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?