Nursing twins past 12 months - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 37 Old 11-11-2008, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How does this work? Do I keep nursing my girls as often as I have been up to this point?

I went into parenting with very few preconceived notions. I assumed I'd wean at 12 months like everyone else but didn't give it too much thought. To my surprise I've turned into a homebirthing, baby-wearing, CD'er. So far I've gotten my babes to 9 1/2 months without a drop of formula. (I'm a little bit proud and a lot thankful things worked out well enough to allow it.) They eat solids, but not a ton. It occurred to me that I'd like to keep nursing past a year. But I have no idea how long we should go and what it'll be like.

What are other MOMs' experiences? Goals?

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#2 of 37 Old 11-11-2008, 06:06 PM
 
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My babies are 8.5 months. My goal is to nurse to 15 months (this gets us out of this years cold/flu season) and then reevaluate. There are days when I am ready to throw in the towel, but I keep reminding myself that every drop of bm they get is a precious gift that no one else can give them.

I'll look forward to others' responses. I don't really want them to have cow milk when I wean, or juice for that matter. I am also interested in knowing how or if people will go to sleep when they quit breastfeeding.

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#3 of 37 Old 11-11-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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I suppose it's just the same as nursing any kid past 12 months. I never really put much thought into it with DS1. He nursed less as he got older and started to eat more solids, although he went through phases of nursing more and nursing less. At some point he got down to just nursing for naps and nights. It just seemed like a normal progression, you know? I never gave him milk or anything, just water in a sippy cup.
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#4 of 37 Old 11-11-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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I don't know if she'll see this thread, but mamajody has been nursing her twin sons for a bit over 2 years now. I can't give you the insight she has, but it seems like she takes it one day at a time. (She's pregnant, now, too!)
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#5 of 37 Old 11-11-2008, 08:32 PM
 
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Many, many of us on this forum with babies over 12 months are still nursing at some level, some slowing down, and some still going strong.

Mine are 18 months, and I plan to continue nursing until they outgrow the need. They kind of go through phases-- they'll eat less and nurse more for a while, then nurse more and eat less, and then go back and forth. For now, they nurse in the morning when they first wake up, sometime in the afternoon, they nurse to sleep at night, and then nurse around 1-2 times each during the night (usually once before midnight, and again around 5-6 am, though they go back to sleep until almost 8 usually).

Anyway, my biggest guide has simply been following their cues. If they're over 12 months, and you're still enjoying breastfeeding, and they're still enjoying breastfeeding, there's no reason to rush the end of that phase in your parenting relationship.

Wife of one and mom of five, including my HBAC twins!
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#6 of 37 Old 11-11-2008, 09:05 PM
 
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I would say that a good chunk of us have nursed into toddlerhood. My twins are 2.5 and still nursing with no immediate plans to wean. They nurse when they want mostly unless it is inconvient for me/us at that moment-no major rules or restrictions. We will probably stop when it isn't working for one of us anymore. I assume that my twins were wean around the same time just b/c that is the way they are, but many have a twin that weans before the other.

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#7 of 37 Old 11-11-2008, 09:46 PM
 
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I'm planning to nurse to about 2 yrs . . . if they still want to and I still want to. I figure that'll get us most of the way through next year's RSV season, and I'm all about those extra antibodies!

But both times before, I stopped nursing due to getting pregnant, so I know plans can change (not planning on getting pregnant, but y'know). Still, right now, that's what I'm hoping for.
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#8 of 37 Old 11-11-2008, 10:13 PM
 
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I nursed my b/g twins for a little over 3 years.

I too had a goal to make it to a year, then they got really sick that winter and I just kept going b/c it seemed like the right thing to do. (I couldn't imagine weaning them at the same time we were dealing with pneumonia, croup, flu, you name it).

I did finally nightwean them around 27 months (should have done it earlier for the sake of my sleep).

By the time there were 3 yo I was feeling very "done" and started gently weaning them, till around 3 years and 4 months I realized no one had asked for "nana" recently.

Basically, as they grew older I instituted boundaries for nursing as needed (like no nursing in public after 18 months - it was just too much of a circus). Then nightweaning, then, when I started weaning them in earnest, I limited the number of sessions till it was just once a day in the morning.

Just take it day by day, and month by month and you'll know what to do. Nursing toddlers is WAY easier than infant twins IME.
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#9 of 37 Old 11-11-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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mine are almost 25 months and still going strong the experience has been wonderful for us and my goals are that they gently wean themselves when they are ready.

mine nurse to sleep, nurse for comfort, nurse out of jealousy when sister is nursing, nurse for teething pain, i nurse for immune support, and whenever the phone rings ... i do think that(for us) the sibling jealousy issue will keep twins nursing longer than a singleton; when they see their sister breastfeeding, they must join in too.

my children have always needed nursing the MOST right around 12 months of age, though i distinctly remember thinking the same thing about "weaning at one y/o" when pregnant with my first! so, agreeing with a pp, just let it flow naturally, just as parenting should and follow their cues. it is such a special part of the relationship, yours and theirs. mine hum their "nursing song" to each other, hold hands, gaze into each others' eyes and run their fingers through sisters hair every night while they blissfully nurse to sleep. i won't be weaning them too soon
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#10 of 37 Old 11-12-2008, 01:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by maxymum View Post
mine hum their "nursing song" to each other, hold hands, gaze into each others' eyes and run their fingers through sisters hair every night while they blissfully nurse to sleep. i won't be weaning them too soon
Oh my goodness, that's adorable. Mine just starting holding hands while nursing (they're discovering they're separate people, I think, and it's an extension of their "hey, who are you?" play), and I thought I'd die of the cuteness. Your post tells me there's even more to come! :
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#11 of 37 Old 11-12-2008, 06:43 AM
 
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Aww ^^ to the above.

Mine are just 5 weeks now and I keep wondering how they will interact as they grow. So far they just kind of look at each other and jump a little (as if they caught themselves in the mirror iywim), but last night I was tandem nursing and they were stretching their arms out to each other, kind of fluttering their hands over each other. Ds is quite (gorgeously) noisy as he nurses, and Dd stopped and was looking in his direction like, 'ssssh man, be quiet so I can concentrate'!

Of course, it's all my interpretation. LOL. but still wonderful, lovely, amazing.

I REALLY hope we can go waaay over 12 months. Am trying to eat and drink accordingly

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#12 of 37 Old 11-12-2008, 07:52 AM
 
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Mine nursed til about two (one weaned just before and one just after their birthday) and like a PP said, it just seemed kind of natural. They are June babies and I, too, wanted to get through that second winter before thinking of weaning (although I gently nightweaned them at 17 months as my DP and I were wrecks from all the waking). When spring came, their interest decreased too... so when they started asking less and less, and falling asleep without it, and then one day... done.

I never planned to nurse toddlers. I didn`t even know if I could nurse newborn twins. I just took it all one day at a time, I guess.

Good luck!
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#13 of 37 Old 11-12-2008, 10:59 AM
 
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12 months isn't a magic number - just keep nursing as they demand and go with the flow. That's how I've done it. As long as it feels right, you're good.

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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#14 of 37 Old 11-12-2008, 11:27 AM
 
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I'm nursing my twin boys who turned 2 in October. They nurse quite often. If one is nursing, the other one HAS to nurse. I did put limits on them, because they'd want to be nursing ALL day if I let them : But, alas, I've got to do things like go to the bathroom, cook dinner, etc :

They are cute when they are nursing. Sometimes they'll hold hands, or sometimes, they'll pick on each other :

It's definitely been different from my singleton, she nursed til 17 months.

I've been taking it day by day, and just going with the flow. At first, I said 18 months and then I said 2. Well, they're 2, and we're still going!
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#15 of 37 Old 11-12-2008, 12:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by royaloakmi View Post
I nursed my b/g twins for a little over 3 years.

I too had a goal to make it to a year, then they got really sick that winter and I just kept going b/c it seemed like the right thing to do. (I couldn't imagine weaning them at the same time we were dealing with pneumonia, croup, flu, you name it).

I did finally nightwean them around 27 months (should have done it earlier for the sake of my sleep).

By the time there were 3 yo I was feeling very "done" and started gently weaning them, till around 3 years and 4 months I realized no one had asked for "nana" recently.

Basically, as they grew older I instituted boundaries for nursing as needed (like no nursing in public after 18 months - it was just too much of a circus). Then nightweaning, then, when I started weaning them in earnest, I limited the number of sessions till it was just once a day in the morning.

Just take it day by day, and month by month and you'll know what to do. Nursing toddlers is WAY easier than infant twins IME.

Me too. Night weaned at 26 mos. Nursed to 3.5. Bribed them to stop with a weaning party.
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#16 of 37 Old 11-12-2008, 12:59 PM
 
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I nursed my twins 16 months. I had wanted to get to at least 2 years old. I have a chronic illness though, and I'd gone that long without the only meds that can control my illness safely, because they weren't safe for the babies. Anyway, finally I got to the point where I was too sick to care for them, so I weaned to go on the meds, and I feel so much better now. I feel sad, often, that we didn't make it longer. Parenting toddlers is so much easier when you're nursing, I think.

I nightweaned early, though. I nightweaned DD2 at 7 or 8 months, and DS at 11ish months. DS just needed the night nursing so much more, so I kept it up longer with him. DD let go of it easier. I needed to nightwean because my illness kept me in the bathroom for a good part of the night and early morning. I needed all the sleep I could get, plus I needed them to be able to accept DH during the night when they woke, because sometimes I just couldn't get to them.

I would encourage you to nurse as long as you and the babies still want to.

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#17 of 37 Old 11-12-2008, 01:08 PM
 
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We are at almost 16mo here. Never a bottle or formula, for which I am so thankful. I just keep on nursing them as they need it and ask.

With DD1, my original goal was 6 weeks which quickly got pushed back and back until I figured whenever. My DS is now well past 3 and still nursing so I figure if the twins go that long that's fine too. Up to them!

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#18 of 37 Old 11-12-2008, 02:34 PM
 
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my twin girls are 19 months and still going strong! I plan, like a lot of other moms here, to nurse until they wean themselves. Sadly, I already get comments and looks from family members but I just try to ignore it and focus on my daughters. I know in my heart this is the best thing for them right now. and like a lot of moms said before, I think you will know when it is time to move to the next step... good luck!
ps.. once they stop nursing I still lan on giving them breastmilk for a while after. the benefits are amazing and I had to start out pumping, they were preemies so it's really just going to back to it for me!
HTH!
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#19 of 37 Old 11-12-2008, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice and the experience. Yeah, MOMs! Funny that going by what feels right seems a little counter-intuitive sometimes. Guess that's just something we new moms need to get used to and protective of.

Nice to hear from so many nursing way past the one year mark.

And to EsaEsa, another 2/08 MOM!

Mom to : Belle and Izzy
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#20 of 37 Old 11-12-2008, 03:32 PM
 
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My twins are 15 months old and they still nurse like newborns. They nurse every three hours day and night. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I have no goals, just until we're done. I do think that I'll start easing them back this spring or summer but not all the way to weaning. My son is going to be three in a couple of weeks and he's still nursing 4-6 times a day as well.

There is something magical about nursing toddler twins. My girls hold hands, pull off and giggle as some secret joke, give me kisses (and raspberries!). It's the most special thing. It's also so sweet having my toddler in the tandem mix, he loves holding his sisters and sharing nursies with them. I'm such a lucky mom

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#21 of 37 Old 11-12-2008, 06:22 PM
 
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When my twins were born, I figured I'd nurse for a year, and then pump for a year and let them have their milk in a cup. I just thought I "should". Thankfully, that didn't stick. My boys weaned around 26 months, when I was pregnant with my newest, who is just now a year. They would have nursed longer if I hadn't been pregnant, but even before I conceived they had dropped the before bed nurse, so they were definately slowing down on their own. At one point I said I wouldn't try to wean them until they were fully 2.5 but they weaned on their own before that.

Good luck. Enjoy your twins.

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#22 of 37 Old 11-13-2008, 12:06 AM
 
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fyrebloom, mine nurse like newborns still. Every 2 or 3 hours round the clock! Occasionally Shira will go 4 hr at night. They're 15mo old but the size of 9mo so just tiny things that need lots of nursing. It really is magical... I love watching them stroke each others hair or pat heads, etc. I'll never forget looking down to find them both picking each others noses though!

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#23 of 37 Old 11-13-2008, 12:45 AM
 
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I'll never forget looking down to find them both picking each others noses though!
you can pick your friends but you can't pick your friend's nose
you can't pick your sister, but you can pick your sister's nose!

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#24 of 37 Old 11-13-2008, 05:18 PM
 
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Wow, your girls are petite! Mine are about 20 lbs and between 25th and the 50% for height. They wear 12m clothes (some of their 9 m shirts still fit though). I thought they were peanuts! LOL about the nose picking, mine have luckily not learned that one but they DO poke everything else. They're learning body parts now and love poking everyone's eyes in .

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#25 of 37 Old 11-13-2008, 11:39 PM
 
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I nursed mine past the 4 year mark. For two of those years I was also nursing their baby sister. (and yep they nursed throughout that pregancy)

I plan to hold it over their heads for years.
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#26 of 37 Old 11-14-2008, 02:35 AM
 
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Still nursing here at 3 yrs 1 month. I'm interested in gradually weaning... they still find comfort in it though, and it is still an important aspect of our relationship.
Before I ever thought about the whole nursing thing, found out I was having twins (and having bad advice about not being able to produce enough) I set out to make it to a year, but at a year they are still babies! It never crossed my mind to stop. I would say around 2 yrs they were mostly just nursing at nap (when I was home) at night, but night meant pretty much all night.
I have been working hard on finally fully night weaning with the help of DH.

Anyone have advice for the gradual weaning at this age, I'd love to hear ideas!

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#27 of 37 Old 11-14-2008, 12:21 PM
 
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My boys are now 23 months hand have lost most interest in the past month. They don't nurse to bed now for about the last 3 months. I'd estimate that about 75% of the mornings, they don't nurse when they wake. Once in a while, there's an entire 24-hour period where they don't nurse. Most days, though, it's 2-3 times throughout the middle of the day.

I recently was gone from home for 6 days. We wondered a little bit how that would go, but my husband said that the boys never seemed to be fussing for me. When I got home, they went right back to nursing like the absence hadn't even occurred.

. . . of course, they laughed a little more enthusiastically than normal as I opened my shirt!

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#28 of 37 Old 11-15-2008, 10:25 PM
 
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27 months at this point and still going. And going. And going.

I have stopped most NIP (except for major trauma and at the local natural parenting store which isn't exactly public anyway) and we finally night weaned a month or two ago. They still each nurse 2 -3 times per day on average.

They love it. It's not a problem for me. I see no reason to stop. Plus, I think it freaks out my MIL and that's a devilish little bonus.

Mostly sane mother to twins.
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#29 of 37 Old 11-17-2008, 07:51 AM
 
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I nursed my two til a few weeks ago. They are 3.5. I day weaned them around 2 as i couldnt take the constant demand any more. They were very competitive - if one was on the other just had to have some. I could do one in public but really didnt like doing two and saying no to one of them when the other was on often caused major tantrums.

I got pregnant when they were 2.5 and tried to wean them during the pregnancy but again just when one was loosing interest the other would be really needy and so again i couldnt say no to the first one. It was those times that i thought weaning one child must be so easy in comparison.

I survived the pregnancy with acting back and sore nipples and by the end of the pregnancy we were down to feeding to sleep and then sometimes if they woke in the night and other times not. And again sometimes in the morning and other times not.

After the baby came along they got a bit more demanding but within the first 4 weeks my dd weaned and then after another 6 weeks my ds weaned too.

I say keep feeding as long as you are happy to. It is such an easy way to get them to sleep.
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#30 of 37 Old 11-17-2008, 08:52 AM
 
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I see no reason to stop. Plus, I think it freaks out my MIL and that's a devilish little bonus.

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