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Thread: A random observation

  1. #1
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    Default A random observation

    I was thinking about CLW the other day as I nursed L for the 41st time (he's sick) and realized that I haven't really formed an opinion on the best time to wean. I suppose, theoretically, I am all for CLW. But when I think about nursing a 4-year old, my enthusiasm flags considerably. I truly don't think I could keep this up for another 2 years.

    So then I started thinking about other animal species and what they do re: weaning. I started thinking about my cats. I have two, a female and a male. The female is the mother of the male. I remember that he nursed for a while because he was able to stay with his mother. However, at a certain point (I think when the male was @ 5 months old), she started kicking him away when he tried to nurse - a "loving" little shove in the head. Naturally, he soon stopped and that was that.

    So then I thought that maybe humans are supposed to help their offspring wean.

    I dunno...I have too much time to think, maybe?
    Andrea - mama to Laith 02.20.07 and Sommer 01.21.11
    'Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.' - Noam Chomsky

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A random observation

    Yeah I want it to be his choice but here at the three year point, I can see he is going to need to be LED to the light. And I am fine with that. I want him to wean. Even though I still love it, and love the connection I too don't want to nursing a 4 year old.
    But it's hard. DJ acts like I am breaking his heart when I talk about LESS much less STOPPING. But I wonder.....more than one doctor has suggested that I am ridiculous to be wondering about my fertility while I am still nursing. And other people say the same thing about potty training.....All in all I think that the year of THREE is going to mean big grown up changes for my family. And I think he understands that and is consciously fighting it ALL.
    OH and I do push him away. And snap at him in the middle the night. But he has this way of working himself into my lap and getting my breast out before I even know what's happening.....

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A random observation

    nursing an older toddler is much diffent then nursing a younger child.
    My dd nursed at just 3 times a day for years. 1st thing in the am,
    for nap and then at bed time.
    I worked to put her to sleep.
    When that quit working she was ready to wean.
    When she was nursing 3 times I didn't have to worry about her milk intake or worry about her getting sick

    You'll figure out what works best for you!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A random observation

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    Yeah I want it to be his choice but here at the three year point, I can see he is going to need to be LED to the light. And I am fine with that. I want him to wean. Even though I still love it, and love the connection I too don't want to nursing a 4 year old.
    But it's hard. DJ acts like I am breaking his heart when I talk about LESS much less STOPPING. But I wonder.....more than one doctor has suggested that I am ridiculous to be wondering about my fertility while I am still nursing. And other people say the same thing about potty training.....All in all I think that the year of THREE is going to mean big grown up changes for my family. And I think he understands that and is consciously fighting it ALL.
    OH and I do push him away. And snap at him in the middle the night. But he has this way of working himself into my lap and getting my breast out before I even know what's happening.....
    Yeah, I try to distract Laith and give him food instead of mommy milk but he's so insistent and starts freaking out if he doesn't get his way. He still nurses a lot. He doesn't eat a whole lot. I wish that would change. But I've mostly let go of that worry because I give him good food to eat and if he chooses not to eat it, well, there's not much I can do about it.

    He's the Hooter Houdini, eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*andreafromohio View Post
    nursing an older toddler is much diffent then nursing a younger child.
    My dd nursed at just 3 times a day for years. 1st thing in the am,
    for nap and then at bed time.
    I worked to put her to sleep.
    When that quit working she was ready to wean.
    When she was nursing 3 times I didn't have to worry about her milk intake or worry about her getting sick

    You'll figure out what works best for you!
    I'm not really worried. Laith's in the midst of his first 2nd-year molar coming in so we have a ways to go before I can seriously think of weaning for real. I've come this far, it would be mean, I think, to force him to give it up when he's going through so much pain.
    Andrea - mama to Laith 02.20.07 and Sommer 01.21.11
    'Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.' - Noam Chomsky

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A random observation

    I just went through a similar thought process. I was all ready for DS to wean (he turned two last week). Then last week he got a stomach bug, and was throwing EVERYTHING up except breastmilk for almost four days. Suddenly I was really happy to have that tool. But it also started me thinking - I'm not going to be nursing a sick teenager. At some point they grow up and you use other tools. I do think we're a little different from cats - we bond a lot more with our offspring than other animals, and our childhood is very extended compared with other species. At the same time, I don't personally believe that the child's needs are the only game in town - the timing of weaning is a mutual thing between mother and child. Mother does have a say.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A random observation

    I think you're picking up on something real- when other species wean their young, they do give them a little push. I've seen cows butt their calves off and chase them around the pasture when the cow gets tired of nursing- usually she's pregnant again by that point- and dogs stand up and stalk off when their overenthusiastic pups come charging in to nurse. But the offspring in those cases are usually well towards their bovine or doggy adolescence.

    I know it's hard imagining nursing a 4 year old now, but you might be surprised to find out how you feel when L is 3, 3.5, 4... How naturally it all came to pass. How you don't feel the need to give him that push. I know I've been totally shocked how 1 year turned into 2 years, and how quickly 3 years of nursing is approaching without me feeling tired out. I give pushes- but little ones. "No, Mommy doesn't want to nurse right now. Mommy's 'pupples' are tired. We'll nurse before bed, okay?" I think a lot of little pushes are going to add up to weaning in the not-to-distant future.
    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!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A random observation

    This article is interesting and discusses "weaning gradually and with love"

    http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVMarApr87p23.html

    I grew up on a farm with cats. The adult offspring would usually come back to the momma cat and nurse once she had another litter

    Ds2 is down to only nursing to sleep at night and I'm ready to stop (he will be 3 in 2.5 months). But since I've gone back to work at a daycare and he goes with me, I'm hanging on to get his system built up with some antibodies to all the germs we are getting exposed to this winter.
    Proud mom of 2 boys, both weaned gradually and with love.


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    Murray Straus, Ph.D.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Default Re: A random observation

    We just weaned! dd was 3 years and 10 months. It DID take some gentle pushing. I was willing to keep going if she needed it, but the pushes with no pushing back showed me she was ready.
    She still asks now and again, but it's kind of half hearted.

    I never imagined how long I would nurse! It just sort of happened...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Default Re: A random observation

    CLW is great, but some kids will need gentle encouragement I'm sure. Never had to do it because Mohamed weaned all on his own when I was about 38 weeks pregnant with DS2. Surprisingly enoug, he hasn't asked to have any. But he will drink whatever the baby doesn't take from his bottle and his eyes light up and it's as if he remembers.

    Anyway, gentle encouragement is ok- like distraction and bribery...
    Mari
    Mohamed 6-9-06
    Jad 11-27-08

  10. #10
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    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: A random observation

    If you haven't already, you might check out the good, quick read called How Weaning Happens. I was surprised by some of the stories considered CLW because it did involved some encouragement from mom at times. I walked away from the book with a better understanding of nursing/weaning as a mother/child dance. And, I know what you mean. I'm quite ready for my almost 3 yo to wean, but with the arrival of a little sister and all that goes with that, he's become a VERY devoted nursling again and it seems to be filling a strong need for him.
    DS 1/2006 9 lb. 2 oz. 22 in.
    DD 10/2008 8 lb, 2 oz. 20 in.

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