Re: How does child-led weaning occur?
I think that in the majority of child-led weanings, the child gradually loses interest in nursing a his independence and interest in the world around him increases. As the child nurses less often and for shorter time periods, the mom's milk supply will diminish, maybe even vanish, and the lack of milk will make the child even less interested in nursing. Eventually the child will simply forget to ask to nurse, and the mom will realize that it's been a couple days since he last asked. And then a week, and then a month... Eventually, the mom realizes that weaning happened without her having to really do anything about it.
That's basically how my kids weaned, anyway.
The only issue with child-led weaning is the timetable. Our societal paradigm for weaning is that it should happen early, either at or around 1 year of age. That's probably why your DH, family, and pediatrician are so down on child-led weaning and natural term nursing- your child is already two and they've probably never seen ANYONE nurse a baby this long. But 1-2 year-old babies/toddlers are only very rarely ready to self-wean. Children typically don't self-wean until age 2, at a minimum. Most of them will nurse until age 3-4, and some will go longer- but the ones who do tend to be nursing very infrequently and if nursing is really getting to the mom, she can easily communicate with her child and negotiate a better deal- like nursing only under specific circumstances.
If you and your baby are happy nursing right now, that's awesome! And if you decide that you want to wean, that's fine, too. Just don't let anyone push you to wean ahead of your timetable. My mom still talks about how her MIL- who never nursed her children!- pushed her to wean my siblings and me, and how she still resents that pressure and interference. When your child weans is not your family's business. Nor is it your pediatrician's business- just because she has never seen child-led weaning doesn't mean that it doesn't exist! The only person outside of you and your child who should have a say in the weaning process is your DH- if weaning or lack thereof is becoming a relationship issue between the two of you, it's probably time to have a sit-down and discuss WHY he thinks weaning is a good idea. Often those concerns will evaporate, or at least be mitigated.
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!"