will she ever wean? how do older children (5-6 y/o)self-wean? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 20 Old 07-23-2007, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
**guest**'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: surrounded by water
Posts: 1,452
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i'm almost serious, you know. DD turned 5 in june. when she was 3.5 we went through a really rough patch with nursing--she wanted to nurse constantly, and i couldn't stand it, and i was losing patience a lot. we did a weaning party, mostly initiated by me, and then she promptly declared that the party was fun, and she'd have it again, but she also wanted to keep on nursing.

then we managed to set some boundaries about nursing--only one breast, and mostly before bed, with some exceptions. no "rules", and i'd almost always nurse her when she really needs it during other times; and also sometimes i'd tell her that i can't nurse her at night, if DS nursed a lot and my breasts are too tired. i do get this feeling that there is a limit to how much of the physical sensation i can take. but i have a feeling, that she'd nurse as much or more than her 2.5 brother, if there were no limits to it.

but overall our nursing relationship since the rough patch has been good.

just before she turned 5, she mentioned that she'd like to wean when she is 5 or 6, and she talked about preparing a surprise for my breasts , which sounded she wanted them to rest more. i was very careful not to push her. i didn't mention anything to her again. needless to say, she didn't wean.

yesterday we talked about nursing in general, and i told her that older children and adults didn't nurse (as the way she was talking, it seemed she assumed everyone just kept on nursing forever), and she started sobbing, and said she was very sad about losing her childhood.

i want weaning to be her decision, especially as i feel guilty about the rough patch, but i am also confused about her intense desire to keep on nursing. there are no indications that she is moving towards weaning, and she sometimes tells me that the only thing that can calm her down when she is upset is nursing.

how do children like her end up self-weaning? how do i help her to be at peace with this?
**guest** is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 20 Old 07-24-2007, 08:58 AM
 
Mama2ABCD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: following cubs up a mountain
Posts: 1,885
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i often wonder the same

i think it's hardest with the first since you are breaking new ground every day. don't feel guilty for your rough patch. it sounds like things are going pretty well for you right now regarding nursing. just keep plugging away. she'll end it when she's ready. it'll taper off, or it might taper off and start back up again, or it could just end.
i have days when i wonder what the need is about. i just try to stay focused on how simple that need is and how much happiness and security it brings when it's met. my older ones are down to nursing once a day briefly and can go several days without nursing.
and keep in mind how far you've come! you put alot into this, and to see it end on her terms will be your reward. time really does fly and that won't be nursing forever:
Mama2ABCD is offline  
#3 of 20 Old 07-24-2007, 11:22 AM
 
Lovenest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: In a love nest in the NW.
Posts: 2,990
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My son will be 5 on Aug 3 and I dont see him giving it up anytime soon!
Thanks goodness we only have one as he is very much a nursing kinda boy!
I have never asked him when he will stop, I just figure when he is ready he will.
I am guessing not before 6... I have never thought he would stop before 6.

I just take it day by day knowing one day he will be done and all I will have are the memories.
Lovenest is offline  
#4 of 20 Old 07-24-2007, 11:49 AM
 
momuveight2B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,375
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by annabanana View Post
on nursing. there are no indications that she is moving towards weaning, and she sometimes tells me that the only thing that can calm her down when she is upset is nursing.
?
Dd tells me this too and I just reassure her that she can calm down and that I am right here to give her hugs, encourage a few deep breathes and offer alternatives to crying like reading a book. She can be a real drama queen about it but I do not want to nurse during these times. The exception is if she is hurt or really overtired but that is usually not the case. At times she is asked to take it to her room because she just goes on and on and will not accept any ideas I offer her. This has been improving a lot over recent months. She is four and a half.

When she was born my twins were five and a half. During the pregnancy I told them as I am telling her now that when the new baby comes the baby will need to nurse all the time and they will have to wait their turn. When the baby came and they would ask they were already very capable and independant. So I started joking around with them and telling them to go get their milk and juice from the fridge and that I was scared of their big teeth. They would laugh and and move on. There was really only one time with one boy that we actually nursed and that was the end of it. Other times when I would finally agree they would giggle and say no.

I worry now about dd because we will have the new baby anytime now and I still want to nurse her but not anymore than we are now, bedtime and morning, sometimes midday. She does ask all the time but most of those requests she is just being bored or silly. I just hope she will step up to her new role of big sister like her brothers did.

I don't think you need to feel guilty for setting limits.
momuveight2B is offline  
#5 of 20 Old 07-24-2007, 12:47 PM
 
TheJoyfulMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Southwest Florida
Posts: 366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Both of my girls weaned between 5 and 6. It was very slow and peaceful. They just did it.

When i would ge bothered by nursing I would tell them. Mama needs a break right now. Let's read a book... or I'm going to count to 10 or 15 or 20 and then we're going to stop nursing right now.

In the end, I dind't have to push either of them. They just stopped nursing. It was gradual. I dindt even realize it until after the fact. Nursing just wasnt that important anymore. The last nursing session to go for both of them was the one at bedtime.

At 5, my middle daughter was still nursing a lot at least... by Chistmas before her 6th birthday (in February) she was nursing every 2 or 3 days. By the begining of Feb she hadn't nursed in 3 weeks.

If you want her to be at peace with it- I would just let her be. She obviously realizes now that she will not be nursing forever, but she's not ready to give it up yet. I really can sympathize with her- nursing has been very important to her for 5 years now. It was a constant in her life... thinking about not having it is scary, I'm sure!

Hang in there! I'm sure that she will begin to wean when she is ready!

Joyfully- Laura
radically unschooling 3 awesome kids
TheJoyfulMom is offline  
#6 of 20 Old 07-24-2007, 04:22 PM
 
TiredX2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: it appears to be a handbasket
Posts: 20,029
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


DS weaned in May (at 5 years, 8 months). He slowly tappered off and was actually quite proud/happy of himself for weaning. That said, even months before he was very anti-weaning.

It WILL happen.

 

 

TiredX2 is offline  
#7 of 20 Old 07-25-2007, 12:01 AM
 
Meiri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Murrysville, PA
Posts: 8,869
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
DS cut down to only nursing before sleep, then not every time, then only before the occasional nap, then dropped naps. He didn't talk about it though.

DD slowly cut down on the frequency of her requests over a long period of time. Got to a point where she'd skip days then weeks at a time, nurse once/day for a few days in a row, then nothing. I never knew when would be her last time. In her last few months, she nursed once/month.

"What will you do once you know?"
Meiri is offline  
#8 of 20 Old 07-25-2007, 12:13 AM
 
NaomiMcC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 545
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
-never mind -
NaomiMcC is offline  
#9 of 20 Old 07-28-2007, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
**guest**'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: surrounded by water
Posts: 1,452
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
thank you, mamas, for your responses! i appreciate every one of them!
**guest** is offline  
#10 of 20 Old 08-01-2007, 09:56 AM
 
swissmiss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: in a state of Culture Shock
Posts: 88
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you, OP, for starting this thread. I am in the same boat. DS turns 5 on Aug. 15 and I've just asked him gently to try to go to sleep without the boob for the last week. Waking up is another story. This is the first move I've made towards weaning, but with K-garten starting this month, DH is losing patience.
Now it's off to the potty-learning threads to see when DS will EVER poop in the potty!!!!!!!!!! :

swissmiss is offline  
#11 of 20 Old 08-01-2007, 12:06 PM
 
katiecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ontario
Posts: 651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think ds really even knows about weaning but I see it happening similar to Joyfulmom. Just before he turned 5 in May, he went down to before bed and wake up nursings and almost never asked for it during the day anymore. Now he is skipping many of those sessions as well. He rarely asks in the morning anymore and is often not asking at night either. He has always liked to nurse a lot so it's amazing to me that he just simply doesn't seem to need it as much anymore.

When he does nurse now I don't really like the feeling but it's usually for less than a minute so I can handle it. I can hardly believe I'm at that point where he is going a day or even more sometimes without asking and I do see a very peaceful weaning in our future...whether ds even realizes it or not.

Allison, mom to ds born May 2002
katiecat is offline  
#12 of 20 Old 08-01-2007, 03:08 PM
 
aravinda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Maryland / Mumbai
Posts: 161
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i am so happy to find this thread ... i was going to start a thread "will anyone understand ...?" because actually ..

2 days ago i could have written something similar to the OP - minus the rough patch, but still with the wondering if she would ever wean (we also had a rise in nursing - combined with "terrible 2"ish behavoir that we'd never had at 2 - right around 3.5)

then last night (she is 4.1) she didnt nurse and this monring i woke up and realised it's been >24 hours. That is a first. I had SO MANY MIXED UP FEELINGS i was writing a book. Then she woke up ... she called me over for a hug. She said she loved me and started falling asleep. I gently asked if she wanted to nurse and she nodded like "duh" and nursed. But funny she didnt just latch on till I asked. Should I have asked?
aravinda is offline  
#13 of 20 Old 08-02-2007, 10:09 AM
 
SpiralWoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: middle of the mid-south
Posts: 2,480
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ah, thanks for this thread! Read it last nite while DS (just 4) was trying to fall asleep with Daddy. Gave me courage to go back in there & try again, lol!
Our big deal is not neccessarily the nursing itself, but that he only falls asleep while nursing. Sometimes it's no big deal & he is asleep within minutes. Sometimes it is no big deal even when it takes longer and we switch sides and fuss about until he quiets enough to fall asleep. But sometimes (like last night) we both get to a point where it just isn't working. I get very uncomfortable & even in pain, and he gets more wound up instead of relaxed & sleepy. It seems I am lactating very little, esp before my period.
It is hard to find words to explain to him what is happening & I feel guilty for not previously giving him more ways to fall asleep. In the past, when this has happened & I have asked him to unlatch, he can finally fall asleep, but not until I leave the room & let Daddy take over. And that has involved tears & very dramatic cries of "Mama, don't leave me, I want to boo!" quickly followed by sleep once I am out of the room & Daddy lays down with him. ("boo" is a verb, his pet word for nursing) We have talked about making bed time with Daddy the routine, but 75% of the time it seems unneccessary. Sigh.
Anyway, that's my story, any ideas or thoughts are welcome!
~Maria
SpiralWoman is offline  
#14 of 20 Old 08-05-2007, 02:31 AM
 
danieliausmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No wonder my almost four year old is not showing any signs of weaning. My biggest problem is not him, but my husband, who is very jealous, and even told pediatrician(who did not even ask us about it) to get her support, which he obviously got. She became very arrogant and asked "Can I ask you why are you still doing it?".
Are your husbands supportive?
danieliausmama is offline  
#15 of 20 Old 08-06-2007, 01:34 AM
 
MySunflowerBoys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,231
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Are your husbands supportive?
My older nursling is 4, will be 5 in November. He nurses before bed and in the morning. He just night weaned within the past 5 months, on his own. I wonder when and how it will end, but honestly don't mind it still. I try to keep in mind what a brief segment of his life this time is. My husband has mixed feelings on his nursing. Sometimes he thinks our son is just too old for it and needs to quit. Other times he sees how important it is to him and how happy it makes him, and then he doesn't think it's a big deal.

I'm Deborah, mama to Aidan, 11/02, Sean, 9/04 (my T21 SuperBoy), and Eleanor, 8/08.
MySunflowerBoys is offline  
#16 of 20 Old 08-06-2007, 11:30 AM
 
aravinda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Maryland / Mumbai
Posts: 161
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
sounds very familiar ... the other night i realised that i really wasn't ready for her to wean and was very relieved when the 30 hour gap turned out merely to be a gap. probably i could have made it the beginning of the end if i wanted to but it was obvious i didnt want to ... wouldnt have guessed that before it happened, i was also thinking "is this going to go on till she is 5?" but now 5 doesn't really seem so far off....

recently we decided to stop nursing to sleep though - nurse, then brush, then story to sleep. she's taken very well to it! the other night when she just got so excited in the story telling (and i was sooo tired) i kind of offered to nurse her again but she said "remember, no more ampa!" (ampa = nursing) so i just had to keep saying "mhm" as she talked herself to sleep ...
aravinda is offline  
#17 of 20 Old 08-06-2007, 04:31 PM
 
mother_sunshine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Big Island
Posts: 2,217
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi Anna.

I went through the same thing as you. I worried that it would never happen unless I pushed it along. But the more I pushed or hinted, the more she'd need it. Talking about weaning, and telling her that she wouldn't need it forever, just made her sad and clingy. It definitely didn't encourage her. She taught me that I just need to trust her, and that if she didn't need it then she wouldn't ask. I had to keep telling myself that we came this far, and I have seen how wonderful nursing has been for her, how secure and happy she is, why mess it all up now simply because she passed a certain age.

The main reason why I put pressure on her at times (usually around her b-days) was because I had no support at the time. I didn't know anyone else at the time who was nursing their 5 or 6yo (I found MDC shortly after dd turned 6yrs). It was new territory for me. And dh wasn't raised in a breastfeeding atmosphere so he put a lot of pressure on me on dd's 5th and 6th b-days. It took a lot of constant assurance and communicating to him that I'm the one with the instincts and this just felt right, and it didn't feel right to make her wean. He saw how much pain it caused her to put pressure to wean, we were both always crying and upset at bedtime, and he finally understood. Breastfeeding is much more than just milk feeding. It's their world.....security, comfort, happiness, plus all the essential physical stuff that their strong instincts drive them to want to nurse (immunity, brain development, etc.). It's so complex but also so simple. And we can provide it to them simply by nursing.

I know it seems like it'll never happen but it will. Just trust her. She'll wean when her body and mind are ready.
mother_sunshine is offline  
#18 of 20 Old 08-06-2007, 10:59 PM
 
Krystan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am also wondering the same thing! Dd is 6 1/2 now. Things started to be "weird" for me as soon as ds was born almost 4 years ago, and then got better for a while. We have had ups and downs, but nursing has been so wonderful for us in general that I hate to end it on anything but a postive note, but... will she ever wean?? She says not. I started limiting her when she was 5 because I was having a lot of negative feelings. We are now down to the 1 minute at bedtime routine. My dh is not really supportive anymore (he says I am a "crutch" for her - whatever that means). Anyway, I really feel like she won't stop on her own. She has always had a real hard time with transitions, so maybe she needs some help? I like coming back here once and a while for stories of natural weaning for inspiration. I know I shouldn't let it bother me that she'll probably nursing at 7, but it kind of does. I have always had a fantasy that she would wean on her own in one of those cute grateful ways you read about in "How Weaning Happens". Anyway, no answers for you, but just so you know I think you're doing a great job!
Krystan is offline  
#19 of 20 Old 08-07-2007, 12:38 AM
 
Meiri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Murrysville, PA
Posts: 8,869
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Are your husbands supportive?
yes.

I'm sure DH had mixed feelings and questions when I was nursing DS, but he paid attention when I shared my research findings with him, including when I decided that childlead weaning would be best if at all possible.

With DD, as with DS, the only issue was NIP, but I found a way around that.

"What will you do once you know?"
Meiri is offline  
#20 of 20 Old 08-07-2007, 10:35 AM
 
katiecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ontario
Posts: 651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes dh is supportive. It makes all the difference I think.

Funny, I never really discuss weaning with ds. I just assume he will do it when he's ready. But we've had a fairly easy time with it since a very rough time when he was 3 1/2 years old. As of now (Tuesday morning) I can't remember the last time he nursed. It must have been Friday because he didn't on Saturday. I am sure this isn't the end, though and he will ask again eventually. Neither of us has mentioned it.

Allison, mom to ds born May 2002
katiecat 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