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Thread: Don't know how to start weaning this time

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    23

    Default Don't know how to start weaning this time

    I'm still nursing my (almost) 16 month old daughter, but would like to wean her by 18 months. I nursed my oldest 10 months, and my second born 21 months. Since having daughter #3 my hubby has been fixed, so she's our last one.

    From day one, I've planned on nursing her until 18 months. Now, as it gets closer, I'm getting sad about weaning my last baby.

    She is also much more demanding than my other two ever were. She will pull at my shirt, point at her own chest, and follow me through the house saying "ninny" (our word for nursing).

    I don't know to go about starting to wean her. She still nurses around the clock. If anyone has any tips, they would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    928

    Default Re: Don't know how to start weaning this time

    Firstly, congratulations - nursing as long as you have is the most wonderful gift a mother can give to her child.

    And now, forgive me, but IMHO weaning completely in two months seems quite sudden. It will be quite a shock to your little girl who obviously loves her ninnies (that's so cute). Also, it's the holiday season and there are likely to be a lot of different activities, new people, places, excitement and so on, all of which tend to send a toddler running to the familiar comfort and reassurance of ninnies. I know you had the goal in mind and as I said for nursing so long, but you don't have to stick to it. I definitely sense some sadness about weaning your last child. Is there any reason you need to wean at 18 months? Why did you set this particular goal and why do you feel you need to stick to it? IMHO weaning happens slowly and gradually over more than two months. I got the book "How Weaning Happens" from this website and it helped me understand weaning from my child's perspective and helped me ask myself the questions I needed to ask to find out what my own goals and wishes were. Give yourself the freedom to re-set your goal if you feel you and she are not yet ready. And forgive me if you have already made your decision - I don't want to interfere if you feel this is the right thing for you and your child. Just offering my opinion. Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

    FWIW, I started setting limits on frequency at about 12mths and then DS nursed less gradually over the next year and finally weaned a month ago because my milk dried up at 4 mth PG.
    Emma

    J from Aug '06 to Nov '08 and S from April 2009

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    23

    Default Re: Don't know how to start weaning this time

    Thank you for your quick response. I didn't have my time limit set in stone. I have very judgemental family and have been dealing with snide comments ever since my daughter cut her first teeth. I also get multiple comments at work when I need to go pump. I just have been saying 18 months as my response to all those people asking when I was going to stop. It's getting very difficult and stressful to deal with all of the negative talk about the subject.

    Side Note:
    I'm a registered nurse, and work at a small hospital in Iowa. They do not have a place for me to pump. I've pumped in empty patient rooms, bathrooms, classrooms, and the managers' office. I've been walked in on more times that I can count. Just today I had someone tell me they thought they should turn me into DHS for breastfeeding so long. I get these comments everyday. I try to tell myself that they are small town, small minded people, but it still gets to me.

    I do only pump once at work. I'm gone from home 14 hours on those days. (40 minute commute and 12.5 hours work day).

    In some ways I'm ready to wean the baby. I would love to go away for a weekend with the hubby, etc.

    I just don't know how to start the process.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,709

    Default Re: Don't know how to start weaning this time

    Congratulations for nursing that long! I'm sorry if you're dealing with crap from your family - that must be tough.

    I'd say if I wanted to start to cut back, the first thing to go would be the pumping session! You can still nurse "on demand" on the weekend even if you stop pumping at work (it just means your supply will drop a little). Just my opinion - I hated pumping!! Oh - I just reread your post and you said it's a 14 hour day. I can see why you're keeping up with that. Still, I'd see how long you can go without being really uncomfortable. You might be surprised to find that you don't need it anymore.

    After that, just slowly stop offering, and then try distraction. Then setting limits "you can nurse later, not now". If you're committed to doing it gently, it might take a little longer than 2 months. I was despairing at 18 months that my guy would ever slow down. But now at 22 months, he's definitely changing (though he still has the occasional time when he really HAS to nurse RIGHT NOW).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    928

    Default Re: Don't know how to start weaning this time

    Sorry you're having such a hard time with ignorant people. Makes it even more amazing that you've nursed so long. I agree with the PP that pumping would be the first thing to go. Does your LO drink other liquids? If she does, it should be possible to drop the pumping and continue ninnies as you have been until she gets used to not having pumped BM, then introduce some limits. Once you stop pumping, nobody needs to know how long you are nursing your child. I think a lot of people secretly nurse at night and lie to their families and co-workers! It's a shame the world has to be that way. Weaning yourself off the pump will be a huge physical and psychological relief for you! Then once that's achieved, you can reassess how you feel about stopping ninnies completely.

    Even if she doesn't get to nurse on the days you work, once you get past a year the milk supply is so well established, you wouldn't even have to nurse her every day to keep producing. It's amazing how the body copes with toddlers' ebb and flow of demand.
    Emma

    J from Aug '06 to Nov '08 and S from April 2009

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    23

    Default Re: Don't know how to start weaning this time

    I was talking to my mom last night (she's supportive) and decided that I don't need a definate end date. I will start cutting out the pumping at work this week and see how uncomfortable I get. I think when I'm not working I will try to cut down to only those snuggly times of day. (morning, nap, bedtime) I'll let you know how she responds.

    And, yes she drinks plenty of fluids other than BM. She will throw her cup if I give her other milks, but loves juices and water. I've tried whole milk-skim, soy, lactose free, and sweet acidopholus. My older daughters are lactose intolerant, so I thought at first the whole milk was hurting her and tried her sisters' milk. Still a no go.....

    Thanks for the support and ideas.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    928

    Default Re: Don't know how to start weaning this time

    I'm glad your mother is so supportive. It must be a relief to decide you don't have to have a specific end date. I still recommend "How Weaning Happens" because it helps you feel more normal to BF beyond a year, particularly when the people around you are generally not familiar with extended BF, and it helps you think about BFing from other perspectives, not just about nutrition but about the bond and affection betw mother and child, which really helped me decide how to handle weaning.

    It's great that your LO will drink other fluids. It shouldn't be too hard for her to transition to not having expressed BM when you are working, esp if she's still getting ninnies from you. If you're concerned about calcium, you could always give her calcium enriched orange juice.

    Keep posting and let us know how it's going
    Emma

    J from Aug '06 to Nov '08 and S from April 2009

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Don't know how to start weaning this time

    I'm still nursing my 16 month old morning and night. I'm ready to wean, but I don't think he is. I feel like a closet nurser as our society seems to think a person is 'weird' if they nurse over a year. People haven't asked about it once I stopped carrying around a pump, and I don't share information about it. I agree with the suggestion to stop pumping. That was such a huge relief and your milk supply will be fine. It's amazing how the body adjusts. (I'm in Iowa as well...dang is it cold!)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Don't know how to start weaning this time

    HI I was just coming to say try by cutting out the pumping sessions. It may change your view dramatically not to have to pump and not feel the outside pressure and judgment from the people you work with. Once you are no longer pumping they may quit asking and just assume.
    And it's none of their business anyway.
    I'm glad you made that decision before I posted. Good luck and keep us posted. And remember, as soon as you hit the year point and your LO is eating solids the weaning process has begun. You are able to set limits and negotiate with your child in the 2nd year. So don't stress, you ARE making progress. And letting go of the pump is a great next step!

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    2,005

    Default Re: Don't know how to start weaning this time

    with the pp's.

    Eliminate the pump first (if possible).
    What worked for me was to start trying to stretch out the time between nursings. DS2 liked to "snack" through out the day, just whenever the urge would strike, so I didn't feel like there were specific sessions to eliminate. You can offer distractions by playing a game or reading a book, offer a hug instead or ask your lo if she is thirsty or hungry and offer a cup to drink and some food.
    Proud mom of 2 boys, both weaned gradually and with love.


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