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I need to wean my almost 5 year old. I know this is the child-led weaning before and I have tried really hard and I just cannot do it anymore. I was sexually abused as a child and nursing her at this age - I just can't do it. She only nurses for 30 seconds or so at bedtime but she is still really attached to that nursing. I know 30 seconds isn't long and I SHOULD be able to just grin and bear it for her sake but I can't. I can't post this on any other board because not many people will have tips for gently weaning a 5 year old. She will be 5 in November and I think I can stick it out until then. Maybe not, we'll have to see. So what can I do to encourage her? I don't want to do a party because no one knows I am still nursing her. Maybe her and I going out to dinner and a movie or going to get our hair and nails done or something. Something that will signify that she is growing up. Any other tips are appreciated and thank you in advance for being understanding of this situation.
 

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I understand, and you have done a wonderful job of allowing her to lead the weaning process . . . .so, could you help her to be a part of the weaning decision by asking for her help in setting a goal date for weaning? My 5 y/o DD is soooooo inot being a "big girl", and it would seem to me that something special and "grown up" for just the 2 of you might be the thing that helps her to buy into the weaning idea.<br><br>
If she would enjoy the hair/nails thing, that would be really nice. What about a dinner/movie date alone with mama?<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Heavenly,<br>
You have my admiration. It sounds like you've got a good game plan. I wish you success in implementing it.<br>
~Cath
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Since she nurses at bedtime, you'll have to find something that will replace that part of the bedtime ritual. Maybe a short book or story, maybe a song, maybe just sharing the day. When she used to lie down with DH, he'd make up stories to tell, just like he did with DS. I also overheard DD just sharing her day with him as they'd fall asleep.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I think you can talk to her about weaning, and tell her that nurisng doesn't feel good to you any more. 5yos are old enough to empathise at least some of the time- so explain to her how you feel. You don't need to go into more detail than you're comfortable sharing, but the fact that nursing feels yucky to you, or maybe just say that it hurts and her mouth is too big to nurse properly without it hurting anymore.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I would also talk with her.<br><br>
Have in your mind some options for celebrating her weaning and talk with her about them. DD & I went to Build A Bear together when she weaned, but DS didn't want to celebrate (he was almost done w/kinder and definately realized he was the only person his age we knew still nursing). I actually got him a Nintendo DS game <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes"><br><br>
You can ask DD *what* about nursing she finds so satisfying. Is it the private time, the milk, the touching your breasts, cuddling, etc... and try to replicate that in another way.<br><br>
Perhaps, though, your DD would react better to some totally DIFFERENT nighttime ritual.<br><br>
Good luck. Please let us know what she says.
 

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My 6.75 year old is beginning to wean, so I feel you on what it's like nursing someone approaching 5.<br><br>
If she's down to 30 seconds at night, she may wean before November on her own. Which would be soooo nice for you.<br><br>
I second Meiri's idea about starting to add in other bedtime rituals that could work as substitutes when you get there. Talking about her day and having me rub her back are starting to work for my big nursling.<br><br>
Also, reading Sleepless in America might give you some ideas to help her reconnect at night and "flip the swich" to sleep.
 

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I would talk about it a lot. Make up stories. Let her make up stories. Get her to help think of other comfort things. Reduce the time little bit at a time (get a timer that she can watch) If she feels that she needs it, perhaps let her choose a special comfort object.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
-Angela
 
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