Conversations about Weaning

Although I'm not contemplating weaning quite yet, I know there are probably plenty of moms out there who are struggling with the decision and how to go about it.

La Leche League International graciously offered to donate a copy of "How Weaning Happens" by Diane Bengson for today's giveaway. I made up a few common questions about weaning and answered them below using quotes from the book.

Q. Are there certain ages/stages that are easiest to wean a baby?
A. "There is no 'critical age' for weaning, but it true that weaning is easier at some ages than others...Some mothers choose to wean when their baby is at the highly distractible age of nine to fourteen months, but there are many babies who would not wean easily at this age...As children get older, weaning often gets easier, not harder, since older children have a greater ability to reason and wider repertoire of interests." (p. 76)

Q. Should I just go "cold-turkey" and leave for the weekend?
A. "This is a technique that has been employed throughout history, [but] there are many reasons to question this practice...A small child is not likely to understand why the comfort and closeness he depended on is no longer available to him and is likely to feel deserted and pushed away. Also, sudden weaning is difficult for the mother. It can lead to problems with engorgement, plugged ducts, and breast infections...Sudden weaning is not good for babies or nursing children [ and is not advisable].Weaning is one of the many areas in your relationship with your child that going slowly pays off in the long term. By weaning gradually and employing gentle techniques designed to comfort and build strength in your child, you will maintain your child's inner security and trust in you." (p. 77-78)

You can find other resources and articles about Weaning on the La Leche League International website.

Conversations about Weaning 1WIN IT! One winner will receive "How Weaning Happens" by Diane Bengson. To enter, simply leave a comment and your e-mail address on this post prior to Wednesday, Jan. 9, at midnight. The winner will be contacted and announced on Thursday, Jan. 10. * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.

* UPDATED * The winner is #11 leeanthro. Congratulations!

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29 comments on “Conversations about Weaning”

  1. This would be another great book to have and read! Thanks for the giveaway Stephanie!

    sharvey at

  2. I could really use this book. My 2.5 year old has no interest in weaning right now, or even slowing down. But I'm getting to the point where I need to at least slow down, and maybe wean by this summer.

  3. Another Great Book!
    I'm so glad I've found your blog.
    This would be the perfect book for right now... We hope for weaning by age 2, and so far it seems improbable. I'd really like baby to lose interest on his own but I'm just not seeing it happen.

  4. This november my Fiance and I are getting married and going on a honey moon. So I will need to try to wean before my daughters 2nd birthday, so this book would really help me prepare.

  5. This would be a good read as my dd is almost nine months..i would like to be prepared for the time when she seems ready to wean!
    mom2maria at hotmail dot com

  6. I know so many people with little ones that would benefit from this book! I know it will make the rounds of my friends. My son weaned himself at 16 months - he just wasn't interested anymore *sob* - but I'll bet that won't be the way with the one in my tummy. I'm just expecting everything to be different the second time around!

  7. I hadn't thought about weaning to be honest...I just assumed that my son would decide when he was ready (I've heard from several moms that this was the case with their children). Thanks for the info...I'll keep it in mind especially with my history of plugged ducts and mastitis...

  8. I'm hoping to wean by baby in the next few months. She is showing more interest in weaning than I am, so I would love to read this book.

  9. I am SO going to be needing this soon. My oldest had no trouble letting go, but this baby I have now.... she's a BIG clinger. I think she'd happily nurse all day long through college!!!

  10. I had such a hard time weaning my son, I hope this book can help me with my new addition!
    You can email me through my profile.

  11. I am still nursing (and loving it!) my 13 month old daughter. When we wean I don't know. I love nursing my daughter! But I realize I can't nurse a 14 YEAR old, so this book would be quite helpful! :D
    [email protected]

  12. With a one year old and another baby on the way, I am tandem nursing, but feeling anxious about weaning already. While I'm planning on going a while longer with my first born, I have so many thoughts and questions about weaning. This book sure would come in handy. Count me in on your contest.

    disarray [at] onebox [dot] com

  13. I am in definite need of this book!! Although I believe in gentle weaning, there gets to be a point when one feels enough is enough already. After 2.5 years, I am at the point where I would really like to reclaim my body. A little sleep at night would hurt either . . .

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