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Breastfeeding baby -- toddler questions

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My DS is very interested in the fact that the new baby will eat from my breasts. He weaned at 8 months, so doesn't remember BFing, but knows that that's how he ate when he was a baby and that's what a mama's breasts are for.

I'm sure he'll be interested in watching the new baby eat, which is fine with me, but I can envision him wanting to join in, and am not sure how to respond if he asks.

I know lots of mamas with kids DS's age (34 months) still BF, and if I had been BFing him all along obviously I wouldn't have a problem with it, but after such a long absence of BFing him, I think I'll feel uncomfortable with the idea of him trying it when my milk comes in after I have this baby. Any suggestions on how to talk about this with my DS (if he brings it up) without making him feel rejected?
post #2 of 13
he's probably lost his ability to latch properly. from what i've read, it is really important for them to "try", but since most toddlers who are weaned for so long wouldn't find the taste or the experience exciting, they won't actually start nursing. i'd let him try, if he asked to, and take it from there. he is very likely to be satisfied with this.
post #3 of 13
hi I am thinking the same might happen with my dd who will be almost 4 at the time this baby is born. She was weaned at 13 months so I too think she doesn't remember.

If she asks I might express a little into a cup for her to try. That way she can still try mommy milk and not think she can latch on whenever she wants.
post #4 of 13
Most people I've known in this situation have spent a little time exploring the weaning of DS #1. I'm not asking about the situation - that's yours to contemplate. Many people I know have allowed their older toddler to begin nursing again and have had a wonderful new experience b/c of it. I'm sure weather the oldest remains nursing or not, he/she'll want to give it a try and I think you should allow it. Good luck on the adventure!!!
post #5 of 13
A friend of mine whose little girl weaned at 15 months (mommy was experiencing unexplained severe nipple pain; she kept putting her DD off to let one or the other side heal, and the girl stopped asking after a couple weeks) is now pregnant again (due in November). Also, her sister-in-law just had a baby, so they go visit a lot and her daughter sees cousin J nursing. They talk about how the new baby will nurse too. Oh, and the girl is now almost 3.

So, her daughter asked to try nursing again, and she's let her. Not that she has any milk right now, but *shrug*. If she starts up again, it's probably better that she learn the latch on empty breasts, instead of going nuts on full ones that are busy nursing a newborn all the time!

She's also been around me a lot, and I'm still nursing my son, who is 4 months older than her daughter... so the thought of nursing someone this age isn't quite as out-there for her.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
...so the thought of nursing someone this age isn't quite as out-there for her.
Thanks, everyone, for the responses.

Just to be clear, it's not his age that has me hesitating -- I admire extended breastfeeding and plan to BF my next child far longer than I did with my DS. (The first time, I didn't have enough confidence that my body could successfully work through a supply issue, and wasn't educated enough about the issue, so I supplemented, which, as is now obvious to me, made things worse, and so on.)

It's just that ... I'm not sure how to explain it. DS and I haven't nursed for more than 2 years, and I think I would feel really uncomfortable with him being so intimate with that part of my anatomy all of a sudden, after not having access to it for so long. Does that make sense? As I said in my initial post, if we had been BFing all along, then obviously I wouldn't feel uncomfortable in the slightest and would just tandem nurse with no worries.

But at the same time, I don't want him to feel rejected, or to wonder why the new baby is allowed to nurse but not him. So, even though I think I'll feel odd about it, I may just let him try it (if he asks) and see what happens.
post #7 of 13
My son weaned a little after 2 1/2, so the plan is to let him try if he likes. He just has to do so *after* the baby has their fill and if my poor nips are in decent shape.

Even if your child is bigger and hasn't been in contact with your breasts for a while, they're still your baby.
post #8 of 13
Limabean, I get what you're saying about the intimacy thing. And I think you should definitely do what feels right to you, which may be saying "no" to him--only you can know. I honestly believe that if it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work for your child either. KWIM?

A way you could say "no" without making him feel rejected . . . explain that milk is food for babies. Babies can't eat "regular food" like big kids can, so they need Mommy-milk. Milk is, in all mammalian species, food for babies (which makes it weird that we drink cow's milk, but I digress . . . ). Point out other species--cows, horses, cats--and how the babies start out with milk, then grow up to eat grass / hay / fish. You can also compare it to the natural progression from diapers to potties (if he's out of diapers already). Remind him that he had your milk, too, as a baby. This way he can be proud of how big he is while also knowing he got the goods when he needed them, too.
post #9 of 13
Interesting question. I think you got some great responses from these mamas. Both my ds's are weaned. I had a lot of guilt because I believed so firmly in clw... but it just didn't fly with me. after about 16 months my milk supply drops and the sensation of nursing changes from loving it to resenting it. I was losing sleep over it too and it was leading to some very unhealthy situations and relationships with my nurslings.
My eldest ds has already asked if he can taste the baby's milk. And I said, we'll see when the baby comes He also goes around and asks other women if they nurse their babies, and if not, he demands a good reason. The kid is intimidated by no one or nothing.
Anyway, I kind of hope my boys don't forget how to latch on. It really helps control the massive tendency to mastitis I get when my milk comes in
post #10 of 13
My 3 all weaned themselves sometime between 15 and 19 months. Both times we added a new baby to the family I wondered about this same thing. I don't have any problem with extended bf, but after my kids weaned I didn't really want them to start up again. Both times my plan was to let them try it out once if they asked, but then tell them that they are bigger kids now and that mommy's milk is for the baby. Then, of course, give them lots of snuggles and cuddles! Both times it turned out to be a moot point. Neither one asked to try it for themselves, although they were very interested in watching. And my ds never did this, but my dd#1 "nursed" her baby doll a lot. This time I don't expect it to be an issue at all. There will be a much bigger age difference between #3 and #4.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
You can also compare it to the natural progression from diapers to potties (if he's out of diapers already).
And if she's not doing EC, which would mean the baby uses the potty. ;-)

It's funny... when my son was 14 months old, he was using the potty reliably (switched to underwear) but was still nursing... meanwhile, mainstream moms were weaning, but changing nasty poopy toddler diapers. ;-) I always wanted someone to say "Isn't he too old for nursing?" so that I could say "Isn't yours too old for diapers?"
post #12 of 13
If he does ask, maybe say he can try it once. If he likes the taste of your milk, perhaps you can just offer it to him in a cup since that is how he drinks everything else now? He will probably understand if you don't have the energy to nurse him and a newborn. Just be gentle with him and yourself and it will all be fine. Don't feel guilty for not wanting to nurse him again after all this time; your relationship is just different than a mama who has been nursing all along. Not better or worse, just different. Lots of babies wean long before 34 months, so I don't think you should feel bad for not still nursing him. Take care and try not to worry about it!
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by paphia View Post
Don't feel guilty for not wanting to nurse him again after all this time; your relationship is just different than a mama who has been nursing all along. Not better or worse, just different.
Thank you.
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