Attachment Parenting

Self-weaning at 18 months?

Have any of your LO's self-weaned as early as 18 mo?

 Until recently DS was still nursing 8-12 times a day.

I started working a few weeks ago. It is part time but there have been a few long days. I've expressed just the minimum to keep from hurting myself, as I've been hoping we'd slow down a little and this job would help with that. However, several times he has nursed on my lunch break, and mostly the hours have only been 9-4 if that.

In just the past few days, DS has been choosing not to nurse pretty frequently. At night he'll wake up crying and miserable, but won't nurse. He'll cuddle up to me and go to sleep. That hasn't happened in his entire life! He has been super nurser! Yesterday in the probably 6 or 7 times he asked to nurse or I offered it, he only had one full meal, at bedtime. The rest of the time he would go to latch and then just stop, either before getting my nipple in his mouth or else he'd have it in for like 3 seconds. In the middle of the night he was bopping on my boob like he didn't know how to nurse. :(

So anyway, I wanted to see if this sounded normal or if I should call an LC. If he is done, I think I'm okay with that...if this is just what slowing down is like and we're doing it all at once, I'm fine with that too. I just don't know!

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Re: Self-weaning at 18 months?

  • Oh and I POAS this morning to see if it was that. Negative.
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  • Around 20 months DS suddenly stopped nursing one day, he was still nursing a few times a day and at night.  I continued to pump to keep up a supply.  He resumed nursing a week later, but not as much.  I still have no idea what happened.  At 22 months he completely self weaned. 

    At first I was a bit shocked, because it seemed "early" to me and it happened so suddenly.  Looking back nursing was a great experience and DS self weaning felt like a good end. 

    Side note - I was very surprised at how I was effected emotionally, because of the brain chemistry watch for that.

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  • My DD self-weaned ~20 months when I was 20+ weeks pregnant- we had been doing the don't offer/don't refuse method for about a month. Looking back, it seems rather shocking because at 17 months she was still nursing at least 4x a day (AM, before nap, after nap and before bed.) Then I got KU and she had to work a little harder for it for a while and things were all over the map.

    Before she was totally done, things were all over the map, like some days she would hardly nurse and then she would come back and nurse 3-4x in one day, she would go 2-3 days w/o nursing at all, and then come back, etc. It was a very gradual process, which was nice. I honestly can't pinpoint the last time she nursed.  

    Your DS may not be done, but he might not need or want to nurse as much as he once did. My DS is almost 18 months and I have noticed in just the last week he hasn't been nursing nearly as much.  I really want him to continue to bf through cold and flu season, so I am going to make an effort w/ him when I can, but it's hard as they get older and as things get busier w/ the holidays, etc.  


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  • As I understand it, nursing strikes are not that uncommon at this age.  I would guess that it's normal *and* he'll pick back up on it again for the next growth spurt (or tooth).  I think reading his cues, like you're doing, is FABULOUS!! :)
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  • Emotional difficulty? Oy...then I really hope he isn't totally weaning right now because we're about to move across the state and still haven't figured out where we're going to live!!

     It definitely may be a nursing strike. It'd be our first in about a year...we've been lucky on that front.

    He just nursed for the first time today (2:45p) so that is something at least. Maybe he is just down to a few times a day? As pp said, I really wanted to nurse through the winter, but I guess we'll see what happens.

    It does seem that all of a sudden he has learned that there are other ways to be comforted, deal with frustrations/pain/disappointment, and spend cuddle time with me than just nursing, so maybe my little boy is just really growing up!

     Thanks for all the support!

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