Weaning

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Weaning
18
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 2:30pm
Since my response to the 6-year thing could get lost in the shuffle down there, I was wondering what people on this board think should be studied to find out when a child should wean? Who should one listen to, what data would you base yourself on?

I agree with Kathy Dettwyler, that I posted about below in the other thread, that we should look at the animals that are most like us humans (thinking of the number of times I've heard that cats and dogs only nurse their young a few weeks...LOL...I'm not a cat or a dog! ;-)).

Just wondering what other people would base themself on to say a child should wean at X age, or is "ready" to be weaned, etc.

Fio.

Pages

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: macbump
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 2:53pm
Too easy, Fio. Obviously, the one in ultimate control is the mother. Sooooo, it should be up to her and her comfort level. Personally, since I have never nursed longer than 7weeks or so, I can only go on what I *think* I might do. There's NO WAY I would be nursing my 4.5yr old. I do believe that I would have weened my 2.5yr old by now, but only within the last few months. He has changed and matured so much in the last few months that I am sure I would have begun to feel a bit uncomfortable with it. Who knows.


christine


~christine~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: macbump
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 3:04pm
That's an interesting thought...but I guess my idea is, putting the mom aside for a moment...how does one decide that a child should be "ready" to wean/be weaned? I know some people who have their kids weaned from *anything* (bottle, breast, sippy) by a year, and from the paci. by like 15 mos. And they feel fine about it. What do they base themself on? I personally think that is WAY too early.

I think if I were REALLY gentle with it, it might be possible to wean Sandrine...she's just over 3...but I'd really rather she do it when *she* is ready, rather than arbitrarily setting a fixed time for her that may or may not be what she "needs" (be it physically, emotionally, etc.). Sort of like potty learning...I waited until she was ready...and boy was she ever! She wanted no more dipes from a friday afternoon in january on. She had an AVERAGE of 1 accident a day for about a month, and a few during the night from time to time (fewer than during the day, really!), but it was her initiative and she was ready. I might have been able to get her to be dry and potty-trained by 2.5 if I'd been working on it constantly. Or maybe earlier...but I wanted to leave it up to her.

But my question is still, how does one decide on an appropriate age?

I was interested to hear you'd probably have felt ok nursing your 2.5 yo up until somewhat recently. That says alot, I guess... :-)

Another thing I've noticed though, is that even though I think *mentally* that 6 or 5 is a perfectly *normal* age to still be nursing sometimes, I always do have a moment of startlement when I see a friend nursing their older child. I find that MY children are always so young looking to me, and Sandrine still seems so much a baby, where perhaps another child looks "big and too old" at 18 mos, KWIM? It's definately something one works into. I wouldn't see myself starting out nursing a 15-month old having never nursed them as an infant I guess...it's a gradual thing.

Anyhow, thanks for the thoughts. Always interesting to see your POV.

fio.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: macbump
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 5:39pm
Wow, that's a really good question. I don't know what I would trust for that source.

I do know that I would like to nurse my son for *at least* two years, probably longer. I just believe that they still need it at that age. I think weaning should be very gradual because I believe there are a lot of emotional reasons for BF'ing. I think my child will tell me when he's ready.

Sort of like your dd was ready to start using the toilet. Sure, you could have pushed her to do it sooner, but she did it in her own time and seemed like she did pretty well!

It's very hard for me to say what age is too old to BF...it really depends on the child. But I definitely think by the time a child is in school that they are probably pretty ready!

Very good question! Thanks!

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: macbump
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 5:52pm
Ok......how about this.....


I "weaned" my then 19mo old from the bottle ONLY because he had severe reflux and was literally vomiting every single bottle. I had no ither choice but to not only remove the formula but the bottle that it went into because I am against anything but formula being in a bottle. He stayed on his bottle as long as he did because he literally "needed" it. He wasn't taking in enough calories from solid foods so we(the PED and I) continued with his formula for as long as we did. Anyway....

I "weaned" my first ds from the bottle at 10months. I thought that it would take me that long to remove it. It turns out it took me no time at all. I just continued to remove a bottle till there were none left. However, he did have his pacifier. I "weaned" him from his pacifier at just before 2yrs because I was pg with my second and due in a couple of months and felt that if he continued with its use after the baby, there was no way I would ever get it from him. I was also on the mindset of letting a child tell me when he was ready to potty train. But, that idea went out the window when my then near 3.5yr old would grab a diaper and set down in front of me to change it. His "weaning" consisted of me not buying anymore diapers and telling him, "when they're gone they're gone." He cried for the first day or so when he wanted to go in the diaper, but that was it. NO "training" necessary because he already KNEW what to do he just liked hi slittle arrangement.

I do believe that by the age of 2 a child should be weaned from a bottle. That's my comfort level. Same goes for the pacifier. I believe that by two years of age a child is capable of more *complex* relationships with inanimate objects. The bottle nor the pacifier are "needed" anymore.


You're right about seeing your own child as a "baby" whereas another child their same age is a "big boy" or "big girl." LOL......


christine




~christine~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: macbump
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 8:45pm
Thats easy. I base it on me and my baby.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: macbump
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 9:20pm
I read somewhere that most children self wean between 2.5-3 yoa. Although I guess it's none of my business, it would strike me as odd to see an older child BF. I wouldn't tell someone they should stop nursing their child, but I would be happy it wasn't me. However, by the time a child starts school, they really should be weaned. I can't understand what benefit the child gets out of nursing at that age. For us, the cut off will be by the time Sierra is 2.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: macbump
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 10:15pm
I must say...

"I do believe that by the age of 2 a child should be weaned from a bottle. That's my comfort level. Same goes for the pacifier. I believe that by two years of age a child is capable of more *complex* relationships with inanimate objects. The bottle nor the pacifier are "needed" anymore."

I do think that as long as a child is showing a need for sucking, I would let them keep SOMETHING. If I FF'ed, probably a paci. If not, then I'd much rather my child suckled on ME than an inanimate object by the age of 3 or higher. My personal belief is that if a sucking need is not met, it turns into something else, more nasty later. Personal belief that people may feel free to debate or not...but I was weaned cold turkey at 7.5 mos from the breast, never took a bottle or paci or sucked on my thumb/fingers. I bite my nails. I know a lot of others in similar situations (ie weaned "early") who have gone on to chew pens, smoke, chew fingernails, etc. Yeah, people who self-weaned do too probably...but perhaps less frequently. Just my opinion on that, no data to back it up.

However...that said...WRT to more complex relationships with inanimate objects...this is where I see that nursing is FAR from an inanimate object, so therefore, I can see how a child could easily wean from a paci by 15 mos and still want to nurse and have nursie-cuddles with mom for *years* to come. ;-)

I know one such child: still nursing a lot at 2.5, but weaned himself from his paci at just under 2 yrs of age.

I do see why you weaned your DS of the bottle WRT reflux. But you kept the Paci. That keeps a sucking need satisfied probably. :-)

I must say...DD1 has basically stopped sucking on her fingers THIS PAST WEEK. It is totally new. She has started nursing MORE which I can accept and respect for now, for the sucking need, but she says her fingers taste gross (new to me!). I'm glad she stopped sucking on them before school age so as not to be teased by classmates (whereas even if she nursed 3 times a day by kindergarten age, who would ever have to know if she didn't say anything?), and glad she stopped sucking on them before weaning from "me". ;-)

Anyhow...just my thoughts on this stuff.

Fio.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: macbump
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 10:20pm
I think that a child who weans at 2.5-3yo is generally (and I am saying generally loosely, as I know there are exceptions...) a child who has never been encouraged to "comfort nurse", who has had a lot of limits put on nursing from an early age.

People I know who nurse 5, 6 yr olds generally have not put a lot of limits on nursing their children ie only 4 times a day by the age of 12 mos, only at Gramma's house and our house by 3 yrs old, etc.

I'm not saying I never say NO. That's not it at all. DD does get put off, partly due to things i need to do, partly due to having a younger sibling who needs me for xyz reason too...but if I'm avail. and she wants to nurse and I have no "good reason" I don't say no.

I think that a child who has many fewer limits put on them constantly, from an early age, will nurse longer often. But not always...some take kindly to limits and some don't obviously (I know some who only stopped asking constantly to nurse when the mom took away the "only 4 per day" rule, and only a few months after that, as if they needed their "fill" before being able to withdraw from it).

JMHO.

Fio.

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: macbump
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 11:49pm
<<>>

No, ds#1 kept his pacifier after I weaned him from the bottle at 10mo. DS#2 went cold turkey from bottle at 19mo. He never would take a pacifier. It was a VERY difficult two weeks. UGH.....just thinking about it.


christine




~christine~

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: macbump
Sat, 05-03-2003 - 11:50pm
Uck Fio, just thinking about a 5-6year old nursing. I have a big problem with it.


christine


~christine~

Pages