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  • Suggestions for weaning?

    My daughter just turned 2 and we co-sleep in a family bed. We have been extended breastfeeding (my intention was to bf until she was 2 or she chose to wean herself). We are now past two and I'm looking for some weaning suggestions. She begs when I try and distract or redirect her. Since we co-sleep she dream feeds (so night time is hard).

    I am trying to get pregnant (unsuccessfully) and I'm already an older mom (I'm 38). My pediatrician said I was letting her manipulate me... which may be true, but she didn't offer any practical suggestions.

    Any ideas?

  • #2
    There are some good suggestions in this thread that may be of help to you

    If it were me, I'd probably tell my pediatrician thanks for the tip, but I'm only seeking medical advice and not parenting. Your daughter is enjoying the breastfeeding relationship and connection that you've built with her over the last two years. But, it's not manipulation. Sure, it's probably not going to be something she's going to want to give up easily - she probably loves it and that's natural for her to feel this way. But, it's entirely possible to wean her in a way that is gentle and responsive to both of your needs. Check out this link for tips on gentle weaning.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Giselle View Post
      There are some good suggestions in this thread that may be of help to you

      If it were me, I'd probably tell my pediatrician thanks for the tip, but I'm only seeking medical advice and not parenting. Your daughter is enjoying the breastfeeding relationship and connection that you've built with her over the last two years. But, it's not manipulation. Sure, it's probably not going to be something she's going to want to give up easily - she probably loves it and that's natural for her to feel this way. But, it's entirely possible to wean her in a way that is gentle and responsive to both of your needs. Check out this link for tips on gentle weaning.
      Thank you for the link, I will definitely check it out. I love breastfeeding and would honestly be willing to continue for a while longer, but we also really want to expand our family and we have been actively trying to get pregnant for over a year (with a miscarriage in October) so the next step is to wean. Even if I end up needing medical help to conceive, I wouldn't be able to take medication like that while breastfeeding.

      In slight defense of the pediatrician, she wasn't my regular pediatrician (who is great and would never say that to me).

      I admit that I am torn about losing the breastfeeding bond... my daughter wouldn't bf for the first three weeks of her life (despite my attempts and frustration and tears), and everyone including the eight lactation consultants I met with told me I was unlikely to breastfeed. Persistance eventually paid off and she finally latched on when she was 3 weeks old. It was such a hard won victory that it is hard to take it away.

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      • #4
        You worked hard for it and you've been breastfeeding for 2 years...that's a lot to be proud of I know it's hard to have to wean in order to get pregnant. We had to do clomid for both of my pregnancies and will soon need to do IVF for what will hopefully be my third pregnancy. Are you only weaning to try to conceive? Because sometimes you only need to nightwean and that reduces your prolactin levels enough to allow you to conceive. Also, if you had to take clomid, it is safe to take while breastfeeding. Talk with your local LLL leader - she'll be able to give you more details on that. Not trying to talk you out of weaning, as I totally understand if you are in a place where you feel it's time...just saying this incase it may be of help.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Giselle View Post
          You worked hard for it and you've been breastfeeding for 2 years...that's a lot to be proud of I know it's hard to have to wean in order to get pregnant. We had to do clomid for both of my pregnancies and will soon need to do IVF for what will hopefully be my third pregnancy. Are you only weaning to try to conceive? Because sometimes you only need to nightwean and that reduces your prolactin levels enough to allow you to conceive. Also, if you had to take clomid, it is safe to take while breastfeeding. Talk with your local LLL leader - she'll be able to give you more details on that. Not trying to talk you out of weaning, as I totally understand if you are in a place where you feel it's time...just saying this incase it may be of help.
          Yes, I am weaning only to conceive... I will definitely try to nightwean before completely weaning, but that will actually be the more difficult time because we are co-sleeping and I'm there (and she can latch on before I'm fully awake) but will cry if she can't get to the milk (or follow me out of the room in search of milk).

          I absolutely *HATE* the idea of weaning just to become pregnant, because Abby is such a miracle child for me (we had some difficult delivery situations and she could have died at least three different times during the delivery. Basically, my placenta was failing, she was stuck in the birth canal with a too short umbelical cord (shortened because of the failing placenta) and the cord was wrapped tightly around her neck three times. We ended up with a c-section and they still couldn't deliver her for well over an hour and my uterus tore badly during the delivery in order to safely deliver her. Analysis of the placenta showed that it would have failed entirely within 4-5 days -- before my next scheduled OB appointment). The initial nursing issues were because she had literally been starved in utero and couldn't wait to eat until my colostrum came in. She literally had no reserves left at all.

          She is now healthy, happy and very intellegent and high on the charts in height and weight.

          I feel so guilty trying to take the milk from her... yet, I also want her to have siblings -- for her as much as for me. She is very interested in other children and always says she wants siblings when asked (except when I try and use that as a reason not to nurse and then she says no, if it means not getting any milk).

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          • #6
            So many emotions come into play when having to wean to conceive another child. It's hard for others to understand how hard that is, unless you've been there too. So, big hugs to you

            I did nightwean my first to try to conceive my second and I was then able to ovulate with clomid. Before nightweaning, I wasn't even ovulating with the clomid. We cosleep too, so DH helped with the nightweaning too. We started by nursing before I went to bed at night (DD was usually asleep) and then cutting out the first waking nursing. Then when we did got that down, we decreased another night nursing, until we were completely nightwean (meaning, we went without nursing for about 6 hours). I think you need 6-8 hours of not nursing to get your prolactin down. This is what I remember from that time, but I'd verify with a LLL leader. There were tears during nighweaning, but we got through it by holding, rocking, soothing and also DH did some of that too.

            Good luck in whatever you do

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            • #7
              I don't know how much support I can give, but I have successfully weaned my 19 month old; he has gone 5 days without nursing. This took us a few months and a lot of "work", but for the most part he's been happy and hasn't complained at all. When I first started out weaning him, he was nursing anytime I sat down so before I took a break, I would get him distracted with a video (it was winter time and I couldn't let him play outside). He would always be tired and end up falling asleep. Eventually, he started to realize he didn't "need" to nurse to fall asleep. As soon as he woke up, I offered a lot of snuggles and hugs. That seemed to be the key in all of this. We also co-sleep and he would nurse all night long if I let him, but I'm 17 weeks pregnant and couldn't/can't handle that anymore. What I did with that was try to limit how long he was nursing. When he would stop the active nursing, I broke his latch and would offer him a cup of milk. That didn't work for the first few weeks, but eventually he got used to the idea. The only nursing session left was right before bed and I was willing to let that go for a while longer so it didn't feel "rushed" to him, but he willingly stopped that on his own and will just snuggle up to me at night. My biggest thing was to always make sure he had something else to drink, either water or milk, and I still hold him a lot. Also, at night, he likes to hold the top of my breast... I think it's his "security blanket", but he no longer asks to nurse. It was a lot of work, but well worth it. I abruptly ended my nursing relationship with my older ds because I couldn't handle tandem nursing and I still regret it to this day how I did it and the many tears it caused (by my ds and myself). Anyhow, good luck with this and I hope you have some success!

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              • #8
                I am going through the same sort of thing. About a 2 months ago I started initiating weaning with my 2 1/2 year old daughter. It was getting exausting nursing her every 2-3 hours all day and night. Most of the time it was just for comfort and out of habit. I'm trying identify why she wants to nurse and offer an alternative first. If she's hungry offering her food works sometimes, if she just needs my attention I try to distract her with playing. Some times she just needs to nurse so I let her. I love the bond we have, but my husband and I also want to expand our family. I'm 35 and my husband is 41 and we don't want to wait much longer. I've struggled probably over a year about the weaning to get pregnant versus letting her go until she wants to stop. It's tuff, but my goal is to hopefully wean to only 2-3 nursings a day, get pregnant and then hopefully allow her to self wean from that point. My efforts are starting to work since I have had my first period last month since getting pregnant. In the meantime I'm just going to keep at it. One of the leaders from my local group told me you need to look at the relationship, and if it isn't working for both of you, then you should try and do what you need to allow both of you to be happy with your decision and choices. Hope that makes sense. I always felt guilty for putting my and my husbands needs\wants over that of our daughter. I'm trying to come up with a solution that will meet all of our needs and wants without to many tears.

                Some days she goes until almost 1:00 for her nap, other days we nurse every 3-4 hours. I had read How Weaning happens. There are a lot of stories about weaning, and some suggestions on how to gently wean. During the day she has to go to her "nursing chair" in her bedroom to nurse. When she is really busy doing things she won't stop, or stop only breifly to nurse. I'm hoping with summer time approaching and warmer weather playing outside will be a good distraction. At night time I have been telling her after she has nursed a while and the milk is gone, that the milk has gone to bed and will be there in the morning for her. This is a suggestion a few moms in my local group gave me when I started. She crawls on top of me keeps calling for Mom and tries to nurse. So far the crying has been minimal, and she has ended up falling asleep holding onto the breast\nipple. I think nursing or holding the breast is a way for her to know I am there. I just keep telling her I'm there and hold her close when she wants to. I also am trying the suggestion in another response about cutting out one night nursing at a time. Last night she went from 8:00 until 4:30 without nursing. She woke up once, and I told her the milk was still sleeping, and she fell back asleep after about 10 minutes. Then once she woke it was about every 2 hours until she woke up, but were taking baby steps, and I think last night was a huge one for us.

                Good luck, sorry for rambling. I've been thinking about this a lot since yesterday and this is the first time I've had to sit down and type something out.

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                • #9
                  this is a great thread for me as well. I've got everyone beat in age since I'll turn 42 this fall just before dd turns 2

                  We also cosleep and are ext bf. DD is almost 16 months now and has recently stepped up her nursing - I think both because of being sick atm and also because she trying so many new things she needs the reassurance.

                  We would like to try to conceive one more time this year once we have insurance in place so I will have to think about night weaning if I can't get a viable pregnancy in place. I just got my first period since getting pregnant two years ago so I guess I'm on the way. I'm not sure how we will do with nightweaning but I guess we'll see when we get there.

                  So I'm definitely interested in hearing what other's have to say

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