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Weaning in His Own Time

Sally Kneidel
Old Bridge NJ USA
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 6 No. 4, July-August 1990, pp. 103

We provide articles from our publications from previous years for reference for our Leaders and members. Readers are cautioned to remember that research and medical information change over time.

My son stopped nursing last month. It was a momentous occasion celebrated with a new toy and a small "congratulations" party, complete with chocolate cake. For me, it was proof positive of a La Leche League message: that babies and children grow and change at their own pace. It was this knowledge that helped me through some mighty intense times as the first-time mother of an extremely high-need child.

Fortunately, I found LLL meetings and publications invaluable in helping sustain me through the rigors of raising a poor sleeper and a marathon nurser. At my first La Leche League meeting, when John was three weeks old, I found a copy of Dr. Sears' book, THE FUSSY BABY. I did not buy it then because I did not want to admit that I had a fussy baby. However, I bought it at the very next meeting and read it at least ten times during those first two years. This was followed by NIGHTTIME PARENTING also by Dr. Sears, The Family Bed by Tine Thevenin, MOTHERING YOUR NURSING TODDLER by Norma Jane Bumgarner, and When Your Child Drives You Crazy by Eda LeShan.

I found the family bed, unrestricted nursing, and almost constant physical contact were a necessity with John for the first three years. As difficult as it was coping with his round-the-clock needs, it was always easier to respond promptly to him than to try to make him less dependent on me by ignoring him. John just needed a tremendous amount of contact, love, attention, stimulation, and togetherness. Any slowdown on my part and he squawked loudly until I got it right. So, in this sense, John was a terrific teacher. He was determined to get his needs met, no matter what.

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