Did you let your DC self-wean from BFing? I want to hear from you!

(9 Posts)
ruthyroo Thu 04-Apr-13 09:23:09

The 4 years average thing gets quoted a lot but I don't know the source. It's a worldwide stat though so includes countries where bf closer to full term is normal unlike here where anything beyond six momths seems to be counted ad 'extended'. The natural age of weaning is a different thing - that's the (theoretical) age at which a human infant would normally have weaned at if we were still living as our hunter- gatherer forebears did. That is reckoned to be somewhere between 4 and 7 years - also the age that children lose their baby teeth which makes sense. A lot of babies 'self wean' before this point in our society - it's rarely true self weaning, usually they are being offered lots of substitutes, alternative drinks, being night weaned, having feeds restricted during the day - simply not offering to nurse and waiting for baby to ask is an active weaning technique.

mumnosbest Wed 03-Apr-13 11:04:58

Watching with interest as this is all new to me. Both DS and DD1 almost stopped BF altogether at about 1 yr so I made the decision to wean them. DD2 is 14 months and going strong and at the moment I intend to BF untill she's ready to stop. I'm quite surprised that the average age seems to be 4ish.

leedy Tue 02-Apr-13 17:04:18

DS1 only required a very gentle nudge at 2.5, but I was in the second trimester of pregnancy, he was already down to only bedtime, and I think my supply was tanking. He was "very big and drank all the milk", apparently.smile

As I'm not planning on a DC3, we shall see what happens when DS2 gets to that age....

Startail Tue 02-Apr-13 15:02:53

err no, we agreed that BFing when you could do it standing up without a chair was daft. I guess she'd have given up before secondary school, but I do wonder.

I should add that this is my, streetwise, peer pressure worrying about, parents are embarrassing DD. The teen attitude started long before she gave up BFing confused

ruthyroo Tue 02-Apr-13 14:39:37

Gentle mother led weaning is a very acceptable alternative to self weaning . True self weaning does not generally happen until the child is at least 3 or 4 years old so it's unlikely your lo will do it soon. What you are doing by not offering during the day, limiting feeds where you can etc are already steps down the road to gentle weaning. If you decide to nightwear at some point that'll be another big step in that direction. Are you cosleeping? If so, and you decide to change that at some point then that'll be another step closer.

It sounds to me like you are responding to what your son tells you he needs. That's the key I think.

wigwam33 Tue 02-Apr-13 11:02:20

merrymuzzie I feed him first thing in the morning and before bed time and then once (sometimes 2 or 3 times at night). Rarely during the day. I have more or less set these parameters, except for night times where I tried night weaning but it was awful and didn't work. (cried every night in father's arms for 1 or 2 hrs for 2.5 weeks before I gave in! He was 20 months and everyone had said to me 'it will only take 2 or 3 nights. Yeah right). He did go through a phase of sleeping through this January for about 3 weeks but then went back to waking up 2 or 3 times.
EauRouge Thanks for the encouragement and the tips. You're amazing to have b'fed until 4.6. Well done! Maybe I need to accept that self-weaning might suit my son but is going to be too long a road for me.

EauRouge Tue 02-Apr-13 07:58:54

2.4yo is very young for self-weaning. Most children are a bit older, it's often bandied around that 4yo is the average age but I'm not sure how accurate this is. My eldest is 4.6yo and seems to be finally winding down, with a gentle nudge from me.

There's nothing wrong with moving the goalposts if you aren't happy with the way things are going. A lot of mothers in your position are there by accident, it's rare to plan self-weaning when you've got a tiny baby. The right time to give up is the right time for both of you, not just your DS. But then it's normal to have bad days, bad weeks etc and think you've had enough and then suddenly everything is great again.

If you are set on self-weaning think you will both know when the time comes. If you are still feeding on cue would you feel happier setting a routine? Maybe only feed morning and night and after lunch or something? There's lots of space for compromise smile

merrymuzzie Tue 02-Apr-13 00:24:24

I did and it happened at 14 months, but then dd was always very into her food! How often are you feeding?

wigwam33 Mon 01-Apr-13 21:57:17

That's it really. I want to hear from people who have BF'd until their child decided it was time to stop. Entirely of their own accord.

My DS is 2 yrs and 4 months and still going strong. I was initially committed to him self-weaning, but right now it feels like he never will!

Please tell me your story....

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