My seventh baby is now 20 months old. So far, she's gone the longest out of all her siblings as far as still breastfeeding. The rest of them quit by about 18 months at the longest. I leave it up to them when they want to quit, but I always HOPE they're gonna keep going longer... as is the case right now... This little girl is losing interest in breastfeeding. She feeds first thing when she wakes up, usually around 7:30 or 8:00 am, and only goes maybe three or four minutes a side, max, lately.
We lay down together for another feed before nap time around noonish. She takes maybe one or two minutes a side, but sometimes not even a taste.
Then again at bedtime in the evening, we lay down together for some milkies. Again, barely a minute or two per side.
I'm wondering if it's more ME wanting her to keep going, or is there benefit for her in the little bit of milk she's getting right now.
I definitely think there's still a benefit. She's still getting immune cells (many immune factors actually increase to higher levels as milk supply diminishes, some even higher than in colostrum). And she's getting that closeness and special time with Mommy, which is so valuable no matter how much milk she gets.
I love this quote from Kathy Dettweiler (http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.html):
The trend during the first two years is clearly for continuing benefits the longer you nurse. Clearly the phenomenon of dimishing returns is at work here -- the first six months of breastfeeding are clearly much more important in terms of the baby's nutrition and immunological development than the six months from 3.5 to 4.0 years. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't continue to provide breast milk if your baby wants and you don't mind. It would be like saying, "Well Mabel, we don't get very much income from that oil well anymore. Used to get $56 a month in royalties, now we're lucky if we get $25 a year. Guess we should tell that oil company just to keep their durn money." And Mabel says, in return "Good grief, Clyde, don't be ridiculous. That check still buys $25 worth of food. Where has your mind gone to now?"
Enjoy this special time with her, no matter how long it lasts.
DD and DS are 11 & DD is 4 Our car is a bike!
Sharing our with 3, 2 & 4
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