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Thread: want to nurse toddler

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    317

    Default want to nurse toddler

    I wasn't too sure where to post so here I am. I have a 7 month dd that is exclusively bf and a 25 month ds who got formula in the very beginning (NICU) and at the end (milk supply issues). Since dd has been born ds wants to nurse every so often, I have no problems with it as I had wanted to bf until 3 years with him and would like to do the same with dd. When he does nurse during the day, he doesn't really nurse very well. He will crawl into my lap, pat my breast and tell me he wants "mommy juice". I offer him my breast and he will suck a few sec, get a letdown started and get down, leaving me leaking. At night I sleep topless so that dd can latch on whenever she gets hungry (we cosleep) and sometimes I wake up with her on the breast closer to her and him coming over my side on the other. When that happens he is asleep and actually nurses through a let down. I want to encourage him to continue nursing but don't know what to do about during the day when he wants to nurse then stops. How do I get him to nurse like he does at night? Also, I don't have that great of a supply. It isn't low or anything, when dd is with me she is always content after a feeding but I can't pump enough for her bottles at school and mix some of my sister's ebm (her dd is 7 weeks younger than mine and she gushes milk). Is there some way I can get supply to where I can nurse both dd and ds without ds taking too much milk away from dd? I know that there are several things in here, I hope it isn't too garbled and makes sense!
    Amanda Mom to James (2/25/04) and nursling Alice (8/24/05)

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    1,551

    Default Re: want to nurse toddler

    Hi Amanda,
    I replied to your other post.
    Mary

  3. #3
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    Apr 2006
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    Arrow Re: want to nurse toddler

    I have a similar situation, I too want to bf my toddler who's is 3 1/2. I stopped bf at 5 months (i was in the military and do to my job I quit). I always felt bad, I really didn't wanted to break that bonding. I have a 10 1/2 month old now, exclusively bf, and at the beginning my daughter wanted to bf too and try every now and then now. She doesn't latch properly and don't think she can get anything out, but I want to create that old bond again, she sometimes recent when I feed my son, she would try to get him out of my breast, especially those first few months. She is getting better but I still would like to bf again, I know it will bring us closer (she's kind of distance to me, since we separated a lot for her first 3 years, I recently got out of the military), I want to show her how special she is too me even though baby consume most of my time. Any help on how can I teach her to nurse again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    683

    Default Re: want to nurse toddler

    Hi there, Mami Kathy ~

    You might just want to start out by allowing your 3 1/2 year old to simply rest her head on your bare breast. At 3 1/2, it can be difficult to teach her how to latch on properly -- but she may very well model you if you just show her how. Even my 2 year old knows how to open wide when I tell her to do so. At 3 1/2, your daughter can probably figure it out with a little instruction from you. You'll need to show her that her tongue needs to be out and hopefully she'll get the concept of sucking. Does she want to nurse? I'd definately gently suggest to her that it's okay if she wants to and if she asks, then that's even better.

    That said, there are other ways to encourage closeness and attachment to you too - sometimes just putting the baby in the sling and getting down on the floor for a few minutes with your older child can be wonderful. Read to her or play a game with her. When baby is napping, take advantage of that time by doing something special with your toddler, even if it's sitting in the chair, rocking and watching Sesame Street together!

    I can really relate to you being in the military -- I was in for 5 1/2 years myself. I was in the Air Force and while they made it fairly easy on me to pump for a few months, shortly thereafter I retrained and was in tech school -- I could not pump during that time and as a result, my breastfeeding relationship with my first child was cut short. Try not to feel bad about it though -- you did the best you could with the resources at hand. And hey, nursing for 5 months is better than nothing!

    I hope this helps!

  5. #5
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: want to nurse toddler

    Thanks so much for the reply, I sure hope I can nurse her again, if not at least I try. Is cool to know you were in the military too, I did 5 years in the Marines.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    130

    Default Re: want to nurse toddler

    Hi Mami Kathy
    Well, LLLCarol just told you everything I would have suggested. It's very possible your daughter has forgotten how to nurse, and I don't know if she will re-learn. But, you can still have close cuddle/attention time with her. If your concern is about the nutrition and health aspects of breastmilk, I've known mothers who will express some milk and give it to their older child(ren), especially if one is sick or has been exposed to an illness. Some moms "hide" the milk in smoothies.

    Another possible way to re-connect and develop a closer bond with your daughter is through play. I'm currently reading "Playful Parenting" by Lawrence Cohen and can hardly put it down (except to read message boards ). Here is the information from the LLL Bibliography:
    Cohen, Lawrence
    PLAYFUL PARENTING: A Bold New Way to Nurture Close Connections, Solve Behavior Problems and Encourage Children's Confidence
    Ballentine, 2001
    How many times have you heard (or uttered) the phrase "They're just playing"? According to Dr. Cohen, there's no "just" about it. He asserts that play is a child's medium for nonverbal communication. Instead of dismissing children's play, he suggests that parents should join their children on the floor and help them explore the feelings of isolation and powerlessness that seem to be at the heart of much play. Cohen offers practical tools to incorporate play in your parenting style: follow their lead, help them try out new roles, empower girls and connect with boys, channel games that children love and parents "hate," and how to overcome parental awkwardness at play. His chapters on discipline and sibling rivalry offer a fresh look at age-old topics. (Reviewed in LEAVEN, Aug-Sept 2002; Featured in NEW BEGINNINGS Nov-Dec 2002).
    Available from LLLI

    Don't beat yourself up for weaning at 5 months. We all do the best we can in the circumstances we find ourselves. I get frustrated with mothers in my area who quit nursing after 2 or 3 months because they think it's such a bother-- having to pay attention to their baby all the time. You know the relationship you want to have, and you can find a way to create it. It might be through breastfeeding, it might be some other way. But, you know that relationship is important. You have a lucky daughter!
    Dawn

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