Extended Breastfeeding Mothers

Updated on May 22, 2011
J.J. asks from Grover, MO
20 answers

What made you decide to breastfeed past a year old. My 10 month old is on breast and solids. I have started to think about if and when I want to switch him to whole milk. My other two children were only on breast for a couple months then went on formula and when they turned one i immediatlely switched to whole milk. Do you also offer whole milk or only breastmilk?

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answers from Los Angeles on

My first goal was 6 months. When I reached that and all was well, I moved that goal to a year. By the time I got there, I'd read that the World Health Organization recommends 2 years of breastfeeding. So we continued on as it was healthy for both of us and we enjoyed it. We finally finished up at 21 months and it was all very comfortable and easy. It was then that we switched to cow's milk. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat :)

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answers from New York on

I'm much like the other mom's. I planned to stop at 1 year, but she wasn't eating much solid food, and was very iffy on milk consumption. So I went to 13 months (which would have been 1 year per her original due date). Then she still didn't seem ready (as in screaming and crying if "mamas" were not available).

She's now 2 3/4, and I'm talking up the concept of weaning (growing up, being proud), because she's not showing any signs of self-weaning.

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answers from Washington DC on

My DD didn't take milk well. But more than that, she wasn't ready to fully wean and while we cut back, I was fine with nursing longer. I looked at her at 1 yr and realized she was still very young. Even though she did start taking a sippy cup and was off the bottle by 18 mo. or so, she nursed morning, nap and night. Slowly we cut back and lost morning, then nap and finally around 2.5, she stopped asking to nurse at night. It was partially encouraged by me at the end, and partially her own growth and development. I didn't start out saying I'd nurse that long, but I'm glad we got there. When she would take milk, I offered both. Whole milk and water (she didn't drink much juice) filled one need and nursing another.

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answers from Dayton on

What made me decide? There is no magical switch that is flipped and says 'I am not a baby anymore!' at 12 months...
My son will be 13mths. soon. He hasn't had any cow's milk yet. I don't know when I will give it to him. He eats yogurt and cheese and drink's coconut milk. I am not worried.
You certainly can offer whole milk. I did w/ my DD-but she wanted nothing to do w/ it. Still doesn't.
DS just weebled over to me now to climb up in my lap and wants to nurse. He is laughing and excited. It's precious. I couldn't take that away from him.

Listen to your babe. Follow your heart. :)

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answers from St. Louis on

I am right there with LeeLee. With my first, my goal was a minimum of 6 months. When I reached that, I realized how young my little girl still was and how somewhat easy this breastfeeding routine was, so we just kept going. At that point, we had such a good system down, why stop it? I also had heard about the World Health Recommendations, so I thought, why not see how long we can go. I was not comfortable going past 2 years old, but that is just my personal preference and I do not think negatively whatsoever of people who do. Just not for me. So, we went until 17 months with my daughter. We both were ok with stopping at that point.

I offered whole milk at one year, along with other solids of course, just like all the other one year olds. She just ate the breast in addition to those things, and the other things not as frequently.

I am on baby number 3 now, and I have been nursing him for 7 months. He has teeth a lot earlier than the other two kids, so we will see how long I can last! I have enough pumped for him to eat about 3 months past when I decide to stop. Such a rewarding experience! Good luck to you.

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answers from Chicago on

I have three children and I nursed them all until at least 18 months. Once they turned one, I did give them whole milk. I also nursed when they wanted to nurse. I mostly nursed before/after naps and bedtime and when they just wanted to be comforted. They all drank milk out of a sippy cup and ate solid foods. My kids were all pretty little, so I never worried about how much they were eating or drinking.

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answers from Phoenix on

I thought I would nurse just 6 mos. But the relationship was so established and easy, that I thought I'll go to 12 mos, then switch to whole milk. But by 12 mos. the BF relationship is so normal and natural that it was difficult to just say no at this artificial date. So I went 18 mos with baby #2, and really redirected his attention as I wanted to get pregnant again and did not want to be both pregnant and nursing as I was already 40. Then last baby nursed to about 3 years and I really had to encourage her to quit. She loved the comfort and closeness. It really helped soothe her. Both had whole milk offered at 12 mos, but neither cared for it. So I heated the milk with a little honey for my son and my daughter preferred soy milk.

GL! I sure miss those days!!

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answers from Honolulu on

I breastfed and my kids self-weaned.

My daughter self-weaned at about 2.5 years old.
My son self-weaned at about 1 year old.

Sure, at 6 months they were on solids.
At 1 year old, they were on whole milk.

My kids, had both whole milk and breastmilk.
They from 1 years old, was drinking and eating other things.
But they self-weaned from breast.
My choice to do self-weaning. And they self-weaned naturally. On their own.

Naturally, my kids, self-weaned. They are at breast, less and less frequently. Until they stopped. On their own.

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answers from Dallas on

My daughter is 16 months and I still nurse her when she wants too (which is all the time... little velcro baby). However she started drinking milk out of a cup at 12 months and has milk and water at daycare.

I think she mainly nurses to feel close with me - not for the nutrition.

One plus for breastfeeding - she has only been sick twice in her life!

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answers from Chicago on

I nursed until my twins were 15 months old. We did start offering whole milk as soon as the pediatrician gave the green light, but kept nursing a few times throughout the day. Honestly, I kept going because I didn't realize how easy it was to keep going. When we did finally wean it was because I picked up an additional position at work and had to go in earlier and stay later, which interfered with the only sessions left. Right after my babies turned one they both caught H1N1, and the only food/liquids they would take was breastmilk. It felt really good to know that I didn't have to worry about them when they were sick.


answers from Los Angeles on

My DD is 14 months. I nurse, am & pm, and she has goats milk in the day (she doesnt tolerate cows milk very well), along with our food at mealtimes & snacks. My goal, is 18 months, but I will nurse until the recommended age of 2 years, if she wants to continue. My 1st daughter, nursed until 6 months, 2nd, until 1 year, then onto regular cows milk.


answers from Lincoln on

I was going to wean her at a year - she's 20 months. She started whole milk at a year which she got in a tippy at daycare and evenings. But she has been a bear to try to night wean. She does ok during the day on weekends if we stay busy and I only give in if one of us isn't feeling well. I gradually mixed her whole milk with breastmilk until what i had in the freezer was gone. We cosleep until school's out and then I'll put her in her sister's room to see if that helps (haven't before because she's not a good sleeper and the older one needs better sleep for school).

thanks for all who shared your experiences - it makes me feel not so weird for not being done sooner! if that makes sense!


answers from Dallas on

My 20 month old son still wants to breastfeed. He's been on whole milk since he turned 12 months. I tried to stop bf at that same time however he wouldn't hear of it. So now he still does but just not as often. I don't plan on doing it once he turns 2 though. I would like to stop but he seems to still need it from time to time right now. I do wish he would start to self wean so it would be easier to stop.



answers from Detroit on

after they get on solids and start eating real food 3 meals a day.. the breastmilk is more comfort and relaxation for them.. I continued to nurse my son at naptime and bedtime till he was 3.

he drank cows milk out of a cup at meal time.. we never had an open nursing plan.. nursing was upstairs in his room in the rocking chair..

He is very healthy.. he gets colds but nothing worse than that.


answers from Tampa on

My child's needs is what was the deciding factor. She wanted to continue nursing and I saw no reason to deny her. I am a HUGE child led weaning advocate... and I felt allowing her to choose when to stop was an important part of her development process. Breastfeeding was very frustrating at times, and it took a good 2-3 months in the beginning to even get it to work.

It ended up being a lifesaver on more than one occassion... when she started daycare/PreK at just over 3 y/o - she never had any of those colds going around and had a 2 day bout of the rotavirus when other children in her class were out over a week and some needed to go to the hospital for IV fluids. It was also great for when she went thru her terrible 2's and 3's with melt downs and tantrums.

I did supplement with formula for a few months - but she always refused to drink it - so I guess formula wasn't used in actuality. She didn't start drinking milk (other than in food that required milk to cook) until she was 4 y/o and even then it was limited. We only drink organic milk and I think that makes a huge difference.



answers from Kansas City on

I liked it, I thought it was better for him, so I kept doing it. After a year though, he only nursed at night before bed, the rest of the time he got breastmilk in a cup, he needed to be on a cup then. ~15-18months i got sick of pumping and started supplementing in his cup, but still nursed at bedtime for about a month or so, then my supply was gone.



answers from Los Angeles on

My son finished weaning close to 2 years. I enjoyed nursing until a few months before 2 and then I was so done! Luckily he was too so it wasn't too hard to wean him, I did it real gradually. We started offering cows milk a little while after he turned one, but he wouldn't drink it until we were
done nursing for a while. He still doesn't love it but I cook his oatmeal in it, give him cheese, yogurt, so I don't worry about the milk. I've heard that some kids don't take to cows milk until after they have been weaned for a while, I guess breast milk tastes better!



answers from Chicago on

I planned on nursing to 12 months but I nursed until 20 :)
When my son turned a year old it wasn't like he knew he was a year old, so I figured I'ld start a slow wean. With dinner I gave him cows milk but I still nursed on demand whenever he wanted to. Around 14 or 15 months we were down to twice a day and he was acting more clingy than ever. He was drinkng and eating everything but he still needed his momma. He wanted to nurse more so I let him. Around 19 to 20 months we were back to nursing just once or twice a day and then he lost interest in it. There are times I would offer and he would tell me no.
All kids are different. Some are done with it at 9 months, some take 2 years (or more if you're willing). I just took my cues from him and I'm glad I did. In fact some nights I miss our sweet nursing cuddling sessions.



answers from Kansas City on

My son never had formula. He didn't have cow's milk until 18 months. I nursed and pumped for daycare until then. Then we went to breastmilk at home and whole milk at daycare for about anorher year. We dropped the mid-afternoon feeding first, then the one after nap, then morning, then the one before nap, then (last) the one right before bed. I can't remember when we began dropping feedings, but by 33 months, he was completely weaned. He is very healthy, is rarely sick (at 4yo, only like twice - EVER!), and is very secure and independent.


answers from Houston on

i weaned 1 week ago(my baby is 2 1/2), i was offering all kind of milk for over a year

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