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Thread: Help with a nursing 3 yr old

  1. #1

    Default Help with a nursing 3 yr old

    Hello,
    I was wondering what are some options for me. I have a very happy nursing 3 yr old. I was hoping to do the CTW, but I'm getting afraid he will NEVER want to quit. What have you experienced. I REALLY wanted his weaning to be his idea. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,349

    Default Re: Help with a nursing 3 yr old

    I don't have any experience here (my guy is 14mo), but I just finished Norma Jane Bumgarner's Mothering Your Nursing Toddler (great book!) and it had some interesting info about weaning. (http://store.llli.org/public/product/85) She also mentions this book (http://store.llli.org/public/product/56) a lot.
    Last edited by @llli*imma2nonstopaa; January 10th, 2009 at 09:41 PM. Reason: ETA: I see the second book is out of stock, but I found it here http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0912500549/ref=dp_olp_
    Imma to AA, born at home 11/12/07 , juggling , working, APing , cloth diapering , - and . I'm done - yay!

    http://bf.lilypie.com/KmpEm6.png

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,601

    Default Re: Help with a nursing 3 yr old

    I've got a 2 1/2 year old, I'm not sure how long he'll nurse. We're probably going to end up weaning with some nudging from me because of when he's nursing (at night!)

    I can promise that he won't nurse forever, I know you know that, but really this time won't last long. The average age for weaning I've heard/read is 3-5 years. While I'm not comfortable right now with the thought of nursing a 5 year old, I never thought I'd be nursing a 2 1/2 year old either!

    We've limited nursing time down to a few minutes at most on each side. He's got a horrible latch and it's irritating! You might consider setting more/different boundaries/limits to keep yourself from being overwhelmed with it.

    When I really feel like I can't nurse another minute I tell him. I say it hurts and he's got to give me a break. Or if he's nursing more than usual and I'm sore I ask him things like "do you love ba-ba?" "is ba-ba yummy?" "is that side chocolate or vanilla?" things like that remind me of his feelings about it too.

    ETA: I would like to point out that anyone who says nursing a toddler is for selfish reasons has NEVER nursed a toddler, it is such a selfless thing to do.
    Last edited by @llli*bunnyscooltes; January 10th, 2009 at 09:58 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Help with a nursing 3 yr old

    Hiya! Wheee something I CAN maybe help with! I just weaned my daughter about 6 weeks ago- she was 3 years and 10 months! I had thought it would NEVER happen! She LOVED nursing. She still asks sometimes, but she's not serious about it and hugging my breasts seems to make her happy. lol!

    Anyway, what I did was promote the idea of the weaning party AND (this is what finally worked in the end) the promise of a VERY SPECIAL GIFT (ok it's bribery!). Now we had tried the idea of the very special gift before, but she wasn't buying into it, so we dropped it. I'd talked about it again, and one Sunday evening, she nursed and then stopped and said 'I want a my little pony '(a very specific big my little pony). I said, 'ok, but no more den. AND you have to be without den for 2 weeks before you get your pony'. She didn't nurse for 2 days, then had to have it in the middle of the night. So I thought she wasn't ready to wean. She did every other day for a week and then stopped. Phew!
    Can I tell you something? It's been the BEST THING EVER for both of us! She's way more cuddly. I don't feel like she just loves me for my milk. She falls asleep SO much easier! And I thought I'd be forcing her to wean at the age of 5!!!

    I guess I feel like I had gently encouraged her. We had started with only nursing at home. At the age of 3, they can really understand limits that are placed on them. I also tried a lot of distraction techniques during the days.

    I wish you all the best on your journey! It WILL happen!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Help with a nursing 3 yr old

    its ok to set limits! SOmetimes just cuting out a feeding or two helps you feal beter.
    But if its not working for you its ok to wean!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Help with a nursing 3 yr old

    My DS will be 3 in March and he's still nursing in the middle of the night or right when we wake up. Strangely, he has started to go a day or so without asking for milk (I think he either forgets or I'm not around when he wakes up). We went two days and I thought "hurrah!" But on day 3, he asked like it was no big deal. I haven't talked about weaning with him but I DO want it to happen naturally and, hopefully, sooner rather than later. All total, we're talking less than 5 minutes a day, if that, so I think it's a comfort habit, not a nutrition thing. But when I think of potty training and getting him off the pacifier, it seems like weaning might be one thing too many. My only consolation for you is that he has lost a lot of interest in it himself, quite suddenly, over the past month. Maybe this will happen for you too!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help with a nursing 3 yr old

    I was nursing my son (2 years 8 months) and my daughter (8 months) and my son was nursing more, so I had to set some boundries. I started only nursing him in the morning, before and after nap and at night (unless he got hurt and needed comfort). If he asked more than that, I just would ask him if he wanted to sit on my lap and cuddle, or for me to read a book to him, etc. After awhile, he stopped asking, and then at bedtime, would want to cuddle instead of nursing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Good ole ATX y'all!
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    Default Re: Help with a nursing 3 yr old

    I nursed my ds1 for 3 years and 7 months and it was wonderful. At the end of it he was down to just the nursing to sleep at night. One day we had a discussion. We talked about all his favorite foods and how big he had gotten and we mutually decided we were done nursing. It was great, no fuss, no tears. A little sad for me but he started going right to sleep without it just books and cuddling like the pp's suggested. He did start to slip his hands up my shirt and grab for the boobs when he was tired or upset but never asked to nurse.

    Is your LO at a stage when you can talk and at least bring up the idea of letting nursing go? Maybe you can feel it out that way?

    Good luck mama!

    BTW my ds1 is now a fiercely independent 10 yo who makes great grades in school and has a wonderful and gentle loving spirit.

    Way to go on coming this far with your LO!!! You've set your LO up with a great start in life!!!!
    Jen - mom to 3
    DD who I FF
    I survived 10 painful mastitis infections and managed to nurse DS1 till he was 3 years and 7 months
    and now DS2 4 years now working on gentle weaning and


    "Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it can not be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues - faith and hope." Charles Dickens

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