34 answers

Weaning Woes

I am still nursing my 18-month old 3 times a day. I'm really starting to get an earful from everyone about it. Our pediatrician said in not so many words that I should start weaning her. Nursing is so important to my daughter, I know it's a comfort thing for her and I don't know if I'm ready to give it up either......can anyone relate?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your encouraging advice! This is such a wonderful resource for mothers. I will continue to nurse my baby until she and I are both ready to wean. I am also starting to look around for another pediatrician. Thank you again! J.

More Answers

Hi Jenn,

Your pediatrician is not giving you the best advice about this. Unfortunately, pediatricians don't always have the best advice when it comes to breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for a minimum of 12 months and as long as is mutually desired by mother and child after that. The World Health organization recommends a minimum of 2 years. So at 18 months - it is completely normal for you to be breastfeeding your daughter. My son is 2.5 and nurses 1-3 times per day. At 18 months he was still nursing 6-8 times per day. Don't let anyone pressure you into doing something that you and your daughter are not ready to do. You will know when it is time. And if your daughter really needs it now, then it probably isn't time yet.

You are doing a great thing for your daughter! And you should be proud of it.

J.

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J.,

It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. The decision is between you & your child. My sister nursed all of her babies until they were 2 yrs. old. Stand your ground. If you need some back up, go to La Leche League (a group of mothers who promote nursing). There should be a group in your area. They will know the medical benefits of continuing!

L.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi, J.!
First of all, congrats on nusing for SO long! That is WONDERFUL! Good for you!
Second of all, as you well know, breastfeeding provides far more than just nutrition. It provides comfort, a sense of stability, protection against cancer & allergies and the best possible start in life. In addition, all of those immune-boosting properties actually INCREASE as your baby ages & takes in less milk so that it stays at a consistant level as when they were a newborn & taking in far more milk!

I am a big believer & supporter in child-led weaning. That being said, you need to do what's right for you & your family, however, if she still feels the need to nurse a few times a day & you're fine with it, then who cares what anybody else thinks? I mean, does society think twice when a 2 year old walks around with a bottle or pacifier? They're both subsitutes for the breast, so what's the difference?

I nursed my daughter till she weaned at about 22 mos. Now that I look back on it (she's 4 1/2 now), it was such a small part of her life that we were able to have that relationship. Having a 12 y.o., I'm sure you know where I'm coming from!

Unfortunately, most doctors know almost NOTHING about breastfeeding a baby in the first year of life, let alone about extended nursing! It's sad.

Have you looked at www.kellymom.com for info? That has got to be the best site ever!!!

Either way, I send you TONS of hugs & kudos! Good for you, momma! You do what's right for you & your daughter & forget anyone else! It has nothing to do with them!
Blessings,
A.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi J., I only nurse my 8 1/2 month old in the morning and pump the rest of the day since I work outside of the home Personally I've had about enough, but I keep telling myself it is a small price to pay to do what is best for my baby. So my hat's off to you for going strong for 18 months while working full time! As far as your pediatician telling you to start weaning, maybe he/she should talk to mine. My ped just told me the American Academy of Pediatrics now says it is benificial for brain development for a baby to be breastfed for two years not just one. So you do whatever makes you and your baby happy. You go girl!
T.

2 moms found this helpful

It surprises me your pediatrician is telling to wean since the World Health Organization recommends nursing for 2 years. If it's not bothering you, I wouldn't wean her until either you or her are ready. My sister has a similar situation with her 20 month old. Now she only breastfeeds her before naptime and bedtime.

2 moms found this helpful

Stand strong, ignore the comments, definitely ignore your doctor and do what is best for you and your baby!

When my first son was turning 1, my ped told me I had to stop nursing, put him in his own bed (crib) and start giving him time-outs. I was 19, I had no internet, I had no information to refute what he was saying even though it felt very wrong to me. But, of course, I did it. And it was AWFUL!! Definitely the worst thing I've ever consciously done as a parent. I vowed after doing that to him that I'd never again just blindly follow a doctor's advice on *anything*. (I also had my mother in law and mother telling me I "had" to wean as well). Of course, back then (1995), the American Assoc. of Peds said "there is no benefit to nursing beyond the first 6 months of life" so by going until 12 months, I was really causing my ped some stress! lol

Anyway, I nursed my 2nd son (and co-slept) until he was almost 3 years old. I now nurse and co-sleep with my 21 month old son with NO plans to stop either of these for at least another year (unless something happens between now and then).

If you and your child are still enjoying it, keep going! there is no going back, no regaining this time, no making her younger than she is right now - enjoy the bonding, enjoy the special relationship that stems from nursing, enjoy her baby/toddler-hood as long as you possibly can!!

2 moms found this helpful

I nursed my son until he was 16 months old. I to received a lot of flack about it.

Rather than listening to others, do what you think is the best for your daughter and you. If you are ready to cut back on the number of times a day or she starts to show a readiness to be done then do what you need to.

I applaude you that you have stuck with breast feeding for this long.

2 moms found this helpful

I nursed my daughter, my first born, for 16 months and my son for 2 years, and I would do it all over again. My son weaned himself about a week or 2 before he turned 2. My daughter I ended up weaning, very sadly, because of logistical issues; if I were to do it all over again, I would not have weaned her.

Do what you feel is right for your daughter. You are her parent, not everyone else. And maybe it's time to look for another pediatrician. I am shocked that a pediatrician would advise weaning. I would understand their supporting your decision to wean, but advocating it? My pediatrician's office, from the doctors to the nurses, were incredibly supportive of nursing.

Another avenue is to call a nursing mom's group for some support.

There always will be people who are ignorant of the benefits of nursing. These are the same people who might suggest you nurse in a disgusting ladies' room...as if they would eat their lunches there!

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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