D.S. asks from Sterling Heights, MI on April 11, 2009
Any Mom's Still Breastfeeding Beyond Age 2?
Hi. My daughter recently turned 2, and is still breastfeeding. She's drinks cow's milk (mixed with breastmilk and alone as chocolate milk), but isn't that fond of it. Right now, she prefers to nurse. I think I read that most kids will self-wean around 2 1/2 to 3 years old. If you breastfed beyond age 2, did your toddler self wean and if so, when? Thanks
A.M. answers from Detroit on April 12, 2009
Neither of my kids self weaned. I weaned the first at 28 months because I had a new baby on the way. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't traumatic either. The second was much easier, at about 28 months too. I never had to give them chocolate milk. They liked the regular milk (organic though, without the steroids, hormones and antibiotics). Kudos to you for going this long! It's so great for her! She now has a great advantage in her intelligence and health!
H.B. answers from Detroit on April 12, 2009
My son was cut-off at 2, he was not happy. My daughter I tried to let self wean by only nursing when she requested, but she was over 3.5, and she still was not happy that I told her no more. She still asks a couple times a week, but we just weaned totally a month ago. She was 3 years 10 months. I think it is awesome that you made it this far. Breastfeeding has many benefits for both, and it is a big committment.
M.W. answers from Detroit on April 14, 2009
Hi D., Congratulations on nursing your little one so long. The benefits for you both will last a lifetime. I nursed both of my children until age 3. The past year was basically naps and before bed unless there was a need for comfort. Neither one of my little ones were willing to wean even at age 3 but my breasts had had enough and they needed to rely on themselves for self comfort instead of mom. I had to start telling them that my milk was all gone, we would just rock and cuddle instead. They would cry and pull at my clothes which lasted about a week but eventually they stopped asking. I would rock and sing to them for sleep time, they put their hands in my shirt for a long time which I didn't care because we were in our own home. Good luck on the weaning process. M.
J.W. answers from Detroit on April 14, 2009
My daughter turned 2 February 27th. She is still breastfeeding. I thought she would be tired of it by now but she still seems to love it. Usually just at nap and bed time. I just happened to get this link in one of my email newsletters (mothering magazine). There is a lot of great information on extended breastfeeding. It's not only great for the child but also for mom :)
C.M. answers from Detroit on April 12, 2009
D., First GOOD GOING keeping up the breastfeeding!!
I had one self wean at 15 months. Actually she broke my heart. One evening when we sat down to nurse before bed, she said "No way mom, put me in bed". That was the end of it :( My other daughter continued until she was 3. I followed the Le Leche League method, "Don't offer, don't refuse". She thought every time I sat down, it was time for "bits". I spent alot of time standing up and she didn't ask until I did sit down. She finally had better things to do and gave it up. It WAS time. Since she was basically in charge of it there was no problem. I didn't think there was any rush. They are little for such a short time! Savor it.
C.L. answers from Detroit on April 11, 2009
I'm still breastfeeding my toddler.. he's 26 months old. I've had friends that their toddler needed some help weaning.. they did the no ask no refuse which didn't work so well.. so they started offering substitutes and then would refuse. It got better and probably took them about 6 months to slowly wean like that.
If you'd like support with bf your toddler.. there's a Rochester La Leche League group for toddlers and the enrichment meetings there are moms with toddlers there as well.
In many other countries breastfeeding continues for even longer than 2 years and the World Health Organization recommends continuing to 2 years and beyond as mutually desired for both mom/baby.
As for my son, he'll need help weaning, but I'm not really in a rush.. but he has definetely gradually been cutting down since he turned 2 even.
S.S. answers from Saginaw on April 12, 2009
First let me say "kudos" to you for nursing this long. Most moms give up well before then. As a mommy of an "extended nurser", I think you should contact La Leche League and meet up with other moms who are extended nursing as well. They are a WEALTH OF INFORMATION on anything and everyhing, and if weaning truely is in your future, the moms and leaders of La Leche League can give you suggestion and support while doing this. I found it completely heart breaking when my daughter self weaned. We more or less did the "dont ask, don't offer" method. She really only asked when it was bedtime and maybe once or twice during the day for a minute or two. If you can hang in there, I would be all means!! Nursing is such a beautiful thing, dispite the "looks and comments". Be strong and know you are doing exactly what nature intended your breasts to do: nuture your child. Again, check out the La leche League website, and find a leader local to you. www.llli.org
D.S. answers from Grand Rapids on April 12, 2009
D., just wanted to say no , i did not but i wanted to tell you thats wonderful, you can do that for your child, and your child does that, i do know of a mom who breastfed for a longer period of time, like almost 4 years , it was not bad, but it was the need of the child older days they did that as well, its perfectly fine that you can do that , most kids wean themselves, and mostly they desire the attention it gives them, if you give them the needed attention usually they dont need that feeling of mom is giving me time, the freind i knew it was her youngest of 5 kids, so i can understand the childs need to have mom time, its ok and to the child they dont remember, most kids can wean themselves, with the help and support of their moms, its ok, keep up the good work, D. s
S.J. answers from Detroit on April 12, 2009
My daughter nursed until 2 1/2. She was only nursing at night and sometimes first thing in the morning by that point. It was part of our bedtime routine. I ended up encouraging her to wean because I was pregnant and during my first trimester the nipple stimulation made me so nauseated I couldn't do it anymore. I would just snuggle her with her head on my shoulder rather than in cradle position which she associated with nursing. She did fine with the wean. She will still occasionally ask for "Mommy milk" but I just explain that its all gone.
Kudos to you for sticking with it this long!