Is this weaning, or normal? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 102 Old 09-15-2007, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For the past few weeks, my 17mo DD only wants to nurse in the morning. She used to nurse morning, before afternoon nap and then before bed but she dropped the afternoon feed at about 15 months. I was slightly concerned but thought as long as she had at least 2 feeds she would be fine. But now she's refused an evening feed for 4 weeks and counting and so only has one nursing session a day and even then it's relatively short and I'm not sure how much she's getting.

She also recently started picking up her cereal bowl and gulping down the milk (whole cow's milk) and asking for drinks of milk in a cup, which I have given her once or twice a day. This is only in the past week though, as I was concerned that she wasn't getting enough milk overall in just one nursing session a day.

Does it sound like she's weaning herself or should I stop the cow's milk and see if she eventually picks up nursing more frequently?

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#2 of 102 Old 09-16-2007, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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*bump*

Anyone have any advice or insight?

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#3 of 102 Old 09-16-2007, 10:26 PM
 
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My daughter cut out all feeding but one from the time she was about 18 months till she was 2, which at that time, she just looked up at me one day and said no more numnums mama, and I thought it was a fluke so i offered many of times for the next few weeks and she wanted nothing to do with it, but for the last 6 months all she wanted was to lay in bed with mama in the morning and nurse for about 15 min on each side, and that was it, so for the last 6 months she only nursed one time a day, I figured it was her weaning herself, then when she was 2 she just didnt want to anymore. I hope that helps mama.
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#4 of 102 Old 09-16-2007, 10:41 PM
 
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Are you comfortable offering her the breast at different times of the day? Maybe just try randomly offering through out the day? If she is weaning then she will tell you by refusing every time.

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#5 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 06:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yep, she refuses at other times of the day as well. Sometimes she will lift up my shirt and say 'mama' (her word for nursing) so I latch her on but then she just smiles and me and laughs and rolls out of my lap and keeps playing. I guess she wants to know they're still there if she wants them!

Thanks for the comraderie.

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#6 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 11:55 AM
 
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Sounds like she is *being* weaned by the cow's milk available. It's not CLW because it sounds like the cow's milk is really contributing. I would offer more. Make sure there is no other sucking and no other milk.

-Angela
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#7 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 01:33 PM
 
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17 mos old do have opinions of their own and I would respect hers. She is asking you for cow's milk. Is she healthy and doing well? If so, give her what she asks for. She is weaning herself but so what? Part of raising children in an AP manner is respecting them. I think it would be disrespectful of your child to try to force her to nurse when she clearly does not want to. Some children do wean this early. Celebrate it and find other ways to be close to your child as nursing goes by the wayside.
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#8 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 02:19 PM
 
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#9 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks yellowpansy, I think you're right. I'm happy that she is still nursing in the morning and will continue to make my breasts available to her if she wants them, but I won't refuse to give her other milk sources either.

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#10 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 03:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by yellowpansy View Post
She is weaning herself but so what?
So what- is that it is not developmentally appropriate for a 17 mo. human to wean.

And as long as parents are providing that cow's milk, then they are doing the weaning.

Human milk for humans.

-Angela
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#11 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 03:56 PM
 
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It seems developmentally appropiate for this 17mo. Each child is different.
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#12 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by WillyMom View Post
It seems developmentally appropiate for this 17mo. Each child is different.
True.

As for the availability of cow's milk causing the weaning, I am doubtful (though certainly you could try cutting it out to see what happens). After all, there is more to nursing than nutrition. If you were giving cow's milk by bottle I would agree that it could be satisfying your daughter's sucking and comfort needs and affecting her desire to nurse. But drinking cereal milk from the bowl or milk from a cup is not a direct replacement for nursing, and that makes me think your daughter may simply be outgrowing her need to nurse - i.e., self-weaning. I have known children who did genuinely self-wean at less than 2 years even with mothers who encouraged extended breastfeeding (and who had other children who nursed longer).
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#13 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 04:12 PM
 
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Take away the cow's milk. Take away any spoon feeding. Take away other sucking. If the child STILL weans then I will buy that it's developmentally appropriate for this child.

-Angela
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#14 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 06:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Take away the cow's milk. Take away any spoon feeding. Take away other sucking. If the child STILL weans then I will buy that it's developmentally appropriate for this child.

-Angela
Please name another culture that does that? All over the world, 17 mos old children are eating other foods than exclusively breastmilk and are eating with utensils. And many are drinking animal milks. There is no reason to take away the cereal and the spoon or the milk. All over the world, children move on to more foods than simply breastmilk and they do it around the 6 mos to 18 mos age. This is totally developmentally appropriate and this mom should not have to read stuff like this and worry. What you are describing is a fabricated social construct from within your own framework, not something developmentally appropriate from a biological point of view. If YOU want to treat your child this way, so be it. But, most children the world over do wean around this age. If you can nurse longer, that is great and recommended by many agencies. But, some children really do want to wean earlier.

What Trillian says is good, too.
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#15 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 06:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by yellowpansy View Post
Please name another culture that does that? All over the world, 17 mos old children are eating other foods than exclusively breastmilk and are eating with utensils. And many are drinking animal milks. There is no reason to take away the cereal and the spoon or the milk. All over the world, children move on to more foods than simply breastmilk and they do it around the 6 mos to 18 mos age. This is totally developmentally appropriate and this mom should not have to read stuff like this and worry. What you are describing is a fabricated social construct from within your own framework, not something developmentally appropriate from a biological point of view. If YOU want to treat your child this way, so be it. But, most children the world over do wean around this age. If you can nurse longer, that is great and recommended by many agencies. But, some children really do want to wean earlier.

What Trillian says is good, too.
Eating with utensils is a different creature than being fed by the jarful with them

MORE foods than breastmilk at 6 months? No. Sorry

And no. MOST children the world over do not wean at this age. Those that DO are in cultures with a mindset similar to ours.

Through the HUGE majority of human history humans have nursed beyond 18 months. Usually well beyond.

-Angela
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#16 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 06:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Eating with utensils is a different creature than being fed by the jarful with them

MORE foods than breastmilk at 6 months? No. Sorry

And no. MOST children the world over do not wean at this age. Those that DO are in cultures with a mindset similar to ours.

Through the HUGE majority of human history humans have nursed beyond 18 months. Usually well beyond.

-Angela
I don't think you are right. First off, I never said babies should have more solids than BF at 6 mos. Just that some start solids at 6mos up to 18 mos (starting ages).

I read Our babies ourselves and from that gleaned that most cultures the world over, not just industrialized "modern" ones, start feeding solids when teeth appear and most do not exclusively nurse their babies past 12 mos and instead supplement breastmilk with solids and other milks by that age. So, what you are recommending to this mom, to go back to exclusive breastfeeding of a 17 mos old, is not developmentally appropriate for that 17 mos old nor would be in most cultures the world over. It is perfectly normal for a 17 mos old to eat other foods and drink other milks and not be interested in nursing anymore. Sad for the mom that this is happening but forcing the child to nurse against her will is very ANTI-AP, imo.

I know several families where the kids self weaned after 12 mos. It is possible. AP means respecting the child's needs and if the child does not need BF anymore, mom should be respectful.
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#17 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 07:37 PM
 
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This has been interesting reading. I am just going to throw in my 2 cents...my son is 25 months, we have been giving him rice milk 1-2 times a day for three months now (he isn't into cow's milk). Despite him getting 'other' milk he is still nursing just as often (maybe a teeny bit less in the last couple of weeks - I am newly pregnant). So, at least in our case, offering other milk seems to have nothing to do with weaning.

It's not like we are talking about a 7 month old here. Some 17 month olds are more independent than others, this little one sounds like she is super busy and just doesn't have time for the boob much anymore :-)
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#18 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 07:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by yellowpansy View Post
So, what you are recommending to this mom, to go back to exclusive breastfeeding of a 17 mos old, is not developmentally appropriate for that 17 mos old nor would be in most cultures the world over. It is perfectly normal for a 17 mos old to eat other foods and drink other milks and not be interested in nursing anymore.
Please go re-read. I NEVER said she should withhold other food and drinks.

I merely said to not spoon feed the child. Meaning- let them self feed. And other animal milks are not needed. Species specific milk is best.

-Angela
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#19 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 07:50 PM
 
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This has been interesting reading. I am just going to throw in my 2 cents...my son is 25 months, we have been giving him rice milk 1-2 times a day for three months now (he isn't into cow's milk). Despite him getting 'other' milk he is still nursing just as often (maybe a teeny bit less in the last couple of weeks - I am newly pregnant). So, at least in our case, offering other milk seems to have nothing to do with weaning.

It's not like we are talking about a 7 month old here. Some 17 month olds are more independent than others, this little one sounds like she is super busy and just doesn't have time for the boob much anymore :-)
Just wanted to throw in that rice milk is not a milk in any way. It's at best a juice.

-Angela
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#20 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 08:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Just wanted to throw in that rice milk is not a milk in any way. It's at best a juice.

-Angela
I agree, and it is not very nutritional.

Angela, your post before this one specifies better than you have before what you have been intending to say. I do not disagree with what you wrote but I still think it is perfectly ok for this child to be too busy too nurse and not interested in it anymore.
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#21 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 10:05 PM
 
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From the time that DS was about 13 months to very recently he didn't want to nurse at all. I offered a ton throughout the day and he refused. Just recently he is starting to ask some.

Just listen to your child. If they ask for human milk, give it to her. If she asks for cow's milk, give it to her. Maybe ask her before you give it to her if she wants your milk. If she refuses, why fight it?

I think if it is still offered that she will come back to it in a few months. Give it a little time. But if she is done, that's OK too!

I completely agree that being AP is listening to your child. And respecting what they want.

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#22 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 10:11 PM
 
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I find this topic very interesting, as I totally agree that a child can self wean earlier then is expected. Angela I do want to point out that you clearly told the op that if she took all solids and milks away and that if the child still didnt want to nurse then you would belive it was a selfwean, If your child is completely satisfied with nursing just once a day and if it is extending bfing that you want to pursue, then try to offer it more, but if she clearly just doesnt want it, then I dont agree that you should keep pushing her, I also believe you should respond to your childs needs and if her need is to not nurse so much then so be it. Every child is different, there is not a such thing as everychild needs to nurse till a certain age. It is your opinion on how long they should nurse, but every child and every situation is different, please keep that in mind when stating your opinions that it is just that your opinion.
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#23 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 11:51 PM
 
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Angela I do want to point out that you clearly told the op that if she took all solids and milks away and that if the child still didnt want to nurse then you would belive it was a selfwean,
Nope. Never said to take away all solids. My quotes below- comments about solids bolded:


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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Sounds like she is *being* weaned by the cow's milk available. It's not CLW because it sounds like the cow's milk is really contributing. I would offer more. Make sure there is no other sucking and no other milk.

-Angela
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
So what- is that it is not developmentally appropriate for a 17 mo. human to wean.

And as long as parents are providing that cow's milk, then they are doing the weaning.

Human milk for humans.

-Angela
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Take away the cow's milk. Take away any spoon feeding. Take away other sucking. If the child STILL weans then I will buy that it's developmentally appropriate for this child.

-Angela
Yes, I did say to remove the cow's milk and I stand by that. Offering other milks is a weaning technique.

-Angela
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#24 of 102 Old 09-17-2007, 11:52 PM
 
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It is your opinion on how long they should nurse, but every child and every situation is different, please keep that in mind when stating your opinions that it is just that your opinion.
I was not speaking from an opinion point of view. What I was saying was basic human development. All my research points to humans naturally needing to nurse until at least 2 years old.

-Angela
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#25 of 102 Old 09-18-2007, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree that the ideal for nursing in human children should be 2 years and beyond and I always thought it would be ME wanting to give up nursing before my child did, so I didn't expect this at 17 months. But I've been pretty level-headed about it, I think, and have continued to offer it to her at the times she used to have it (before naps and before bed) and also if she needs comforting and when she lifts my shirt while we're playing. Every single time (except for in the morning -- she nurses every morning without fail) she refuses it adamantly (like, arches her back and pulls away forcefully) or latches on but then just laughs and doesn't suck. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't *force* her to nurse, I just don't know how it's possible.

I've actually done quite a few days where she didn't have any spoon-fed solids and no cow's milk and she still didn't want breastmilk. She doesn't even have cow's milk every day, probably more like every other or whenever I remember to offer her some. So I feel I've explored a lot of different options and have given it time to see if it was just a temporary nursing strike, but now as it approaches 5 weeks with only 1 feed a day, I tend to think that this is self-weaning.

I appreciate all of the thoughts and support.

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#26 of 102 Old 09-18-2007, 05:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Just wanted to throw in that rice milk is not a milk in any way. It's at best a juice.

-Angela
I recognize this. But he won't take cow's milk and doesn't tolerate it, either, so we are giving him fortified rice milk as a calcium source. I prefer that to diarrhea all the time.
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#27 of 102 Old 09-23-2007, 11:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by yellowpansy View Post
17 mos old do have opinions of their own and I would respect hers. She is asking you for cow's milk. Is she healthy and doing well? If so, give her what she asks for. She is weaning herself but so what? Part of raising children in an AP manner is respecting them. I think it would be disrespectful of your child to try to force her to nurse when she clearly does not want to. Some children do wean this early. Celebrate it and find other ways to be close to your child as nursing goes by the wayside.
I wholeheartedly agree, and very well said.

Lucky mama to Isaac , born on Valentines Day 06', certified birth doula, midwife apprentice
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#28 of 102 Old 09-25-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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All my research points to humans naturally needing to nurse until at least 2 years old.

You are personally doing research? Has it been peer reviewed yet? That's fascinating!
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#29 of 102 Old 09-25-2007, 07:29 PM
 
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I've actually done quite a few days where she didn't have any spoon-fed solids
There is no reason to spoon feed a 17mo. It's not developmentally appropriate. A 17mo is capable of feeding him/herself, and it's better for them.
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#30 of 102 Old 09-25-2007, 07:47 PM
 
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This thread is closed til I have a chance to deal with it.

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