I wanted a natural weaning, but.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 07-28-2003, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't think I can hang on that long. My guy is only 18 mos and I am already catching ALOT of flak from my family and others. My Mama told me once about an 8 yo who was taken from his Mama for still nursing and the other day said to me IN FRONT OF WILL "just realize that at some point they will take him away from you for that." !!!!! A girlfriend recently told me that I need to "be careful nursing him in public because a lot of people consider that child abuse." And M-I-L is already trying to shame him out of it, telling him he is no longer a baby. I am being excluded from family events (seriously) because my parents don't want their family to know or to see that we still nurse. I really have no support; I couldn't even get in the LLL (still hurt by that one; can't figure out why they wouldn't want me as a member; possibly its leadership problems or maybe they really are exclusive).
And I am also really having a hard time w Will wanting to play w my other nipple. Obviously it is a need and I try to let him do it, but it is giving me the creeps really bad and sometimes I have to prohibit this behavior (I guess when my nerves are bad).
So, tho I fully appreciate the benefits of child-led weaning, I know there is no way I can continue to nurse him past 4. My plan is to let him continue to nurse unrestricted until he is 2 at which point I will begin a very gradual weaning. I aim to have him finished by 3. But if this seems to be too much for him, I will allow it at nap and bedtime until he is 4.
I'd just like to hear your opinions on this. If you feel like encouraging me to drop this idea and still try for child-led, great. I really need some support here because I feel like I'm in the deep end and drowning.
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#2 of 10 Old 07-28-2003, 06:24 PM
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Grrrrr....those comments make me so mad!!!!!

As for the nipple play, I'd suggest trying to find another object to twiddle. I had to wean ds for medical reasons at 21 months and now, 5 months later, he is twiddling his own nipple for comfort.
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#3 of 10 Old 07-28-2003, 06:43 PM
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I have been nursing my son for over 3 years and am tandem-nursing my 10 month old. I would suggest you tell your MIL that she is to stop making your son feel bad about nursing and to quit trying to undermine your nursing relationship. If she persists, keep your child away from her. My MIL doesn't support my nursing either and still makes comments about my older son (on the phone so he never hears). I have told her that her comment is obviously for me and that it wasn't going to make any difference. It was along the lines of he should drink cow's milk and he doesn't need that. I have ignored her but I do have my husband's support. I have restricted his nursing to home and very familiar places (friends who still nurse or in-laws.) We never nurse in public, I don't like the way our society views it with the older child. I do nurse my little guy anywhere anytime. I guess I am going for child-led weaning but I do get weird feelings now and again which I suspect are a normal part of it all.

As for support, MDC is a great place to find people who do the same thing you do.

I wonder about LLL, why would they exclude you? That is strange, I got my membership when I went to a conference so they didn't even know what I was doing (ie Tandem).

I don't have experience with twiddling but my older guy likes to touch my face and pull my hair so I either just hold his hand or ask him to stop. If he persists, I end the nursing session.

Please don't let other people affect how your nurture your little guy, it is none of their business. Really, I had to put my MIL in her place early on since she is one who likes to pick until you explode. So, I exploded when my first son was 6 weeks old and she really keeps herself in check. Now my FIL, I had to tell him to stop and say I don't really need to spend time at their home to get through to him.

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#4 of 10 Old 07-29-2003, 12:39 AM
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What happened with LLL?

Only time I was ever a member was when DS was over 2.

If there's a group being stupid and exclusive like that, report them. They are supposed to be nonsectarian, nondiscriminatory...

Check their website, maybe there's another group nearby?

Your plan sounds gradual enough. You may find that as he gets older he won't ask when you're out.

As for the MIL...any relative undermining my parenting like thatwouldn't be seeing much of the child being so criticized.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#5 of 10 Old 07-29-2003, 01:46 AM
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I'm starting to get comments too and my dd is almost 19 months old. We recently moved and have made a lot of adjustments so she seems to need it more than ever right now. Do what you feel is right for you and your child. Others will need to accept that you are doing your best for your family. *HUGS* to you, I understand how you feel.
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#6 of 10 Old 07-29-2003, 06:16 AM
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As far as the criticism goes, your mama has to shove it! you are the mama now and you get to make the decisions that are right for your family. There are books out, one is called Toxic Parents, that might help you learn to stand up to her. If it wasn't nursing it would be something else, right? Try this:



As far as LLL not allowing you to join, what do you mean? were you going for a while and they asked you not to return? I just don't get this. LLL is open to all women interested in bfing, and is esp helpful for moms nursing tolddlers, who get little to no other support.

Unless you have a very abrasive personality, or do not practice loving guidance and your ds is, say, constantly knocking down or biting others or totally out of control at mtgs, I just don't understand this. Try another group, if you have another one near you. Go to www.lalecheleague.org to find another group.

Quite often moms of toddlers use LLL to connect with other ap moms to start weekly playgroups.
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#7 of 10 Old 07-29-2003, 07:06 PM
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Your situation just stinks--why can't people mind their own business? Have them talk to your dh if they have a problem (assuming he's supportive)--I find that pretty much shuts up my in-laws. Also--as others have suggested--try to find support among friends. Find another LLL, contact API, etc. You need support!!!
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#8 of 10 Old 07-29-2003, 07:16 PM
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Honestly, I'd rather be exluded from family events than let my family dictate whether or not I nurse.

About twiddling your other nipple--I once read that nursing is a relationship--which means that you have some say in it, too! If it's between weaning and not getting to play with the nipple, I'm sure your son would much rather keep nursing and find something else to play with.

My son liked to put his fingers in his mouth while he nursed--which hurt, and made his suck less effective. So, I hold his hands now as I nurse so he can't do that. You have to make it work for you, too.
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#9 of 10 Old 07-29-2003, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I really appreciate your suggestions, and especially the link for Kelly's; I hadn't seen that site and found helpful info there.
As far as the LLL is concerned, no, there is not another group around. I do not have an abrasive personality (at least IMO, I think I am pretty friendly), certainly I practice gentle guidance w my son, and he definitely didn't offend anyone. It is either an affluence issue, or just leadership problems. I was not asked not to return; what did happen is a couple of things. This is a small group and at my first meeting I was given a play date schedule. I showed up at the appointed time and place every week that month and no one showed. Another member came out and told me, when I asked, that at the last minute they always get together and decide to do something else. I gave them my number and asked to be let in when changes are made, but was never called. The next month I invited them to my house for playdate, and no one, not even the leader, showed. The last meeting I attended the leader didn't even show. This was several months ago and I have not been able to find out their meeting place since. I have called the leader literally dozens of times and can never get an answer. Once I showed at another Mama's house to stuff flyers and it had been cancelled. So I tried to find another group, and when I found there is not one, I tried to get involved in leadership training myself. I was told that I would have to work w this leader. I did get in touch w her then, she seemed enthusiastic about working w me, but has since been elusive. Like I said, I tried to get her every day for a month but have now given up. I did hear that she is having personal problems. Oh well, I offered to help...I tried to get involved w this group for months and months and even persisted after no one showed for my playdate, because I really wanted to be involved in helping new mamas to be successful nursing, and my son really needs to be around other gently raised children. (Tho I now know that this is not necessarily LLL, as the leader spanks her children). Whatever. I have given up on this.
Anyway, thanks Mamas for your thoughts. (BTW, I found some "love beads" to wear when nursing and ds will hold onto those. My hand would be better than beads, but it is these he prefers).
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#10 of 10 Old 07-29-2003, 09:48 PM
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I am so sorry for what you are going through! Your family sounds so unsupportive!! It might be better for you to distance yourself from them a little. I don't have any advice for you, as I have not (yet?) been in your position. I just wanted to offer a (((HUG))).
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