Why do some posters say that "don't offer, don't refuse" isn't CLW? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 28 Old 09-11-2007, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering? (Spin-off from another thread).

I often see people writing that "don't offer don't refuse" is a weaning technique. But how is that not child-led? (Unless the child is pre-verbal).

DS1 asks to nurse quite a bit, and I *do* refuse sometimes, but not all the time. I offer sometimes, too. But If I stopped offering and DS1 stopped asking, I would consider that CLW. If I stopped offering him food or drink or something he needed, he'd just ask for it. If I stopped offering nursing, he'd just ask if he needed it.

So please explain what I am missing? (Sorry if this has been discussed before... it has bothered me in a couple threads in the past and now it's bothering me again...)

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#2 of 28 Old 09-11-2007, 06:08 PM
 
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I guess it's a weaning technique because it would cut down on the overall amount of nursing. (not stop it altogether though.) Like, you wouldn't automatically nurse before EVERY nap, for example, so in that way, you're cutting back. Or you don't nurse JUST BECAUSE your child is thirsty, you give them a cup of water instead, so there again, you've cut back.

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#3 of 28 Old 09-11-2007, 07:06 PM
 
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I haven't seen that particular comment here, but I can see where "don't offer; don't refuse" could be considered a weaning technique b/c it's been written about as such. I, personally, wouldn't consider it incompatible w/ CLW, though. I think it's perfectly consistent w/ following the child's lead. Do you think that's what the other posters meant?
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#4 of 28 Old 09-11-2007, 09:51 PM
 
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Hmmm... at some point I'm sure everyone winds up doing "don't offer, don't refuse." I think that if you start doing it before they can really talk, though, that might push the child to wean a bit earlier than they might otherwise do so. Some kids are really persistent, though, and will keep nursing as long as they want to if you let them.

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#5 of 28 Old 09-11-2007, 09:54 PM
 
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i just think about my son pulling on my shirt all the time, i don't think i've offered to nurse since he turned a year old, we still nurse plenty though. i guess maybe there are some kids out there who wouldn't nurse as much if it was not offered???
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#6 of 28 Old 09-11-2007, 10:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DandeCobb View Post
i just think about my son pulling on my shirt all the time, i don't think i've offered to nurse since he turned a year old, we still nurse plenty though...
I haven't had the chance to offer since my son figured out how to move my clothing out of the way sometime around 8 months. He's 25 months now, and still nurses far more than any other nursling I know, including a few newborns!
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#7 of 28 Old 09-11-2007, 10:19 PM
 
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From Kellymom.com:

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Probably the most gentle active approach is "don't offer-don't refuse". This method involves not offering to nurse but also not refusing your child's expressed desire to nurse. Many moms move into this naturally as their child gets older. It tends to take longer than other methods, so it's not one that's likely to bring a quick weaning if you're in a hurry. On the other hand, it's also the one that takes your child's needs into account the most.
I think it depends on the age of the child. It is very different to do "don't offer, don't refuse" with a 6 month old than with a 3 year old.

In the first example age -- it's more "mother led" to me. A 6 month old doesn't know what's up and still has a deep need for breastmilk. If delayed on solids, they are just starting solids at 6 months, so that food source had not been firmly established. Even already started solids before 6 mos, BM represents 75-100% of nutrition at that age. That's a significant portion, so a mom needing to wean for whatever reason and starting with "don't off/don't refuse" at this age is taking an active role in replacing the "missing" BM with something else to ensure baby is getting enough to eat. She may not be offering the breast, but I suspect she is actively offering other foods. So mom is having to be in charge of a lot of this process. So I think think at that age it is "mother led."

The three year old, on the other hand, has had solids firmly established, and is probably already dwindling down on her own. Shifting to "Don't offer, don't refuse" seems more "child led" to me at this age because the child herself will take on more snacks/ more food at other times on her own without mom having to make a special effort to monitor intake as closely as she would at 6 mos. The child seems more in charge of the process so it seems more "child led" to me at this age.

I'm not sure I'm expressing that thought well. Hope it makes sense.

A.
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#8 of 28 Old 09-11-2007, 10:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Swandira View Post
Hmmm... at some point I'm sure everyone winds up doing "don't offer, don't refuse." I think that if you start doing it before they can really talk, though, that might push the child to wean a bit earlier than they might otherwise do so. Some kids are really persistent, though, and will keep nursing as long as they want to if you let them.

Nealy
tandem-nursing mama to Thales, 4 1/2, and Lydia, 18 months
I think you are right.
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#9 of 28 Old 09-11-2007, 10:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by astrophe27 View Post
From Kellymom.com:



I think it depends on the age of the child. It is very different to do "don't offer, don't refuse" with a 6 month old than with a 3 year old.

In the first example age -- it's more "mother led" to me. A 6 month old doesn't know what's up and still has a deep need for breastmilk. If delayed on solids, they are just starting solids at 6 months, so that food source had not been firmly established. Even already started solids before 6 mos, BM represents 75-100% of nutrition at that age. That's a significant portion, so a mom needing to wean for whatever reason and starting with "don't off/don't refuse" at this age is taking an active role in replacing the "missing" BM with something else to ensure baby is getting enough to eat. She may not be offering the breast, but I suspect she is actively offering other foods. So mom is having to be in charge of a lot of this process. So I think think at that age it is "mother led."

The three year old, on the other hand, has had solids firmly established, and is probably already dwindling down on her own. Shifting to "Don't offer, don't refuse" seems more "child led" to me at this age because the child herself will take on more snacks/ more food at other times on her own without mom having to make a special effort to monitor intake as closely as she would at 6 mos. The child seems more in charge of the process so it seems more "child led" to me at this age.

I'm not sure I'm expressing that thought well. Hope it makes sense.

A.
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I would say in an under 2 year old don't offer/don't refuse is mom-led, no matter what.

Above that and it could go either way depending on the individual child and their temperament and nursing habits.

-Angela
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#10 of 28 Old 09-12-2007, 01:39 AM
 
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I agree with pp's- it is very dependent on age. A very young child may not be able to ask for it, and so it may end up weaning. OTOH, with both of my boys I pretty much did not feel the need to offer more very often once they turned 2 - they asked often, and persistantly!

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#11 of 28 Old 09-12-2007, 01:57 AM
 
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I have been doing the DODR method since DD was about 18 months, and here she is 26 months and still going strong. I *do* offer her solid food regularly throughout the day. Kids her age (and older) need to be reminded to eat, otherwise they forget until they are starving and freaking out all over the place.

DODR only works when there is communication going on between parent and child, and the asking can be understood for what it is. In other words, a crying 8 month old might be asking for any number of things, so nursing should be offered, because maybe that's what the child is asking for.
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#12 of 28 Old 09-12-2007, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I typed this last night before a lot of the PPs posted... but I'll just post now anyhow...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benji'sMom
I guess it's a weaning technique because it would cut down on the overall amount of nursing.
This made me wonder about the definition of "wean" and whether what I am thinking differs from what others think. Merriam-webster says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by www.m-w.com
to accustom (as a young child or animal) to take food otherwise than by nursing
which makes me think that "don't offer, don't refuse" would be a weaning technique for little ones, but not for big kids who take in only a small fraction of their nourishment from nursing, are accustomed to eating mainly table food, and nurse mainly for comfort. DS1 nurses only for comfort... he dry-nursed for 7 months of my pregnancy : So now I am thinking it is a mama-led weaning technique for young nurslings but compatible with CLW for older nurslings who nurse only for comfort and are old enough to know to ask if they needed the comfort of nursing.

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#13 of 28 Old 09-12-2007, 01:05 PM
 
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I haven't offered since my child was like 6 months old. It is most emphatically NOT a weaning technique around here.

I don't know, I don't get how it's a weaning technique. LLL says it is, but I think that is to discourage ACTUAL weaning, yk? It kind of comes off like the "marijuana is a dangerous DRUG" message: obvious BS.

At least to me. But, I have an avid nurser.
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#14 of 28 Old 09-12-2007, 01:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aran View Post
I typed this last night before a lot of the PPs posted... but I'll just post now anyhow...


This made me wonder about the definition of "wean" and whether what I am thinking differs from what others think. Merriam-webster says:

which makes me think that "don't offer, don't refuse" would be a weaning technique for little ones, but not for big kids who take in only a small fraction of their nourishment from nursing, are accustomed to eating mainly table food, and nurse mainly for comfort. DS1 nurses only for comfort... he dry-nursed for 7 months of my pregnancy : So now I am thinking it is a mama-led weaning technique for young nurslings but compatible with CLW for older nurslings who nurse only for comfort and are old enough to know to ask if they needed the comfort of nursing.
Perhaps dd is unusual, but she is 3 years old and certainly nurses for nutrition as well as comfort.

-Angela
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#15 of 28 Old 09-12-2007, 01:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thismama View Post
I haven't offered since my child was like 6 months old. It is most emphatically NOT a weaning technique around here.

I don't know, I don't get how it's a weaning technique. LLL says it is, but I think that is to discourage ACTUAL weaning, yk? It kind of comes off like the "marijuana is a dangerous DRUG" message: obvious BS.

At least to me. But, I have an avid nurser.
That's the difference- you have an avid nurser (as do I ) But I have known toddlers- especially in that 14mo- 2yrs range who get VERY busy. And if you don't offer, they will go all day without nursing. A recipe for quick weaning.

-Angela
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#16 of 28 Old 09-12-2007, 01:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
That's the difference- you have an avid nurser (as do I ) But I have known toddlers- especially in that 14mo- 2yrs range who get VERY busy. And if you don't offer, they will go all day without nursing. A recipe for quick weaning.

-Angela
Yeah, very true. I just can't imagine not having an addict.
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#17 of 28 Old 09-12-2007, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Perhaps dd is unusual, but she is 3 years old and certainly nurses for nutrition as well as comfort.

-Angela
I have no idea if that is unusual or not. My 3 yo doesn't care whether milk is there or not. I am tandeming, and have to "manage" my milk so DS2 doesn't get short shrift. DS1 doesn't seem to care about the milk at all... just the act of nursing. He is happy to wait for DS2 to empty out the milk before he begins his nursing session.

Sounds like "don't offer don't refuse" would be a weaning technique for some children and not for others, depending on the situation.

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#18 of 28 Old 09-12-2007, 03:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by famousmockngbrd View Post
I have been doing the DODR method since DD was about 18 months, and here she is 26 months and still going strong. I *do* offer her solid food regularly throughout the day. Kids her age (and older) need to be reminded to eat, otherwise they forget until they are starving and freaking out all over the place.
That right there is why I consider DODR a weaning technique. Many children will forget do nurse but do NEED to nurse to be at their best. They might forget to ask, they might not know how to ask, or that they can, etc... Until they are old enough to fully realize that they can nurse when they want/need I would offer. And honestly, beyond that. I offered regularily when they kids were young (under 3) but after that if I could tell that they needed to nurse but just weren't able to get to that conclusion I would still offer.

 

 

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#19 of 28 Old 09-12-2007, 03:48 PM
 
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Now, I thought I was doing don't offer/don't refuse, and I was also confused as to how this is a weaning technique (since I never have to coax dd, 23 months to nurse, she asks me a LOT). However, something that someone said on another post made me think. If my DD and I have set times where it is an automatic that we nurse (when she wakes, right before she goes to sleep, and right after I get home from work) and I just sit down and get ready to nurse her, and she comes to me and nurses, am I not doing don't offer/don't refuse then???? Is that considered an offer? Because I know for sure during these times that she will eventually ask me if I don't sit down (and sometimes not polite, I have gotten busy after getting home from work and she will be busy doing something, then remembers she is supposed to nurse, so she points to the couch and says SIT DOWN!!! as an indication that she wants to nurse )

(by the way, I am not planning to CLW, planning to gentle MLW sometime after the age of two - just check the CLW board out of curiosity sometimes).
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#20 of 28 Old 09-12-2007, 03:51 PM
 
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Sounds to me like you're offering.

-Angela
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#21 of 28 Old 09-12-2007, 04:52 PM
 
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Henri is only 13 months old but he gets very busy and sometimes I'll notice its been awhile since he nursed, so I'll pick him up and nurse him. Most of the time, however, he will approach me and whine or make the milky sign with his hands, and I never refuse him if he does that. So I still offer when I need to, and still nurse on-demand. I could see how DODR could be a weaning technique, especially in a child under 2.
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#22 of 28 Old 09-12-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I have known toddlers- especially in that 14mo- 2yrs range who get VERY busy. And if you don't offer, they will go all day without nursing. A recipe for quick weaning.

-Angela
I could never imagine having this kind of toddler when my first kid was really small -- he nursed about 5,472 times a day when he was 1 1/2. His sister, though, is completely different, even though I'm the same mama and have done more or less the same things with her. Yesterday I was able to get her to nurse only three times (though, fortunately, she nursed for 10-20 minutes each of those times). Though she seems at the time to love the boob, she clearly doesn't like it as much as her brother did at this age. Anyway, I think DODR would definitely lead her to earlier weaning than my current strategy of periodic offering. With my son, the boob addict, I don't think I ever had time : to offer at this age.

I wonder if not offering causes the child to value nursing less, though. It seems like the babies that "self-wean" at 10 months are always the ones whose mamas were clearly ambivalent about nursing and offered solids first. But maybe that's a different issue!

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#23 of 28 Old 09-16-2007, 06:37 AM
 
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Once my daughter hit about two years old I considered "don't ask don't refuse" to be a child led weaning technique, NOT a forced weaning technique. To me, child led weaning means just that: the child tapers down a bit when they are ready.
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#24 of 28 Old 09-16-2007, 01:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
:

I would say in an under 2 year old don't offer/don't refuse is mom-led, no matter what.

Above that and it could go either way depending on the individual child and their temperament and nursing habits.

-Angela
I agree with Angela here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Yeah, very true. I just can't imagine not having an addict.
But of course, I also have a nursing addict. She's 4 years old and still asks to nurse a LOT. We avoid dairy so I would consider it nutritive as well as comforting. DD seems to feel the same way as well.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#25 of 28 Old 09-16-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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Glad to be reading this thread--DS is 20 mos and I think we've been doing DODR since about 15 mos maybe. He's quite clear when he wants "mult" and on the occasions when I have offered when he's not asking, he just laughs and pushes the boob away. I'm not trying to wean him, I'm just following his lead as I do with most things.
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#26 of 28 Old 09-17-2007, 02:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Yeah, very true. I just can't imagine not having an addict.
Seriously!
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Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post
<snip>
I offered regularily when they kids were young (under 3) but after that if I could tell that they needed to nurse but just weren't able to get to that conclusion I would still offer.
This is us. If she's obviously out of sorts I just quietly ask "Would you like to go somewhere quiet and have some num?" Usually a visibly relieved dd immediately drops what she's doing and follows.
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlewomyn View Post
Now, I thought I was doing don't offer/don't refuse, and I was also confused as to how this is a weaning technique (since I never have to coax dd, 23 months to nurse, she asks me a LOT). However, something that someone said on another post made me think. If my DD and I have set times where it is an automatic that we nurse (when she wakes, right before she goes to sleep, and right after I get home from work) and I just sit down and get ready to nurse her, and she comes to me and nurses, am I not doing don't offer/don't refuse then???? Is that considered an offer? Because I know for sure during these times that she will eventually ask me if I don't sit down (and sometimes not polite, I have gotten busy after getting home from work and she will be busy doing something, then remembers she is supposed to nurse, so she points to the couch and says SIT DOWN!!! as an indication that she wants to nurse )

(by the way, I am not planning to CLW, planning to gentle MLW sometime after the age of two - just check the CLW board out of curiosity sometimes).
Yeah, I vote offering.. and possibly going CLW without even realizing it...

I have the same nursing schedule all day everyday except the days we are ON THE GO big time, and then, if she were to ask and we weren't somewhere I felt I could nurse her comfortbly for us both, I have to say "We can't right now, honey, remind me when we get home..." sometimes she doea (usually) but if she doesn't and I forget then no one is worse for where... the next "scheduled" session will be shortly anyway. (She has authored her own schedule, btw, not talking about a real schedule, that I dictate or something!) So is deferring her request refusing? If I'm telling her not now but later?

And then when I do remember or if it's nap or night time, I'm offering by being in the rocking chair when she's ready to nurse...

For the most part, tho, I feel I DO practice DODR because I don't offer it every half-hour like I did back when she was under 12mo to 2yr. Back then I might have pulled over the car to nurse upon request!

It changes with age, I guess; and maybe temperment.
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#27 of 28 Old 09-17-2007, 05:14 PM
 
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Yeah, I vote offering.. and possibly going CLW without even realizing it...
.
I guess I am offering. Yesterday it was about the time when DD should be having a nap (she still naps at daycare, but on the weekends she has stopped napping at noon and keeps going until she crashes at around 4pm). I tried to get her to nurse on the couch with me so that she might fall asleep. I offered, she said no, I got the num num ready, she still said no, I tried to pick her up, I was pushed away and she screamed "No mommy!!!" Gee, I guess you really can't force a child to nurse, can you?
I let it pass and she nursed when she was ready.
And who knows, maybe I will end up doing CLW, but I think right now I am just seeing how it goes.
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#28 of 28 Old 09-17-2007, 08:02 PM
 
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My dd is a bit of a boob addict, but I have noticed lately she is cutting back. There are certain times when I will offer if I think she needs it, but isn't aware that she needs it. For example, sometimes she'll get really fussy or grumpy for no apparent reason and I'll ask her if she wants to nurse and it's like a light goes off in her head; like "oh yeah, that's what I need". I think part of my respobsibility as a parent is to anticipate her needs and offer to satisfy those needs; if I didn't offer to nurse when I knew she needed it I think that would be a weaning technique. I don't offer to nurse at certain times or anything and I rarely refure. So, I guess if you know they need to nurse and don't offer; it's a weaning technique, however if they always ask when they need it and there's just not a need to offer; then it's not weaning.
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