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Thread: What contributes to early weaning?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default What contributes to early weaning?

    I have two fellow-mom-friends with babies born last March (so that makes them not quite a year old). Both have babies that are not interested in nursing. They say they have to "fight" them to get them to nurse. One mom has already weaned her baby. She says he (the baby) doesn't care and likes formula better.

    On the other hand, my 13-month-olds nurse 10 times a day (including at least one night feeding) and would be devastated if they couldn't nurse. (So would I!)

    So, my question for y'all: What contributes to this early weaning (i.e., before 1 year)? Why do these babies have no interest in nursing?

    A couple of my thoughts:
    - My limited observation has been that these moms have not made nursing readily available during the first year, i.e. it's been on their timeline, not baby's. They try to "hold the baby off".
    - Both these moms have used "Cry It Out" at night and not nursed/comforted their babies during night wakings. (I think that both the babies still have occasional "CIO" nights.)

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: What contributes to early weaning?

    I think to be successful at bf you really have to want it to work. Every bf mother has highs and lows with bf. It is the ones who really want it to work that makes it through the lows. I went through a period where DD cluster fed. That was frustrating because I felt like I was chained to the chair and could not do anything. Then when she was about 4-6 months she got into the distractible phase where she was more interested in her environment than in nursing. I did feel like I had to force her to nurse. A lot of times the family would be out doing things and DD and I would be in the bedroom nursing . I do feel like I sacrificed a lot to nurse but I am so glad that I did. By the time DD was 7-8 months she was once again nursing frequently. Now we are at 14 months and I think she is starting to wean. She still wants to nurse in the mornings and at night but she could take or leave the daytime nursing. In the instances you refer too I think it is more about what the mothers wanted instead of what the babies wanted. Here is a link that discusses this issue. You are probably right with your thoughts.

    Mom to Lainey (11-8-06)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: What contributes to early weaning?

    It sounds like at least one mother was using bottles occassionally, and other nipples can cause confusion. It also sounds like both babies had nursing strikes, which my dd did more than one. It can be confusing to a mother who doesn't know better and thinks her baby is weaning, but in reality, babies need breastmilk as their primary source of nutrition for AT LEAST the first year of their life. Babies do not wean on their own before a year (and most do not wean on their own before 2). Babies have a need to suck, and if that need is met with other sources (bottles, pacifiers), they may have problems nursing.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: What contributes to early weaning?

    yup bottles pacifiers
    too much solids to early
    too much sepperation of mom and baby.
    not reading babys cues well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    in flip-flops

    Default Re: What contributes to early weaning?

    Artificial nipples and early intro of (too much) solids.

    L e i l a, married to hubby, loving our "bock-ee" kinda girl, 6.23.06
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: What contributes to early weaning?

    It has to be bottles. My 12 moth old nurses 10x a day and 3x at night. He is not even close to stopping and would never loose interest. I guess if he had the choice from day one to have a boob or a bottle he may have chose the bottle since its easier.
    Did these moms ever nurse for comfort? That could be part of it too if they didn't.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: What contributes to early weaning?

    Two of the kids I babysit, siblings, both weaned around nine months. They were not nursed at night - did some CIO, but on the milder end of the cio spectrum, if that makes any sense at all. And they both started refusing bottles at some point. Both times the parents worked HARD for them to take bottles again as well as pushed solids hard too. Then suddenly they were weaned. I think that's a good age for a nursing strike if the baby is feeling overwhelmed with mom going back to work and all the solids and bottle pushing at the same time. Honestly, if my child had gone on a nursing strike after one, I probably would have taken the opportunity and called it weaning. I think maybe that might have been what happened. I have another suspicion, but have never asked and don't plan to, that mom actually wanted to wean and encouraged it gently. She is surrounded by "AP types" and maybe doesn't want to say that she did that. It's easier for her to just say, they weaned at nine months. She's smart.. she knew it would be different weaning at 12 months and I don't think she wanted to take the same path I did. (DD nursed for 3.5 years.) I remember feeling uncomfortable telling people in this circle over here that I wanted my dd weaned when she was TWO, so if she purposely weaned before 1, I don't think she'd shout it from the mountain. Not that we'd shoot her for it. We all know she's a great mom. But still, in some circles, it's not something to brag about. Mothers can be judgmental of each other.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: What contributes to early weaning?

    Cool, thanks everyone! This is helpful, especially the kellymom link.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: What contributes to early weaning?

    Mt daughter started to loose interest (due to increased activity and walking!) at about 9 months. So my supply started to fade. I basically knew it was the beginning of the end, but when I had that realization I decided I REALLY didn't want it to end yet.

    So now at 11 & 1/2 we still nurse 3 times a day and she gets supplemented but uses a cup. She hasn't had a bottle since around 9 months, and she still likes the nursing, but I defintiely don't have enough milk now for her fluid needs, and I am WAY past trying to build it back up at this point.

    Just knwo that early weaning (earlier than some Mom's want) really does happen. I can only nurse on my LEFT side now. My right boob has gone dormant.

    BUT I am STILL going and will go as long as my baby wants.

    Good luck!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Smile Re: What contributes to early weaning?

    I had to "fight" Cora to stay at the boob for a while there...at about 9-10 months...it was when she started cruising and everything was oh-so-interesting and she had figured out how to slide down off my lap & the couch. I couldn't believe I was practically having to force her to nurse! She is very physically active and was far ahead on gross motor skills for a while there.

    Took about a month to get through that stage. It was terrible while it lasted...I was so confused. I finally ended up figuring out to cut out that nursing session and replace it with a solids feeding...solved the problem. Now we nurse only when she REALLY REALLY wants it.,..before nap, before bed, and late in the afternoon when her energy is starting to sag.

    I personally would hesitate to "judge" other moms by trying to explain their childs' behavior through their parenting & feeding methods, though....we need to support each other, not judge!
    Last edited by lunamoth; January 23rd, 2008 at 10:43 AM.

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