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Mom Confessions Mom Confessions

My daughter nursed until she was five years old.

Posted by Anonymous   + Show Post

I didn't start off deciding that it would be that way.  I was nursed for six months, so I figured I would nurse her for six months.  Well, six months came and went before I could even notice.  All of a sudden she was eight months.  I realized that I hadn't felt any reason to nurse her.  I asked my mom why I was weaned at six months and she said it was because I had to go to the hospital for testing (I had really bad colic) and my mom dried up while I was there.  I asked her how long she nursed my brother and she said she couldn't remember, maybe nine months.  

So that is when I started researching nursing and weaning.  I read "How Weaning Happens" and other books like that.  I started reading about how some people nursed their kids past a year.  I became a crazy expert about all the benefits of nursing past a year and all the different groups that recommend nursing at least two years.  I then started wondering when a natural weaning age would be.  I read Katherine Dettwyler's "Biocultural Perspective" that had all sorts of very in depth studies about nursing.  I found out that the world average for child lead weaning is five years.  I found out the world average for weaning in general is three to four years, and that includes the US average of only six months.  Why then, if the average age for child led weaning is five, do we look at a picture on "Time" of a three year old nursing and call it extended nursing?  Isn't is just average?  (From a world perspective of course.)

This is how our weaning happened.  I let her nurse whenever she wanted from the beginning.  There weren't any limits until she got to be four.  Before that I let her nurse in public under the recomendation of "at least two years."  I continued when she was three because she was little for her age.  Then she turned four and I realized she hadn't asked to nurse in public for a couple weeks so I started wearing a regular bra again and if she did ask I would just tell her we couldn't because I had the wrong bra on.  She accepted this.  All this time she was still nursing at night.  When she was three months old we'd figured out how to sleep near each other in a way that she could roll over and nurse when she wanted without waking me up.  We were still doing this.  When she got to be around four and a half, she had gotten too big for me to do this comfortably.  I would wake up sore from sleeping with my arm over my head so that she could be nestled in my arm put.  We started talking about night weaning.  She didn't want to do it.  I suggested that at first we just wouldn't nurse between 12:00 and 4:00 in the morning.  She agreed to this.  The first night we woke up and asked to nurse at 1:00.  I reminded her that it wasn't time.  She sort of half cried and clung to my shirt, but fell back to sleep quickly.  Still, it was a painful thing for me, feeling as though I was depriving her of something she needed.  I decided I would try another day or two, but if it didn't work out, we'd go back to how it was before.  The next night she went to bed at bed time and for the first time ever in life, she slept until morning.  It was the first time.  She was four and a half.  At that point we were nursing first thing at night and first thing in the morning.  Some days we had to get up in a hurry and we skipped the morning nurse.  But something else huge happened when she night weaned.  Her latch changed.  It was starting to be not comfortable.  Sometimes I had to unlatch her and fix it.  Sometimes I would let her nurse for a couple minutes and ask for a break.  

As her fifth birthday approached we started to talk about weaning.  She didn't want to.  I told her that a birthday was a good time to do it.  She suggested her sixth birthday.  I explained to her that her latch was changing and that was her body's way of letting her know that she doesn't need to nurse anymore.  This she understood.  The month up to her birthday, nursing was difficult. Her latch was bad and I often had to ask her to stop.  Finally, her birthday came.  It had been a busy day.  She latched and it was wonderful.  At one point she said something about how good mom milk is.  She actually fell asleep latched on, something she hadn't done in months.  It was the weaning I wanted.  Then the next day she wanted to nurse again.  I reminded her of her birthday weaning, but she really wanted to nurse.  It lasted ony a minute if that.  Her latch was all wrong and I had to ask her to stop.  She never asked to nurse again.  

She is aproaching six and I can hardly believe that its been almost a year since she weaned.  I am proud of our family choice.  Nursing for five years was wonderful and absolutely what she needed.  I am writing this all now because I know there are other moms who feel like they should nurse past a year or two years or more and don't know anyone else who has done it.  I want you to know, there are lots of us out there.  

Posted by Anonymous on Jun. 4, 2012 at 1:22 AM
Replies (231-240):
chichiwvu
by on Jun. 5, 2012 at 2:08 AM
More power to you, I couldn't do it.
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babyboy117
by on Jun. 5, 2012 at 2:09 AM
My son is 19 mo's old. I am actually cold turkey weaning him starting yesterday :-( I am just ready. I orginally planned to go to 12 months. So I guess I did pretty good. So far he is doing good with the weaning. He threw a couple fits and tugged at my shirt.. But stopped. And he was okay. It makes me sad..but at the same time...it feels good to wear the new "knock out" bra from VS!
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SunflowerMom10
by on Jun. 5, 2012 at 2:11 AM
Wonderful story! So inspiring. My son is 20 months and still going strong!
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Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jun. 5, 2012 at 2:11 AM


Quoting whitedaisies:

are you going to let her eat snacks or meals in the middle of the night now that she's done nursing????? same difference if you're defending the nutritional value

Well, she weaned almost a year ago and she has never gotten up to snack in the night.  She does sometimes get up for the bathroom and usually wants a sip of water.  Also, there are lots of things besides nutritional value.  After a year, the antibodies in the breast milk changes to become more consentrated.  Also, if she is exposed to a germ, even if I'm not, when she latches, the breast will pick up on it and make antibodies for her.  There were a couple of times when she was sick and only able to keep down breast milk.  It kept her hydrated and helped her recover faster.  Also, children nursed past two years are less likely to need speech therapy and braces.  Something about nursing helps the teeth aline in the jaw and it uses the mouth muscles in a way that strengthens them, making them less likely to have speech problems.  This is just the tip of the iceburg.  There are many more benefits of breast feeding besides nutrition.  

AshleySail
by Silver Member on Jun. 5, 2012 at 2:11 AM
This may be a dumb question..
But when the new baby is born and if the other one is still nursing... Will The new baby get colostrum.. you already have milk..?
How does that work?


Quoting Randi02:

:)



We self wean as well. My youngest is nursing at 22 months and I'm pregnant with #4. I will tandem nurse if she is still breastfeeding when the baby is born.
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Junesmommy18
by on Jun. 5, 2012 at 2:11 AM
To each their own. Once my dd gets teeth I'm going to stop nursing.
LectioDivina
by on Jun. 5, 2012 at 2:12 AM


Quoting Anonymous:

Quoting areyouatroll:



I fear for people like you and OP who think its okay to put your tit inside a child's mouth you pedophiles.


It's actually pretty normal to put a" tit " in a kid's mouth all across the world.....


SunflowerMom10
by on Jun. 5, 2012 at 2:14 AM
Good thing you're not Christian. I'm sure you don't go to heaven if you call Mary a pedophile.


Quoting Anonymous:

Quoting areyouatroll:




I fear for people like you and OP who think its okay to put your tit inside a child's mouth you pedophiles.

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EcoModernMom
by on Jun. 5, 2012 at 2:14 AM
1 mom liked this

i didn't have time to read the whole post but my daughter nursed until 1 month after her 5th birthday. i believe in child led weaning.

areyouatroll
by on Jun. 5, 2012 at 2:14 AM
Interesting, I guess most of our ancestors and the rest of the world are pedophiles too.


Quoting Anonymous:

Quoting areyouatroll:




I fear for people like you and OP who think its okay to put your tit inside a child's mouth you pedophiles.

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