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Thread: Why did you decide to nurse past a year?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Why did you decide to nurse past a year?

    I am currently BFing my 4.5 month old dd. This is my third baby, first one that has been BF past 2 weeks. First baby - the stupid hospital gave him a bottle and I had almost no support. Second baby - was 10lbs3oz at birth, dropped to 7lbs15oz by two weeks and scared me, again - hardly any support. So this time I was determined - and after 6-7 week of her being permanently glue to me and 3 months of supplementing (thankfully only 3oz a day) she is now on all breastmilk!

    Lately, I have been thinking about maybe BFing until she is two. I'm thinking about maybe pumping and feeding her that way, idk. I don't know if I would feel comfortable nursing when she is old enough to "ask" for it. I know I shouldn't feel that way but I do. Maybe that will change in time.

    Curious, why did you decide to nurse past a year? I haven't yet read up on the benefits to LO's that are EN. Thanks.
    I'm a homeschooling, , mom!

    4/21/04 9lbs1oz FF due to hospital sabotage
    3/16/07 10lbs3oz FF bc of severe weight loss, lack of support
    11/02/10 7lbs14oz BF , supplemented 3oz formula/day for first 3 months due to supply issues. Now she's on all mommy's milk!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    New Orleans, LA

    Default Re: Why did you decide to nurse past a year?

    Because my daughters were not ready to give up their primary form of nutrition, security and emotional nourishment and there was no good reason to cause that kind of trauma to satisfy the skewed standards of this screwed up society. I don't think so. (I need a head popping, finger snapping smiley.)

    ETA: Congrats on your success!!!

    I only read the title at first.

    ETA: (again)...Okay..I finally read your post all the way through. She's been asking for it since she was born. Just because her verbal communication catches up in no way signifies that she is "too old." She will let you know when she's ready. If you try to force her to wean before then, you will know because it will not feel right.
    Last edited by @llli*nolamomma; March 21st, 2011 at 09:45 PM.
    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Why did you decide to nurse past a year?

    I never really "decided" to breastfeed my baby past one year. When a year came, I just decided I wasn't ready to stop right then. And when 18 months came, I decided the same thing ... etc. And here we are, at almost 23 months. All along, continuing to breastfeed has seemed like the right decision, and also, the EASY decision. Weaning my baby too early - that would be hard work!

    After a year, you can start to put some reasonable limits on your nursing, and to give your baby some cow's milk here and there too. So you can continue to nurse, but not pump at work, or nurse in public - whatever is an issue for you. Of course there will be times when your baby wants to nurse right NOW, but those become less frequent. It's so much easier. Also, nursing a toddler is a ton of fun!

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Re: Why did you decide to nurse past a year?

    My son is 1yr and 2 weeks old. Sometime between 3 and 5 months, I started thinking about nursing longer than a year. I knew very little about it but the women here made it sound fun. I love my son and he loves nursing. I couldn't imagine just taking it away from him because he turned some magical age. Now that he is a year, I still nurse on demand. Some days he nurses tons and some days, especially when we are out around older kids, he may nurse 3 times a day. I love having it there for him for comfort or to top him off after a good dinner or to help him fall asleep at night. I can't take it away before he is ready.
    As the months and years go by I will begin to set limits and he may need it less. I am sure there will be a point where we rarely nurse in public and perhaps it will just be a part of our cuddle time before bed or he may wean whenever i get pregnant with my second but I hope he is able to decide when he is done.
    It is just so much more than nutrition. It is a way to contect during a time of so much growing and changing. I can't imagine at this point not having it as part of our relationship.
    Married 9/17/2005
    Mother to Seamus born 3/9/2010 7lbs 9oz Still nursing with no end in sight!
    I love , , cloth diapers! with #2! Due 4/5/2012. for a Vbac!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Why did you decide to nurse past a year?

    Babies "ask" from the moment they are born. The only difference as they get older is in HOW they ask.

    At 12 mo and 1 day my LO were still "babies" and not suddenly "big kids". At 18 mo my toddler is still very much a baby at times. And when he's relaxed and in my lap breastfeeding it's more than food but a way to reconnect and have some snuggle time.
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Sunny and beautiful SoCal

    Default Re: Why did you decide to nurse past a year?

    I breastfed for about 2.5 years. I never started out settin a specific goal. I was just going to give him the absolute best form of nutrition and comfort. End of story. I knew I wasnt going to dictate how and when the nursing relationship would end. I knew it would end, but I had no idea when. It did on it's own and it was very gentle and fluid. Perfect for us.
    Ps - I say "about" 2.5 years because I dont hAve an actual day marked. It was such a slow transition that no one even noticed. I just realized that it had been days/weeks/months.
    Hope this was the kind of feedback you were looking for. Congrats on your success thus far. I'm sorry you didn't have support in the past, but very happy u are seeking it out now.
    You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong no matter who does it or who says it.
    Malcom X

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Why did you decide to nurse past a year?

    I absolutely LOVE nursing my near 2yo and hope it continues!!! My answer is, why WOULD I stop? SHe is happy and content nursing as am I. I am not going to allow outside pressures to come between such an importand and wonderful experience between me and my child!!! It would be painfully hard to wean her now, she is very attached to the boob...literally! And part of what makes it so great, is that she CAN ask for it!!! Nothing sweeter then my girl going to the couch, patting the seat and saying. "Sit momma, come sit!" and when I sit climbing in my lap to nurse. Once you have a CRAZY TODDLER, and believe me your toddler will be crazy, you will CHERISH the quiet happy time of nursing! It literally is the ONLY time when she is awake that she is calm and quiet...lol.

    Nursing is an AWESOME parenting tool, when my DD is tantruming, crying or upset...NOTHING sooths her like nursing. it is amazing how fast she calms down. I wouldnt give that power up for the world!!!

    I also go with my instincts as a mom, and my mommy instincts are saying keep nursing! It is hard to believe that you will want to nurse past a year, but believe me when that majical day comes, your LO wont know and say, "Its time to stop nursing now!" they wil expect to be nursed just as the day before, just as the week before!

    I am now a week or so away from my DD turing 2 and she is still nursing strong

    it is great that you are considering nursing your LO past a year!!! Nursing toddlers is the fun part!
    Mommy of 4,
    3 who I watch over, 1 who watches over all of us

    J- 8/20/05 pumped breastmilk for 11 months due to his cleft lip and palate!

    M- 10/17/07 my precious baby lives forever in her mommys heart

    M- 3/31/09 my special gift, she helps heal her mommy and daddys heart. Nursed for 4 years and 10 days, self weaned the day her baby brother was born!

    E-, new little miracle born 4/11/13, my BIG baby! Born 8.6 at 38 weeks. At 9 weeks nearly 17lbs, at 12 weeks nearly 20lbs, at 6 months nearly 23lbs, at 8 months nearly 25lbs and all from BREASTMILK

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Re: Why did you decide to nurse past a year?

    I never made a decision about length of time, i always wanted him to just make the call. He's 14 months now and clearly nowhere near ready to stop. There were some days a while ago when i thought he'd be done sooner, and now he's back to nursing like crazy. I was SO sad at the thought of him weaning so young.

    I do get a lot of questions from friends who weaned at a year on the dot. "What's your plan" "how many times do you LET him nurse" -- they really think they did the right thing for their kids in weaning at a year, and I think they are insane.

    I would say that once you get to that point, you'll know your feelings. You'll realize how much your LO still needs that time to nurse - it becomes very obvious. Right now more than ever before, I really sense his need to nurse as a way of connecting with me at the end of the day - he can be crazy and wild and then comes over to me when i get home and immediately just relaxes and snuggles. It's pretty amazing and pretty special, actually.

    Looking back, although I've enjoyed the whole time nursing my LO, I would say that I made it all that way so that I could have this, where we are right now. It's so comforting to both of us, so flexible and really just great.

    Great job making it this far.
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: Why did you decide to nurse past a year?

    for me she turned one and she was in no way ready to wean. she was still very dependent on nursing for nutrition and comfort. She was eating solids but not enough that i would feel comfortable taking her breast milk away... and honestly I wasnt ready either, she was still my baby. 1 is still so young, they are still babies.

    now shes 19 months and nutritionally probably not getting much from my milk but its for comfort now. Shes down to nursing just at nap and bed time and some throughout the night..
    Student aspiring to be a Chiropractor and mother to Noah who will be 3 in July and Olivia who will be 2 in Aug.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Why did you decide to nurse past a year?

    I decided to nurse my first past a year because I am lazy. Weaning her would have been hard work, and I would have had to completely readjust my parenting style. I would have had to stress about her intake of solid foods (at a year old, my LO was still 99% breastfed). I would have had to find alternate ways to get her to nap, to get her to sleep at night, to comfort her when she had a boo-boo, to soothe her through teething. I wouldn't have had anything to feed her when she got sick and was throwing up and wouldn't eat anything but my milk. In addition, at 1 year nursing was becoming more and more FUN! Toddlers can be demanding and annoying to nurse, but most of the time they're just adorable. When your LO is smiling at you and playing peekaboo with the breast or trying to get you to nurse a teddy bear...

    One thing that you may not realize about toddler nursing is how much easier it is than nursing an infant. At >1 year, you can skip nursing sessions, you can feed your baby solids, you can teach her to wait to be nursed if you don't want to breastfeed in public. And the baby's demand level goes way down.

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