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Old 11-30-2006, 11:29 AM   #1
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Beyond infancy breastfeeding ???

I'm going to breastfeed my next baby exclusively (now that I know more about LLL and such and have somewhere to go for help). Anyway my question is. Why would/do you breastfeed past the age of 2? I don't know how I feel about extended nursing past the age of 2 (personal reasons) but I'd reconsider if maybe I was more educated. Please do not flame me for trying to find out reasons to nurse past the age of two, three, or four years old. I'm serious... I'd like to learn more about it and understand where others are coming from. I'd like to learn more but not just "bonding" because I feel bonded with my son now who doesn't nurse. I'm trying to find out different reasons.

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Old 11-30-2006, 11:33 AM   #2
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Re: Beyond infancy breastfeeding ???

I'm sure there are others here who can give you medical reasons. My reasons are personal, but I felt like I'd share those as well. I believe in child-led weaning, which means I will bf until my son is ready to stop. Now, he's only 8 months right now, but I fully plan on bf to 2 years and beyond. I can't imagine taking away something that he finds so much comfort in before HE is ready.

I do know that your bm changes as your child gets older. The bm you have at 2 years is not the same as the bm you had at 6 months. It changes to more adequately meet your child's needs. The nutritional value doesn't just disappear when your child turns 2, kwim?
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Old 11-30-2006, 11:38 AM   #3
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Re: Beyond infancy breastfeeding ???

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Originally Posted by Moonprysm View Post
I'm sure there are others here who can give you medical reasons. My reasons are personal, but I felt like I'd share those as well. I believe in child-led weaning, which means I will bf until my son is ready to stop. Now, he's only 8 months right now, but I fully plan on bf to 2 years and beyond. I can't imagine taking away something that he finds so much comfort in before HE is ready.

I do know that your bm changes as your child gets older. The bm you have at 2 years is not the same as the bm you had at 6 months. It changes to more adequately meet your child's needs. The nutritional value doesn't just disappear when your child turns 2, kwim?
Hmmm, child led weaning is don't offer but don't refuse right?
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Old 11-30-2006, 12:13 PM   #4
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Re: Beyond infancy breastfeeding ???

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Originally Posted by marelle4381 View Post
I'm going to breastfeed my next baby exclusively (now that I know more about LLL and such and have somewhere to go for help). Anyway my question is. Why would/do you breastfeed past the age of 2? I don't know how I feel about extended nursing past the age of 2 (personal reasons) but I'd reconsider if maybe I was more educated. Please do not flame me for trying to find out reasons to nurse past the age of two, three, or four years old. I'm serious... I'd like to learn more about it and understand where others are coming from. I'd like to learn more but not just "bonding" because I feel bonded with my son now who doesn't nurse. I'm trying to find out different reasons.
Congratulations on your decision to nurse your next baby! Before I start, I also want to say that I am very bonded with my two girls and neither of them was breastfed for more than a week.

Extended nursing is not something you have to decide on now, while pregnant, or even while nursing your infant. I am currently nursing a 2 month old and a 21 month old. When I was pregnant, I knew that I wanted to nurse for at least one year. I semi-hoped that my baby would self-wean around 12-15 months of age, and if he didn't, I would begin the weaning process around 18 months of age, because like you, I was uncomfortable with nursing past the age of 2 (personally, not generally.)

Things didn't go exactly according to plan because I got pregnant when he was 10 months old. I ended up beginning the day weaning process when he was 14 months old because nursing him was painful and by 16 months old he was night weaned except for nursing to sleep.

I was fine with this, though, as I had met my goal of nursing for one year. As my pregnancy went on, Aydin nursed less and less, sometimes only once per week.

Now that I've had the baby, Aydin loves my new milk and wants to nurse a lot. I limit him to about twice per day, if that much (mostly once a day, sometimes every other day.) I can't explain it; I just LOVE nursing him. I can't believe he's going to be two years old in a few months. Originally, I thought he would be completely weaned between now and his 2nd birthday...now, I can't imagine not nursing him. I can't explain it any further. But I just wanted to say that there's nothing wrong with wanting to stop prior to two or three or four years old. It's absolutely a personal decision that can only be made by you and your family. I do think it's important to take in the considerations of your child, but what mother generally doesn't do that? Weaning can be done gently and lovingly, no matter the age.
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Old 11-30-2006, 12:22 PM   #5
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Re: Beyond infancy breastfeeding ???

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Hmmm, child led weaning is don't offer but don't refuse right?
Pretty much. Even now at 8 months I don't really have to "offer". He lets me know when he wants nursies, and it's my job (IMO) as mommy to give them to him. I don't feel like that will change with his age.

And just to throw it out there, even while pg, I thought nursing a child past 2 was SICK. Of course, I'd never nursed a child at all before. The second he was born and started nursing, I started praying that he'd nurse for years. I'm hoping I can tandem nurse next time, as I've heard it does a lot to help ease sibling rivalry.
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Old 11-30-2006, 12:48 PM   #6
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Re: Beyond infancy breastfeeding ???

I am currently nursing an 11month-old & a 2.5year-old!

When I was pg with my 1st I said I wanted to nurse until age 2 then stop ..... a week after he was born I laughed and said he can nurse for as long as he wants. Seeing as how childrens immune systems arent fully developed at age 2 (or 1 for that matter) breastfeeding longer helps with sickness, etc.

Personally, I couldnt imagine telling either of my kids there are no more "Nanas" because of their age!

YES, it has helped so much with sibling rivalry nursing both. My ds was 17months-old when dd came (dd was a suprise when dh came home from Iraq) and since day 1 ds has loved, kissed, OFFERED Mommys "Nanas" to sissy ... they havent been mean to eachother so far!

Anyway, There are SOOOOO many reasons to bf past 1 year or 2 year I guess once you get there you'll see
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:03 PM   #7
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Re: Beyond infancy breastfeeding ???

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Congratulations on your decision to nurse your next baby! Before I start, I also want to say that I am very bonded with my two girls and neither of them was breastfed for more than a week.

Extended nursing is not something you have to decide on now, while pregnant, or even while nursing your infant. I am currently nursing a 2 month old and a 21 month old. When I was pregnant, I knew that I wanted to nurse for at least one year. I semi-hoped that my baby would self-wean around 12-15 months of age, and if he didn't, I would begin the weaning process around 18 months of age, because like you, I was uncomfortable with nursing past the age of 2 (personally, not generally.)

Things didn't go exactly according to plan because I got pregnant when he was 10 months old. I ended up beginning the day weaning process when he was 14 months old because nursing him was painful and by 16 months old he was night weaned except for nursing to sleep.

I was fine with this, though, as I had met my goal of nursing for one year. As my pregnancy went on, Aydin nursed less and less, sometimes only once per week.

Now that I've had the baby, Aydin loves my new milk and wants to nurse a lot. I limit him to about twice per day, if that much (mostly once a day, sometimes every other day.) I can't explain it; I just LOVE nursing him. I can't believe he's going to be two years old in a few months. Originally, I thought he would be completely weaned between now and his 2nd birthday...now, I can't imagine not nursing him. I can't explain it any further. But I just wanted to say that there's nothing wrong with wanting to stop prior to two or three or four years old. It's absolutely a personal decision that can only be made by you and your family. I do think it's important to take in the considerations of your child, but what mother generally doesn't do that? Weaning can be done gently and lovingly, no matter the age.
I did want to mention that I did breasfeed my son until I had to return to work. I tried pumping and couldn't get even half and ounce before the milk would stop flowing. My nipples would swell so bad when I tried to pump that they would actually bleed. I had no problems nursing him, I had problems with pumping. I'm hoping to get a better pump with my next. I'm not preggo now but maybe in the next year. I also felt very self concious about feeding in public... I was embarrassed by looks from others... I would hide in the bathrooms where ever I was and sit by myself for about an hour, or stand if they had no chairs. NO MORE OF THAT. I WILL be discreet but will no LONGER hide like I'm doing something I should be ashamed of.
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:07 PM   #8
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Re: Beyond infancy breastfeeding ???

I would 2nd that the nutritional value of bm continues to benefit the child, no matter what their age, including protecting them from illness. Also, considering that so many folks have sensitivities to cow's milk (Dr. Jay Gordon's website has interesting info on other reasons cow's milk is NOT ideal) I choose to continue to bf (providing milk perfectly designed for my DS!) instead of giving DS cow's milk (ie milk perfectly designed for a baby cow!)

I am personally supportive of child-led weaning as well (although I will likely attempt some parent-led nightweaning of 18 month old DS in the next month or two, as DH and I are TTC #2 and I am hopeful for a few months of mostly uninterrupted sleep before DC#2 arrives!)

And finally, extended bf is also great for comfort when kids get their "growing pains" - I personally find that DS prefers 'nursies' to hugs when he gets little bumps & bruises!

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Old 11-30-2006, 01:10 PM   #9
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Re: Beyond infancy breastfeeding ???

baby's immune system isnt 100% on the 366th day of their life.
its still a comfort for them esp in times of sickness/injury
in case of emergency (hurricane, snow storm) you could sustain them if you needed to
you can forego giving wcm which is a huge allergen if baby is still nursing.

I started out saying I wanted to bf for 12w then 6mo, then 1yr now I'm thinking at least 18mo - the reality is dd LOVES to nurse and still nurses just as much now as she did when she was 3mo and I doubt she'll stop anytime soon.

set small goals and go from there. you may have a child who self weans at 13mo, 15mo or 3.
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:17 PM   #10
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Re: Beyond infancy breastfeeding ???

When do you think it's too old for nursing? I read 4 before and am wondering what you all think of a 4 year old still nursing?

Oh and everyones making me feel really good about the next time... I wish I hadn't given up so easily on my son. I at least hope to do better the next time around.
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