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Thread: 21mos, survival from strike, kind of lost

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    10

    Default 21mos, survival from strike, kind of lost

    Hi.
    I am currently nursing my 21mos old. I have heard that toddler nursing varies greatly from couple to couple, and at the end it's all up to instinct, but kind of want some advice anyways.
    Don't offer don't refuse is often referred to as a weaning technique. My question is, if so, what would be a more natural/neutral, or a "non-weaning" stance on breastfeeding, especially a toddler? Offer and don't refuse?
    Where this comes from is, we have just recovered(?) from a week long strike. Strike struck me hard and I was an emotional mess, but thanks to the forum we made it through and now we are almost back to normal with a few changes. But "offering" has now become a part of my routine(that was the only thing I did during the strike! )and I don't know when or whether to end it. Before the strike it was don't offer don't refuse, and we still had 5-10 sessions a day. Now that I've actually witnessed/experienced my LO doesn't really need and can live without those feeds, it feels kind of weird to offer. After all, I have never actively offered throughout our BF relationship, up until this strike.
    I am a dedicated SAHM, enjoy and want to continue BF as long as we can.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: 21mos, survival from strike, kind of lost

    But "offering" has now become a part of my routine(that was the only thing I did during the strike! )and I don't know when or whether to end it. Before the strike it was don't offer don't refuse, and we still had 5-10 sessions a day. Now that I've actually witnessed/experienced my LO doesn't really need and can live without those feeds, it feels kind of weird to offer. After all, I have never actively offered throughout our BF relationship, up until this strike.
    Here are my thoughts based on my experience-
    Nursing is not only about eating. As a child gets older and begins to eat more volume and variety of other foods, they naturally need breastmilk itself less and less (although logically we can assume breastmilk is always good for the child, it is a perfect food that would be "good for" anyone at any age.)

    But what nursing is still important for (as well as nutrition and immunity protection) is comfort. A mother nursing her child is positive and comforting physical contact, and that is something everyone needs. If your child stopped asking to hug you, my guess is you would offer to hug, or ask for a hug because YOU want a hug. To me, offering to nurse a nursing child is no different.

    You never needed to offer before, but maybe you do now. It is common that kids get busy and basically forget to nurse.

    Kids do tend to go through periods where they get busy and do not ask to nurse as much. So even though your child did not need "reminding" before, they may now. The reason people say "don't offer" is a weaning strategy is because it really works as such. Breastfeeding is something done by two people, and like anything else done by two people, either participant can initiate the contact and if both are initiating, it will probably continue to happen longer than if only one is initiating.

    Many breastfeeding sources talk about limiting nursing at this age. This is advice for mothers who WISH to limit nursing or are wanting to move the weaning process along to "the end" faster. There is no requirement to do this. Encouraged or not, weaning is already happening, that process started as soon as your baby started eating other foods.

    In my personal experience, my kids asked to nurse frequently and I offered to nurse well past this age. Limits set were situational. For example if they wanted to nurse while in a store, and I preferred we wait until we were in the car, we waited until we were in the car. Same with asking while I was in the middle of fixing dinner or whatever. So if the situation demanded it, I would delay the session, but only as needed and I decided if it was needed or not.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; September 16th, 2017 at 10:12 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: 21mos, survival from strike, kind of lost

    Congratulations on surviving the strike and persevering through it! I offer to nurse even at 4! Mind you, not often, but still. I think it's a good thing to offer to nurse a child and I hope it's something that YOU feel good about. I don't think you ever have to stop offering, especially when your not ready to wean. Nursing is a two-way street. It meets my needs for closeness as much as his.

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