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Surely 53weeks is too young to self wean?

(45 Posts)
nannyl Sun 23-Sep-12 20:23:03

Am really upset...

I have just put DD to bed without any milk..... (she was 1 last week)

She just wouldnt even get her mouth anywhere near my nipple and did not want milk.

I cant quite believe it..... she cut her top 2 teeth 9 days ago, (and has been biting me since), yesturday was normal-ish (though she had a cry before having her before bed breast feed)

she was unusually up at 3am this morning wanting a BF (I didnt give her any, and tried settling her with water / cuddles etc for 2 hours, before at 5am i gave in, and she gulped down 2 boobs (as normal)
she then over slept so for the 2nd time ever, I didnt offer her a BF upon waking and went straight to breakfast instead.

she (for the 1st time ever) refused milk after her nap today... (bit me hard twice, so then didnt get any, but didnt seem to want any either)... so she had a bigger tea than usual .... then point blank refused bed time milk too.

Are my breastfeeding days over already sad

I had always intended for her to self wean, and hoped it wouldnt happen until much nearer 3 years, and i cant get over that yesturday she had her normal 3 feeds, and today..... nothing.

I am now desperate for her to wake tonight (mad i know) but i cant quite believe that my breastfeeding time could be over so suddenly sad sad sad and im certainly not ready for her to self wean, even if she is sad sad sad

midori1999 Sun 23-Sep-12 20:29:26

I'm no expert, but from what I understand self weaning is very gradual and sudden 'weaning' like this is much more likely to be a nursing strike.

MigGril Sun 23-Sep-12 20:32:21

No this is not how weaning happens, sounds like you are dealing with a nursing strick. And if you want to carry on feeding then you can probably encourager her back to the breast.

kellymom website has a good section on nursing strickes and how to overcome them. It's probably just her teeth.

nannyl Sun 23-Sep-12 20:35:02

oh wow!

thank you so much, you have made my evening smile.... will have a look at kellymom now

Mintyy Sun 23-Sep-12 20:35:09

Is it? My dd stopped breastfeeding at 12 months and my ds a little before. I thought this was well within the realms of normal.

chocolatetester1 Sun 23-Sep-12 20:38:30

My DS started to self wean at 10 and a half months, dropped one feed a week for a month and by 11 and a half months we were done.

My attitude to it was like everything else with him, listen and observe and go with the flow. If he refused a feed at the same time of day twice in a row and then didn't ask for it the next day, I reckoned he's said no and I'd listened. And if I tried to push the feed and was bitten (happened twice) I took that as a very clear 'no'!

I felt I was much luckier than people who really wanted to wean off the boob but had resisting DCs.

If your DC is eating more solids and wanting less milk, maybe don't mourn the end of B/F, it's one less thing to fit into the day! Enjoy the free time!

LadybirdLipstick Sun 23-Sep-12 20:48:08

Out of interest, having three children who I believe self weaned between 10-12 months, despite my wanting to continue bf, why do infants go on nursing strike? I see it said a lot on here and tbh, it sounds like a term given when infants want to stop and mothers don't, and the mother wins the battle of wills!

I sort of get that you can't make a baby nurse who doesn't want to, but I think some may just give in and bf again because they aren't really being given the choice to stop and it stops the tension between mother and baby if they 'give in' start again hmm. However, it feels a little like some mothers aren't respecting their (non-verbal) baby's desire to stop, despite their behaviour suggesting they want to.

Apols if this isn't the right thread for this debate - please report it if so. i just guess I feel uneasy with the quick MN answer of 'it's a bf strike', when maybe it is a baby making a choice which a mother doesn't want to go along with, but maybe should if we are being baby-led?

OP - best of luck. Maybe your LO will feed again. Maybe not. It feels hard whenever it happens, so best of luck!

nannyl Sun 23-Sep-12 20:49:34

well reading kellymom does make it sound like nursing strike

seems like a combination of teeth / telling her off for biting hard yesturday (she cried but then fed nicely) and refusing to feed her at 3am could all be causes sad

next mission is to fix it..... wish me luck!

DinosaursOnASpaceship Sun 23-Sep-12 20:52:12

Could you be pregnant? My ds3 did the exact same thing (and I was gutted too) turned out I was pregnant and I read that the milk changes taste. My ds1 also refused to be breastfed when I be and pregnant with ds2.

nannyl Sun 23-Sep-12 20:52:38

interesting post ladybird (i dont believe it needs reporting!)....

given how i could not make DD feed, i personally dont see how you could make a child BF if they didnt want to. Just my opinion!..... i couldnt get her mouth or face anywhere near my boob!.... and i certainly wasnt going to force her!

nannyl Sun 23-Sep-12 20:54:17

pretty certain im not pg..... got 1st AF just 9 days ago

(would love to be pg, but I am as certain as i can be without taking a test that im not.... and 3 weeks ago i got a -ve test too)

LadybirdLipstick Sun 23-Sep-12 21:06:23

I've just read the Kellymom page, and still feel unsure. It suggests that a nursing strike is both normal and yet abnormal - that a baby self-weaning before close to two yrs is unusual, but at the same time says that many babies do show behaviours at around 12 months that suggest their preference is to wean. If so many babies do this, why is this not taken that they do actually want to wean, and it isn't just a temporary thing?

I am also a little uneasy that one of the suggestions is that if the baby is having a bottle alongside bf, that the teat should be a newborn one to make sure the milk flow is slow. That feels to me like trying to force the baby to take the breast hmm in preference to struggling to get milk from a bittle. In whose interest is this 'tactic'? hmm

nannyl I guess in terms of 'making them', it is a question of keeping on offering till you wear them down. At some point they will give in for an easy life. The psychological impact on the baby of a disturbed mother/baby relationship (from not doing what their mother obviously wants them to) may well win over their desire to stop bf?
Just thinking out loud here - making no claims of expertise!

Good luck smile

nannyl Sun 23-Sep-12 21:13:51

"I am also a little uneasy that one of the suggestions is that if the baby is having a bottle alongside bf, that the teat should be a newborn one to make sure the milk flow is slow. That feels to me like trying to force the baby to take the breast in preference to struggling to get milk from a bittle. In whose interest is this 'tactic'?"

I agree with that.... not applicable to me / us though as my DD wont take a bottle anyway.

oddly at tea time she kept biting the spout of her sippy cup too (as if cross with it) but happily drank it with the lid off, like a normal cup

OH has decided that the spout of a sippy cup is like a nipple and she just doesnt want them anymore.... i have argued the a sippy cup spout and my nipple are very very different!!!!

midori1999 Sun 23-Sep-12 21:15:15

Well, bottles aren't 'natural', are they? So if no bottles were given, which would be biologically normal, then the child would be able to develop a preference at all. Plus, Kellymom does suggest use of a cup in babies over six months if possible.

I'd be interested to know of incidences of nursing strikes or warning before two in cultures where no bottled are used and babies/toddlers are close to their Mother all or almost all of the time.

midori1999 Sun 23-Sep-12 21:16:22

Wouldnt be able to develop a preference is obviously what I meant....

LadybirdLipstick Sun 23-Sep-12 21:22:06

Lol nannyl. You would have thought your OH might have noticed the differences smile

Tbh, I find the whole nursing strike/self weaning thing difficult. I am really pro bf, and pro women's choice to feed/not/stop or not. I just wonder in this scenario if we are ignoring a baby's choice?

I am sure there are lots of anecdotal - 'I thought my baby was self weaning, but started again after a week - it was a nursing strike' stories, but also a similar number of those of us who tried to get their babies feeding again who just simply were no longer interested. If that was because the babies were also eating some solids and choosing more independence, I don't think we as mothers should impose on their decisions when it isn't a matter of nutrition/health/security. We could in someway be undermining their desires to 'move on' which in itself might not be a healthy way to go, psychologically speaking. <<<shrugs>>>

ScariestFairyByFar Sun 23-Sep-12 21:24:48

My dd is 16m and some night refuses to feed,I've worked out usually the day before AF confused she'll be back feeding in no time I'm sure smile

LadybirdLipstick Sun 23-Sep-12 21:28:25

midori, well no, bottles are not biologically normal. However, certainly in our culture, they are normal, so does that just mean that the buiological norm to wean has shifted forward? Is that a bad thing? Bf for two years was a healthy thing to do in dangerous times, but those dangers no longer apply now, do they?

It is a bit (not much, I admit, but I am off to bed!) like suggesting that we don't use the car because it isn't biologically normal not to walk everywhere. However, being able to use a car does have good points; we now have a choice to walk or drive over long distances. Some poeple like to walk for miles, and others don't! I have to suggest that IMHE, some babies like bf more than others too!

midori1999 Sun 23-Sep-12 21:32:06

Ladybird, you seem to be implying that mothers who continue to offer the breast during a nursing strike are somehow pressuring their child into nursing again? Now, considering my 15 month old has probably nursed around 25 times at least today, I can't see a nursing strike likely, but from what I understand about nursing strikes, pressuring the child in any way is not likely to result in them nursing.

As for asking who benefits, well, as breast milk is an important part of nutrition is children under a year old and superior to cows milk once the child is over a year, then I suppose you could compare it to encouraging a child to eat vegetables. Not absolutely essential to health, but pretty beneficial if they'll eat them.

I know myself that at times when my DD doesn't want to nurse, I couldn't force her to even if I wanted to and I don't think suggesting mothers encourage children to nurse during a nursing strike for their own benefit and possibly against the child's preferences is much different to asking if women nurse 4 year olds 'for their own benefit as they can't let go'. hmm

nannyl Sun 23-Sep-12 21:35:22

i see what you are saying midori

but for DD she has already chosen no more bottles (made that choice at 4m old, when she would no longer drink expressed BM)

and i would maintain that BFing remains a healthy thing to do smile

she cant / wont have a bottle instead of a BF (though i guess she can have a cup of cow milk instead) I would rather she had BM though, as it is healthier. (she certainly wont get formula instead)

midori1999 Sun 23-Sep-12 21:36:13

I don't think the biological norm for weaning age has shifted in our culture. I think some babies (if they even do and it's not a nursing strike) wean earlier because of unnatural circumstances which are forced upon them by our culture.

I don't disagree that some babies enjoy nursing more than others though, but maybe that's cultural too, as plenty of people see comfort nursing as wrong or use dummies.

Rubirosa Sun 23-Sep-12 21:37:54

Ladybird - I think most mothers wouldn't accept a baby's decision not to have any milk without trying to persuade them to take it. A baby of 10-12 months still needs milk at that age don't they?

I stopped breastfeeding at 13 months (my choice) and my ds refused cow's milk - I admit to doing my absolute best to get him drinking milk short of forcing him because I really believe a child of that age needs milk in his diet and he wasn't old enough to make a decision not to have any.

mawbroon Sun 23-Sep-12 22:00:29

Does she have a lip tie?

nannyl Sun 23-Sep-12 22:08:39

i dont think she has a lip tie....

how would i know.... and if she did, surely it would reveal itself before 1 year?

she was a natural BFer (bit of luck as i had her at home as planned, and never had any help or guidance as midwifes had gone home by the time she needed feeding, luckily she knew what to do smile)

LadybirdLipstick Sun 23-Sep-12 22:09:31

Just a quickie - midori (and Rubirosa) - I am not talking about mother pressuring a baby to bf in a bad way. But, the rapport between a mother and a baby is like a dance. They communicate on a number of levels. If a mother if offering the breast (not pressuring) and the baby is refusing, the mother will at some point be stressed, even if trying not to show it. Babies may pick up on this, and may know that bf again will establish the rapport they had that now feels out of synch. This is how I perceive babies going back to the breast 'when they don't want to'. I am not suggesting physical forcing or even constant offering, just the out-of-balance feeling that will happen when the baby is not doing what it feels the mother wants, when the breast is being offered and then refused. Obviously, a bf mother will offer the breast to try to get the baby interested again, and will do so a number of times. This may feel like pressure to the baby, as obviously the mother does want them to have milk, as to cut it out completely at 12 months is not a good idea. However, not bf and never having milk again are not (in most cases) synonymous.

Re your second post midori - maybe our 'unnatural circumstances' are now 'natural' for own current time and place? Our culture may have changed, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing that babies want to wean earlier now we have access to plentiful and safe sources of nutrition.

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