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.
WIN 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!