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#1 of 11 Old 01-03-2005, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm so glad I found this forum. I'm still nursing Chloe, mainly just at sleeptimes because that's when she wants to. She was born 8/15/2003, so almost 17 months old.

We have had a wonderful breastfeeding experience, after a very shakey start when my milk didn't come down for 8 days and Chloe got jaundiced. Once we passed that, I bf her exclusively, on demand, until 6 months when we started solids. And on demand ever since. It's been great.

I'll be honest, I'm not someone who wants to go until she is 8 years old or even 3 years old for that matter. I really am hoping that she starts to move on from nursing before she is 2.

Why? I don't know. I guess because I'm ready. I guess because it just seems right to me somehow. I certainly don't judge or look down on anyone who goes much longer. This is just me I'm talking about here.

So, my question is for those of you who have breastfed your babies for a long, long time, was that mainly from your encouragement to keep them nursing or was it all the baby's idea?

For me, I'm going with the flow with Chloe. I don't think I'm really encouraging it, although now that I say that it's about the only way I can get her to sleep.

Any thoughts either way would be so helpful I'm sure. TIA
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#2 of 11 Old 01-03-2005, 04:00 PM
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My nurslings aren't much older than yours--they will be two Feb. 18th--but I can definitely say for sure that their continued nursing is completely their idea. I mean, I am going along with it for the most part (although I do sometimes limit the length of their nursings, or if I suspect they are really hungry, I offer food to see if they would rather eat than nurse), but I am certainly not trying to encourage them to keep nursing. They are nursing about 10-12 times a day. They have always been really frequent nursers (none of that "newborns will nurse every two to four hours" for us! It was every hour at least!), and it is obviously their most favorite comfort.

I, too, am hoping that they won't choose to continue nursing for a long, long, long, long time (ideally, in my book, they'll wean by the time they're 3 or so), but I really don't expect them to self-wean anytime soon at all. I do know one one-year-old who really did self-wean at about 15 months (he was never that into nursing), but I think for the most part, child-led weaning leads to children weaning between 3 and 5 years old.

I am not completely doing child-led weaning because I did nightwean my boys a few months ago. But I will let them lead the way in regards to daytime nursing.

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 & 12) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#3 of 11 Old 01-03-2005, 04:03 PM
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My ds defined our breastfeeding relationship, not me. I never expected to nurse this long, but now that I'm here, I'm glad. I've also learned that the World Health Organization (WHO) code recommends at least two years of breastfeeding and then as long after that as mutually desired.

There have been times when I was just fed up with nursing and wanted to curtail my ds' habit, but when, for example, I "tried" to nightwean, it was just too traumatic for both of us and I gave up. I felt it was more important for me to recognize my son's needs and take care of them.

Now I feel he is at an age when I can try to decipher the difference between his "needs" and his "wants" with regards to nursing. I think this started well after he turned two. Well, at least after 18 months, but I think it was after two. Anyway, now I will encourage ds to wait when I have to shower or pee or eat or whenever it is inconvenient, unless it is evident that he really needs it.

Nowadays he can go 8 hours without nursing if we are out-and-about, but if we are home and being comfy/lazy he might nurse a lot more. But on active days he may only nurse on waking, going down for a nap, waking from a nap, and going to bed, and then maybe a couple times at night. Much different from the habits of a 20 month old, who might nurse just like an infant.

I like that I have the option of nursing - it makes mothering much easier for me. I can use it to get a nap going quickly, to temper a tantrum, to heal a boo boo, to ward off illness.... the list goes on. I think I'd be lost without it even now!!!
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#4 of 11 Old 01-03-2005, 04:11 PM
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I agree with Adrianne, that my dd defined our nursing relationship and taught me how to be a mother. She was a very sweet, loving baby who wanted and needed to nurse LOTS I nursed on demand from the beginning and never regretted it. She was always attached to me, not to toys, but to me. I listened to her and followed her lead. While she changed her nursing patterns over the years, I I respected that she needed to nurse...because I never saw it just as "feeding" her body, but feeding her soul. I understood it to be a relationship, not just something I "did" for her.
Ben is 4 and shows little sign of stopping and that's fine. I trust him to know when he is ready, too. It is just something we do

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#5 of 11 Old 01-04-2005, 12:34 AM
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YOu sound like me when I was nursing my dd. I didn't plan on nursing much past the age of 2 either, but it did just kind of happen.

I didn't push it. I did the "Don't offer don't refuse" I talked about a weaning party, etc. She wanted to nurse and I went with her wishes. She weaned well into her 5's! I wouldn't change a thing.
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#6 of 11 Old 01-04-2005, 10:55 AM
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I don't think I ever planned on nursing this long when I was pg. But when Lucy was a few months old, I read more and more about CLW. It just made sense.

We've had some rough spots where I thought she would drive me up a wall with constant nursing (either day or night) and I've been at my wit's end. But just about the time I thought I would lose it, she backed off on her own.

The thing is, no one hands you a 3-year old and tells you to BF. Your relationship develops over time. And Lucy has defined our relationship. I've just sort of sat back and let her lead me.
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#7 of 11 Old 01-04-2005, 11:34 AM
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I know I never planned on nursing this long when I was pregnant with Isaac (he'll be 3 in may). I'm not sure how long we will nurse either but I definately have listened to him rather than what I 'thought' was appropriate. I'm expecting my second next week and am so grateful to know that I can just nurse for as long as mutually desired and that there's no real time frame.

Mom to Ds1 (8 1/2) Ds2 (6) Dd (2 1/2)!!!!
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#8 of 11 Old 01-04-2005, 11:53 AM
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Glad to see this new forum! My youngest DS has been my BF success story. The first two didn't nurse very long at all (although I pumped) and being a BFAR (I had breast surgery) mama to begin with, it was a tough go. Sean is now 4.5 yo and has pretty much abandoned nursing gradually & only nurses for split seconds now when he's not feeling well or stressed out. It's more of a comfort thing for him. He is a very loving child & I feel honored to have been able to provide not only milk but mama comfort to him this long!!

I think it's much less stressful on them if we allow the child to determine when to wean
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#9 of 11 Old 01-04-2005, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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These are all great responses. I really appreciate the support and now I'm rethinking the whole idea that there needs to be some sort of a time frame at all. I guess I found the right group of women to discuss this with. I think for now I'll just go with her wishes. She very rarely asks to nurse during the day. It's 99% time for sleeptimes only and then a few times during the night if she wakes up.

I'm a WAHM and we are together all the time, have our meals together, sleep together, etc. And it's just her and I (although I recently met a nice man, so who knows what will happen with that) But Chloe and I are very close and very attached for sure!

She will go to sleep on her own in the carseat, sometimes even in her highchair (which I don't encourage), but she does like the booby when we go to bed and what harm is it doing? None, so what's the rush, right?

Thank you all again for the straightforward, helpful advise. It was just what I needed to hear.
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#10 of 11 Old 01-04-2005, 08:56 PM
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Well, I had a minimum (2 years due to WHO recommendations) in mind, but beyond that.... I've been ready to wean when they are ready. I definately took steps to minimize the risk of an early weaning (before two years) but had I not I am confident both kids would have gone at least that long anyway.



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#11 of 11 Old 01-04-2005, 11:48 PM
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I wanted to nurse until at least 3 because of all the benefits for children between age 2 and 3. My three boys nursed many times a day when they were 17 months old. They all started having problems with asthma between 2 and 3 and breastfeeding helped a lot during illness and hospitalizations.

My youngest weaned before 3 and I still feel bad about it (he is now 16). I was a single mother and had pneumonia, septicemia, cancer, and was diagnosed with a rare immune deficiency disease while nursing him. While we were nursing I was hospitalized and had surgery for cancer and he was hospitalized twice.

I was on a lot of meds including IV immune globulins evey 3 weeks starting when he was about 3 months old. I often had to use a nebulizer at night for asthma. I didn't always sleep with him because of illness and meds. I would put him in bed with his oldest brother (8 years older than him). I think not always sleeping with him and less night nursing led to the early weaning.

: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons

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