Friday, July 30, 2010

She Will Let Me Know

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about child-led weaning. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

  I still hold onto guilt for making my first child wean, even though she was 2 1/2 years old. It was forced, upsetting, trying, and stressful. I felt like I was breaking her heart and it was killing me. I am not quite sure why I gave into what everyone was telling me or feeling like I just could not do it anymore. When my second child was conceived I was determined to be a stronger mother for her.

During my second pregnancy, I read about breastfeeding in my la leche league book, talked about it online, and remembered my experiences with my first child. I did not quite decide to do child lead weaning until DD2 was about 2 years old. I just kept making small goals like making it to 6 months, then a year, then a year and a half and so on. I even tried night weaning because of her front teeth being more susceptible to tooth decay. I could not go through with it. She just kept crying and nothing would console her. With family, doctors, dentists all telling me I needed to wean at a little over 2 years old, I just started responding with "We are doing child led weaning." "WHO recommends breastfeeding until at least 2 years old." "She will let me know when she is ready to stop." Every couple of months it seems I need to reassure people in our lives that we are still doing child led weaning and she will let me know when she doesn't want to breastfeed anymore.

I have noticed that DD2 feeds less often. She is more into playing with her older sister and neighbors. She wants to play pretend and change 20 times a day into another outfit. She stays busy. Even so, it is comforting for her to wake up and go to sleep with some num time. It is the first thing she asks for when she gets hurt or upset. It is her "blankey," and it is so awesome to be able to provide her with a stable source of comfort and get to have some time for just her and me. I cannot say that breastfeeding for this long has not put stresses on different parts of my life, but I do not nurse for my benefit (although there are multiple benefits for me).

One of my jobs as a parent is to make sure that my child is secure in her place in this world. Breastfeeding offers her security in a time of metamorphosis from baby to child. I will continue to offer her the security she needs. I let her ask for num and most often I let her tell me when she is finished with a session.

Another task as a parent is to make sure she is well nourished. There is nothing made better for human consumption than human milk. I feel confident in my breast milk. DD2 has rarely been sick. She has never had antibiotics, she is not immunized. She is always in the top percentile for her size. It supplements her picky diet as a toddler. It keeps her hydrated.

Maybe another part of choosing child led weaning is that it is out of the "norm" for United States statistics. I want our breastfeeding relationship to set a positive example for people in our lives. Breastfeeding is normal and it is good. I am tired of people being weirded out by something my breasts were meant to do. Maybe more people will see that what we have is good and be more supportive to breastfeeding relationships in the future.

She will let me know when she is done breastfeeding. It will be on her terms.

 Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.


  1. good for you, thankfully we never had to deal with doctors nay-saying our nursing. they did give us crap for actually parenting her at night though, saying to let her cry for a while so she could learn to sleep.

    i dont much like being told what to do :P and i'm glad you two are doing it your way

  2. I admire your strength and determination about this! Sorry that you were pressured to wean before you were ready the first time.