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I have read so many posts these days (not here) about babies who are my daughters age (she just turned 1 on Sat) and a month or so younger that their babies only nurse once or twice a day and seem to be weaning! Some of these Moms feel sad that that is all the babies nurse and dont want them to wean yet.

Im wondering if somehow the Moms did something to make them nurse so little so soon, without knowing they were doing it? I mean, if I waited for Hannah to "tell" me she wanted to nurse she would probably only nurse 3-4 times a day, but I offer her every 2-3 hours if she "asks" or not. So she is still nursing every 2-3 hours all day long and 1-2 times during the night.

Im sure some babies do only nurse once or twice a day even if the Moms offer often, but surely not so many as I have seen? Than the Moms say the baby has self weaned. However is it really self weaning if you arent offering but yet not refusing when they do ask? Isnt that a weaning technique?

I think nursing for a year is great, Im just wondering if maybe the ones who truely dont want their babies to wean were doing things to push thier babies to wean without knowing. I would ask them but I am already the "bad guy" and "bf nazi" over there and dont want to start any drama, so I thought you guys would know what Im talking about. I just always find it strange because Hannah nurses so much still.

Any thoughts?
 

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OMG, I TOTALLY know what you mean. I post on a mainstream board a bunch, and there were a bunch of moms that either weaned at a year, or are in the process of their babies "self weaning". Don't offer don't ask is definitely a weaning technique.

At 13 mo Julia and I have settled into a rhythm. I also offer to nurse about every 2.5 hrs during the day. I had to have a bit of a routine going since I work part time 3 days a wk and nurse her at daycare. My dd is pretty busy playing so if I didn't "remind" her to nurse who knows how often she would.

I think perhaps other moms also went more aggressively on solids and that contributed to early weaning.

Still, nursing for a year puts you in a small percentage of moms in america (sadly) and should be commended
 

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I have seen many children "self-wean" around that time and they generally shared the following characteristics:

VERY low sucking needs OR used pacifier/thumb.

Bottle/sippy introduced before 9 months and expected to "eat"

High emphasis on solids.

Did not co-sleep OR had CIO (baby sleeping through the night) AND "taught" to go to sleep by self.

Minimal comfort nursing And/Or put off til really hungry

Food offered before nursing

Just what I've noticed,
Kay
 

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I think it could be several things.

I think moms who work outside the home often stop pumping around a year, and baby has gotten used to a bottle, cup, and maybe also a pacifier during the day. I am sure there are many babies with WOHM who nurse for a very long time, though.

I could be wrong, but I also think there is a correlation between introducing other milks in a cup, and nursing less.

And, some moms will say baby self-weaned from the breast. Then you talk to them some more, and find out that they actually have not been nursing full time, but using bottles of formula as well. I have met a couple of moms who say their babies "self-weaned" in this way (over to bottles full time), at 9-11 months of age or so.

My mom says all of her children self weaned right around one year. She started solids at or before 4 months (I learned all this from scavenging the baby books, LOL), introduced sippy pretty early, and fed me, at least, on a schedule. Ack! I'm pretty sure she weaned to a sippy cup of cow's milk, as none of us took bottles. Oh, and I was a thumb sucker, attached to a blanket, and slept in my crib all night. Other siblings used pacifiers. FWIW.


It's just a totally different mindset. The book Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing (forget the author, it's a LLL-related book) had some interesting discussion about this, related to child spacing. Basically what those women are doing, the author terms "cultural nursing", according to what most people do in the culture. Vs. ecological bf with no pacifiers, scheduling, cribs, CIO, etc. Those who do cultural nursing will not only have periods come back earlier, but babies will wean earlier, seemingly on their own.
 

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Interesting. I've seen similar posts and I always think "What....how is that possible?" But that's probably because my ds has rarely gone over 2 hours between nursing sessions and he's 20 months old!! I can't imagine just nursing him 2-3 times a day. Right now we're doing the "try to distract from nursing until he insists he wants to nurse". That's because he has started asking every 5-10 minutes!!

I have no idea if it's the childs personality/temperment, parenting style or what but those posts always struck me as odd too but, once again, that's based on my own personal experience.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TiredX2
I have seen many children "self-wean" around that time and they generally shared the following characteristics:

VERY low sucking needs OR used pacifier/thumb.

Bottle/sippy introduced before 9 months and expected to "eat"

High emphasis on solids.

Did not co-sleep OR had CIO (baby sleeping through the night) AND "taught" to go to sleep by self.

Minimal comfort nursing And/Or put off til really hungry

Food offered before nursing

Just what I've noticed,
Kay
I know what you guys mean. I have also heard of babies that "self-weaned" at around a year and it always seemed odd to me.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SarahMorgan
However is it really self weaning if you arent offering but yet not refusing when they do ask? Isnt that a weaning technique?

IMHO, I don't think "don't offer don't refuse" is a good idea for children under the age of 3 (or at least over 2) because breastmilk is still so important nutritionally and developmentally. I offered the breast often when dd was a baby but I now "don't offer, don't refuse" and still consider her to be weaning herself, when she's ready.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SarahMorgan
Im sure some babies do only nurse once or twice a day even if the Moms offer often, but surely not so many as I have seen? Than the Moms say the baby has self weaned. However is it really self weaning if you arent offering but yet not refusing when they do ask? Isnt that a weaning technique?
i don't consider that a weaning technique~ at least not in every case; after joe was a year & a half or two or so i did not offer but did not refuse. he self~weaned at almost 4 years. when he was little, trust me, i did not NEED to ask him if he wanted to nurse!


some of the kids that wean at one year are no doubt being encouraged, gently or otherwise, by mom. i would be interested though to know the %age of babies who naturally self~wean before 2 years.
 

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I've wondered about this myself. My mom says I weaned at 11 months, but don't know how much I trust this. She also says I slept through the night at 4 months and claims she didn't CIO. The problem is that she's not very in tune with other people, so I wonder if things would have been different if she had been more aware.

With my, now 3 year old, I am doing the don't offer, don't refuse thing. Because I'm pumping for my 6 month old, she is only able to nurse right after pumping. When I first started pumping (she was just under 3) I would offer after I pumped, so she would learn that was when it was available. Now she knows, and I let her decide. She nurses anywhere from 0 - 4 times a day. She has never gone more than one day without nursing, and usually nurses a lot the next day.

Bec
 

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I've noticed this too and after some questioning by me I found out that they had never really nursed on cue/demand. Their kids were on a feeding schedule from day one and as they "went longer" between feedings, feedings got eliminated until there were only a few left and then viola gone!

And oh, "DOn't ask, don't refuse" IS a weaning techinique. It's at least considered a weaning technique by LLL and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I think its a very busy time between 8-15 months and these babies rarely want to slow down to nurse. So, if mom doesnt offer and then introduces more and more solids, well weaning is gonna happen in a lot of cases ( but not all). ANd oh, offering solids is a weaning technique also. That's what weaning IS....offering solids to replace breastfeeding.
 

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No time to read all the replies
but my ds doesn't specifically ask to nurse all the time. Sometimes he says NaNa but other times he just gets really cuddly and I "sense" that he wants to nurse. KWIM?

I offer and he never refuses although sometimes he doesn't nurse long enough to get more than a gulp or two. Enough to wet his whistle I suppose!


I agree that could inadvertently assist in early weaning. My ds drinks from my dd's straw cups of water all the time, and I hope that doesn't make him wean sooner that he would without the cups.
 
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