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Weaning My 4 Year Old – For Reals This Time

Weaning My 4 Year Old – For Reals This Time

weaning

You could say I’m an expert on weaning. I should be, I’ve been doing it for the last 2 years. I’ve spent more time trying to wean my daughter than I’ve  spent just breastfeeding her. Though admittedly my ambition to wean her comes in waves. I make a plan, and have a good run at weaning her…. and then give up, or accept that it’s not the right time. 

Writing about Weaning

On the upside, weaning her has been some pretty good blog-fodder. 

I started out very optimistically. I wrote “10 Tips For Gently Weaning A Toddler” Two years ago.

One year ago – at a low point I wrote “Weaning A Toddler and Failing”.

Followed by “My Last World Breastfeeding Week As A Breastfeeding Mother

…. And then the next World Breastfeeding Week – still a breastfeeding mother

On the topic of World Breastfeeding Week,  three years ago a doctor told me that my daughter was too old to breastfeed and that I should wean her immediately (and asked if she was drinking “Regular milk” – because apparently human breast milk is not regular milk for a human child).

Oh how I love to pop back into that doctor’s office and tell him she’s still breastfeeding. Just to see the look on his face.

Then I should look up the nurse who told me just before my daughter’s 2nd birthday that “The only reason she’s still breastfeeding is because you keep offering it”, and her statement was so utterly absurd that I couldn’t even manage a response. So she gave me this smug *gotcha* look. I wish I could tell her that she could not be more wrong. If she announced the sky is pink, trees grow upside down and dogs can fly – she could still not be more wrong than telling me that the only reason that my daughter breastfeeds is because I offer it to her.

Then the nurse and I could possibly discuss all the common concerns people have had about breastfeeding preschoolers.

The Plan

So, what is my spectacular, fool proof, perfect plan to wean my daughter that will totally work THIS time and I won’t be writing another article about breastfeeding her ever ever again, because this phase of my life will be over once and for all……?

I’m going away for 5 days. That’s it. Essentially I’m not going to wean her, her father is. Because I’m the one with the boobs and they seem to keep getting in the way! 

I have all my fingers and toes crossed that 5 days is a long enough break from the boob she won’t want it any more.

She’s been warned. We’ve talked about it a lot over the last couple of weeks. She’s moderately okay with the idea. I told her when I get back there won’t be any milk left – she did ask if she could “try and see” if there is when I get back, but I’ve told her that’s it. We won’t try. We don’t go back. 

Hopefully it’ll stick.

Hopefully this will be the end of it. This time. For reals.

(Oh, and if you’re also headed to Problogger in a couple of days and you notice my boobs leaking, exploding out of my top, or that I keep touching them in pain…. Well… now you’ll know why… )

Have you weaned a particular persistent child? What did the trick in the end? Or did they EVENTUALLY self wean? 

About Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central Australia. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner.She has a background in early childhood education, but right now is content to be a stay at home mum.She is passionate about birthing rights, breastfeeding and mental health. She enjoys crafting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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I get the “joke” here. I totally understand the feeling of being so bound to your babies and role as their mother that any time out, even if it’s just a half hour trip to the supermarket can feel like a holiday. But I feel like I need to say it: A trip to the supermarket by yourself is not a holiday. A holiday is a holiday! Mums deserve better standards of what we should consider a decent break.

7 comments

  1. Melissa Sorini

    Hahahhahaha good luck!! And thanks for the heads up about the leakage…..

  2. Last PB was the start of my weaning process… I say start because it was another 5 months til he was done. LOL. Good luck!

  3. Alexandra Bennett

    Haha. Good luck. My first self weaned due to my pregnancy at 19 months. My second was weaned just after his 5th birthday. It was a long process. It wasn’t traumatic for him. There were no tears. But he’s 7 now and still sometimes cheekily asks for boobie juice. And he’ll roll his eyes and gets this dreamy face when you ask him what it tasted like. His description “it tastes like loooove”. Can’t blame him for not wanting to stop then.

  4. When weaning Mr (then) 3.5, the feed he had the most trouble letting go of was the first feed of the day. I am not ashamed to say that I bribed him with milo. Milo mixed with ‘proper’ milk hahahah

  5. Aditi Wardhan Singh

    Wow ! I can’t imagine breastfeeding for so long. It’s so hard. Here’s to a successful weaning time for you… ?

  6. Beth Slade

    Loved this. I expected my very independent second child to self wean at 1 like his brother. 2 months from turning 2 (and that was my cut off point, ) no signs of slowing down. Have no idea how we’re going to go with weaning ?

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