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Still nursing a child at school?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi all. I hope I can ask some questions about this without causing offence, I'm just curious. I'm not planning to do it, not because I don't believe in CLW but because we are planning to home-school. So it shouldn't really matter when my DD (just turned 3) decides to wean. I have a friend though whose almost five year old has milk quite a bit more frequently during the day at least than my DD currently does, perhaps 5 or 6 times a day. She's quite firm that her DD is going to school next year (school year is the same a calendar year here so in about six months time) and I know she's always been a firm believer in CLW so I just have trouble correlating the two things. I guess I want to ask about it here rather than bringing it up with her because I really have no wish to offend her.
Is it just my slightly skewed, always planned to home-school view that the forced separation of school is akin to forced weaning? The child in question has never been to any kind of childcare other than grandma's house and then at her own request.
I can see how if your child was only feeding to sleep etc that you wouldn't give it a second thought if they seemed academically ready for school but when they're still needing milk so often throughout the day?
I'm not really asking anyone to theorise about my friend's plans/experience. I'm just hoping if someone here can share their own story I might gain some insight.
TIA
post #2 of 20
well my ds is almost 3.5 and still nursing loads but he is in nursery 2 afternoons per week for 4 hours and he also spends long days (from 10-7 sometimes) with his dad. He doesn't seem to miss nursing at all during these times and if when he comes home he gets busy with something he can go a couple of hours before it even occurs to him to nurse. We have spent the last couple of days together, mainly around the house, and he has been nursing MORE than 5-6 x per day...so I think the frequency is due to his proximity to me and the availabilty--but he thrives in other situations just fine, too. So based on that I think it's possible to do both (nurse and school).

Zoe, mama to Thomas 1/06
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoe196 View Post
well my ds is almost 3.5 and still nursing loads but he is in nursery 2 afternoons per week for 4 hours and he also spends long days (from 10-7 sometimes) with his dad. He doesn't seem to miss nursing at all during these times and if when he comes home he gets busy with something he can go a couple of hours before it even occurs to him to nurse. We have spent the last couple of days together, mainly around the house, and he has been nursing MORE than 5-6 x per day...so I think the frequency is due to his proximity to me and the availabilty--but he thrives in other situations just fine, too. So based on that I think it's possible to do both (nurse and school).

Zoe, mama to Thomas 1/06
I totally agree. DD was still nursing a lot during the day at 2.5yo, but when brother was going to stay with the grandparents for spring break, she begged to go too, even though it would mean being away from mommy for days. She didn't miss nursing at all while she was away.
post #4 of 20
I will preface my comments by saying that although I've nursed children to the age of 5.5 (and currently have a 5.5yo nursling), my kids were only nursing a couple times/week by the age of 5. So my experience may color my views a bit.

I also want to say that the vast majority of kindergarders LOVE school. I've homeschooled my children and I've sent them to instituational school at different times, and I've yet to run across a kindergardener IRL who didn't truly enjoy going to school. I understand what you mean by using the term "forced separation" but the wording does seem a bit harsh.

Anyway, it has been my experience that children of school age aren't terribly dependent on nursing. They'll nurse when they're around mom, but if they are separated from mom during the day, and are enjoying themselves, they don't even notice that they're missing out on anything. I was separated from my nursing toddlers/preschoolers many times- sometimes for short periods, sometimes for over a week- and my nurslings adapted to the separations very well, without weaning.
post #5 of 20
My oldest is in 1st grade and is still nursing. He is developmentally disabled and has been in school for over 3 years now and is 6.5.

My youngest will be starting school soon and is very excited. I don't think it will affect his nursing. However i'm also a working mom and have been since they were both babies.
post #6 of 20
i am from a slightly different background.

i had to return to full time work when dd was 2. forced 'weaning'. was really hard on my dd not to nurse during the day while in dc.

however NO weaning. she has gone to nursing evenings and nights to no nursing alternate nights as she started overnights with him when she was 3.

and woah!!! my dd is on her way to second grade and still nursing. i am so grateful for it as its really i call free therapy for her.

however as pp pointed out - by 5 she would choose something fun over the breast. she only needed the breast when she was physically hurt or sad or sleepy. had an awesome teacher who held her, carried her and hugged her. and she would never come and tell me what had happened. her teacher would tell me later when she saw me (in case of non reportable injuries - which physically appear nothing but emotionally - oh my)

my point is. if a child wants to nurse they will find any ways they can to do so.

and totally even today when my dd nurses for 30 secs to a minute at night if at any time of the day she sees my naked breast walking around she has to take a quick 5 sec nursie.
post #7 of 20
DD is almost 3.5 and is still going strong. She night weaned herself about 6 months ago, she just decided that she wanted to fall asleep holding hands rather than with mama's milk. She still nurses lots and lots durring the day. However, when she goes to her pre-school class two mornings a week there is absolutely no wanting milk, she just doesn't seem to care. I think that she loves school and leanrning new things so much that milk seems secondary.

I agree with meemee, a child will find time to nurse if they want to. Most kids will adapt thier nursing schedule around other activities like school.
post #8 of 20
Janelle was in pre-school 4 days a week before she weaned, it just never was an issue, she only nursed when we were home together.
post #9 of 20
Mom to a nursing 5 year old; he went to a 3 year old program for 3 mornings a week, then a 4 year old program 5 mornings a week. He'll be in kindy this fall, and ironically, we'll be homeschooling but he's almost self-weaned (asks/nurses for a few seconds every few weeks).
post #10 of 20
I have a 5.5 year old. She LOVES nursing and would do so a few times a day, but we have an agreement to hold it down to once a day (most days )

She spent a month at my parents house and it in no way impacted her nursing. (She has a little brother that is nursing so there was no real supply issue.)
post #11 of 20
I have worked FT on & off since dd was 16 mo old. At 4.5 she is still very dedicated to the idea of nursing, even if it really only happens at night or first thing in the morning, and very occasionally during the day if she is sick/hurt and I am home. She recently released a butterfly with a special secret wish (part of a community fundraiser)& later told me her wish was "To always have milkoos". So I don't see her stopping anytime soon...even if I have less & less milk these days according to her.
post #12 of 20
I have a friend who nursed her schooled dd until the end of first grade. It worked fine for them. (She did not nurse at school). The child is a junior in college (pre law) now and no longer nurses. She is one of the most awesome young adults I know.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post
Anyway, it has been my experience that children of school age aren't terribly dependent on nursing. They'll nurse when they're around mom, but if they are separated from mom during the day, and are enjoying themselves, they don't even notice that they're missing out on anything. I was separated from my nursing toddlers/preschoolers many times- sometimes for short periods, sometimes for over a week- and my nurslings adapted to the separations very well, without weaning.
these are my children. nursing before school was very important, after school nursing gradually lost it's importance. good way to send them off in the morning...
i nursed one through first grade, another halfway thru first, and another is on her way to kindergarten (preK completed) and still nurses daily.

Your friend and her nursling will adjust well. and the nursing will certainly help with the adjustment.
post #14 of 20
DS started preschool at 2.5, and weaned at age 4. So, there was about a year and a half that he was attending school and still nursing. At first, it was only 3 days a week for summer camp, then 5 days during the school year.

We nursed in the mornings. We nursed after school. We nursed at bedtime (and during the night, if he needed it.) We just didn't nurse while he was AT school.

DS didn't have any problems with this, even though, on "not school or camp" days, he often did nurse during the times school would have been in session.
post #15 of 20
DD was 2 3/4 when she started nursury school 3 afternoons a week.
She begged to go and really enjoyed it. I am a SAHM.
When she was home though she nursed multiple times a day.
She is in JK this year and is now only nursing a couple times a month.
post #16 of 20
it is so nice to read this.

while my guy is only nearly 10 months and going strong, he can go longer stretches without milk if he wants (abt 3 hrs right now during the day--he's a bit of a grazer).

in the next few months, we're moving and transitioning to tandem WOH/SAH parenting. hard to explain, but i was really concerned about him transitioning to more time away from me! i was worried about his nursing!

but, i'm happy to read that they adapt quickly and keep on keeping on until they are ready. whew! i was worried!
post #17 of 20
My friend nursed her daughter through 2nd grade and she went to school. She liked nursing first thing in the AM and right before bed. After school, she would nurse 1-2 times but eventually cut these nursings out.

Good luck, but I am sure your friend and her child will find their way once school comes!

Take care,

Jen
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
it is so nice to read this.

while my guy is only nearly 10 months and going strong, he can go longer stretches without milk if he wants (abt 3 hrs right now during the day--he's a bit of a grazer).

in the next few months, we're moving and transitioning to tandem WOH/SAH parenting. hard to explain, but i was really concerned about him transitioning to more time away from me! i was worried about his nursing!

but, i'm happy to read that they adapt quickly and keep on keeping on until they are ready. whew! i was worried!
they do and he'll be fine!

dd spent a month with dh from 11am to 6pm daily w/o nursing while i was doing research and was fine most of the time. she was a year old. she's still nursing at 2.5 years old. don't worry

I have left my daughter with her grandma or dad several times in the evening, when she really likes to nurse, esp. to sleep - she was fine, just went to sleep in a different way - being held, story-telling, etc. I'm sure an older child will do JUST FINE severalnhrs. during the day w/o a boob
post #19 of 20
My DD was still nursing when she started the once-a-week K program she did last year (it's an enrichment program for homeschoolers via public school). At that point she was pretty much down to nursing when she got up in the morning, for a bit before bedtime, and maybe if she was stressed and I was around during the day. Not quite a month after her 5th birthday (in October), she weaned by mutual agreement. Nursing sessions have been replaced by cuddle sessions in which I hold her and she rubs my belly (something she used to do while nursing). I think if she hadn't taken to her hair with scissors after being told many, many times for the past several years that she'd be free to get her hair cut as she liked after she weaned, she might still be nursing (I used the event as our weaning milestone).

Prior to that, she'd spent overnights and weekends at grandparents' homes, and was in childcare from 10 1/2 mo. to 3 yrs old while I was in college. Once she nightweaned, overnights with grandparents (and her dad taking over the bedtime routine) were no problem. At home she'd never nap for me without nursing, she'd fall asleep at her childcare provider's with no problem.

In a nutshell, my older nursling, especially once she was old enough to talk about things, usually had little trouble adapting to long periods (such as at school) without nursing.
post #20 of 20
My 5 year old kindergartner still nurses, usually just once a day at bed time which obviously isn't impacted by his going to school.

However, I would reiterate what other posters have said. If he is not around me he doesn't want to nurse. I was away for 4 days in May and it was no problem.

Plus, if they love school they will be more than happy to wait until they comehome to nurse.
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