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Thread: Not exactly a vent, just a realization

  1. #1

    Default Not exactly a vent, just a realization

    My DS is sixteen months and still nursing his little heart out. My best friend had nursed her daughter until she was about fourteen months old. And we've talked a lot about how similiar the two kids are, her daughter, like my son, are VERY attached to us, not the greatest of sleepers, really physically active, etc. My DD is the same age as her's, and the two girls are not all that similiar, my DD is a lot more independent and confident. My DD gradually nursed less and less, and by the time she was eight months old, she was completely done. My goal with my DS was to make it to a year, but he's still nursing several times a day, and usually a couple of times at night.

    Last night, my DS was up all night. Literally nursed all night long. He's cutting some molars, so it was a restless night. We co-sleep, but I usually just doze when he's nursing, as opposed to actually sleeping. I was on the phone with my friend earlier, and she commented that I sounded really tired, and I told her that Sam had been up nursing all night. She told me that I'd just have to wean him, she went away for a week to wean her daughter. Sure it was miserable and awful, but if she hadn't done it, she figures that she'd still be nursing. And I kind of laughed it off - I didn't tell her that there's no way I'm going to go away for a week and just leave the kid screaming for me. As much as I wish that he didn't need to nurse, he still does.

    And what I realized was that one of the reasons her DD is so attached and clingy, wanting to be carried and held all the time, might be because she wasn't nursed as long as she needed to be, and that the ending was so abrupt and painful. And I'd much rather have a really clingy toddler than a kidnergartner that wants to be carried instead of walking. If I nurse him as long as he wants to, then he'll outgrow the need for it, right?
    Melissa
    Mom to Jessica (2/7/03) breastfed for 8 months
    Sam (7/6/06) breastfed for three years, five months, two weeks and three days (not that I was counting or anything :-)
    Julianna (4/29/10) struggled thru nursing strike, nipple confusion, thrush, multiple cracks and fissures, a staph infection and then another bout of thrush, but happily nursing away
    www.cohenfamily-melissa.blogspot.com

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Not exactly a vent, just a realization

    If I nurse him as long as he wants to, then he'll outgrow the need for it, right?
    That's what I believe!

    I nursed my DS#1 for 2 years. He self weaned at 2, though I did night wean him at like 13-14 mos. or so. My youngest son is almost 20 mos., and he still nurses like a champ, even at night, pretty much morning, naptime, bedtime and during the night at least once, many times twice.

    With my oldest son, I felt touched out, I thought I'd only nurse to 12 mos. too, but when he obviously needed to nurse for longer, it was hard for me. It was hard to give up my body for his needs all the time. Couple that with being a new mom, and I was ready for him to quit. I knew that wasn't what was right for him though, so I lovingly continued, though I did put limits on it as he grew older.

    My oldest son never did sleep through the night without waking. He had night terrors and would scream almost every single night. It got progressively better the older he got, but he actually didn't stop completely until after he turned 4 years old. After going through all of that and seeing that letting him keep the pacifier just didn't help with the night waking either, I realized that with DS#2 I wouldn't night wean him that early.

    I would take a night nursing toddler ANY DAY over a screaming night-weaned toddler who can't be comforted and can't fall asleep without a pacifier at night.

    I've also noted through teething, that its WAY easier to console a night nursing child. We let both kids sleep with us...DS#1 until he was night weaned, and DS#2 still sleeps with us for about 1/2 the night give or take. During bad teething nights I just let him nurse all night if he needs to, and I sleep while he's nursing....its probably not a full complete sleep, but its good enough. I have thought about night weaning him, but I've decided not to even think about that until all of his teeth are in, and so far he only has 9 at almost 20 mos. of age.

    Anyway, my whole point, is that I think you're right on. Your lo will outgrow his need for nursing. I do feel though, that if you're feeling frustrated, that its also ok to put limits on nursing at this point if its bothering you. But no one can tell you that's the right step but you, because you know yourself and your child best. So congratulations! You're doing the very best for your baby!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Not exactly a vent, just a realization

    Going away may not help!

    I went away for a three day weekend for work and am still nursing my 2 1/2 year old. She asked for 'den' but of course I wasn't there. I came back late on a Sunday night, climbed into bed, she half woke up and latched on.

    I guess she still needs it too.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Not exactly a vent, just a realization

    This from Dr. Sears confirms what you have observed. (It is about AP, but is similar.) http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/T130700.asp

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Not exactly a vent, just a realization

    I was waiting for the day that my son would gently wean himself...it never happened. I haven't heard of alot of kids doing that. I think that would be ideal...but it alldepends on the type of child you have.

    I think that as a mother who allows their child to nurture themselves by nursing is a selfless act on your part. Especially when they are having extreme pain. I think that leaving a child for a week and without their favorite comfort is the cruelest thing you could do to wean. Gentle, slow weaning is the kindest. If you are getting fed up with nursing(I went through phases of being sick of it/then not wanting him to stop) You may want to start putting limits on his nursing. I would suggest waiting until all of his teeth are in b/c some kids have extreme pain with the molars coming in and nothing works to soothe them. My son was the same way and that is why it was hard for me to wean him around that age...I put his comfort before my needs. I am glad that I did it. I would have bit the bullet and cut out the night nursing after the teeth were in, however. In the summer is the best time to wean...no illness, lots of activity so they sleep better, you are in a better mood, etc.

    My son was a night nurser until he was three and a half and I had to wean him(long story)...I am glad about the night nursing being done(altho he comes to cuddle with me instead and I hold him to sleep)

    Let me know if you would like more info on how I weaned if you are interested.

    Good job going with your instincts and not listening to the ignorant advice of the others. The teething will pass...it doesn't last long.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Not exactly a vent, just a realization

    I'd love more information on how you weaned. I'm committed to going as long as I have to, but I don't know that he's ever going to give it up on his own. He nurses for comfort, when he's bored, when he's tired, etc. My daughter used a pacifier for the same reasons - and she gave it up (on her own), but not until she was four and a half. I REALLY don't want to nurse that long. Any advice on gentle weaning would be greatly appreciated!
    Melissa
    Mom to Jessica (2/7/03) breastfed for 8 months
    Sam (7/6/06) breastfed for three years, five months, two weeks and three days (not that I was counting or anything :-)
    Julianna (4/29/10) struggled thru nursing strike, nipple confusion, thrush, multiple cracks and fissures, a staph infection and then another bout of thrush, but happily nursing away
    www.cohenfamily-melissa.blogspot.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Not exactly a vent, just a realization

    Gotta read the posts more slowly but I wanted to testify. My dd has been the CLINGIEST baby and toddler. Always getting called shy. A real mama's girl. And yes, one of those kids who won't just GO PLAY!!! I pushed her a little to wean and a little to grow more independent. But they were gentle pushes and never did I leave her when she wasn't ready. She is an extremely confident child now. Always asking when she can spend the night at grandma's again. Today at dinner she was just recalling how shy she used to feel but now she's not. Then she said she'd like to get a job someday soon.
    No, she's NOT getting a job soon, but hey I have a 30something year old friend who lives with his parents and has no job.. so that comment was nice to hear from my three year old.

    Sometimes the clinginess has nothing to do with parenting though. My child is naturally introverted as well as cautious. She's tidy and careful and never much of a "things" person - no object attachment, refused bottles and paci's.. and she has always been small for her size and up until this last month has always been a little behind in gross motor. All these things lend themselves to becoming a mama's girl. Plus she has a stay at home mom. But it's BECAUSE of who she is that she has a sahm. I would have maybe done something out of the home if she had taken a bottle.

    I imagine the entire parenting style must be different for a person who can leave her 14 month old nursling for a week just to change a behavior. And yeah, I think my kid would have went right back to asking for nursies anyway. At some point you need to say no if you are going to lead the weaning process. And at some point you need to tell the kid no if you want them to walk. If your kid's like mine. Or you could leave them for a month with someone else who can tell them no. Maybe they will stop asking to be held after that.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Not exactly a vent, just a realization

    Well you know what they say, "Don't offer, don't refuse". Seems like a sound principle, I'm not there yet though, so can't offer any experience. I do think that weaning should not be a tramatic sudden experience. The breast is so much more to a baby than just nourishment, it's comfort, love, security ect. It's cruel to withhold something that has been a major part of a young one's life. I just keep reminding myself, it's not going to be forever...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Not exactly a vent, just a realization

    Quote Originally Posted by JessieandSamsMom View Post
    And what I realized was that one of the reasons her DD is so attached and clingy, wanting to be carried and held all the time, might be because she wasn't nursed as long as she needed to be, and that the ending was so abrupt and painful. And I'd much rather have a really clingy toddler than a kidnergartner that wants to be carried instead of walking. If I nurse him as long as he wants to, then he'll outgrow the need for it, right?
    Read the book Mothering Your Nursing Toddler. It is so empowering (for mom & LO) to be able to connect through nursing. My DD is very independent and sociable, and I haven't even attempted to start weaning.

    L e i l a, married to hubby, loving our "bock-ee" kinda girl, 6.23.06
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