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Thinking About Nursing a Toddler?
~ A Message Board Archive
From AmyD ~ Once a baby hits one, it seems that if they are still nursing, this hush falls. I for one LOVE nursing my toddler! Maybe some of us that have been there can share so that the mommies out there who are making their decisions "when to wean" can know just how wonderful nursing a toddler can be!
I think that my very favorite thing about nursing Elisabeth at this point is the relationship that it has engendered between us. There is such an incredibly strong connection that I can barely explain. I am her touchstone. She goes about her day learning, growing and exploring but always comes back for some cuddling and nursing time. It is almost in the best sense the way that we communicate our love for one another and it simply moves me to tears sometimes.
Anybody else want to share?
From Emama ~ Emmett turned one just two days ago and is only beginning to toddle, but nursing him really is different from a newborn. I think it's really funny, for one. What I mean is, now he does weird gymnastics (nursing in the tub, nursing standing up, really lunging and holding on with both hands). And I also like that it's a special time together. He's waking up less at night (only woke up twice last night!) but I find, to my shock, that I'm not looking forward to sleeping through the night, because I really like nursing him in the middle of the night, just rolling over to be with him. If anyone had told me nine or ten months ago that I'd like the night nursings, I'd have thought they were out of their mind, but the closeness is just as good now as it was before.
From luv2beemom ~ I nursed Rachel until she was over two, and looking back, those nursing sessions were sooooo memorable. I can close my eyes and still see her there with her big brown eyes looking up at me and then she would release and say "thanks for ummies, mommy." It got to the point where with some people, we would no longer let it be known that we were still nursing . . . it was a private thing. But let me tell you, those were some very sweet times. I hope Fox nurses at least that long.
From ShelleyJ ~ I'm nursing my toddler right now, and I'm 29 weeks pregnant! The bond that nursing past a year creates is amazing--much different than nursing an infant. Granted, there are times when I despair that TJ will EVER be ready to wean, but then I stop and realize how lucky I am that he and I still share this special bond. TJ loves to nurse, and he asks for it by name, "ma-milk, ma-milk", LOL. He's a momma's boy for sure!
From hedra ~ Yeah, my son was very shy nursing as a baby--he never made eye contact! Once he was older, while he still found it a bit intrusive at times to have me watching him all the time (he'd reach up and push on my chin to get me to turn my head away), he also would directly interact far more often, and with greater complexity. And he really loved how 'lala' tasted, and would tell me so (Lala's YUMMMMMMMMMMMMM).
Without extended nursing, breastfeeding would have been more of a so-so experience for me. We just didn't have much 'special' in that infant stage, and most of the really great moments were after 14 months or so. Plus, most of the emergency and health use was later, too (like, stomach flu at 13 months, when he wouldn't eat any solids for days on end).
And heck, it built up a habit of slowing down, snuggling, and connecting. He's getting on toward four years old and still likes to climb up on my lap and snuggle in a nursing position, with his head on my arm and his cheek against my breast. Though he has to curl up a lot more to keep from sliding off my lap!
From Raven ~ I'm due with #2 in the next three weeks, and my son will turn 14 months tomorrow. He's been nursing since the day he was born. In the beginning it was hard to handle a clingy little one who wanted to do nothing but nurse 24/7. But as he has grown and become more independent, nursing has become a very special thing for us. If I haven't noticed that he wants to nurse he will come up to me and either point to, or pat one of my boobs. It's fun at night when he's falling asleep to recite his favorite board book to him as he snuggles close and nurses to sleep. I'm hoping that our new little one will do the same.
From SusanH ~ I don't know how anyone makes it through the toddler years without breastfeeding! Nothing works faster on a hyper, overstimulated toddler than a quick nurse. I'm always amazed that people recommend weaning to "give the mother a break". Nursing is one of my secret weapons! I do think that there is an emotional bond that is very difficult to understand unless you have experienced it yourself. It's hard to describe, but I feel like there is an added dimension to our relationship that comes from nursing.
From djk42 ~ I still wonder how I'm going to get the kids to sleep at night once they wean. *lol* I expected to be done by now (with Aren) but he still needs me (since we started potty training he has asked to nurse twice a day instead of once). It is nice to be needed, even at 4am.
From abuddi ~ Jasmine is 17 months and still nurses once or twice at night. There have also been an occasion or two were I had to nurse her to settle her down after coming home from work. She loves to nurse and I love nursing her. Even when she doesn't nurse to sleep, she always has to have her hand on my breast or else she can't sleep. As far as independence, people tell me I how independent she is, so that tells me that those who think extended nursing will make them more dependent are wrong.
From LisaJo ~ Susan took the words right out of my mouth! Toddlerhood can be a very challenging time, and to be able to sit for a nursing break saved my sanity many many times with my son. Also there is no greater comfort for boo-boos than a quick refill at mom's breast. When they are sick, it's nice to know you can provide hydration, nourishment, and comfort all in one package. (Pedialyte--what's that? Don't need it.)
For me it was a special way to stay connected with my son. When he was 2 or so he started having overnight stays at Grandma's, and we could just pick right back up with nursing afterwards. It was nice to have the freedom to have a weekend away with DH and yet not give up the nursing bond.
Nursing a toddler is just plain fun! Natalie just turned one, and her way of asking to nurse is a sound sort of like "ah ah ah", but said in a whisper (try it and you'll see how it sounds ). When she is finished she'll sit up, pull down my shirt and say "all done". It's adorable!
When Natalie is tired and grouchy, my heart just fills to see what a comfort nursing is to her. At nap and bedtimes she just flings herself back onto the bed and wriggles around happily till I lay down next to her. There is nothing that can compare with that! It's pure joy to be able to provide that kind of happiness to my kids.
From mom2jazzygirl ~ My daughter weaned herself at 19 months when I was 5 months pregnant. It was the hardest thing in the world for both of us. Suddenly, there was no quick emotional fix to help her when she was upset. There was no easy way to put her to sleep at night, especially if we weren't at home. Before that day when she up and decided she was done (went from 6 sessions a day to nothing overnight), helping her through the toddler problems was such a breeze. After that, it was a lot more challenging. At 29 months, I am finally starting to feel like we are back to that emotional security she felt when she was nursing again. Of course, that is fueled by an occasional snack back at the breast that her brother is now nursing from!
I guess the biggest reason I LOVED nursing my toddler was that I could see how secure it made her feel. She has always been such an independent little go-getter and nursing kept her grounded. I liked having that for her, and I expect her brother will be there too very soon.
From Gayesy ~ Nursing Thomas through toddlerdom has been probably the greatest joys of my life. I never expected to nurse him past 12 months, but once I saw how important it was to him, and how much I enjoyed it, we just kept on going.
It helped with naps, was the best way to comfort him when he was sick or had fallen over and hurt himself, calmed a tantrum, meant that I never worried about his food intake because I knew he was getting the best possible nutrition at the breast, and was an amazing way for him to feel centred and loved.
As Susan has said, I honestly do not know how I would have got through the years without nursing Thomas. How would I have got him off to sleep for example? It gives me great joy that Thomas has been able to nurse until he has had his fill. I am not 100% sure whether he is finished just yet, but he can go for weeks now between sucks. I know that he will grow up with a healthy respect of women, will not be one of the many men who sees women's breasts as sexual objects, and that he will be very supportive of his own children being breastfed. He is a happy, confident little man, and I believe that is largely due to the nursing.
From Ramona ~ Grace is 12.5 months old now and nursing allows us to reconnect and to enjoy one another's closeness. Cute story from yesterday. Grace was playing and she was heading toward my grandma's plant. I got her attention and told her not to play with the plant. And she listened to me, and cried because she couldn't play with the plant. After she was done crying, she came over to me for a little cuddle and a nip.
From Cararocky ~ Lots of comfort and at almost 5 years old, it's still the best and easiest way to get her to fall asleep at night
From PattiS ~ My son is 9 months old and I definitely plan on nursing him as long as he wants. I wonder why some don't understand why we would nurse a toddler. I've seen 4-year-olds with bottles so why is a breast (the real thing) so hard to comprehend? There are a lot of really good reasons for nursing a toddler, but my favorite is the fact that many toddlers eat so unpredictably. You know 3 beans and 1/2 a piece of cheese for lunch? A little nursing is perfect to round out the nutrition and make sure they get adequate calories.
Another great reason is that nursing helps a toddler or preschooler with a time in their lives that is full of change. No matter what else changes, mommy's milk is going to be there for awhile. That is a very positive and consistent message to send to our children.
From Rainey ~ My son is 15 months and still going strong. This last weekend we went camping with some friends, and it was so nice to be able to nurse. It calmed him right down when he got over-stimulated, and although I know he didn't eat a whole lot of our food, I knew he was getting all the nutrition he needed through my milk. Plus it's a nice snuggle-break for a kid who is going a mile a minute all day long. Very different from that newborn babe-in-arms stage where they would cuddle with you all day long. It gives us some quiet time to chill out and just hang out together for a few minutes. Never thought I'd make it this far, but now I wouldn't change it for the world!
From emmabsmom ~ I agree with Ashlee. The only real cuddling I get is while she's nursing. Lately, I have felt pressured by family members to wean her. However, she is very passionate about it. I have since decided that she will stop when she's ready. I never would have believed you if you told me a year ago that I would be one of those moms. But now I am proud to say that I still nurse my beautiful, happy, healthy, amazingly smart daughter. This is a time that we will both cherish for the rest of our lives.
From Kathi ~ It was so sweet to read through this thread and remember nursing Josh. I really, really miss that (sitting here pumping at the computer as usual). I have known all along that I am missing something this time with Matthew not being able to nurse but reading this really made it hit home. At the same time I am still glad I read it and remember how cute it was when Josh would be at his most charming and say to me "Mommy, I want milk" while raising his eyebrows. It was too cute for words. I can hardly believe Josh will be 5 on Monday! He weaned between 3 1/2 and 3 3/4 and although he asked once after Matthew was born and since he didn't really remember how to latch that was that.
From Nette34 ~ Jolene is 16 months and going strong. I almost thought of weaning her so I could get AF back. ( I am wanting to get pregnant again) But AF has shown back up and there is no reason why we can't nurse until she decides to quit. I love it. I actually thought I would be done by now but I don't want to stop and neither does Jolene.
~ Just a little note. My sister is nursing her 3 year old and he doesn't want to stop! And I don't think she does either . . . Her last! ~ We would tease him and say Aunt will nurse you! But he would tell me my milk was bad! God Love Him!
From Kimberleigh ~ My son is coming three next month and still nursing like mad, although I'm not complaining, he's a little more "passionate," so to speak about "his nursies" than his sister was, but when he is done on one side, and unlatches, and says to me "oooh mum, that side was mmmmmm good" what else would I want to do?
From CrystalbusyMom ~ I nurse my 2 year old. It is positive for both of us.
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