How committed are you to CLW vs. just 'extra extended' nursing? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 91 Old 04-30-2008, 02:15 PM
 
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And I think CBM makes a good point, too.
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#62 of 91 Old 04-30-2008, 02:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fiddledebi View Post
The thing is that I also find I just simply don't want to nurse her very often anymore. I am not creeped out by it or anything, nor do I for one moment think it's wrong, but I just don't feel like it. I don't feel like sitting there being pawed at and sucked on. I am happy -- thrilled even! -- to take lots of snuggle breaks throughout the day, where DD2 and I sit quietly and hug, or nuzzle noses or do other things that involve both of us, but perhaps what I am really done with is what, for DD2 and I, is a very one-sided nursing relationship. I "give" her my breast, she "takes" my milk, she is not very gentle, she doesn't settle in and relax and ooze love -- she just kind of gobbles at me, like my breast is a sandwich, like this is another food for her and it doesn't have anything to do with her love for her mommy. Does that make sense?

What gets me down sometimes about being really committed to CLW is that it seems to force a mama also to be really committed to total self-sacrifice with no way out. If you are 100% committed, there are no limits, no encouragement to take your relationship to the next level, etc. I love what CalBearMama said about teaching her DS to get up in the morning and find her -- that's an example of setting a gentle limit with a carrot instead of a stick -- but would probably fall under the category of mother-led-weaning and therefore somehow make her less than 100% committed to CLW.

How about the idea of FLW -- "family led weaning?" This is where the nursing relationship ends eventually as a result of the needs and strengths of the entire family. It can be influenced (not forced) by a pregnancy or new baby, by a mama that feels "done" and wants to move on gently and help her child do so, by a mama who goes back to work, by a daddy who lives elsewhere who wants to have overnights, by any other number of parts of living in a group of people who ALL have needs. A newborn or baby should, in my opinion, get to be the one whose needs get absolute first consideration, but when you have a 3 or 4 or 5 year old, I think that child can be considered part of a group of people whose needs ALL must be met -- including the mama.

Just my two cents. I'm not against CLW (and in fact love the idea) if everyone involved is happy!
This is how I'm feeling. I hate nursing nowadays. When DS2 was about 2 yrs + 3 months, we got a slow case of thrush that took forever to go away and went undiagnosed for a long time. Now he's 35 months and still wants to nurse all the time and it sucks. I originally had 5 in mind as a goal, but now I don't think I can do it. The really hard part is that I have no idea how to wean. He just screams at me and hits me and paws at me even more. I mean, wth do I do with that?

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#63 of 91 Old 04-30-2008, 11:45 PM
 
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The thing is, part of following my daughter's lead in the past several months has been recognizing that she needs me to set more limits. She can't stand saying no to nursing and wants me to help her not nurse. It's a very personal and intimate, delicate balance. I'm the only one who can understand this fully, if that makes sense. Especially since the timing of my wanting to be done nursing has come at the same time I've realized she needs my help stopping.

--Heather
This made so much sense to me. I think my daughter has also been telling me she wants to wean: she is frustrated at the small amount of milk she gets, she wants to nurse but doesn't want to be touched or cuddled much in the process, and she seems curious about weaning. This kind of subtle negotiation is difficult. I don't want to push too much, but I am weary of it. I do not get anything from our nursing relationship anymore--so in some ways I feel she has weaned from the emotional part of our breastfeeding relationship. At this point, if I explain that we are done nursing, I feel I am withdrawing part of this relationship, but she, herself, has started this.
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#64 of 91 Old 04-30-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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I've decided that we need to be done roughly when dd turns 5. For now, I'm trying to encourage dd to get lots of other emotional support from me, and hoping that decreases the nursing requests. We've talked about how many kids she knows are weaned and that one day she'll be weaned too.

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#65 of 91 Old 05-01-2008, 09:38 PM
 
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subbing.
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#66 of 91 Old 05-02-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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I put limits on nursing. I couldn't do it without some kinds of limits and boundaries; I'd go insane.

Just before age 3.5, I chose to limit ds1 to nursing only twice a day: first thing in the morning and at night before bed. It was a bit of a rough transition, but seemed necessary. I had been tandem nursing for a year at that point, and it seemed like he was nursing more than his little brother. He will be turning 4.5 in another week, and we have been talking about how there will be no more morning nursing session at that point. And when he turns 5, he will be all done nursing (I'm due in Sept and will be nursing 3 for two months before ds1 turns 5).

We recently nightweaned ds2, but otherwise he still nurses on demand at age 2.

I've never been dedicated to CLW, persay. We just kind of took it day by day, adjusting according to my childrens' needs and my needs. I think CLW is impossible to define. There are so many outside factors that affect a child's needs/wants. Pregnancy disrupts the whole "natural" progression. When I was pg with ds2, ds1 was down to only nursing in the morning, naptime and nighttime. After ds2 was born, he was nursing constantly again. So, did he decrease nursing because of the change in my milk (I always had at least some milk throughout pg, and didn't have any soreness or pain), or was that a natural progression for him? Did the introduction of a newborn and the extra creamy milk encourage more nursing than he would otherwise have wanted?

I make decisions based on what seems best for our family, whether it meets some philosophical "criteria" or not. I'm just not interested in nursing past age 5 (while also nursing a toddler and a newborn, mind!), even if ds might prefer that. At this point, I don't think he "needs" it.

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#67 of 91 Old 05-02-2008, 07:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fiddledebi View Post
How about the idea of FLW -- "family led weaning?" This is where the nursing relationship ends eventually as a result of the needs and strengths of the entire family. It can be influenced (not forced) by a pregnancy or new baby, by a mama that feels "done" and wants to move on gently and help her child do so, by a mama who goes back to work, by a daddy who lives elsewhere who wants to have overnights, by any other number of parts of living in a group of people who ALL have needs. A newborn or baby should, in my opinion, get to be the one whose needs get absolute first consideration, but when you have a 3 or 4 or 5 year old, I think that child can be considered part of a group of people whose needs ALL must be met -- including the mama.

Just my two cents. I'm not against CLW (and in fact love the idea) if everyone involved is happy!

I LOVE this idea! I think it really fits my own philosophy on bf and weaning.

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#68 of 91 Old 05-04-2008, 09:16 AM
 
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I don't honestly know. There was a time I thought that after three and towards 4 would feel weird... usually just feels normal though.

I'm flexible. We'll see.

As long as she needs it as much as she does right now, I can't see MLW with a clear conscience.
I feel this way exactly. DD1 just turned 3. I thought I'd probably start feeling funny about nursing a THREE year old (dun dun dunnnnnn), but it's still the same old same old. I guess I'm at the point where I would be "okay" with her weaning any time now, on her initiation. She really, really, really needs it though. My dad is going through some serious health issues right now and it's stressing everyone out. DD1 is the family's emotional barometer and has kicked up her nursing frequency (and her intense 0-60 freak-outs) since his diagnosis. Besides which, she won't even tolerate abstract talk about weaning in general, let alone HER weaning. I can't imagine trying to wean now on top of everything else...

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#69 of 91 Old 05-06-2008, 02:11 AM
 
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Well, I was listening to an interview about the Dalai Lama that mentioned an incident amoung Tibetans in which a mother was shooing away a nine-year-old who still wanted to nurse . I have been limiting 4.5 yo ds' nursing for a long time to only 3x per day (because I am also nursing his enthusiastic younger sister), but frankly I could easily see ds happily nursing until 9 yo if there was no discouragement or disapproval expressed by me or others . A North American's idea of CLW might be very different from CLW in another culture where it's really No Big Deal to be nursing a child who is 5 or older. I don't really think that true CLW is an option for us because I don't want to be nursing a 9 yo. Am I allowed to say that in this forum ? My personal bias is that a 5 yo is "too old for nursing" -- for me. But I haven't decided what to do about it. I don't want to to be like "Happy Birthday, you're 5, say goodbye to nursing even though you really like it". It's really hard to sort through all the baggage. I only know one woman IRL who nursed a child older than 4 - and I don't know if she felt that great about it. Also, CLW during a pregnancy really is a much different scenario that CLW under other circumstances, IMO.

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#70 of 91 Old 05-06-2008, 10:33 AM
 
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My dd is 25 months, and our goal was 2 years. Ive always said that I would stick it out for 2 years regardless. Now, we are just taking day at a time. I have no issues with her still nursing most of the time. Sometimes she is obnoxious about it, but she is 2, what do I expect? We will continue nursing until it isn't working for us anymore. Hopefully she will wean herself when she is ready.
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#71 of 91 Old 05-09-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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The idea of FLW is really interesting! I was thinking about it, and I think I have a little bit of trouble with the paradigm of parent/mama-led vs child-led because either way has the potential to create a binary between the two parties. I think this applies to many areas of parenting and family life. I think that within the context of my own family, we are striving to make all of our decisions as consensual as possible and that the idea of really being in it together and making family-led decisions might be a good guiding idea for us. I'm still thinking it over but I really like the concept.
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#72 of 91 Old 05-10-2008, 12:58 AM
 
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I hear what you're saying Thismama, about the goals thing.

Childlead should mean exactly that. It's not about who nurses a child the longest, but about meeting the needs of the child.

I had no goals in mind with DS, only that I would nurse him. Then I learned about childlead weaning and figured that barring medical or other circumstances, I'd let that one part of his life be his decision. I was not expecting him to go to 5, but in those last couple of years, I could see the tapering down process was well under way.

With DD, I had no goals in mind either, other than nursing her and letting the weaning be her decision, again barring medical or other need. Her tapering down process was like a rollercoaster. But over time, was also pretty clear.

Look to your child's needs and go with that. No goals beyond being a loving mom.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#73 of 91 Old 05-10-2008, 03:24 AM
 
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DD is closing in on 3.5 now and still nurses all the time. I don't have an age in mind when it would be too long, but I'm also keeping my options open if we find ourselves in a situation when it's driving me batty. I'd guess she's a lot more committed to CLW than I am. This part might not be strictly CLW but at 2.5 years I'd had enough (all) night-nursing and told her she couldn't nurse again until it was light out (around 5:30 am at the time). Nine months later she finally reliably started sleeping instead of waking up once every week or two and screaming and screaming about not nursing (once, when told "you can nurse when the sun is up" she yelled back "I hate the sun").

Soooo, I think it will be CLW whether I like it or not.

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#74 of 91 Old 05-10-2008, 12:20 PM
 
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(once, when told "you can nurse when the sun is up" she yelled back "I hate the sun").
That cracked me up!! I think your DD and my DS are cut from the same cloth
I could see him saying the exact same thing if we were in that situation.

I find that with DS about to turn 4, I have no problem letting him know when I am nursed out. Of course being the mama, I can tell when he really needs it, when he wants to connect, when he's just bored

I am pretty committed to CLW at this point, and he doesn't nurse all that often so when he asks I almost always say sure, but the thing that gets me lately is him jumping up and GRABBING my boobs as a way of asking to nurse.
Or when I am getting dressed he starts going nuts, I almost feel like I can't change clothes around him anymore. I let him know very clearly that's NOT the way to get some nanas!

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#75 of 91 Old 05-11-2008, 02:15 AM
 
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Both from the side of my family and my DH's, CLW is the norm and the age for weaning ranges between 5 and 7 years. My husband, I was told by my MIL did not fully wean till the age of about 8 years (IoI). So I am a committed CLW mom.
I have three bio-children - aged 5.5 years, close to 4 years and 15 months. All three of them have not weaned technically. My eldest (DS) has for sometime being feeling shy to nurse in the presence of others. So, only when we are alone or in the night he indicates to be nursed. I don't have the heart to deny him ever (actually, I seem to be willing to continue much longer as I cherish this bond very much). My two DD's nurse quite a lot. Supply has never been a problem. There is often some irritation on occasions when I am attending to some important work. DD1 does sometime quietly agree for a postponement but there is no stopping DD2.
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#76 of 91 Old 05-11-2008, 04:36 PM
 
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I am not really sure I am on either team..I just kind of go with what feels right and works for us.. my Older DS, nursed until he was 3.5 then I got PG with DS2, he stopped.. but once DS2 was born he saw what he was missing again, he begged to nurse again.. So I tandem nursed the 2 of them for about a year. and about 1 month before his 5th Birthday we started talking about how he was going to be 5 years old and a big boy soon and that maybe it was time to stop nursing so we started the weaning process. and the night before his birthday we talked about how this would be his last nursey time and that he could always come and snuggle with Mommy any time but Nursey time was done. I actually cried a little.. but I knew it was what we needed to do.. He is High Functioning Autistic so I felt he needed longer to bond like that... now my Spidermonkey child is currently almost 17mos and he is SO the opposite of my other son.. he is super independant and although he is still nursing I do not see us going past 2.5 - 3 years...he really only wants to nurse when he is upset or tired. But who knows.. I will let him go until 5 if he wants/needs to..but I just don't see it happening
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#77 of 91 Old 05-13-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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I'm so glad I found you guys. I posted on the BBI board but their kids are all a lot younger than mine I think.

DD self-weaned at 15 months when I was 3 months PG with DS. I was so sad, she seemed way too young to wean.

DS turned 4 in March and shows no signs of wanting to wean completely. He nurses last thing at night. Some days he also nurses first thing in the morning. And then if he hurts himself he will usually ask.

I never ask him if he wants to nurse. Except at bedtime I guess. It's just kind of a given.

I do limit it somewhat in that I won't nurse in front of other people outside our immediate family, although they all know he is still nursing.

He dropped all his nursing sessions gradually and is definitely in the process of losing the first thing in the morning one.

I never imagined I'd be nursing a kindergartener but come September he starts junior kindy so it's possible!

Me (42), DH (41), DD (7), DS1 (5) and DS2 Aug 02/09
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#78 of 91 Old 05-15-2008, 06:51 PM
 
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My daughter is 2.5 and I will do entirely CLW. I have a feeling my daughter is going to be one of those verrryy extended nurslings, but I haven't had any qualms about it.
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#79 of 91 Old 05-15-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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I guess I'm fairly committed to CLW. Mostly, we just kind of go with the flow around here. I considered night-weaning when she was two (because I hadn't slept more than 2 hours straight in 2 years and was half crazy from sleep-deprivation) but I was too tired/lazy to do it so we nursed through all the molars coming in and that made a huge difference.

DD will be 5 next month and still nurses in the mornings and at night - occasionally during the day, but not very often. She has only ever not nursed when I was out of town for two days (for the first time ever which was only a couple weeks ago). I thought she'd be a nurse-o-matic when I returned but she has been pretty much on her normal routine.

A friend of mine is trying to wean her son who is a couple months younger than DD and it's causing some problems. He has even said he wants to nurse as long as my DD still gets to nurse. That made me feel a little odd. She asked me about if I was still nursing DD and I said yeah. I see no reason to stop at this point.

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#80 of 91 Old 05-16-2008, 04:15 PM
 
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Hi all, new here

I originally said I would nurse for 18 mos (my mom nursed me for 13 mos, so I think I sort of felt the need to break that record ). Then I said no later than age 2. Well, at age 2 I was in full-time school and working, and I felt like nursing was the one thing that kept us connected when I was home. Plus I didn't have the energy to initiate weaning.

Now she's 2.5 and still wants to nurse every time I sit down. I have recently night-weaned her, due to my concern that nursing *all night long* was contributing to her dental caries. Night-weaning has increased my sanity level immensely. As far as all-out weaning goes, I think I might start encouraging her to cut back by age 3. We may be ttc within the next year or so, and quite frankly, I want my body to myself for a few months before I start nursing a new baby.

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#81 of 91 Old 05-18-2008, 01:30 AM
 
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I don't know how I'm feeling these days. In some ways I'm proud that I still have a nursing relationship with my 4.5 year old and it's how he starts his day. In some ways I'm done. I also have a 22mo so I'm not nearly done nursing, but with my older son, it feels different.

For a year and a half he's been nursing for a short period in the morning, usually just a minute or two.

I guess we'll see how it goes - and that's the way to go - follow the path and see where it leads.

Alaskan Mom to 2 boys
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#82 of 91 Old 05-18-2008, 09:05 AM
 
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I put limits on nursing. I couldn't do it without some kinds of limits and boundaries; I'd go insane.
We're here too. DD is three and I'm at my max. I wish she'd be done with it so I have set limits and we're down to bedtime only. She rarely asks during the day, mostly it's if she's having a huge meltdown and it's her way of reconnection, so I give her lots of hugs and snuggles instead. In the middle of the night I tell her the nursies are sleeping and she says, "I wake them up! Let me try!" Then I say mama needs her sleep too.

I'm reeeeealllllly ready for this to be over. I hope she decides to drop her bedtime nursing soon.

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#83 of 91 Old 05-18-2008, 08:01 PM
 
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I am not too sure...with my last baby (now 10), he nursed to sleep until almost 6. I stopped him right before kindergarten. He didn't fuss about it at all, if he had I would have given in, LOL.

My current nursling is 4 months and I plan on following the same pattern with him, unless he wants to stop sooner.
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#84 of 91 Old 05-19-2008, 07:21 PM
 
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Jumping in...

I'm completely dedicated to CLW and have been with all my kids. My first naturally weaned at 5, my second a few weeks before his 7th birthday. I continue to nurse my almost-6 year old dd, my 2.5 year old ds and my 3 month old dd. They will wean when they're ready, and not before.

My dh and I laugh about what will happen when our youngest (3 month old - and last child) weans in 5 or 6 years. I've been nursing for over 9 years straight and he's a bit afraid of me "off prolactin and oxytocin" !!! :
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#85 of 91 Old 05-21-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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I've read this thread off and on a few times, and I'm finally posting.

I'm currently nursing a 4.5yo, the longest I've nursed a child was 5 years... and I still don't feel like I'm completely committed to CLW

I nightweaned all of my nurslings before their second birthdays, and I definitely put limits on nursing. I strongly feel that the limits I placed on nursing helped to prolong our nursing relationships. I truly would've felt like a martyr and gotten burned out if I had allowed my kids unfettered access to my breasts. I did my best to balance my needs with my kids' needs, and it seems like it's worked out well...

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#86 of 91 Old 05-21-2008, 11:04 PM
 
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I've been fopllowing this thread and am finally posting. DD is 2.5 and still nurses lots, I think that I will in all honesty let her BF till she is ready to stop. She is not nightweaned yet, but really has cut herself down to once a night unless she is sick or grumpy.
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#87 of 91 Old 05-22-2008, 03:52 PM
 
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When dd#1 was the only child I thought I would nurse her forever or as long as she needed to. It all changed however when dd#2 arrived. Nursing a preschooler suddenly didn't seem so much fun at all and I started resenting it. So, although I didn't wean her I started looking forward to her weaning. Of course, over a time of our tandem nursing relationship dd#1 cut back to nursing only twice a day.
After 15 months of tandem nursing I got a thrush and she had a choice to take gentian violet as did her little sister or to wean and she chose to wean. She did wean when she was 4 and 2 months and I feel it was a right moment for her and me. I could (or maybe not), of course, insist that she continues to nurse and force her to go through the treatment but at 4 years old I thought she was done and ready. She never again mentioned that she wanted to nurse and I could see she was happy to wean.

Altogether, it happened when it was meant to.
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#88 of 91 Old 05-23-2008, 01:50 PM
 
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Although my eldest (DS, 5.5 years) nurses once or twice a day when others are not around, I sometimes feel sad that one day he will nurse for the last time and I would miss him so much. I had not fixed any age for weaning him as CLW is a norm in our family and children have nursed till age 8 or even beyond. So, I think I am a very committed CLW mom.
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#89 of 91 Old 05-23-2008, 06:37 PM
 
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i haven't been to this board for several months because i've been feeling less committed. my nurslings are 32 months and 14 months. ds1 has been down to 3x a day (waking, nap and bedtime) for about six months, with me offering substitutes when he asks other times, or just reminding him that we will nurse in a bit. i was hoping he'd drop one of those nursing sessions on his own, but he hasn't, so now i've been changing our routines up a bit so that he forgets to nurse. this past week, he has forgotten almost every morning, a couple naps, and a couple bed times. it's not that i'm pushing for him to completely wean, or that i have any certain date in mind, but i want to see some kind of progress toward weaning, even if he isn't fully weaned for another year or more. i feel guilty about all of it, because he is still pretty young and babyish, but ds2 needs a lot of nursing and my supply tanked last weekend just before i (finally) got my period back. i'm looking forward to night-weaning ds2 next winter, as well, lol - this all makes me feel like such a flake!
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#90 of 91 Old 05-25-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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Dd nursed till right before 6 yo, DS nurses twice a day at 4:9. There is a point somewhere around or after the 4th bday where their sucking power is so strong and their mouths are so big, it wasn't comfy for me anymore. I still CLW, but this was for both children the point where I put strong limits in place, and they're old enough to understand and accept them.

thismama, dd nursed through pg (ds was born right before her 4th bday), and she never wanted to stop (but I had to cut her down becuse they only nurse one side so I had supply issues), and she really stopped fairly suddenly -- within a space of 3 months it was from nursing was one of the main events of her life till the day I realized "hey, she hasn't had any for a week" and I asked and she said "No mama, nursing is GROSS, it's for babies" :
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