Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: does it get harder to wean the longer you go?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    92

    Question does it get harder to wean the longer you go?

    Hi ladies. We have recently passed the 1-year mark! I really don't mind BFing, and my 13 mo son doesn't seem to want to wean anytime soon. This is good since he is sensitive to dairy, and I won't be giving him cow's milk anytime soon. However - this is not so good because he still wakes to nurse 2x a night. It used to be just once, but for the past few months it's been every 3 hours or so.

    Anyway, I've heard from other nursing mothers at work that it gets harder to wean the longer you go, especially once they learn to talk.

    What is your experience with this? Do you think sleeping through the night (or not nursing at night) is a "developmental milestone" that will come if I am patient? Or am I setting myself up for more difficulty (and poor sleep) later?
    DS 11/16/07 :: Infant reflux and milk protein intolerance, egg and peanut allergies

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,453

    Default Re: does it get harder to wean the longer you go?

    I've only weaned 1 so I'm no expert, but my thought would be just the opposite - that it would be easier to wean an older child. With an older child you can talk to them and reason with them to some extent. DS was just over 2 when I had to wean him and I was thankful that he was able to understand a little bit and that I could prepare him for what was coming. I could prepare him for eliminating nursing sessions and when he asked to nurse I could tell him that milk was "empty" or "all gone". Also, because he was 2 he already had other comfort strategies - a favorite toy, book, snack, song, etc. DS thought it was fun to have a cracker before bed instead of nursing. And I could distract him with the Hokey Pokey when he was grumpy and wanted milk. I've also heard of moms who encouraged older kids (like 3 and 4 year olds) to wean rather quickly with the promise of a "weaning party". Can't do that with a baby! As hard as it was to wean DS (he took it quite well, but it was hard on me) I think it would have been much harder to wean a baby who had limited understanding and might feel that his favorite thing in the world was being taken away arbitrarily.

    ETA: And yes, sleeping through the night will come eventually. There are things you can do to encourage it too. My DS started STTN around 20 months, I think. We had nightweaned a couple of months earlier - I don't know if it was related or not. Having daddy take over bedtime and handling night wakings helped.
    Last edited by @llli*FluffyN; December 14th, 2008 at 06:57 PM.
    Katie
    Just one more fanatical cloth diaper convert...
    Mom to Morgan (01/10/04) and Zachary (07/12/06)
    What are M & Z up to now?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    2,005

    Default Re: does it get harder to wean the longer you go?

    with pp.
    Proud mom of 2 boys, both weaned gradually and with love.


    Find a local LLL leader

    For each and every one of us, the person from whom we can learn the most is our own baby: listen to him. - Mary White, LLL co-founder

    The best-kept secret in child psychology is that children who were never spanked are among the best behaved."
    Murray Straus, Ph.D.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,607

    Default Re: does it get harder to wean the longer you go?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*FluffyN View Post
    my thought would be just the opposite - that it would be easier to wean an older child.
    My kid is nearing 3 and still nursing 2X a day, and I know weaning her would be the easiest thing in the world. There are a lot of things she likes more than nursing- presents, stories, games, tv, etc. If I wanted to wean her tomorrow I could say "You can have milky or you can watch Curious George before bed, which do you prefer?" and she'd be so done!

    Total weaning is, to my mind, a whole different animal from night-weaning. I partially night-weaned my daughter at 10.5 months old, when I got her down to one feed per night. I eliminated that last nighttime feed when she turned 2. It wasn't easy, but I think it was easier doing it at 2 than it would have been before that, because she completely understood what was happening. When I told her "We'll have milky when the sun comes up," she wasn't thrilled, but she accepted it because she understood the concept of waiting.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: does it get harder to wean the longer you go?

    DD is 22 months and still nursing 2x a day on weekdays (I work). She still wakes up at least once a night, but dad took over night wakeings about 4 months ago. I don't think that STTN will come with weaning, my DD is prime example.

    DD is allergic to dairy, soy and eggs. I feel good that I'm still nursing. She's able to get some of her nutrients thru me. If you both are still enjoying nursing keep it up! Nursing a toddler is the best

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: does it get harder to wean the longer you go?

    I've just weaned my daughter who is 3 3/4 years old! And I would say it's easier than it would have been any time early.
    I was going to night wean first, but it just never was a good time. She mostly would come in at 4 am and nurse and snooze for 1 1/2 hours or so.

    The thing is, we were BOTH ready and weaning feels really good to both of us! and I love my new cuddle bunny!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,108

    Default Re: does it get harder to wean the longer you go?

    I definitey think it's easier to wean when they are older. They are more able to understand resoning, limits, conditions, etc. So you can explain to them that mommy can't nurse right now and they don't just feel like mommy is rejecting or denying them something they need. I found that night weaning in particular was much much easier than I'd imagined it would be because I waited until my daughter was ready to do it, and that was around 19 months for us.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: does it get harder to wean the longer you go?

    Hi, I have a 20 month old son, who has turned into a total breastfeeding adict and there is no way I would dream of weaning him right now as it would be way too hard on both of us. The book "The nursing mother's guide to weaning" describes windows of opportunity for weaning, and I think this will apply for us. We could have easily weaned at about 1 when DS was easily distracted and never asked to breastfeed, we can't wean now, and, after reading some of the above posts, hopefully it is something we can look into maybe after DS gets a bit older.
    I think it's good you know that there may be a period when you can't wean, as I never realised this, and have been a little frustrated by it at times, but am still very happy that we are still breastfeeding
    Good luck with whatever decision you make, and whereever your breastfeeding trip takes you :-)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: does it get harder to wean the longer you go?

    Thanks so much for your replies and support. I had heard one or two horror stories, so I was really afraid that I was just digging myself deeper, so to speak. I enjoy BFing - it's easy, and I don't mind pumping 1x/day at work since it gives me a quiet break. And I know that he's getting nutrition that he is otherwise missing w/o dairy and eggs.

    Now I just have to decide whether to night-wean. Even though I have to go into his room if he wakes, he only nurses for 3-5 minutes until he calms down (he never falls asleep at the breast). So it actually is easier on me to just nurse him, rather than rock or sing or listen to him cry...
    DS 11/16/07 :: Infant reflux and milk protein intolerance, egg and peanut allergies

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    5,036

    Default Re: does it get harder to wean the longer you go?

    I think you could definitely eliminate the night nursings at this point if you were so inclined.

    Dr. Jay Gordon's method worked for us.

    BUT, it did not lead to sleeping through the night. I did a very modified Ferber method (NO CIO)...and my DD is finally sleeping 9-12 hour stretches at 16 months.

    I personally think the ease with which children wean is more related to the individual than their age. DD#1 weaned at 16.5 months when I was pregnant and she had only been nursing at bedtime at that point. DD#2 at that same age is nursing about 5 times per day and honestly, I don't see her self-weaning anytime soon! She IS going to be the one I'm nursing off to college.
    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •