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Nursing older baby - how much/how often...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hello,
I'm only at 7 months - but hoping to nurse as long as child is interested....I find that most information out there is really geared to nursing during first 6 months, and I'd love to get some information from those of you that have nursed well past that.

I work full time, and pump 3x per day to supply baby with bottles at daycare...Especially for those of you that can't be with your baby all day/need to pump - how does this work with older baby...

At what point does nursing with baby change from the MAIN thing, to a side thing - know what I mean? At what point is nursing more about morning/night rituals and less about filling daily nutrition needs? For those that have pumped, when are you able to stop sending bottles of Breastmilk to daycare - and still maintain milk supply for when you are with baby?

Any insight would be VERY helpful!
thanks!
post #2 of 16
I can't answer the questions regarding pumping, but I can give some insight about how often in an older infant.

IME nursing is still a main thing ( at 13mos). He may only nurse 4 times during the day, but makes up for it at night. He is very "busy" during the day, toddling around, and eats 3 solid meals per day, sometimes with snacks inbetween. His solid consumption hasn't slowed his nursing down much.

I have noticed that he nurses somedays more for comfort than for food, esp when teething etc, but he still loves to nurse.

After 6 mos, I found that his level of consuption of BM went up considerably. I also found around 10mos or so to be the most challenging to my sanity.

I don't know if this made anyy sense- I havet slept for a few nights- those darn eye teeth

Congratulations for making it to 7mos Best of luck to you!
post #3 of 16
I would say that DD started getting a majority of her calories/nutriets from non-Bmilk sources after I became pg and she adjusted to my lowered supply (so in her early 2s).

DS was later to reach 50%, but earlier to reach say 10%, 25%... from non-Bmilk sources. I'm guessing at least 2.5 thought it could have been much later (and realistically, given that he still nurses at least 7-12X a day it could already be way up there).
post #4 of 16
First, I want to say that you are awesome for nursing while working full time. I really admire women who can make that commitment. I don't know if I'd be able to do it.

In regards to nutrative nursing (note: I am *not* a health professional), I think it depends upon how much other food your baby eats and what type of growth spurt they may be experiencing. Also, I noticed that my baby nursed a lot for comfort while going through new developmental stages (learning to walk, realizing object permanence, etc.).

You may want to check out the book, "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler." There is a section for working mamas in there and it's an interesting read.

Personally, I only have limited experience with pumping, using an Avent hand-pump. I have always had a lot of milk, but now that I rarely use the pump, my breasts don't really respond to it. I can only really pump if DD is nursing on the other side which doesn't work well now that she's old enough to "help."

My DD is 19 months old and still nurses a lot. I am home with her during the day, so she has access pretty much any time she wants, but she will sometimes go for 8 hours without nursing. Other times, it seems like it's all the time.

Some days I think she wants it for more nutrition - when she gets really serious about nursing and is very into it. Other times, she is just "checking in" or reconnecting with me and pops off a lot to check out what the dogs are doing or whatever.

Lately, she's been nursing a lot at night. We co-sleep, so it's easy access but it does make a long night for me sometimes. She's working on her last set of molars and has been in a bit of pain so I am sure that's why she's been pretty needy lately. Also, she's always had high sucking needs. She has a callous on her thumb because it gets a really good workout too.

I don't really see DD weaning herself anytime soon. She really likes to nurse. Sometimes, I wish it was just a morning and bedtime thing, but for now I am just going with the flow.....of milk. ( Sorry, couldn't resist the pun.) I do love the way she pets my arm when she's getting her milkies.
post #5 of 16
My 13.5 month old usually nurses 5 times in a 24 hour period; sometimes more, sometimes less. She's on a pretty consistant schedule but I find that when in new situations or when over stimulated she's "ask" to nurse as a way of calming down and tuning out I think.............molars also seemed increase the demand but just recently she's started skipping her mid morning milk........we too are just going with the flow
post #6 of 16
dd is 18 months old (last Friday, actually)

She is in daycare full time because I am a full time student in a very demanding academic program. I am fortunate in that I don't have a problem with pumping. I stopped pumping in July and only just ran out of freezer stash last month. At daycare, she gets water or watered juice. I'm not keen on cow's milk. When at home she nurses alot. I'd say she nurses at least 3 times between 5pm and 9pm. Then she nurses off and all night (reverse cycling).

I have found that my supply has adjusted to know how much to produce when... my body knows that she is going to want to nurse between the hours of 5pm and 6am. It took about 3 months for everything to even out (but I was also still pumping during the day time).

It is totally up to you as to how long you need to send bm with her to daycare. I favor sending until at least one year, if not longer. Sometimes, it just gets to be sooo hard to continue pumping when you are already tired from everything else. Kudos to you for your dedication to your dc. best wishes and HTH
post #7 of 16
Good for you working and pumping. I've done it since I went back to work 9 months now and it ain't easy

DD eats many more solid foods when she is at daycare. I have been pumping 2x a day and providing five 4oz cups a day for her in addition to her lunch and snacks. Recently she moved into the pre-toddler room and since she is now napping much longer and on a different schedule she gets 4 cups of 4oz each. She nurses lots in the mornings and evening, and when she is with me all day she's a boob-a-holic.

So to answer your question, we went with DD's interests. She only got up to about 20 oz a day while away from me, but she eats a good variety of solid food now so the fact that she's starting to lose interest a bit in expressed milk at daycare is not bothering me too much. On the weekends I don't freak out if she eats nothing but cheerios all day as long as she's nursing. She also seems to go in spurts. Today for instance she nursed 9 times (she's a year old) and ate some goldfish crackers. Toward the end of the day she followed me into the kitchen and signed "eat" She put away a cup of pasta, a yogurt and a bunch of grapes.

In terms of making sure she nursed... well I know a few moms who told me their babies weaned themselves between 7-10 months. That's a "busy" stage. They are finally able to get around and they love to do it. I was very insistent on making it to a year so I'd take DD off someplace quiet to nurse since she tended to get distracted. I made it a priority in the morning - got up early to make sure I had enough time, offered first thing upon picking up at daycare, and I always nurse her to sleep. Now she's still busy but not too busy to nurse

Good luck
post #8 of 16
I've worked full-time and nursed 4 into toddlerhood, albeit pretty differently with each child.
My first 2 were started on solids earlier, and my first 1 slept through the night much earlier than any of the rest. He was still nursing, but probably receiving most of his nutrition elsewhere at about 9mos. He weaned at 15 mos. I stopped pumping when he was about 11 mos, and he got formula at daycare for the last month. He is 16 1/2, so back then, I was pumping with a hand-held cylinder type hand pump that was a royal pain to use. After using double electric pumps for the rest of them, I'm amazed I made it that long!
My second child, I also pumped until about 11 mos, then started a difficult med school rotation, and started pumping only when I was gone overnight. She was mostly getting her nutrition from other sources by around 1, I think.
My third child, I pumped and sent bm to daycare for a full year. He was my least enthusiastic nurser, though, and loved solid foods right from the start, and my supply suffered because of it. I also started residency the week after her turned 1 and it was very difficult to keep up with pumping, so I stopped. I was also gone too much, I think, and that influenced his early weaning-by-nursing-strike at 16 mos. There is much I'd do different with this one, if I had it to do over!
My little current nursling is a champion nurser. She was late to start solids, and only just in the last 2 mos maybe is eating a significant amount such that I don't worry if she doesn't nurse a lot in a given day. She still night nurses most nights (occasionally she sleeps through now.) I pumped until she was 15 mos, and stopped then mostly because she was refusing to drink pumped milk. My supply has really adjusted to her needs. I don't feel full anymore, but still feel a let-down everytime she nurses, and if I ask her if there's milk, she always says yes. I can tell that I'm a little fuller on Monday afternoons after she's nursed all weekend, though, and she always acts very surprised on Monday evenings when we nurse for the first time when I get home!
I think every baby is a little different in how long it takes for them to take more nutrition from non-breast sources. I stopped sending ebm for each child when they were no longer drinking a significant amount of it. For my older kids, that meant that they got cow's milk away from me, but for little dd, she still drinks just water or occasional small amounts of juice when I'm gone - she's still all about the boob when I'm home!
post #9 of 16
I really should write things down. I never remember exact ages and times when things happened. Ds is two now. I work part time and quit pumping when he was about 18 months, although I could have done it sooner. I think he went down to nursing 3-5 times a day when he was about 15 months old. All babies are different though. I know a boy that is a few months older than my ds who still nurses A LOT throughout the day. Part of my decision to stop pumping and leaving milk with my parents (who watch ds while I work) was that I started having trouble with let down when I pumped. My supply was fine, but pumping just wasn't happening any more. I had previously done just fine with my Avent Isis except for a slight slump when ds was about 9 months old. As far as the change from nursing being the main thing to a side thing, it happened gradually for us starting when he was a little over a year old.
post #10 of 16
Ds is 2.5 his nursing has decreased loads since he turned 2. He nurses in the morning after waking (we co-sleep), before his nap (if he has one, he doesn't have one every day) and before falling asleep at night.

That's usually it. His nursing sessions in the morning and evening are looong though. And he still wakes in the night sometimes to nurse.

It is SO different to nursing an infant. To me, it just got easier and easier the older he got.
post #11 of 16

A helpful resource

Still working and pumping at 7 months? You go girl!

I am a stay at home mom and still nursing DD at 18 months. She is a very healthy eater of solid foods, but still likes to nurse to "reconnect" with me if we've been apart, if she needs comfort, if she is thirsty, or right before/after sleep.

I know LLL has info on pumping at work and you might find more answers at: http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBpumping.html

Best wishes,
Rebecca Wolf
post #12 of 16
I'm reading Mothering Your Nursing Toddler right now, and it's great. I highly recommend it for anyone with a baby over a year who's still nursing and feeling the weight of those critical glances and words from friends and family. My dd is 16 months and shows no signs of slowing down with nursing. She had no interest in other foods until she was 13 m.o. or so, and still takes a large amount of her nutrition through b.m. I love it, and don't feel any need to change the situation, but it's hard to cope with the outside pressure to wean or questions about when I'm going to wean her. LLL is really helpful. You can always call them and ask lots of questions, or go to a meeting.
post #13 of 16
I went back to work at 8 weeks and pumped for awhile. DS hated the bottle. I had the luck of having care close to work. I went over every day at lunch until 14 mo. At that point, he was not interested in nursing at lunch. So he nursed in the morning (6), when I picked him up at 4-4:30, before bed, and on demand through the evening and night. He reverse cycled to make up for whatever he was missing. He still nurses at least 3x a day (6am-4pm-8pm), and on demand.
post #14 of 16
My DD is 14 months, and she still gets the majority of her calories from breastmilk. We had been offering solids occasionally since she was 7 months, but she did not eat more than a few bites until she was 12 months old. Right now I'd say it's 85/15 (breastmilk/solids).
post #15 of 16
First of all Kudos to you for continuing to pump. I started getting flak a long time ago about wasting my time pumping at work. Everyone just kept saying things like when he's gonna stop nursing, or just let the boy eat.

My ds is almost 14 months and I worked full time and pumped until a week ago. I quit my job and started nannying to a little girl so I could stay at home with my ds. I pumped the whole time I worked. I always pumped 2 times a day until he stopped drinking my bottles then I went down to 1x a day just to keep up my supply. My ds never drank much bm while I was at work though. On a good day he drank about 8 ounces. Before I went down to pumping 1x a day he was only drinking about 2-4 ounces. I always pumped about 3-4 ounces more than what he would eat during the day. He did however nurse all evening and all night after I got home. It was like he was making up for lost time. He didn't really start any solids until about 11 months. That's when he started taking less bottle. I think he still drank just as much, he just waited until I got home.

This whole schedule changed last week when I started being a WAHM. Now he nurses all day long and only 3-4 times at night instead of every hour or less. He also is eating a TON. Perhaps he's getting ready to go through a growth spurt. I hope this helps.
post #16 of 16
My 19 month old son still bfs quite a bit (I have seen no slow down since returning to work when he was four months). I have been pumping 2x a day since returning to work. At this point, his nanny gives him my milk in a sippy cup and in his oatmeal. He drinks between 10 to 12 oz of milk during my working hours and then he gets a lot from bfing in the, morning, evening and night (he tends to wake up between 3 to 6 times a night). I am just starting to think about going down to pumping 1x a day -- not because he is drinking less or because I hate pumping (which I do not) but because I would like to get pregnant sometime this year. Like you, however, I am concerned that I will affect my milk supply if I reduce the pumping during the day. He has always been low or off the weight chart, so I also want to make sure he gets as much of my high calorie stuff as possible. I would be interested in anyone else's experiences with this.
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