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Thread: Nursing and separation anxiety...weaning is not the answer!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Nursing and separation anxiety...weaning is not the answer!

    My DD is 15 months old, and we're still breastfeeding! She shows no signs of letting loose, so we're going to keep on keepin' on! However, I have been faced with a little bit of negativity by one very close friend. She's like the sister I never had, actually. Though she is a woman who breastfed all three of her children, she has made it clear and blunt that she thinks I need to wean my daughter. She called it "tough love". Obviously, she loves her sons and breastfed them because she knew it was best for them, and had been raised within a huge breastfeeding family. However, I think she breastfed quite a bit more for the nutritional value, and less for the emotional bond that comes from it, and she doesn't share the attachment parenting philosophy. She believes that it does a child and a mother a disservice to allow the child to continue breastfeeding beyond one, or to wear the baby beyond the newborn and baby age. Basically, she loves breastfeeding and babywearing practices for younger babies, and doesn't see it as necessary or even enjoyable into the toddler phase. She thinks this way because, as my very close friend, she has heard and seen my frustration, from my complaining that my daughter was waking up more often to nurse through the night, or when I was confined to the bedroom during the vacation our families took together, so that I could get DD to sleep (which she has to be nursed for). Anyways, I feel like I can't "vent" about the occasional breastfeeding frustrations around her because she thinks I need to wean DD. And stop wearing her. Oh, and when I complained that DD wouldn't "allow" me to go anywhere without her, leaving her with a sitter occasionally, my friend said the answer was to wean. That I needed to break it off so that I could leave DD with a sitter and do things by myself. Truth is, DD is very attached to me, but not just because of the breastfeeding. And DD doesn't even like to be worn all the time! Just when she's tired or has had her feelings hurt and wants to cuddle. I'm a SAHM and she spends day-in-and-day-out with me and her much older brother, who is almost 12. My DH travels 100% for his job and is gone every single week from Sunday afternoons through Thursday evenings. Every other weekend, her best friend (my son) leaves and spends time with his bio father. So, really, I'm the only person in her life that is ALWAYS THERE. So, I decided that the answer was most definitely not in weaning, but in getting my daughter used to being cared for by others. For the past month or so, I have left her with my most trusted friends (the one I've been speaking of here and another who shares my attachment/natural parenting philosophies) and my mother, who DD has grown quite fond of! It was rough in the beginning. DD is a fighter, and really gave these people hell! But now, I am so excited to say that #1) we are still breastfeeding and #2) DD can be left with another caregiver so that I can do things with my son (took him to a couple of field trips!), get my hair done, things like that!

    Wife to the wonderful Joe Tran
    Stay-At-Home-Mom since 12/07
    First born son Noah, born 3/23/97, 8 lbs 1 oz, 20 1/4"
    New baby girl, born 9/13/07, 8 lbs 7 oz, 20"

    Blissfully breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, and cloth-diapering mama.
    "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Nursing and separation anxiety...weaning is not the answer!

    You know you can come here anytime you need to vent.

    FWIW ds2 would not stay with anyone without pitching a huge fit when he was the same age as your lo. Now at 2.5 he happily pushes me out the door.
    Proud mom of 2 boys, both weaned gradually and with love.

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    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Smile Re: Nursing and separation anxiety...weaning is not the answer!

    tranmama, I love the title of your post! It sounds like you really know your daughter well and know that she needs you—all of you, nursing, babywearing, and all.

    It seems like it's easier to get support with a 6-week-old when we're feeling frustrated about something, but it gets harder once our newborns turn to toddlers and beyond. It must be especially hard to not get the support you want from your friend when she feels like a sister to you. I hope you find some support on the forums here, or maybe at LLL Group meetings. It sounds like despite your friend's reactions, you're listening to your daughter and your own heart first.

    Soon enough your daughter will be running off doing her own things, secure in her attachment to you, and knowing that you always will be there when she needs to run back to you. You're doing great things for her, mama, and the payoff will show up big time in the long run.

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