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3 yo Weaning

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  • 3 yo Weaning

    My son turned 3 yo in November and mom is about ready to wean. Near his B-day I reduced him to 3x/day, wake, nap and bed. He's done fairly well and sometimes falls asleep without nursing (which he rarely did before), however, when mom says no it can sometimes result in a whining child and crying (often not genuine) and I don't think this conflict is good for us. I'd like to hear how other mom's gently weaned there 3+ nurslings.

  • #2
    Yes, I would also love to hear other's weaning stories. My 2.5 year old still nurses, usually at night and before a nap but sometimes for a brief reconnect if I'm home during the day. We've been able to lessen the duration somewhat by counting to 10 and then "taking a break," and often he does well with this but at times he wants to continue. I feel ready to wean and, like the reader above, don't like the crying when I say "no" (especially if it's during the middle of the night). It hasn't been worth fighting that battle yet, but gently weaning suggestions are highly appreciated!


    • #3
      Here are some comments from the Facebook page in response to this question:

      Comment 1
      I say let your son decide when he's ready to wean.

      Comment 2
      ‎3 years! congrats! There comes a time when you need to do what you feel is best for you as well. You gave 3 years of yourself, literally, to your son. You did an amazing job! I wish you all the best with the weaning.

      Comment 3
      I am feeling ready to wean as well, my son will be 3 in a few weeks. One thing I read that I found very helpful, was to remember that "nursing is a partnership, not a one way street". If your child wants it but you are DONE and have reall...y explored the situation, but feel it is hindering your ability to be a good mother in other ways, then let yourself do it without guilt.
      I have been trying to encourage "lovey" dolls and such around while we nurse, so he has a comforting association with them, and maybe they will help transition. Good luck!

      Comment 4
      The LLL book "How Weaning Happens" is a good overview of different ideas on this topic...


      • #4
        Weaning my 2.5 year old opened up a whole new aspect of mothering that had not existed for me with this particular child. Whenever I sat down she wanted to we cuddle and read books and it is a new type of relationship with this child that I cherish.
        It has not made her need me less. She still prefers me over everyone else and I can not leave her happily with many people and I can't leave her for too long of a time. She still sleeps with me and cuddles close most of the night. She is just over 3.

        How I did it....I had tried to do it slowly...cutting back on nursing time and trying to cut out nursing sessions. This had worked well with my first child.
        Cutting out nursing time did not work for this child at this particular stage of her development. Unless I nursed her for as long as she wanted she was terribly upset (read full on tantrum) if she had never even gotten to nurse. And unless I nursed her on demand she was terribly upset...she was 2.5 and wanted everything instantly. I felt overwhelmed and stuck and really worried. I had hoped to nurse her longer but I decided the best thing was to stop all together. She wanted to nurse so frequently and it just seemed unless I dropped everything to nurse her, she was spending a huge part of her day terribly upset that she was having to wait for me to finish x, y or z.
        It was a time of conflict.

        So for several weeks, whenever she asked to nurse I spent an intense 10 or so minutes with her. I read to her, played games with her...whatever I needed to do to engage her mind but also her physical need. I held her close in my lap but turned her facing away from me. If she would try to assume position to nurse, I would turn her back around and say, "we are not going to do that right now." I would give her my undivided attention for the amount of time she needed and then she would move from my lap and i would slip away to finish whatever chore I was doing.
        Over the time, her requests to nurse became less and the duration of time needed to move her through that need became less. And then she stopped asking...

        Night time was harder because I was tired, but there was plenty of mornings where we started the day at 5 am because she couldn't go back to sleep without nursing. We had cut out most nursings at night previous to this daytime weaning so she was sleeping pretty well...just that last early morning nursing session.
        I would just try and provide her with as much physical touch (rubbing her back, rocking her, etc.) and we got out of bed if we needed to.

        It worked well for us and there were no tears during the day (some at night) and she got and still gets comfort from me whenever she needs it.. And it was sad because there were plenty of times when she did ask to nurse that I would have been fine to sit quietly with her and nurse her as long as she needed.
        Looking back, of course, I think I could have done it differently. I wish I could have found a way to ease her through that developmental stage of wanting everything instantly while still nursing, but at the same time, cuddling with her after she gets bump or a bruise is just a special to me as that time we spent nursing. And it feels less passive. The effort to comfort her without nursing is more engaging for me.