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They DO all self-wean eventually don't they?? <panics>

(13 Posts)
BertieBotts Mon 21-Jan-13 21:44:40

DS is 4.3. Lost his latch a few months ago, in the sense that it's now uncomfortable, varying to painful when he "latches" and it doesn't feel like he's getting anything out. He also only ever nurses for about a second or two, max, which makes me think he's doing it for the sake of doing it rather than getting anything (calming, nutritionally, etc) from it. He only does it at bedtime, and not every night, maybe once a week - very occasionally he will ask in the day but I usually say no now.

I don't mind feeding him in theory because I would like him to stop on his terms, but I'm slightly worried that as he can still get the tiniest bit of milk out (TMI, but DP has got some out before by mistake, so although I thought their latch changed so that they couldn't get milk out, I don't think this is the case for DS- he certainly can't inhibit letdown any more, though.) he's still in the habit of asking for milk. I said in a joking way to him tonight "Aren't you a bit big for milk now?" and he gave me the sweetest grin and said "Nobody is too big for milk!" which was a lovely thought, in a way, but all the same!

Argh - I guess I'm just looking for reassurance that he WILL stop, or even people saying "No it didn't happen like that for me - once they lost their latch that was it." so that I can feel comfortable in myself just saying no, because it has to end some time. At the moment I've got in my head an absolute cut off point of when he gets his first wobbly tooth, just because wobbly teeth freak me out, and I don't really want him putting them anywhere near me blush <selfish> however it's also just annoying more than anything now and DP is getting really freaked out about it grin - he's already asked gingerly if I can stop BF the next one at 3 or so (which is an improvement on his previous tolerance, but I suspect a compromise measure being more than he's really comfortable with!)

DoodlesNoodles Mon 21-Jan-13 23:03:10

I just stopped mine cold turkey at 12 months. They asked a little the next day and that was the end of it. I was amazed at how little they cared about it. We just had hugs if they needed comforting. I fed the first two DC for 12 months and the third for 9 months.

EauRouge Tue 22-Jan-13 08:49:43

Ha, we are like twins grin My DD1 is the same, crappy latch and complaining that there's no milk coming out, or that it comes out too slowly. She did try her own version of breast compression but she only tried it once- not having that!

I'd always read about them cutting down gradually and then skipping off into the sunset but that's not at all how it's happening with DD1. She seems to be outgrowing it physically before she's outgrown it emotionally. After hours of googling and asking around I did find a couple of similar stories. Basically it boils down to how long are you willing to put up with it. I had one friend tell me that her DD was like this for a year before she finally weaned, but then sometimes they have weeks where they grow up all of a sudden IYSWIM.

They do lose their sucking reflex. My DH has also got some milk out once by mistake but it hurt like hell and I yelled at him not to be so rough again. I guess that's the difference between a child sucking reflex and an adult one.

Can you get your DP to read the man chapter of Breastfeeding Older Children?

Dunno what to suggest other than trying to cut down gradually. Are you still feeding on demand (and it is demand rather than cue with a 4yo!!)? I had to get DD1 to cut down to morning, lunch, afternoon and bedtime and she STILL pesters me all day. Sometimes I think she asks because she forgets we have a fridge full of apple juice and a cupboard full of breadsticks.

It WILL end. But I think 4yo is around about the average so some children will go on much longer. I don't know what my cut off point is (wobbly teeth sounds about right though!), I'm just playing it by ear. Luckily my DH is on board, as are other members of my family so that makes it much easier for me.

BertieBotts Tue 22-Jan-13 09:24:54

It's never hurt me when DP has got milk out - in fact I was totally unaware, I only asked him because a friend is BF and was entering into a new relationship and she wasn't sure whether she should "warn" her new man or not! I breezily said oh no, it isn't an issue, and then asked DP and he said er, actually no I have tasted milk before but I just never mentioned it blush

Is that the Ann Sinnott book? I don't have it. I don't think DP has any typical "man" problems in that sort of sense, he just said that for him it felt uncomfortable to see once DS was past 3 or so and kind of "felt" wrong. But he came into my/DS' life when DS was 2, so he was already "older" if that makes sense. I don't think any of the rest of my family have any idea he's still feeding!

As I said in my OP I do feed "on demand" but if he asks in the day I usually say no now and he's happy with that. If he asks at bedtime I usually say yes, but he doesn't ask every night and it's always one or two seconds and then he says he's had enough confused

rubyslippers Tue 22-Jan-13 09:25:30

He will stop but if you want to before that, that's fine

You've fone amazingly

I read a great quote from the Food of Love which says you feed until it does your head in grin

I stopped feeding DD when she was three years / it had driven me mad for about a year and she showed no signs of stopping herself

We did cold turkey and it was smooth for us both

Interestingly, she tried to latch last week and couldn't at all

EauRouge Tue 22-Jan-13 09:32:15

Yes, I do think they forget once they haven't done it for a while. Sometimes DD1 says she's forgotten how to do it and then she cries and cries sad Forgot to say, she is also 4.3yo (Oct 2008 baby?) but she has a 23mo sister who I'm also BF so I don't know if that makes a difference to weaning.

BertieBotts Tue 22-Jan-13 09:40:53

YY Oct 08! smile Were we both on the thread? I was so rubbish at keeping up!

I have friends who are tandem feeding and their eldest has stopped and they're younger than DS so I don't think it does make a difference. Although one has just put an amazing picture on facebook of her tandem feeding her two - so perhaps not quite weaned then grin

I think I would quite like to just stop him now TBH, if only because we're emigrating in about 6-8 months and it would be nice if he was totally finished before then so that he doesn't suddenly ramp it up out of insecurity - although to be fair he tends to look for comfort in other ways now anyway.

But then I have this conflicting sadness because I wanted him to be able to self wean and I feel like I'm depriving him of that, and what trouble is it to me really?

I think EauRouge you have it spot on saying he outgrows things physically before he's ready emotionally to let go. It has been the same for everything, walking, sleeping, potty training. Trouble is I don't know whether a push from me is being cruel to be kind or just cruel!

CailinDana Tue 22-Jan-13 09:42:16

I only bfed to a year so forgive me if this is a stupid question, but is there a reason why you can't ask him to stop?

BertieBotts Tue 22-Jan-13 09:44:23

Not really Cailin other than my desire to let him self wean. I feel like it would be silly to get this far and then make him stop. I'm probably the one being silly though smile

CailinDana Tue 22-Jan-13 09:47:45

Ah fair enough. I don't think it's silly at all, but it does sound like you've reached the end and he's sort of hanging on so it might just take a conversation to end it fully.

EauRouge Tue 22-Jan-13 10:38:25

I don't think I joined MN until after DD1 was born so I wasn't on the Oct 2008 thread. Same age though smile

Our DCs sound similar, I had to push DD1 into potty training after waiting ages for her to say she was ready, as all my friends said she would- she never did but she was ready since she was dry in only a few days- she just needed that push!

She really doesn't like change or trying new things. People are always saying "she'll let you know when she's ready" but I think she needs a bit of gentle encouragement in the right direction grin I don't think it's cruel necessarily, if you try something and they are really not ready then you can always stop. Getting them to try something is not the same as forcing them to do it even if they're not ready. k

Sorry for any typos, both DDs are helping me grin

Where are you emigrating to? If you say Canada then that's spooky, we really will be twins!

LakeFlyPie Tue 22-Jan-13 10:54:53

I wonder this too.
DS1 (4.8) is still v keen on his bedtime bf. He understands that most children of his age don't have bf anymore but doesn't mind and thinks he "might stop when he's 10" shock
DS2 (2.2) is still 3-4 x day (and all night if he can get away with it)
I forget that he's now generally considered to be extended bf as he seems the baby in comparison.
I never considered bf past 12 mo when DS1 was born but now am more intrigued than ever to see the process of self weaning.
Always find it v reassuring to see posts like this as am bit ashamed that I no longer 'admit' in RL that I bf DS1

BertieBotts Wed 06-Feb-13 23:00:17

Just a little update to say that DS asked for milk tonight after I'd got out of his bed and was standing near the door and I said no and didn't feel guilty grin and he just accepted it - he asked for milk in a cup but I said there wasn't enough and he accepted that too. He didn't seem sad or anything at either.

Apologies as I think I missed the last couple of replies before - EauRouge no not Canada, Germany smile

DS is definitely slower to gain confidence in things than he is physically developed to do them - I remember he took three steps unaided at 10 months, but didn't notice that he had done it because he was concentrating on the thing he wanted to reach! He didn't walk unaided until 16 months, even though he'd been one of the first of his peers to cruise at 8 months. He could crawl at 8 months but didn't sit up until 9 months.

LakeFly I don't admit it in "RL" either apart from to my LLL friends or those who I know "get" extended BF. One of my friends asked the other day if he was still feeding in a really negatively phrased way and I said no, and then DP mentioned that he still does at bedtime and I could have strangled him TBH, it's just easier not to mention it. I think he was wanting "backup" to prove his point that he struggles with it, which I thought was a bit unnecessary because I already know that most people think DS is "too old" TBH. I just happen not to agree grin

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