I didn't know where to turn. I have 5.5 yr son who has been nursing and recently I had my daughter about two weeks ago. I'd like to understand if I should make a strong attempt to wean my son. Even though he only nursed in the morning and at night time until I had the baby, he's seemingly nursing a lot more frequently now when he gets back from school. Please let me know what others have done. I haven't heard of many children beyond 4 contintinuing to nurse.
Thanks for your help,
I do not have the exact same situation, but thought I could still be of help. I tandem nurse my three year old son and 25-month old daughter. When my daughter was born, my son increased the frequency of his nursing. I've noticed that whenever we've had periods of change--moving, etc.--my kids have both nursed more frequently for an adjustment period. I wouldn't worry about your son's change in nursing habits, I think that this is normal, and will even out eventually, once your son is acclimated to having the baby in the house. I don't really have any insight as to nursing over the age of four, but I plan to nurse my children until they self-wean...we will see what happens. I would advise you to do whatever you feel comfortable with. I have heard that eventually children loose the ability to "suckle," so they have to wean, but I'm not sure at what age this occurs. If you decide you want to wean, I'm guessing that right now would not be the best time, because having a sibling is a big change for children already and the combination of the two would most likely make weaning more difficult.
Thank you so much for your reply. I really appreciate it. I don't mind to continue nursing him, but I didn't know if there was a cut-off for him. Everytime I think he's going to self-wean, something happens. This time it was the new baby. I am surprised he continued to nurse the first week or so since it took me about 3 days for the milk to come in. I always thought the taste of the colustrum would deter the older child.
I'm glad I was able to be of help. You guys will get to weaning eventually!
I thought the same thing about colostrum, but I think that children may intuitively know that it is super-nutritious and for that reason enjoy it. Best wishes to you and yours, and congratulations on the new addition!
I think my DD#1 would have nursed forever if I hadn't gently weaned her. After about age 3.5 she was down to twice a day. Once after school and once before bed. But when the new baby came (DD was 4) and I was home all day she really picked up agian. I lasted about 7 months before I realized that nursing both was just too draining on my health and my sanity. I had a child on the boob all day long! Honestly she weaned easily. I just said I was very tired and had to give my milkies to the baby, since she didn't eat solid food, so I needed to stop nursing her so that I would have more energy and time to play. I asked how many more times she wanted to have nursies, and we counted them down each time she nursed (she picked three, a surprisingly low number for a girl who could count to 30.) She happily replaced her nursing time with play time, books, and extra love. We had a weaning party to celebrate, and she hasn't asked about it since.
I think it is up to you to decide if you want to wean your DS or not. For me, tandaming with the new baby was too much for me. But since it wasn't right after the birth is was about me, not the baby, and my child was okay with that. If it is tiring for you, you can also just limit him a little if you feel okay with that, like to set times of day.
Good luck and hang in there. Extended nursing has given me a special relationship with my children that I cherish.
My son was 3.5 when his brother was born. He had health problems including asthma, allergies, and frequent infections so I encouraged him to continue nursing. The allergist suggested 6 was a good time to wean and that gave me permission. We had a planned weaning date of his 6th birthday and his birthday became a combined birthday and weaning celebration. It went very well I view it as a possible successful way of weaning an older child. If the planned date isn't a birthday the family might go out to eat, throw a party, have cake, or the child might get a special gift.
: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons
It's up to you. If the extra nursing sessions are too much for you, then I'd go back to the regular two sessions. I would not cut down past that right now until he's adjusted to having a baby sibling. My older one was younger than yours when the next was born. ODS was 2 years 10 months when DD was born. I did nudge ODS to wean right before 5 years old since I was ttc and tandeming and have rough pregnancies. I tandemed the first pair for 25 months. YDS was born when DD was 2 years 11 months. They're still tandeming. YDS just turned 3 and DD is almost 6 years old. I am ready for her to wean and go back and forth wanting to wean her and letting her wean herself. It's not a huge deal for me to nurse her, since it's only once right before bed, but after so long of nursing with much of it tandeming, sometimes I want to simplify by just nursing one. As for today, I will nurse her. And keep my fingers crossed that she will wean on her own soon!
About doing a weaning party, with ODS, I needed something concrete to mark the end of nursing. We didn't do a party but made a weaning cake together when he was weaned. Then, if he asked, I could remind him that we did the cake. It went well. At the end, I had him down to just a 10 second countdown - which I let him do. Then the next day was 9, then 8, etc. It gave him some control over it even though I was the one nudging the weaning.
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