Child Led Weaning...Isn't This Too Early?? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-06-2005, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas! My son is 10.5 months and is becoming increasingly less interested in nursing. Isn't it awfully early for him to wean himself??? I really wanted to nurse for over the year mark, but if he keeps this up, I'm afraid I will loose my supply.

He was a wonderful nurser up until recently. (I know I was very blessed to not have problems (i.e with latch, supply etc.) in the beginning.) Lately, he will not latch, he turns or pushes away and wants to get down. I know he has to be hungry - he will be quite fussy and gives me all the signs that he wants to eat.

He does drink juice occasionally from a sippy cup or regular glass, though - would that be the problem? He's done the cup/glass for over a month and no problems...but maybe they could develop over time ???

Any suggestions? Should I pump and put it in a sippy? I really want to continue to give him BM no matter what, but I will so miss the nursings.
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:16 AM
 
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it could just be a phase. or a nursing strike. if you're worried about your supply you can pump and store it.
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:58 AM
 
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Oh boy - I could have written your post a couple of months ago (actually, I think I did! :LOL ) I didn't get a whole lot of advice at the time, but now that I am on the other side of it, I have more insight.

This is almost assuredly what is called a "nursing strike" - your babe is not trying to wean, I can be 99.9999999999% sure of that.

I don't believe you need to be too worried about your milk supply. When your DC picks up the nursing more later (give it a month, perhaps) your milk supply will will come right back. If you can't help but feel nervous about it (like I did) you can pump and drink some Nursing Mom tea (as I did)

Most of all, offer the breast frequently throughout the day. Your DC may only latch on for a second and then get distracted, but that is all it is: a distraction. Your babe still needs you and your wonderful mommy milk. You'll probably notice that your babe definitely wants to nurse enthusiastically at certain times of the day, i.e. early morning or before bedtime. The afternoon ones more than likely get cut short because your DC is learning so much and noticing so much that it may be difficult to just sit still and cuddle.

I'm ing now, I know. Hope this helps. Don't give up!

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Old 07-06-2005, 02:27 AM
 
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Sneaking nursing sessions during sleepy times/at night helps a lot of women and children make it through a strike, too. The same technique could be used for the curious child who just has too much to explore to be bothered nursing, also. Like the previous poster said, it is pretty unlikely that a child that young is weaning. After one year old, maybe, but under 1 is most likely just distraction or a strike.
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Old 07-06-2005, 02:59 AM
 
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Nursing strike. Nurse before food. Maybe even cut down the # of solids. Nurse when he's sleepy or having down time anyway.

good luck!

-Angela
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Old 07-06-2005, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the advice and support, mamas. It is very much appreciated. After reading your descriptions, I believe he is on a strike...it seems he goes 90 mph non stop all day here lately...just wanting to be "doing" something constantly...he is such a busy bee!

We'll wait it out and I will pump some in the meantime if necessary....I just miss my little cuddle-bug!!
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Old 07-06-2005, 11:37 AM
 
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I just wanted to add that I agree it is definitely not weaning. I don't believe a child under 2 would self-wean. I also wanted to say that I would not give him BM in a sippy just to get him to drink some. I personally know 2 women who ended up accidentally weaning that way. He won't starve himself, so let him come to you when he's hungry or thirsty for BM, rather than giving it to him in a cup. If you give it to him in a sippy, he really *will* be too busy to nurse, because he'll be able to carry it around the room with him, so why should he bother to come get it right from you?
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Old 07-07-2005, 03:06 PM
 
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I agree that it may be a nursing strike. Both of my kids stopped nursing for awhile and after I gave them bm in a cup they stopped nursing....between 1 and 2 years. To me it seemed that they sort of self-weaned, but I understand that some may disagree. I was fairly uncomfortable denying them milk in a cup since they were verbally asking for it and fairly assertive about rejecting the breast - in the case of my younger son actually pushing me away and crying when I would offer the breast

Not to hijack, but I actually came onto this page/thread today because a neighbor who is doing extended bfing sort of gave me a lecture on the fact that ds2 is no longer nursing (he turned 2 last month). It sort of stressed me out - is there alot of consensus that if toddlers REALLY lose interest (beyond a nursing strike) in nursing between ages 1 and 2 that we should force them to continue? I mean her kiddos both seemed to maintain an interest in nursing until they were older, but I never really considered it a striking difference in our parenting - just responsiveness to our kids difference, ykwim?

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Old 07-07-2005, 08:15 PM
 
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To the OP:
A good article on Kellymom that addresses this. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/babyselfwean.html

~*Kristi*~
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Old 07-07-2005, 08:29 PM
 
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If he will nurse some it is not technically a nursing strike. Many babies at around that age just get too busy to want to hunker down and nurse during the day. They will nurse better when sleepy or in a dark room. If he has older siblings this can cause him to becoem distracted. Probably nurisng when out and about it out for now.

Make sure to co-sleep and he may nurse quite well in the middle of the night. This is called reverse cycling.

Definitely pump to keep up your supply. Sudden weaning or reduction in demand can cause the milk to become salty (as it is reabsorbed by your body) and make baby even more reluctant to nurse. Offer the milk in a cup, perhaps chilled, or freeze for fun ice pops. Add to pureed foods.

Good luck. This can be extremely frustrating and make one feel rejected.

Reverse cycling can lessen by 12 mos. It's a brain development thing.
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Old 07-07-2005, 08:41 PM
 
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Both of my girls became too busy to nurse about the time they learned to walk. I just kept offering, but not trying to force them to nurse, and they grew out of it (both girls are still nursing).
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Old 07-07-2005, 08:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildmonkeys
It sort of stressed me out - is there alot of consensus that if toddlers REALLY lose interest (beyond a nursing strike) in nursing between ages 1 and 2 that we should force them to continue?
Personally, if they are not asking and over 1 year old and if I were comfortable with them not nursing, I'd let them determine the nursing frequency. There are some babies that wean earlier than the average and some later (hence the word AVERAGE ).

I would never force a baby to nurse. I might be incredibly sneaky in offering if I felt it was not good for the child to wean yet (like they were under 1 yo), though. But forcing, no, I wouldn't. I think it would further jeoprodize the nursing relationship.

Sounds to me like you picked up your children's cues and did the appropriate thing. We really know our own children best, so I'd take other's comments ith a grain of salt, especially when you know you did what was right.
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Old 07-08-2005, 10:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Song of Joy
Personally, if they are not asking and over 1 year old and if I were comfortable with them not nursing, I'd let them determine the nursing frequency. There are some babies that wean earlier than the average and some later (hence the word AVERAGE ).

I would never force a baby to nurse. I might be incredibly sneaky in offering if I felt it was not good for the child to wean yet (like they were under 1 yo), though. But forcing, no, I wouldn't. I think it would further jeoprodize the nursing relationship.

Sounds to me like you picked up your children's cues and did the appropriate thing. We really know our own children best, so I'd take other's comments ith a grain of salt, especially when you know you did what was right.
One, you cannot force a child to nurse! There is no way, short of abuse. What are you going to do? force their mouth open and put it on your nipple? ACK!

Some babies don't ask to nurse, even when they really need to. I have one like that and one the opposite. My oldest won't ever forget to nurse, but my little one does. I know when she starts getting fussy (she's very rarely a fussy baby, and has always been laid back and easy going) that she needs to nurse, even if she's not asking for it, and I have to offer to nurse or deal with a fussy kid. Even if she doesn't realize it's been too long since she nursed last, I can tell by watching her behavior that she needs it, and I offer to nurse her. And sometimes she refuses to nurse, especially if I'm offering just because my breasts feel too full rather than because she is showing signs that she needs to nurse. again, you cannot force a child to nurse if they don't want to nurse. You just can't. You can offer, and they can refuse or they can nurse, and that's what it's all about anyway is letting them lead the way.
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Old 07-08-2005, 10:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildmonkeys
Not to hijack, but I actually came onto this page/thread today because a neighbor who is doing extended bfing sort of gave me a lecture on the fact that ds2 is no longer nursing (he turned 2 last month). It sort of stressed me out - is there alot of consensus that if toddlers REALLY lose interest (beyond a nursing strike) in nursing between ages 1 and 2 that we should force them to continue? I mean her kiddos both seemed to maintain an interest in nursing until they were older, but I never really considered it a striking difference in our parenting - just responsiveness to our kids difference, ykwim?
Okay, just reread through the thread and found your question...
Why does it stress you out? If my baby suddenly stopped nursing before the age of two, I'd be concerned and treat it like a nursing strike. But I believe strongly in CLW or at least nursing for the first two or three years of the child's life. CLW isn't right for everyone, and that's okay, too. If you chose to not offer to nurse your child, and he weaned a bit earlier than he would have otherwise, is there really anything wrong with that? If you used what some people call "weaning behavior" and he weaned a bit earlier, so what? You are the Mama, and you get to raise your kids your way. You did a great job if you nursed him beyond his first birthday!! Give yourself a pat on the back.
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Old 07-08-2005, 11:23 PM
 
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I guess it stressed me out because she was fairly relentless in questioning me & I sort of thought I HAD done CLW, but she kept using the term over and over and over again so I wasn't sure if I didn't "get it" so I was looking for information here on what is "officially" considered child lead in the nfl community to try to understand where she is coming from.

Anyway, thanks your responses as well as a number of other threads on the part of the forum has helped me to understand her definition of it.

Back to the original poster (and sorry for the hijack) both of my dss really slacked of in their nursing at various times during the first year and I kept offering and they eventually went back to nursing (thus why it sounds like a nursing strike to me) My ds2 had a really hard time nursing when he had teeth coming in (the opposite of my first son who seemed to want to nurse right through the teething process) - you might want to check and see if there are any bumps back there?

HTH - thanks again everybody.

BJ
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Old 07-08-2005, 11:31 PM
 
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Both of my children self weaned before age two. They were approx 17 months and 20 months. I did offer after they started to loss interest. My ds would even say "No....just cuddle."

It may not be common.....but child weaning can happen before age two.

Cloth4Colin.... Hang in there! It sounds to me that he is just busy checking things out right now. If you are concerned about your supply....def pump.

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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Old 07-09-2005, 12:49 AM
 
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If he's not nursing at all, or dramatically decreased, then I'd say it's a nursing strike, and you've gotten some great info on that. If it's reduced in number of nursings more gradually, especially if you think he's still getting a lot of milk overall, then I think it has to do with the busy-ness of that age.

I know my daughter had gone down to about 4 times a day but seemed to be getting a lot in those sessions at about 11mo., because she wasn't eating more solids than before, and was still gaining weight. Now nursing's gotten much more frequent at 15 months.

For her, nursing frequency seems to come and go based on a) teething (big upswing for her, won't eat any solids just before they break through) and b) my period (she definitely decreases around then, I'm guessing it tastes funny/different, because the first 2 months she made faces while nursing).

If he seems to be making faces or you think maybe your milk tastes different, you might be getting your period (I got mine at 11 mo. post partum), or you might be having hormonal cycles even without periods. It seems like if that's the case, the baby gets used to the change in taste in a month or two, and didn't noticably affect supply for me.

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Old 07-13-2005, 01:55 PM
 
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My 8 1/2-month old is one of those highly-distractable, too busy to nurse babies. I know breastmilk is really important for her at this age, so I really encourage, and offer nursing to her a lot. She rarely nurses when out and about, too busy really.

Some things I do, are if she refuses to nurse sitting in a chair in the living room, I take her in the bedroom and lie down and nurse. If we are out, and she refuses to nurse (but seems to need it) than I put her in the carseat, sit next to her and nurse her (being well-endowed helps here ) It seems if she is in a familiar, boring enviroment (like our bedroom, which we only use for nursing and sleeping, no toys or anything interesting) or her carseat, she is more likely to nurse. If she still wont' nurse lying down, but I think she needs or really want to encourage it, I will lie on my back on the bed, and lift my shirt up and sit her straddling my waist, usually if she is hungry she will see the breasts and dive down to latch on. She likes to nurse in weird positions, like with me lying on my back and her standing up next to me, leaning over to latch on.

I also dont' feed her solids until she has had a solid nursing session.

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