when it has to do with something so personal and individual as breastfeeding. I can't see how anyone would say that 18 month-olds, in general, are commonly physically and emotionally ready to give up breastfeeding. I would call an 18 month-old who was emotionally and physically ready to wean him/herself an exception to the common generality, definitely not the generality.
mother_sunshine is offline  
#20 of 20 Old 01-11-2005, 08:23 PM
 
mommyoftwo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 744
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Interesting thread. My first dd weaned at 15 months. Then I just thought that she was an early weaner but now that I have a 23 month old ds who nurses constanly, I wonder about her weaning.

First, she did wean practically the week I found out I was pregnant. But she was already down to one nursing a day. I never discouraged her from nursing. In fact I was really always worried that she didn't nurse enough. She was never a comfort nurser-she would nurse for 10 minutes and she was done. She slept through the night from an early age. We used to wake her to nurse bc I was convinced that she needed to so she gained weight. As she got old I couldn't NIP bc she was so distractable.

But now she is three and a thumb sucker. Maybe she wouldn't be if we managed to extend our nursing relationship. I am constantly trying to figure out why she weaned so early. Come to think of it, it is kind of amazing that she grew at all bc she didn't eat alot of solids either.

My ds is still going strong and while I can't say that I'll practice CLW, I want to nurse until he is three.
mommyoftwo is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off