Mamas nursing 4 year olds?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 104 Old 12-23-2007, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Roll call! I went to LLL this week for info on tandemming and felt like a weirdo - several mothers were surprised I was still nursing. I want some camraderie from other mamas of 4 year old nurslings.
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#2 of 104 Old 12-23-2007, 11:55 PM
 
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I'm nursing my 4.5 year old! Starting to work on not nursing at night (tonight she WANTED to sleep in her own space to help us do this, YAY!!!!). But, otherwise, yes, nursing! We're in Maine.

It has been a really lonely road, I'll admit, as all of my real life friends with kids this age have stopped nursing. One nurses her 4.5 y.o. VERY occassionally, but her husband is starting to give her grief about it. :-(

LLL was never a place I felt supported for nursing beyond the toddler years. Only one other mother there really made me feel supported and encouraged. Granted, I only went to a handful of meetings. I always keep that in mind.

But, in cyberspace, I'm here, too!

--Heather
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#3 of 104 Old 12-24-2007, 12:41 AM
 
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Yep, we're still nursing, too! She can go a few days without, (like if we're on vacation and out of routine) but after that few days her mood just tanks; she gets surly and whiny to an extreme. Just a quick nurse and everything's better again. So, she clearly needs it still.

And yeah, it's a lonely road, indeed. Just yesterday a friend was proudly sharing with our mutual friend that she had nursed her 4.5yo until she was 2, but when our mutual friend gasped in surprise (though she was supportive), I decided I would change the subject b/c I didn't feel like getting my own shocked gasp from her.
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#4 of 104 Old 12-24-2007, 12:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, it really is lonely! Geez. There is nobody at ALL in my life who I would say is enthusiastically supportive of the fact that DD is not weaned. Best I can say I get is tolerance, and from some ppl not even that much.

I don't get it. Like: What is the big freaking deal? She still nurses once or twice a day. So what??? What are the options? I could cut her off, which would cause much drama and tears for her. Or... I could just let her wean of her own accord. Really. I don't understand what is so shocking about not cutting off a young child from the boob. The non-support makes it into a much bigger deal than it would be otherwise. In our day to day life, it is so par for the course humdrum boring that we still nurse. But it inspires all these raised eyebrows. Kinda funny when you think about it.

Actually it's not true that I get no actual support, my AP mama friends are totally cool about it. But my housemate, my ex girlfriend, DD's dad... none of that crew is exactly thrilled.

Truth be told I enjoy still nursing. It's such a nice way to put her to sleep at night, and man does it buy me dozing off time in the morning. Plus if I want her to be quiet so I can talk on the phone, I offer the boob. Unfortunately it doesn't work for very long anymore, but it's a lot better than nothing!
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#5 of 104 Old 12-24-2007, 02:59 AM
 
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Mine is almost 3.5 but I am feeling it too. My friend that nurse their older kids are not so close to me (busy lives) and the ones that agree weaned earlier... I don't get it. I love to nurse him and will until he doesn't need me.
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#6 of 104 Old 12-24-2007, 05:09 AM
 
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My little one is only 3.5 too but I'm 25 weeks pregnant and nobody around me has fed for this long.

Luckily I have lots of online friends that do and here in England LLL is very much a place where older nurslings are welcomed so I can look forwards to those meetings.
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#7 of 104 Old 12-24-2007, 01:14 PM
 
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I'm nursing a 5 yr. old and a 3 yr. old....do I count? Their average age is four

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#8 of 104 Old 12-25-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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I'm nursing a 5 yr. old and a 3 yr. old....do I count? Their average age is four


i'm nursing an 8 year old. that's also like two 4 year olds. :
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#9 of 104 Old 12-25-2007, 01:50 PM
 
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I'm not currently nursing a 4yo, but Ds weaned when he was 4.25 years old.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#10 of 104 Old 12-25-2007, 02:51 PM
 
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DD self weaned at 4.5, and I know lots of mothers and children who choose to continue nursing, I'm sorry that you didn't get the support that you needed especially at an LLL meeting where we strive to provide an atmosphere which is non-judgemental - I would speak to your Leader, as a Leader myself I am sorry that you didnt feel your needs were met. I always start of a meeting saying to mothers that they may see and hear things which are unusual, strange or shocking to them but we are not here to judge but to support,it's like at the market we take what we need and leave the rest behind, we are here to give information, witness accounts and support to mothers who nurse for 1 hour, 1 day, 1 month, 1 year, 2 years, 10 years until the nursing relationship finishes but the mother to child relationship still continues. I truely am sorry that you didn't receive that which you needed during you meeting.

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#11 of 104 Old 12-26-2007, 07:54 PM
 
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I'll be official in about 3 weeks. Dd is still nursing once a day, although it is down from about 3-4 times just a few weeks ago--maybe the pregnancy? Anyway, you have my support and hugs!

Do unto children as you would have them do unto you ::
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#12 of 104 Old 12-26-2007, 08:42 PM
 
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I am! Dd usually nurses a few times a day unless she is very busy. I don't know anyone else who nursed this long.

At my first LLL meeting, I was surprised how long some moms nursed. You may have helped the moms of younger ones by showing them it's possible.
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#13 of 104 Old 12-27-2007, 06:55 AM
 
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I'm not nursing a 4y.o at the moment, but I used to! I must admit I've felt a little out of place at LLL recently (in the UK), but have come to realise it's because there's a bunch of new people who haven't been exposed to babies beyond about 12 months nursing, so to see a 2 year old or 4 year old nursing is a huge shock for them, and because for some reason lots of people nursing younger toddlers at our meetings are focussing on weaning and that leaves me feeling very out of place.

Anyway, you're definitely not alone here.
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#14 of 104 Old 12-27-2007, 10:51 AM
 
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I'm tandeming and my older nursling is 3.75 years old, so not 4 quite yet but close! I've actually found quite a few people over the past few years with older nurslings, mostly at unschooling gatherings. Very unusual in the world at large though!
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#15 of 104 Old 12-27-2007, 01:37 PM
 
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I had a weird experience with LLL too. One of the Leaders weaned her firstborn well before she was 2 years old, which I found to be strange because I thought that extended nursing was the norm at LLL. We did have one lady in the group who had come specifically to ask how to wean her 4 year old daughter. Then we come to find out that particular family had experienced a serious trauma and loss of a child in a car accident, and the child she wanted to wean had to have pins put in her leg. Great time to wean, right? Anyway, sorry to vent. I hope you can find some real life support. But you always have us at MDC!
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#16 of 104 Old 12-27-2007, 01:51 PM
 
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I think my son is weaned, but 3 weeks ago he was a nursing 4 yr. old. If he changes his mind and starts nursing again, he'll be a nursing 5 yr. old next month. I haven't felt like a weirdo, just a rarity.
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#17 of 104 Old 12-28-2007, 02:44 AM
 
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I nursed dd1 until she was 4.5. I'm hoping to nurse at least that long w/dd2.
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#18 of 104 Old 12-28-2007, 02:58 AM
 
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ds turns 4 in 4 weeks. Yikes! This thread just made me realize that. Still loves his "nuk nuks."

I weaned my older ds at 3.5. However, I've been nursing for 7 years (in just 2 weeks!) non-stop. Pretty cool.

Sorry about your LLL experience. That sucks. Definately talk to the Leader(s) about it. I actually know a lot of Leaders who nursed well beyond toddler years. Two Leaders in local groups I can think of off the top of my head. One child weaned at 7 and the other weaned at 8. Anyway, you could discuss the possibility of creating a meeting for just who are nursing older children like say 3 and up.
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#19 of 104 Old 12-28-2007, 04:25 AM
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DS is 4.5 on 2/1/08
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#20 of 104 Old 12-29-2007, 12:03 AM
 
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Almost there...DD will be 4 in a couple of weeks.
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#21 of 104 Old 12-29-2007, 06:43 PM
 
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I am! Thanks for the 4YO nursing love!
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#22 of 104 Old 12-29-2007, 06:44 PM
 
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I am not currently nursing a 4 year old, but my almost 7 year old nursed until he was 4 years and about 6 weeks old!
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#23 of 104 Old 12-29-2007, 08:54 PM
 
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I have a 4 yo nursling. He mostly just nurses at bedtime at this point. Sometimes he wants to in the morning or if he gets hurt really badly during the day. When he was born I tandemed with him and my daughter for 2 1/2 years until she was five and self-weaned.
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#24 of 104 Old 12-30-2007, 12:03 AM
 
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I'm nursing a four year old until Jan. 6th when she turns five. I am fortunate to have friends from LLL that really do support me and I can be open with them. I even NIP today with baby on one arm and dd in the other while we were at the movies. Of course it was dark but we were doing it.
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#25 of 104 Old 12-30-2007, 12:42 AM
 
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I am nursing a 4 year old (and a 2 year old). I have never actually been to a LLL meeting! But, I am so fortunate to know a wonderful LLL leader who is a dear friend and inspiration to me in so many ways. She is the only person I know IRL who nursed (way) past 4.
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#26 of 104 Old 12-30-2007, 01:05 AM
 
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I'm nursing a four year old until Jan. 6th when she turns five. I am fortunate to have friends from LLL that really do support me and I can be open with them. I even NIP today with baby on one arm and dd in the other while we were at the movies. Of course it was dark but we were doing it.
While I advocate CLW, I fully support mothers however long they're willing to nurse. I think it is awesome you're nursing your dd for 5 years. I am wondering though, and I hope this is taken in the kind way that I mean it , why does it have to be her birthday, her special day, that she never gets to nurse again? Could you both maybe choose a different day together or do a gradual weaning? I really hope this doesn't sound rude or judgemental because I'm not meaning it that way at all. I just wanted to put that out there. You did post in the CLW forum after all. :
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#27 of 104 Old 12-30-2007, 12:55 PM
 
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While I advocate CLW, I fully support mothers however long they're willing to nurse. I think it is awesome you're nursing your dd for 5 years. I am wondering though, and I hope this is taken in the kind way that I mean it , why does it have to be her birthday, her special day, that she never gets to nurse again? Could you both maybe choose a different day together or do a gradual weaning? I really hope this doesn't sound rude or judgemental because I'm not meaning it that way at all. I just wanted to put that out there. You did post in the CLW forum after all. :
I'm pretty sure she meant she'll no longer be nursing a 4 yr. old then, because her nursling will be 5 and she'll be nursing a 5 yr. old.
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#28 of 104 Old 12-30-2007, 04:00 PM
 
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Thanks.
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#29 of 104 Old 12-30-2007, 04:34 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure she meant she'll no longer be nursing a 4 yr. old then, because her nursling will be 5 and she'll be nursing a 5 yr. old.
or maybe the child itself decided to stop nursing at this day? some children like and need such self-imposed limits. they set a goal and want to reach it.
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#30 of 104 Old 12-30-2007, 11:59 PM
 
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My DS nursed until he's 4.5 yrs old, mostly for nap and nighttime sleeping. I, too, was alone with a nursling that old. It didn't bother me or DH though, we knew how much nursing comforted and grounded my DS. We just didn't volunteer this information freely (ie. we didn't go "Hi, nice to meet you. This is our son and BTW, he's still nurses") to other people.

I tandemed for 2 years. My DD is 2 and she's still going strong. She may end up weaning even later than her brother, I'm guessing. I don't mind, I love, love, love BF.
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