Re: Self Weaning - opinions please
I think there's a strict definition for self-weaning and a loose one. I personally like the loose definition, which (for me) is that the kid decides when to give up the last feedings, and mom stays responsive to her child's needs, but it's okay if mom gives the kid a few nudges in the direction of weaning. I had to actively wean my kid from night-nursing and, eventually, from the first a.m. feed- otherwise I wasn't going to be happy continuing to nurse. So, when my kid spontaneously gave up her last feeding 1.5 years after those active eliminations, I still consider that to be self-weaning. Maybe she would have nursed longer if I hadn't actively weaned from the nighttime and first a.m. feeds, but I'm okay with how things turned out. 3 years of nursing was enough for me and for her, and in the end, the decision to stop the last nursing session was hers.
- Try the Jay Gordon method for night-weaning. IMHO, as long as you are offering some form of comfort during the night, that's not the same as CIO. Offering a sippy cup full of water may help- sometimes a night-waking toddler is really thirsty.
- Enlist help. If Dad or Grandma can take the kid during those times when you want to not be nursing, it's going to be easier, because your child can look at them/engage with them without thinking about milk.
- Remember that it's okay to say "no." Obviously distracting with a snack or a game is the gentlest way to say no, but if you've reached your limit at a particular time and you know your kid doesn't need to nurse, it's okay to just say "Sorry honey, mama is busy. I will nurse you soon, but right now mama needs to...."
- Remember that crying is not the end of the world. A dedicated nurser is unlikely to accept "no" without putting up a fuss. But at age 2, it's okay for him to be frustrated occasionally, and to learn that he needs to accommodate other people's boundaries.
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!"