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If you practice CLW, when did you decide this was the route you would take? DD is 4.5 months. My DS is almost 3, and he is a non-nurser. When he was a baby, I was very uninformed and unfortunately did not succeed at breastfeeding, and he was weaned by 4 months. Now that I AM informed, and now that I know my new little munchkin quite well, I'm pretty certain this is heading in the direction of CLW. I definitely intend to wait until 6 months for solids and nurse first and then offer whole foods, at the very least.

But honestly, this little girl just LOVES to nurse. She nurses, smiles at me, nurses. Plays, sleeps, nurses. I know - normal infant activity... but she is just so obviously happy and fulfilled it just makes me so happy (even when it's constant!). I think DH believes I will stop nursing at a year, not so much because he is against CLW, but because we were pretty mainstream our first 2 years of parenting, and we were both raised mainstream, and that's just how he figures it will happen. Don't get me wrong - he has been extremely supportive of our breastfeeding relationship and even advocates breastfeeding with other fathers who mention it... it's just that he comes from that typical American feel of only infants nurse. Of course, I do too, but MDC has really opened my mind and I just feel CLW is going to be what DD wants and needs.

When did you decide? Did you decide WITH your partner, or talk to them about it AFTER you'd decided? Did you NOT decide, and just let it happen? DH and I have such an open relationship, I can't imagine not telling him DD is probably going to be nursing for quite some time. But I also can't imagine him being completely comfortable with me nursing a toddler.....

Anyone relate? Share some experience with me please! TIA.
 

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Hi I think it's wonderful that you are open to the idea of CLW. My daughter is 5 1/2 and still nurses; I didn't exactly plan on CLW but it evolved. Shoot, I didn't "plan" on nursing longer than a year and most mothers I know who I held in high regard for nursing so long did so for about 2 years. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it could go on so long! : ) It definitely took some time to come to terms with this process - I am doing it primarily because I can see the deep need my daughter has to nurse. She was not going to take gentle prodding off the breast sitting down! She protested loudly and extensively and quite verbally. I figured it out. It's fulfilling a need for her, one that I may not always fully understand, but it's clear to her so I support her completely.

DH was against continued nursing. I don't know if he even knows the term CLW but over time I have helped him to understand that this is a part of the bond between me and DD and that it isn't something to be broken lightly. He knows his daughter and he gets that. He wants what's best for her, too. I try to base all of my actions now on the idea that it is a stone in the foundation for her teen years. He gets that, too. For our daughter and her needs and temperment this choice is perfectly logical and reasonable. We keep it between us at this point. She now nurses to sleep and only occasionally now during the day if there's some upset. More and more she handles her emotional swings with more mature tools. It's been a joy to see her evolve in this way.

My advice to you would be to start exposing your husband to the idea of CLW and just what that can mean. Our culture doesn't really support extended nursing and the portion that does sees "extended" as two, maybe three, years...going longer is a shock to most people I think. It was to me. And DH. I am glad to be past that part and making my peace with this relationship. Start planting seeds in both of your minds, that's what I would recommend. These online communities are so helpful for that - bringing the "unusual" into the light of usual and normal.

My best to you,

Linda
 

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I think its different for each mom and child based on their needs...

Sometimes outside influences can cause mom's to stop nursing due to peer pressure for doing CLW which is very sad that others make us to feel bad about something that is so wonderful and sweet between mom and child.

I fully believe that a child has needs that go beyond the amazing nutritional value of breastfeeding and is also needed for the sweet bond and comfort that nursing brings a child. I myself nursed until I was 8.5 years old on a daily basis and my mom was always there for me and never made me feel weird about wanting to continue nursing, it was my private bonding time with her and something we both enjoyed, it's not for everyone and each mom/child will be different and how long the nursing relationship can go on. It's the most wonderful amazing thing that a mom can share with her child that feeds them, comforts them and makes the child to feel so loved, how can this not be good??

I have a 10 month old dd and will let her decide when she no longer needs that bond with me no matter her age, I will always love her and be there for her in whatever way she needs me to be and no one is going to make me feel bad because of that...I do believe at a certain age it's better to nurse a child in private as they are a toddler and older, as it's no ones business and in most cases it's better to just be a private matter shared only with those who will love and support you rather than it causing fights and arguments with family and friends who don't agree with CLW.

I wish you and your family the best and hope whatever you decide as a family will be what is best for your daughter, and I am here if you ever need someone to listen and support you.
smile.gif


Happy Nursing!

Tammy
 

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DD weaned herself at 18 months - so in the scheme of things, we didn't go that long. I have a feeling that this little DS (1 yr next week!) will be closer to 2 or 3.

I think with my first child, it was "I'll nurse for 3 months, 6 months, till she gets teeth, till she can ask for it, etc, etc, etc." I kept thinking of how long it would be and kept readjusting that based on how things were going.

Honestly, this time it's never entered my mind to contemplate how long I'd nurse. From the very beginning it's been that I'll just nurse for as long as we both want to. He's just started having stretches now and then where he'll go 4 hours so .. who knows?

I do think it's important to get your partner on board with things - I find it very helpful that DH supports me nursing as long as we want when dealing with annoying inlaws, strangers, etc.

Good luck!
 

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I haven't decided yet. I'll know for sure if I'll do CLW once the child is weaned. The nursing relationship changes over time so I figure it out as I go along. With my oldest, I had to set limits or there's no way I would have been able to nurse him for as long as I did. Even at 2, he would have nursed every single second of every day had I let him. I did end up weaning him, right before he turned 5 years old. I call what I did with him "child respected weaning." With DD, who turned 5 years old last March, I've been able to do pure CLW. She's nursed like the books say they do. She's cut herself down. Her nursing has always been managable. But even at 5 years old, I'm not sure if I'll end up doing CLW. There may come a time when I decide I want to be done and she doesn't. I'm really hoping she decides to be done before that happens, but we'll see. So far, we're on the pure CLW path with YDS as well, but he's a smidge under 2.5 years old, so there's a long way to go.

*For me, weaning has nothing to do with age other than having an absolute minimum of nursing for 2 years. After that, we figure it out as we go along. All I know is that right now, complete child-led nursing is working well for me, nursling #2, and nursling #3. I don't know about a month from now, or a year, or 5 years. Age isn't part of the equation because I don't have a crystal ball and know that nursing has benefits for as long as I do it. With ODS, there's no way I could have handled not setting limits on him or I would have burned out even before 2. When I did take the final fully weaning step, it was because I was ttc, nursing two kids, and have difficult pgs. I needed to make it easier for me and felt that ODS's need for nursing was less than my need to have him not nursing at that point. (Plus at nearly 5 years old, it was quite easy to wean! I don't have a clue how those who wean 12 month olds do it!)
 

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About deciding with my DH, that evolved. When ODS was 9 months old, my plan was to wean at 12 months if I could get him to eat solids well enough. DH didn't care because I was the one doing the nursing. We both thought nursing a 3 year old was a little odd, not wrong, but something we didn't understand. Then ODS's sensory issues made it so I had no choice but continue to nurse. Then I learned about all the benefits. Then both DH and I saw how much nursing helped ODS emotionally. His sensory issues made him a VERY challenging baby/toddler/pre-schooler and nursing helped immensly. DH didn't mind me continuing to nurse ODS because it was the best way to calm ODS - and sometimes the only way. My next two kids didn't rely on nursing for emotional reasons, but by then, DH was used to the idea. Babies don't become 5 year olds overnight, it takes a while. About 3 months after I weaned ODS, I couldn't imagine nursing him again - he just seemed too old/big - even though I had just nursed him 3 months prior! So I do understand trying to envision your child older and not understanding how normal it will feel to nurse an older nursling. But once you get there, those feelings aren't there because they're simply a day older and another day and another day.
 

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I began researching 'natural weaning age' a while ago. I read about physiology of the human body, and it is designed to receive mothers milk for several years. The gastrointestinal tract changes around the two year mark, the stomach changes position and the intestines go through a growth spurt. The temporary grinding teeth erupt, until permanant teeth can several years later. The immune system develops very slowly over six years and is dependant upon antibodies but also B and T cells, neutrophils and monocytes found in breast milk. The human brain is dependant upon breastmilk DHA, and human lactose for development.

Most of these are not found in solids or artifical milk formula. Long story short, growth, physical and emotional development are so intense for several years and dependant upon nursing that I cannot foresee myself weaning before he is no longer dependant upon breastfeeding. Nature is brilliant, I try to just go with it.
 

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well for me it was a no brainer. i WAS going to bf. i was going to CLW. i didnt have to think about it. i did my research and when i got pregnant there were a few lines i drew with then dh. bf and cosleeping.

however that was a kind of an 'up there in the sky' kinda place. i never really gave much thought to what exactly it meant. i really had no clue. i remember so clearly at dd's first bday how surprised i was when dd was still nursing. i mean i had to sit there and think - what do i do now. do i introduce milk or do i keep on bf. but that feeling was momentary and i continued to bf and realise i was going to go till dd said no.

so truly when did i 'officially decide'? when dd was one years old.

we separated and ex wanted me by 3 to stop nursing dd because he had to come over to put her to bed so that he could slowly transition her to spending nights with him. plus the society thing. however i will give him this much. he did allow dd try nursing on him but it was too ticklish. that was HUGE for him i will say.

dd learnt pretty fast. she wouldnt tell him anything.

and here's the reason why i decided what i did. dd is a high needs child. plus she is very sensitive too. as much as there was the nutritional aspect to bf, there was her biggest assest - the psychological impact of bf. it was HUGE for dd. our marriage was already suffering when dd was born. i wanted dd to have something she could count on which she did till seh was 8.5. yeah 3rd grade. i think the main thing she learnt from that was that mama was willing to go that far for her (the last year she was perhaps nursing for 5 secs once or twice a month), that i was willing to put her needs first before societal pressure.

here is the thing mama. when ex and i started planning on a baby both of us defined what was most important to us as parents. i chose bf and cosleeping. he chose no circumcision and to homeschool.

first of all is CLW that important for you? really. that is the crux of the matter. if you feel it in your heart that is ABSOLUTELY what you want to do - i think your dh will understand. plus u never know. your dh might not be able to stand hearing his dd cry if she doesnt get the breast. i remember at 14 months trying to night wean and finally thendh asked me to feed her and try for shorter periods. i didnt night wean. your dd is only 4.5 months old. introduce ur dh to kellymom.com. would he be up for that. or perhaps the world health organisation might be a better site for him where they advocate for 2 years.

i would do this gradually and give him space to get used to teh idea. and revisit it once in a while to see how he feels.

it might be that dh might be ok with nursing at home, but not in public. it might help him to see how much she cuts down when she gets mobile.
 
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