Extended Nursing - What Do You Do?

Updated on August 17, 2008
D.C. asks from Long Beach, CA
4 answers

Hi Moms,
My daughter is 10 months old now, and the breastfeeding is going well. I'm going to make it to a year, yeah! I'm contemplating nursing past one year, and I'm wondering what your schedule looks like. Do you let your child nurse at every meal, or do you limit it to the first morning feeding and last evening feeding? I work, so I've been pumping three times a day for her bottles. Once she reaches 1 year old, I was thinking about cutting out the pumping during the day, but letting her nurse in the morning and at night, and during the day on the weekends if she'd like to.

My daughter only has her two bottom teeth, so biting hasn't been an issue yet. I'm planning on stopping either when she self-weans or when she starts biting, whichever comes first.

What can I do next?

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answers from Honolulu on

I did extended breastfeeding with my eldest... and let her self wean.

My eldest child self weaned at about 2.5 years old, my youngest child, my son, weaned at about by 1 year old (so this wasn't very long), but I did let him wean himself, I did not stop him.

For me, I breastfed after they woke up in the morning, before "solids", before naps, after naps, before bed, during the night IF they were "truly" hungry, and when they woke.

My Pediatrician, was very supportive that breastmilk was still prominent in their daily nutritional routine. MANY child development experts support extended breastfeeding. So don't get discouraged. My Hubby was also very supportive of extended breastfeeding our children, and in fact was very proud of the fact I believed in this.

For me, with my eldest child, I direct nursed throughout, no bottles. For my son, I used bottles and breast.

Throughout this, they MAY bite... but it stops. You just tell them "NO" and take it out of their mouth. They will learn. A baby will self-wean when they are ready. Each baby varies.

If you want to do extended breastfeeding... keep in mind that if you nurse AFTER solids... this is done to "wean" from breast... it makes them full and thus, they intake less breast afterward. And your breastmilk output will adjust. For me, I nursed BEFORE solids. *For the 1st year of life... breastmilk/formula is the PRIMARY source of nutrition for a baby.

As they get older, the frequency of nursings will naturally lessen. That is what happened in my case at least.

Good luck and no matter what, do what you feel is best...

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answers from Los Angeles on

Just let her nurse when she wants. She'll get most of her nutrition from table food but continuing to breastfeed would be great! I breastfed my first until 2+ and my second until 3. Every child is different as far as needs for nursing will go, especially as they get older. My son, between 2.5 - 3 nursed maybe once a day, and would even go up to 6 days of no nursing.

Best wishes,

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answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
Congrats on breastfeeding your daughter!
I breastfed my son until he was 18 months. It was so hard to wean him because he was so attached! It's hard to remember exactly what his schedule was like, but I know that the last few months he was just nursing in the early morning. He would wake up around 5:00am...way too early:) So I would bring him in bed, nurse him and we would both doze off.
I did not breastfeed him to sleep after 6 months old because I wanted him to go to bed awake (soothe himself to sleep)...so I nursed him a little earlier and the we played and I would put him down for bed when he was awake.
Once I did decide to wean him, it was tough for a couple mornings, but they he finally gave in and took his sippy cup.
Good luck and I think it's great that you want to continue breastfeeding!

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answers from Los Angeles on

OK, fellow extended nurser here - I nurse my kids for as long as they want.

Regarding biting - it is physically impossible for a baby to bite while nursing, if they are "actively" nursing, this is because their tounge is actually out, over their teeth while nursing. So, to keep her from biting, just watch and when she isn't actively feeding anymore, take her off the breast. Usually bites happen at the end of a nursing session, when they are done and just want to play.

Self-weaning typically happens at about 2 1/2, so be prepared for that if you are wanting to go until then - it is a lovely thing if you do.

At age 1, I typically start cutting back to what I call "comfort" nursing - which means at bedtime, during the night if needed, first thing in the morning, and during the day if I feel they need/want it. She will ask for it less and less as she eats more food and starts drinking cows milk from a cup at 1, so it really won't be an issue. I also stop pumping when I am away at about 1, and just figure - they get what they get at that point (and by the way - there will always be plenty - mother nature makes sure of that). So, if you decrease your nursings and then the baby gets sick, and you are nursing more, you'll make more, and vicea versa.

Good luck and enjoy your nursing experience!

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