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Thread: Weaning naturally at 12 months?? For real??

  1. #1

    Default Weaning naturally at 12 months?? For real??

    I have friends who swear that their babies really were just done nursing at 12 months. I find this very hard to believe. Nursing isn't just like a switch you can throw off. These babies weren't ill or anything. I do know most of the mothers were eager to get their LOs to sleep long stretches of the night early on. I just can't wrap my mind around this. When I talk about DD1 nursing til she was 19 months and how I want to nurse DD2 at least that long, they just don't get it. They think I wasn't feeding enough solids at 12 months. One friend even attributed some developmental delays in DD1 to so much nursing her second 6 months of life.

    I also am just curious. How do these babies do this?? Even a baby who is not mothered with nursing wants to nurse still, I would think, and there's nothing magic about the age 12 months. Are these mothers not nursing their LOs enough the second 6 months? Are they replacing what should be nursing with solids?

    I'm just a little fed up hearing them kinda patronize me when I lament my striking baby and how I want to nurse her into toddlerhood. They tell me it's "natural" for them to want to nurse less, and that's prolly what she's doing. I KNOW better!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Weaning naturally at 12 months?? For real??

    my mom swears that i spontaneoulsy weaned at 1 year 2 months and my sister (2 years younger) spontaneoulsy weaned at 1 year 2 weeks, before she wanted it. she says neither of us were eating very much solids at that point, and she wasn't pregnant again when i weaned so her supply hadn't dried up due to that. she's expressed concern on my behalf that my DS will wean before i'm ready. i just figure i don't really have the whole story from her ... she has also told me she gave me strawberry ice cream at 4 months! at 1 year + 1 week DS is clearly not anywhere close to weaned

    ETA: i keep being amazed by stories i hear of 7 month olds eating 3 meals a day ... DS hasn't met food he doesn't love, but only this week did we start thinking about serving him actual meals. that's gotta have something to do with it, right?
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Shakedown St.

    Default Re: Weaning naturally at 12 months?? For real??

    My baby started nursing like a newborn again around 12 months. I think that is actually more common. Those molars start moving around and nursing usually ramps up. I'm sure some babies self wean around a year, but I don't think it's very common.

    Don't let others get you down. You rock. You have been through so much to nurse your daughter and I, for one, totally admire you for it!
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  4. #4

    Default Re: Weaning naturally at 12 months?? For real??

    Thanks ladies. I want to ask them, "yeah, but didn't you WANT your baby to stop nursing". I'm sure that has something to do with it. When my 12 month old was fussy, and I couldn't figure out why, I offered to nurse. So I'm confident it's also a mothering difference.

    I also don't know how a baby who is completely weaned at 12 months, so therefore, being in the process well before then, didn't get dehydrated somewhere along the way? I am the last of my girlfriends to have babies. They were all having them at 22, 23. I didn't start til I was 30. So I wasn't really paying much attn to their babies' routines back then. But they must've been throwing back the juice or water sippy cups on top of what little bit of nursing they were doing??!

    It's weird to me, but I'm also so curious as to how nursing babies can vary so much from one to the other.

    I am done whining to ANYONE but DH IRL. You mamas and DH are the only ones that "get it". I have kept it a big secret that my LO has been nursing mostly in her sleep, and pretty much exclusively from about 10 weeks to 6 months. It's only been since Memorial Day weekend that she lets me nurse her to sleep if my letdown comes quick. I have just been telling ppl she will only nurse at home, which is completely true anyway.

    And my friends who have weaned at 3 months, 6 months, etc., all seem to want to grant me "permission" to quit, and congratulate me for outlasting them. That's not the kind of help or support I need. DH says they would like me to quit because if *I* quit, they will feel better.

    Thank you for doing what you do!! For getting on here and taking time from your own families to encourage and lift us up. You are my only support. It's bittersweet tho. To feel so supported by ppl I don't even know, but my own family can't be bothered to come play with my toddler while I try to spend some alone quiet nursing time with my baby. If I would've had the support I needed back when she was two months old and this began, we might've overcome it already.

    This experience has been eye opening for me about my family, in an unfortunate way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Weaning naturally at 12 months?? For real??

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*midwestmama2010 View Post
    DH says they would like me to quit because if *I* quit, they will feel better.
    Yes, he nailed it. You're like the really buff girl at the gym who is barely breaking a sweat after an hour on the elliptical. Everyone would feel much better if you would just get off the machine, down a bag of Doritos and expose some belly flab.

    That being said, I do know several mamas whose babies have weaned at or around a year. For 3 of them, nursing strikes at around 9-10 months turned into self-weaning, and in 2 of those cases the mamas tried VERY hard to get their babies back to the breast. 2 other kids I know weaned right around 11-12 months, but their mom never seemed to get a lot of enjoyment out of nursing and she wasn't shy about offering her kids large amounts of solid food.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New York

    Default Re: Weaning naturally at 12 months?? For real??

    every baby is different. And you and your child are entitled to continue nursing for as long as you want.
    Whenever I hear about an older child, like 6 or7 who nurses I am humbled by that mothers desire to answer her child's deep primitive need for connection. Really, when everything in a child's life is in flux or chaos, sometimes breastfeeding is the only thing that is still going on that's right.
    Started my family in 1986
    Finally done in 2001

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: Weaning naturally at 12 months?? For real??

    Its possible your friends kiddos self weaned at that age but I think your probably right in assuming there were other factors that encouraged it. My MIL swears my SIL gradually self weaned at 7-8 months I wonder if she didn't just quit offering so SIL quit asking. I weaned DS around 13 months without a struggle because he was a kid that never asked for it.

    I'm sorry your friends are not supporting you! That always make a tough situation tougher. Just keep doing what's best for you and your family and keep coming here for support you're awesome Momma!
    Married to my High School sweetheart 5-15-04

    SAHM to:
    born 6/1/10 tongue and lip ties nursed 13 months with sore nipples and mutually agreed it was time to quit!
    born all natural 1/27/12 nursed for 16 months and lost interest
    born all natural 11/4/14 nursing like a champ and growing like a weed!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Weaning naturally at 12 months?? For real??

    From what I have heard anecdotally, I think there are cases where a child naturally weans at a very young age-a year, or even slightly younger, even if mom preferred to keep nursing and even encouraged nursing. However, I do think it's very rare.

    Many moms who breastfeed are also doing things that encourage early weaning, whether they intend to wean "early" or not. For example, use (or overuse) of bottles and pacifiers may cause something called "triple nipple syndrome." Baby gets used to so many other ways of meeting their need to suckle, the breast loses importance.

    Or a mom has been told to stop (or thinks she should stop) comfort nursing, or to stop nursing baby to sleep, (this is a big one!) or to cut back on nursing sessions, or something similar. The breast then becomes more exclusively a source of nutrition and not comfort, thus, is more easily replaced by solid foods and non-breast comfort measures.

    And there is the fairly common issue of a baby going on a nursing strike and the mom assuming baby has weaned himself and not attempting to bring baby back to the breast, or, as mommal points out, baby really was not able to be encouraged back to the breast even when mom tried.

    But typically, I would say that "weaning at a year" is a self fulfilling prophesy, because mom’s are told to "nurse for a year." So they do, but then they are done.

    I wonder what would happen if the recommendation to nurse would not come with what so many perceive as a time limit.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Weaning naturally at 12 months?? For real??

    I like what lllmeg said. . . I wish our culture would adopt the recommendations made to breastfeed to at least one year and how ever much longer baby/mom wish. People seem to pick and choose what recommendations they want to follow and which ones they don't. Which is fine, but I wish I wasn't judged because I am still breastfeeding.
    What if more physicians pushed for breastfeeding beyond one year as hard as they push vaccinations? Maybe more Moms would consider it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Bryan, Texas

    Default Re: Weaning naturally at 12 months?? For real??

    My first weaned naturally right around a year. I was sad. His molars came in at 10mos. He had 16/20 teeth by his first birthday. He walked before 9mos. I literally couldn't keep him still enough to nurse. And because he wouldn't sit still to nurse, my supply tanked, which in turn meant that he wouldn't sit still to nurse because there wasn't enough milk. Bam...weaned at 12.5 mos. I even tried to sit on him to keep him still enough to nurse The child was D.O.N.E. He was voracious with solids and I couldn't keep him from eating anything and everything in sight. He's still like that at 6. And even slept with us until he was 3.5yo...
    All over the world there exists in every society a small group of women who feel themselves strongly attracted to giving care to other women during pregnancy and childbirth. Failure to make use of this group of highly motivated people is regrettable and a sin against the principle of subsidiary. ~ Dr. Kloosterman, Chief of OB/GYN, Univ. of Amsterdam, Holland


    Mama to:
    Shiloh (5/6/06) Nursed for 13 months and Josephine (7/26/08) Nursed for 23.5 mos Currently nursing my new little firecracker, Finley Catherine, born on the 4th of July!!

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