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Thread: Tell me about nursing a baby 12+ months

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Default Tell me about nursing a baby 12+ months

    Probably sounds like a silly question but I don't know many who have nursed a baby to 12 months and most people I know think it's weird (whatever) to nurse past 12 months. I really, really, really want to nurse to at least 2 years old but I'm curious how things will change as he gets older. I realize he's not going to turn 1 and the next day be different, but what are the differences in older babies who nurse?

    Do their needs change at 1? Do you still feed on demand or try to wean from feeding on demand? Do you still nurse to sleep or is it bad as they get older? It seems like I remember reading in the pumping section that some moms stop pumping after a year but nurse still. If you do, what does DC do when you're gone? If you nurse past 1 year, is it really THAT important for them to know how to use a sippy cup by a year? I guess I don't see the point since he will just nurse instead of getting milk in a sippy.....though I do realize it's a skill he eventually needs to learn.

    DS will be 8 months old next week and I'm just curious how things will change over the next several months. I can't believe we've made it this far!!!!! It was soooo hard in the beginning!!!!!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,888

    Default Re: Tell me about nursing a baby 12+ months

    Always good to think about the future! It's less scary that way.

    Baby's needs will change gradually starting around the first birthday, but the birthday itself signifies nothing. Solids become an increasingly important part of the baby's diet, and the baby will become more and more interested in them. As baby transitions to a majority solid food diet (something which often does not fully happen until well into the second year), interest in the breast may decrease or baby may nurse just as often as ever.

    Whether you continue to feed on demand or not after age 1 is up to you. If you're comfortable feeding on demand, go for it! If not, you'll find ways to distract your LO from nursing.

    Nursing to sleep is another personal choice. If you want to nurse to sleep, do it! It's not bad for baby in any way, and will not give him cavities, though once teeth emerge it's important to brush them or wipe them down a couple of times a day. I nursed my older daughter to sleep until she turned 3. For many moms, the before-bed and before-nap feedings are the ones they keep the longest, because they really help get the baby to sleep.

    If you wean from pumping at 1 year, your daycare can offer cow's milk or water in your child's sippies or bottles. No juice- that will give baby cavities! And as long as you nurse around 3-5 times a day, your LO will get her needs for "dairy" met at the breast and you won't have to worry about making her drink cow's milk.

    Getting a child to take a sippy cup by 1 year... I don't know if that matters at all! Many kids go from bottle or breast to an open cup.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: Tell me about nursing a baby 12+ months

    wss! nursing for us was so much easier after 1, since there was less pressure. we could skip feedings and it wasn't as big of a deal.we still nurse on demand most of the time, but i know if I needed to I could distract her. my favorite benefit: it helps with tantrums (and there will be many..). also booboos, days she's not feeling well, days she has decided she only wants to eat 3 crackers, and it lets me sit down for a few minutes in peace since most of the time she is running around and being a busybody
    also you don't have to do a sippy, we went directly to open cup. i got the most opposition about it from the general public and grannies, elena had no problem. so if you do it just be ready to turn down sippys and straw cups left and right.
    Christine
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tell me about nursing a baby 12+ months

    I did pump wean at a year. We had switched to a sippy gradually over the previous month. After pump weaning he would get some of my freezer stash and some cow milk (not mixed). He never got cow milk in a bottle. We had started sippy practice earlier with water in the sippy. Where we live it is hot and very dry during the summer and we like to to outdoor things like hiking. Sippies are much easier to give him water while hiking and he hasn't figured out how to drink from a camelback yet.

    When I am home with him I still am nursing on demand but he does also get some milk in cups. The nifty thing about nursing past a year is that you and your LO can really decide what you want the nursing relationship to look like.
    I am Erin--happily married to the nerd of my dreams for 15 years
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Default Re: Tell me about nursing a baby 12+ months

    Everyone has really great points! But, there are some downsides...

    First-- your boobs will be pulled, poked and prodded. Even in public.
    Second-- you will get looks and/ or comments if you decide to tell anyone and/or happen to nurse in public.
    Third-- you need to create boundaries if you're not comfortable nursing in certain situations. This can lead to meltdowns...

    However, like other people said, injuries, dr appts, sick days, tired days are SO much easier. My 19 month old has never had an "inconsolable" moment. The older he's gotten, the more he has started to rely on nursing for comfort and reassurance. He's VERY independent and willing to try new things, and I'm absolutely sure that his continued nursing has helped. Nursing is so very easy the older he's gotten. Plus, I love that if I'm exhausted I can nurse him and he'll calm down and lay down for a nap.

    The main thing-- nursing a toddler is really no biggie. They're so busy that they usually couldn't care less and when they do, it's an amazing parenting tool; it's like the best "reset" button ever Don't be intimidated by it! It's nowhere near as difficult as nursing a baby.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tell me about nursing a baby 12+ months

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*cjackord View Post
    First-- your boobs will be pulled, poked and prodded. Even in public.
    I think this depends on the child. My 17 month old will slap my chest every once in a while when he's nursing if he's feeling feisty, but he otherwise nurses very nicely. He likes to play games, but they are usually very gentle like showing me my nose or me tickling his toes. He always signs "milk", and never grabs at my shirt anymore because we worked on it as soon as the grabbing started.

    Second-- you will get looks and/ or comments if you decide to tell anyone and/or happen to nurse in public.
    I think this depends on where you live. My son recently started wanting to nurse while we are out after a stretch of being too distracted. Thus I've been nursing in public a lot lately (the zoo, museums, restaurants, on the subway, everywhere) and no one has said a word to me or even seemed to notice at all.

    I'm not saying these things aren't sometimes true, just that it's not always the case. Otherwise I totally agree with everything that's been said so far. I love nursing my toddler!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tell me about nursing a baby 12+ months

    I think it is important to remember that, just like there are challenges when nursing a baby, there are challenges when nursing a toddler. But this is true of mothering a baby verses mothering a toddler, whether one is nursing or not. Let’s face it, motherhood is challenging, full stop. And just when you get one age figured out, a new one roars in.

    I think when you are still in the baby months it is impossible to imagine life with a toddler, never mind nursing a toddler. It's just so different, and so individual. And nursing a 14 month old is totally different than nursing a 24 month old, etc. Personally I am not a big fan of the toddler years, I love babyhood-up to about 15 months or so, and then from about 2.5 on. In between got a bit taxing, for me. Anyway, I loved nursing my sons as toddlers mainly due to being able to get them down for a nap so regularly and easily and for the connection and comfort for both of us after long, frustrating days. I did not love waking several times a night to nurse, but I did love that all I had to do was nurse and usually they went right back to sleep. I learned the hard way that, for us, NOT nursing at night did not result in more sleep.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tell me about nursing a baby 12+ months

    My son is 15 months as of Friday the 13th. I honestly never thought I would make it past a year. However, I pump weaned at a year and then I am down to 1 feeding right before bed. I know there are a lot of people who do child led weaning and feeding on demand, but I chose not to do that. I do believe in nursing past a year tho. My son and I have a special word for nursing and I always say it before bed so he knows it's time to nurse. He gets all excited and that is the only time he ever pulls at my shirt. He doesn't do it in public by any means and if you teach them a certain word or manners, they learn quickly. Toddler feeding is way more managable than infant feeding. Some nights we skip a feeding, like if he conks out in the car on the ride home somwhere late at night, which is ok, it's no big deal. The next night we just feed again. It's nice to have flexibility.
    Passed my CLC exam!

    Mother of 3: 12-25-04 12-3-07 1-13-2011

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Tell me about nursing a baby 12+ months

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*cjackord View Post
    Everyone has really great points! But, there are some downsides...

    First-- your boobs will be pulled, poked and prodded. Even in public.
    Second-- you will get looks and/ or comments if you decide to tell anyone and/or happen to nurse in public.
    Third-- you need to create boundaries if you're not comfortable nursing in certain situations. This can lead to meltdowns...

    However, like other people said, injuries, dr appts, sick days, tired days are SO much easier. My 19 month old has never had an "inconsolable" moment. The older he's gotten, the more he has started to rely on nursing for comfort and reassurance. He's VERY independent and willing to try new things, and I'm absolutely sure that his continued nursing has helped. Nursing is so very easy the older he's gotten. Plus, I love that if I'm exhausted I can nurse him and he'll calm down and lay down for a nap.

    The main thing-- nursing a toddler is really no biggie. They're so busy that they usually couldn't care less and when they do, it's an amazing parenting tool; it's like the best "reset" button ever Don't be intimidated by it! It's nowhere near as difficult as nursing a baby.
    I think maybe these are the downsides that you are experiencing. I haven't experienced these downsides.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

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