Weaning Video Series #5: Gentle Weaning Advice

June 14th, 2012 by Dionna | Leave a comment
Posted in Breastfeeding/Lactivism, Carnival and Special Series, Carnival of Weaning, Compassionate Advocacy, Feed with Love and Respect, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting, Respond with Sensitivity, Video/Interactive Posts

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Even if your family does not practice child-led weaning (or “ecological” breastfeeding), you can practice child-honored weaning. In other words, you can follow your child’s lead while taking your own needs into consideration, gently encouraging your little one to nurse beyond the breast.

Today’s video is part 5 – the final video – in our series on weaning. In this video, several of my breastfeeding friends offer gentle weaning advice.1

Please feel free to leave questions in the comment section. If you need weaning help, we would gladly lend an ear or our own experience and research. We hope that this video series has helped prepare and reassure you for the end of your own breastfeeding journey. And we wish you a gentle and peaceful weaning experience.

Be sure to read below the video for tips from Natural Parents Network volunteers and readers of Code Name: Mama and NursingFreedom.org on how to comfort recently weaned children.

Comforting Little Ones Who Have Recently Weaned

  • From Shannon of Pineapples and Artichokes: “Moira always liked to suck our fingers, so she did a lot of that. I also made sure we snuggled on the couch, read books, I sang, pet her hair, and rubbed her back and legs. She didn’t like hugs and kisses at the time, but I would have done that if she had wanted them.”
  • Juliana and her little one would often “assume the position” – I would “lay my kiddo in my arms like we were nursing and engage in the same tender touching of the face, a little extra sweet talk . . . usually just sitting together for about five minutes would do the trick. Enough time to decompress and hit the restart button. I had to remind myself over and over again that it wasn’t just the milk that was comforting. [It was] the entire process, the intimacy of those moments. That’s what they were soothed by, even without nursing.
  • Amy at Anktangle said: “Daniel rarely nursed for comfort, so that aspect of our relationship didn’t change much after weaning: we still cuddle when he’s injured or sad, and he particularly likes tight hugs when he’s feeling overstimulated or scared.”
  • Kristen shared: “By the time my older son weaned, the process had been so slow and gradual that slowly multiple other ways to comfort had worked their way into our interactions. Hugs, kisses, cuddles, etc. had become eventually more “powerful” for him than nursing when seeking comfort by the time he weaned. [Our second son]] isn’t fully weaned yet, but the same process has unfolded with him. It just feels seamless.”
  • Emily of Embrita Blogging advises: “Milk and snuggle: milk in a bottle/sippy in a cradle position. And kisses. Lots of kisses.”
  • From Rebecca: “Lots of hugging. Reading books on my lap. She became a daddy’s girl after she weaned though, and Dad would snuggle with her at bedtime.”
  • Kat of Loving {Almost} Every Moment shared: “By the time they weaned they were old enough that they got comfort from me (and hubby) in other ways. We talked to them, hugged them, cuddled or read stories. Nursing was no longer such a dominant form of comforting as it had been when they were smaller. Both of our kiddos love stories and songs! One the biggest ways I comfort/reassure them is to sing made up songs or stories about the situation they are dealing with. I make sure to validate their feelings in the song/story and provide a few possible solutions too. They really respond to that and ask for it over and over, until they have moved past that specific issue they are dealing with.”
  • Randi, Marnee, Lesley and Jen emphasize the increased snuggles, kisses, singing, and talking about needs.
  • Daniél of Three Blind Wives says: “Breasts are still involved in my comforting, just in a different way. When my little one (almost 4) is really upset, I will cradle him and hold him tightly to my chest. He nuzzles up, and finds a lot of comfort there.”
  • Leslie from Real Child Development shared: “My four year old falls asleep rubbing my belly. That’s his comfort. For my six year old it was my elbow, he would rub it between his two fingers. And now for my weaned two year old, he puts his hand on my chest to fall asleep. It’s funny, each of them just chose another body part!”
  • Shannon of The Artful Mama reveals: “When he is tired or looking for connection he has started saying ‘want some’ and pointing to my breast, since the new baby is here. My response has been to say ‘you don’t really want some – you want snuggles’; he smiles and settles in for snuggles and sucks his middle and ring fingers. If he is upset or hurt we cuddle in the same way and he likes me to rock when he is really distressed or overstimulated.
  • Secret Mommy shared: Both my boys (aged 2 1/2 and 4) nursed til they were just over 2, and still if they are hurt or sad or tired will snuggle up close to my chest and usually even stick a hand down the “middle” between my breasts. In fact my 2 year old did this the other day when I got him from his nap and I said, “Why are you putting your hand there?” And he pointed to my breasts and said, “Because this one is soft, and this one is soft and in between is REAL soft!”
  • From Hannah: My little girl has a rabbit teddy bear called arr, my mother in law made it for her as an exact copy of the one that she made for my husband when he was as child, also called arr. Arr was my husbands favourite comforter and is also my little girl’s; if she’s upset, having arr always helps to calm her, she just rubs the ribbon round his neck between her fingers.
  1. Thank you to the wise and wonderful mamas who contributed to these videos. They are:

    Amber of Strocel.com
    Amy of Me, Mothering, and Making It All Work
    Gretchen of That Mama Gretchen
    Kat of Loving {Almost} Every Moment
    Kym of Our Crazy Corner of the World
    Lauren of Hobo Mama
    Shannon of The Artful Mama

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