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At what age can you reason about when to nurse?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My question is theoretical. After feeling scarred by my low supply experience, Dh and I are talking about TTC later this year. Dd loves to nurse, but she knows there is a limited amount of milk. This is all she has ever known, but she knows how to go from side to side and how to time things to get the most milk. When she knows there's not much milk, she'll comfort nurse anyway.

Dh suggests weaning Dd if I get pregnant again. I am dubious that she will wean if my supply drops because I think she nurses often even when there isn't much milk. This is a girl who will turn away from a plate full of food and a cup of beloved cold water, to nurse. I am also dubious that she will wean easily - she is very attached to nursing and has a strong will.

I wonder if I could reason with her to nurse at certain times only, like maybe after the baby nurses to sleep for a nap, or other times when maybe it would be helpful to empty my breasts (in order to stimulate production) if for some reason, the baby does not. Or if I could let her use one side only (the side that has even less milk than the other).

If this was the case, by what age could I expect Dd to be able to understand that the baby needs the milk first, or needs the more full side, and to cooperate with me on this?
post #2 of 6
Just a thought...

Women do not "run out" of milk. My understanding is, whether you nurse the baby or the toddler first, there will always be enough milk for them if they are allowed to nurse as much as they like. The breasts produce as much as is needed.

Maybe you could even nurse them both at the same time?

I don't know exactly when they understand about waiting. I started limiting dd's nursing when she was 11 months and she was OK about it.
post #3 of 6
Your daughter is 20 mos? and you aren't going to TTC until later this yr? So say, when she is 24 mos. Then it takes a few mos to get pg, then 9 more months, she will be almost 3 yo!

No need to force weaning just b/c you are pg. Lots of things can happen while you are pg, she may wean on her own. Lots of toddlers do. If she doesn't, she will be old enough to be negotiated with by the time of the birth.

I vote for, let her enjoy it now! Cross the next bridge when you come to it. Read How Weaning Happens and Mothering Your Nursing Toddler, and show your dh the info too.
post #4 of 6
Women may not totally "run out" of milk but they certainly run low and toddlers sometimes have to be taught to wait until a baby is done nursing since their nutrional needs need to be met first. Especially when babies are in growth spurts and want to nurse more often, it can seem like your milk has "run out" if you're nursing another. And it can become tiring not only from nursing 24/7 but for your body to adjust to making more milk.
This is not to discourage you though!! You already now how rewarding it is and will only have more rewards whether you tandem nurse or not.
I have wondered the same thing about my 18 mos old who is very attached to nursing and we are TTC. I wonder if she'll wean naturally as my supply goes down or not. Either way is fine with me. I have recently "loosely discouraged" nursing in very public places since so much is exposed by her pushing up my shirt, etc. and sometimes this works by me either redirecting or saying she can have nums when we get home. She does understand more than I think she does, she's just more stubborn than I think too!
Good luck,
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses.

Dd understands lots but has a mind and will of her own.

I would LOVE to tandem nurse, but with my particular medical condition I think it's nice to hope for a miracle but not something I can count on. I hoped for a miracle in the first place (when I had no breast changes during pregnancy) and I guess I got one in that I was able to nurse at all, and that we are still going.

Some days I feel like I can just see what happens and trust mother nature to take care of us all, just as she always has. Other days I feel more of a need to plan.

Today Dd is really clingy - she's a little teethy and yesterday she had a hard day at the photographer (she hates him, especially since he grew a beard). So I can't even think today about weaning, in the next year, much less ever:LOL
post #6 of 6
Just another word of encouragement-most moms make more milk the second and subsequent times they BF.
I was always "out" of milk with my first and had to supplement one bottle a day no matter how much I tried to pump extra to produce more or by taking fenugreek, etc. But with #2 I had plenty and even had lots stored in the freezer-that never happened with #1!!!!
Good luck,
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