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So for those of you who do not do child-led weaning, but are still breastfeeding to the toddler years and then decide to stop, how do you do it?<br><br>
Is it gradual or cold turkey?<br><br>
what do you say? do you tell them the milk is all gone, or you are big now, or, how exactly do you do it to avoid trauma or make the process smooth?<br><br>
Mine is 2 1/2 and nurses at night (3-4 times) and nap (1-2times) and I get the feeling I will probably have to initiate weaning, instead of doing CLW. Mostly because we are considering another and I think it will be really difficult to deal with both needing you at the same time in the middle of the night. At my age I think it would be too draining to be nursing two, or to nurse through pregnancy (although I can see the value of it to eliminate gorging after birth- that was so painful, I'm considering waiting until then to wean! But that wouldn't be until at least 3 1/2!) He also seems to nurse for comfort a lot of the time now and seems to be only actually "drinking" a significant amount maybe twice per day. So I could perhaps write those times down and try to drop the others, that alone would help the night wakings I think, but, he will not be a happy camper because it helps soothe him to sleep.<br><br>
What have others done who have decided to stop nursing, before the child was actually ready to give it up himself? any words of wisdom?
 

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Hi there,<br>
I am weaning my 17 mo DD right now. She loves boob but it just is time for me to wean her. I am trying to do it as gentle and slowly as possible, which I believe is the best way both physically and mentally & both for the child and mom.<br><br>
I started to reduce number of nursing a few months back when she was 14-15 mo. Back then she was nursing 5-6x plus eating 3-4x solid meals and water/milk in sippy cups really well. What really helped was (1) DD signed for boob and I only gave her boob when she asked for it (not when I thought she could use it) (2) I would count in my head like, let's nurse 5x today and try to portion it out throughout the day.<br><br>
First feedings that went were the i'm-kinda-bored-maybe-boob-will-help types. I offered a walk outside, snacks, gadget (DD loves to see her own photos in my camera) and she usually forgot to ask for boob. Next cut was the first thing in the morning. Currently we are doing 2 feedings, one at nap, the other at bed time. DD is STTN since she was 9-10 mo, but sometimes she wakes up from teething and then I nurse her. But if she ever wakes up the second time, I just hold/rock her without nursing. Soon I won't nurse at all at night wakings. Sure it's hard cuz I do have to hold her (24lbs) and rock her ~10-15 min, but it can be done.<br><br>
Luckily, DD has been going through this process quite well and didn't get upset or cried. I just say no in a simple way (not make a big deal) and immediately change subject to let's go kick some balls in the front yard! Now for the nap/bed time, we are separating when DD gets boob & when she actually hits the pillow. So initially it was book-song-nurse-crib, but now it's book-song-nurse-another book-brush teeth-crib. I hope to move the nursing part to the very beginning of our sleeping routine, then replace it with a sippy cup. So far it is working!<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Thanks Those are some great tips, esp. the moving the nursing to the beginning of routine. But since mine is so much older these routines are pretty well established! (but will try!) the distraction with something else on the morning nursing just may work though! (however that was the one I was hoping to keep and leave out last. but I will remember it for when that time comes) I just wasnt sure which ones to keep, in the hopes of getting down to twice per day. Should I keep the going to sleep nursings? Or, nursings-upon waking up? I'd prefer to keep the nursing upon waking up just so he is able to fall asleep on his own without nursing... but what will I replace that with? He also plays with my hair upon falling asleep (tried in the past to replace with furry animal etc) and I was hoping to wean from THAT too sometime LOL
 

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Moving to Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wave.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wave">
 

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I consider DD to be CLW, but what began her self-weaning process was when I stopped nursing her to sleep. She lost her latch around age 2 1/2, and with all of the undesirable behaviors & stress associated with bedtime, I chose to nightwean. It made bedtime so much less stressful for everyone, including dd! Also I feel that it helped her develop new ways of soothing and requesting affection as those needs were no longer being filled by nursing (or going through rather acrobatic motions of nursing without actually wanting the milk)<br><br>
Dd continued to nurse when she woke up in the morning until right before she weaned. Afternoon nursing was the last to go for us, but every kid is different. From the time I stopped nursing her to sleep to the time she lost interest entirely was about 8 months.<br><br>
I can remember my own (gradual) weaning experience as a toddler, and am pretty certain that slow mama-lead weaning is better than cold turkey. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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There is a great thread on mother led weaning around here somewhere.<br><br>
I weaned my ds at 3.5 yo. It was very gradual and I guess you could say it started when we night weaned at 12 months. I started putting more limits in place when he was 18 months and I was nearing 3rd trimester. Went on to tandem and the summer he turned 3 I decided I was about done so we just cut back more and more, talked about weaning and how he was getting big and we would do other things, etc.<br><br>
In your place I would start with night weaning for sure. Sleeping at night makes for a much happier mama IMO!<br><br><i>Mostly because we are considering another and I think it will be really difficult to deal with both needing you at the same time in the middle of the night.</i><br>
I have to point out that just because you are not nursing both you may still have both needing you at night. Night weaning does not = sttn for all kids.
 

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My goal was 2 years. At around 20 months I brought her down to a strict 4 feedings. Then I dropped a feeding every couple weeks. When I got down to 2 feedings, I was comfortable letting her hang on to them as long as she wanted. She dropped the last 2 feedings on her own and was completely weaned a week before she turned 2. It was easy on both of us. I never got engorged, she never had too many issues with it either.<br><br>
Every now and then she will ask. She has lost her nursing reflex and I am dried out. I let her try and it does provide closure for her, when she finds that it doesnt work anymore.
 
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