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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone! I used to frequent these boards regularly but now I'm mostly a lurker. I just read the breastfeeding thread and I noticed a few of you talked about breastfeeding for several years.

I have been obsessing about the subject of extended nursing lately because I am finding myself nursing a 14-month old who is showing no sign of stopping! I nursed my older son for only 9 months (I won't go into the story of why we weaned so early) so this is uncharted territory for me. I never thought I would be the "type" to nurse a toddler - but here I am! At 14 months he still feels like my baby and he loves to nurse, and to be honest, I really love it, too. He still nurses a couple of times during the night (we bring him into bed at his first waking and then I sleep right through his other nursings) and he nurses several times in the day, too.

I don't want to wean him, but I'm already getting comments and questions from my mom and even my husband about how long we are going to continue breastfeeding. I would ideally like to let him lead the way for weaning, but I'm afraid he will be one of those children who wants to nurse forever and won't give it up!

So, ladies who have nursed past the year mark -- please share your stories! Why did you choose to continue nursing your toddler/preschooler? How did you handle criticism? How long did you continue nursing in public? When did your nursing child sleep through the night? When and how did weaning finally happen? I'm interested in hearing all about your experiences!

TIA!

Becky

Mom of 2 beautiful boys, ages 3 and 1
 

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I would have nursed my dd until she was 2-3. However she had other plans.
She was barely 11 months when I had to switch to fulltime soy formula because she refused to nurse and then I lost supply. I tried everything to get it back. Nursing more often even for the mear minutes she would do it. Fennugreek(sp?) and double electric pumping when she did down right refuse to nurse at all.

Anyway I know plenty that have nursed well beyond 2 and they stopped when they were ready without struggle most by 3.


Don't have much help for the nursing toddler(well my dd was walking when she weaned and I suspect that was part of her problem she would rather be walking than nursing) but I can say that my dd was sleeping through the night all night 12+ hours by a year. At 5 weeks she slept over 5 hours from 11-12 to 5am. She has been a pretty good sleeper since then.

perhaps you can find a support group for those that nurse beyond the first year. Check out breastfeeding supply stores or look up lacation consulants who may know of them.
It helps to know there are others in your area going through similar things. As far as in public I dunno by that age most don't need to nurse and "dont" except when they have cuddle time in evening or mornings from my understanding of friends who have nursed that long.
 

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Hi Colorful,

I breasfed my daughter until she was 3. I didn't really choose to but it just happened. It was a really special relationship and I look back at it very fondly and I am so happy that I did it for that long.

Not much criticism here. My mom breastfed all her six kids until 2 or 3 so she was very supportive. My sister also nursed hers until 3 so I have a lot of support in the family when it comes to breastfeeding.

There was no need to nurse too often in public around 2 and 3 because it wasn't her main source of food and she only nursed a couple of times a day. But if I needed to, I wouldn't hesitate to for a second.

My dd started to sleep through the night around 2 so I was very sleep deprived until then.

Weaning finally happened when we planned it together. I just said "do you think it's time to let my milk dry up" and we both agreed.

Since I did nurse so long she remembers nursing very much 3 years later. My sister just had a baby and is nursing and that is bringing back a flood of memories for her and she actually asked me to nurse the other day


All in all I really encourage other moms to breastfeed for extended periods!
 

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A very good friend with 4 babes nursed them all for around 26 montths.It did NO harm and they are great kids..if you have the energy, why not?
 

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I am nursing a 16 month old right now. She mostly nurses at night and has started to understand she can't just bang me on the boobs and expect milk. I am ready for her to start weaning more but I know from experience that before you know it they stop. I nursed my first until my milk dried up because of pregnancy. My inlaws give me some flack about still nursing but I don't agree with most of their parenting advice so I am willingly the weirdo. Good luck and nurse as long as you and your baby want to. La Leche is a great source of info on breastfeeding.
 

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We did extended nursing and child-led weaning: 26 months.

However. Because my daughter was in a daycare facility as from 6 months of age, the nursing was restricted to early morning, lunchtime (until she was 1.5 approx. and as an extra to her table lunch) and bedtime, with occasional interruptions during the night which lessend as time went on. We co-slept until she weaned.

I did not plan it that way, it just happened. Since she is my only child, I am very happy I did this. It was a very fulfilling experience.

I did get nasty comments. Women in these parts tend to wean around 3 months so as soon as she was 4 months old, I got looks and comments. I think I stopped nursing in public when she was 6 months old. I even stopped telling my family about the nursing after a year or so. People are silly about nursing and I reckoned it was a private decision that did not concern them. Since we only nursed in the morning and at night by then, no one was there to see us except for my husband so it was fine. I do have one friend who does extended nursing too (she's nursing her second child now and he is one year old) and who doesn't care about doing it in public. She's very outspoken so if anyone gives her a look or a comment, she'll just snarl back that they should mind their own business, LOL ! My cleaning lady comes from Poland and she said in rural communities out there, it is still commonplace to nurse until the child is about 2 years old. It's all a question of cultural background I suppose (as is co-sleeping).

You must do what feels right for you. I think anytime between 24-30 months of age is a good time to wean if your child does not want to stop, but that is your decision. My daughter stopped of her own accord, gradually, over a period of 3 weeks but it still seemed sudden to me, even though I was more than ready. So you never know. One of these days, your kid may decide he's done !

My daughter has always been a very bad sleeper (extreme !) and has started sleeping through the night when she started kindergarten, which starts at age 3 here. The sleeping was not related to the nursing, apparently... She's now 5 and still wakes in the night occasionally and just wants my presence !

Congratulations on nursing for so long, I know it's tiring but it's totally worth it !
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies. The funny thing is, nursing doesn't exhaust me at all - it's actually a nice calm part of my day, a solace from the hours of chasing after my toddlers and trying to keep them from climbing up to the top of the refrigerator...LOL

A lot of my friends are introducing cow's milk to their babies at this age, and I can't help but see the absurdity - why would you work to switch a baby from human milk to cow milk, especially if the baby is resisting! One mom I know is even mixing splenda into cow's milk to see if that makes it more appealing to her breastfed baby. She's so well-intentioned but it just makes no sense! Milk from a cow + artificial sweetener vs. human milk. Seems like a no-brainer to me!
 

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I nursed until the week of my ds's 3rd birthday. His bday was this past March 7th. I started work (From sahm to fulltime) that January and he started daycare w/ a friend of mine. So, I explained to him that there would be no su-su's (nursing) during the day at Hollie's house but I would nurse him when I picked him up and before bed. And, subsequently, during the night when he would wake up. He was aok w/ that as he was almost three and no longer a baby at all! On february 1st We had a talk about NOT nursing at night or before bed. He asked a few nights and awoke a few times and I pretended not to wake up... or my dh would address him and offer/hand him a glass of water. He was aok w/ this too. Then, arond the 1st of march, he told me he was big boy and he didn't need susu's to drink anymore but still wanted to snuggle in them
.

That's the weaning story!
I nip'd (nursed in public) w/o any difficulty at all from the general public or from my family up until he was about 2.5. Then he was just so LONG and I am a petite woman that it just wasn't feasible to grab a bench and nurse my long toddler! So, I explained this to him.. . and reminded him OFTEN that we wouldn't be nursing in public... he was okay w/ that too.

Your child is still a baby! And probably still needs the nourishment bf'ing is providing for sure! I believe that different babies / toddlers require different timelines for bf'ing in order to meet their own personal nutritional/emotional growth.


ps- at 3 1/2 my son is in preschool full-time. He's the only 3 year old there. The teachers tell me EVERY DAY "... if only we could have 20 Baylors our lives would be so much easier!". His vocabulary and number skills is outstanding. He's a class leader. He's just learned his ABC's this month and just spelled his name on his own this weekend. I think he's a brainiac... well adjusted kind and gentle guy... with really warm memories of nursing to boot.
 

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My daughter is almost three and is now weaned for about 2 weeks. She is doing fine. My son was weaned at 26 months. It really is up to you how long you nurse or if you breastfeed...I hate other women telling a mom what to do. Do what feels right for you
 

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I agree do what feels right for you!

My daughter is now 17 months and we're nursing strong because it just feels right. She still needs her na-nas if not for the nutrition then for the comfort.

There have certainly been some challenges along the way. I'm not a sahm, in fact I go to school 3/4 time and work part time too. Her father is often out of town for extended durations so it's often only me or the sitters.

After feeling a bit over extended I've recently encouraged and assisted with night weaning, and this has been a great relief for me. Now I adore giving her her na-nas when she asks for them... As difficult as it was I just kept explaining to her that this relationship couldn't go on unless we were both okay with it and that I was having a hard time when she nursed around the clock.

Usually she's too busy discovering/exploring/socializing when we're out in public to nurse. If she asks to nurse in public I just make sure she's not hungry or thirsty but if she tells me no to both then I give her what she wants. I don't feel strange at all about nursing in public if I know that's what my daughter needs at that moment.

Now the in-laws- that's a different story. They feel like they have a right to be very rude to me... even last Thanksgiving they were ALL on me about "How long was I going to keep that up" So very frusterating indeed. Our little family has decided to bypass the the extended family drama and do a 2 person plus one toddler vegetarian feast in our new home and we can happily nurse all we want! This is haw we decided we'd be happiest.

I wish you and yours the best! I hope you have found the support and answers you were looking for...

Our little ones are very close in age... perhaps we can share more stories/experiences... feel free to message me @ anytime

love and blessings

echo
 

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I'd just like to take a moment to thank you all for having enough of a back bone to stand up for what is best for your children and ignoring what the general public tells us is 'right'. I don't have any children at this point in my life, but when I do I have every intention of breastfeeding for an extended period of time (assuming that my body will let me!).

Kudos!
 

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you should check out le leche league meetings. they have meetings for extended nrusing mothers where you can meet up and talk about these types of things.
 

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Hi Colorful! This is the first time I've posted in ages and ages. I am still nursing my son who is a wee bit over 3. It is still a very important part of our relationship. He is night weaned now, which means i get a full night sleep for the first time in 3 years...lordie lordie.

I don't care at all what my family or in-laws think because i am totally used to being the freaky one as it is. However, I stopped being comfortable nursing in public when my son was about 18 or so months. Just didn't have the energy to deal with ignorant reactions. I wish I had more guts because I think it should be okay for any mother to nurse in public, toddler or not.

I'm so happy that you are interested in bf for a longer time. I think it's been great for my son. Actually he's at my knee nursing right now. LOL.

PM me anytime if you want to chat or get support.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by peacecat View Post

I don't care at all what my family or in-laws think because i am totally used to being the freaky one as it is.


I expect to experience the same thing, if I have children. I'm used to being the "weird" one in my family, so this won't be much different!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by stellar26 View Post

I'd just like to take a moment to thank you all for having enough of a back bone to stand up for what is best for your children and ignoring what the general public tells us is 'right'. I don't have any children at this point in my life, but when I do I have every intention of breastfeeding for an extended period of time (assuming that my body will let me!).

Kudos!
I agree!

to everyone on this thread!
 

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you know, I had another thought on the matter. And I'm always so sad that people's families are so unsupportive of breastfeeding babies/toddlers. And that bf'ing a child older than 7 months may even be considered EXTENDED?? So, I have to brag that, for all the dysfunction in my family... they NEVER questioned my bf'ing my son to 3 years old. Of course, he's considered the next coming of christ to them, I think!!! So they're take on it is... anything he wants he gets... including the boob!
lol
 

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Gosh! I haven't got children but I will breastfeed until the child wants to stop (within reason...!). I find it completely natural, and there is no way I would stop cow's milk for human milk... it makes no sense to me!
 

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I nursed all of my kids past the "3 or 4 months" that so many seem to think is the norm.

My youngest is now 7 and she still remembers all the cozy times we had together while nursing and I love that she remembers the emotions and the security and warmth.

She was almost 4 I think, when she finally decided on her own that she was done, though we were sleeping thru the night ever since she was about 2.

I agree with you colorful, nursing is not the exhausting, over-tiring thing some people make it out to be, it really was a much-looked-forward-to little break, with peace and quiet, in the midst of our day.

A GREAT site with amazing, supportive and quickly-responded-to forums (much like these here!) is a place called www.breastfeeding.com . There's a TON of info on the site, but look for the message boards there, you will get SUCH incredible, caring, friendly and knowledgable support, I cannot recommend them enough! (Lots of the Moms are very veg-friendly too!)
 

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I nursed my daughter until she was almost 2. We moved to another state when she was 1 1/2 and I felt that she needed the extra comfort that nursing gave her. Because we lived far from the family, I didnt get the family pressure that I would have otherwise. It was a very good bonding experience for us and she was almost never sick when she was nursing. I hope that you and your baby get as much enjoyment from it as we did.

People are not always going to be supportative of how you raise your children. Do your research, find the way that works best for your family and don't worry about the negative responses.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofu-N-Sprouts View Post

II agree with you colorful, nursing is not the exhausting, over-tiring thing some people make it out to be, it really was a much-looked-forward-to little break, with peace and quiet, in the midst of our day.

A!)
Just wanted to add that for me it was usually totally exhausting and mentally stressing.. my infant was high needs. kind of colicky you might say. I was pretty alone most of the time and never able to sit him down for a minute. After a while breastfeeding felt like some form of chineese torture (ie- how much more does this child want from me???!?!??!).... But, it was my choice to have him. and his right to be breastfed as it's what a baby needs! So, I sucked it up. And I'm glad I did. All that said, we had wonderful moments too. And nursing him after infancy was really the most peaceful and nice nursing time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edamommy View Post

But, it was my choice to have him. and his right to be breastfed as it's what a baby needs! So, I sucked it up. .
I thought HE was the one who sucked it up!! JK

I totally agree with you veggieeater about not worrying about what others think. My ideas about nearly everything to do with children and raising them are radically different than my parents, let alone mainstream US culture. My parents haven't been too critical, as I'm already considered the resident hippie lesbian freak...they're crazy for my son and keep their own council mostly.
 
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