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Old 10-09-2011, 10:44 AM   #1
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Extended Breastfeeding?

My daughter is 14 months and we are still nursing. I'm having a hard time going through with weaning but not sure if I should or shouldn't. What are the arguments for extended feeding? How long is too long? Anyone think extended is just too much? I don't like the idea of holding her back from her independence. I've just never been in this situation since my son weaned himself. I don't want anyone to get fighting here if it's sensitive, I'm just hoping to hear some pros and cons based your experiences.

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Old 10-09-2011, 11:05 AM   #2
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The CDC recommends nursing for the first 2 years. We are one of the few (only?) Countries that encourages weaning at a year. Somewhere along the way, Americans decided babies needed to grow up faster.

Any typos are probably a combination of my phone and poor proofreading!
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:26 AM   #3
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Re: Extended Breastfeeding?

I nursed my son on a regular basis until he was 31 months.

After the first year I let him be the guide. He nursed when he wanted to - no set times or anything like that. It was usually first thing in the morning, after work and right before bed. On the weekend or if he was sick there were some extra sessions tossed in.

Your milk still has nutritional value, immunity properties and the ability to comfort when nothing else will do. Continuing to nurse lets him know that you'll be there for him when he needs you.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:29 AM   #4
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Re: Extended Breastfeeding?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyeSpade View Post
The CDC recommends nursing for the first 2 years. We are one of the few (only?) Countries that encourages weaning at a year. Somewhere along the way, Americans decided babies needed to grow up faster.

Any typos are probably a combination of my phone and poor proofreading!
This. Weaning happens naturally and much less dramatically when it is baby_led. My baby is very independent, more so than many his age. And he nurses. Weaned does not = independent, and the length of time is individual. I recommend you do your own research and make a decision with your heart. So much of our perception on nursing is cultural. Older toddlers nursing is fine, it is not too old, that's a cultural misassumption.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:37 PM   #5
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Re: Extended Breastfeeding?

I nursed ds until he weaned right after his 3rd birthday. I couldn't ever think of a single reason to wean him, especially since he only nursed a couple of times a day by that point. I worked a lot of hours outside the home then, and continued nursing helped us to reconnect at the end of a long day.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:00 PM   #6
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Re: Extended Breastfeeding?

What you are giving her is very valuable in so many diff ways!! I nurse my son on demand and he just turned 2. The research shows that babies who are nurtured and have all there needs met promptly as babies/children grow up to be the most secure, independent adults
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:24 PM   #7
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Re: Extended Breastfeeding?

The only downsides I can think of to extended nursing are continuing to nurse when you or your toddler no longer want to. Forcing yourself to nurse wouldn't be much fun. Forcing a toddler to nurse--well, that would be pretty much impossible, IME, but maybe it could happen.

Really, what does independence mean at 2 years old, or 3? Developmentally appropriate independence is the confidence to move away from parents for a while to explore/play, then return to security. Some of those times of returning to security could be nursing, just like they could be snuggling, rocking, or whatever.

I also think it's perfectly acceptable to set limits on your toddler's nursing if you feel like you need to. Nightweaning is an option, or reducing nursing sessions if you're pregnant, for instance, are fine. You can still have an extended nursing relationship within limits.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:28 PM   #8
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Re: Extended Breastfeeding?

http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-BT

There's many many good reasons to continue breastfeeding. You'll know what's right for you. Don't let anyone or anything pressure you into weaning before you & baby are ready.
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:24 PM   #9
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Re: Extended Breastfeeding?

Here is some great information.

I nursed my DD up till about 34 months old. The last year was only twice a day - morning and bedtime. When she weaned my milk was pretty much gone (so no painful engorgement). It never hindered her independence, and while I didn't flaunt to people that I was still nursing, I also didn't really care what anything thought. There are tons of benefits to both of you (see link above), and as long as you are both still content with nursing, there really is no reason to wean until one of you is really ready - regardless of age.
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:50 PM   #10
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Re: Extended Breastfeeding?

Thanks everyone, I think baby led weaning rings true to me, I guess I was letting social pressures get to me.
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