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Thread: How do you gently wean?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default How do you gently wean?

    I nursed my daughter until she was 4 and hated the last 3-4 months of it. She was still nursing 3-4x a day on days I worked and begged constantly on my days off. As a "reward" for weaning she got to go on a vacation (one week) with grandma and auntie. Weaning was horrible. My mom did not tell me until later, but she cried every night for "milky". When she came home it was no better, she asked to nurse for months after. I think she still would if I would let her.

    Now my son is two and I'm not ready to wean him yet, but am due in feb with #3. Did I make weaning more difficult by tandem nursing (but brother gets "milky"). I do not want a repeat of what happened the first time. Is there any age that is easier to encourage weaning at? My sister's kids all just stopped on there own, and the longest one "only" nursed for 23 months.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: How do you gently wean?

    I think it's different for every child but the natural time when a human child will wean if left to their own devices is usually between 4&5. My son was 4.5 but it was much more gradual than what you describe here. We started with him sleeping in a separate space from me. That took care of all night wakings. Then on the days he went to preschool there was no morning session either. So when he started going to sleep without it and 3 days a week (School days) he would not do it in the morning, it meant we started having longer and longer periods without it. It made it easier to both tolerate AND CHERISH. In the end when he was only nursing a couple times a week, I would really try to live in those moments. Conscious of the oxcytocin rush from let down, the way he still looked almost like a baby....and how it was still such an intimate thing for just us. I wanted to be done at 4 too. And it was clear he just WAS NOT ready. And I honored that. And I think that the gradual....and the being involved in the process.....getting to feel like HE ultimately made the choice was very important. We had a weaning party and went to Chuckie Cheese and we talked about it for months before hand. And when he talks about it even now at 5.5 he speak about it with fondness and great PRIDE. About how when he was done having Noonie we had a weaning party and that meant that he was FINALLY old enough and a big enough boy to go to Chuckie Cheese! I also got a tattoo. It was a big huge piece of who we were. Separately and in terms our relationship. It deserves homage IMO. I think the most important things are to involve them in the process. Even if it's a mother-led situation. To be gently nudging them along. Getting them to think critically and for them to feel like their feelings are being taken into consideration. As you would with any decision that you would make with your partner. Which in the nursing dance, your child truly IS your partner. So as soon as your child has language you begin the talk. ANd by that point there should already be boundaries in place. (Not in public unless hurt, Only these times a day ect, Only at home.) And time AWAY from the house and YOU is really important. Children often nurse out of boredom. The way some people EAT out of boredom. If they are at preschool, at the park, Doing OTHER things many of the sessions that make you want to tear your eyeballs out fall by the wayside quite naturally. Try to be flexible in your gentle nudging. And don't fixate on a day as a cutoff. That puts so much pressure on both of you. HTH!

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: How do you gently wean?

    My twins are 23 mos. and I have been deliberately weaning for the last six or seven months. It is hard with two at the breast, especially twins since when they see one get milk, they both want it. They were nursing 6 times a day on a very regular schedule. I noticed that I was offering and enticing them at certain feedings instead of them asking and realized that these were probably extra so I just started cutting them out one by one, about one a month. Once our days were going smoothly without that particular nursing session, I'd cut another one. We'd have a snack or a walk or an activity to take the place of what was nursing time. I just dropped first-thing-in-the-morning and substitute with yogurt now. We are down to nursing only at bed-time now and I only let them on for 2 - 3 minutes. One twin protests and cries when I cut her off but I am done. We snuggle and sing songs until she falls asleep. We are consistent in our routines so the girls always know what to expect. We are being gradual and relaxed with weaning, but I am making the decision.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: How do you gently wean?

    My twins are 18 months almost and they started cutting the time at the breast themselves a few months ago. After that they dropped a few sessions on their own however I am having a hard time getting them down to a good number. We are down to about 5 times a day and one pumping overnight although last night I could not get a let down on one side and went 9 hours before I manual pumped because they were still sleeping. They actually prefer to be rocked now by daddy and I instead of falling asleep via the breast which is great I believe. I am going on vacation in three months with my oldest so I am hoping to get down to consistently 4 times or so I do not have to pump too much while we are gone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: How do you gently wean?

    My dd weaned @ 39 months right before ds was born. I had a very hard time nursing her while I was pg and didn't want to tandem. It was very painful during my pregnancy so I started encouraging weaning a few months before birth. I could talk to her, but it didn't make it easy. When she realized I was in pain she backed off a little.
    Proud mom of 2:
    DD 5/2008 nursed for 3 years and 3 months.
    DS born 8/2011 nursing like a champ

    Sorry for the short responses...always, always, always NAK or holding a baby

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