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Old 07-18-2008, 11:05 PM   #1
twobabymama
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would love to hear your thoughts on weaning 3 yr old

DS has always been an avid nurser, and I never put any restrictions on it until he was at least 18 months old. We night weaned at about 2 years, and he has only nursed upon waking in the am and occasionally for going to sleep until age 3. For the past few months since he turned 3, I have tried to get him to cut down on nursing except upon awakening in the morning. I have also been talking to him about all of the great foods he gets to eat now, and that he doesn't need to nurse like when he was a baby, but that we get to do lots of fun "big boy stuff", like play at the park and read books together, and of course, lots of cuddles. I have really felt like I am ready to wean him, and I am also nursing his 6 month old baby sister, so I guess I am feeling a little tired, but I also don't know if it is just societal pressure, as well. I just want to make sure I am doing what is best for him. Also, dh is REALLY ready for me to wean him, although he has been extremely supportive until now.

He does still ask to nurse a lot, and I am struggling with knowing when to say no. As with any major parenting step, I guess I just want to make sure I am handling things the right way, and I would love to hear thoughts from any attachment parenting style mamas. Thanks!

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Old 07-19-2008, 02:12 PM   #2
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Re: would love to hear your thoughts on weaning 3 yr old

First of all, I think it's good for you to know that you are ready to wean, and that you have given him this great gift for three years. Every nursling becomes a non-nurser at some point, so do not feel guilt about whether calling it off now is best for him. It is up to you and you have decided that it is time, and that this will help you be at your best for him and your other LO. I would set a certain date for weaning, and plan a special event for just the two of you. He is old enough to understand you explaining to him that nursing time is done for him now that he is big, and that it will still go on for baby sis because she's little. Figure out what big boy thing you can have him do to celebrate his advanced age and a last nursing, like go on a certain slide at the park that is just for "big kids," or get a scooter or trike or legos or whatever says "big boy" to him. Let him know that there are 5 days left until this big milestone, and count them down with calendar Xs or something concrete he can see. Talk about it a lot before it happens. Of course you know it is important to still provide him cuddles, and he may ask to nurse in the mornings, but if you get him up and start doing something right away with him it will be easier when/if he asks to nurse and you need to tell him "not anymore" and re-direct him. Start a new routine, like reading a book first thing, or going out to the window together and looking at what the world is doing, so he knows that he can still expect some time with Mommy when he wakes up. HTH!
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Old 07-19-2008, 02:33 PM   #3
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Re: would love to hear your thoughts on weaning 3 yr old

I'm in the same boat!

My older daughter will be three in Oct and my youngest is 7mo. Personally? I'd rather not have to nurse my toddler, she's so funny when she eats lately, she likes to stand up and bend over and nurse upsidedown!!! WTheck? Or lay on the bed facing me but with her feet in the opposite direction.... she's having fun, I guess. Lots of times Liza (the older nursling) is doing something odd and she makes my Lola (my baby nursling) laugh out loud, and it is sooooooooooooo stinking cute. I think they have some kind of nursing bond (even though it is ultra rare that they nurse at the same time/together).
I'm SOOO proud to have made it to almost three years old. I know my nursing time with her is almost over and I'm cherishing every moment of it. Personally, forget the social pressure and let your child lead the way. You know the days are numbered, why rush it unless you really want it to end?
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:13 PM   #4
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Re: would love to hear your thoughts on weaning 3 yr old

Quote:
Originally Posted by imamama3 View Post
First of all, I think it's good for you to know that you are ready to wean, and that you have given him this great gift for three years. Every nursling becomes a non-nurser at some point, so do not feel guilt about whether calling it off now is best for him. It is up to you and you have decided that it is time, and that this will help you be at your best for him and your other LO. I would set a certain date for weaning, and plan a special event for just the two of you. He is old enough to understand you explaining to him that nursing time is done for him now that he is big, and that it will still go on for baby sis because she's little. Figure out what big boy thing you can have him do to celebrate his advanced age and a last nursing, like go on a certain slide at the park that is just for "big kids," or get a scooter or trike or legos or whatever says "big boy" to him. Let him know that there are 5 days left until this big milestone, and count them down with calendar Xs or something concrete he can see. Talk about it a lot before it happens. Of course you know it is important to still provide him cuddles, and he may ask to nurse in the mornings, but if you get him up and start doing something right away with him it will be easier when/if he asks to nurse and you need to tell him "not anymore" and re-direct him. Start a new routine, like reading a book first thing, or going out to the window together and looking at what the world is doing, so he knows that he can still expect some time with Mommy when he wakes up. HTH!
I think this is great advice. I started setting limits with my dd when I felt like our nursing time should come to an end. I was preggo and REALLY tired and she was 26 months, so I felt like it was time to end. I think the things this mamma suggests really worked for us, especially keeping your nursling busy. My dd was so busy learning about everything that she sort of forgot about nursing, until the new baby arrived and she told me she just wanted a sip and started lifting my shirt.
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:45 PM   #5
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Re: would love to hear your thoughts on weaning 3 yr old

Thanks!! All of that is great advice and much appreciated!
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:02 AM   #6
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Re: would love to hear your thoughts on weaning 3 yr old

Hi, I was looking up threads nursing toddlers and was wondering if you had an update. Did you end up weaning? I know it's only been about a month.

My dd is turning 3 in Oct. and I'm wondering if this will ever end!?! She nurses tons still, I'd actually just like to shorten it to a couple times a day, like your ds.

Hope it's going well!
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:10 AM   #7
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Re: would love to hear your thoughts on weaning 3 yr old

I think its great your nursing him that long! But if your ready to stop then you need to really stick to that. Maybe offer him some juice in a "big boy" cup or something. I am not much help as I am not weaning yet. But congrats on nursing that long hun!
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