Munchkin is 4 today. If you had told me when she was born that she would still be nursing now, I wouldn’t have believed it. My original goal with her was to nurse for 6 months, yet here we are. My goal now is for child led weaning.
Some people view child led weaning as meaning that the child has full access to nursing any time she wants it, and that mom never says “no”. This is not the case for us. I did night-wean her when she was 2, and I was pregnant with Sweets. I also spot weaned her when I was pregnant to cut down on how often she nursed. And since she turned 3, I have limited her to only nursing first thing in the morning and/or last thing before bed (the rest of the time, the milk is for Sweets). She continues to nurse once a day most days, typically when she first wakes up in the morning. Sometimes she nurses both in the morning and at bed time, and other days she doesn’t nurse at all. When I say that my goal is child led weaning, I mean that I will let her decide when she is finished with nursing, not that I won’t place any limits on it while she is still nursing.
There have been several occasions when I was convinced that she had weaned. For about 6 months when I was pregnant, she only nursed an average of once per week. Sometimes she skipped as much as two weeks before asking again. I really thought she had weaned more than once, and I thought that she would wean very shortly the whole time. I said to myself “I’m sure she will be weaned by the New Year at this rate” and then “I’m sure she will be weaned by the time the new baby comes,” but that wasn’t the case. When Sweets was born, Munchkin started nursing more again, but after about a week, she told me that she didn’t want to nurse anymore because it made her “feel sick”. I thought for sure she was weaned that time. But a week later she asked again, and she’s been pretty steady ever since. She will still skip a few days if we have house guests or if we are traveling because she gets distracted, but once we are back in our routine, she is ready to nurse again.
Lately, I have started talking to her about weaning. I have told her that one day she will be weaned, and that means that she won’t want to drink Mommy’s Milk anymore. She seems to think that is pretty silly, and that of course she will always want to drink Mommy’s Milk! But I see a few signs that she’s considering that some day she will actually wean. Since her birthday was coming up, I asked Munchkin if she thought she might wean when she is four. She told me, “Well, maybe when I’m 55.” I guess that’s progress!