Google+ Authentic Parenting: Before You Wean

Monday, November 29, 2010

Before You Wean

Before anyone jumps to conclusions, I want to say that there are perfectly good reasons for weaning your child, and the only one who is able to judge the validity of these reasons, is you, the nursing mom.

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I do want to say that if you consider weaning your child, think about it carefully, because once it's done, going back will be nearly impossible, and there's only this short span in your child's life where you will be able to have this close physical relationship. You might grow to miss it.

Ask yourself why you want to wean. Is it societal pressure? Is it fatigue?
Is weaning truly the only option?

Maybe you are just being a little impatient. You might want your fertility to come back fast.
Maybe you lack support and you should seek a community to help you deal with your problems.
Maybe yoou just need a good chat. Call up an old friend, maybe go out together, grab a meal.
Maybe only partial weaning will help you achieve your goals.

Before you wean, consider if your child is ready to take this step. Will weaning be in the best interest of the both of you?

And if after all these considerations, you still find that weaning is the only option, wean him gently.


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7 comments:

  1. I struggled with the decision to wean my son at 2 years. Unfortunately, a considerable number of personal issues made me realize nursing was no longer working and as his interest decreased I slowly encouraged it. I told myself if he cried or seemed traumatized I would let him nurse. I think I wanted him to. He didn't. We replaced cuddles with nursing more quickly than I expected. I nursed him for the last time not even realizing it was the last time. It was bittersweet.

    Indeed the next month I became pregnant again. I'm now nursing my daughter and my son loves to watch and talk about it. I was willing to let him tandem if he asked, but he hasn't. Our time nursing ended with the gentlest redirection. My daughter I've decided will wean herself and I look forward to our nursing journey together.

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  2. I once had this misconception that you have to wean if you're planning for your next child (as BF-ing during pregnancy will cause contractions and miscarriage) until I came across an article on kellymom's website.

    Never give any thoughts of weaning since then. Bah humbag to misconceptions!

    Btw, 5 more days to my 21 months of breastfeeding my boy! :D

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  3. Some medical professionals think you need to wean if you get pregnant, too. Not true. There are days when I'd love for my 3-year-old to wean, but he's not ready to give that up. It is nice to tandem-feed them (daughter is 8 months), though. I think my son might keep going until I get pregnant again, as he nearly weaned during my pregnancy before. My daughter doesn't comfort-feed as much, so I imagine she'll wean at an earlier age than my son.

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  4. I feel that my 2 year old daughter will let me know when SHE is ready to wean.
    Although I am tired sometimes or need to get other things done, nothing is more important when she needs me. I gaze down at her and have such love and joy in my heart that we continue this incredibly special ritual that has strengthened our bond I know for life :)
    Mama means Milk and Milk is Life (alive)

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  5. I am ready to wean my 3.5 year old. Unfortunately, he's not ready. We're down to nursing once a day and still I feel resentful. Since, I'm also breastfeeding his 4 month old brother, once I do wean him he'll be seeing me nurse every day. I'm really needing suggestions for how to wean gently.

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  6. Vanilla mama, try to figure out why you are so resentful? Maybe it's something that can easily be fixed.
    Have you been talking about weaning? It can have the opposite effect, since he might think he'd better get it now befoe you're done.
    The once a day, is that on his cue?
    Feel free to email me if you have any questions or want to discuss this futher

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  7. Thank you. I needed to read this today.

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