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Thread: Baby Turning 1 and I'm Bewildered.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Baby Turning 1 and I'm Bewildered.

    I guess I only expected to nurse until she was one. I am very pro breastfeeding, but am surrounded by friends who formula fed. My mommy-baby group is now steadily weaning so every week another child is done. And I'm already getting the how is the weaning going questions from friends and family.

    But my dd doesn't seem to even really be cutting down. And I could really use a bit of cutting down! I don't pump for her for the 5 hours she's at daycare- she eats solids and drinks water. She loves eating solids, and still nurses at least every two hours while we are together if not more. I have been trying to cut out a night feed or two the last week with some success. I'd just like to sleep 5 hours straight.

    She's also pretty small. Just a little over 17 lbs now at 12 months.

    So I guess I'm feeling just confused. While I would like to do some pruning of our nursing sessions, I don't see her giving it up any time soon. But I feel like I don't even know what toddler nursing looks like. I am looking at being an extended nurser, and wondering what to expect.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Baby Turning 1 and I'm Bewildered.

    Toddler nursing is awesome! But after 1 it can be hard to put in a neat little box- there are toddlers who are nursing like newborns, there are toddlers who are nursing just a few times a day, there are moms who are desperate to be done, and moms who are desperate to continue... And everything in between! Here are 2 of my favorite extended nursing articles:
    Extended Breastfeeding's Benefits
    When to Wean

    I'm guessing that one reason your LO nurses so much at night is that she doesn't see you during the day. Night-nursing and reverse cycling is a classic way for a baby or toddler to reconnect with mom.

    I would not at all worry that your baby is small because you're nursing. Breastmilk is very high-calorie compared to most things that babies eat, so generally nursing helps babies gain weight.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Baby Turning 1 and I'm Bewildered.

    We've had real ups and downs with sleep, ranging from 5-7 hours at a stretch to DS being up every half hour

    What I've learned is that it really has no connection to his nutritional needs, so "training" him to not eat at night isn't a solution to the sleep issues. It's more about being comforted and reassured, often because of teething or a developmental milestone. While you can try to do that comforting by rocking and holding your LO, if she enjoys nursing, it's kind of the no-brainer fail-safe. My DS always settles down for at least a while when he's nursed. So it's something I'd be afraid to lose from my arsenal, kwim? And I agree that night is the time that he connects with me, after being apart during the work day, and I want to have that time of closeness with my little guy.

    As far as other parents, well, I've seen a lot of things, sometimes pretty shocking things, in the way that other people parent. I think of myself as maybe more "mindful" in the way that I parent, if that makes sense. Like, I'm not just aping what I see other people doing, I'm making decisions based on having reasoned out and thought through why I'm doing "x" and whether it's best for my son and our family.

    For example, we currently co-sleep. DH and I have talked about moving DS to his crib. One question is whether he might sleep better in his own bed. IF we do move him, that will be why we do it, because we've thought about it, thought about the effect it might have on DS, and have determined that it's the best course of action. We'll also be adaptable, so that if DS is crying a lot and doesn't want to be alone, we'll bring him back to our bed and try again at some point in the future when it seems to be more in line with DS's needs at that time. We wouldn't just kick the baby out of our bed because of peer pressure or culture or habit, even though we've gotten some pretty strong negative responses when other people, even our own families, have learned that DS sleeps with us.

    I think that most parents are not mindful. I see a lot of people who think that their kids are burdens on them, or who seem to set a lot of limits for how much time and attention their kids can have from them. At the end of our lives, when we look back at how we've lived, I'm not sure we're going to count "gave my kid less attention" as one of our positive accomplishments, kwim?

    One of the babies in daycare with my son has parents that make me He's 4 months old, with severe reflux, and is very small/thin (possibly because he's vomiting oh, about hourly all day and night?). They left to go on a week-long cruise without him. And I'm sure they thought nothing of it. And I'm sure that they have friends who have done the same. But all I could think is A 4 month old doesn't even understand that mommy and daddy are coming back, he's just in a panic because they're gone. This child seems to be in pain from the reflux, he's always all tense with his hands fisted and feet clenched, and mostly cries. I've heard his mom describe him as "grouchy." Well, yeah, you would be if your esophagus was all raw from vomiting all the time. Maybe mom should have some empathy for her child.

    I think that's what it boils down to for me. I can't know exactly what's going on in my son's head, and I obviously don't remember being that young. But I can try to have empathy for him, to imagine how decisions will effect him, and to keep that in mind when I make decisions. It may not be possible for me to do the very best thing for him all the time (for example, I have to work, and I believe that he would be better off if I could stay home with him). But when doing what makes him happy and is best for him is within the realm of possible, that's what I try to do.

    My son is 10 months old, so I'm not yet there, but I've really been moved by other moms' descriptions of nursing a toddler. It's a path that you chart between you and your LO. It does become an interplay between her needs and your own. Ultimately, while it seems that all of society has these expectations that you will follow the "rules" and wean at 1, I think the question for yourself is not "why aren't you stopping," but "why would I stop?"

    The natural duration of breastfeeding is anywhere from 2 years up to as much as 7 years in some cultures. But if you have to wean your child at a year, it's because she's not ready to stop nursing. A child will self-wean when she no longer needs to nurse. So deciding to wean is making a positive choice that is contrary to your child's own inclination, and to be mindful when making that choice, I think you need to have a reason for it that's more than peer pressure, though I get how incredibly intense that pressure really is.
    First-time mom to Little Manatee (1/7/2010)

    Nursed for 3 1/2 years!

    My little boy is my everything.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Baby Turning 1 and I'm Bewildered.

    Having had two very petite girls I feel very strongly that they really need mama's milk. My girls just didn't have the fat stores that a lot of other toddlers have and an illness can impact them. Breast milk not only has immune factors which help prevent/diminish illness, but is also full of good fat and calories which help keep them nourished and hydrated.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Baby Turning 1 and I'm Bewildered.

    I like what manatee said - ask yourself why you would stop. If those reasons are good enough for you - then by all means, wean. But if they're just not important - like people thinking it's weird, etc. - then keep on going.

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Portland, OR

    Default Re: Baby Turning 1 and I'm Bewildered.

    Your milk is far more nutritional for your toddler than cows milk, and your milk is designed for your baby and it is sanitary and it comforts them immensely through teething and developmental milestones. as far as night weaning goes it is your choice you can work on getting her to nurse less as long as she gets an adequate amount of milk while she is with you. Night Weaning Changing Sleep Patterns
    Last edited by @llli*laurak; November 4th, 2010 at 02:28 PM.
    Rosemary 9-16-09 9lbs 11oz 21inches
    Laura K - FT SAHM at 17 months! and still comfort nursing for sleep

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Baby Turning 1 and I'm Bewildered.

    I love nursing my toddler baby boy.

    I no longer pump at work, but the nursing in the evenings, nights, and mornings gives me lots of wonderful snuggle time with my baby - a special connection that he doesn't have with anyone else.

    Like you, the other members of my "mom's group" mostly weaned around a year, and by 18 months, I am the last one nursing. So far, I haven't had to defend my decision, except to say, "I love nursing Joe and don't want to quit" or joke, "It's the best diet ever! I'm never gonna quit!" or whatever. It hasn't been as big a deal as I expected. If you act like it's not a big deal, people around you may follow suit, or at least stay quiet.

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Southern Indiana

    Default Re: Baby Turning 1 and I'm Bewildered.

    I too have gotten comments from mine and dh's family about weaning. I just tell my family that my milk is made for her and she will quit when she is ready. My hubby defended me to his mom one night telling her she would stop by the time she's five!!! LOL I will nurse as long as she needs me to and that is just the way it will be.
    I serve an awsome God!!

    Bailee 9y

    JW 6y

    Liberty 3y

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Baby Turning 1 and I'm Bewildered.

    I think with the what to expect, I can say a couple of things. After a few more months, unless they see you nursing or you talk about it, people will assume she has weaned and the questions go by the way side. You might want to read, "How Weaning Happens." It is one of those books that you will probably read a couple of times and get something different each time. My first read through I did when DS was about one. It left me with the impression that nursing is truly a dance, especially the weaning process that can go on for years. Finding a balance that is comfortable for both
    of you is the real key to toddler nursing. You'll figure it out. We all do.
    DS 1/2006 9 lb. 2 oz. 22 in.
    DD 10/2008 8 lb, 2 oz. 20 in.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: Baby Turning 1 and I'm Bewildered.

    Thank you ladies for all your feedback. I did get "How Weaning Happens" from the library and am reading that. I have heard good things about "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler" too, is it worth it?

    I keep telling my friends who are asking "is she switched over to cows milk yet?" that it will take a long time and has to go slowly, might not be until 2. And we spend long periods of time at their house, so I can't get away with just not mentioning it. Though I try. But they will have to deal because its not about them, its about my dd and what she needs.

    She had her first birthday party yesterday and she did so well despite it being rather crowded and lots expected of her, and then she came home and wanted to nurse every hour all night long. She needed to reconnect, quiet her overloaded tummy, and be pacified. It was so sweet. I didn't mind at all.

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