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Thread: When should I wean dd?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    32

    Default When should I wean dd?

    My dd just had her 1st birthday. I was so proud to reach 1 year - my goal had been no formula, and we made it. It took a lot of work - I've worked outside the home for 3 days/week ever since she was 12 weeks old, so I had to pump 2-3 times/day at work and towards the end of this year in the early morning hours too because my milk supply fell off a bit and I had to wake up at 4:00 when my breasts were full in order to have enough for daycare. But we did it and I'm so happy.

    Now I'm really confused and unsure about weaning. I really love bf-ing and so does dd, but I am beginning to feel that weaning her within the next 6 months is a good idea for the following reasons:
    1) Her pediatrician said that after 18 months she'll be resistant to break habits because she'll be 'at that age' so it could be very hard to wean her later; I have absolutely no issues with other people that decide to bf into the 2nd and 3rd year, but it's just not for me
    2) I want my body back
    3) I want to reconnect with my husband physically and my breasts are just off limits if I'm bf-ing
    4) I want to share more equally with my husband the work of our daughter's care. He wants this too. Constant bf-ing means that I'm kind of 'monopolizing' that role - which I've loved too, but I realize I need to make space for him too

    BUT, on the other hand, I am so sad to think about my dd growing up and not having that wonderful connection with her on a regular basis. My husband says I should do whatever I want, he's totally fine with whatever choice I make.

    So I'm confused. Obviously it has to happen eventually. How do I decide when?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,813

    Default Re: When should I wean dd?

    First, Congratulations!!

    1) When are the peds going to stop discouraging BF.
    2) You've always have your body.
    3) I kind of know what you mean, do you still leaking?
    4) He can do his fair share with other stuff, ex: diapering, bathing, dressing her, playing, feeding solids, etc.

    Your DH seems like a smart guy (letting you make the decision). It doesn't sound like you're ready to wean yet, there's a book called The Nursing Mother's Guide to Weaning, perhaps that book might help sorts your feelings out and help you make the final decision.

    Good Luck! and again Congratulations!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: When should I wean dd?

    Thank you for your reply. I have read reviews of the book you recommended on Amazon.com and from the sounds of it, it may not meet my needs. But I'll think it over and possibly get it from the library.

    I am torn about weaning but of course I know it has to happen eventually and I really don't want to be struggling with this one year or even 9 months from now.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I am getting ready. I am afraid that if I let her nurse too long it will be really hard of her (both of us) when we do wean her (ie, as a toddler).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,813

    Default Re: When should I wean dd?

    I am afraid that if I let her nurse too long it will be really hard of her (both of us) when we do wean her (ie, as a toddler).
    I read once and it make sense to me that when a need is met is no longer a need, so once she's ready she'll let go. If it does become a struggle she's probably not ready. You can try not offering the breast but whenever she does ask for let her nurse, that might be a smoother transition.
    I haven't read the book I recommended you, but I'll check the reviews.
    Take care!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: When should I wean dd?

    I can understand your concerns about whether your daughter will wean on her own or need some guidance. LLL is here to support you in your goals to breastfeed, whether that is for 6 months, 16 months, or any matter of time. LLL's philosophy as it relates to weaning is that ideally breastfeeding will continue until the child outgrows the need. As you learn more about how weaning happens, perhaps you could educate your child's doctor about how weaning works for you. How Weaning Happens is an excellent LLL publication that accurately describes the weaning process.

    It sounds like you are currently enjoying your nursing relationship, but feeling ambivalent about the future. If you haven't attended a LLL meeting in your area yet, would you consider attending one soon? Leaders are always available to answer any questions and there are many mothers who attend and share experiences. No matter how long you continue to nurse your child for, you will greatly benefit from the mother-to-mother interaction of LLL monthly meetings.

    You are the expert on your baby, no matter what any doctor or other "expert" says. Many mothers have weaned gradually and with love for generations. The more you learn about weaning, the more options you will have. I encourage you to continue learning about ways to wean and explore your feelings about weaning. Here are some links to help you on your quest for information. I commend you for making it a whole year and giving your daughter your love and "liquid gold"! Please do post back and let us know what you think after reading the links below!

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/weantoddler.html
    "To quote Dr. William Sears, "There is no set number of years you should nurse your baby." If you and your child enjoy breastfeeding, there is no reason you need to stop. Both of you will continue to benefit from breastfeeding as long as you like. Many mothers choose to wean naturally, allowing the child to outgrow the need gradually, in his own time."

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/wean.html
    "Will Weaning Make My Life Easier?"

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/weanhowto.html
    "How Do I Wean My Baby?"

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/bflength.html
    "How Long Should I Nurse My Baby?"



    Regards,

    Eve Erickson
    La Leche League Leader
    www.LLLSouthernNevada.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: When should I wean dd?

    I just wanted to add that, now you've made it to when your daughter is a year old, it doesn't need to be "constant breastfeeding" any more. You could start setting some limits on it, one feed at a time, and keep a fairly open mind about when it will end completely. Like you can easily quit pumping now -- do it gradually, one session every few days so you don't get engorged -- she can have extra snacks and drinks in day-care instead. Your daughter is probably old enough to learn that there are limits around breast feeding, just as there are for other things in her life. But then you might find, once you've got it down to maybe just first thing in the morning and bedtime, say, that there's no particular reason to hurry towards quitting entirely, if you're both still enjoying it. That's like half an hour of special time for you and her; theoretically, your husband could do everything else with her for the whole day and evening. And you might find, once you're breastfeeding less often, that your breasts become sexual objects again, too, even without total quitting. I was worried about weaning around a year, too, because I'd read (in What To Expect: The first year) that total weaning is harder with an older child or toddler. But now I figure I'll cross that bridge when we come to it. If the natural weaning age for most children is more like two and a half or three -- isn't it 'easier' to go with her cues? I decided that it was silly to wean before we were ready, just because there might come a future time when I would be ready. If you do find you do definitely want to quit when she's 18 months, do it then, when the time comes. I've had several friends who have weaned totally around that age (16-20 months), and apparently, it can go fine. I pass on a tip from one friend who weaned totally when her first daughter was 18 months, because she was pregnant again and felt too exhausted to take on tandem nursing. She changed the morning routine for a few days, and offered her daughter a cookie and a cuddle first thing in the morning, instead of nursing. Her daughter was glad to get the cookie. Then after a few days, she cut out the cookie. Nobody cried.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: When should I wean dd?

    Thank you for this input, especially the links to relevant articles and the last post, about how a friend weaned her child.

    I'm going to wait and see, just cutting out the pumping at work and seeing where things stand once we're down to morning and bedtime nursings (which I think will take a few weeks to get to, as is).

    Thank you all very much; I'll keep you posted.

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