Will my toddler ever wean? What worked for us and a FREE ebook!
Does it seem like your toddler is breastfeeding more and more as time goes by? Isn’t the opposite supposed to happen?
Children grow up, and naturally and gradually lose interest in their mother’s milk.. After a certain age, they just don’t want or need breastfeeding anymore.. and that's a fact.
But “certain age” can mean 18 months old, or it can mean 5 years old. If left to decide for themselves, children do self-wean, but when?
Some kids just naturally gravitate towards alternative forms of food and comfort from an early age. Some kids want to hold on to breastfeeding for as long as they possibly can. Moving house, a new sibling, or starting school or daycare usually comes along with increased interest in breastfeeding. Because when the world around us changes, breastfeeding is the constant. Breastfeeding is home, you could say. And it's the last physical link to the first home.. the mother.
If you have one of those kids that will. Not. Let. Go and seems to want to nurse till he’s 25 AND you are sooo ready to turn the volume down, here are a few little tricks that worked for me.
1. First, I stopped nursing at night.
My little girl agreed to our new nursing routine with a little convincing from me. We enjoyed reading the book Nursies when the Sun Shines by Katherine Havener and she totally got it. No more breastfeeding at night.
With my son, on the other hand, night weaning would not have been possible without my husband’s support. Steven would cry for me, and would accept no form of comfort from me that was not nursing. So I would either escape to another room if he was in bed with us, or my husband would go to him. He had to be so patient. And every once in a while it didn’t work. But when it did.. hallelujah we all slept.
2. I wore “the wrong clothes.”
Oops! This shirt doesn’t pull down. Oops! I put on a dress today. I liked this trick because it wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t nurse.. it was my clothes’ fault.
3. Cool, calm distraction
The “cool” and “calm” part is probably even more important than the “distraction” part of this trick. If I said “NO” with a stern or irritated voice, that made my kids want to nurse more. If I said, “actually we are about to go out… where is your favorite shirt?” or “I am making a special tea.. let’s drink it together. Do you want a curly straw?” it seemed to allow us to skip the drama. Just be cool about it. No nursing, no big deal because we’ve got this other thing.
4. I stayed flexible… for me
Surprisingly, my moments of “omg I am so over nursing,” often didn’t last. When I figured out how to not feel trapped (I could not nurse at night and figured out how to calmly distract), I actually found myself wanting to nurse sometimes. Feeling in control of my body was good thing, and made our nursing sessions special, because we were both consenting to breastfeeding. So, sometimes I was in “weaning mode” and sometimes I just relaxed and breastfed my babies. This was also my journey, after all.
5. I steered clear of advice that didn’t seem respectful
Honestly, I think that my kids would have been fine with any kind of weaning. Led by me, led by them, cold turkey or more gradual. I was the one that needed a slow and flexible process, and I needed other people to understand that.
So when people told me to “just stop, they’ll be fine,” I felt like there was no consideration of my feelings. What if I, the mother, don’t want to “just stop?”
I felt most comfortable talking to people who made an effort to understand me, and didn’t try to give me advice, especially advice that didn’t take into consideration both my feelings and the feelings of my children.
So, wouldn't it be great to have a little children's book to read with your child at bedtime, one that could remind you of these little tricks and also let your child know that he's not alone in this transition?
Maybe a little ebook? Maybe for free? Well, since you asked...
I wrote a book especially for you, sweet mother, to read with your older breastfeeding child.
I tried to capture the beauty of breastfeeding and what a child must feel when he is all snuggled up close to his mom.
Weaning from breastfeeding is not “breaking a bad habit.” It’s simply transition time, and this book celebrates it. It celebrates your journey together, gives credit to the loveliness of breastfeeding, and gives a spark of hope for what is to come.
It's got a couple little questions for your child to answer so she can reflect on who she is and what she likes, and I've included a few more ideas for parents at the end (including a recipe for a special tea). Enter your details below and download instantly. I hope you enjoy it!
Wishing you a smooth weaning! and happy reading. I'd love to know what you think of the book and if your child likes reading it. And please share your own tricks for saying goodbye to breastfeeding. Let's learn from each other.