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Thread: Will Separation Induce Weaning?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    80

    Default Will Separation Induce Weaning?

    Hi everyone -

    My brother is getting married in January on the other side of the country and we're not bringing the kids since it's an adult-only event and I am in the wedding party. I think I'll be away for 3 nights. At that time, my son will be almost 14 months. I plan to pump, but I am mainly concerned that the absence will somehow encourage my son to wean and that's not what I want. Does anyone have experience with this or can you offer advice?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: Will Separation Induce Weaning?

    Hi connectikate, I was away for five days when my toddler was 13 months old and a few weeks ago for another 5 days - she is now 17 months. She was perfectly happy to nurse as soon as we were back together! I don't think a few days' absence will cause your son to wean.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Will Separation Induce Weaning?

    If you are concerned about your child spontaneously weaning while you are gone, I would suggest:

    Don't encourage weaning ahead of time. In other words, keep nursing baby on cue, for comfort, to sleep etc. Even not “offering” is a weaning technique. Many moms are encouraged to start actively limiting nursing after a child starts eating solids, but this is not needed and may lead to an earlier end of breastfeeding, separations or no.

    For the same reason, avoid pacifier or bottle overuse.

    During the separation, leave some milk for your baby sitter to give your baby

    Plan to pump or hand express at least somewhat while you are away.

    When you get back, if you child refuses to nurse at first, don’t immediately think that your baby has weaned. Instead, treat it like a nursing strike, which is really what it would be. Gently encourage your baby to nurse. Natural weaning is almost always very slow and gradual, and would not typically happen abruptly, even due to a short separation.

    I left my then 2 year old son for three days once and I was terrified he would wean. But he did not. However, i have talked to moms who did have that experience, which is why I suggest the above.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Will Separation Induce Weaning?

    I left my dd for 3 days. I did pump one bottle for the in laws to give to her but of course they did not give it to her

  5. #5

    Default Re: Will Separation Induce Weaning?

    In my experience, I left my child for three days (past her 1yr birthday) over a few different occasions - left pumped milk for her - and had no weaning problems over that span of separation. However, we left her for 7 days at one point, and she went into a nursing strike, which we worked through. I would suggest that when you leave your child, to not let him be given your milk from anything that promotes the need to bite to open a valve, or anything that gives a massive amount of liquid flow. Hope all goes smoothly for you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Will Separation Induce Weaning?

    Thank you for the tips! Our out of state wedding is about 2 months away and my little boy is still very content at the breast, so this worry is still nagging the back of my mind. I will make sure that grandma still gives him the slow flow nipples we've been using and that I leave behind or overnight some milk. Thank you for letting me know that it can be done.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: Will Separation Induce Weaning?

    Hi connectikate, I just got back from a 5 day trip on Sunday. My LO ran and gave me a hug when I got home and then immediately asked to nurse.

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