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How often does your older toddler/child nurse?

1138 Views 24 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  stafl
I don't know if this is the correct way to do this. I've never started a thread. But I am curious.My dd is 27 mos and still nurses pretty frequently. If we're just at home she'll ask for it every hour or two.I seem to be headed for CLW.So let's say your child is 3, 4 or 5. Do they slow down? Do some still nurse 8 times a day/night? I'm very curious about this.Has this already been addressed?I've just been playing it by ear.I feel if she's asking there's a need-right? Sometimes I offer too.Anything?
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This is such a personal decision. As long as *you're* comfortable and she's happy, it sounds like it's the perfect amount.

I have a nearly 4 year old DD. I got pregnant in November of 2003, and she was still nursing 2-4 times a night and at least 10 times a day. I nightweaned her a couple of months into the pregnancy cause I just couldn't take it anymore, but she continued to nurse on request during the day, and occasionally I offered. She continued nursing that frequently all through my pregnancy (despite diminished supply), and actually nursed a bit more frequently after our son was born. But, over the last 6 months, she's slowed down dramatically. I ended up limiting her daytime nursings to the count of 10 or less, she could choose the numbers, and would let her nurse at bedtime for about 5 minutes. Sometime along the way, she just stopped asking to nurse during the day. I don't know when that happened, or how it happened, it just happened so gradually I didn't notice. And, then, she decided that she didn't want me to count when she nursed during the day (which she really didn't do anyway) but she DID want me to count at bedtime, so she started nursing to a number less than 10 at bedtime. That's gone on for a month or two now, maybe more. And, then, we changed her bedtime routine a couple of weeks ago, and she started forgetting to ask at bedtime. First it was once, and now it's been four nights since she asked. I doubt she's weaned, but she's close, I guess.

I mostly believe in child led weaning, although, mama has a little bit of say, too. I'm totally okay with my children nursing well past the age that is considered comfortable for most people, but there are limits to my availability. For me, that's just a matter of respect for my body and my space, and teaching her that is just as important for her as it is for me to have that. If she were to get injured and want to nurse during the day, I would never deny her. But, I'm also okay with her weaning now. And, a year ago, I wasn't. So, it's been a process for me, as well.

Hope that helps!
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At 27 months old DS was still going 1-2 hours at night and nursing very frequently during the day. DD had been cut back due to my pg.

Now, DS will be 4 in August and he nurses a few times during the day and a few times during the night. (like bed, 11, 3, 6, 8am then 1-5 times during the day).
My nursling is nearly 29 mos. and nurses about every 20-30 minutes during the day at home, about every hour or two if we're out. He doesn't nurse during the night.
My 3yo only nurses before his daily nap and before bed. Very rarely does he nurse at night anymore. It’s been this way for a while now.
My 3 year old nurses many times a day (6-12). My almost-5 year old nurses 1-2 times a day, sometimes skips a day or two.

My oldest self-weaned on his fifth birthday. From age 4.5 - 5 he'd nurse once or twice a day. from age 4- 4.5 he was still nursing 3-4 times a day.

Each child is different.
My 4 year old nurses when she wakes up and when she goes to sleep.

When she was three, that was 4 times a day. Now, it's twice a day.
Well, Kira's mom, sounds like you are trusting your dd needs very well.

My youngest nurser is still on demand too many times to keep track of. She's 15 mos and i expect her to still be nursing this frequent for at least another year before she starts a routine.
Her brothers are 5 and nearly 4. They nurse 2-4 times a day. This has been the flow for the last year. I'm not sure when they fell into this pattern (was it before the 3rd preg or during). I know after the 3rd was born, everyone couldn't get enough breastmilk.
But, as i said, it's been pretty steady for about a year.
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My 2 1/2 year old nurses only once a day now, at bedtime. He had steadily and quickly dropped from about 4x a day early this year when he decided to skip naptime, thus eliminating naptime nursing... it feels natural to both of us at this pace, he will sometimes suggest nursing if he's bored or sees my breasts... I will ask him if he'd rather nurse or (whatever else) and he almost always chooses not to. I don't see us as strictly CLW but we are kinda just going with the flow so that neither of us is upset by the process. (I do miss it sometimes but also am liking the new phase we are in too).

He was still nursing a lot around his second birthday but it dropped rather rapidly after that, to my surprise.
I so appreciate all of these responses.It seems it all depends on the individual child(like everything). I"ll just try to go with the flow(no pun intended!)
ok I was just getting on to start a thread very similar to this one. But how long is each nursing? My dd would nurse all the time if I let her. and she goes for like 45 minutes a time or more. I am starting to get a little uncomfertable. I don't know if it's the pregnancy or the heat (we have no ac) BUt I am tryong to get her down to just three times. It's not that I mind her nursing which is what I told her But I just can't stand to have her hanging on me constently. everytime isit down she wants to get in my shirt.

Ds started sleeping through the night around 2.5 years, but he was still nursing a lot during the day! Sometime after his 4th birthday, he slowed way down to just nursing at bedtime (for the most part). Then shortly after his 5th birthday, he started skipping 1, 2 or even 3 weeks between nursings. Just recently (he's 5.5+) he skipped 2.5 weeks, then nursed 2 nights in a row. Go figure. I guess he'll know when he's ready to stop.
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Wow, it is great to read how different it is for each child.

For my DS:
birth to 26 months: nursing was usually around every hour to hour and a half, maximum time between nursing was 2 hours and there was no such thing as minimum
at 26 months: he lengthened one of the nighttime cycles to 4 hours fairly regularly
sometime early in his threes: he usually had two four hour intervals at night inbetween nursing and started to have one four hour interval during the day
~3 3/4: he started sleeping for 8 hours inbetween nursing at night
early 4: usual pattern is to nurse before and after sleep for nap and night. sometimes he asks for more during the day and occassionally at night. sometimes he doesn't nap and some of those days he does not nurse during the day

he usually likes to nurse for a long time upon awakening: minimum 1/2 hour and up to one hour
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My little girl is 25 mos. Our lives might be a little different because I WOH full time. On work days, she nurses first thing in the morning, when I get home and at bedtime everyday without fail. Until about 3 weeks ago she was nursing 1-3 times overnight as well. Now, she is suddenly sleeping through almost every night, occasionally getting up in the early morning, like 4 am, to nurse again. On non-work days, she usually also nurses at nap, and usually in the afternoon, then after supper, and again at bedtime. Sometimes she'll nurse more than that, depends what we are doing. So the range is probably 3-6 times in 24 hours depending on our day. The night weaning was not intentional - she just suddenly started sleeping. She still sleeps in her crib pulled against my side of the bed, so she still has access, but she's sleeping there happily. I'm not too sure the night weaning is permanent yet either as it's only been a couple weeks - maybe next week she'll be back to getting up!
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Wow I'm getting alot of info. Jewelys mommy, I have noticed that when I'm at home all day Kira will nurse alot. When we are busy she rarely even asks. I try to spend alot of time outdoors.BTW NAk!In the day it's usually around 10 min at a time.She often doesn't nap,but will say "milk nite nite" nurse for 20 min and then say "wake up mommy". When she doesn't nap she goes to bed at 8:00 after about 10 minutes of nursing. If she does nap it generally is 30 minutes, sometimes more.If it's too long I take a break and daddy comes in and tells her a story that he makes up as he goes along.Then i come back and it's 10 minutes,I am trying to remember to make sure she's tired!Isn't Jewely a March 2003 baby? I think i saw you there.
yep march 2003.

I think the biggest annoyance is that everytime I go to the bathroom she throws a fit. Since we don't have ac right now I am always close to naked so when I sit down to use the pot she strats screaming and crying and trying to grab at me. Other times I am fine with it. and when we are in AC I don't seem to mind either. it's just when we get going on 45 minutes during a day feeding in the heat and she is wiggling all around and always always trying to hold my other breast. Except for nursing I can't stand to have my breasts touched lately.

Man i sound like a bad EBF.

although there is a super cute photo of her nursing in my siggy line
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We don't have a/c either so i hear ya! As far as the bathroom thing I've been there too and have done my best to make her wait.She seems to get "practice your patience". It gets pretty hot here in LA, the ceiling fans have saved me these past 2 years.Does anyone know the connection between the pinching the opposite nipple?Ouch!

Originally Posted by Kira's mom
Does anyone know the connection between the pinching the opposite nipple?Ouch!
what is with that?? She also likes to cup my other breast right under it. drives me crazy. Do you think she's to old for a nursing necklace??
"Does anyone know the connection between the pinching the opposite nipple?Ouch!"

The milk is ready to go when they get to the other side. I wonder if it influences the milk on the side they are on too.

A friend of mine can't stand the other side being touched and so her children learned to fondle her bellyroll instead.
At somewhere between 1 and 2 I initiated a say-so about how the other side was treated. Often, I kept my clothing tight to my body. It did not diminish his desire to play with the other side but now I can say to him that if he puts his hand there he must be gentle or simply hold it. Sometimes I don't mind if he plays (he likes to ski down my slopes) and other times I do and access is dependent on his gentleness or is restricted. My DS somehow gets it and I am so grateful.
someone told me about a child who had to stick his finger in his mother's nose well nursing.

at least her other breast was safe :LOL
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