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Thread: Nursing/pumping 17-mo-old. Done pumping! Varied schedule ...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Nursing/pumping 17-mo-old. Done pumping! Varied schedule ...

    Hi mamas,

    I'm still nursing my 17-month-old and love it. But I finally started feeling the other day that I might be over the pump. I've been pumping for 17 months now and I'm just plain tired of it. And it would feel so good to do something for ME.

    The problem is that LO still nurses and I am not home consistently as I'm in grad school. I'm away from him 4 work days (home in the evening) and home with him 1 day plus weekends.

    He is VERY attached to nursing. Right now he nurses at wake, before and after nap, and at bed (with the occasional night-nurse session). Even if it is a day I am at work or school, I do the wake and bed nursings. I leave 5-6 oz for whoever is watching him during the day for the before/after nap bottle.

    It seems like it is a double issue - whether he is able to be put down for nap without milk (thinking about it seems impossible, though I'm sure he could adjust eventually ... right?!) AND also what happens if I don't pump. Typically I pump 3x on days I am away, and usually I make enough to replace the 5-6oz that I leave plus a little extra. Of course if I've been sick or not hydrated, I'll pump less.

    Any thoughts? I feel stuck.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Nursing/pumping 17-mo-old. Done pumping! Varied schedule

    If you are over the pump, you probably can gradually wean off the pump. Your baby can continue to nurse as much as you and he like.

    If you reduce pumping, you can expect your overall milk production to reduce some. But if baby is eager to nurse lots, that will help offset this problem. If you find it reducing too much, you can add back in pumping if needed. I think this is unlikely but it all depends on how mom's body responds to the reduced milk extraction.

    The biggest immediate issue is your own health and comfort if you are not nursing or pumping for many hours when your body is used to frequent milk removal. This is why the safest way to approach it is to gradually reduce pumping. You can reduce how often you pump, how long you pump each time, or both. Approaching reducing pumping gradually rather than cold turkey would also be a way to continue to leave a little milk for your baby for breastmilk bottles at nap time so those can also be gradually tapered off/ reduced in size.

    You and your caregiver can figure out a different nap routine when you are not there. When you are home, it would be fine to continue to nurse baby down for naps and bedtime.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Nursing/pumping 17-mo-old. Done pumping! Varied schedule

    with the above. One thing that's really hard to accept for most moms- me included, back in the day- is that when babies are tired, they nap, even if mom and her milk aren't available. It's like we're conditioned- the way we experience it, naps happen after nursing, and there seems to be no other effective way of making a nap happen. But toddlers only expect to nurse when mom is around, and you can trust the sitter or the daycare providers to find their own ways of getting your child to nap. On the rare occasion that I left my kids with someone else at naptime, I always came back to a sleeping baby. My mom would lie down with them, my husband would take them for a drive- it wasn't my way of getting the kids to sleep but it worked!

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