Mama-led weaning, support only please - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 10-23-2009, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Please share your advice and experience weaning your children. I'm hoping for a "how-to" guide to weaning your child in the most gentle and successful fashion.

Support only please! There are plenty of threads about why you shouldn't wean, or how to partially wean. Including the advice on KellyMom.

Let's assume there are mamas who, for various reasons, must wean their child. Let's give helpful advice and support, and assume that some mamas have tried everything else, and have decided to wean as a last resort.

How old was your child? How long did it take? Exactly what did you do? What was successful, and not so successful.

Thanks Mamas!
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#2 of 14 Old 10-23-2009, 02:52 PM
 
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mama.. I am sorry for whatever you are going through that is causing you to make this decision.

Here is a page I found on kellymom.com on some gentle weaning techniques. Good luck, hope everything goes as well as possible for you.

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#3 of 14 Old 10-23-2009, 02:59 PM
 
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Thank you for starting this. I also plan on doing MLW when pregnant with our next (I've decided I'm not comfortable tandem nursing).

We are working on night weaning right now. She finally goes from 8-6 without nursing! This has increased the amount she is nursing during the day, but I figure it's a start. I've been trying to get her into more of a routine with the day nursing too (right now it's about every hour, so I'm hoping to space that out a bit more).

The key for us has been going by her cues. I really felt she was ready to drop the nighttime feeding, just needed a nudge.

I hope you (and I!) get lots of support as we go through this!

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#4 of 14 Old 10-23-2009, 04:55 PM
 
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Wow do I need something like this thread! I too an contemplating gradually weaning DD. I'm starting to hate it She has been night weaned for about 2 months which was/is awesome for me but I'm finding myself really impatient with her while she's BF. I think the part that I find myself hating is having to nurse her forever to go to bed at night and at nap time.

I want to be able to just put her to bed. But she has to fall asleep on the boob same with nap time. And If I remove it she FREAKS OUT! She will cry forever. Ideas would be great!!!! DD is 16 months old BTW.
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#5 of 14 Old 10-23-2009, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCatherine185;14567566....

[URL="http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/weaning_techniques.html"
Here[/URL] is a page I found on kellymom.com on some gentle weaning techniques. .
Thank you for the link. These are ideas reducing the frequency and duration of nursing, which is a good start.
  • Don't offer - don't refuse
  • Dropping one feeding at a time
  • Distraction or substitution
  • Change in routine or schedule
  • Postponement
  • Shortening nursing sessions
  • Night weaning

I don't want to cloud this "weaning advice" post with my personal experience, but we have read this and already done all of these. I'm looking for more advice and experience on how to go from *some* nursing down to no nursing.

This is the info that is very hard to find, but I know you mamas will have lots of experiences to share. For example, a search of the internet yields "lemon juice" and "hot sauce" solutions which we know nobody around MDC has done!

Keep those ideas coming mama!!

thanks!!
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#6 of 14 Old 10-23-2009, 09:26 PM
 
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If you are down to just a few nursing a day, I would just work on one session a week and drop it. Like, at the beginning of the week, shorten the session and each day it gets shorter and shorter until gone. The next week start with another session.. until they are all gone. I think those techniques can be used to completely wean as well.. Just dropping one nursing at a time so you don't get too uncomfortable, etc.

Maybe I'm unsure what you are looking for? If your child isn't ready to wean, they probably won't just do it on their own willingly, or without some tears.. but you can still do it gently by doing it gradually and offering lots of other hugs/cuddles/distraction.

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#7 of 14 Old 10-24-2009, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. What I am finding is that if we do have some success at limiting, it just climbs back up until she is nursing like a newborn! She is 2.2. There is always a reason, sick, teeth, etc.

Many days it is fine, but it is just getting too much for me. And I am starting to look forward to not doing it anymore, for many reasons!

I don't totally need to wean, but I am slowly feeling like I kind of want to. Still, I think this info on how to do it, and others' experiences would be valuable.

As I make this transition - either now or in the next year sometime - I just want to learn and be prepared.
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#8 of 14 Old 10-24-2009, 09:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post
For example, a search of the internet yields "lemon juice" and "hot sauce" solutions which we know nobody around MDC has done!
Not true it's been done when desperate times have called for desperate measures.

With my daughter I eventually told her it was time to wean and we had a weaning party. It wasn't an easy process, and I hope it goes better with my son, who I hope to wean at around 2.5 for various reasons.

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#9 of 14 Old 10-24-2009, 11:00 AM
 
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With DD, "weaning" was very gradual. When she hit about 18 mos, I started seriously limiting NIP (because it felt uncomfortable to me). We nightweaned also around this time. Then I stopped offering nursing during the day-- when she asked, I would nurse her, but she usually only asked before bed/naps and when waking. Then I started telling her, "We will nurse for X minutes"-- we started at 15 (her avg. nursing time, anyway) and then gradually got down to 5.

Finally, when she was 27 mos old, I got pregnant again, and I told her that we couldn't nurse anymore because it might make the baby in my uterus sick (I honestly don't know the data on whether or not nursing causes miscarriage, but I feared that it would, and I know if I had had a miscarriage while nursing I would always have wondered in there were a link).

So, I told her at the beginning of a week that we would be stopping soon, we talked about it throughout the week, and a few days later, I told her we were going to have our last time nursing. It was very sweet and by the time we got to that point, I felt like we were both ready.

It was still a little hard. She came up to me for *weeks* and said things like, "I would like to nurse, but it will make my baby brother or sister sick?" etc. She slept with her boppy pillow for a few weeks. However, I really feel like no matter when we weaned it would be bittersweet for both of us, and I was not at all willing to tandem nurse (since she is older; if I ended up with babies 10 mos apart, I don't feel I would have much choice).

The good part is that I feel like not nursing has encouraged us to be close to each other in different ways. She would never just sit in my lap and snuggle before-- she always wanted to be nursing. Now she'll ask me to hold her "just because," or ask me to put my arm around her while we're sleeping, and truly, I enjoy that intimacy so much more than the nursing. It was getting a tiny bit old, and I'm glad I have a chance to recharge before beginning all over again with a new baby.

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#10 of 14 Old 10-24-2009, 12:35 PM
 
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nak

We nightweaned at about age 2, but she still nursed a lot during the day. Then we did 'don't offer, don't refuse' and distraction. I avoided sitting in the nursing chair! Read books, played outside a lot. At 2.5 we were down to a few nursings a day, and i really wanted my body to myself before 2nd baby came along. We just happened to get thrush, so that was my excuse for stopping, at age 2.75. "Sorry, my nummies are sick. Wanna read a book?" She was a little sad but never cried about it, and stopped asking after a few days.

It turned out that i only had my body to myself for 10 days before baby brother was conceived! After his birth, she (at 3.5) asked to nurse a few times, and i let her, but she didn't really remember how, so she would just giggle and stop and go play.

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#11 of 14 Old 10-27-2009, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ugh. I just read "how weaning happens". It should be titled - "how weaning doesn't happen" !!

I think this would be a nice book at the beginning of nursing. But it is just (to me right now) an extremely frustrating guilt-inducing commercial for why you should not wean your child until she is 3.5 - 4 y.o. Totally NOT what I am looking for!

Maybe I am just in denial. Perhaps it is not possible to gently wean, or even gently reduce nursings! I am going crazy here ... Still hoping for experiences on mama-led weaning.
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#12 of 14 Old 10-27-2009, 09:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post
Ugh. I just read "how weaning happens". It should be titled - "how weaning doesn't happen" !!

I think this would be a nice book at the beginning of nursing. But it is just (to me right now) an extremely frustrating guilt-inducing commercial for why you should not wean your child until she is 3.5 - 4 y.o. Totally NOT what I am looking for!
Good to know. I was thinking of reading it myself, but I can do without a guilt trip. We're trying TTC right now, and I'm actually hoping that by the end of the pregnancy my milk dries up and she will give it up willingly. If the milk is gone and she still wants to dry nurse I plan on letting her go stay with gma and gpa for a few days on her own. She LOVES them and will happily go without nursing whenever they watch her (even go down for naps, bed for the night, etc), so I'm pretty sure it would be ok for her.

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#13 of 14 Old 10-27-2009, 09:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post
Ugh. I just read "how weaning happens". It should be titled - "how weaning doesn't happen" !!

I think this would be a nice book at the beginning of nursing. But it is just (to me right now) an extremely frustrating guilt-inducing commercial for why you should not wean your child until she is 3.5 - 4 y.o. Totally NOT what I am looking for!

Maybe I am just in denial. Perhaps it is not possible to gently wean, or even gently reduce nursings! I am going crazy here ... Still hoping for experiences on mama-led weaning.
Was it that book or the other weaning (or not to wean ) book that did have some pretty drastic ways to do it? I browsed through both of them - sorry the other one's title is escaping my mind right now - when I was at a low spot w/ nursing. Like you, neither were helpful for mlw. One of them did give examples of how women in other cultures have weaned throughout history. I remember one tribe would smear mud on their breasts and when the child would ask to nurse they would look at their boob and say, "yuck! poop!" Of course that would just work for an older child. It also had a number of things that would taste foul to a child, but I don't think I could go that far.

Anyway, best of luck to you. Mine are 20 months and we've started talking about it. They don't like that conversation, but I just want them to know that in less than a year we will be done.

 Single mama to two wild and sweet toddlers 2/08
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#14 of 14 Old 10-27-2009, 10:09 PM
 
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Just a gentle reminder-- as per MDC's User Agreement, we host threads on gentle weaning. We don't host posts that advocate non-gentle weaning methods, including putting foreign substances on the breasts to scare the child, or making the breasts taste yucky.

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

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