Will my daughter ever wean? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter will be 4 this month. She still nurses twice a day without any end in sight. I mostly still like to nurse and to co-sleep, but sometimes it feels like this is never going to end. Obviously, she'll stop before puberty, but it had sure better be sooner. It doesn't feel like she'll wean before she's 5 or 6 or I don't know when.

Are there any others out there with a child who self-weaned after their 4th birthday? How and when did that happen?
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#2 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 05:48 AM
 
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FWIW, I used to worry about it too, until I came here and felt completely supported, comforted and reminded that breastfeeding is a wonderful gift. It's never something to feel shameful of, or worried about, regardless of the child's age.

It will happen sooner or later. You just need to have trust. Your daughter will know when she is fulfilled. It is a complete journey worth waiting for.

My daughter weaned last summer when she was 7 1/2 yrs. She had been nursing every day (anywhere from 1 to 4 times a day) until the last 6 months or so. Then she slowly decreased her nursings (skipping up to a few days at a time). But just when I thought she was weaned, she would nurse again. And she often would go back to every day again, then slowly decrease again. It was very unpredictable. The final couple of months she skipped more days until she was skipping weeks. Then one day she said she thought she was ready to wean. I told her that it was okay with me either way. If she wanted to nurse she could, but if she wanted to wean she could. She said she was ready. So we planned a special day together to look at her baby clothes, baby pictures, go to the mall , etc. At night we made special cupcakes. It was a special time just to celebrate and reminisce. Soon after she decided to try again but she said there was no more milk. She has since just cuddled up to my breasts when she misses nursing.

I want her to always remember it. I hope that she will one day nurse her child, and will see breastfeeding not as a choice but as a natural part of life. Not only is breastmilk "liquid gold", breastfeeding itself is one of the most wonderful gifts a mother can give her child that will last her a lifetime.


By the way, welcome to Mothering!! You will find a wonderful group of supportive Mamas here!
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#3 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 09:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Saudades
Are there any others out there with a child who self-weaned after their 4th birthday? How and when did that happen?
Me. Well, at least, I have to assume he'll wean . Ds is 5, and until recently, nursed 2x a day. He's now down to just once, at bedtime. My other kids weaned at 2 1/2 and almost 4 so he's definately my longest and I have no idea when he might stop. Occassionally, if we're in the car at night or if he's watching a movie, he'll asleep without nursing, but otherwise he wants it.

How long has your dd been nursing twice a day? Has she recently cut down or has it been that way for a while?

I figure, our kids ARE self-weaning--right now. They certainly nursed more when they were born right? Or when they were a year old. So they've come this far, down to once or twice a day, it's just that they haven't completed it yet, kwim?

Maybe it's easier to think of weaning as a PROCESS rather than an event.

Single Mom to 3 (12, 17 & 21)  luxlove.gif and dog2.gif.

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#4 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 09:34 AM
 
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I went through the same exact thing and there was no MDC then!!!!

Yes some kids wean themselves later than others. It is normal. And it's also normal to feel like the child will never stop, but they will.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#5 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 09:36 AM
 
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Here is a thread about a 4 year old nursing, a mom with doubts...I bumped it up for you. Enjoy!

https://mothering.com/discussions/sho...d.php?t=270462

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#6 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 09:54 AM
 
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My son is 4 1/2 and nursing at least twice a day (bedtime and waking). He is growing and developing, and I can see him changing. I believe in letting him determine how long he needs nursing for. It is a part of his life that he depends on. They are still so young.

Now, I also have a 9 y/o dd who is still in the process of weaning. She doesn't actually nurse, as in getting milk, but she needs to nuzzle sometimes and often reminds me that we are child led weaning She is a very sensitive person. I still try not to apply an age limit to what is "appropriate". There is no upper limit to when breastfeeding is beneficial. Most studies that the longer you breastfeed, the better for both of you.

Welcome to Mothering! I think you will find a very supportive forum (as have I).

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#7 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 11:30 AM
 
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Saudades, hang in there. I take each day is it comes. Time fly's by so fast. But, i definitely have days when i wonder if i'm ever going to wean a child! and i've had a few of those days lately.
my oldest is 5 and his routine is the same as it's been for the last year. 3 times a day. morning, afterschool, and in the evening before bedtime.
they love it, they need it, or they wouldn't be doing it.
I hope you are getting the reassurance you need right now that weaning does happen. At least your thread helped me!
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#8 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, thank you all so much for your support. I think what has happened is that when I was pregnant, I prepared people for my extended nursing plans by saying that I'd nurse 2-4 years. I think that at some point I began believing my own propaganda.

To answer Joan's question, she went to twice a day about a year or so ago. Mostly that was a natural transition, but at some point I stopped wearing a nursing bra and stopped nursing at other times of the day even if she asked. She was easily distracted to something else, so it felt like a natural transition for both of us.

So, what's my problem? This thread is making me realize that my concern is about co-sleeping as it relates to nursing. My husband has always been in favor of co-sleeping, but he is getting tired of it, to a certain degree. We slept alone together for 10 years, snuggling all night long. And it does affect our sex life. I mean, we find ways, of course, but it's NOT the same as just rolling over and there the person is so go for it.

Still, I love co-sleeping and have always thought that when she weaned, she would naturally transition to her own bed. Or maybe it works the other way around?
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#9 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 02:58 PM
 
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Hi...I often asked this question when there would be an upsurge in nursing.."OH, NO!! She's going backwards!! " usually it was a sign that she was about to make a developmental leap...the last real intense nursing time was around her becoming a fluent reader...after that, she rather rapidly moved toward final weaning. She weaned in the early fall, at 7 1/2.

I'd like to explore the cosleeping issue with you. One thing we did was get her her own bed (a real bed) and I lie down to sleep with her in her room. Once she weaned from the bedtime nursing, and even a little before, sometimes daddy would lie with her instead, reading chapter books. I often sleep all night in her bed, but daddy was truly done with cosleeping, so he never does.
We have our marriage bed back, even if the dog sadly still sleeps there more than me. (I am a sound sleeper; once I am out, I am OUT until dawn.) I beleive that if I worked it a little bit, I could give up sleeping with her. Actually the 2 of us have a plan to do so this summer...she'll really be a big kid then
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#10 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She does have her own bed in her playroom, but she has never shown any interest in sleeping in it. It's actually my husband and my rendevous spot, which is a bit odd as we're always throwing dolls out of the blankets and finding books wedged in strange places.

I don't know. Maybe we just need to do child-led weaning of the family bed. It's hard for me to imagine her sleeping alone in another room in the house. I stopped sleeping with my parents when I was kind of young, but I had a sister 5 years older and I'd sneak in with her (and then wet her bed, too. I should send my sister a card today, apologizing once again for that one.)

Anyway, I do appreciate having people to talk to about this. I live in a very AP community, yet somehow most of the moms I know weaned their kids when they were approaching 3 years old. The others probably just don't talk about it. I mentioned something to a woman at my preschool about my daughter nursing more when she had the flu It just slipped out and the woman looked so shocked, but then she recovered and said that her 5 year old just self-weaned last summer.
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#11 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 04:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saudades
This thread is making me realize that my concern is about co-sleeping as it relates to nursing. My husband has always been in favor of co-sleeping, but he is getting tired of it, to a certain degree. We slept alone together for 10 years, snuggling all night long. And it does affect our sex life. I mean, we find ways, of course, but it's NOT the same as just rolling over and there the person is so go for it.

Still, I love co-sleeping and have always thought that when she weaned, she would naturally transition to her own bed. Or maybe it works the other way around?

We co-sleep too. I'm not comfortable making dd sleep in another bed if she isn't ready.
Dh is okay with it. Sometimes he grumbles but then when dd goes to a sleep-over or has a friend sleep over, he always complains that he couldn't sleep good without dd. We bought a king bed a few years ago to accomodate dd's growing body but since she has grown so much we are usually a mesh of entertwined legs and arms. :LOL But it works for us.

She has her own room with her own bed, and she knows she can sleep in it any time. I know she'll reach a point of wanting her own privacy, my guess is in a couple of years. But then again, I remember sleeping with my Mom sometimes as a teen. It just felt safer and more cozy. Even though she had a water bed and would snap at me every time I moved.
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#12 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 06:50 PM
 
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OK, true confession time...she's had her own bed since she was like 3? Something like that. For a time after we put up the bed, we still slept in our "big" bed (actually only a Full size bed). But she and I transitioned nicely to the "little" bed. DH works 3-11, and doesn't get into bed until 2 most nights. I have been asleep for HOURS by then. It just makes more sense for me to sleep with her (since I don't like to sleep alone and neither does she!!) oh, and she's almost 8 1/2, so this "temporary" solution has been going on for 5 years...

I think I thought that weaning from the breast would take longer if we continued to cosleep, but since that was never a problem for us, I kept sleeping. She's really a snuggler, and feels much more at peace with me, the fish, and the dog all breathing together with her at night. And if I do get out and go in the big bed, she'll squeeze in (and squeeze is the right word...as she gets bigger that bed gets smaller).

Like you, my perspective on this is partly formed from my own childhood. I shared sleep with my 2 sisters when we were little, then with my big sis until I moved out as a grownup. I just think many humans prefer to share sleep. We are practicing clw from the bed at that; dd is concerned that she will NEVER get to sleep on scout camping trips or slumber parties because she's not snuggling with me--that's why she wants to "practice" with this this summer. It's another area of life where I've learned to trust that the urge to grow up and into new behaviors will be internally motivated...

Keep that trust and the two of you will be all right...
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#13 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by darlindeliasmom
I've learned to trust that the urge to grow up and into new behaviors will be internally motivated...

Keep that trust and the two of you will be all right...
Yes, it's hard to keep that trust sometimes when they have that little reverting period of wanting to be a baby again. Actually, my daughter has never been that impressed with the idea of being "big." My SIL told her, "Wow, you're growing up so fast" and dd dissolved into tears saying, "Slow it down," "I am a baby, I am." I know that stage doesn't last forever, but it feels like it might.
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#14 of 15 Old 05-10-2005, 09:47 PM
 
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My oldest turned four a few weeks ago, and seems to have weaned, maybe....

She'll ask to nurse but only when her baby sister is nursing at bedtime, and then usually falls asleep before she gets her turn. So she hasn't nursed in I suppose a week or two. I'll gladly nurse her whenever she wants/needs to nurse, but the rule is the baby gets to nurse first. By the time baby is done, older DD either has forgotten or doesn't want to nurse anymore. She even said to me one time, "I don't want to now, but I did earlier" Anyway, she has been nursing less and less often for the last two years, and I doubt I'll even know it when she has finally totally weaned herself. It will happen sooner or later. They quit nursing when they no longer need to nurse.
:
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#15 of 15 Old 05-12-2005, 03:44 PM
 
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Will your daughter ever wean? Yes!

My ds is 5 1/2. A few months ago I announced that he had weaned after he didn't nurse for 3 weeks. Then he started nursing again once every week or two. Recently he nursed every night and occasionally in the morning for almost 2 weeks - now he's gone several days without (my breasts are confused!). I know he's working on it, and I'm satisfied that he'll know when he's ready.

As for co-sleeping, we went from a true family bed at 18 months to he and I sharing a mattress on the floor in his "own" room. I'm still there, but its easy to "visit" dh in the other room. :LOL
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