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Thread: When is it time to stop? Sniffle...

  1. #1

    Default When is it time to stop? Sniffle...

    I Know this is a big question (and a very personal choice), but it's one that's been coming up a lot of late. My little guy is now closer to a preschooler than a toddler anymore. Sigh. He turns 3 at the end of August 2009...and I'm struggling with the idea of giving up nursing.

    I'm quite happy with our nursing relationship, but I'm getting the gears from my hubby, and I must say, I feel rather odd "admitting" to others that I'm still nursing my sweet boy. Hubby's pushing for a 3 year B-Day deadline, but it makes me pretty unhappy to think of this wonderful aspect of my relationship with my dear little boy coming to a close...and so finally. Perhaps it's more painful since he's most likely going to be my only child.

    So what do you all think about nursing past 3? Is it too odd to contemplate for most moms?

    I'm so torn.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: When is it time to stop? Sniffle...

    Nursing past three? If it works for you and your family, then go for it! I nursed my DD until she was 3 years and a couple months- and then she weaned herself (more or less- I gave her a few little pushes). You might be interested in this article: When to Wean by Katherine Dettwyler. It talks about what the natural (as opposed to cultural) age of weaning is.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: When is it time to stop? Sniffle...

    yup my dd nursed past her 4th birthday.
    At that point it was only to go to bed at night.
    How often would you say your son is nursing in 24 hours.
    If it's not working for you anymore you can set more limits.
    I found that after she turned 3 nobody and I mean nobody asked about it anymore
    they just assumed that she was weaned, its not something that you have to share anyways
    its a private thing between you and your child

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Good ole ATX y'all!

    Default Re: When is it time to stop? Sniffle...

    Yeah, with DS1 we went to 3yrs 7 mo and then we agreed together that we would stop. But I truly felt like I was done then.

    If you want to wean him maybe start laying the ground work with him now. Introduce to him the idea that there will come a time when he won't nurse anymore. There is lots of great info in the book "How Weaning Happens" by Diane Bengson and there is info on nursing past 3, 4, 5 and beyond in the book "Mothering You Nursing Toddler" by Norma Jane Bumgarner. These books really helped me.

    If you don't want to wean yet talk to your husband and tell him how you feel and why. There is lots of great info out there on the benefits of nursing older toddlers and even preschoolers to back you up.

    Or make a compromise and pare the nursing sessions with your son down to the "essentials" like bedtime and morning or when ever your son really seems to need them.

    For the last year or so DS1 and I only nursed at night and when he really needed comforting though never in public. It helped make it more "acceptable" to others who were uncomfortable with nursing an older child.

    AND congrats for making it to 3 years!!!! Wonderful!!
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Victoria, BC, Canada

    Default Re: When is it time to stop? Sniffle...

    Sounds like you want to keep going and its your husband that is giving you pressure to stop.

    Its time to stop when you want to. I know several people who nursed their kids longer than 3 y/o, so that is totally normal. They nursed their kids until 5, 6, 7. I can think of a couple really big advantages to continuing breastfeeding. One is cold/flu season. Another is it makes parenting easier. A great way to soothe your child during the day and if they wake in the middle of the night, an easy way to get them back to sleep.

    How often does your LO nurse? Is there a specific reason why your husband thinks you should stop. Like is he feeling embarassed in public or is he getting pressure from his family? All-night nursing, that sort of thing?
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: When is it time to stop? Sniffle...

    My DD turns 3 in like 10 days, so i know some of what you are going through. DH. however, is very supportive and never says anything except how healthy our children are. *haha*

    I have actually set a personal goal to wean DD by Christmas. She will be 3 1/2 then. I'm not sure how I am going to do this though since she loves nursing.

    I would do what your instint/gut tells you to do. But either way - it is a very hard decision.

  7. #7

    Default Re: When is it time to stop? Sniffle...

    We're coming up on the third birthday too - and I'm so ready for it to be done, but he's definitely not. I'm just hoping that something magical happens and he doesn't want to anymore. I discourage, I distract, but in the end, if he really wants to nurse, I let him.

    It's really between you and your child. My husband thinks I'm nuts, but knows that it's not his decision.
    Mom to Jessica (2/7/03) breastfed for 8 months
    Sam (7/6/06) breastfed for three years, five months, two weeks and three days (not that I was counting or anything :-)
    Julianna (4/29/10) struggled thru nursing strike, nipple confusion, thrush, multiple cracks and fissures, a staph infection and then another bout of thrush, but happily nursing away

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Durham, NC

    Default Re: When is it time to stop? Sniffle...

    My DS1 turned 3 about 2 weeks ago. He's still going. Now he has a little brother as well, nearly one month old. So I kinda feel like it will be harder to wean DS1 b/c he'll see DS2 nursing all the time. So far it's ok but I do have moments where I secretly wish for a break or to fit into some non nursing bras LOL. Anyway, for us... it's not time to wean yet but we have had several conversations about how there will be a day when he will no longer need to nurse and that will be ok.

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