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<p>So... I always knew I wanted to stick with ecological breastfeeding and child led weaning since our first dd was born.  She will be two at the end of March and she is still nursing a lot... well... she was.  </p>
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<p>Most of her nursing has been at night for quite some time - ever since she started eating with gusto around 16 months.  This worked out quite well for us because she was still getting all that wonderful breastmilk and I didn't mind nursing at night since we co-slept.  But a few weeks ago we made a change and I'm starting to be concerned.</p>
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<p>We have a twin bed pushed up right next to our queen-size mattress on the floor.  This has been our room arrangement since we moved in August.  Shortly after moving dh was anxious for dd to finally move into her own bed, so we decided to try it.  It didn't work well; she just wasn't ready yet, and honestly I don't think I was either.  She would always crawl over to find me in the middle of the night, and it was pretty clear she was uncomfortable sleeping alone for long periods.  So we brought her back in bed with us and I used the twin mattress for laundry folding :)</p>
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<p>But we recently found out we were pregnant with #2.  We are SUPER excited, but it also brought up questions of sleeping arrangements.  We don't have enough room for all four of us on one bed and can't afford a king, and I was nervous about tandem nursing at night or how that would even work.  So we decided to see if dd was ready to sleep in her own bed yet.  We started this a couple of weeks ago, and she's done really great.  A little too great...</p>
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<p>We are also ECing at night with her, and have been for a few months now, but she still has accidents.  She needs to get up at least once during the night to potty.  So usually 1-3 times a night dd and I have to get up to change blankets or use the potty.  She has <strong>always</strong> nursed herself to sleep, but now if she wakes up at night she doesn't usually even need to nurse back to sleep.  A few times she has even refused to nurse when I offer it, which has <em>never</em> happened at night before.</p>
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<p>I know that one of the standards of ecological breastfeeding is to sleep with your child for night feedings, and I know that this is the reason why, because otherwise they will wean more quickly.  Am I causing her to wean by separating myself from her at night?  I know that most people would see this independence as a good sign, but it's just making me feel guilty.  I want her to have the health benefits of nursing for as long as possible, and this seems to be taking it away from her.</p>
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<p>I can tell she's not getting nearly as much as she was, because I always have milk, whereas before there were times (usually in the morning after waking) that I would be empty.  That never happens now.  I'm afraid my supply is going to diminish and, being pregnant, I am worried that will cause my milk to dry up completely before the baby comes.  I know some toddlers will return to nursing after the baby is born, but that's not always the case.</p>
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<p>What should I do?  Is she perhaps just ready to move on to this next stage and I'm just hanging on too much?  If I am causing her to wean prematurely, I am not sure how to resolve it.  I have a feeling dh would NOT approve of her coming back to bed with us, and I share his reservations... I know she will have to move into her own bed when baby is born and I would really rather the move be now so she doesn't connect it with the arrival of the baby.  But I also had always assumed she would nurse at least another year.  Is there that much of a health difference in children who wean at two years and children who wean at three or four?  Am I not doing ecological breastfeeding anymore?  Is it really still child-led weaning, or am I encouraging her to wean?  Any advice or wisdom would be much appreciated...</p>
 

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<p>How old is she now?</p>
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<p>"Don't ask, don't refuse" is consider a fairly effective weaning method with a young toddler and it sounds like you may have unintentionally day weaned her that way.  Would you be open to offering/encouraging her to nurse during the day to increase the amount she is getting.</p>
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<p>That said: what was the purpose of your goal of ecological breastfeeding? </p>
 

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<p>Now that my kid is 16 and I see his 16 yo friends, I see no difference between kids who were weaned 6 mons, 12 months,  2 years or 5. Or fomula fed for that matter. Zero.</p>
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<p>I think if you child wants to be independent you should let her. I think it is wrong to essentially force co-sleeping or nursing on a child who is ready to let go of both. You child is telling you "I am ready to let go". So, respect her wishes.</p>
 

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<p>I went and looked at your other posts (OP) and I think I'm adding correctly to say your DD is only 22 months?</p>
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<p>Since it seems like you have a goal of child led weaning, I think you should consider encouraging nursing more during the day.  Especially since your supply may be decreasing due to pregnancy, you will need to actively try to keep your supply up if that is a goal.</p>
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<p>good luck</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Alenushka</strong> <a href="/community/t/1344921/mommy-guilt-are-my-concerns-legitimate#post_16874095"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>Now that my kid is 16 and I see his 16 yo friends, I see no difference between kids who were weaned 6 mons, 12 months,  2 years or 5. Or fomula fed for that matter. Zero.</p>
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That's why I'm happy for this thing called "Science" where they can look at large groups of children and see that some practices do have better (or worse) outcomes than anothers.  I'm not sure the point of your anecdotal evidence, but I have yet to see any scientific studies saying that breastfeeding does *not* have a long term positive impact with most studies suggesting that the benefits are dose dependent--- longer dose giving more benefits.</p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>TiredX2</strong> <a href="/community/t/1344921/mommy-guilt-are-my-concerns-legitimate/0_100#post_16874118"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Alenushka</strong> <a href="/community/t/1344921/mommy-guilt-are-my-concerns-legitimate#post_16874095"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>Now that my kid is 16 and I see his 16 yo friends, I see no difference between kids who were weaned 6 mons, 12 months,  2 years or 5. Or fomula fed for that matter. Zero.</p>
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<p><br><br>
That's why I'm happy for this thing called "Science" where they can look at large groups of children and see that some practices do have better (or worse) outcomes than anothers.  I'm not sure the point of your anecdotal evidence, but I have yet to see any scientific studies saying that breastfeeding does *not* have a long term positive impact with most studies suggesting that the benefits are dose dependent--- longer dose giving more benefits.</p>
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Yes, and in addition to that, most of the longer term benefits are immunological and gastrointestinal so you wouldn't see them just by looking at people. </p>
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<p>Yep, I am happy that there is science. I think overstatng  benefits of extended nursing leads to dissapointments later in life.</p>
<p>Sadly, many of those "nurse till 5 years" or what of  not studies have been poorly designed and did not take in account thinks like class...race...etc</p>
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<p>So, 2 years, 3 years...no need to fell gulity</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/are-the-benefits-of-breastfeeding-oversold/" target="_blank">http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/are-the-benefits-of-breastfeeding-oversold/</a></p>
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<p>That link is to an article written by the skeptical OB. This is also the child-led weaning forum.</p>
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<p>OP, I'm sorry I don't have anything to add, I think my dd is about the same age as yours, and I don't know much about nursing while pregnant. I would take the easy transition in sleeping arrangments as a blessing and try to nurse more during the day. I don't think you should feel guilty, it's great your dd went to her own bed so easily, if I were you, I would feel worse if dd didn't go to own bed and had to force her when she's not ready because of space and new baby... Is her dd really consistent in her sleeping patterns? mine switches it up all the time it seems... maybe there will still be times your dd is interested in night nursing.</p>
 

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<p>OP, I would not feel guilty about your daughter doing well sleeping on her own and nursing less. If you feel like offering some more, then that's fine, but it is called CLW for a reason. You are meeting her needs and following her leads, at least, that's how it sounds to me. My oldest child nursed until he was almost 4, my youngest until he was just 3, and my middle child only nursed until shortly after 2. I remember I felt such guilt over my middle boy weaning so early, and I really feel now it was a worry that was wasted. </p>
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<p>With regards to the sleeping, I would say enjoy it if at all possible! Sleep is important for everyone, and you will appreciate having a good sleeper in your daughter when your baby comes. </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<p>She is twenty-two months now.  I am pretty sure I didn't use "don't ask, don't refuse" during the day.  I have always regularly offered nursing even if she didn't seem interested.  She just refused more and more.  I think more of it had to do with her starting solids and being too busy playing to nurse often.  I would be open to trying to nurse more often during the day.  I'm not sure how effective it would be though.  I learned about ecological breastfeeding when we were pregnant with Evie and I didn't have specific goal in mind really.  We weren't trying to use it as a birth control method (although it did work that way), I just thought it sounded like the most natural and healthy way to raise a child.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<p>Thanks everyone for your responses!</p>
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<p>Slmommy, she is pretty consistent in her sleeping patterns.  This is really the first significant change I've seen in her sleeping/nursing patterns in probably seven or eight months.  She has never really gone through phases where she nurses more or less and then reverts back to what she was doing.  Usually if it changes it will stay that way.</p>
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<p>I will try and offer more throughout the day and see if she takes to it.  I suppose if she is getting less at night she might be hungrier and be up for more daytime sessions.  Thanks again!  I feel a little better now :)</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>dalasmueller</strong> <a href="/community/t/1344921/mommy-guilt-are-my-concerns-legitimate#post_16874415"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>She is twenty-two months now.  I am pretty sure I didn't use "don't ask, don't refuse" during the day. <strong> I have always regularly offered nursing even if she didn't seem interested.</strong>  She just refused more and more.  I think more of it had to do with her starting solids and being too busy playing to nurse often.  I would be open to trying to nurse more often during the day.  I'm not sure how effective it would be though.  I learned about ecological breastfeeding when we were pregnant with Evie and I didn't have specific goal in mind really.  We weren't trying to use it as a birth control method (although it did work that way), I just thought it sounded like the most natural and healthy way to raise a child.</p>
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<br><br><p>Well that's really all you can do.  You know how they say that you're responsible for *what* you offer your child to eat, and they have to choose to eat (you can't make them).  It's the same with nursing--- it sounds like you're open to nursing and very accepting of your DD's choices--- if she chooses to nurse less and sleep in her own bed that's her choice :)  Good luck and I hope your pregnancy goes well!</p>
 
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