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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son is 3 1/2 and I'm ready to stop nursing him. For my own selfish reasons, I'm sure, but I also feel that at 3 1/2 it's not such a horrible thing to encourage.

I'm hoping to apply an herbal tincture to my nipple that is safe for him to injest, and also safe for my nipple. Something that doesn't taste so pleasant, that would make him not want to nurse.

Comfrey? Licorice Root?

What would any of you recommend or what have you all used if you thought of weaning in this fashion??

Love
 

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Why would you turn something that has been a comfort to him for his entire life into something yucky?


If you want to wean, that is of course your decision, and 3.5 years is excellent!, but why not do it in a gentle and loving manner instead of leaving him with a memory of yuckiness? We never know what our children will remember from their early childhood, but certain types of events tend to stick in the memory more than others. I would worry that he will be rather less than supportive of his future wife's breastfeeding efforts if what stands out in one of his earliest memories is trying to nurse and finding it suddenly nasty.
 

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This is an old-school method of ending nursing FAST. My DH's grandmother's sister weaned her 3-1/2 YO by putting mud on her nipples. Same concept.

I agree with Meiri, not sure that's the best way to go about weaning. He should be able to understand the end of hte nursing relationship now. Maybe you can set a date, cross out the days together and have a weaning party at the end?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Meiri
Why would you turn something that has been a comfort to him for his entire life into something yucky?


If you want to wean, that is of course your decision, and 3.5 years is excellent!, but why not do it in a gentle and loving manner instead of leaving him with a memory of yuckiness? We never know what our children will remember from their early childhood, but certain types of events tend to stick in the memory more than others. I would worry that he will be rather less than supportive of his future wife's breastfeeding efforts if what stands out in one of his earliest memories is trying to nurse and finding it suddenly nasty.
 

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Quote:
I'm hoping to apply an herbal tincture to my nipple that is safe for him to injest, and also safe for my nipple. Something that doesn't taste so pleasant, that would make him not want to nurse.
I've thought about this too. I've heard from some places that is horrible and other places that it is not so horrible.

I think it probably would be traumatic if it tasted horrible. But what if the taste wasn't that bad...just not as good.

Kind of like the difference between going from Godiva Chocolate to vinager and going from Godiva Chocolate to Carob. They wouldn't be traumatized by the difference...just might say "Oh, that's not so great. I think I'd rather have something else."

But I think a lot of older kid nursing is for comfort. I actually felt desperate to wean a few months ago and decided to overdose on peppermint to lower my supply. I never paid attention to how much DS was swallowing (of course when he was a baby...yes), but started paying attention after the peppermint. He would nurse for about 15 minutes and I only heard him swallow once or twice. I'm not sure if peppermint was effective or if I usually don't produce a lot of milk. But anyway, it did not discourage him from nursing. I started thinking, this is ridiculous...if he's going to be sucking on my boobs until he's thirty-five, he should at least get some health benefits from it.

Anyway, good luck to you! Maybe you can find some studies on the internet...whether or not weaning like that causes emotional trauma.

Dina
 

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I agree with Meiri as well. I would think it would be traumatic to wean in this way. What if it doesn't work? Is there another way to set some limits or discuss the issues with him? My ds is 3 1/2 and I think he would rather we talk about it than for me to make a unilateral decision. I hope you find a solution that honors your relationship with your son, and your obvious committment to nursing to him.
 

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I agree with other posters that this would be a traumatic way to wean. It's the entire fact of changing it(no matter how mild or bitter the taste) that would be hard on him after his entire life of counting on it being his comfort. Instead of comforting him it would be kind of "turning" on him. It would be better to leave the breast the same so it's always a good memory for him and change the nursing instead.

I do think it would be best to talk it over with him and give him some sort of time frame of when the final weaning will take place. Maybe on the day that you decide it's done you can go do something special together. Maybe before you actually wean him he can go to the toy store and pick a special "weaning toy" to help him get through. I've heard of this helping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Caleb doesn't understand this whole "mom is done" phenomenon. I've tried talking with him about it, tried coming up with other ways to "distract" him from nursing... rubbing his back when he wants to nurse, laying down and reading a book, gently talking about our day together, tubby time, go outside and play, telling him it hurts mommy when he nurses bc I don't have any more milk in me to give to him.

I've talked to him about stopping so we could have a booby party, complete with a booby cake, and booby balloons.

Nada.

Not intersted.

I was thinking of just telling him now (before I put stuff on) that when my milk is not good for him anymore, it (or my body) starts tasting yucky bc it's telling him that it's not for nourishment anymore. I can work out an emotional bond in many other ways. We're a very close family, so we can find another means for emotional moments together. So that day when my milk does taste yucky, he can relate the 2 and know that it is because it's time to be done.

I see where you could think that it's cruel, but my intentions are pure, and he would obviously be informed to the reason why it's not good anymore.
 

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I will answer your question from the perspective of the herbalist.

Aloe vera gel and sage tea (you drink) will eliminate the milk and make the nipple bitter.

Both dry up milk production and the aloe is bitter to the taste but safe for consumption.

HTH
 

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Instead of putting something bad tasting on your nipple, why not just not give them the nipple in the first place?
 

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I can sympathize. My DD is 22 months and I think I'm about ready to wean. (Pretty uncommon around here so flame away everyone if you must...) I think child-led weaning is awesome, but I also believe nursing is a relationship and both parties need to be comfortable with it.

However, I don't think the idea of putting something on my nipples to change the taste is something I would do. You said...

Quote:
I was thinking of just telling him now (before I put stuff on) that when my milk is not good for him anymore, it (or my body) starts tasting yucky bc it's telling him that it's not for nourishment anymore.
I don't really like the idea of lying to a child in that way. For example, I won't tell DD that there aren't any more cookies - I say she can't have any more because one is enough and she can have a banana instead. Yeah, she takes it a little harder, but I think it's better for her to come to terms with the fact that simply because there are cookies doesn't mean she can eat them.

What does he do when he asks to nurse and you say no? How do you handle his reaction? What does he do when he asks for a cookie (or other special treat) and you say no and how do you handle that? Maybe thinking about it more abstractly (as a special treat) will help you come up with other solutions.

Good luck in finding a solution that works for your whole family!!!

---Disclaimer---
I am not trying to say that breastmilk is directly comparable to a cookie just making analogies.
 

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For a different perspective...I found this written by Jean Liedloff (Author of the Continuum Concept". It's about her visit to Bali. You can find it on this website http://www.continuum-concept.org/rea...kFromBali.html

"There was something interesting about their nursing and weaning. What they did, which I would not at all have expected, was when they wanted to wean a child of two or three because they were pregnant with another, they would put bad tasting juice on the nipple. I tried to think about it with an open mind because it looked hostile - like a nasty thing to do to a child. But then when I thought about it, perhaps what's happening is that when the nipple tastes bad, the child rejects it. The mother is not rejecting the child and causing him to feel unwelcome or unworthy."
 

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happyday! I've missed you, where have you been?! Long time no see!


Malia is still nursing to, I'm also ready for her to wean but with the younger one still in heavy nursing age I sure don't see ti happening. Nor do I feel right encouraging it, just so she can watch the baby nurse ifykwim. Sometimes I just feel like I can't physically give of myself anymore and I tell her "mommy's milk is tired, it needs to rest" and it helps postpone and spread out the length between nursing. She takes this real well too- I feel like it is very positve. I've been tandem nursing for 15 months now, hard to believe!

Caleb is so fortunate he's been given natures best for so long- good for you, mama! I think if I had to wean Malia right now (since they are pretty close in age I'm trying to think what I would do for her) I would give her time to adjust to the idea by saying "In a week when we go to the zoo/festival/weaning party/favorite place mommies milk will be all gone." and remind her and talk about it as it approaches that it is coming up and what it means. Then once that event passes you could remind him when he asks that after the "event" the milk is all gone, and now mommy can comfort you in other ways.

Anyway, Em, it is so nice to see you- I think about you more than you know
Hope you are doing ok!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rainbow
thirtycats, that is rather interesting. Reminds me of quite the way a pregnancy might make a child reject the breast.
I think it would just need to be a substance that is not bad enough to make junior reject the breast in one sitting. That WOULD be traumatic...for mom and child-emotionally AND physically. But if you have something that's not too horrible, but bad enough for the child to slowly wean after a week or so...I don't see what harm that would do.

Dina
 

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hi em!
i do not see this as hideously horrible, & are y'all serious in thinking a 'mainstream' board is going to assist efforts to gently wean a going-on-four yr old? this board is not just for child-led weaners. are you going to seriously tell me how cruel i was to make my 7 yr old stop instead of letting her wean on her own?

i hope my next two wean on their own, but if one day (like i was with my dd) i am ready to stop, stop we will (and i would prolly not use a bitter substance on my nips, but i don't think it is so traumatic it is going to color an entire childhood's worth of loving nursing.)

do not use comfrey internally, it has been linked to liver damage. (and sage or peppermint tea in great quantities have done nothing to my milk supply or taste- garlic, too.) getting pg was the only thing that affected my supply, lol, and that solution is not for everyone.

anyway, good to see you! and good luck! (sam is the same age, & nowhere near ready to stop. he would have fits, and i can't think of anything bitter enough to dissuade him from nursing at this point. luckily i don't mind yet. but i can see maybe not wanting to drag it on to 7 again, that was pretty rough. my boobs want a rest. one day.)

suse
 
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