sad my 18 month old is weaning (long-ish) - Mothering Forums
April 2011 > sad my 18 month old is weaning (long-ish)
TMB's Avatar TMB 03:53 PM 10-16-2010
My son is 18 months old now and I am 14 weeks. I planned on nursing throughout my pregnancy and tandem nursing after the new baby is born too, but I think he's almost weaning himself. Up until last week, he had still been nursing in the mornings, before his nap, and at bedtime. I realized that he probably didn't need the "before nap" session, so while reading books (our usual ritual before nursing and then his nap) I waited for him to ask for it. He never did, so I just put him down and he was fine. After a week, he's not asked for the mid-day session again. I was shocked because I have never been able to put him down to sleep without nursing first. To me, he clearly was ready for it.

This morning, when he woke up he immediately asked for water, so I gave him some and then I took him into our bed and laid down as usual to nurse. Normally, if I take awhile to get settled he'll ask to nurse, but this time he just got restless and asked to get up. I didn't do it right away because I was surprised and he started squirming off the bed. We just got up and had breakfast and he has still not asked to nurse all day. I just put him down for his nap and he's still not asked. I'm in shock and a little sad. I guess, it's not so bad if he weans now, given that I'm pregnant and it was getting a little painful but I wasn't entirely ready for this now. I'm more than willing to offer to nurse again, but I feel like if he's ready to wean it's probably easier on me given the pregnancy and in the long run if he weans now. Last night, he actually seemed like I could have put him down to bed for the night without nursing too. This has all really taken me by surprise.

Anyone else going through this? I'm definitely sad about it and a few people I've talked to say "Oh, it's for the best at this point because tandem is really hard etc." I think I agree that it's for the best, but I'm not sure I'm ready. lol.

Also, is it too fast to drop 2 of 3 nursing sessions within a week for him? or for me? Any suggestions to prevent getting too "full." It hasn't been a problem yet, but it may get there quickly. Thanks for reading.

Queen of my Castle's Avatar Queen of my Castle 11:12 PM 10-16-2010
Hi mama, I know how you feel! I'm experiencing a similar weaning, for the 2nd time now.

In my last pregnancy my 17 month-old weaned when I was about 3 months pregnant. I had hoped to go longer with her, but it was such a natural, easy weaning there was no way I was going to insist on her still nursing.
Now it's around the same time, and my 20month old is weaning. He will still occaisionally ask to nurse, but I ask him if there's any milk and he shakes his head, and I never feel a letdown.

Last time I wasn't ready, I felt sad and felt like I had to mourn for our changing relationship, and I wanted to talk about it. I had read La Leche League's 'Mothering your Nursing Toddler' and it has a chapter about weaning with pregnancy, and it was comforting that while LLL fully supports tandem nursing, it is nearly universal for children to wean during pregnancy.

Do what you can to express your feelings. I found it helped to focus on other areas that our relationship was developing, and reminded myself to take the time to focus on your toddler like you would have if you were nursing. In my experience, my milk supply dropped and I didn't have any issues with fullness, at all. I also tried to focus on how straightforward, easy and natural the weaning felt, and I reassured myself that my baby(ies) was obviously ready as they adjusted so well.

It's tough when we're not ready! It feels like we're losing something special we had with them. I hope you find some peace in this transition and also pride in yourself and your baby in reaching this milestone
naturalmummy's Avatar naturalmummy 02:04 PM 10-18-2010
This is very difficult! I am going through a similar CL weaning and have been very sad about it. Not only the emotional/attachment side of it, but I am also struggling with the nutritional aspect. Like I am no longer providing DS with what he needs for optimal physical health and this is always my main goal in mothering him (along with his emotional needs).

My 17 mo old has been gradually dropping nursing sessions for about the last 6-8 weeks. I know my milk has been almost entirely gone for probably 10 weeks (I am 15 weeks pg). He has only been getting a few sips if that, so I am just not surprised that he’s not as interested as he was prior to the pregnancy.

He still asks for it most mornings, but there are mornings he doesn’t. He hasn’t asked for it before a nap in about a week. He has nursed all but one night before bed, but I think that was more because he had a bad cold (which I attribute to him not getting the BM immunity protection anymore). He does nurse longer at night now before bed, again, b/c I’m sure he’s not getting milk so it’s more of a comfort for him, but takes longer to settle him down than when he was getting the added warm milk.

It does hurt b/c of the nipple sensitivity, and if he “dry” nurses for too long it hurts more and I do get irritable with him staying latched on, sucking extra hard. Only a few times have I actually had to pull him off and say “all gone.” He fussed for a min or so and then just snuggled up and fell asleep on my lap.

I was so glad to hear from PP that LLL says weaning during pg is almost universal! I have felt so guilty and sad that I got pregnant too soon since I had wanted to nurse him for longer into toddlerhood. (I was uneducated going into this that my milk would dry up in the 1st tri…if you’re one of the lucky ones who still has milk, congrats! and any tips?!?!).

I keep wondering if he will want to start back up again when the milk comes back after baby #2 is born. I guess I should read one of the book I’ve seen referenced on here Adventures in Tandem Nursing…

I guess we just have to accept this as a natural weaning, even though it's not what we planned.
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