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Thread: what does toddler feeding really look like?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    31

    Default what does toddler feeding really look like?

    my DD is 11 months old. Up to last week, she was nursing 8-10x a day, mostly one side, in our quie,t dark bedroom,usually 2-5 minutes at a feed with a let down each time. Then all hell broke loose! She had a terrible cold, cut 3 teeth and started walking all within a few days. She went on a total strike, except for dream feeding overnight. Now she will nurse while still sleepy at around 7am, a few sips throughout the day here and there, not always to let down. We have to read a book, watch a video, lay on the trampoline, anywhere BUT our usual quiet dark bedroom, which all of a sudden she WON'T tolerate. She nurses again at night before bed. (usually takes some coaxing, but then once she gets there, she will settle in and have a good long session (5-10 min). Then a few dream feeds overnight. Thats it! Is this normal? She eats lots of solids now and drinks some water from a sippy. Is she weaning? My breasts are so full and uncomfortable because she has really cut down in a short span of time. I hate pumping, but will do it if she might come back to more feedings. Somehow, I think that once she got moving, she is just too busy to nurse. Is it over? What are other mothers of toddlers experiencing? What do you call a "nursing session" at this age? Do those "drive bys" count even if they only last a few seconds? I just don't know what to expect.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,999

    Default Re: what does toddler feeding really look like?

    Toddler nursing is all over the map. There are toddlers who nurse like newborns and toddlers who barely nurse at all, and everything in between.

    I think that if you are ready to wean, your LO is in a place right now where she might make it easy for you- not that I am advocating that, since breastmilk is supposed to make up a baby's primary form of nutrition until 12 months, and remains an important part of a baby's diet after 12 months. If you're not ready to wean, just be patient, keep offering, and be cool about those "drive-by" nursing sessions. They definitely count. Even if they are too speedy for your LO to get a whole lot of nutrition from them, they still do give her some nutrition and they also encourage her to seek comfort at the breast, and as long as she associates the breast with comfort, she is likely to continue to nurse.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    31

    Default Re: what does toddler feeding really look like?

    Thanks Mommal. Definitely NOT ready to wean. Nursed my first until she was 2 and I got pregnant with our 11 month old, but she was so different! I don't want it to end and am hoping that I can roll with her punches and be able to be the kind of nurser she wants.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    1,110

    Default Re: what does toddler feeding really look like?

    DD3 (now 10 months) goes through stages where she won't nurse as much but then goes back to normal. I just try not to show my anxiety, after a few days, she nurses well again. I suggest you to nurse her anywhere, not only in dark rooms, so that she'll get used to nursing with noise too. I'm not sure if it's just my DD but I was so stressed out when she first slowed down her nursing that I would try and keep the house quiet, totally impossible with 2 other girls, so I decided to not put any pressure on her and nurse anywhere, even with her sisters jumping from couch to couch while she nurses. It's working for now. As your LO, she is very different from my other two, I nused them for over 2,5 years and Tandem in between so I freaked out when she suddenly slowed down.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    269

    Default Re: what does toddler feeding really look like?

    It sounds normal to me, or at least it doesn't sound problematic. My DS is 18 months old, and he mostly does drive-by nursing during the day with two exceptions: the first time we nurse after I pick him up from daycare and any nursing involving sleeping. The after-daycare session is anywhere from 30-45 minutes, but it's filled with games, too (like peek-a-boo). DS will sometimes just climb in my lap, suck twice, and run off again to do other things during the day. If we read books, he will sometimes sit longer. Sometimes, he is so impatient that by the time I get my bra undone, he's already climbing down to do other things. But he nurses usually at least every 2 hours at night, and those are fairly long sessions, so I don't worry about him. As long as your DD's number of wet diapers is fine, I wouldn't worry about her, and I wouldn't freak out. I just try to keep in mind that my DS is a person, just like me: some days I am more thirsty, some days I am more hungry, some days I'm not that hungry, and some days I am too busy or too involved in a project to eat much during the day, but I need a bigger snack at night to compensate. So it makes sense to me that DS goes through the same thing, and to me, it sounds like that is what your DD is doing: she is busy during the day and involved in something, but when she stops, she realizes she is hungry/thirsty and so she nurses well. I think Mommal is right, and you have the right attitude: just be cool with the drive-by nursings (think about it like when you just take a sip or two of your drink before going back to what you are doing), and keep nursing when she wants. Good luck, mama!
    First time mom to DS, born 2/21/2011.

    due with #2 6/26/2014

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    2,627

    Default Re: what does toddler feeding really look like?

    It really varies. I knew my daughter wasn't ready to wean at 2, she was still nursing about 8x/night around 18 mos or later, and now she's 3 and she nurses several times a day but just for a few seconds. When she was 2 she would lie down and nurse for longer (definitely when between 15-24 mos she'd have longer sessions). She talks about nursing so much and makes songs up about her "nums" and talks to them, I don't know when she'll be interested in completely weaning. Not this week.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    264

    Default Re: what does toddler feeding really look like?

    My son turned 3 in May and he still nurse a lot I think for as busy as he is! Always first thing in the morning, He hates breakfast and just wants "milky" after lunch, usually a fly by around 3 and for awhile at bedtime. He is now sleeping better at night just recently and is only nursing 2 times a night down from 4! I'm okay with it and most of the time still enjoy it. I ask him when he thought he wouldn't want "milky" anymore and his response was "Milky is my favorite and I'm going to drink it all up forever until it is all gone"! End of our discussion! Sometimes if he has a day here or there that he is playing with a friend or Daddy and doesn't nurse it is so strange. I don't know what counts, my son has always nursed for very short periods of time even 5 minutes as a neworn so i figure he is a pro now and 1 minute is probably all he needs. I know he is still getting quite a bit and try not to worry about what it now. It gets easier to not worry the longer they nurse. At a year old he was less interested sometimes due to just exploring and being distracted. I tried nuring in a dark room and where it was quiet and we got out of that stage.


    my name is Sarah mother to
    Alana 12/31/98
    Conner 5/30/09

    Breastfeeding 3 years and counting!

    Potty trained at 2 but kind of miss those cute CD's!

    "Of all the rights of women, the greastest is to be a mother." Lin Yutang

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
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    71

    Default Re: what does toddler feeding really look like?

    My DD is 12 months and will nurse 95% of the time dreamfeeding. She will latch and comfort nurse while awake but only drinks when I put her down for naps, bedtime, and overnight. She started this around 8 months. I believe it is normal. =)
    09-28-2011 VB (41 Weeks 1 Day) Breastfeeding 12 months & counting.

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