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wondering about extended breastfeeding.

i have been exclusively breastfeeding my son and now at 8 months he eats 3 meals a day and breastfeeds about 5 times during the day and 1-2 at night. i was hoping for 6 months and that came and went now i was hoping for 12 months but i have been seeing moms who go to 15,17, and 20 months. i was wondering what other moms are doing? and what you think pros and cons are of extended breastfeeding. and any tips to introduce sippy cup or what should i try to introduce for him to drink since i might be going to work and i cant pump enough. please any suggestion are appreciated.

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Asked by mamajennie31010 at 11:40 PM on Nov. 10, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 9 (276 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I made it past the 12 month mark with two of mine. I just let them self wean. They did not make it to the year and a half though. I went in to it with similar goals as you and things just kept going. Sippy cups was one of the hardest introductions for us. At 12 months I started with milk and giving it to them in a cup without a valve. There are different spouts and you might try one of the Nuk of Nub ones that imitate a nipple a little bit more. It is just trial and error. I think there is some nutritional benefit past the year mark but for us I think it was more of a nurturing, bonding, comfort thing. Just take it a day at a time. Start with a cup even if it has a bit of water in it. They will play with it but I wouldn't do the milk in the cup for awhile.

    Answer by Melbornj at 11:44 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • the WHO recommends 2 years.

    Ultimately, it's your choice because it's your body and your baby.

    Women who breast feed 2+ years have an over 50% decrease in breast cancer risk in families with a history of breast cancer. Children who BF continue to be protected by the mother's antibodies. In general, BFed children have fewer allergies and digestive problems as well as reduced risk of diabetes. I could quote you stats all day. Extended breast feeding is healthy and normal.

    Answer by ecodani at 11:45 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • He could start with REAL juice (apple, white grape, etc) diluted half n half with water... I thibk i might quit breastbeeding around 12 months when she can have cows milk or cut it down to bed time snack! it might be weird nursing a lil kid thats walking and talking! lol. i dont know!

    Answer by LadyofIvory at 11:46 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • Going until the age 2 is "ideal" in my opinion. we almost made it. weaned at 20mo... Even up to age 3 is ok.. 4yo is when I start thinking is "too old" (but not judging moms who go to 4!)
    other drink- water/formula until 12mo. then introduce milk & juice (depending on ur preference. i was not a fan of juice cause of all the sugar. and there are many different option in milk)
    sippy cup would be great. if he is not using the bottle i wouldnt get him use to it by now. again it depends on the baby/you. some babies like the rubber kind, but moms arent to crazy when they bite it. bust the suction part & it drips all over a nice sofa.

    Answer by MommaTasha1003 at 11:53 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • thank you all! we have a munchkin, nuby. and one other sippy cup and a munchkin straw one. he will play with them all and pretend to drink but once liquid hits his mouth its like thats not what i drink lol. i think im going to let him wean himself within reason. we had a big thing with formula when he was born the hospital gave it without our ok and it took me 2 painful months to get him off it. im a little iffy about starting any juice now. he started eating at 4 months to gain weight. he is on the lower end of the weight scale. which is better nursery water or the gerber water?

    Comment by mamajennie31010 (original poster) at 12:03 AM on Nov. 11, 2010

  • The gerber water doesn't contain fluoride... which is good. But just plain tap water is probably fine, too... it's what I've always given my boys.

    Neither of them "got" sippy cups until 10-11 months... just keep offering and he'll get the hang of it.

    As for weaning... we have a 2 year minimum in our house, after that, we see how it goes. I had to wean my first at 2.5 because I was having trouble conceiving again. Might run into the same issue this time... so, we'll see!

    Answer by LeanneC at 12:46 AM on Nov. 11, 2010

  • Nurse for however long YOU guys want to. You can introduce a sippy now, if you want. I would suggest nursing, then offer his solids and include a sippy with a few oz of water with the meal. If you don't go back to work until after 12 mos (i don't know your plans) then you don't have to worry about pumping. Just nurse when you are together, and while you're at work, he eats food, drinks whatever you prefer -water, milk (cow, soy, almond, rice....), juice if you want to use juice. If you have to go to work before 12 mos, pump if you can. Baby needs 1 to 1.25 ounces per hour of separation, so if you'll be gone 6 hours, say, aim to leave 6-8 ounces, and I would store it in 2-3 oz portions. 2-3 ounces every 2-3 hours, and whatever solids he gets. He might nurse a bit more when you are home. He might wait for you, and refuse most to all of the pumped milk. You just never know, every baby is different. But basically

    Answer by Krysta622 at 12:47 AM on Nov. 11, 2010

  • nurse for however long YOU are comfortable with. 12, 18, 24, 36mos, whatever works for you. I practice baby led weaning, so my 3 yr old still nurses at bedtime. Right now, I'm ok with that. Maybe I'll want to stop at 4. Maybe not. Maybe I'll want to stop at 4 1/2. I'm just winging it :) I think it's a pretty good method, for me. Regarding benefits, well, the benefits that it has now...they never stop. So, antibodies, nutrition, bonding, etc...are some of the benefits of extended nursing, KWIM? Feel free to ask me anything you might want to and I'll do my best to answer. I apologize that my reply is kind of all over the place!

    Answer by Krysta622 at 12:51 AM on Nov. 11, 2010

  • I say nurse as long as your comfortable nursing. I cant imagine nursing a 2yr old or older but that is just me. I'm taking it day by day. I would like to make it to the 6month mark and then go from there! But as long as your comfortable and happy and baby is too! then keep going! :)

    Answer by Nienna7477 at 5:53 AM on Nov. 11, 2010

  • Go as long as you want. Biggest PRO to extended breastfeeding is your reduction in breast cancer risk. 50% at two years! Plus all those nutrients for optimal brain development in baby.

    I was going to go only a year. Wound up at 26months because weaning is just too much darned trouble. Which is another advantage to child led weaning.

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:01 PM on Nov. 11, 2010

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