Mutual Weaning - My New Terminology

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!

At first I said six months.  I would breastfeed my child for six months.  Then he was so small and that did not seem like enough and so it was extended (happily) to a year.  After all, I'd be going back to work after that.  Then, I did not go back to work and he was still such a little guy and was in no way showing any indications of stopping, so we kept on nursing.  Then I got pregnant again, and I thought for sure he would want to stop.  Nope, kept on going.  And then his sister was born and I could not deny him what I was also giving her.  We were at the two year mark here and I think I was getting ready to be done, but my son had other ideas.  He really loved (and still needed) that cuddle with me first thing in the morning and his five minutes of nursing, so we kept going.  Nursing into his third year was interesting.  We usually only did it at home and for very limited time (he would ask me for 1-5 minutes of nursing).  It was our way to connect, for him to check in and get some one-on-one with me and I was OK with that.  As we approached his third birthday we started to have more and more talks about his continuing to nurse and what it meant to be a big boy.  At this point he was nursing maybe once every other day or once or twice a week.  We kept talking about it every day until his birthday and then..... we nursed no more.

Neither one of us was sad about it and I think that was the most important thing for me.  I needed to be able to let go and not feel like I was missing anything or had left him missing or needing anything.  And I needed him to feel like he had 'graduated' to a new chapter in his little life and be proud of what he had done.  I think we accomplished this.  I never pushed him to stop and I never forced myself to give up something that I felt was always one of the most important gifts I could give my son.  Our journey ended on a high note, and it ended mutually.  I was ready, so was he and so we stopped nursing together.

If you talk to him now about nursing, he will tell you that he nursed when he was a baby, but now he is a big boy and big boys don't need to nurse.  He told me this less than 2 months after we had stopped!  Oh, how their little minds work.  Yes, he is my big boy now, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't still need that extra close cuddle, the one where he rests his little head on my breast and just breaths in the smell of mommy.

And I still need that too.

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