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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am very new to the concept of bf a toddler. BF is not the norm in the area that I live, most people that do bf are done before 6 months. I have never seen a baby over 12 weeks bf other than mt dd. Just to let you know how different it is, when we went in for dd check-up at 4 months the ped. was suprised that we were "still" bf. Everyone around me thinks that at 10 months she is too old and I need to "do something about HER so she will stop wanting to do THAT"


With that said, I do not feel ready to quit when she turns one. But I don't want to force her to bf either. I have read some about extended bf and frankley it seems mean to withhold all or most other forms of nutrition and to force a child to continue to bf when they don't show any desire fot it.

Are their any kids that will continue bespite being given food and liquid from another source? What are the benifits of extended bf? Why motivates some mothers to try and make their dc bf ?
 

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Sorry this will be sort of short. But I wanted to answer at least some of your questions. My baby started to eat solids and drink other fluids around 6 months of age I never with hold solids from her and she breastfeed at 13 months. She recieves the antibodies still and breast milk still has nutrition for her after a year. After a year the milk doesn't just stop being good for the baby. As far as why, it was just a natural progression, it seemed silly to wean her when she was happy and healthy just because she turned one. There are some really good info on extended breastfeeding on the WHO website and La leche website, Also Kellymom website is very informative. I hope someone else will post the links for you I am in a hurry. I hope you continue it is really worth it.


I want to add I have never forced my children to breast feed most mom's here will agree with me that you don't need to force a baby to continue doing something so natural. I feel very sad that this is the information you received. It just simply isn't true.
 

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I understand how 'weird' it can seem...there's not much bf in my area, either, certainly not past a year. A full year was my far out long term goal when I started. But little ones need a full fat milk under two years of age, right? And it doesn't make any sense at all to me that our bodies are set up to need the milk of our own species for say, the first 6-12 months, and after that, we need the milk of another species. THAT is really pretty weird when you think about it. We're just culturally conditioned to see it as the norm.

Anyway, with regards to my son (18 months old), I've never had to make him nurse - I really don't see how that could be done. He did hit a certain age (around 8 months, maybe?) when he was very distractable during the day, but he made up for it at night. I do see how some babies might quit at that age, if their parents don't co-sleep. But that wouldn't really be 'natural' weaning, yk? DS has had solids since around six months old, and drinks water and occasionally juice from a sippy cup. He shows no signs of weaning. He has had an ear infection for the past few days, and I'm really glad he's still nursing - he's stayed decently hydrated and the milk helps his immune system.

PS - I have to say, congratulations to making it past your local 'norm'. Isn't it fun being the weirdo?
 

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i dont think most extended bf'ers withold other food/liquid. i know i didnt!!!

there was a funny post a while back about a mom going in for some sort of visit, and somehow it came up that she was still nursing her 3 yo, and at the end of the visit the doc said something like "you know, it is okay to give her some solid food now and then to give yourself a break"
can you imagine exclusively nursing a 3yo!!!!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by aprilbaby06 View Post
With that said, I do not feel ready to quit when she turns one. But I don't want to force her to bf either. I have read some about extended bf and frankley it seems mean to withhold all or most other forms of nutrition and to force a child to continue to bf when they don't show any desire fot it.

Are their any kids that will continue bespite being given food and liquid from another source? What are the benifits of extended bf? Why motivates some mothers to try and make their dc bf ?

If you don't feel ready to quit, then please follow your instincts & your daughter's lead, and allow her to continue as long as SHE wants to. It's AWFUL that in this society, women should have to question their innate understanding of their children, because some people somehow see nursing as shameful or coercive - oh it's just NOT AT ALL THE TRUTH.

I'm not sure what you've been reading, but from my experience, you can't force a child to nurse. They want to, or they don't. You can offer, but if they don't want it, they certainly make it obvious!


As far as withholding food to get a child to continue nursing, it's completely ridiculous & innane. Certainly, some children don't take to solid foods right away - and isn't it WONDERFUL that they have the backup of perfect mother's milk, until their bodies are ready to handle solids?

Remember that up until age one, solid food is primarily for taste & texture, the majority of calories should still be coming from breastmilk. After a year, breastmilk is still FAR SUPERIOR to cow's milk, and if the baby wants milk, it should still be offered/given freely, in addition to other sources of calories & liquid. They still really NEED the fat from breastmilk - which is much richer than any other source of fat. Again, if a baby wants to eat something, s/he'll for sure let you know. I think withholding food or breastmilk is abusive... and honestly only happens in extreme cases.

After one year, in my experience, my daughter was very interested in food (and she still is - she's a great eater - other moms comment about her vast & variety-filled diet - and she still nurses now), AND very interested in continuing nursing. If there were anyone MAKING anyone do anything, it would have been me MAKING her stop eating or nursing - she still made it clear to me that she needed & wanted the nutrition & comfort from breastmilk.

Here's some really useful information about the nutritional aspects of breastmilk beyond one year.

Extended Breastfeeding Fact Sheet:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-benefits.html

Fat content comparison:
http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/mi...kcalories.html

The World Health Organization recommends nursing for at least 2 years.
The AAP recommends nursing for at least 1 year.

"Human children are also designed to have breast milk be a part of their diet for a minimum of 2.5 years, with many indicators pointing to 6-7 years as the true physiological duration of breastfeeding -- regardless of what your cultural beliefs may be." Katherine A. Dettwyler, Ph.D.

Good luck to you in making this extremely important decision in the health of you AND your baby. Continuing to nurse as long as your CHILD needs it is such a wonderful gift to give. You'll never regret it.
 

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i've never withheld solids or other liquids, i just didn't offer TONS until she asked. we started solids at 9-10 months and alice now eats and drinks just like any toddler i know, except instead of drinking cow's milk she nurses. remember cow milk for cows, human milk for people
 

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I can't imagine any time breastmilk would be non-beneficial for a human. Perhaps it's the delivery that freaks people out.
With my 3 girls, each one of them got to a point- 6-9 mo of needing and wanting more than just breastmilk, and so I introduced foods, but never stopped the nursing. I was supplimenting her nursing with solid food, I guess you could say. My youngest is still nursing, and is going strong- but can eat a cheeseburger like no one's business! (she's 11 mo)
I continue bf because it helps me put her down for naps & bedtime, gives me some much needed downtime, and I get a kick out of her mannerisms when she nurses.
For her- nutrition. That's what is important to me.
 

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Please know that in some places (here in the bay area) a lot of people nurse after age one--it is pretty common here. You can still find ways to be discrete with a bigger baby, and I think it really strengthens the bond to continuing nursing after one.

Hang in there and do what feels best for you and baby... Maybe your example will help other mamas in the area, too!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by aprilbaby06 View Post
With that said, I do not feel ready to quit when she turns one. But I don't want to force her to bf either. I have read some about extended bf and frankley it seems mean to withhold all or most other forms of nutrition and to force a child to continue to bf when they don't show any desire fot it.

?
oh my goodness! While I know some mamas are sad when weaning happens - I have never met anyone who had to force a child to bf. In fact, I don't think any child under age 2 would stop showing interest completely of their own accord. The sucking need continues in most children AT LEAST until age 2 and the need for milk as a major source of nutrition does too. Some children do self wean before age 2, but it is VERY rare. I think most cases of weaning before age 2 are either misinterpreted nursing strikes or parent led weaning (not judging...)

If you want specific research & medical/scientific info - check out the La Leche League website or www.kellymom.com
 

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You might consider seeking out a local La Leche League meeting in your area. You will find nursing moms there, and many of them have or plan to breastfeed past infancy. Here you will get support, encouragement and tips on what to say when people question your decision to continue nursing. It is a new concept, and it certainly was for me when my first was still a baby. There is no such thing as a baby who "never" weans. And when you give your baby their first solid food, it is the beginning of the weaning process. Weaning takes place over time, very gradually.

One of the best things about nursing a toddler is that it can be a wonderful calming, mothering tool when the tantrum phase begins. Boo-boos, upsets, tantrums are quickly soothed by nursing. I found my children to be incredibly independent as they aged because I met their needs at the breast as a babies and toddlers. Toddlers are also still very oral. They mouth toys and are much more "germy" than a baby. Breastfeeding them is good for their immune system when they are much more mobile and touching and mouthing everything.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by aprilbaby06 View Post
I am very new to the concept of bf a toddler. BF is not the norm in the area that I live, most people that do bf are done before 6 months. I have never seen a baby over 12 weeks bf other than mt dd. Just to let you know how different it is, when we went in for dd check-up at 4 months the ped. was suprised that we were "still" bf. Everyone around me thinks that at 10 months she is too old and I need to "do something about HER so she will stop wanting to do THAT"


With that said, I do not feel ready to quit when she turns one. But I don't want to force her to bf either. I have read some about extended bf and frankley it seems mean to withhold all or most other forms of nutrition and to force a child to continue to bf when they don't show any desire fot it.

Are their any kids that will continue bespite being given food and liquid from another source? What are the benifits of extended bf? Why motivates some mothers to try and make their dc bf ?

I have been where you are, thinking the same things you are thinking. Now that I have experience breastfeeding past 12 months, I can share a few things:

1. You can't "make" a child breastfeed - if they have no desire for it you can't just shove your nipple in their mouth and force them to suckle, it doesn't work that way.

2. During the second year, most kids will probably not be breastfeeding tons and tons like they did when they were newborns. I have a 13 month old now and he breastfeeds maybe every 6 hours or thereabouts, and he eats solids whatever we are eating he will eat it. BF is more "mini-meal" between solid meals, it's also good if he gets cranky in the evening to just take some time just the 2 of us, and relax and nurse. I think lots of people (I did at one time feel that way too) think BFing a child during the second year or beyond meant, you know, keeping them AWAY from solids, which is certainly not the case. One advantage is actually he doesn't always eat well, or he wants to just eat crackers all day, doesn't always eat well balanced meal, he'll just attack the mashed potatoes but won't eat anything else, etc. That's common during the second year. I'm glad he still has breastmilk there for nutrition when he needs it. I mean, small children can be finicky sometimes and I know I offer mine solids plenty of times and he is not always itnerested, at least I know he is not malnurished because he's still BF.

4. Basically, instead of having whole cow milk in his sippy cup like all the other kids do at this age, he drinks breastmilk. So you can think of it like that, other kids get solids AND milk, so does mine it's just a different kind of milk. But it doesn't mean that he's not eating solid food.

3. Here's a bunch of scientific factoids about nursing during the second year and beyond: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-benefits.html
 

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Try and make my kid BF? It was his instant boo-boo fixer, his snack when I forgot the little bag of Cheerios, his night-night, his bad-dream cure, his snuggle time. I had to pry him off at three because he was such an inveterate nipple-twiddler (planned on CLW, but the nipple-twiddling was making me crazy).

I think it's sad when toddlers aren't BF because they're supposedly not babies anymore. Biologically, they are. We've just decided in our culture that you get a year of babyhood and then you're done. They're still little people with huge emotions and a lot of things are scary or confusing. Nummies are their safety net during all the changes of toddlerhood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you all so much for the info. Yea it does feel good being the "weirdo" when you know that it makes you smarter than the average mom.
I guess I have seen so many moms on MDC say that their dc was on a nursing strike and that they were "trying to get them to nurse" , or don't give them any pacifiers or bottles so that they will keep/start back nursing. I may have misunderstood.

DD does eat solids twice a day and she takes a bottle during the day when I'm at work, she also likes to have a paci while she is sleeping. I find it very hard to sleep while she is latched on so even though we cosleep and she does still wake to nurse during the night, I substitue the paci when she has gotten herself back to sleep.

I don't really want anything to change yet. I am happy and she seems happy and growing. She enjoys feedign herself finger foods now and seem more excited about that than nursing. I feel like this is her natural progression and I want her to continue doing what comes natural to her. If she does go on a nursing strike, I will likely let her wean. I do hope that it doesn't happen any time soon. I would like to bf for a few more months. I feel comfortable with weaning around two, not sure how comfortable I feel about bf after 2 years.

I think I have a much better understanding of what extended bf is and what it isn't . Thanks for all the tips. I was soooo impressed at the moms who are bf a four year old, I kinda though man they must be skin and bones by now.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by aprilbaby06 View Post
I have read some about extended bf and frankley it seems mean to withhold all or most other forms of nutrition and to force a child to continue to bf when they don't show any desire fot it. ?
Not sure where you heard that from - we'd sincerely like to know.

It's possible you've heard that some babies, when not weaned early, do not eat solid foods earlier than they are ready. Some nursed babies eat food at 6 months or even 4 months. Mine didn't eat until 13 months. Believe me, I offered her food several times a day every day since she was 6 months, and she didn't want it. My experience is neither typical nor abnormal - seems most breastfed babies eat solids sooner than mine did, yet there are plenty of others who were more like my DD.

As for breastfeeding when the child does not want to, I had to chuckle
Most babies and toddlers LOVE to breastfeed. When they are ready to wean (or just aren't wanting to nurse that moment), you can't make them nurse. I've not ever heard of forcing a child to nurse, nor can I imagine how that can be done. It seems like "forcing" your child to play, or run, or smile - all things that come naturally to toddlers, and are very good for them


When my 18 month DD wants to nurse, she makes it known (she grabs for my shirt). If I offer and she doesn't want to, she shakes her head no and continues to do what she's doing.

I can't imagine how it would be to forcibly wean her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I totally realize that breastmilk has a lot of properties that are benificial for develpment. I do not think that mothers who practice clw are starving their babies of any other nutrition other than breastmilk. I hope that my question hasn't offended anyone. I have read on mdc posts of mothers whos babes or toddlers were going through nursing strikes being given advice on how to extend/prolong them nursing. Some of the advice has been to limit solids and not to offer paci. or bottle. I guess what I don't understant is the difference in a child ready to wean and a nursing strike? I am in no way trying to offend, just to learn. As all of this is very new to me, and even her pediatician thinks that I am "different" because dd is still bf and close to her first birthday, I don' have much to go on when it comes to bf a child at all much less after the gloden one year rule. Her ped. is very much expecting that she will be weaned next month I'm not even sure what kind of reception I will get when she learns that dd is still bf and I am not actively trying to get her to stop.
 

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Frankly, it's not your ped's business. The AAP standard is for a minimum of 12 months, not a maximum. The WHO average age of weaning is 3.7 years. It's a parenting decision, not a medical decision, to nurse a toddler, and it's yours to make, not your ped's. And you might want to point out that the AAP rec is a MINIMUM.
 

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Let's not be disingenuous here, ladies. There are women on this forum who refuse anything but breastmilk to their year-plus babies. I've seen bragging about it, and I've even responded to a thread started by a woman who wanted to severely curtail her young toddler's intake of solids.

As to the original post, I'm going to turn it around like I always do: Why not nurse past one year? From a developmental standpoint--both psyiological and psychological--there is no question that weaning by age one is abnormal. So why should you do something abnormal? Much as I like milkshakes, there is nothing normal, if you stop to think about it, about consuming the breastmilk of a completely different species. So how can it be logical to discontinue the breastmilk of your own species in favor of that of another species? Your daughter is not going to magically change into a cow on her first birthday, is she? I've never even heard of that happening in fairy tales.


Here's the thing. Do what's normal, and if anyone wants you to do something abnormal, make them justify it. And you can start taking your doctor's advice on breastfeeding just as soon as she becomes an IBCLC-certified lactation consultant. Because until she does that, she is not adequately educated on breastmilk. It's not exactly an in-depth course in med school.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by aprilbaby06 View Post
I guess what I don't understant is the difference in a child ready to wean and a nursing strike? I am in no way trying to offend, just to learn.
Most children, if given full opportunity (i.e. close proximity to a mother who is open to their signals & cues), wouldn't self wean until at least 2.5.

A nursing strike may be interpreted as self weaning when mom isn't open to baby's signals, or perhaps isn't willing or able to go the extra steps it may take to help baby get back to nursing, or maybe just doesn't understand that toddlers still get SO MANY BENEFITS from breastmilk. They aren't manipulating you. There's nothing sexual about nursing. And a toddler is still a baby, so certainly when they are younger than two, a break in nursing is likely a strike, not self weaning, and should be treated as such. But with the pressures of society, uninformed doctors, etc., mothers don't have the support they need to learn to trust themselves & their children.

Quote:

Originally Posted by aprilbaby06 View Post
As all of this is very new to me, and even her pediatician thinks that I am "different" because dd is still bf and close to her first birthday, I don' have much to go on when it comes to bf a child at all much less after the gloden one year rule. Her ped. is very much expecting that she will be weaned next month I'm not even sure what kind of reception I will get when she learns that dd is still bf and I am not actively trying to get her to stop.
You ARE different. Something like only 30% of mothers are still breastfeeding beyond 6 months. Nursing not the norm, so many doctors look at ALL children through the lens of formula feeding requirements, yet, even the AAP, mainstream as they are, acknowledges that babies should be breastfed AT LEAST ONE YEAR, and as long thereafter as mutually desirable. Your pediatrician is not up on the latest information, or just can't get beyond her own personal hangups.

But aside from that, frankly, it isn't your job to please your pediatrician. It IS your job to do right by your baby, and that means, nursing AT LEAST until she's one. If it makes you feel more comfortable, visit the AAP site, print out their statement on nursing, and bring it with you to the Dr's office. You also don't have to tell the truth you know. You can say, she's nursing X number of times per day or whatever. It doesn't make a bit of difference. You know what's right.

In your position, I'd likely look for another peditrician.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sagesgirl View Post
Let's not be disingenuous here, ladies. There are women on this forum who refuse anything but breastmilk to their year-plus babies. I've seen bragging about it, and I've even responded to a thread started by a woman who wanted to severely curtail her young toddler's intake of solids.
I've seen this too here on MDC. I won't name names, but I've seen one person in particular recommend cutting down on a toddlers solids and completely elminating other drinks entirely. I don't even spend that much time in the breastfeeding forums and I've seen this advice more than once.
 

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I'm one who often posts advice about how to get past a nursing strike.

The problem is that the "normal" way to feed babies in our culture is BAD for them.

Babies are designed to NEED breastmilk for 2 full years. Not cow's milk. Not soy milk. Not liquid food. Breastmilk.

Humans are not designed to eat jars full of liquid food. They're designed to eat food that the family eats when they can eat that food.

Humans are not designed to suck on pieces of plastic. Don't get me wrong- bottles are a FANTASTIC thing for when mama has to be away. BUT breast should be the standard.

Humans have a NEED to suck. They are designed to have that NEED met at the breast. Not by a piece of plastic.

IF the breast is offered first, and they are not fed other milks or liquid food, then as a rule, humans will nurse to two years old and beyond.

hope that helps!

-Angela
 
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