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Do children really wean off the breast? Some advice/encouraging needed I think

(11 Posts)
Iamamesswhy Tue 04-Oct-11 21:54:43

DD is 2.3 years old and still breastfeeding 3 or 4 times a day. I separated from her dad 5 months ago and she has been twice on holiday with him for 10 days each time and has not had any breast milk at all while away which makes me think that she does not really need it blush.

After separating I stopped breastfeeding her but when she got back from her first holidays she asked for mummy's milk and I put her on my breast thinking there would not be any milk left. My surprise was that there was and plenty grin.

I have never planned to breastfeed her for this long and although I love it and makes my life easier sometimes, other times I feel like I have had enough. So my question is do children really wean themselves from the breast or do they need some encouraging? I have been waiting thinking that maybe she would stop on her own but at this point I cannot see that happening. Am I being selfish wanting her to wean off blush?

I need your exeriences as I do not want to make this a roblem for her either for me. Thanks in advance

frutilla Tue 04-Oct-11 22:03:35

I had to help DS1 to wean as he was very clingy. I just kept trying to offer him something else and so we cut down gradually starting from 2 years, but if he cried for me I let him nurse. I never turned him away. I made chocolate milk in his sippy cup, using a small teaspoon of chocolate powder and cow's milk and so it was a bit of a treat.
When he was ready to stop completely, at about 2 yrs 3-4 months, he readily accepted the alternative, no more tears. There was a heart wrenching time when I could tell he missed it and was quite mournful at times but by then I thought it would be more cruel to regress (and he seemed too aware) so I just encouraged him in the weaning. I was pregnant at the time, with tender breasts, so it was a natural stopping time. Good luck!

frutilla Tue 04-Oct-11 22:07:03

Forgot to add, if your DD has been away from you, I wouldn't count that as her having been weaned as you weren't there iyswim, so I think you are doing the right thing. Once she is reassured by your presence again, with a little encouragement she will naturally move onto other sustenance.

Concordia Tue 04-Oct-11 22:08:16

i weaned at 2y2m to be honest i was hoping she would self wean but atlhough i enjoyed it and felt sad to stop at other times i felt like i had had enough. i felt a bit guilty but just offered a cup with some juice in (as i knew she liked juice, sorry not the best dental advice) i explained she could have that instead, that milk had finished. i felt sad doing it but it only took, well, less than a week. then she'd forgotten all about it. i was worried it would impact on her sleep as it was in the bedtime routine, although she didn't feed to sleep. but thankfully it didn't.
she's just turned 3 and it gets me mad how she thinks her dolls should be fed from bottles because seh can't remember breastfeeding.

Knackeredmother Tue 04-Oct-11 22:11:10

Frutilla, I used hot chocolate too as a tool to wean by dd when she was 2.5
She still asks for hot chocolate now when she's tired or upset (she's 4).
Op my ds is nearly 2 and I'm feeling the time is coming to wean and again hit chocolate will be my weapon!
My dd would never have self weaned and my ds is showing no signs either! I think if YOU are ready you may need to gently encourage them.

Knackeredmother Tue 04-Oct-11 22:13:22

Concordia, my ds brings his toys for a bf. Today I have fed Mickey, Minnie, tigger, buzz Lightyear and barbie!

AngelDog Tue 04-Oct-11 22:17:02

How Weaning Happens is supposed to be very good, and looks at lots of different ways of weaning.

I found Mothering Your Nursing Toddler helpful too, although my DS is still feeding avidly at 21 months.

Iamamesswhy Tue 04-Oct-11 22:35:37

DD won't drink cows milk at all. I have already tried hot chocolate and even though she likes chocolate at the moment that it is mixed with milk she puts this horrible face and won't drink it. Althoug she loves juice so I may try that option.

MigGril Wed 05-Oct-11 10:09:14

DD was still having that many feed's at that age. She did love her milk. I went down the don't offer don't refuse approach with her. Just before she turned 3year's she did stop but I was PG with DS and encrouged her to give up her last feed as felt very soure.

At this age they are still getting lots of goodness from BM, I will let DS self wean, as although I never refussed DD I still feel like I did push her a little. I'm sure she'd have carried on feeding if I hadn't have been PG.

By 2.5 she was only having morning and betime feed's nothing else and I was quit happy with that.

It's important that you both feel comfatable about it. As you have split from you OH and has been away with him she may be useing it as a way to reconect after you've been appart so go gently on her.

Iamamesswhy Wed 05-Oct-11 14:28:06

I don't offer but she keeps asking. She has a feed when she wakes up in the morning (we sleep together), a feed before she goes for her nap and a feed before she goes to bed at night. She will sometimes ask for a feed or two during the day but they are no proper feeds more for comfort I think.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 05-Oct-11 14:55:55

from what i've read, although some dc's self wean from 2 onward, four is more common and is infact the world wide average, but it can be later. Estimates re a natural human weaning age put it at between four and seven.

So i'm sure you all would have found your dc's self weaned eventually ....but it could have been some time away. Bf becomes nigh on impossible once milk teeth are replaced by adult teeth anyway.

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