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Thread: MLW...who is easier to wean?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    816

    Default MLW...who is easier to wean?

    If you did mother led weaning, is it easier to wean a younger nursling (around a year old or younger) or an older nursling? I was thinking that while it would be easier to set boundaries on nursing with a toddler who can understand more (tell them 10 seconds or one song), I also thought it would be hard when that toddler can ask for it and make mom feel guilty. I can remember my niece crying "boob!"

    I'm not looking to wean yet, just curious what some of your experiences have been.
    I'm Wendi.
    Mom to:
    DD1 7/28/07 for 21 mos and weaned with
    &
    DD2 12/16/09

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,048

    Default Re: MLW...who is easier to wean?

    You're right both times. I have no experience even attempting to wean a baby. But I do know that the older dd got, the easier it was to limit her. She could be reasoned with. She could wait. She understood the word "later" and responded to it well. Most importantly, her need to suck and her need for human milk lessened with time. But she could also argue and did NOT like the word "no" when it came to nursing. Still, even if she was having a tantrum about it, I felt much less guilty depriving a two year old than a non-verbal one year old. I mean, you're not going to avoid tantrums, weaned or not. I started enforcing nursing limits at a year and a half. The first limits were HARD. As she grew, it got easier, but it was never pain-free. But after she turned three, weaning suddenly got very easy. I cut her back and cut her back and before we knew it she was done and even proud of weaning. After three, it WAS pretty much pain-free. I am personally glad I waited. But it is good to lay down some ground rules early if you're going to be on this train as long as I was. (Many kids self-wean before the age of three, but my dd would have been happy to go until 5 - ask her!) Weaning has to start somewhere, if you're doing MLW. So in that sense, for me, I'd START the weaning process early, but not set a date for the end. And those first steps could be things like having the child wait, not allowing the child to help himself, but ask first, maybe night weaning, maybe no longer nursing away from home.. whatever fits into your life. The limits I introduced in the beginning were going to be a step toward weaning, but they ended up making nursing easier (she knew better than to yell, "boob!") and therefore actually lengthened our nursing relationship.

    Don't know if I answered your question, but that's all I have.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: MLW...who is easier to wean?

    I'm doing a bit of a combo of mother led and child led weaning. My nursling is 3yrs 3 months.
    She doesn't even ask when we aren't at home anymore. If she does she asks kind of knowing it that it isn't going to happen.
    I've tried bribery and some other methods, but they haven't worked, so I'm figuring she isn't ready to completely wean. We're down to nursing to sleep, nursing when she wakes up (sometimes 2am sometimes 5am) and while snoozing then and if we are home then there are other times (which I try to distract her from).

    I'm not sure it's ever easy! When I ask her she says she'll stop when she's 4! We'll see...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    central IL
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: MLW...who is easier to wean?

    IMHO, I think it partly depends on how you are used to nursing. I think if baby is BF on demand from birth, especially if they do not frequently use bottles or pacis, stopping at 12-13 mo. would be very hard on baby (and probably mom).
    On the other hand, if you normally nurse on a schedule (baby nurses or takes a bottle about every 3 hours, depending) and use paci's and don't comfort nurse, I think it might be easier to wean closer to a year.
    I am mostly basing my opinion on the latter due to other moms I have seen at church and in playgroups, etc., and it may be that they weaned earlier not because they thought it was easier but for other reasons.
    Another thing to remember is that every baby is different, and there are different levels of weaning. I know alot of moms "pump wean" after 1 year, giving baby either cow or soy milk while they are away, or even just water and juice.
    Chelsea
    Mommy to:
    Nate 1/17/07 Emma Lynn 7/13/08 @ 31 weeks and Clara 2/26/10
    Cloth diapering convert
    love to and

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