Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: San Francisco Peninsula
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Looks like we've weaned now at 33 months, my decision, not theirs. My girls have nursed a lot since birth, and never nightweaned on their own nor really even slowed down much. If they were out all day with my husband they didn't ask to nurse at all; if they were out with me they would ask to nurse at some point; if they were home with me, they wanted to nurse almost all the time. Like 6-10 times during the day, often for an hour or more while we read books if I just kept going along with their wishes.
I tried to nightwean them three times, the first time when they were 10 months old because I was insane from lack of sleep, never getting even three consecutive hours. I failed all three times due to lack of resolve on my part I guess. When I became pregnant this past December, after a few weeks of first trimester exhaustion, I finally had the resolve...I guess those pregnancy hormones made the difference. So first we nightweaned. They were around 2.5 years then. Then I cut back daytime to just before naps and going to sleep. Then cut that down to about 2-5 minutes each time. And then last Wednesday was the last night they nursed.
We've have been staying up past their bedtime so that my girl who really wants to nurse is so tired she falls asleep before I finish reading her stories. After a couple of weeks of that I hope to go back to a regular bedtime and have her be able to fall asleep without wanting to nurse. Monday night she didn't fall asleep and was really upset that I would not let her nurse. She doesn't ask to nurse at all except during bedtime though. And once when we had just been at a picnic where she watched an infant nursing.
One girl really seemed ready, and only to be nursing because her sister was. The other I think would still benefit a lot but I just am not willing to continue. The one who is ready has had all of her teeth for months. The one who is not still has two molars to go. Which I think is interesting because one thing I read linked length of nursing time to when the teeth were in. Another thing is the girl who is ready is much more of a snuggler. And also likes to touch my nipples a lot. So it is almost as if she gets a lot of comfort from that and doesn't need the nursing itself. Whereas the one who really would still like to nurse does not snuggle much and just is not into hugging type physical contact. She prefers to rough-house for contact.
My girls always nursed together. I never figured out how to keep one happy not nursing while the other nursed away. Although the amount of time involved was huge, and it meant sitting on my deriere a lot, that part I could deal with. What was really hard is that it physically always felt pretty aweful to nurse two babies at once to me. The few times I nursed one or the other alone it was a completely different and enjoyable experience. So, my largest problem with nursing twins was that it just was physically not enjoyable, to put it mildly. My second largest problem was just the sheer mental exhaustion that nightnursing two babies for over 2.5 years caused.
I did get a couple of cases of mastitis early on. The first one I ended up treating with antibiotics. Then I learned something that worked for me that probably is not sound advice. My mastitis seemed to be caused by milk blisters or plugged ducts very close to the surface of the nipple. When one breast started getting hard, I would take a very fine beading needle, sterilize it, and then with a little bit of trial and error, locate the plugged duct/blister and lance it. Then used a manual pump to drain it. I never had a bad case of mastitis after learning how to do that. But gosh I hope I don't have to do that this time around too.
I am still not sure if I will let the girls try nursing again once the baby is here. On the one hand I think it would be really nice to see them enjoying some rich milk with their new sibling. On the other hand I think it would just cause one of my girls a lot of confusion about when she could nurse or not. I might just try pumping a little for them to drink out of a glass now and then just so they can get the antibodies a bit longer. Though not sure if the amount I would pump would even be significant enough to make a difference.