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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
if anything; that my ds will be an extended nurser?<br><br>
I've read many posts about babes self weaning before 2 and that really scares me. My little one is 7 months right now but I'd like him to continue nursing for as long as possible. We cosleep and feed on request and he's had no solids. I plan on introducing solids very slowly at some point before his first birthday. Beyond this is there anything I can do to encourage extended breastfeeding?<br><br>
Thanks so much,<br>
Holly
 

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Good question. My DD is 14 m.o., and really seems to be cutting back. I'm scared we're not going to make it to 2, but I'm hoping this is a just a stage. :\
 

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Don't get pregnant. My DS self-weaned during the first month of my pregnancy with DD and he was 22 months. Basically he tried to nurse one night and then latched off and said "nursies all gone gone" and that was it <sigh><br><br>
Also don't introduce a sippy cup at night. That almost had him weaned at about 16 months and we only kept going because I was so stubborn that I woke him to nurse every night for 3 months during the nursing strike that the sippy cup caused (who knew!!)<br><br>
That is the only things I can think of. Some children are more attached to nursing then others and you have to take that into account as well. For my DS nursing was just a way to get food (and was from the get go...he was the fastest nurser on the planet!) When the food source aspect was taken away he decided he was done.<br><br>
He cut back to about 1 nurse a day at around 14 months (again his decision...he just refused to nurse if I offered it at any other time).<br><br>
Steph
 

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By offering the breast and meeting your child's requests for it, you are ensuring that you are meeting his needs. Each child is different but my dd went through a period about 9 months that she was very distracted and less interested in nursing and then she became very interested again around age 1 and continues to nurse at age 3. My friend's daughter weaned on her own around 17months and it was so natural and slow that she did not realize until a few days had gone by and her dd was completely at ease with the whole transition. As your child grows, if you continue to follow your heart and your childs cues as to what his needs are, he will only wean when he is truly ready to take that step and many children do not wean until age 3 or beyond when the decision is left to them.
 

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Id say dont start solids until hes ready and dont push "meal" and only give water to drink besides milk, LOL... DS is almost 18 months and didnt start eating solids until after 13months and he has a cup that only ever has water in it and he still nurses 6-10+ times a day
 

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how 'bout not leaving the child while you go on an extended (even "just a few days") vacation?<br><br>
my oldest weaned at 24 mos, but had been working on it since 17 mos. i was the one who kept it going. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
my youngest is almost 3. he has given me 2 big "weaning scares", and although i would miss it terribly, i have since come to understand that AP and EBF are all about meeting the dc's needs. of course we all want the health benefits and emotional closeness of EBF, but i think MOST dc will go to 2 if you follow a natural style of nursing (read: the AP style). my friend who used a crib for naps (my babes slept in arms) and went away for one overnight by 4-16 weeks (different age for each of 3 kids) got her dc to finish by 16-19 mos. it was what SHE wanted. i do "anthropological" bf. one ds had his needs met at age 2, the other didn't have the 1st few weeks of me battling my instinct to AP, so he is ever so slightly more attached, and i am guessing he will go to 3 or 4 easily. this time, however, i am committed to respecting his cues and not pushing past the time he "tells" me he is done. i would say that although it is beneficial and desirable to go well beyond 2 yrs, some dc just really are done "early". instead of saying "how can i keep dc nursing til 2 or 3 or any other age?" say "how can i get to know my dc so i can fill his needs and read his cues so i will know when he is ready to wean, and help him keep going if we hit a bump in the road (illness, teething, away from home to visit family) and it is obvious he still wants to nurse?"<br><br>
hope that wasn't too wordy or confusing... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I have to agree with what dziejen said (very good post, btw).<br><br>
It's important to listen to your own child's cues as to what they want & need, but frequent nursing, giving water & not forcing solids are some things to do. I have no experience with the pregnant & nursing aspect, so I can't comment on that.<br><br>
Dd is 2 years, 7 months & still nurses frequently - 4-10x/day (depends on the day). I didn't push solids, but tried to give her anything we were eating. She didn't eat much solids until after a year & no 'meals' until about 15 months (I think) & didn't have a sippy cup until about a year and a half. We do watered down juice or water.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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If you use pacifiers, stop as soon as you can (for us, that was 20 months with DD her sucking needs were just so high).<br><br>
No bottles.<br><br>
Try to use regular glasses ASAP for water instead of spill proof sippy (alternate sucking source). This is fine at 10-12 months with most kids.<br><br>
Until at least a year, always offer nursing *first*. Both my kids were 95+% bfed at a year.<br><br>
Use bfeeding as a food source AND a comfort source as long as possible. There is no advantage of cow's or soy milk over bmilk as long as you have bmilk available.<br><br>
Nursing is self-limiting behavior. No matter *what* you do (as long as it is developmentally healthy) you will 99.9999999% not have a nursing teenager. Nursing more than less is never a bad thing (well.... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> ).<br><br>
Good luck <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br><br>
(PS we did night wean DD to 5 hours a night at 25 months. DS still night nurses at 39 months. DD weaned at 50 months. DS, obviously not yet).
 

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Be there for your child. Don't worry about schedules, amount of milk, number of feedings, etc. Just be there for him to nurse when he wants to nurse. Listen to his needs and your instincts.
 

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Well, I have never been in this situation (dd's love for nursing has not waned for a moment in her 2.5 years of life <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> ) but I can offer observations.<br><br>
Several friends of mine whose dcs weaned at early ages seemed to take lessened interest in nursing as a definite signal of weaning and followed along with the weaning pattern. I think that many children go up and down in their need for nursing, so if your child doesn't want to nurse for several days...or weeks...don't give up. Keep offering and they will likely come back to it.
 

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I never hesitated to offer if ds seemed to be forgetting, especially during the first year but also in support of making it to two years. Ds went thru a distractible phase around 9 months but came back with enthusiasm by 11 months.
 

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Breastfeeding is a relationship between two people. You can't "make" a child breastfeed who doesn't want to. I think most of us here would agree. My dd#1 bf until she was 3 1/2 and dd#2 was born. I was ready to tandem nurse, but she self-weaned the day the baby was born. Sometimes she still misses it, but mostly she's okay with having weaned herself. dd#2 is 14 months old and still nursing strong. We co-sleep and night nurse. She nurses before naps, when she wakes up and when she falls asleep at night. Both children started solids around 5 months. Both drank water and milk from a sippy cup when they wanted it. To me, the important part of extended breastfeeding is the relationship between mother and child. AAP has said that breastfeeding should continue as long as both the mother and child want it to. Part of BFing--for me--is being cued into my child's wants and needs and meeting those wants and needs as much as practical. I wouldn't worry about having to "ensure" extended nursing; it'll just happen if your nursing relationship is strong.
 

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Pretty much every woman I've ever met or known who said her dc self weaned under 18 months or so was also giving the child a pacifier and/or bottle. So the child was NOT done suckling, they didn't really "wean" per se. They just switched from the boob to the bottle (or paci) because they could take it with them as they played. It seems the better of the two options for active toddlers. So, no bottles or pacifiers and also I think feeding solids too early also contributes to early weaning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks so much for all the replies. I'm hoping that Jasper will continue nursing strong <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
I would never want to force our nursing relationship to continue but would prefer to reap the many benefits for as long as possible <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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I'd add to let your baby comfort suck, not just milk, and offer the breast if the baby is upset, sad, angry, hurt, whatever. BF on demand. Don't night wean (but be prepared for insane 24/7 nursing at around 13-17 mos., but then it goes away) and make sure you maintain your supply even if his/her interest level temporarily dips.<br><br>
I haven't made it to 2 yet, but I consider that the minimum (for us) and will not accept weaning until Bleuet is over 24 months. Once your baby is 18 month old and eating quite a bit and still a very "good customer" at Mom's, I think your worries about premature weaning will greatly lessen. At least, that's how it was for me.
 

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Don't give them cow's milk in a sippy cup. That was the beginning of the end with DS. Milk in a cup is close to momma, but portable.<br><br>
Good thing I know better. Now. Still makes me sad for DS tho. He loves his snuggles, but never nursed past 16 months.
 
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