45 answers

Extended Breastfeeding

Any other moms out there who have toddlers and are still breastfeeding? My son will be 3 in a few weeks and I think I am the only one on the planet still breastfeeding...he is of course eating solid food, but isn't much of an eater anyway. Anybody else out there w/this same issue? My plan was to let him wean himself, but now I find I'm "done" with breastfeeding. When I make efforts to wean, it's like World War III. Any tips or advice from people in the same boat is much appreciated.

3 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to everyone that chimed in on my extended breastfeeding question. I have decided to let him wean himself. In the last few weeks, I've been making the point to say that "boobies are for night night" and he seems to get that. I have also noticed that he wants to nurse usually just before or when trying to have a bowel movement, or just before bed. Talked to the pediatrician about this and we are going to go see a food/occupational therapist as my son has some serious food aversions and chewing issues. Posting this question her has made me focus my attention on the issue, and in doing so, I learned a lot about my son. Thanks again for all of your opinions and advice. I appreciate it!

Featured Answers

Well, I have suggestion: my rule is, if one of you is ready to quit breastfeeding, then it's time to let it go. My son breastfed until age three, then I gave him a "Bye Bye Baba," party. I talked about the party for two months & explained that I was running out of "baba" and that he drank it all up! But he was excited about the party (and the big red firetruck he was going to get) we slowly managed to work up to it & then it was a breeze. PS This technique was suggested to me by other Moms...

1 mom found this helpful

I had a friend with the same prob. She put bandaids on her nipples and showed her daughter that they were broken. It worked well.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, I breast fed my girl until she was 2 years and 3 months. she too, loved it and put up a fight everytime i made a effort to stop. I had to stop because i became pregnant again. For us, one day, i went to the dr.'s and she new about this visit, when i came home to her i said, "the Dr. says no more milkie" (or whatever you call it) And that night i stuck to it when it came down to feed, she agreed. It felt like a miracle, it was so easy. Perhaps she was just 'ready' whereas before she wasnt. Good luck. I commend you for keeping it up so long, so many moms quit so early..

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HI there. I went through this same thing with my daughter a few years back. (she just turned 7). She was approaching her second birthday, and it just hit me all at once, that I was DONE. I wanted my body back, but she LOVED nursing, and just refused to even consider that she would ever have to give it up. My sister in law told me something her pediatrician had told her, about putting a drop of pepperoncini juice on my nipple. I resisted that for awhile because it seemed cruel, but they assured me it would just make her not want it anymore. So I began telling my daughter how someday momma's milk would curdle, just like old milk in the refrigerator. Then about two weeks later, I tried it. She got the funniest look on her face, and was very sad, but I told her maybe the next day it would be better. We tried again the next morning, but mommy's milk was still bad. That was it. She couldn't blame me or fight it because she thought it was a normal process. :)

1 mom found this helpful

Well, I have suggestion: my rule is, if one of you is ready to quit breastfeeding, then it's time to let it go. My son breastfed until age three, then I gave him a "Bye Bye Baba," party. I talked about the party for two months & explained that I was running out of "baba" and that he drank it all up! But he was excited about the party (and the big red firetruck he was going to get) we slowly managed to work up to it & then it was a breeze. PS This technique was suggested to me by other Moms...

1 mom found this helpful

I had a friend with the same prob. She put bandaids on her nipples and showed her daughter that they were broken. It worked well.

1 mom found this helpful

HI, my son is now 8 and I breastfed him until he was almost 4. I had wanted to allow him to be the one to wean himself but losing our home and other stresses really took their toll on my health. I remember easing into the weaning by telling my son that my body was telling me that it is almost time to stop nursing. I think that went on for about a week (as I would still continue nursing). Then, one evening when I would normally nurse him to sleep, I told him that my body is telling me that it is now time to stop nursing. I described what I felt from my body and told him that it is a normal thing for mommas and babies to go through and that it doesn't mean that we can't snuggle, read and be close when he and I need it. He handled it very well by listening deeply and then saying, in essence, "ok".

Later, when I asked him around the age of 5 what he liked about nursing he said, "the taste!" and I also asked if he would have kept nursing if my body hadn't been done, and he said, "YES!" Later on at the age of around 7, he had a tooth pulled and he sat on my lap and lifted my shirt up like we used to do when he nursed. I was surprised and let him go on to see what would happen. He suckled for a few seconds and then stopped. It was such a sweet moment and I know that he must have really needed the comfort. That has happened one or two times since and I can see that sometimes it is good to be held like that in momma's arms and be comforted like no one else can comfort.

He is a confident child with lots of friends. He is helpful at home and nurturing (he'll offer to massage my back if I mention it is hurting... something I guess I've done for him). He's independent and curious.

In closing, I feel that nursing is a relationship and both the child's and mother's needs are important. By taking both into consideration, we can find a way to fulfill each other. Good luck!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

What a devoted mama you are! WIth both of mine I weaned them around 2.5 years. I was pregnant the first time, which made it a lot easier. With my son, my last baby, I did many things already suggested here: we cut down to the essential time (night time, for us), I verbally prepared him a week in advance and then every night until the last night, and then I wore a sports bra to sleep in for about a week and son slept with papa on the couch with a bottle of water. It actually worked really well! The other thing I did with both kiddos was to make up a song about the "tee-tee" (for my daughter) and the "na-na" for my son. It went something like this, ususally when they were climbing on me and pulling on my shirt: "The na-na is night night, the na-na is sleeping. The na-na is all gone, the na-na is dreaming. Good-bye, na-na, Good-bye na-na. Now I go night-night, now I am dreaming."

Best wishes to you and your son!

-C

1 mom found this helpful

God made you the mother. He may not want to wean because it is his first contact/security. You would do well to mimic the br. feeding with position and substitute sippy cup or pacifier for a while to let him know that you are not punishing him or going away. He is also old enough to understand if you tell him that he is too big boy for this and he needs to move to the next "stage". You need to believe it and stick with it to support him thru the transition. Good luck.

I also nursed my daughter until she was almost 3. She also wasn't a big eater. I wanted her to wean on her own, but I had to help her along. I set dates and told her that we would stop nursing after a certain day. First we got rid of the middle of the night nursings. I would give her a little prize if she made it all night. Several months passed and we stopped the one right before going to bed. It took some time, but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. You should check out "The Nursing Mother's Guide to Weaning" by Kathleen Huggins. Good for you for going for the extended breastfeeding. Good luck!

I've had very few friends who breastfed for an extended period of time, but those who have recommended the following tips about weaning. First of all talk to your son - at age 3, he can understand more than a younger child would. You should tell him a certain cut-off time that he will no longer be able to breastfeed. Some have even tried putting Band-aids on their breasts and telling their children "Mommy has an owie". You should be able to explain to him, though, that your breasts belong to you, that this is your body, and that you want your breasts back again. And don't be tempted to give in to tantrums. If you do, you will be teaching a much bigger lesson - that tantrums work. Best of luck to you!

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