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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, for some reason lately my dad will bring up my "still" nursing dd who is only 28 months. His question is "why would she (or any other child) ever want to stop nursing?" I've been simply asking him if he would still want to nurse from his mother, which he thinks is a funny question and doesn't really get what I'm trying to convey. I know she will wean eventually and at this point don't really care when that is because she's had a full 2 years, so I see this as icing on the cake so to speak and have no intentions of weaning her. I just don't think he understands that children will wean if you don't make them and I'm sure he doesn't understand why I still nurse her (even though I've tried to explain the benefits.
 

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Like anything else (wearing diapers, sucking thumb, wanting mom to tuck them in at night), they'll stop when they outgrow the need. I also see it as enjoy this time when they are small and want/need mom around so much. As they grow up, they will get more and more independent, and need us less and less. If we fulfill (give them their fill) of mama milk while they are young and still need it, I believe it really helps their self esteem to find that THEY can realize when they are "too big" for it. In the meantime, I will enjoy snuggles with my kids, having them sick less often, having a surefire way to comfort them if they need it, and reducing greatly my own risk of breast cancer.
 

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Flip it on him (not the finger <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">, but the pressure). Ask him for reasons why you should wean. What would be the benefits to making her stop. What are the negatives to continuing breastfeeding. How does HE benefit from your child weaning. If he answers you with valid reasons (which is doubtful), ask him for concrete evidence to back up his reasoning.<br><br>
Then, if you want, provide him with concrete evidence to back up your reasoning to continue nurturing your child until she is ready to wean. Or simply tell him that you don't have a problem with it, dd doesn't have a problem with it, you are the only two who are directly affected, case closed.
 

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I would just say that you think she will wean before college.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I think the main concern among family members, dh included sometimes is that she is too dependent on me and has a hard time allowing others to comfort her. I definately think when I'm around she prefers me, but I'm able to leave her for hours at a time and she's perfectly fine and happy. Their arguement is that I'm in some way hindering her independence. I know this isn't true and that she will become independent in her own time; in fact I can already see her becoming more independent (sniff). I just wish there were some way I could make the understand that I'm not just trying to keep her from growing up, and that I really am doing a good thing for her (and me). I guess I just needed to vent a little here since many of the ladies here can relate.
 

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I think your last post was eloquent and what you should say to your dad and others. This time is fleeting even if she nurses 4+ years out of an avg. 80+ yr. life, it is a small fraction. Tell them it is a special bond and that you intend to cherish it together until she grows too old to want to do it, Just as you have said to us. Course I always throw in how in the good old USA we' re one of the few places in the world that don't nurse for many years and that in truth, globally, We are the freaks. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> You could always toss that one in! Eventually, I have just come to terms with the fact that I may never get people to stop commenting but I ignore it overall cause I decide whats best for my kids and not them (thankfully <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> )
 

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The important thing is that <i>you</i> realize that you're not hindering her independence. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Too many mamas don't realize it, and they get caught up in doing what is right by society instead of doing what is right by their child. By trusting her needs you are giving her a secure, trusting, stable start to her life. Every child deserves that. They aren't supposed to be independent so early. They won't be on their own until they are at least 18. Independence comes gradually and naturally. It's in our instincts as mothers and their survival instincts as children to be attached. Unfortunately those who don't have the instincts (or the understanding) misunderstand that basic human need as "clingy" or "overly dependent" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">.<br><br>
So please take solace in the fact that you are not alone, and you are doing the right thing by listening to your child and your heart. Heck, she's only 28 months. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/disappointed.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="disappointed"> Why in the World does our Country put so much pressure on parents and children to separate.<br><br>
btw, IME, children who are forced to be independent are far more clingy, insecure, and disconnected than children who are trusted to develop independence in their own time. As mothers we need to look at our disconnected society and realize that, to make this a better World, we need to change. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Rainbow.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rainbow peace">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>speairson</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8139720"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I just wish there were some way I could make the understand that I'm not just trying to keep her from growing up, and that I really am doing a good thing for her (and me).</div>
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I think this is the crux: the perception is that <i>you</i> are doing something to hinder her development, and hence <i>you</i> could do something to further it. I have run into this with a family friend who is concerned that my mother nursed me "too long," and that I was "ready to wean" but that my mother "wouldn't let me." And now I am in danger of doing the same thing. Hmmm.<br><br>
I point out, when this comes up, that there is very little I can force my two-yr-old to do, and nursing is certainly not one of them. I think that's what's often not understood: you can't make a child nurse longer than they have a need for it. You just can't. Especially, I would think, when they are two!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>snanna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8140203"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think that's what's often not understood: you can't make a child nurse longer than they have a need for it. You just can't.</div>
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I wonder if your friend has been swayed by a fictional book that was recently published. I haven't read it and I don't ever plan to, but it is about a child who is forced to nurse. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> (it was seriously discussed on Oprah, so I've heard)
 

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I usually say I'll wean her when she can vote. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> But she won't get her own bed until she gets married. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks so much ladies for your insight. I love reading all the responses and am glad to have like minded people I can turn to here.
 

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I usually just say, "I figure she'll be done nursing before her first date/before college/before she gets married/before she buys a house," etc.<br><br>
Jokes that discontinue the topic are my favorites.<br><br>
I also watch myself to be sure I don't stay, "she's still nursing" when I talk about it. "She's a nurser," I'll say instead.<br><br>
--Heather
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>misseks</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8154799"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I usually say I'll wean her when she can vote. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> But she won't get her own bed until she gets married. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"></div>
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Voting! That's it!<br><br>
All my examples are things that Maya might not even DO when she's older (married, house, colelge) -- but she better VOTE! ;-)
 

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There are lots of good reasons to continue with extended nursing. I think one that most mainstream people can relate to is the immunological benefit.<br><br>
The older nursling may nurse less often but the immunological factors are more concentrated.<br><br>
If I understand correctly the immune system matures at about 7 years old. That's not to suggest some sort of a "finish line" but rather to suggest that nursing at 2, 3, 4 years old is probably the biological norm. Which is consistent with the worldwide weaning average of 4 years or older. Keep in mind that number would probably be even higher if it weren't for industrialized countries like the US bringing the average down.<br><br>
HTH<br>
~Cath
 
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