Using LOA for weaning toddlers

Explicit language and ideas.  Don’t read if you can’t handle.  My littlest is weaning and is very close to actually stopping her nursing at bedtime.  Any attachment parent knows that this can be a lovely transition into her “big girl” status, and some folks like me know that this is LOA all the way.

Some parents choose to end their nursing when they want (which can be good for some) but my belief is that making a child unhappy (when nursing/feeding this way is what they were meant to do) in order to make the adult happy can lead to quite a few problems in the child.  Children are more likely to be unhappy all day if they have been cut off from nursing, whether it’s one nursing session or ending it abruptly.  And nighttimes are awful if not handled well.  Some kids go with the flow, but many are pushed to end prematurely.  So, use your best judgment, using your heart, not your head.

Parenting can be much easier when you look at both the parent’s needs and the child’s, because most of the time, there is a happy solution, but you just need to find it, be open to hearing it, and don’t listen to others who will be naysayers.  Only the parent and child know what is best for them.  The children are often teaching us to be more present and lovey, to put unimportant things on hold and just “be”.  Nursing fulfills a lot of beautiful emotions for both mother and child, and they are not easily found elsewhere in the world.

Whatever the reason for ending nursing or weaning, parents still have to be open to the changes that come afterwards, so be on the lookout for the child needing extra love (meaning, children getting upset easily, or even angry, crying, fussing about anything).  No one needs punishment, there is already enough of that in the world.  Instead, children need more love and time with you in a different way.  More lap time, more cuddles, just fun times.

LOA is about the path of least resistance, about feeling good, about empowerment.  So, weaning naturally or child led weaning, is the way to go.  Since everything is temporary anyhow, what’s a few more weeks or months?  Sometimes life just gives you a little one that “needs” you.  But you have your own needs as well.

I spent much of my time with my little ones locked away from the world, especially at night.  When my kids went to bed, I was there to do it, but then I was at home in case they awoke.  Of course, my husband was also part of this–but he could go out whenever he wanted to.  I chose this lifestyle so that I could support my children’s feeling of safety and security.  But I did sacrifice a lot of what I wanted, so now it feels really good to be getting back to being more like me.

I have been blessed, to have a family situation that has allowed me to stay home, be with my kids so much.  I know they all have a strong foundation because of that.  I am so looking forward to all the new things I can do now that I am *almost* free of nursing at bedtime, like my daughter’s wanting to be big in every way, her wanting to sleep next to her big sister, and her deciding things for herself.  She is planning an ice cream party and inviting all of us to celebrate the big day when she is actually done.

There is a little bit of melancholy within me, knowing how life is bittersweet.  The beautiful little baby that lovingly felt for my shirt seams while she nursed has changed into a feisty, loud, adorable almost four year old–but she remembers who she is, that she came from God, that she is all good.  And I have a lot to learn from her.

So, this LOA way is helping me to be comfortable with where we are both at right now.  I can miss the old times or I can be eager for the new, the right now.  LOA helps me understand myself and others every step along the way.  Her journey is not about me–but, I can just love and love and love her where ever she is at.  And we both will be better than great.

Much love and many blessings from Jen C., the LOA Life Coach





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