I should have posted this here instead of/or in addition to Bf'ing beyond Infancy.
So here it is;
I asked dd the other day if she is done bf'ing and she said yes. I can't remember the exact day her last nursing, but it was in the past couple weeks. I am quite certain this is it. I feel good, she feels good.
If you would have asked me 7 years ago that I would bf this long, I would have thought, "my that is quite old". I never had a timeline for weaning. I just kept going because it worked for us. It is funny, she would have a birthday and I thought, "yup, she is definitely not done, I am pretty sure she will go another year or two". I have said that for the past 6 birthdays. I always knew I would bf, I think it is beautiful seeing a mother and baby connected both being nourished and nurtured. Sure, there were times I would have liked it to end, but not because of bf'ing, because mothering is a hard job. I needed a break from it. I see the results of this attachment. My dd is secure, beautiful(in and out), very healthy, confident child that I attribute to responding to her needs. Sometimes those needs are fulfilled with bf'ing, bringing her back to where she needs to be again and to go back to life's challenges. I never realized how helpful bf'ing is during the toddler years until I was in it. They helped with tantrums so much. I can't imagine not having this amazing tool. And for illnesses as well. DD was not sick much, it helped her recover quickly too. Then, of course when ds came along and I needed some relief soon after his birth, she was so happy to help. Easily the last 3 years it has dropped off significantly. Maybe only 1-3/month for a few minutes at home. She never asked in public after she turned 4.
Sometimes I wonder if she would have gone this long if she didn't have a younger brother who is 4 years younger. Perhaps he was born, b/c she needed to bf for 7 years. It will be interesting to see how long ds will go. He is far from being done and turning 3 in November.
I have heard it all.."she won't learn to self soothe, she won't ever sleep in her own bed or through the night if I keep nursing her, you need to not nurse her so she will eat food, you are spoiling her, you are giving in to her". She does sleep in her own bed, she does sleep through the night, she eats food and she is far from being spoiled.
I have learned to trust myself and my dd, to follow her needs and mine. And put the outside world at bay who may be unsupportive and uninformed about bf'ing. I have learned so much about mothering through bf'ing and I am grateful for my supportive friends and community.
Some of you may read this and think, "awe this is gross, I can't imagine bf'ing my child for so long" especially if you have a 7 yo. Think about why you feel that way before you judge.
This has been a long, beautiful and oh, so, gentle weaning. This has been our path.
I don't think so. It has been so little for so long, that in some ways it is a little anti-climatic. I have thought about making a weaning photo album though.
That is for sure. Every once in a while I would post a thread about any "older" nurslings out there. I was curious where everyone was on their path and what it looked like.
Thanks for sharing.
My DS is 5. I weaned my oldest just after his 5th birthday. My youngest has told me over and over again that he doesn't want to wean. I keep telling him he has to, because I am soooo done nursing. We are down to nursing just once every 2nd night and I am getting ready to talk to him about cutting if off completely. I am frustrated and feeling pressure from my husband to wean him cold turkey.
It is awesome that you felt freedom to nurse until she was 7! I wish I had more support around here. I know in my heart that CLW is the right thing to do, but no one else in our lives has the heart that I do. *sigh*
Thanks for the inspiration and the great story!!
i'm keeping on too. my DD is 5. i let her nurse every night for a few minutes before bed. she still asks me if she can still nurse when she's a teenager! (cute, i think, since it obviously won't happen; i'm sure she'll quit on her own by then.) but i know nursing is very important to her psyche. she is the most confident, outgoing kid off all her many friends. i think she is lucky. i, personally, was nursed for all of six weeks.
what a gift to give your daughter "as long as she likes."
Sweet story. Congratulations!
Incidentally mine weaned at 5 ... later when I would tell people that she weaned all by herself she would start protesting and say that she actually wanted to nurse more. So I have avoided phrasing it like that. I wouldn't have minded if she kept going, but she didn't ... she misses it though. Sweet memories.
no longer or or ... dd is going on 10 (!) how was I to know there was a homeschool going on?