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Thread: Do babies really wean on their own?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Default Do babies really wean on their own?

    Is there really something like weaning on their own?

    Our DD is 6 months old and I want to start wean when she is 12 months old (I know, I am thinking ahead). But if there is really something like babies weaning on their own, I would like to do that instead of forcing my DD to wean. I have read/heard that sometimes babies do that around 9 months, I dont mind weaning around that time either except that I dont want bring formula/bottles in the picture!
    Do babies really wean after 12 months, when they are ready? I dont mind BFind till she wants but I am really scared that as she grows older she will have more opinions
    Also our DD has strong need to suck.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Do babies really wean on their own?

    my last two have..
    well my 3 year old is almost done. She nurses only at bed and right before she gets up for the day.
    If your baby is high needs nursing makes things so much easier!
    There are many benifits to nursing after 1.
    And most of the world its normal!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Do babies really wean on their own?

    Children do self-wean in their own time, and there are also many options for mother-lead weaning at any age if that should ever become desirable to you. I don’t think you need to worry about your LO becoming too “opinionated” to wean. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends BFing for at least one year and for as long as mutually desirable by mom and child. The World Health Organization recommends at least 2 years. So, the 1 year cutoff is a pretty artificial time limit. A lot of people shoot for that and end up going beyond because they find it is still mutually desirable and the immunological, nutritional, and emotional benefits continue long past the first year. I am one of those people!!
    There are some great personal stories on this thread about people who ended up nursing longer than originally anticipated, and loved it:
    http://lalecheleague.org/vbulletin/s...ead.php?t=6003

    Don’t let it intimidate you; you don’t have to nurse until your baby is 4 years old if you don’t want to. However, your goals may evolve, so I say continue BF as long as it’s comfortable for the both of you, and know that it is still good for your baby.
    In the U.S., there can be social pressure to quit nursing after 1 year, or even sooner. This is a sad result of an uninformed public that has come to believe that formula/artificial baby milk is the norm and is just as good as BM. Many people also have the misconception that there are very few benefits to nursing past one year. This link provides some additional information about BF past the first year:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/index.html

    Also, it is rare for a baby to wean herself that early on. Many babies have what are called “nursing strikes” around 9-10 months. This is not weaning and there are ways to overcome such strikes. Of course, it is especially undesirable to wean during the first year because then you have to use formula until age 1, as you know. Here’s a link with more info on “early weaning”:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/babyselfwean.html

    Good luck!

    Molly

    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    28

    Default Re: Do babies really wean on their own?

    Yes, little ones really do wean on their own eventually! It's something that's really hard to imagine when you are looking at your baby who has a strong need to suck, and you will probably find that even as that need changes and grows with your baby in the next few months, nothing magical is going to happen on that first birthday so that the desire (or even need) for nursing just dissapears. The one-year mark is a recommendation given because after that point babies can begin getting a more significant amount of their nutrition through solid food, but the benefits of nursing still continue after that point, and there's no benefit in asking a child to wean then " just because." However, a forced weaning and a complete child-led weaning aren't your only two choices. LLL recommends "weaning gradually and with love," and many moms find that there are gentle ways of initiating different stages of weaning in order to reach a comfortable compromise with their nurslings so that everyone is happy. I would suggest waiting to see how you and your little one feel about nursing at that one-year mark, and then go from there! Also, babies do sometimes wean on their own at nine months, but that occurs only very rarely. Usually a sudden break from nursing at that time indicates a nursing strike, which is a very different thing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: Do babies really wean on their own?

    I appreciate all your support. I wanted to continue BFing till our DD selfweaned but was really worried after talking to some of my family/friends. After this thread I want to stick to BFing as much as possible.

    Thank you mollyb, once again, for the links. I read them and they are very useful and encouraging.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    8,018

    Default Re: Do babies really wean on their own?

    Great! You're welcome.

    Molly

    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Do babies really wean on their own?

    My DD is 13 months now and still BFing.
    After reading this, I'm realizing that she went on a nursing strike at around 8 months. I didn't even know that that exsisted.
    She was not interested in nursing, except right before bed and first thing in the morning. It was a little frustrating to try to get her to nurse. I ended up pumping for a few months and putting the BM in a cup. I was a very disappointed...
    Then around 10.5 months she got a 5 day long fever twice and refused everything except my breast for about 3 weeks.
    If she hadn't gotten that fever I might be still pumping...who knows!?

    Since then, she loves to nurse! I was nursing her about 6 times a day until her 12mo doc visit when he told me to reduce the amount of milk she gets due to mild anemia....but that's a different story....

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