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Thread: Weaning question

  1. #1

    Default Weaning question

    I would like to know how many of you get people making you feel guilty about wanting to wean. I have asked for advice on this forum and others and people keep saying I should keep nursing. My DD is 12 months old. I love nursing but I just wanna be done. I never pictured it to be this hard to wean. I have 2 other children but didn't nurse them. I don't sleep because DD is up every 2 hrs wanting to nurse. Plus I don't feel I can do anything (ie. go to movie with girlfriends) cuz she is so stuck to me. I have nothing against you ladies that nurse longer but its just nt for me. I just would like advice on weaning. I know it won't be easy. I give in at night because I can't handle her crying.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,147

    Default Re: Weaning question

    I think some people get pressured to wean before they are ready (because their babies are "too old" to nurse), and some people get pressured to keep nursing (because their babies are "too young" to be weaned). Either way, what's really important is how YOU feel. If you're ready to be done, you should feel free to wean. At 12 months you have done your due diligence and met a wonderful goal!

    I think the reason a lot of the mamas here suggest that women continue to nurse their toddlers is that for a lot of mamas, toddler nursing is actually easier and more fun than nursing an infant. And a lot of people don't realize that, because they have never tried it or seen it done. So if you're feeling pressured by people here, I think it's important to realize that the "pressure" is very kindly meant. We're telling you what has worked for us, and why, and why we think it might work for you- but we're not trying to make you do anything!

    If you're ready to wean, here's how to do it:
    1. Go slow. Weaning cold turkey sets a mama up for nasty problems like engorgement, plugged ducts, and even (possibly) mastitis. You want to cut out one feeding, wait a few days for your supply to adjust to a lower level, and then cut out another feeding.
    2. Start by cutting out the least favorite feeding. Night-weaning is a great way to start, since a toddler may not be as attached to those feedings, and often those are the ones that bother a mom the most. The pre-bed and pre-nap feedings are often the last feedings to go, since they are the ones which help a baby through the most difficult transitions in her day.
    3. Avoid your customary nursing positions. When baby sees mom in the favored nursing chair, that will trigger a demand for milk.
    4. Enlist distraction. Older babies often forget to nurse when out and about, or when there is a caregiver other than mom meeting their needs.
    5. Offer lots of snacks and drinks. A 12 month-old baby may still be relying on breastmilk for a large part of her nutritional needs.
    6. Stay flexible. Weaning is often a give-and-take process, with baby sometimes really needing to nurse even though you thought you managed to drop that particular feeding a few days/weeks back. Remember that as long as the general trend is towards less reliance on nursing, you're going in your desired direction even if you slip back and nurse more than you planned on a given day.
    7. Expect crying. Left to their own devices, few 12 month-old babies are ready to wean, and most will not give up the. Breast without a fight.
    8. Be realistic. Weaning will not break your baby's bond with you, or her reliance on you. Even if you wean, she may still be very attached and clingy- so movie night may still be a ways away!

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Weaning question

    Thanks for the advice. I will try it. She hasn't been to bad during the day. Its the night that I think she will have a hard time. I just feel a little uncomfortable now that shes 1 to keep nursing. She is very clingy. Definately different then my other 2. But I feel a stronger bond with her.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,147

    Default Re: Weaning question

    Night-weaning is definitely challenging! I am still nursing my 19 month old at least once a night, because it's easier than fighting her on the subject.

    Mama, I really don't mean to push, but is there a particular reason you feel uncomfortable nursing now that your baby is one? Is someone wagging their finger at you and telling you your LO is too old to nurse, or is it the clingyness issue? I know clingy babies can be a challenge, but I'd hate to see a mama wean just because she was thinking that weaning was the cure-all for clinginess. It could help, but it also could do nothing for it. Nursing is a really powerful tool in your mothering kit- it can solve a lot of problems and generally causes relatively few.

    Seriously, the above is not meant to pressure you. I can totally understand being ready to be done, and if you're ready, you're ready!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: Weaning question

    No noone is wagging their finger (per say). I just wanna be done. I really like the bonding though. I have to say I feel a closer bond with her then my other 2 daughters, as I didn't really nurse them. My DD is very, very clingy. Especially right now. Someone can pick her up even DH and she will scream. I can't walk thru our house without her pulling on my shirt wanting to be held from me. I just wish I had a little help. I just don't wanna get to the point where she comes up in public pulling my shirt up wanting to nurse. That is partly why I want to stop. Also because I am so exhausted from getting up so much at night. Thanks though for the advice I appreciate it.

  6. #6
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Weaning question

    Isn't the closeness nice? I do think it can make a baby a little more reliant on mama, though. If baby is used to being fed by all sorts of people from birth on, I assume they are a little more likely to accept substitutes for mama.

    Just FYI- and again, I really don't want this to sound like pressure!- toddler nursing can be very different from nursing a baby, and doesn't necessarily involve a baby groping in you in public. My kid gropes me all the time, but I'm okay with that. Some mamas make rules for their toddlers- nurse only before bed and nap, nurse only in the house, etc. And since you can give a toddler a sippy of water or juice or solid food instead of nursing, its's not like you NEED to nurse every time your child asks. So you can continue to nurse only at certain times or under restricted conditions, and still have that tool in your kit for emergencies.

    Also, just a piece of anecdotal evidence that might give you a boost- my second daughter was stuck on me like red on an apple from around 9-10 months to around 14-15 months. Then it all switched around and she is Daddy's girl. If he's around, she wants nothing to do with me. So it can definitely change, and probably will!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Northern Cal.
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    Default Re: Weaning question

    I just wanted to say, I had the same experience as Mommal (and maybe you too, from what you're saying): Joe was SUPER clingy around a year. He was on me like white on rice. But then he got more independent as he hit the 15-18 month point. It is easier to wean during a time when your baby is not demanding to nurse every five seconds. It's definitely possible to do so even during a clingy phase, but if things aren't going so great, take heart that a time will come when your baby is not quite so obsessed with nursing, and it may be easier to finally wean then.

    In the meantime, my advice is to focus on eliminating the feedings that are least important to your little one and/or most annoying to you.

    The nighttime feedings are probably the hardest to eliminate. I'm also still nursing my baby at 5-6 a.m., because given the choice between nursing and sleeping or refusing to nurse and probably being up for the day, well ... I choose sleep.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Middle of nowhere in Ohio
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    Default Re: Weaning question

    I could have written what you wrote! I am feeling the same feelings, only I have the opposite problem, everyone is pushing me to keep going! My DH was nursed for 4-5 years and he demands his son be nursed as long, on the other hand I also feel some resentment because he screams if I put him down for even a second to ie: go to the bathroom, make dinner, etc... However I will have to say I have cut back to just 2 feedings a day and that is WAY more managable than him nursing during the day as well. Now I don't have to worry when I am out... I feed him before work or early morning and then before bed. He does fine.. he doesn't tug at my shirt or anything during the day because I think he has figured out that he only nurses at night and in the morning. This is nice for me too because I still get to relax and unwind and have an easy way to get him to sleep. Also, my older daughter nursed and was very very clingy, but now she doesn't want anything to do with me when her dad is around.
    Passed my CLC exam!

    Mother of 3: 12-25-04 12-3-07 1-13-2011

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Weaning question

    I feel the same way. My twins are still nursing quite a bit at 17 months, 6-7 times a DAY which is making it difficult to get stuff done. My other we weaned to soy milk slowly over several months and was down to once a day when she quit. I feel pressure to stop by my family and pressure to continue as well. My nipples are so sore as they keep biting me and I still pump while working from home and overnight once. They only get milk twice in the morning, but in the afternoon they want to nurse all of the time. I am going on a trip at the beginning of April and it would make it easier for me if I did not have to lug a pump everywhere I go. I would not even mind three to four times a day, but this constant nursing is killing me. If I am not here they seem to not need it so the trip may be a blessing. I also feel like I cannot go out, but have to get home within 3-4 hours or sooner to nurse. Ready to start the process or decrease at least.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Middle of nowhere in Ohio
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    121

    Default Re: Weaning question

    That's awesome you have made it that long betasig! I would recommend cutting back if that's what you want...even dropping on feeding would be more freeing, especially with a trip coming up.
    Passed my CLC exam!

    Mother of 3: 12-25-04 12-3-07 1-13-2011

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