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Thread: New here- needs advice weaning two year old

  1. #1

    Default New here- needs advice weaning two year old

    Hello! I'm new here. I found this forum while googling "how to wean a two year old." So naturally, I am wondering what worked for some of you out there. I am not a single mom, but I also can't rely on my husband to help with the process too much. His schedule is so varying I can't rely on him being home at certain times to create a routine. Also, he is so frustrated I'm still breastfeeding him it just creates fight after fight whenever I try to discuss ways to wean. I would kind of like to do this by myself. I work seasonally at a family business that allows me to take him to work with me, so he has breastfed on demand for his whole two years. He doesn't really have a set bedtime. He has a very child led schedule. We have started trying to implement a bedtime routine for the past week, to get his body to "know" it's time for bed, but it hasn't worked too well. But then again, it's only been about a week. He does cosleep and still nurses during the night. He has had issue gaining weight for the majority of his life, so I was always reluctant to cut out the night time feedings but I feel we have that issue under control now. He's also getting his two year molars so I'm not sure if that will affect this process, but our dentist said he probably wouldn't have all four until the summer and I don't want to wait that long to start. Because I work seasonally (with the business picking up in the spring) I would like to be able to get him to take a nap without nursing him.

    I've read conflicting things for whether is better to focus on daytime feedings first versus nighttime. Everyone seems to agree to focus on one particular feeding at a time. How long does it usually take to eliminate one feeding? How long after eliminating a feeding do you focus on another? Any advice, links, support would be really appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: New here- needs advice weaning two year old

    Welcome to the forum!

    The first question I have to ask is, do YOU want to wean? Usually when a mom comes here wanting to wean an older baby, she talks about how eager she is to get her bed back or her body back or how irritating nursing has become for her... But you really only talked about your husband's frustration... I guess before we launch into a discussion of the ways to wean, I want to make sure you're not being pressured to do something you don't really want to do!
    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
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    Default Re: New here- needs advice weaning two year old

    AND, AND, what session would YOU most like to see go away? Nap time? Can you then leave the kid with someone selse while you work so there is no power struggle? And Nursing isn't even an option?

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4

    Default Re: New here- needs advice weaning two year old

    It's not that I don't want to wean, he's just pressuring it to be a quick process. His mother never nursed her kids for more then a few months. Both him and I thought we would nurse a year, but at a year weaning didn't feel right. But he feels like I should've done it at 18 months and now that his birthday is next week, he would love for him to be fully weaned by then, even though he knows that's not happening. I think everytime it gets brought up he gets frustrated that its still an issue. I am not working currently but will be working a few days a week in the next three months or so. He's down to nursing maybe a few times a day including nap time.
    Personally I would love to cut out with nightime feedings ASAP, but I have a feelng it may be best to wait. I am willing to go about it the gentlest, easiest way possible. He won't go to sleep for anyone but me.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: New here- needs advice weaning two year old

    Okay, if you're ready to wean that's a different story!

    You're absolutely right that weaning should not be a quick process. It takes time for your body to get the message that demand is down and supply needs to go down, too. Weaning too fast makes it more likely that the mom will end up engorged and uncomfortable, or with something nasty like a plugged duct or mastitis. Also, toddlers rely on different feedings to different extents. You want to drop the least needed, least loved feedings first, and then work on eliminating the last few feedings that baby is still dependent on, which tend to be the pre-bed, pre-nap, and wake-up nursing sessions.

    You can definitely start with night-weaning. A lot of moms use the Jay Gordon method: http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html One reason I feel like night-weaning is a good place to start is that once mom has her nights back, that can allow her to continue on during the day without feeling so resentful of nursing.

    To day-wean a toddler, your friends are distraction, outside help, and limits. The more time you spend out of the house and away from your usual nursing locations, the less your child will ask to nurse. If he does ask at a time when you don't want to nurse, you can either pass him off to a substitute caregiver or offer some other distraction (a game, a toy, a snack, a sippy cup, a car ride, etc.). And when you do nurse, feel free to start instituting some limits, like "We will nurse until I count to 10" or "We will nurse when we get back to the house" or "You can nurse when the sun comes up."

    Drop one session, wait a day or two, and then drop another. And don't expect this to be an easy process. It doesn't matter if you wean at 3 months or 3 years- if your child doesn't WANT to wean, he's not going to be enthusiastic about it. So do your best to be extra tolerant, affectionate, and gentle with him.

    Is there a reason why your husband is so resistant to you nursing? There are huge benefits to toddler nursing- for your health, for the baby's health, for your ability to parent- which is why the World Health Organization recommends nursing for a minimum of 2 years with no upper limit. Does your husband think that there's something wrong with nursing a 2 year-old? And if so, wold you be interested in some educational resources which might help change his mind?

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    Default Re: New here- needs advice weaning two year old

    It's debatable whether or not your baby will go to sleep for anyone but you. He may not if you are THERE. But a sleepy child WILL go to sleep without Mother OR nursing if those things aren't there. With no expectation of nursing in fact. I would work to set up daycare for your child while you work. The naptime session will go away on it's on if you aren't there. Just like the ones in the morning go away on their own when kids have to get up and go to preschool when they didn't before.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7
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    Default Re: New here- needs advice weaning two year old

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommyalisha View Post
    It's not that I don't want to wean, he's just pressuring it to be a quick process. His mother never nursed her kids for more then a few months.
    I was thinking about your post a bit, and it struck me that your DH needs to assimilate this tip: if you want to convince your spouse to do something, the "your mother-in-law does it this way" approach is usually not the best one!
    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!"

  8. #8

    Default Re: New here- needs advice weaning two year old

    So it's been several weeks, and we were making progress, but he got sick. He's regressed so much I just feel like I'm going to lose my mind. I can not get him to sleep without nursing. I have tried nursing and rocking, stopping nursing continuing rocking, didn't work. I've tried bouncing, singing, walking, driving, watching TV. ANYTHING. I can not do it. I honestly do not know what to do. I don't have anyone that can stand in and put him to sleep for me. When he doesn't get to nurse he is so inconsolable he wakes completely up, arching his back, flailing around. I just don't know what to do. I've read up on Dr. Jay Gordon's method and tried it, didn't work. He just will not go to sleep without nursing. He's so stubborn he just didn't take a nap yesterday. This is making me not want to have anymore children, let alone nurse them. We've had such a good nursing relationship I don't want it to end so dramatically but now I'm worried it will NEVER end. I need some progress or I'm really going to pull my hair out.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: New here- needs advice weaning two year old

    Ugh. That happened to me. We were working on night-weaning when the flu struck. Every time dd "regresses" though, and nurses practicaly like a newborn, it has been temporary. If you were making progress before, you may just need to wait a couple weeks before trying again.

    Have you tried actually talking to your son about nursing less at night? I've found it helpful to explain that mommy needs to sleep more, we all get cranky when we wake up mommy too much, to go to sleep we just need to close our eyes, etc. At first, dd seemed sort of skeptical of what I was telling her, but she latched on to some of what I was saying and it does seem to help.

    It's too bad you don't have more support from your husband. Before dd got sick, we were letting her wake up mommy to nurse one time at night. After that, she would have to have daddy help her get back asleep. She only cried once and was down to about 2 night wakings (1 nursing) at night. I don't know if your husband would be amenable to such a plan, but we were all pretty happy with it.
    -Hannah

    SAHM-WAHM to lovely Lizzie, born at home 9/14/2010


  10. #10
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    Default Re: New here- needs advice weaning two year old

    He WILL wean, mama. I promise you! I know it feels like it's lasting f.o.r.e.v.e.r., but I swear that this is a brief period and you will be surprised, when you look back in years to come, just how fleeting it all was.

    Regressions like the one you're experiencing are common with illness. And, franky, often when kids sense that you are trying to pull away, they respond by clinging tighter to you. Sometimes the best way- meaning the least painful for the child and often the quickest- through this is to just give in to baby's demands for a while. Hopefully when your LO realizes that you really ARE available to him, that you are NOT trying to abandon him, he will ease up on you and be a little more flexible about nursing.

    You are making progress, mama, I promise!
    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!"

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