How much milk is a toddler getting?/Am I just a pacifier? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-09-2010, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone know how much milk toddlers get from nursing? DS is 21 months and a healthy 31 pounds. He nurses to sleep, when he wakes 2-3 X per night, upon waking in the am, when we get home from daycare, after dinner, and on weekends whenever the heck he feels like it. Okay. That sounds like a lot. However, he doesn't stay latched on for very long. The longest is when falling asleep, and even then the part with long draws where I can hear him swallowing last 30 seconds, maybe a minute sometimes. The rest is just nibbling, I guess I would call it. His jaw is moving, but I don't think he's drinking. I know milk is still there, but I don't pump. I also don't feel any sensation during let-downs (never have).

So I'm just wondering, am I going to dry up, but continue to get demands for "nah-mees"? Is it terrible if I continue to indulge him? Do other older LOs continue to "fill up" on milk?

Married to Tony 6/07. Mommy to Jude 4/08 and Gemma 4/11.
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#2 of 5 Old 02-10-2010, 11:43 PM
 
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Here's some info about nutrition in milk and what a small amount can provide: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-benefits.html

As far as how much your toddler gets, his nursing pattern sounds pretty typical. It's hard to know how much he gets; even if you pumped, unless you pump regularly, you don't really know if your body lets down well for a pump and he's going to be better than a pump at removing milk. If you hear swallowing, he's getting milk. And ANY milk provides nutrients for him (should we worry if our children only ate one broccoli floret, or be glad that they're at least getting that much?). Antibodies and immune cells actually increase as children nurse less frequently, so they keep taking in these important living cells even as their nursing decreases.

A pacifier is a substitute for the breast. There's nothing "wrong" with nursing your son for comfort. It's just not what we see every day in our society. Most people wouldn't look twice at a two-year old with a pacifier, but a lot of women get criticised for nursing beyond infancy. Even though breastmilk continues to provide nutrition and immune support for as long as a child nurses, I think most of us who continue nursing do it for the emotional benefits we see on a daily basis. I'd rather my child have a bond with a person (me) than get comfort from a plastic object (pacifier).

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#3 of 5 Old 02-11-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheriK View Post
A pacifier is a substitute for the breast. There's nothing "wrong" with nursing your son for comfort. It's just not what we see every day in our society. Most people wouldn't look twice at a two-year old with a pacifier, but a lot of women get criticised for nursing beyond infancy. Even though breastmilk continues to provide nutrition and immune support for as long as a child nurses, I think most of us who continue nursing do it for the emotional benefits we see on a daily basis. I'd rather my child have a bond with a person (me) than get comfort from a plastic object (pacifier).
Exactly what I was going to say. You are not "just a pacifier" -- a pacifier is "just" a fake, plastic, totally empty breast.

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#4 of 5 Old 02-12-2010, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What great advice, info, and reassurance. Thank so much!

Married to Tony 6/07. Mommy to Jude 4/08 and Gemma 4/11.
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#5 of 5 Old 02-13-2010, 04:49 AM
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My DD just weaned herself in october several weeks before turning 4. Last winter her nursing habits were similar to your DSs if not less often. And she was still getting enough milk to boost her immune system. I can really tell the difference about the colds she gets now and the ones she had when she was still nursing. Last winter if she got sick it was a mild fever for 2 or 3 days and then it was just gone, but this year she had full cold symptoms for a week to 10 days just like the rest of the family and with the first cold she had after weaning she had a cough for a few weeks.
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