worried that I am pushing nursing on my child - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 02-05-2005, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd is 14 months old and loved to nurse as an infant. As she got older she doesn't seem as interested. She never ever asks for it. If I offer she eagerly accepts. She nurses ALL night because we have been having allergy issues and that seems to be all that gets her back to sleep. But I feel like it's my desire to let her CLW that is keeping us nursing. I feel like if I just never offered to she would wean without any trouble. I really don't want to wean her but I am worried that I am forcing it on her. I feel conflicted and don't want to push nursing on her. I love it and when I offer she seems to love it too. But she literally never asks for it. What do you all think?
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#2 of 18 Old 02-05-2005, 10:58 PM
 
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At 14 months it's easy to see that babe is too busy for stopping to nurse.. very common. I remember at times offering it since I thought he needed it at that time. If she's not refusing then I dont see the problem since so much nutrition is important, plus the fluid. i say, go with your heart... which seems to be guiding you in reminding her. How much would you say you're nursing her during the day with the reminders? I think it is just as possible to over analyze our good efforts to the point that they seem incorrect. In this case, you're gving baby all good stuff: nutrition, comfort, love, bonding...
keep up the good work~worry less
~L
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#3 of 18 Old 02-05-2005, 11:24 PM
 
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One of the LLL books talks about using "don't offer, don't refuse" as a weaning technique. So if you quit offering, then you would be leading the weaning (particularly at this age!). If your toddler eagerly nurses when you offer, you are by no means forcing the babe to nurse!!! In fact, it is not possible to force a child to nurse. Keep on following your heart. You're doing good!
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#4 of 18 Old 02-06-2005, 01:39 AM
 
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A couple of times when I've tried to get my temper-tantruming daughter to calm down by offering to nurse and she didn't want to, she's bitten me.

You cannot force a child to nurse. Offering and her accepting is no different than offering her a drink of water and her accepting or offering her a hug and her accepting by running into your arms.

breastfeeding, babywearing, homeschooling Heathen parent to my little Wanderer, 7 1/2 , and baby Elf-stone, 3/11!

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#5 of 18 Old 02-06-2005, 08:44 AM
 
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My 3rd DD never cared much about nursing. She was a very active baby and for her nursing was strictly about food. She spent as little time as possible at the breast. I nursed her to 15 months *my choice* and when I weaned her she didn't even notice : I think it is entirely possible to have a child who isn't enthusiastic about nursing, especially high energy kids who don't want to stop for anything not even to eat!
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#6 of 18 Old 02-06-2005, 09:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnylady303
My dd is 14 months old and loved to nurse as an infant. As she got older she doesn't seem as interested. She never ever asks for it. If I offer she eagerly accepts. She nurses ALL night
So, do you offer it ALL night? Or does she ask?

If she nurses better at night than during the day, this is called reverse cycling and is fairly common in a baby around 6 mos to a yr.

If she is a very busy girl and self soothes during the day, she might be a candidate for self-weaning. Since the milk is so beneficial, it is great that she will still nurse when you offer so she can continue to thrive and build her immune system on your milk.
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#7 of 18 Old 02-06-2005, 03:28 PM
 
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Just want to second that:

Quote:
I feel like if I just never offered to she would wean without any trouble.
IS a weaning technique. Especially (IMO) in a younger child.

Additionally, at her age.... so *what* if she continues nursing because you keep offering? She litterally *needs* milk still. Does she make all of her nutritional choices at this point or are you still giving her choices? Asking if she wants some pears, or pasta, or...? The WHO says children should be bfed *at least* two years, so I feel that a parent *should* encourage their child to nurse until at least that point.

(BTW, don't feel upset if you witness a 180 turn around in about 4 months and DD hits the 18 month nursing "high").

 

 

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#8 of 18 Old 02-06-2005, 07:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnylady303
She nurses ALL night because we have been having allergy issues and that seems to be all that gets her back to sleep.
Sounds to me as if she is still VERY MUCH in tune with nursing. It's extremely common for babes this age to lose interest during the day because they are newly mobile and ready to go, explore, and live life. But this comment in your post leads me to believe that if you were to try and wean her, she'd have something to say about it because nighttime is often the time busy daytime kids make up for nursing lost. If it's the only still getting her to sleep (as is often the case--btdt), then she's still relying upon it VERY much.

IMO, no worries. Save for bedtime/nighttime, which were "given nursings" around here until sometime after age two and then again later between 3 and 4, days were anywhere between no nursing and tons of nursing. I just followed cues. I remember this age specifically being a no daytime nurse age--just too busy! It changed entirely when he got to about 18 months and the ol' emotional growth spurts started in again... "NA NA MOMMY NA NA!" I could barely sit down/stop at all before DS was in my lap and nursing away.

The best,
Em

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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#9 of 18 Old 02-07-2005, 01:03 AM
 
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ITA with everyone else. If you truely want to CLW then you should keep offering. Like mentioned above a method of weaning is "Don't ask, don't offer" (the way I have heard it) and is used quit a bit in my circle of friends and passed off as "she just weaned herself".

Just imagine if you were in a whole new surrounding where everything is so interesting and beautiful. You are having so much fun and enjoying yourself so much that you skip a meal, don't stop for a drink when you are thirsty, don't sleep when you are tired. You have just gotten a glimps of a toddlers life. They need someone to remind them they are thirsty / tired / hungry / want to nurse.

I think you are doing exactly what you should be in giving it to her when she wants it (at night) and offereing to her when she wants it but is too busy to think about it.
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#10 of 18 Old 02-07-2005, 12:39 PM
 
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This makes me think of some bf /mostly pumped milk/ children who wean from the breast themselves relatively early (12-15mos).
I would suspect that since the breast is not available and the bottle of pumped bm is usually given at scheduled intervals in the daycare situation the child is not remaining attatched in that aspect. so, thier desire for actual breast-feeding is simply diminished and in my opinion too early.
just my thoughts from the flip side.
~L
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#11 of 18 Old 02-08-2005, 05:26 PM
 
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I don't think that "don't offer, don't refuse" is a weaning technique per se. I don't see where as a mother you 'd have to keep offering just to ensure that the child is getting "enough". Maybe after some time a child gets used to the constant offering and will not on her own think of nursing. I definitely do not second the opinion that it's a mother's job to keep nursing going. IMO, breastfeeding is natural, and chidlren are truly capable on their own to intiate a breastfeeding session. If a child is busy and will spend hours just palying and not think of nursing at all, then she will most likely catch up at a later time.
When ds was 2.5 I realized that the only time he nursed was when I asked him. I had started doing this because I was confused about him not wanting to nurse as often. I slowly came to the conclusion that he would not nurse at all if not offered. So I stopped and he stopped too. I felt that he was ready to quit. I was the one who wasn't ready when he was. Of course, a 14 month old might be a different story. I've heard of toddlers that young quitting on their own, but there are can be other factors involved when a young toddler quits voluntarily except that she's truly ready.
You may want to look at how she's eating. If she gets most of her nutrition from food maybe she's ready to wean. Otherwise, just go with your own hunches. I also felt that I was being pushy, even though he didn't protest or anything.
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#12 of 18 Old 02-09-2005, 09:40 AM
 
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[QUOTE=kmamma]I don't think that "don't offer, don't refuse" is a weaning technique per se.[Quote=kmamma]This IS definately a weaning technique.

[quote=kmamma] I don't see where as a mother you 'd have to keep offering just to ensure that the child is getting "enough". Maybe after some time a child gets used to the constant offering and will not on her own think of nursing. I definitely do not second the opinion that it's a mother's job to keep nursing going. IMO, breastfeeding is natural, and chidlren are truly capable on their own to intiate a breastfeeding session. If a child is busy and will spend hours just palying and not think of nursing at all, then she will most likely catch up at a later time. [Quote=kmamma]

>>At the young age, with colds and other germs rampant during the winter months, offering can be peace of mind as well as the difference between illness and not. In many natural approaches we do view it as the mothers job to keep nursing going in certain cases especially at a younger than 2 age.

Hope the op has found her ground again and little one is getting what he/she needs

~L
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#13 of 18 Old 02-14-2005, 05:36 PM
 
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lauraess--would you mind elaborating a little? For some reason "This IS definitely a weaning technique" doesn't offer me any clues about WHY it simply is a weaning technique.
Offering a child the breast during the winter months is peace of mind for who? An overly worried mother I presume...
Personally I say, of course a child has the power to control his own needs, let alone identify them. Even a very small baby can. At least in other societies.
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#14 of 18 Old 02-15-2005, 12:24 PM
 
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Ok, so you don't offer the breast unless the baby asks for it. Do you offer any other food or drink if the baby does not ask for it? Do you offer hugs if the baby doesn't ask for them? I do!
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#15 of 18 Old 02-15-2005, 04:55 PM
 
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Maybe you'd call me an uncaring mother, but no I don't offer a hug. I sometimes ask for one (assuming that hugs are a two-way deal) if I feel like hugging him. He can say yes or no before we hug. Hugs are nice, but only if the other pesron truly feels like hugging.
As far as other food goes, I never need to offer him anything!! He's pretty quick about inviting himself to a bite or drink.
I like to think of it as avoiding to rob him of valuable opportunities to develop his resposiveness to his bodily and emotional urges.
Would you offer a grown-up a snack (say if this person was a regular member of the household) or would you just assume that this person can take care of it by himself?

So, we're kind off the topic here. I guess initially I thought it was a very bold statement to say that "don't offer, don't refuse" is a weaning technique. I never once wished that my son would stop nursing when he did at 2.5, yet I decided it was time for me to allow him complete control of when nursing was going to happen. Maybe it's more about the intentions.
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#16 of 18 Old 02-15-2005, 05:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmamma
He can say yes or no before we hug. Hugs are nice, but only if the other pesron truly feels like hugging.
As far as other food goes, I never need to offer him anything!! He's pretty quick about inviting himself to a bite or drink.
It looks like we just see this differently, or maybe its a matter of semantics. Offering a hug isn't forcing one IMO - the other person can say yes or no! As for food, does your child "invite himself to a bite or drink" when you're eating/drinking? If he saw you nursing (ok, not a realistic example, but I hope you see my point), would he ask to nurse? Maybe, maybe not. All kids are different - I rarely offered because my child requested so often! :LOL
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#17 of 18 Old 02-18-2005, 11:34 AM
 
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If you are still reading this thread I thought I would post my experience. My daughter was the EXACT same way around 13-17 months. I feel that it IS the parent's responsibility to encourage the bfing relationship to continue untilt he child is at least 2. Saying you shouldn't when it is PROVEN that children NEED breastmilk at LEAST that long is ridiculous IMO. So you don't give your children fruits and vegetables when they don't ask for them (this is for the person who doesn't believe in offering)? Of course a 14 month old knows all about nutrition and will naturally choose what they need to thrive.

My daughter went through a phase where she didn't ask for about 4 months. I kept offering because I feel she needs it. Around 18 months she picked up again and now at 27 months she nurses all the time! I can't imagine me just letting her wean at 14 months. To me that would be like telling your child they didn't need to eat healthy anymore or take a bath or..... they are NOT old enough to know what is BEST for them.

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#18 of 18 Old 02-18-2005, 10:49 PM
 
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Yes callmemama, we just see things differently.
I thought your point was that we need to remind children about food to make sure that they will eat.
At least the reverse was my point--we don't need to remind them about food. They just know by hunger feelings that they need to eat. And maybe it's just natural for any human to go a long time with nothing to eat if they're involved in something important, such as exploring the world intensely.
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