Saturday, July 21, 2012

Breastfeeding Carnival Day 6: Weaning

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Blog Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Timbra Wiist landslidephotography {at} hotmail {dot} com. Today's post is about Weaning and the family. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed in the comments section at The Carnival runs July 16th through the 31st!  

I will talk about Monkey more than Kangaroo in this post because Kangaroo hasn't fully weaned yet :). 

The weaning process begins when you introduce solid foods.  We have had to do so cautiously because we knew there was a risk of food allergies in my kiddos due to my food allergies.  Monkey had some severe carrot and peanut allergies and was originally allergic to peas, bananas, cinnamon, apricots, and several other things the first time he had them (we think barley was among them because he would throw up every time he had some organic animal crackers and that was the only new ingredient in them).  We started feeding him homemade baby food when he was 6 months but didn't really push it.  He started out by just having tastes once a day and I tried a second time a day when he was about 8 months but he wasn't really interested.  We didn't start trying too hard until he was about 10.5 months and was more interested in having meals with us at the table (about the time he started really feeding himself).  

Monkey continued the weaning process and at about 14 months started dropping feedings and just wasn't interested in nursing at times that he used to be.  By about 14.5 months he determined he was done and dropped his last couple feedings over a few days.  I was very upset because I wasn't quite ready for him to be done but he wanted nothing to do with it and never looked back.

I've done the same things with Kangaroo.  Kangaroo COULDN'T keep solids down until he was about 9ish months and still wasn't super interested in having more than a few bites here and there (that he had to feed to himself) until he was about 11ish months.  Kangaroo loves solids now and eats every meal with us.  He still nurses a lot too.  I keep feeding him on demand (except of course if it's super inconvenient or if he's been nursing for a couple hours straight and I simply need a break or to go to the bathroom or whatever.  I don't believe in letting a toddler COMPLETELY demand everything because I think he needs to start learning boundaries a bit and understand that it's a relationship not one sided.  That being said normally when he asks me I will nurse him and if it has been a while and he hasn't asked I'll ask him if he wants to nurse (usually the answer is signing milk to say yes or he'll run right over to me). 

With both kids I've set smaller goals.  With Monkey it started out at 6 months which was the age I was weaned because I bit my mom.  I determined that biting wasn't going to keep me from nursing him since that's all he COULD do for the first few weeks and I had to train him not to bite me to nurse but to suck instead.  Once we came closer to 6 months I said I wanted to nurse him AT LEAST a year and then take it from there.  When Kangaroo arrived I said that I really really wanted him to nurse until at least 18 months but 2 if possible and we are now at just over 18 months and going strong.  I don't know if I see myself going much past 2 but if he still needs it I'm not going to stop him.  I don't have a date set on a calendar of when I will wean him and I'm already ignoring a lot of pressure to wean him.  I plan on just taking it a day at a time!

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