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Thread: do toddlers EVER wean on their own?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default do toddlers EVER wean on their own?

    do toddlers EVER wean on their own? my DS is 19 months old and shows no signs of stopping... do they ever wean on their own? what are your experiences?

  2. #2

    Default Re: do toddlers EVER wean on their own?

    Yes, many toddlers really do wean on their own.

    However, from what I've read, before the mass introduction of formula, the average age of weaning was somewhere between the ages of 2 years and 7 years.

    This article has alot of info about this, specifically this quote and the underlined portions: http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.html
    A survey of 64 "traditional" studies done prior to the 1940s showed a median duration of breastfeeding of about 2.8 years, but with some societies breastfeeding for much shorter, and some for much longer. It is meaningless, statistically, to speak of an average age of weaning worldwide, as so many children never nurse at all, or their mothers give up in the first few days, or at six weeks when they go back to work. It is true that there are still many societies in the world where children are routinely breastfed until the age of four or five years or older, and even in the United States, some children are nursed for this long and longer. In societies where children are allowed to nurse "as long as they want" they usually self-wean, with no arguments or emotional trauma, between 3 and 4 years of age.
    Considering that info, I personally wouldn't look forward to a child under age 2 to wean on their own without your encouragement. My oldest son did self wean at almost exactly age 2, but we also night weaned at about 14 mos, so in that respect, he was encouraged, to a degree.

    I know that's probably not what you wanted to hear judging from your post title...I'm sorry But it is something to take into consideration when you think about whether or not you want your child to wean on their own, or with your encouragement.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: do toddlers EVER wean on their own?

    My toddler weaned on his own at 21 1/2 months. I do believe it was because I was about 5 months pregnant and I started to lose my milk, so he just lost interest and stopped asking.
    Loving mama to S - 11/06, and F - 1/09

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: do toddlers EVER wean on their own?

    with pp. At least that's what I hear! I purposely weaned my DS at 6 months and DD1 (3.5 yrs) is still nursing during bedtime stories, so I've never actually had one self-wean. But I've certainly heard plenty of stories of toddlers weaning themselves here, many of children younger than my DD1.

    If you want to encourage your LO to cut back on nursing some or wean, there are gentle ways to do so. I recommend an awesome little book called How Weaning Happens.


    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  5. #5

    Default Re: do toddlers EVER wean on their own?

    I second the recommendation for How Weaning Happens. It's a good one.

    Many mothers find themselves using gentle encouragement without even having made a conscious decision to do so. Natural weaning tends to be a mutual process.
    Last edited by @llli*LLLKaren; February 12th, 2009 at 07:18 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: do toddlers EVER wean on their own?

    I've heard rumors... actually, I babysit for a woman who's daughter is six weeks younger than my DS and she just weaned on her own. But she works, which I think makes it easier. I'm a SAHM, and don't think my DS will EVER wean on his own. It's his security, his buddy, his go-to activity.
    Mom to Jessica (2/7/03) breastfed for 8 months
    Sam (7/6/06) breastfed for three years, five months, two weeks and three days (not that I was counting or anything :-)
    Julianna (4/29/10) struggled thru nursing strike, nipple confusion, thrush, multiple cracks and fissures, a staph infection and then another bout of thrush, but happily nursing away

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Fort Wayne, IN

    Default Re: do toddlers EVER wean on their own?

    My daughter is 31 months and just weaned herself a few weeks ago. I'm almost 20 weeks pregnant and have been dried up for a while now so I'm sure that influenced it. I definitely saw that gradual decrease in nursing sessions. She went from 3 to 2 to just at night and now she hasn't asked for it at all for a little over a week or so. The process actually happened a lot faster than I thought it would once she actually started it.
    ~Proud AP Mama To Natalie Ann *7/9/06* & Isabella Faith *7/6/09*~

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: do toddlers EVER wean on their own?

    my dd did!
    no tears, and she was ready in her own time.

    good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: do toddlers EVER wean on their own?

    Yes, eventually all babes will wean. Even without encouragement. The book recommended above is a GREAT read!

    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs

    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
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    January Miles: 37.5/75
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    227.5 miles on my new shoes
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