Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Our weaning story...

I last nursed my daughter on the morning of Oct 3rd before I left for Germany for a week-long work trip. I thought it may be the last time so I let her nurse a little longer than usual and paid attention to her rather than the TV. Sigh...

She did great while I was gone. Went to bed well pretty much each night (after the 1st) and slept through the night as well.

Prior to my trip, we were down to nursing before bed and on most mornings - so 1-2 times per day.

I picked her up at daycare on Oct 9th. It was really nice to have her run to me with a big smile and saying "Mommy!"

That evening, I read her some books on the bed (as we always do) and when we were done, she said "Let's cuddle!" That was the first time she did not ask for "Mommy milk" at bedtime. So we cuddled to sleep (she loves my hair!) - she wouldn't sleep in her crib that night but I wouldn't have wanted to either. Both my husband and I were gone most of the week (in-laws watched her). She spent most of the night touching each of us to make sure we were there.

In the morning, she asked for "Mommy milk" but I told her that I didn't have anymore (which is the truth as I didn't even feel full at all for the week I was away) and my husband helped with saying she was a big girl now and didn't need it. She whined a little but she wasn't really serious about it - just one of those toddler "I'm not getting what I'm asking for" whines.

On Saturday, we had a full Mommy & daughter day and that night we read a few books and fell asleep cuddling. No requests for "Mommy milk." She also slept through the night in her crib again.

This morning, she asked again for "Mommy milk" and I just repeated that I didn't have any and she whined for less time than yesterday.

Of course, it is bittersweet but I was happy to make it to 2 years and pretty much done by 2.5 yrs. I know I didn't do true child led weaning, but I think we mutually weaned at the best time for both of us. I hated saying "no" to her on those mornings, but I figured if she can fall asleep without nursing, she definitely doesn't need it at wake-up.

But, we made it 2 yrs and 7.5 mos. So, yeah for us!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

dads can help with weaning

My daughter started weaning when my wife went to part time work in the evening.
I took over the nightime routine, and after a few times, with my wife not even there, it wasn't that hard for Jessica to give up the boob- she'd still feed at nap time, but soon that went. If dads can take over the nightime it really helps. my daughter stopped at just over 2 years

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

When is the right time to Wean?

Sometimes we have days when we’ve really had enough of breastfeeding, and think it might be easier if we just weaned.
Or maybe there’s outside pressure, people are asking and your starting to question if you should still be breastfeeding.
When is the right time to wean my child?
There is no one ‘right “ answer. All children will naturally wean on their own.
Mothers wean their children anywhere from a few months to 5 or 6 years of age.
Ideally a baby would be exclusively BF to 6 months, and then BF along with food up to 2 years. This is the recommendation from the World Health Organization.
Of course longer than 2 years is wonderful, and if you are allowing your child to wean naturally, then you may be Breast feeding for a few more years.
Each child is unique, and every family situation is different It helps to look at your needs, your childs and the family circumstances. Certain situations don't always mean you need to wean -for further reading of this article click here to go to the minti site


Monday, June 1, 2009

Gentle Weaning tips For Your Toddler

Breastfeeding is one of the best gifts we can give to our child. The health and emotional benefits of breastfeeding carry on well past babyhood. The World Health Organization recommends at least 2 years. Ideally the nursing relationship continues until your child outgrows the need. (and they do all outgrow it) There are instances when we need to wean before our children are completely ready.
Whatever your reasons are, the best way to wean is gradually and lovingly.
Allow yourself lots of time; try not to have too rigid of a plan.
Be gentle - on yourself and your child. It's difficult for them too!
Tips to gently wean your toddler:
Don't wean during times of stress
Start talking about weaning, in a casual non judgmental way, let your child know you need to breastfeed less, or for shorter periods. If appropriate, explain the health reasons.
Is there a particular nursing session that's making you most resentful? Get rid of this one first- Maybe all you need right now is a partial weaning
Read a book about it, so they can see that other kids are weaning too
Allow them to choose their favorite breastfeeding sessions to keep
Have your toddler help you come up with ideas for things to do instead
Don't offer, don't refuse, keep yourselves busy
Offer lots of healthy snacks and drinks
Give them extra attention and cuddles
Remember weaning is a process; sometimes its 2 steps forward and 1 step back.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

weaning from night nursing

When k was just about 2, I was starting to feel resentful of her frequent night nursing, so I knew it was time to start the weaning process,I joined a LLL group to get some tips and support on weaningMy experience was a real back and forth, between my needs and hers.We would try various different ideas- mostly from Elizabeth Pantley “no cry sleep soloution” one good tip ( if you co sleep) was to wait a few moments when your child makes a noise or moves- instead of using our instant mother instinct and putting them to the breast- give them a chance to resettle- maybe they didn't even wake up- I found that this eliminated sometimes 2 feeds a night! another one that helped was to keep a little distance in the bed- an arms reach away, so its not quite as easy access.It helps to have a bunch of ideas to try. For us some would work for a while, then an event would happen (we’d go away for a few days) and we’d be back to square one.Although next try would be much easier.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

some thoughts on weaning

Weaning is definitely an interesting and ongoing process. It doesn't happen overnight, and probably isn't a "carved in stone" black and white agreement,.
A nursing / breastfeeding relationship can ebb and flow and go thru all sorts of changes. (like any close relationship really!)

I think it helps to have a toolbox of ideas. Sometimes children will wean naturally on thier own. Other times, if you're not happy with how much or how often they are nursing - then they might need a little encouragement. One of the most often used is "don't offer, don't refuse". Because kids get so busy during the day, its easier for them to forget all about breastfeeding. Chances are the nightime/ nap nurse will continue, or the one when they hurt themselves or are getting frustrated.- and really- isn't it a blessing to be able to have this magic potion at tantrum times?

Unless you have an absolute deadline for weaning ( for medical reasons??) I found it useful to just start the conversation - talk about how when they are older they won't nurse, and friends that don't nurse, and some other ways they could feel better with out breasfeeding....

you don't want to make them feel bad for still nursing tho.

Anytime they go without nursing - congratulate them. Really its about getting them use to the idea of not nursing, and showing them other ways of comfort.

there's a few really good books out there on weaning.
Mothering your Nursing Toddler and How Weaning Happens.

either can be ordered through La Leche League.
What has your weaning experience been?