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Thread: I want to wean my son

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
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    416

    Default Re: I want to wean my son

    Boy, that does sound like a tough situation. My DS is only 2 so I'm not in your shoes and don't have experience to offer, but I wonder about the fact that you say he's quite anxious and struggles with separation. I wonder if addressing his anxiety and issues with separation would indirectly help him to wean? If you see him struggling emotionally, he may benefit from some therapy with a child psychologist/psychiatrist. At 8 he really is on the tail end of the spectrum of nursing age and he should be near ready to wean. If he isn't, I wonder if he has some emotional issues that need attention. I'm not suggesting that extended nursing caused these issues, but maybe these issues are preventing him from moving on and letting go of nursing at an age when most children want to be "big kids"? Hope I haven't offended you. I think it's great that you're so willing to meet his needs.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
    Posts
    17,467

    Default Re: I want to wean my son

    I weaned my son when he was 4.5 We had a weaning party. It was a graduation of sorts. We talked about it ahead of time and got him to buy into that decision. That he was walking away because he was old enough to.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #13

    Default Re: I want to wean my son

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*joshuas.mommy View Post
    At 8 he really is on the tail end of the spectrum of nursing age and he should be near ready to wean.
    I have met several adults and children who nursed as children til 5 or 6 and a couple til 8 and 9, I think it is not that rare where I live, in a rural part of South America. Yes, it would be the tail end of the nursing spectrum but it might still be about 1-4% of children here. My daughter (2 yo) asks to nurse a lot when we meet strangers, and these stories seem to come out every time of kids nursing past 5, but I haven't heard of children nursing until 10. I didn't really catch whether the mother weaned or the children self-weaned at 8 and 9. Most of them said they just couldn't resist the temptation to nurse when they saw their younger siblings nursing! In your culture it sounds like your son's friends probably do not know that he still nurses, which makes it a bit different from here, where all the other kids know about it, even at school, so there is presumably at some point social pressure to stop nursing here, which you might not have in your case. I know this is more philosophical than helpful, wish I had some better advice about weaning since that is what you want.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,770

    Default Re: I want to wean my son

    I agree with pp. If we look all over the world and particularly in world history, nursing until age 8 or 9 is not unusual. Anthropologist Kathy Dettwyler estimates the natural weaning age to be between 2.5 and ‘about’ 7 years. She has several articles on her website about her research.

    I also agree with the kid to kid social pressure playing an important part in the weaning process in cultures where nursing past the toddler years is not closeted.

    Unfortunately in too many cultures, the populace rarely sees a nursing baby, let alone a nursing child. Where we have lost breastfeeding as the cultural norm, those desperately trying to promote breastfeeding to mothers & healthcare professionals (because entire populations not breastfeeding/being breastfed is such an enormous health crisis) typically only tout the benefits of nursing up until age one, or, at most, age 2. This gives the very incorrect & harmful impression that nursing longer than that is, at best, not beneficial, and at worst, unhealthy.

    This is an interesting article for further reading. http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleade...ebmar98p3.html

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: I want to wean my son

    A major part in why I wanted to and did wean my son by age 5 was the social pressure i perceived, i mean the secrecy and not knowing anyone IRL at all who bf beyond age 2 1/2 and not feeling able to tell anyone for fear of harsh judgement. I just could not continue with the secrecy, as I had already done since he turned 3 and felt two years in the closet was the most I could manage.

    I suppose if I was a braver person I could have continued and been open about it, but after one particular experience at age 3 where my son was mocked by a day care person for still nursing I felt that for both of us doing it as privately as possible was best. Interestingly after that incident my son also told no one that he stilled nursed - but i had never told him it was a secret or not to mention it.

    Another aspect was that medical professionals where I live are not at all used to mothers nursing beyond 12 months. So every visit to a doctor the last 4 years was an embarrassement, and took lots of energy to face the criticism. Here secrecy was not an option because I was always worrid about medication being safe.

  6. #16

    Default Re: I want to wean my son

    I have no experience to offer. But I think you are truly amazing and selfless for still nursing your son.
    Perhaps his need for nursing actually comes from some security issues he might be having. He definitely needs more attention from you than what he is given right now. His separation anxiety is quite the tell tale sign.
    I know you must be having a lot on your plate now. But children act for a reason.
    Spend more time with him. Establish a closer connection. Perhaps the need to nurse might ease up.
    Hang in there mama! Hugs

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