Long-term nursing mamas: Do you have a limit? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 91 Old 09-12-2007, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm posting this here because I don't want to hear from the "Not nursing after age 2" crowd. Hope it's cool.

So, do you have a limit? An age past which you don't want to nurse? Do you have a plan for how to wean in a mama-led way at that point, or do you wonder/worry about weaning?

My limit is 5.5. I am not nursing a 6 year old, I just can't get my head around it for me personally, although if you do good for you and I fully support you! My daughter is coming up on 4, shows NOOOOO sign of giving up the milk addiction, and I am starting to stress a little about it. Plus if all goes well I will have a nursing babe in the house when she is 4.5, and I'm sure that will do nothing to curtail her interest. She said to me once, "When I am a mama, I will come over to your house and nurse!"

Anyone else in a similar situation? Or, if this is totally not you, please tell me about it!
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#2 of 91 Old 09-12-2007, 11:16 AM
 
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I guess I am not yet a real long-term nursing mama... but... here's my 2 cents, FWIW. My dd is 20 months, still going strong on the nursing and my ds is almost 2 months old. Just so you know, Nursing my dd was pretty much fine and dandy through my pregnancy, but since ds has been born it's been much more difficult for *me* to nurse her. It just gives me the willies. I hope it doesn't end up in weaning but I thought you might be interested to know. I was completely blindsided by this situation. I guess I could see that making you *REALLY REALLY* want to wean a child that you had no intention of weaning before.

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#3 of 91 Old 09-12-2007, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ugh. Coz see, I think for mine that would create some crazy jealousy. When I first talked about maybe us having another baby in our family, she said the baby would drink from a bottle. I had to sort of talk her up to sharing the 'sides' (her word for breasts). Now she is into it, and will even let the baby nurse first! Gasp.

I can totally see really, really wanting to wean her when I am nursing a newborn, or even worrying about my supply (I have PCOS and my supply has never exactly been abundant, although always adequate). But I think it would cause serious drama in my house.

Gah.
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#4 of 91 Old 09-12-2007, 12:02 PM
 
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I have no line in the sand yet. I can foresee one in some situations. But right now I'm still okay with her nursing as long as she needs to.

[I might have a different answer tomorrow though ]

-Angela
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#5 of 91 Old 09-12-2007, 12:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
I guess I am not yet a real long-term nursing mama... but... here's my 2 cents, FWIW. My dd is 20 months, still going strong on the nursing and my ds is almost 2 months old. Just so you know, Nursing my dd was pretty much fine and dandy through my pregnancy, but since ds has been born it's been much more difficult for *me* to nurse her. It just gives me the willies. I hope it doesn't end up in weaning but I thought you might be interested to know. I was completely blindsided by this situation. I guess I could see that making you *REALLY REALLY* want to wean a child that you had no intention of weaning before.
Yeah that. Except nursing DS1 was not okay for half the pregnancy. Nursing aversion is a terrible thing Setting limits for DS1 has made it possible for me not to wean. Strangely, though he is an addict, he immediately gave way to DS2 getting priority on nursing sessions. When they do nurse at the same time, he holds DS2's hand and rubs his fuzzy little head which is the only thing getting me through that yucky (and totally unforeseen) aversion to tandeming...

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#6 of 91 Old 09-12-2007, 01:04 PM
 
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well, my 26 mo ds nurses constantly now. Well, maybe thats a slight exaggeration. Maybe 10 times a day and all thru the night, lol. I would love to be done with all night nursing by the time he's 3. To me thats just ridiculous sounding, that a 3 yr old would need "baba" all night long, yet my ds shows no signs of slowing down his nursing in the night. Very depressing when I think abt it, so usually I don't. He still seems like such a baby to me, he hardly talks, still wears a dipe ect. I would not mind him nursing when he is 3, but much less than now. Hopefully that will be his plan too, lol!
What age will I want him totally done? Gee, I never really thought abt it, but I guess 5 or 6. Its hard to imagine.
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#7 of 91 Old 09-12-2007, 01:06 PM
 
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And your pg might change her nursing as well. When I got pg with DD2, DD1 was 3y, and was very much still nursing, like every single hour at least during the day, and had JUST stopped nursing at night. I always said that I probably scared off all the new moms at LLL, because my 3y old would sit there and nurse during the entire meeting. She would swear up and down that she would nurse until 5y, and I never thought in a billion years that she would stop nursing anytime soon.


Then I got pg, and my milk went away with the + test. Within weeks, DD1 started cutting back, by the time DD2 was born, DD1 was nursing every two weeks or so, and stopped all together shortly after DD2's birth, she was 4. I thought this child would nurse forever, seriously until at least 5y or so, she was so into nursing, but then when there was no milk.... I guess her need had be met, and that was it.

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#8 of 91 Old 09-12-2007, 02:31 PM
 
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I don't know if I have a limit. I didn't reach it and both of my kids are weaned now.

That said, it was much easier than I thought it would be to cut DD back during my pg with DS (and she was much younger--- just turned two). DS was still nursing round the clock and 3.5 (literally still every 1-2 hours at night) and he weaned before he was six (in fact, before he was 5.75 --- yes, it was close).

If I were you, I wouldn't worry about it at this point. Two years is a REALLY long time. You might change your view, she might change her mind, I don't think you can even predict it.

 

 

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#9 of 91 Old 09-12-2007, 04:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
I guess I am not yet a real long-term nursing mama... but... here's my 2 cents, FWIW. My dd is 20 months, still going strong on the nursing and my ds is almost 2 months old. Just so you know, Nursing my dd was pretty much fine and dandy through my pregnancy, but since ds has been born it's been much more difficult for *me* to nurse her. It just gives me the willies. I hope it doesn't end up in weaning but I thought you might be interested to know. I was completely blindsided by this situation. I guess I could see that making you *REALLY REALLY* want to wean a child that you had no intention of weaning before.
Well, IMO it's all relative whether a mom is a long-term nursing mama. It seems like it's highly dependent on the child and the mama and can differ drastically from one child to the next.

CLW means the child leads, based on her/his own feelings and needs. In some circles, 20 months is a long time for nursing! So be proud!
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#10 of 91 Old 09-12-2007, 04:11 PM
 
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Personally, I don't know if I would be comfortable nursing past the age of 3 or 4, depending on the child and history of that child. I strongly believe in CLW and bf-ing in general, but, for me, 4 is the limit.

In fact, I would like to wean earlier than that, but I am doing CLW so we'll see.

It is challenging physically to nurse a toddler. And it is beginning to really drain me, deplete me of energy, and physically it hurts and is awkward. But those issues can all be worked around.
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#11 of 91 Old 09-12-2007, 04:13 PM
 
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If I were you, I wouldn't worry about it at this point. Two years is a REALLY long time. You might change your view, she might change her mind, I don't think you can even predict it.
Exactly.
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#12 of 91 Old 09-12-2007, 08:06 PM
 
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I don't know if I have a limit or not. I started out planning to wean at two years, but then when my son was two I realized that he was in no way ready to wean, and I didn't mind nursing him, so we just kept going. He's three months short of his fifth birthday now and nurses two or three times a week. I'm starting to feel ready to be done nursing him. It doesn't bother me enough for me to forcibly wean him, but I have mentioned to him that when he's bigger he won't want to nurse anymore, because big kids don't nurse. He seems fascinated by the idea that one day he won't nurse at all, but says he'll still want to nurse after his birthday, when he turns five. I would have thought nursing a four-year-old would be completely outside my limits, but apparently not. I guess because nursing continues from one day to the next without interruption, I can probably handle it for longer than I would have thought.

Nealy
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#13 of 91 Old 09-12-2007, 08:08 PM
 
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I planned on nursing my 4 year old as long as he wanted, but after nursing him along with the twins for 18 months, I did end up weaning. The twins are 20 months now and I really don't think I have a limit, unless something really unexpected happens. I trust that they will wean in their own time and that they will not still be nursing as teenagers. I would defenitely not nurse a child going through puberty, so that is my limit but I don't expect my children to want to nurse at that age.

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#14 of 91 Old 09-13-2007, 12:08 AM
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When my dd was an infant I promised her milkies till she was 2. About the time she turned a year I decided I'd nurse until she was at least two, but I wanted her to continue till she could remember nursing. That would put her at about 3-4. I don't picture myself nursing a 6 year old, but I also don't know how I'd really feel unles we actually ended up there.

Right now I am 14 weeks pregnant and sadly, I'm pretty well dried up. Darn pregnancy hormones! Abby is still nursing at least twice a day, but this is not what I was hoping for at this point in her life. In some ways I hope she sticks with it and keeps to my idea of being old enough to remember. I've never really thought about a cut off age though. However, my partner and I have this joke about when she heads off to college.

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#15 of 91 Old 09-13-2007, 07:47 PM
 
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I don't know if I'd've had to consider an absolute limit. Even as she reached 7, DD was so obviously slowing to the point of "any time could be the last" that I just didn't worry about it.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#16 of 91 Old 09-13-2007, 07:59 PM
 
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My son stopped at a little past 4 and I hadn't hit my limit. However, had you asked me when he was little, 4 would have been way beyond my comfort level.
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#17 of 91 Old 09-13-2007, 08:39 PM
 
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My son stopped at a little past 4 and I hadn't hit my limit. However, had you asked me when he was little, 4 would have been way beyond my comfort level.
Oh, gosh, this is me, exactly!

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#18 of 91 Old 09-13-2007, 08:45 PM
 
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DD will be 3 in December and DS will be four weeks on Saturday. It was my goal to nurse Ani until she was two. That was no problem. I nurse through pregnancy although it was painful and sometimes had to cut nursing sessions short because of the pain.

Since DS was born, I just can't stand nursing DD. It feels very very wrong to me to nurse her. I'm certainly not saying that this is true for everyone, but much to my suprise it does not feel at all natural to be nursing both kids. We night weaned Ani about two months ago and she didn't complain a bit. It was no problem.

Now I will nurse Ani in the morning when she wakes up, goes down for a nap and goes to sleep at night. That is all I can handle. And really, it is easier for Anneke, too, to know when she can expect it. (I just started limiting this this week, before I was nursing her whenever I thought I could stand it.) I had to tell her no more than I wanted to and it really really upset her and me. It is much much easier for everyone right now for her to know when she can expect to nurse.

I know this won't be popular in the CLW forum, and I'm kind of sad to not be a CLW-er, but this has been our experience.
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#19 of 91 Old 09-13-2007, 08:56 PM
 
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I'm not sure. Ds2 was a very avid nurser and around the time he was turning 3, I had a couple phases of strong aversions to nursing. We pushed through that and by the time he was 3.5, nursing once a week or less was totally fine with me and I can't say how long I would have gone on. He did nurse a couple of times in the months before he turned four. After that I got pg and the idea of nursing was not at all appealing. During my pregnancy he asked maybe three times and I gently told him no. I don't know if I had not gotten pg, what my limit would have been. Since dd came, he hasn't asked at all which is kind of surprising. But I admit to being a bit relieved about that!
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#20 of 91 Old 09-13-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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For me, it ws nothing to do with age, it was to do with tandeming. I was one of those who found tandeming unbelievably difficult. I can't describe the feeling. I did it for a year, then weaned as gently as I could. If I hadn't had the baby each time, I would have been fine to CLW.

I guess when I have my final baby I'll find out if there's an age that's 'too old' for me personally.
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#21 of 91 Old 09-13-2007, 09:20 PM
 
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For me, it ws nothing to do with age, it was to do with tandeming. I was one of those who found tandeming unbelievably difficult. I can't describe the feeling. I did it for a year, then weaned as gently as I could. If I hadn't had the baby each time, I would have been fine to CLW.

I guess when I have my final baby I'll find out if there's an age that's 'too old' for me personally.
Yep, that's how I feel, too. I can't believe how hard tandeming is. If you think nursing through pregnancy is hard, you ain't seen nothing yet. :
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#22 of 91 Old 09-13-2007, 10:01 PM
 
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If I were you, I wouldn't worry about it at this point. Two years is a REALLY long time. You might change your view, she might change her mind, I don't think you can even predict it.

ITA. When my dd was 4, I couldn't imagine her voluntarily giving up nursing. But she did sometime after 5; we officially celebrated her weaning at 5.5.

Honestly, I'd just focus on your nursing relationship and how it's working now. There's no predicting how either of you will feel about things in the future, so I wouldn't spend your energy stressing over it.

And, FWIW, in my IRL community of extending nursing mamas, the range of self-weaning was from about 3-6.
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#23 of 91 Old 09-14-2007, 01:41 AM
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I don't know if I'd've had to consider an absolute limit. Even as she reached 7, DD was so obviously slowing to the point of "any time could be the last" that I just didn't worry about it.
Your DD nursed till 7?! You are officially the longest nursing pair I've ever "met".

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#24 of 91 Old 09-14-2007, 01:48 AM
 
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DD will be 3 in December and DS will be four weeks on Saturday. It was my goal to nurse Ani until she was two. That was no problem. I nurse through pregnancy although it was painful and sometimes had to cut nursing sessions short because of the pain.

Since DS was born, I just can't stand nursing DD. It feels very very wrong to me to nurse her. I'm certainly not saying that this is true for everyone, but much to my suprise it does not feel at all natural to be nursing both kids. We night weaned Ani about two months ago and she didn't complain a bit. It was no problem.

Now I will nurse Ani in the morning when she wakes up, goes down for a nap and goes to sleep at night. That is all I can handle. And really, it is easier for Anneke, too, to know when she can expect it. (I just started limiting this this week, before I was nursing her whenever I thought I could stand it.) I had to tell her no more than I wanted to and it really really upset her and me. It is much much easier for everyone right now for her to know when she can expect to nurse.

I know this won't be popular in the CLW forum, and I'm kind of sad to not be a CLW-er, but this has been our experience.
This is us to a T! Exactly! :

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#25 of 91 Old 09-14-2007, 02:35 AM
 
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5 years, grade K is my limit. We're at 3 years, 7 mos now, so I've got a while, and I secretly hope she gives it up before my limit on her own so I don't have to start with mother-led techniques.

We've had a lovely nursing relationship so far, and I'm hoping for a nice, gentle, conclusion.

A.
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#26 of 91 Old 09-14-2007, 03:44 AM
 
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5 was my limit. My DS hit five, I had been tandem nursing for almost two years, and I was done.

It was a very easy weaning though! We sat down and I said, "honey I need to be done, I know you will be a little sad but it will be ok." And he said "Ok" and that was basically it. He was sad a few times and he says he still wishes he could nurse (he is 6 now) but he is ok with not nursing.

Interestingly, I do wish I had not tandem nursed for so long because I am DONE DONE nursing now, but my almost 3yo is not. I am going to wean her at 3, which at one point I would have felt horrible for, but I am sooooooooo done that it is one of those my needs trump all situations.

If I had weaned my ds a little earlier, like 4 or 4.5, I think I would not be so desperate to wean my DD. Oh well.

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#27 of 91 Old 09-14-2007, 04:15 AM
 
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Interestingly, I do wish I had not tandem nursed for so long because I am DONE DONE nursing now,
This is rather like how I feel. I'm sure that tandeming was good for my children, but I"m not sure if it was good long term for my nursing relationships with them and with subsequent babies. I won't wean because I believe that I should keep going as long as possible, but even the thought of tandeming makes my toes curl.

I think that this is one of those things that is largely unspoken. It made it very hard for me to come to terms with my own feelings when I started tandeming, and I wish I'd known what I might expect before I made the choice to nurse through and beyond pregnancy. At that point, I"d never read anyone here admit that tandeming wasn't anything but wonderful, so it was a total shock to me. It's a relief to read people's stories here now and see that I was not some freakish and selfish mother for not loving every minute.
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#28 of 91 Old 09-14-2007, 04:25 AM
 
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My oldest nursling is 28 months.

I really haven't given much thought to when I may quit nursing her.

Sometimes my mom asks me when I plan to quit nursing, and my only answer has been when she is ready to stop.

I've been asked by my SIL if I'll stop nursing before Abigail goes to school.

I told her I don't know, I assume she won't be nursing while she's in school, but she may still be having a nightcap.

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#29 of 91 Old 09-14-2007, 04:32 AM
 
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Don't be surprised if pregnancy and having a baby slows her down. My son showed no signs of slowing when I became pregnant, nursed as usual up until I was about 5 or 6 months along, and he was about 39 or 40 months. Then he slowed down to just before bed and in the mornings when he woke up. It seemed to happen all of the sudden like that. Then my milk dried up, or turned to colostrum at the least, and he all but stopped by the time the baby came. He was down to once every few days just for a 2 second check in.

His sister was born 2 weeks ago and our rule is that the baby gets to nurse first, and he can nurse when she is done. Which he asks to do a few times a day however usually will become involved in something else and forget about nursing by the time it's his turn. So we only nurse once or twice a day now. I think that it is just reassuring enough for him sometimes to hear me say "Of course you can have some mama milk honey, just as soon as your sister is done nursing you can have some." always letting him know that it is okay for him to nurse, seems to be what he really needs.
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#30 of 91 Old 09-14-2007, 04:32 AM
 
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I tandemed for 2.5 years until my dd self weaned at 5. I think it helped a lot because it was such an easy way to reassure her and let her know that I was still there for her and she was not jealous of the baby. Also, I could just lay down sometimes when I was really tired and relax while they nursed. I even tandem NAKed. All highly convenient.

My current nursling has just turned four and he definitely still needs it (though it's usually only once or twice a day at this point). I'm not sure what my cut off age is. I hope I don't have one but I really wouldn't know until I got there, right?

For your situation, it sounds like you're willing to tandem so I really wouldn't worry about it for now. I'd just plan on tandeming and letting her self-wean and then see where you guys are when she's getting closer to your cut off age.
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