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Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy > Last Toddler Nursing
wishin'&hopin''s Avatar wishin'&hopin' 12:54 PM 12-16-2011

So, my 20 month old is almost the LAST toddler nursing (with any frequency) in our playgroup.  There are 6 toddlers: 1 self weaned at 20 months; 1 nurses 1x a day and recently skipped several days; 1 is only 14 months and nurses a couple of times a day; 2 were weaned by 18 months.  Then there is my DS who nurses 4-6 times a day (usually around five times, but the last week or so 6+) all of which are fairly lengthy nursing sessions.  He is a good eater of solids and is 50th percentile for weight and 75th for height--the curve he's been on since about 9 months.  


I'm feeling a bit isolated.  My playgroup is full of progressive moms who would describe themselves as "crunchy" but my kid is the only one who can't make it through playgroup without needing a nursing break--and I feel self conscious about this.  I can also tell that the other moms are surprised by how often he nurses (they are supportive, but they are obviously surprised).  My intention has been to pursue child led weaning but I don't know if I'm prepared to nurse beyond 3 years of age and I'm just wondering if my son is unusual at this point.  


So, BTDT moms--when did your toddler start cutting back on their nursing sessions?  If you have/had a toddler who nursed this frequently at 20 months how old were they when they weaned (using don't offer, don't refuse)?  


And, could I just have a hug?  



wishin'&hopin''s Avatar wishin'&hopin' 04:54 AM 12-17-2011


OSUvet's Avatar OSUvet 06:42 AM 12-17-2011

Hi mama,

I can't offer any advice since my first LO is only 10 mo. But we have done baby led weaning so far with starting solids and plan to continue. I can offer a ((hug)) and say hang in there, you know what your LO needs! I know this isn't helpful but I personally think its great that you have a pretty supportive group of playgroup mamas that also nursed toddlers. IRL I only know one person who has nursed a child past 12 mo :( So I am expecting to feel like a weirdo when mine is (hopefully!) still nursing at 20mo!

chel's Avatar chel 07:21 AM 12-17-2011

Mine is just a little older.  Also nurses a lot. Easily 5-6 times but mostly before and after waking, so not much nursing in public.  If mine does want to nip it is usually out of hunger or tired.  Is that the reason for your lo?  If so maybe offering a snack at playdates might help.

this is the time for weaning, as many very crunchy moms wean during pg which often happens now.


It seems both my kids will nurse a long time, but since 3yrs is so far away it's not even on my radar

dancinganya's Avatar dancinganya 02:50 PM 12-18-2011



You are completely normal.  First of all, every child and every nursing pair is different.  My daughter is 2.5 years plus and is still nursing.  At 20 months she was nursing TONS.  We were nursing every two hours at night and various times during the day.  I was trying so hard to cut down around 2 years that she upped the amount she wanted to nurse at that point.  Once I decided to just go back to "don't offer, don't refuse", she cut it down herself as she was less stressed about it (2 years and a few months).  I did make a little bit of an effort to offer her alternatives and send Daddy in at the end of naps to cut down the amount of nursings gently.  We are now down to nursings mostly for sleep purposes and have been sending Daddy in some at night to keep for so much night nursings.


She still LOVES to nurse.  Right now I have some horrible cold and the fact that she has a milder version I really think is mostly due to the fact that we are still nursing and she is getting antibodies through my breastmilk.


I am THE ONLY one in my playgroup who nursed passed about 14 months and I'm the only one in my family (I have two sisters with seven kids between them) who nursed past 2 years of age.  The more confident you are in your choice, the less you'll feel embarrassed or ashamed by it.  I think for me the most important thing is my husband's support.  He has wanted me to wean for a long time, but as of late has let go of the battle (honestly, a better sexlife has helped get him off my back about it).


It is fine to create boundaries with nursing if you are wanting that, but it is also fine to nurse on demand with only "don't offer, don't refuse" as your guide if you are happy and thriving with that.  Just know you are not alone.  There are tons of people who nurse their kids long long past 20 months!  It's hard to be the oddball, but once you embrace it, you'll feel good about it:)

HML2199's Avatar HML2199 04:33 PM 12-18-2011

Aww, don't worry about it mama!  You are doing what is best for your son and don't worry about what others think.


My daughter is 26 months and still nurses 4-6 times a day.  She nurses first thing in the morning, mid morning, at naptime, after getting up from nap, and bedtime.  Sometimes there is one more time in there or sometimes she skips the after nap session.  We were at Target the other morning and it was her usualy "nursing" time and she really wanted her nummies so I sat down in the little cafe and nursed her.  People might think it's weird b/c she's a toddler but I don't care.  I know I'm doing what's best for her.


I've nursed all of my children till they were 3 years old and even though I hang around with moms that usually have the same mothering ideals as me, most of them wean by 18-24 months. 


I have 4 children and all of them still nursed frequently at 20 months.  By 2.5 two of my children cut down on their own and mainly just nursed to sleep till they were 3 and then we cut that out also.  My oldest daughter had the hardest time weaning and still nursed at least 3-4 a day times till she was 3.  I then started gently cutting back and stopped offering and she was weaned by about 3.5.  And my youngest, like I said, is still nursing.


Are you ok with nursing at 2-3 years old or are you hoping to cut back?  good luck!



-Happy mama of 4 & 12 weeks pregnant!



wishin'&hopin''s Avatar wishin'&hopin' 05:23 AM 12-19-2011

Thanks so much, I figured I'd find other mamas out here with frequently nursing toddlers!  That said, I have always imagined child led weaning--but had assumed that at this point and oh, until 3-4 or so, that would mean a couple of times a day nursing!  So, I'm having to rethink my assumptions and figure out what I am okay with.  I totally buy into the benefits for the kiddo--but do feel trapped at times.  Speaking of which, he's up, gotta run!

Tags: Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy