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Will she remember how to nurse?

675 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  wombat
okay...i know that at some point, kids forget how to nurse. I have read books where after a period of not nursing (like if milk dries up due to a pregnancy), that even though mother and baby still wanted to nurse, the childmsimlpy forgot how. (i think this was in the LLL book?)

Is there some sort of guideline on this? Any way to know beforehand??

My dd is 19 months now. We REALLY want to start trying for another one soon........right now, i think we will wait 5 more months, just to be sure she gets 2 years of milk, but i don't think i can wait much longer! IF my milk dires up (big possibility, i have had super-low-supply and struggled from the beginning, and now that my cycle is back it is mostly dry-nursing during certain parts of my cycle) and she has to go without for several months......when the new babe is born (when dd is presumably 33-36 months old, assuming we conceive in the first 3 months of trying) will she remember?

Part of me HATES to think of stopping nursing dd, but a much bigger part KNOWS that i am supposed to have many more children.......

Anyone know about this?
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She might, and she might not. I honestly think it could go either way. But I don't think you can know beforehand.

There is a book called Adventures in Tandem Nursing that might discuss this.
I know a number of mothers who let their DC continue to nurse even after the milk has dried up during pregnancy. The child continues to get the comfort aspect of nursing, and stays in practice.

Some children choose to wean when the milk is gone, though. I'm probably going to TTC some time next fall. By then DD will be 3 and I'm going to follow her lead on whether she'll continue nursing or wean when I get pregnant. I don't think I would try to concieve with a DC under 2--with DD I didn't get my cycle back until she was 21 mos., so probably wouldn't have been able to anyway, but with low supply that was probably less of an issue.
My dd was well over 3 when I got pg, she nursed all throughout with very little milk. She weaned right before her 6th bday, within 4 months she's forgotten how to nurse ("I just don't want to remember"lol)
My son nursed all the way through my second pregnancy, even though I had little or no milk for most of that time. He continued nursing until he was over 4 years old and I got pregnant for a third time. He was nearing weaning already, so I'm not sure how much the pregnancy had to do with it. My daughter, however, weaned when I was 6ish months pregnant, just after her 2nd bday. Within a week, she forgot how to nurse. She asked to nurse again, so I let her try, and she couldn't figure out how to latch on, even with me giving instructions. She's did try again after DS2 was born, and got a little milk, which she decided was "ewww yucky!" So the moral to my story is that you just never know. I will say that DS1 was always more attached to nursing than DD was, which I think played a part in him continuing to nurse, even without milk.
Definitely check out the book "Adventures In Tandem Nursing" or at least visit Kellymom's tandem nursing pages. The second Kellymom link below has a lot of info from that book.

I am almost 32 weeks pregnant and my supply has been low to non-existent since Thanksgiving or so. I do see signs that it may be increasing a little bit. DD is still comfort nursing. I am hoping she hangs in there until the newborn arrives. I do occasionally check to make sure her latch still seems ok. I did read "Adventures" and one Mom noted that even though her toddler's latch wasn't correct s/he could still nurse once the newborn induced let down.

So, my suggestion is that you continue to nurse as long as your DD wants to.
I got pregnant with my 2nd when dd had just turned 2. she nursed throughout my 1st trimester. Then we weaned effortlessly - I guess the milk decreased/changed and it got really painful so she became less interested in nursing and I didn't encourage her. I was a bit sad but didn't think I could cope with nursing 2 so I didn't mind too much. Then when ds was born, dd became interested in nursing again. I was surprised but she still could latch and get milk. She never really resumed nursing again though - it seemed more of a curiousity thing or a 'he's having some, I want some' thing. But anyway, she could still latch well enough.
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