Is Nightweaning an aspect of Child Led Weaning? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 92 Old 07-26-2005, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wonder if nightweaning topics should be in the Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy forum?

I am usually uncomfortable when this topic ends up in Child Led Weaning.

IMHO, if a child wants to nurse at night and is "weaned" of night nursing - it wasn't the child's decision; it was the mother's. So, how can that be considered part of child-led weaning? It isn't setting a limit in the nursing relationship; it is weaning the child from a major chunk of the 24 hour day!
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#2 of 92 Old 07-26-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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FWIW I totally agree and have thought the same thing before.

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#3 of 92 Old 07-26-2005, 06:16 PM
 
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ITA! Night nursing is such a MAJOR part of a child's nursing life!

Nightweaning - as in mother-led night weaning - IMHO is not a part of Child Led Weaning. Unless referring to the process a child who no longer has the need to nurse at night is going/has gone through, I think the topic is better suited for one of the other breastfeeding forums.

I do understand that many mothers feel the need to night-wean to get sleep or for other reasons, but I feel once a mother has had a hand in the process of weaning (such as weaning her child from nursing at night), that she is no longer practicing CLW.

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#4 of 92 Old 07-26-2005, 06:22 PM
 
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Another agreeing here. Dd naturally night-weaned without me ever doing a thing, but if I had forced the issue, it would NOT have been child-led at all.

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#5 of 92 Old 07-28-2005, 01:23 AM
 
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Nightweaning is not clw- the mom is initiating it therefore I see no backing for calling it clw.
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#6 of 92 Old 07-28-2005, 02:45 AM
 
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Thank goodness! I asked about this yesterday in another thread. The CLW forum has always been my "safe haven", I rarely post, but like to read, and I was feeling very out of place.

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#7 of 92 Old 07-28-2005, 03:20 AM
 
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How can night-weaning be considered part of CLW? Because I did not wean my child. I set a reasonable limit at a time when I knew he was ready for it (18 months). A nursing relationship is two-sided--I think it would be a disservice for me to allow my child to nurse all night long, cutting down on my sleep and also causing me to resent him (at my darkest hours). It also would not send him the important message that Mamma is a person who has individual needs and feelings.

That said, "night-weaning" is a deceptive term. We did not WEAN, he just didn't do it at night anymore. I do not think of it as taking away a major chunk of the nursing relationship. When he night-weaned my son slept better, too. He was better for it.

I don't want to get into a debate on this board, it has been done before. Just wanted to let you know that there is a self-defined CLW mom here who chooses against night-nursing. I feel out of place on the boards because I am not "hard-core" CLW but my kid is over 3 years old and I don't exactly have latch or supply questions for the other boards.
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#8 of 92 Old 07-28-2005, 10:30 AM
 
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I agree with the OP, forced nightweaning, or even encouraged by the mother nightweaning, is not in line with my idea of CLW. I don't believe in ever refusing to nurse my children when they need it. But I do think posts about nightweaning are appropriate in this forum, because they would get a very different sort of response than posts about nightweaning in the Family Bed forum.
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#9 of 92 Old 07-28-2005, 02:45 PM
 
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Let me start by saying I didn't nightwean (or daywean!) ds! :LOL But one of my CLW role models - one who nursed her child well beyond the 5.5 years where we currently are - chose to nightwean. That has tempered my view of the subject. But I can see the "purist" point of view too. Some people see it more as setting limits.
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#10 of 92 Old 07-28-2005, 02:56 PM
 
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I have mixed feelings on the subject, but I am leaning towards night weaning NOT being part of CLW.

I didn’t night wean DS, he just stopped on his own so I have no idea of how one even goes about night weaning. I assume it is just refusing to nurse when the child asks at night? If so, that is more than just setting limits.

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#11 of 92 Old 07-28-2005, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stafl
I agree with the OP, forced nightweaning, or even encouraged by the mother nightweaning, is not in line with my idea of CLW. I don't believe in ever refusing to nurse my children when they need it. But I do think posts about nightweaning are appropriate in this forum, because they would get a very different sort of response than posts about nightweaning in the Family Bed forum.
Nightweaning posts should be in any other breastfeeding forum, but not the CLW forum.
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#12 of 92 Old 07-28-2005, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiemare
Just wanted to let you know that there is a self-defined CLW mom here who chooses against night-nursing.
who, me? or you? who are you referring to?

FTR, I actually did try nightweaning. It was not an option. I didn't try very long, bc of the response I got and the intensity of the situation, etc. etc.

I have come to my conclusions based on what my ds has taught me. If I had had an easy baby, we probably would not be night nursing at all at this point.

Mother-led night-weaning, or mother-led curtailing of night-nursings, or whatever you want to call it, is not an aspect of Child Led Weaning. Yes, nursing is a relationship, but a mother is an adult and a child is a child - two very different levels of maturity and ability to accept terms and limits - and I think it is up to the mother to meet the needs of her child within reason. If there is such a great need for a child to nurse at night, a mother learns to sleep through it, or deal with loss of sleep and nap during the day when the child naps, or seek help if possible from other people, or whatever.
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#13 of 92 Old 07-28-2005, 05:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanPlanter
who, me? or you? who are you referring to?
I want you, the OP, and the others who agreed that night-weaning and CLW are mutually exclusive to know that _I_ night-weaned my son and that I do not plan to force weaning on him. I thought it was clear in my post that the "someone" was me; and the "you" was "y'all". When it comes to labels for the relationship, I believe that CLW does apply to us.

The OP and PPs may not intend to do so, but this board has an air of exclusivity. As a "moderate" CLW who nightweaned and set limits during the day, I get harshness from both sides.
Non-nursers (or the ones who stop once a tooth or two come in) think that I am a weirdo. I have had close family say things like, You need to get that kid off of the boob (in front of DS), and everytime we get together they ask me if he's "done" yet.
On the other hand, here at MDC, which I like to think of as a safe haven, my choice to night-wean means that I can't be part of the CLW forum?? I wouldn't post a night-weaning question or start the topic in this forum, but it sounds as though I just "don't belong."


Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanPlanter
. . . and I think it is up to the mother to meet the needs of her child within reason.
Nightweaning was very much within reason once DS was 18 months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanPlanter
If there is such a great need for a child to nurse at night, a mother learns to sleep through it, or deal with loss of sleep and nap during the day when the child naps, or seek help if possible from other people, or whatever.
This is what was true in your case. My experience was that I didn't learn to sleep through it. I could not nap or "deal with" it. I did not get help from other people, or whatever. i did what was best for us.

My son will decide when to stop nursing. That's why I call it child-led. The nighttime curtailing (which led him to finally sleep through the night and finish off the nightweaning on his own) was a limit I initiated. Not an end to nursing. BTW, he definitely made up for it during the day those first few weeks without nightnursing and i was happy to fill'er up.
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#14 of 92 Old 07-28-2005, 09:02 PM
 
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I personally don't think night-weaning is a part of child-led weaning. To me child-led means that the child decides when they want to nurse and how often and how long. Yes I will occasionally tell Olivia "In a minute" but if she gets upset I realize how important it is to nurse at that time and we'll nurse. Usually she'll say okay and go play and then we will nurse in a little bit. To me night weaning is not child-led. If the child wants to nurse but is being actively denied how is that child-led weaning? Olivia still wakes to nurse at night 1-3 times and she is almost 3. This is has been a very gradual process because at age 2 she still woke 3-8 times a night to nurse. I don't think the board is being exclusive to want night-weaning threads to go in breastfeeding beyond infancy. This board is for child-led weaning so why is it wrong to want it to only hosts discussions pertaining to CHILD-LED weaning?

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#15 of 92 Old 07-28-2005, 09:31 PM
 
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Katiemare...I'm sorry you feel like you get harshness from both sides and don't fit in either place. I personally do not intend any harshness with _my_ perception of CLW. It sounds to me like you practice what _I_ would call child-respectful weaning - you respect your child's wants and needs to nurse and do your best to balance them with your wants and needs. I believe you can still be a part of the CLW forum, as many of your breastfeeding practices mesh with CLW. Not everyone in this forum practices every aspect of CLW, some who read here don't practice CLW at all, but are here to learn and grow in their knowledge...to see what's best for them and their nurslings.

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#16 of 92 Old 07-28-2005, 11:17 PM
 
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I don't see anything horrible about people choosing to night-wean, it's just not clw in my opinion, doesn't mean it isn't in others opinions. I also don't think that doing so excludes one from any forum. If people encouraged ppl to nightwean in this forum, I wouldn't be to thrilled, but other than that, I think it's great ppl are bf for as long as they are
I think setting limits can be beneficial for the mom, but to me, setting limits against half the entire day is mom led more than child led. But I have no judgement for those who do this, I'm just happy so many babes are getting great milk as long as they are
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#17 of 92 Old 07-29-2005, 09:19 AM
 
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Seems to me it could be argued either way.

You could say nightweaning is not CLW if the child wants to nurse.

You could say that nightweaning might mean that the mom is still CLW during the day.

The important thing to me is, are you respecting the child's developmental/emotional/physical timetable?

Are you nightweaning at the time when the child has grown into the ability to cope with it, or are you being bullied into nightweaning because some external voice is telling you the child "SHOULD" be sleeping through the night?

Gently negotiating at night with a 4 year old is very different from forcing a 6 month old to CIO, KWIM? There are so many shades between Child-LW and Mom-LW. It's not just black and white.

I know that I personally would not have emotionally survived nursing dd for the years that I did nurse her if not for being able to gently negotiate nursing sometimes, without forcing the issue, in her later years of nursing. Which was most definitely done with respect for her needs/ability to cope which varied.

I don't understand the concept of never saying no to a nursing. If I were driving, or changing a sibling's poopy diaper, or goddess forbid throwing up, or holding a hot breakable dish and carrying it to the table...you bet I'd say no. But I would frame it gently, I would never say things I've heard like "you're too old to nurse" or "you can't nurse, you're not a baby" (to a 3 year old )

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#18 of 92 Old 07-29-2005, 04:09 PM
 
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I have to say I agree with Stafl on this one - nightweaning posts *should* be allowed here b/c of the different response they get. And this is speaking from personal posting experience. I have tried setting limits on nightnursing in the past (with no success) and my post on the subject in Family Bed was met with a lot of "go ahead and nightwean, this is how we did it..." rhetoric. That's fine, but my dd was not and is not ready to nightwean or even to accept more than the most basic limits at night (i.e., you've had each side twice, now roll over and go to sleep). My post in CLW (I x-posted) was met with a lot of support for continued nightnursing. It was more of a pep talk and honestly, that's what I needed at the time. While it would be dangerous (and offensive, even) to assume that anyone contemplating nightweaning just needed a pep talk, I did suggest that's what I wanted and that's what I got. If I hadn't been allowed to post in CLW, I don't know if I would have gotten the support I needed.

As far as whether nightweaning goes with CLW, why doesn't it? I don't agree that CLW means never saying no. Nursing is a 2-way street. I'm not afraid to tell my DD no at times when I am busy, times when she has just nursed, times when people are around and I may not be comfortable. Would I turn her down if she were screaming? Absolutely not! But, if she's just asking to ask - there's a gray area there.

Katiemare, of course you belong here. I've seen plenty of people post here who have either nightweaned or thought about it (hey, who among the CLWers doesn't think about night weaning at least once in a blue moon? even the OP did/does!).
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#19 of 92 Old 07-29-2005, 04:23 PM
 
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I think those who nightwean belong here. I would much rather have someone nightwean, and get the rest they need, then continue a bit longer and fully wean. I think clw can involve limits, but nightweaning is mom-lead, and is half the day, so I would consider that more limits than clw. But I still would think one could clw during the day and mom-led wean at night. There is no medal available for night nursing the longest. We all need support and encouragement, no matter what forum, what limits, what age we are breastfeeding to. We need to show love and encouragement instead of segregation. My opinion on clw and nightweaning simply is what applies to me, not to imply that I would think others don't belong, as a society, there is too much negative attention placed on mothers, we need to accept each others as individuals, and look for the good in what we do.
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#20 of 92 Old 07-29-2005, 07:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Brite
I think clw can involve limits, but nightweaning is mom-lead, and is half the day, so I would consider that more limits than clw.
Not really the point, but I wanted to point out that when I nightweaned DD (at 25 months) it was for 4-5 HOURS a night, not "half the day" (twelve hours). I point this out because it emphasizes how many shades of grey there are within CLW. For example, if a person came on and said that there 25 month old had CLW, there would be support. So it feels kind of odd that my attempts to get at four consecutive hours of sleep and demand feeding the rest of the time is somehow "less than" if you kwim. Of course, as we have previously discussed, because of that nightweaning and the limits I placed starting early in pregnancy I do not consider DD to have been "truly" CLW.

Now DS, who didn't give me that 4 hours for another 18 months past DD... he'll be CLW

 

 

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#21 of 92 Old 07-29-2005, 07:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TiredX2
Not really the point, but I wanted to point out that when I nightweaned DD (at 25 months) it was for 4-5 HOURS a night, not "half the day" (twelve hours). I point this out because it emphasizes how many shades of grey there are within CLW. For example, if a person came on and said that there 25 month old had CLW, there would be support. So it feels kind of odd that my attempts to get at four consecutive hours of sleep and demand feeding the rest of the time is somehow "less than" if you kwim. Of course, as we have previously discussed, because of that nightweaning and the limits I placed starting early in pregnancy I do not consider DD to have been "truly" CLW.

Now DS, who didn't give me that 4 hours for another 18 months past DD... he'll be CLW

I totally get what you are saying. I think there are tons of shades between the two examples. I would never want to assume to say if someone was clw, or mama-led weaning. Just for me personally, if I nightweaned, I would consider that mama-led. However, if I weaned one or two (or x) number of nursings to get 4 hours of sleep, at a certain age, I certiantly would not be feeling guilty! Also, I don't consider any type of weaning "less than" unless it was under a year. But that's just my personal take, I'm really just happy there are so many moms going past the year. And believe me, I am NO expert on clw, I just come here for encouragement
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#22 of 92 Old 07-30-2005, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Brite
I don't see anything horrible about people choosing to night-wean, it's just not clw in my opinion, doesn't mean it isn't in others opinions. I also don't think that doing so excludes one from any forum. If people encouraged ppl to nightwean in this forum, I wouldn't be to thrilled, but other than that, I think it's great ppl are bf for as long as they are
I think setting limits can be beneficial for the mom, but to me, setting limits against half the entire day is mom led more than child led. But I have no judgement for those who do this, I'm just happy so many babes are getting great milk as long as they are
as surprised as you all may be, I totally agree with this post

but I also agree with what Tired said about the shades of gray of what the duration of the night-weaned period could be (in her case, 4-5 hours); but I imagine in many cases, it tends to be a much longer stretch (or, at least, this is what I've gotten anecdotally).

Also, I don't believe that you can never say "no" to a nursing request. I've been saying "no" I think since ds was a baby - like, when I really needed to go potty or take a shower or something; sometimes baby/toddler had to wait a minute or two. And, by the same token, I've said (or tried to say) "no" at night, when I just didn't think I could bear to nurse another minute - but ds would present such a dramatic protest that it wasn't worth putting him off since it would wake the entire family and disturb everyone's sleep for an extended period. So I nursed. And this is why I can't nightwean. DS is just too strong-willed and vocal about his need in the middle of the night.

Basically, I'm jealous that other mamas can.


In any case, I like the CLW forum as a haven from talk about weaning, which is why nightweaning discourse here bothers me. On the other hand, I appreciate what has been pointed out in this thread as far as discussing nightweaning in a forum where one might be more likely to receive encouragement to stick it out with nursing, or info leading towards understanding the benefits of long-term night nursing.
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#23 of 92 Old 07-30-2005, 12:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanPlanter
Basically, I'm jealous that other mamas can.


I so hear you there. It gets both depressing and frustrating. I do think I could nightwean DS (probably easily), but I don't *need* to so I don't. And until I felt I really needed to with DD it didn't work either. So I always have that to fall back on.

 

 

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#24 of 92 Old 07-30-2005, 05:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
Not really the point, but I wanted to point out that when I nightweaned DD (at 25 months) it was for 4-5 HOURS a night, not "half the day" (twelve hours). I point this out because it emphasizes how many shades of grey there are within CLW.
I completely agree. And for this reason, I really think "night-weaning" is a misnomer. It's not weaning at all and, IMO, setting limits at night when the child is developmentally (physically and emotionally) ready for it is consistent with CLW.
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#25 of 92 Old 07-30-2005, 05:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanPlanter
Basically, I'm jealous that other mamas can.
Another jealous mama here. : When we all mother/nurse our children as they require, we're doing OK, aren't we? As long as we respect their needs, I mean. It's just that some of us have children whose needs are, well, just *more* in every way!! :LOL
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#26 of 92 Old 07-30-2005, 08:26 PM
 
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Am I the only one who enjoys night nursing? I'm SO looking forward to having a newborn again and waking up to a tiny rooting mouth!!!

Mama to A (12), Z (11), H (9), C (5), A (3) and 4 angels. 

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#27 of 92 Old 07-30-2005, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mom2threenurslings
Am I the only one who enjoys night nursing? I'm SO looking forward to having a newborn again and waking up to a tiny rooting mouth!!!
45 lbs rolling all over you throughout the night ain't no newborn!
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#28 of 92 Old 07-31-2005, 12:21 AM
 
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Oh...should I have mentioned that the new baby will have competition from my 35 lbs 3 yr old as well? :LOL (Or that, by morning, I usually have a 3 yr old, 5 yr old and 6.5 yr old in bed with me - the 3 yr old and 5 yr old still nursing? )

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#29 of 92 Old 07-31-2005, 12:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mom2threenurslings
Oh...should I have mentioned that the new baby will have competition from my 35 lbs 3 yr old as well? :LOL (Or that, by morning, I usually have a 3 yr old, 5 yr old and 6.5 yr old in bed with me - the 3 yr old and 5 yr old still nursing? )
I've bowed to you before, so it won't be the first time.

I enjoy stroking DS's head as he nurses during the night. But, seriously, sleeping no more than 4 hours in a row for the past seven years, many of those years being no more than 1 hour at a time, I'm done. If DS started sleeping 9pm-5am tonight I might miss his babyhood but I wouldn't miss the nightwaking.

 

 

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#30 of 92 Old 07-31-2005, 01:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2threenurslings
Am I the only one who enjoys night nursing? I'm SO looking forward to having a newborn again and waking up to a tiny rooting mouth!!!
I used to really enjoy it. Even when ds was between 1 and 2 years. I loved being able to connect with him like that, even for the few seconds before I fell back asleep.

I have to admit that I lost the love when it was every 45 minutes for month after month, though. Plus, he started favoring laying far away from me while he was nursing... and not being particularly well-endowed, it really hurt!
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