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Thread: A couple questions about nursing an older toddler

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    36

    Default A couple questions about nursing an older toddler

    Hi Ladies. I have 38 month DD that I nurse in the morning and sometimes before naptime and before bed. My first question is how often do you guys nurse your older toddlers. I have ppl telling me I should start weaning etc cause my DD doesn't act like she will ever not want her "Nummies". She tells me "MMMM... I love my Nummies, they are delicious"... ha ha.. Hard to stop nursing when she loves it so much. I will be honest I don't enjoy it anymore because it hurts and its hard to get into a comfortable position holding a 3 year old on my lap like a baby. But I know its good for her and want to give it to her for awhile longer. I have pretty much weaned her off the naptime nursing. Sometimes she asks for it and sometimes she doesn't and when she does ask I tell her she can have it before bedtime at night. Kinda makes me feel bad if I don't give it to her at naptime, but alot of times when I nurse I feel tired of it and just want her to hurry up because of the discomfort. Does anyone else feel like this?
    My second question is about brushing teeth and nursing. I brush my DD teeth in the morning and then before bed I floss her teeth and brush them. Then she nurses and I rock her and lay her down. Her doctor told me that I should brush her teeth before nursing her. Do you think I need to do this or is it ok that I brush them before bed and then nurse her a little bit later.

    Thanks for reading this. :-)
    Mommy to Savannah Joy
    6-7-10

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,266

    Default Re: A couple questions about nursing an older toddler

    At that age, I was nursing just 1x per day. But older toddlers are all over the map when it comes to frequency- some kids are still nursing a lot, some are all but weaned.

    What you do about weaning is really up to you. If you are comfortable letting your LO set the schedule for her own weaning, there is no reason not to pursue a total "baby-led" approach. If you want to push the timeline a little, then there are things you can do, like setting limits on where, when, and how long your LO nurses. I personally liked the time limit approach- when my LOs wanted to nurse, I would let them, but only "until I finish signing Twinkle Twinkle" or only "until I count to 10." Those countdowns got pretty fast towards the end!

    I think that unless your LO has some sort of problem with her teeth- signs of decay, soft enamel, whatever- then it's okay to brush first and then nurse. The sugars in breastmilk aren't the ones that are associated with decay, and because milk doesn't pool in the mouth when a baby nurses, the sugars don't just sit up against the teeth.
    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
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    379

    Default Re: A couple questions about nursing an older toddler

    Does your daughter's sleeping arrangement allow for you to nurse lying down? If she doesn't rely on nursing to sleep, could you nurse on your bed, then let her settle by herself?

    This is just me spitballing, as my son is only 21mo.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,753

    Default Re: A couple questions about nursing an older toddler

    Anthropologist Kathly Dettwyler’s research suggests the 'natural' human weaning age is between 30 months and 7 years. http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.html (Not that lots of children these days are nursing until age 7.)

    It sounds as if you don't enjoy nursing, at least in part, because you are trying to nurse your almost three year old like a baby! Of course that is uncomfortable. At this age, your child can nurse lying down with you, standing in front of you, sitting straddling your leg facing you, sitting next to you....etc! I cannot possibly name all the ways a three year old can nurse. Three year olds can also be taught nursing 'manners,' too 'open wide' or nurse gently etc. so the latch does not hurt you. Nursing should no more hurt mom at age 3 years than at age 3 months.

    Weaning is a two way street, but only two. If you want to keep nursing and your daughter enjoys nursing, I would suggest not worrying about what other people think.

    At age 3, both of my sons nursed much more than 3 times a day. Of course you can gently encourage 'total' weaning but if nursing is already this infrequent, you are well on the way there. How much longer your child nurses if you do nothing to encourage weaning is unknowable. But even in that case, she WILL wean. Last I heard, no kid has ever been refused admission to college because they were still nursing.

    And yes, lots of moms (nursing or not) wish thier children would hurry up and go to sleep at nap and bedtime!

    your dental hygiene regime sounds great. There is no evidence that wiping/brushing teeth after nursing only (no other foods) is needed or improves outcomes. In other words, fine to brush at bedtime after her last meal of the day, and then nurse.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; July 23rd, 2013 at 01:38 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: A couple questions about nursing an older toddler

    Thank you everyone for your helpful responses. :-)
    Mommy to Savannah Joy
    6-7-10

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Piggott, AR
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: A couple questions about nursing an older toddler

    Just saw this post and offering my experience...my Mollie will be 4 next month and still nurses in the morning and at night, on weekends when I lay her down for nap, and occasionally in the afternoon and during the night (during the night - grrrrr)...she shows NO signs of stopping "I love my ninny". I too hold her like a baby when I nurse her on my lap, hanging off everywhere, but I lay down next to her at bedtime and naptime - that is MUCH easier. Mollie does the "open wide" - it's actually kinda scary when she comes at me with the whole front of her face open ! LOL! I hesitate to push the weaning because I am 42, she is my last baby, and when it is gone, it's gone...SOOOOOO, baby-led it is at our house!
    Lori -
    wife to Davis, my best friend and strongest supporter
    43 yo mom to 3

    Lee Allen Christopher - 19 - precious preemie , all grown up; BF 6 wks
    Connor Ethan - 13 - my red head , ALL boy, ALL the time; BF 14 mo
    Mollie Rhiannon - 5 - my surprise , more fun than I ever expected; BFing, no end in sight!!

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