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Thread: Nursing Strike at 18.5 months?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    329

    Question Nursing Strike at 18.5 months?

    My daughter has become a reluctant nurser. Our nursing has dwindled down to 5-10 minute sessions, morning and night, over the past couple of months. And the last couple of nights DD has refused to nurse. She latches on and off and cries. When I ask her if she wants to nurse she says "no". Regardless, I keep putting her to the breast each night and each night it is the same scenario. She just wants her blanky and her crib so she can go to sleep for the night. In the morning, when she is still drowsy, she'll nurse for maybe 5 minutes, then she is up and ready to start her day.

    Is this self-weaning? I read somewhere that the ages when self-weaning normally happens are 12 months, 18 months and 24 months. Or could this be a strike, which I understand is a complete refusal, so I'm thinking not likely.

    I guess I should be overjoyed she is becoming the independent little soul I wanted her to be. I've always nursed on demand, even when it was endless and every hour. I tell myself I am continuing to NOD even now, only difference is the demand is no longer there. But I am a little sad that this stage in our relationship is ending. Especially when I wanted to go longer, to at least two years.

    What should I do now? Don't offer, but don't refuse? What if she goes on like this for a week or two and then decides she wants to nurse again, will my supply still be up for it?

    Thanks in advance for your guidance during this very confusing time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    8,591

    Default Re: Nursing Strike at 18.5 months?

    Gail,

    When we were going through something similar with Haylee around the 12 month mark, paint-the-moon sent me a link that was very helpful in making my decision to not attempt to mother-led wean, at least at that point. One common mother-led approach is to not offer, not refuse. The link (which was written by a mother, and I can't find teh darned thing now) also pointed out that it is quite uncommon, but not unheard of, for a child to wean herself prior to the age of 2...the most common age being 2.5. I took the approach that I woudl continue to offer during the day until at least 2, but that was my personal choice. I think it is up to you at this point...if you want to continue nursing, you can continue to offer. If you are continually refused, it would seem to me that she is leading you into weaning.

    I have no idea about your supply, but from what I understand, mothers can go for weeks without nursing their toddlers and still have milk when they want to nurse.

    This is a confusing time...and I thought the first 6 weeks were confusing!

    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
    Miles in 2011: 708.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 509)
    Miles in 2010: 800.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 620)

    January Miles: 37.5/75
    February Miles: 59/75
    March Miles: 42.5/60
    April Miles: 64
    May Miles: 41/70
    June Miles: 59
    July Miles: 39.5

    227.5 miles on my new shoes
    338 miles on my old shoes

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