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Thread: Thoughts on weaning my 15 month old

  1. #1
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    May 2009
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    Default Thoughts on weaning my 15 month old

    I *loved* nursing DD. I thought I'd nurse her until she gave it up. We ddin't start solids until 6 months, and even at a year, she would take a bite every now and then, but really wasn't interested. Somewhere around 13 months, her solid appetite really turned on, and I was so proud of her. She only wanted to nurse to nap, and while we co-slept at night. DD is 15 months old now and we've both had a rough couple of weeks. We went out of town, both of us came home sick, she's definitely cutting 3 teeth, possibly 5 at the same time, and as a result all she wants to do is lay in my lap and nurse. I am exhausted, and though I do still enjoy some of our nursing sessions (when I can see how relaxed and calm she is) I can tell I'm just not in it anymore.

    I so badly want to wean right now. In the past month or so DD has really changed physically, and is looking more like a little girl than my baby girl, and DH will be home from Iraq in 10 weeks. Emotionally I feel like I'm ready, but I feel so selfish in my reasoning, especially knowing that DD doesn't have any other comfort sucking. I also feel so bad because this is the first time she's really telling me "I want some boob juice!" with her actions and not just crying (and boob seemed to be the answer).

    I guess I don't have a question at the end of this, just looking for your thoughts on the whole situation.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Thoughts on weaning my 15 month old

    I'm sorry you're feeling drained (). I understand that feeling. And you've done such a wonderful thing by nursing your baby this long you should feel proud of that no matter what you decide to do next.

    I would just say that if your little lady is nursing a lot and asking for it a lot right now it will most definitely be more difficult (for her AND for you) to wean right now than it would be if you gave her a little more time, let the teething and neediness calm down a bit, and then then gradually cut out nursing sessions one at a time.

    You could try distracting her from nursing, which is actually a method of gentle weaning and may make you feel a little better about things. Try offering special snacks, water or juice, playing a game, going to the park, etc. Anything you can think that might get her mind off her teeth hurting. Or if there are times of the day that she typically nurses you can head those off by doing something else instead- like if she nurses after lunch go have a picnic at the playground and let her play after she eats instead of nursing. This is how I moved my daughter toward weaning and I was surprised how often it worked if I didn't immediately nurse her when she asked. Keep in mind though she was a bit older when we did this, closer to two, and very verbal so she was easier to reason with.

    I can also tell you that if you can get through this difficult time, nursing a toddler is a lot easier than nursing a baby. It's more flexible and it's on your terms. You can set limits, reason with her, things like that. It can continue to be a really useful tool for calming them down when they are upset or hurt and of course there are health benefits for both of you.

    Congratulations on getting your DH back soon! Thank you and him for your sacrifices.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
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    Jul 2009
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    Default Re: Thoughts on weaning my 15 month old

    I think that sometimes when we are stressed and strung out from life weaning can seem like something that we have control over that will help to make it better. Maybe I am reading too much into it but that are my thoughts. I think it is always better to make the weaning decision when life less hectic and stressful than to make that decision based on stress. Would you like to continue to nurse if you DD went back to nursing the way that she was? I would bet that if she had cut down her nursing before and just bumped it up recently that this is just a phase and she will cut down again maybe once she gets those nasty teeth cut. Also at this point it is OK to distract her with something else for those times when you REALLY don't want to nurse. I find that going outside is a great distraction for my little guy.
    Jessica

    Moma to DS1-the monkinroanie (3/09) and DS2-the sweet pumpkin (5/12)
    Strong Women- May we have the delight of knowing them, the courage to be them and the privilege of raising them.
    And yes I know my spelling terrible (is that spelled right? )

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Thoughts on weaning my 15 month old

    Occasionally she'll fall for the distraction, like a snack, or to go outside. We've been going to the park more because I'm more actively trying to tire her out so she'll nap with less nursing. But other times, she can't be fooled, or is right back at it as soon as the snack is over, or we're back in the house. It's just so draining (like norasmommy said).

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Thoughts on weaning my 15 month old

    Is it the night nursing that's getting to you more? Or day? Or just all of it?

    Can you get someone to watch her for a little while so you can get out on your own for a bit to destress?

    If the night nursing is getting to you, you might try the Dr. Jay Gordon method for night weaning. He suggests you don't try it while they are teething, but reading it might give you some ideas.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Thoughts on weaning my 15 month old

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*babyavasmommy View Post
    Occasionally she'll fall for the distraction, like a snack, or to go outside. We've been going to the park more because I'm more actively trying to tire her out so she'll nap with less nursing. But other times, she can't be fooled, or is right back at it as soon as the snack is over, or we're back in the house. It's just so draining (like norasmommy said).
    You could try to see whether you can back off of nursing a bit, and whether that makes you feel better about it. There's no down side - you may find that it's too hard, and this is the wrong time. Or you may find that if you could nurse a little less, you would be happier with nursing overall, and want to continue. Or you may find that backing off is wonderful, and continue to back off until you're weaned.

    I agree with the PP that sometimes we may project something onto weaning that it is not - weaning may not make your baby easier to deal with or relieve the pressure of single-parenting (and major kudos for that!). It may not be the breastfeeding, per se, that is draining you. I'm here to say, having a 15 month old baby is exhausting. I never knew just how rough and intense it could be. We are also teething in our house, and it's SO ROUGH. I've taken to saying, loudly, that Joe will DEFINITELY be an only child, because there is NO WAY I could handle TWO of these!!

    Of course, backing off nursing a little can help you sort out whether less breastfeeding will in fact help you feel less drained, so I don't see a down side.

    Although I plan to nurse Joe for quite a bit longer, I pump-weaned around a year, and don't nurse much during the day on weekends. After a year, nursing can be more about what YOU WANT from it too, you know?

    And I agree with the PP. If you do want to wean, you should always look back with pride on your long nursing relationship!! At this point, you should nurse in a way, and for as long, as it is "mutually desirable." And that "mutual" includes YOU! I support you in whatever you decide.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Thoughts on weaning my 15 month old

    ITA with PPs. You have done an awesome job to nurse this long.

    Just want to say that I'm also someone who, though I enjoy my nursing relationship, sort of looks forward to not nursing anymore. I nursed my first for 17 months and though I was proud of how long (in length) I nursedher, this time around, I'm really wanting my baby to get more of the nutritional benefits of extended nursing. That is more of a motivation this time.

    I know your baby seems so big right now, and she IS growing up, but she is still a baby. She still probably needs those nursing sessions that she is holding onto either for nutrition or comfort. I would encourage you, that if you do begin weaning, that you go slowly and gently


    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)


    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

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