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#1 of 12 Old 02-15-2012, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A little back story first.  When I got pregnant with DS (my first) DH and I discussed everything from breastfeeding to co-sleeping to discipline techniques. We were so sure that we had it all figured out. 

 

Once DS was born everything changed for me.  I decided that co-sleeping made more sense for a nursing mama, found that I could never spank my child (even when I tried) and that I wanted to nurse well beyond the 18 month goal I originally set. 

 

DH and I have been through such a trying time over the last year and a half trying to make our differences in parenting philosophy work together.  Now we are 2 months beyond our original nursing limit (which DH was a little hesitant about anyway!) and 4 months from DH's weaning deadline.  Ok, he didn't impose it himself, when we got to 18 months and it was clear DS was no where near ready to wean DH let off the pressure but he is serious about being weaned by 2.

 

I guess my question is two fold.  First, how do I convince DH that nursing beyond 2 is not a big deal?  He's never been around a nursing baby other than DS and my nephew.  The only cousin that he is close to in age and his siblings were all bottle fed and weaned by one or two.  Most of our friends (much to my dismay) only nursed to a year if that long.  I feel as though I'm always pleading my case for something and I'm so exhausted.  I just want him to see it my way! (silly, right?)

 

The second part is how do I even begin to wean DS?  I think I would be ready if he decided to self wean soon, but I just don't see it happening.  Tonight as I nursed him to sleep he yelled "No! Nurse!" when I tried to unlatch him after 20 straight minutes of nursing.  Most days he's down to only four or five sessions a day plus one or two at night - but I just don't see him dropping all of those in four months... please help!

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#2 of 12 Old 02-15-2012, 07:40 PM
 
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It is perfectly normal, and quite necessary IMO, to nurse children past the age of one. In almost all other cultures, people don't even blink at the thought of nursing a toddler or young child. It's pretty sad how taboo it is in America.

By the sounds of it, he is not ready at all to be weaned. He is still nursing several times a day, and shows anxiety at the thought of stopping. He might rapidly wean in the next few months, anything is possible, but the odds are not in your favor for this.
 

As for your husband, I would suggest waiting until you are alone and both of you are in a relaxed mood before bringing up the subject. Tell him about your worries, and about how your son acted when you tried to stop nursing early for the night. If he doesn't seem receptive, see if he would be willing to read some of the posts on this site about women who nurse happy, healthy, well-adjusted children. I do not want to cause an argument between you and your husband, but at the same time, this is something that should be determined by the mother and child. This is your time with him, and to be honest, it usually doesn't affect the dad as much as they tend to think it does if the mom is nursing.

Hope this helped!

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#3 of 12 Old 02-15-2012, 07:47 PM
 
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Tell him that the longer you BF the less chance there is of breast cancer in your future. 

Tell him the longer your child is breastfed the healthier and smarter your child will be. 

Tell him that you can do it privately as the baby becomes a toddler because they generally don't want to nurse when they are busy out in public and only want it when they are bored at home... or tired or not feeling well. 

Tell him the majority of the women in the world breastfeed well into toddlerhood... only North American mothers don't as a rule (but lots of us do in private). 

Tell him the World Health Organization recommends BF a minimum of 2 years and continuing for as long as the child/mother wants to. 

Tell him that you are the mama... you are the one feeding the baby... and this is your decision.

 

Tell him that this busybody nursed her son until he was 3 and is now nursing her 2 1/2yr old daughter and hopes to do so until she is six (if DD wants), much to my own husbands dismay :)

 

My husband had to be talked into all the "hippy ideas" as he calls them.  Homebirth, co-sleeping, sling wearing, public displays of BF.  Once talked into them however, he became my biggest supporter.  With a bit of eye rolling and joking here and there.

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#4 of 12 Old 02-15-2012, 08:05 PM
 
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You also asked about gently or self weaning?

My DD is 2 1/2 and nursing just as much as your DS.  I think it might be the co-sleeping (I didn't with my first)?  I am starting to try to teach her that mummy needs to sleep sometimes (and eat and shower, etc).  If she's not actually hungry she is starting to be okay with my excuses for not feeding her whenever she asks these days... there were some very vocal arguments from her to start with though.  We make sure to offer her lots of meals and snacks throughout the day and daddy bribes her with cookies to stay with him when I run out to do errands sometimes (when he's home and available).  I don't have any idea of when she will start to lose interest.  I think I have to get her busier during the day (with other toddlers?)... it seems to be that she wants my undivided attention.  She usually stops playing and asks to BF when I get busy with something or leave the room.

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#5 of 12 Old 02-19-2012, 06:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carriebird View Post

Tell him that the longer you BF the less chance there is of breast cancer in your future. 

Tell him the longer your child is breastfed the healthier and smarter your child will be. 

Tell him that you can do it privately as the baby becomes a toddler because they generally don't want to nurse when they are busy out in public and only want it when they are bored at home... or tired or not feeling well. 

Tell him the majority of the women in the world breastfeed well into toddlerhood... only North American mothers don't as a rule (but lots of us do in private). 

Tell him the World Health Organization recommends BF a minimum of 2 years and continuing for as long as the child/mother wants to. 

Tell him that you are the mama... you are the one feeding the baby... and this is your decision.

 

Tell him that this busybody nursed her son until he was 3 and is now nursing her 2 1/2yr old daughter and hopes to do so until she is six (if DD wants), much to my own husbands dismay :)

 

My husband had to be talked into all the "hippy ideas" as he calls them.  Homebirth, co-sleeping, sling wearing, public displays of BF.  Once talked into them however, he became my biggest supporter.  With a bit of eye rolling and joking here and there.

 

yeahthat.gif

 

My DH often laughs and wonders how we became an organic eating, babywearing, cosleeping, ECing/cloth diapering, breastfeeding family, and I just remind him he married the right woman thumb.gif.  He grew up 100% mainstream, and he's a tough guy law enforcement man, so the odds were sort of against me. But the truth is, he always knows that I know what is best for the kids (because I do the research! and spend all my time with them) and becomes my biggest backer. He's actually become sort of a go-to support for fathers whose babies are breastfed at work. joy.gif I thought he might get weirder about BF as DD got older, since we've never known anyone who breastfed past 6 months, but she's 13 months and he never brings it up, other than to tell me how cute her nursing gymnastics is. 

 

 

One thing for your DH to consider... what exactly is the harm being done? Is HE embarrassed? If so, that's kind of silly - you're breastfeeding, not him. You're doing the work. Or is he thinking that somehow this is harming your child? As previously mentioned, the WHO recommends breastfeeding until AT LEAST age 2 and as long as mutually desired by mother and child. 

 

 

Honestly, my 13 m/o nurses less than your 20 m/o right now. She typically nurses 3 times during the day and once overnight. She's nowhere within the planet of being ready to wean. She's fine without me for a few hours, but when I'm back it's "Milk! Mama! Milk!" and it makes me thrilled to know that is all it takes to ease her mind and welcome me home. I have a hard time imagining your DS weaning from approx 6 nursing sessions in 24 hours to none in the course of 4 months. That kind of rapid weaning at a young age is going to be very hard for him to understand. 

 

 

 


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#6 of 12 Old 03-02-2012, 08:02 AM
 
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Yes, I wonder what it is that your husband is worried about if his child nurses past two?  That is really the discussion you need to have and you might find a way to compromise.  For instance if he is embarrassed about public breastfeeding, you might want to gently start setting some limits on when and where.

 

Sometimes I wonder if some men feel that if their son nurses for a long time, he will always be a dependent, "Mamma's Boy."  Just so you know, my son, my last child, nursed longer than his sisters.  He was close to 4 when I finally convinced him to give it up.  He is turning 11 next week and independent, smart, and a total jock.  And he sleeps all night, every night.

 

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#7 of 12 Old 03-19-2012, 05:52 PM
 
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My husband has been pressuring me to wean for a long time as well and my daughter is almost 3 and still nursing!  I think maybe explaining how weaning is preferrably a LONG process may help.  As they say, once you start giving your baby food, you are beginning the weaning process. Sometimes when I explain some things I am doing to wean gently, he can see that progress is being made.

 

My husband and I often have parenting differences. We are still working through them, but mostly when we are in a good place, the best thing is just listening to each other.  I do feel that the nursing relationship is really more on the mother's shoulders and should be the mother's choice in the end, but listening to his concerns may help.

 

Honestly, I think my husband wanted me to wean because he thought it would improve our sexlife.  The more sex, the less he thought about the whole weaning thing!

 

I am approaching a new deadline and not sure what will happen.  In some ways, I am ready to wean and in others I am still not.  It's amazing how the years pass and the nursing relationship changes but it is still an important relationship in new ways each year.

 

One last thing... our daughter has also not had a haircut ever, so when I wanted to get her a haircut and he didn't he said, "You can cut her hair when you wean her".  I thought that was a good tradeoff!  

 

Sometimes it's that the father needs to feel in control of something!

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#8 of 12 Old 03-19-2012, 06:54 PM
 
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See if this works: tell him you're tired from being a mom every day and you don't really have the time or energy to argue about this. Ask him why it matters so much if your son nurses a few months longer than planned? What's the big deal? Tell him that weaning will mean a lot of work and screaming and sleepless nights that could just be avoided if you let your son wean on his own time, which he will do. Why can't you just keep one thing easy and problem-free?

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#9 of 12 Old 03-20-2012, 10:12 AM
 
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Wow, I could almost have written the OP myself!  I am horrible at figuring out how to wean my babies!  DD is 13 mos, and still going strong...she is DH's first child, and first exposure to BFing in general.  He wants me to wean her by 18 mos, but I know that's not going to happen.  Trying to figure out how to explain to him that she will be done with my titties when she's done with them, and not a moment sooner.  He seems to think she won't learn to be independent, and will be too clingy and insecure if I don't wean her soon...I tried explaining that the opposite is true, but that theory goes completely against what he thinks is logical, so he has yet to be persuaded.

 

I nursed my DS1 until he was 33 mos, which seemed like forever, and he only weaned because I was pregnant with DS2 and the milk dried up in the 2nd trimester!  Then DS2 weaned at 16 mos because I was pregnant with DD, and the midwife told me the pregnancy hormones change the taste of the milk...he apparently didn't like it, and quit when I was still 1st trimester.  Now I know DD will be my last baby, no chance of another pregnancy to wean her, so I don't have a clue when or how she's going to stop!  The only thing I can think to do is put it off as long as possible, and give her a bottle unless she's nursing to sleep, or is really wanting titty and nothing else. So far, she doesn't take to the substitute very well!  LOL

 

Good luck to you in figuring out what will work the best for your family!  Wish I had more helpful advice, but I'm kind of in the same boat!  winky.gif


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#10 of 12 Old 03-20-2012, 05:06 PM
 
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I hope this doesn't sound harsh, but your nursing relation with your ds doesn't concern your dh. This is between mother and child. Does your dh want more intimacy? Does he want more attention? Does he want to be more involved in raising his ds? These are very valid issues, but my opinion is that breastfeeding has nothing (or little) to do with it. There are plenty of non-nursing, non-cosleeping mamas who face these issues too.

 

If I were you, I wouldn't worry one bit about convincing dh about anything. He may believe what he wants. It would be nice to have his support (my dh helped me tremendously), but if you don't have it, convincing your dh is a burden you don't need right now (on top of dealing with a 2 y/o).

 

 


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#11 of 12 Old 03-22-2012, 08:31 PM
 
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Does he have any particular concern with extended nursing, something you can address specifically? If its public nursing, maybe you can avoid it. If he's worried about your DS becoming clingy and dependent, you can show him the wealth of research indicating the exact opposite. If he's worried about what his friends or family think, or if it just weirds him out and he arbitrarily thinks that 2 is too old to nurse - frankly, those are not good enough reasons for you to wean. Your child's need to nurse, to feel secure and connected to you, outweigh your DH's misinformed and prejudicial opinion.

I'm just guessing by your post that he just buys into the American cultural standard, that extended nursing is gross and/or unnecessary. If his argument for weaning comes down to something like, "He's old enough," or "He doesn't need it," then he really has no good reason. You have actual facts and research on your side, while he has cultural bias. You do what's best for your son.



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#12 of 12 Old 03-28-2012, 05:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post

I hope this doesn't sound harsh, but your nursing relation with your ds doesn't concern your dh. This is between mother and child. Does your dh want more intimacy? Does he want more attention? Does he want to be more involved in raising his ds? These are very valid issues, but my opinion is that breastfeeding has nothing (or little) to do with it.



I agree with this, and this may also sound harsh, but I suggest "throwing him a bone" and making sure his needs are met. Maybe he's jealous of the one-on-one, physical intimacy you share with your child while BFing. Make sure your DH is also getting that, lol! I know how tired we mamas are and it is easy to sort of forget that our partners have needs too....but it's still important to nourish our relationships with them.

You don't mention specifically why he wants you to wean, but it could be, even if he has his reasons, that he feels somehow left out or something like that. So again: just check and make sure he feels well-loved too....that could really be it!


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