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Needing MAJOR advice weaning 18 month old

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  • Needing MAJOR advice weaning 18 month old

    I will try to keep this as short as I can, any advice would be so greatly appreciated.

    My son is 18 months old and we are still BFing. Mainly it is just a going to bed or nap time thing. The other one or two times is when he has a boo boo. So all the BFing is about comfort. Sometimes when he wants to nurse just because I say "not right now" and he just gives hugs and loves instead, so that's why I think it's just habit/comfort at this point. Also his eating habits seem to not be super great on days he nurses a lot.

    My husband and I are in the middle of a divorce and I feel like it's either now or "never" when it comes to weaning him. We are still residing in the same home, which I was thinking would work to LOs benefit during this transition time before we move out and he doesn't have the security of having dad home every night.

    Also I want it to be gradual at least in the beginning for him, he loves nursing so much, I don't want to hurt his spirit or make him feel rejected. But when it comes down to it, I am needing to wean for emotional reasons.

    So during the day I can distract him and keep him from nursing until he needs his nap. If I can figure out a way to get him to fall asleep on his own without nursing. He doesn't take a bottle or pacifier, but will drink from sippy cups.

    Night time is the big problem for us. He nurses to sleep, we co-sleep for part of the night(just me and LO sans my ex), and he will awake two-ish times a night to nurse and have me flip him over. He has such a positive view of sleep I really don't want to ruin this. He will sleep for half the night in his own room in his big boy bed (he never did the crib thing).

    So...what can I do to make weaning as painless as possible for him? I don't necessarily need him sleeping in his own room all night, but I can if cosleeping makes night weaning harder. And I don't need it to be a speedy process, I'd like him to receive all the healthy antibodies to keep his immune system boosted thru the winter/flu season.

    HELP! Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I think I covered all the details, I hope so!

    Thank you in advance!

  • #2
    Hi!

    Do you mind sharing what parts of breastfeeding aren't working for you? I'm not getting s clear picture from your message. Although I love the idea of child-led weaning, I found it didn't work for me and ended up trying lots of things to reach a good balance for me and my kids.

    I'd love to be able to share some ideas geared more towards the specific things you want to change.

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    • #3
      so

      Well everything is working with BFing, I'm just getting to the point that I feel he is becoming too reliant on it. He uses BFing when he's tired, bored, hurt, needing comfort, to get him to sleep, to keep him asleep, etc. I am getting to the point where I just feel I've had enough BFing. I need us to both move on.

      My biggest concern would have to be the night time feedings and the fact that he still is unable to fall asleep without nursing (minus when he falls asleep in the car). If I could get that under control, I know I can take care of the times during the day he wants to nurse. Thanks!

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      • #4
        I have a 20 months toddler myself, she still Bfeeds, and I don't think weaning's the problem. The point for me is that if we (moms) get stressed up about it, they will certainly be also... I think at this age, even if the milk is goog for creating antibodies as we all know, the truth is that Bfeeding is about emotion and emotional bound, more than about increasing the toddler's imune system - Specially because emotional and imune system are not two separated systems but go along together, I thing maybe this should be considered... Good luck for you and take it easy

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        • #5
          I have a 1 year old who is still actively breastfeeding. I'd also like to start night weaning as well. I think Im going to have to sleep in another room. Or at least sleep in a different bed in the same room so that he won't be able to just roll over and nurse when he feels like it. Have you tried sleeping in another room? How did that work? It seems like if you could first eliminate the middle of the night feedings, maybe the other nap time and bed time feedings might be a little easier to stop?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mrsalbertson View Post
            Well everything is working with BFing, I'm just getting to the point that I feel he is becoming too reliant on it. He uses BFing when he's tired, bored, hurt, needing comfort, to get him to sleep, to keep him asleep, etc. I am getting to the point where I just feel I've had enough BFing. I need us to both move on.

            My biggest concern would have to be the night time feedings and the fact that he still is unable to fall asleep without nursing (minus when he falls asleep in the car). If I could get that under control, I know I can take care of the times during the day he wants to nurse. Thanks!
            Thanks for clarifying! I felt overwhelmed with my daughter's nursing when I was pregnant. She was older than your child (she turned 3 when I was a few months pregnant). I handled it in some ways that worked and some that didn't -- trying to get her to sleep with dad and have him not bring her to me if she woke up and wanted to nurse did not work at all and was devastating for all 3 of us. I think the problem with this solution was that I was only thinking about what I wanted and not what she wanted.

            What ultimately helped us was my simply reaching clarity on why I wanted to nurse less or didn't want to nurse at certain times and sharing this with her. It didn't immediately result in her agreement, but she understood over time and night-weaned with my encouragement. I would tell her that I didn't want to nurse because I was really tired and wanted to sleep. I would tell her if I didn't want to nurse because it was physically uncomfortable. I also shared with her that I deeply cared about what she wanted, and wanted to work with her, but my body didn't feel good nursing as much as she wanted to.

            What seemed to sort of settle out the best for both of us was to allow her to nurse when she wanted to, but the minute I became uncomfortable with it, telling her that I wanted her to stop nursing now. Most times she did this quite readily. There were occasional times when she didn't stop and those were tough for me to handle, but being honest and aware of my own feelings (and not taking them out on her, remembering that I am the one who gave her nursing as a solution to all of those challenges in the first place, what else is she supposed to do?) really helped.

            Now, when I remember how hard it used to be to pull away from her when she fell asleep nursing, how she never fell asleep without nursing, and see how now she lays down and is out within minutes, I am so grateful that I allowed her to take her time. Those times are all a distant memory now, and were a very short part of what will be our overall relationship.

            I really appreciate the experience we had. It was a true test of what our relationship can be for both of us, really sharing each other's concerns (not in an adult conversation kind of way, but in a mommy-daughter way), and really working together to help each other. I was really amazed at how well she was able to do this for me, when I gave her what I could and openly shared what I wanted.

            Hoping you and your son find a peaceful way through weaning!
            Adrienne

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            • #7
              slowly weaning

              i had originally thought I would wean when my son reached 20 months. I did with my other son, but he wasn't as reliant on boob as this little one. B feeds all the time still. sometimes for no reason other than to have boob. Just today I have begun talking with him about sleeping in his cot next to us all night instead of being in bed with us and feeding all night long. I take encouragement from you that you did that with your daughter. I hope it will work as well even though his is only 19 months. I'm sure if I keep talking to him and staying light about it, he will eventually get used to the idea and want to sleep all night next to our bed and not in it. I suppose it's all about following your heart and respecting their little person.
              Nerida

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