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Thread: Self weaning or just temporary loss of interest?

  1. #1

    Default Self weaning or just temporary loss of interest?

    Baby (well... toddler) boy will be 17 months in a few days, and for the last week or so has reduced his time on the boob before bed, the last two night he didn't even want any boob.

    I usually let him nurse to sleep for his afternoon nap as he comes home from nursery school and it's our time to wind down and reconnect, but now he also signalled that he wants to fall asleep on his own without boob. He still nurses, but like with the bed time he nurses untill he is relaxed and then wants to climb into bed.

    The thing is I always hear "babies don't wean under 2 years" and I'm doing everything to encourage nursing when he is with me, so I am not sure if he is just weaning on his own or not . He is very independant though and likes to do stuff on his own.

    So right now we have the following "schedule":
    - wake up nursing
    - nap time nursing (which he has been cutting short)
    - wake up from nap time nursing (which is more comfort nursing more than anything)
    - bed time nursing (also been cutting short, even refusing)

    He sleeps through the night, but when he does wake up he will nurse back to sleep. I do also have a cold and it might have lowered my supply, could that affect it too?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Self weaning or just temporary loss of interest?

    Sorry no one has replied. What is happening now?

    I would disagree children don't self wean under 2 years. I think it is exceedingly rare for a baby to entirely self wean under ONE year, and given the option, many children nurse until three years and much older. But certainly, self weaning at this age would not be unheard of by any means.
    However this does not sound to me like weaning,in the sense it is close to the end, nor does it sound like a nursing strike, but rather a reduction in nursing sessions or a change in preference about nursing to sleep. I think this could easily be caused by many things and be temporary, or it could signal a more or less permanent change and that would be a natural pattern in the weaning process, but things could continue like this for a long time before full weaning takes place.

    There is nothing wrong with offering as frequently as you like and gently encouraging your child to nurse. If it were me and I was worried my child was weaning more quickly than I would like, I would offer more often and at different times but not press it.

    I think it helps to think of weaning as a process that typically takes many months and sometimes years, with both mom and baby contributing to the process.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Self weaning or just temporary loss of interest?

    Hi thanks for the reply!

    Sorry it took so long to write an answer back, I haven't kept an eye on this thread after no responses for 3 days.

    To answer your question, after I recovered from my cold my supply did indeed increase again, but the decrease in nursing time / session stayed. Right now we basically cut out the nursing before bed - in the last week he only nursed once before bed and that was not even a minute or two, and it's more and more of a struggle while he is signalling that he just wants to get on with the next step of the bed time routine (brush teeth) so he can go sleep.

    I offer as much as I humanly can, bar just letting my breasts hang out all day, and he knows that when he asks for "boob?" he gets it no matter what or where ( I have no qualms nursing my toddler in public as it's fairly accepted here).

    I think I am just a bit panicky that he will stop nursing completely before *I* am ready, as in my mind I always pictured him nursing to atleast 2 and beyond, and I think I'm just going overboard because I wonder how fast he will cut out the other nursing sessions, and then stop completely.

    I guess I'll just have to keep on offering and see if he is truly just (slowely) weaning from me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Self weaning or just temporary loss of interest?

    Any particular reason you are brushing after nursing at night? With my toddler, (and previously with all my kids) we brush after dinner and then nurse to sleep. While food particles left on teeth overnight causes cavities, nursing at bedtime has not been shown to. Obviously there is nothing wrong with your routine, I was just thinking maybe your son will nurse longer at bedtime if there is not this other thing that has to get done before he can get to sleep? With my daughter (20 months,) when she is tired she is TIRED and not willing to wait for anything and will insist on going to bed to nurse, sometimes right in the middle of my older kids bedtime routines.

    I totally understand not wanting your son to wean before you are ready! There is nothing wrong with feeling that way. I guess there is really no way to know how long your child will continue to nurse, but with your approach, you can be sure the weaning process will be gentle and at the pace that is right for your son. This is a lovely gift to your child.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Self weaning or just temporary loss of interest?

    Agree with Meg--I would try brushing teeth BEFORE nursing. That way he can nurse to sleep if he wants to. I know a lot of dentists recommend brushing teeth after nursing but it's not truly necessary, and disrupts what is otherwise a comforting, relaxing part of the bedtime routine since he then has to get up and brush his teeth. He might be more interested in nursing at night if he didn't have to get up and brush afterwards.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 38 months ; now trying to wean. for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

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