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Thread: Self-weaning at 17 months?

  1. #1
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Self-weaning at 17 months?

    Hi,

    DS is 17.5 months old and has recently started to refuse to nurse. It's not as though he was nursing a lot...only twice per day, but both of those times were 15-30 minutes in length. For about a week he was very adamant (pulling at my shirt, mouthing me as I was opening up my bra, etc.) about nursing and of course I let him nurse for as long as he wanted. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, he went to bed for the first time without nursing before and slept normally (he bit me three times when I tried to nurse him, so I took that as a cue that he didn't want to) to my BIG surprise! Then we were on vacation this past weekend and every time I tried to nurse him he looked at me and said (and signed), "All done." and then asked for his pacifier. He's not really using the pacifier any more than he used to, so I don't think it's really substituting. He used to nurse then have the pacifier when he was finished. I thought maybe it was the different environment, but he didn't nurse last night when we got back either. He is teething (two year molars already), but he's always wanted to nurse MORE when he's teething, not less.

    So, it's been 4 days since he nursed, and I didn't have a pump with me, so it's been 4 days since any milk has been removed from my body. Physically I'm having NO engorgement or discomfort despite that fact, so I'm wondering if he was really taking all that much milk anyway.

    Any thoughts on whether he is really self-weaning? I'm just torn about whether I should try to pump to keep my supply up just in case this is only a strike. Everything I read says that they don't self-wean until 18-24 months and it's gradual. He's close to 18 months and was down to two feedings a day...does that count as gradual? Just feeling a little confused right now about what's going on and what I should do about it...and a little bit sad that this might be ending! Thanks for any insight!

    Heather

  2. #2
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    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 17 months?

    I would say that close to 18 months and two feedings a day sounds like nearly weaned!

    I must say I'm a little jealous! My three year old is still going strong and I was so hoping she'd wean herself by now.

    If I were you. I would let it go. But that's me. :-) You've done fantastically well! But I get the feeling a bit sad.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 17 months?

    Thanks so much for the encouraging words! I know that I'll get used to the idea of no longer being a nursing mommy...it just happened a little bit sooner than I was expecting. This is our first month of TTC again (no I'm not pregnant yet), so I was gearing up for being a tandem nurser! Oh well...I guess things happen for a reason, right? Thanks again for your encouragement...it's been a long, but awesome ride...I never thought I was going to make it past 6 months!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 17 months?

    I say nursing strike. Don't give pacis, bottles, sippies or any other sucking if you want to get him back to the breast. JMHO, TIFWIW.

    L e i l a, married to hubby, loving our "bock-ee" kinda girl, 6.23.06
    Learn about the prepuce before you have a boy.
    Dental issues? Find out how to Cure Tooth Decay.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 17 months?

    I am afraid I can't comment on nursing strikes.
    DD is over 3 and hasn't had one yet...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    53

    Default Re: Self-weaning at 17 months?

    Maggie was 18 months when she gave it up. We were also down to just two feedings a day (sometimes just the pm one).

    She became less and less interested over the period of a few weeks and then just quit asking for it. She didn't try to lift up my shirt, she didn't ask for 'boops', she was just ready to be done, I guess.

    We've been weaned for just over a month now, and she hasn't even made another mention about it. She's seen me without a shirt on (which ALWAYS made her ask for 'boop') and it doesn't phase her a bit.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 17 months?

    Another good discussion here.

    L e i l a, married to hubby, loving our "bock-ee" kinda girl, 6.23.06
    Learn about the prepuce before you have a boy.
    Dental issues? Find out how to Cure Tooth Decay.

  8. #8
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 17 months?

    Yeah, we never had a nursing strike either...we are definitely done and after a lot of thinking, it's been happening for awhile and I just didn't recognize it. In the couple of weeks leading up to the end, he skipped a couple of feedings here and there or just nursed on one side rather than two. The thought that he might be weaning never crossed my mind, so when he did it really took me by complete surprise. But he has been very definitive about being done and there's no changing his mind.

    I appreciate the link to the other thread, but I've read all of this before and frankly this arbitrary age "limit" is what caused me so much anguish in the first place. Children are all different...mine has done EVERYTHING early (he had all of his teeth by 13 months old, walked at 9 months, etc) and I guess this is just another thing he chose to do "early".

    Anyway, thanks again for sharing your insight...it really helps to have such a great support network!

    Heather

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 17 months?

    i was just about to make the exact same post! my ds is almost 20 months and over the past week has been refusing to nurse during one or both of our twice-a-day sessions. it's really disconcerting to me, as i thought we'd go strongly through the second year. the only time i can get him to nurse without feeling like i'm forcing him to, is after his nap when he's grumpy and most likely wants to fall back asleep on me.

    if any other mamas want to chime in with their experiences, i would appreciate it. i'm going to continue to offer as usual, to make sure this isn't a strike. i would be so sad if i didn't get the full 2 years in with him!!
    Jean
    proud mama to ds, born 8/3/06, 11 lbs 14 oz, 24", now 35 lbs, 35", self-weaned at 20 months
    expecting baby boy #2 on 7/21/08, hoping for a VBAC

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Self-weaning at 17 months?

    From Kellymom.com:
    Nursing Strikes
    When babies abruptly stop nursing, it's a nursing strike - not weaning. Babies rarely wean on their own before 18-24 months, and self-weaning is almost never abrupt.

    Will baby nurse while asleep or just waking up? This is usually one of the best times to try. You also might try nursing lying down or while walking around. See also the tips at the top of this page for persuading baby to nurse.

    As long as baby is not nursing as often as before, you'll want to express milk to maintain your supply, stay comfortable, and reduce the risk of plugged ducts and mastitis.

    Don't miss the great links below about nursing strikes.

    L e i l a, married to hubby, loving our "bock-ee" kinda girl, 6.23.06
    Learn about the prepuce before you have a boy.
    Dental issues? Find out how to Cure Tooth Decay.

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