Are you going to wean or let your child wean on their own?

Briana - posted on 09/19/2010 ( 220 moms have responded )

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This is not a debate! I am just interested in each individual's opinion and why you feel that way for YOURSELF. I have always planned on weaning my son at exactly 12 months, and am having second thoughts. I struggled so much with being ok with him EBFing, and now I really enjoy the time I have with him and BFing. So I am just interested to hear what other's are doing and why. Also how you deal with the judgment of extended BFing and how you convinced your husband's (mine says ONE YEAR at most). If someone posts something you don't agree with, I would appreciate no arguments. But of course I can't make anyone do anything :)

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Merry - posted on 09/20/2010

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I was always planning on one year, this is the longest I though anyone did! Then around 9 months I was anxious, worrying that I and he wasn't done. I started researching. I found that not only is it ok to nurse longer, it's healthier, safer, easier, more normal and natural! I was so excited. I showed my husband the web sites stating that weaning at one puts the child at increased risk of illness. That was enough for him! He said it was weird but we just set our minds to reprogram our mentality on breastfeeding. We both still fight off the western thoughts of how it's weird to nurse a bigger boy. But with the medical benefits on his side, and the facts of the average child worldwide weaning at 4.4 years, we agree. I told him how in Mongolia, they all nurse for three to six years. They know breast milk is so healthy they nurse their 'warrior' children longer as they see that more years of breastfeeding makes stronger healthier adults. Ghengis khan is said to have nursed until age 8 so they encourage it there! Also little facts from the world like how the princes and princesses in many countries are breastfed the longest as they are the most treasured children in the land. All this helped my husband get on board. He has stood up to his mom saying 'laura can nurse him as long as she wants, I want him to be a strong boy!' so his family just keeps their mouths shut, I think no one actually agrees, but no one dares say it. Matt being our supporter is awesome, but even if I siding have his support I wouldn't wean easily. My family is not that normal per say, it consists of my sister, and my aunt and her husband and kids. So my sister thinks it's weird, but she now knows the health reasons and is supportive, yet still fighting her own thoughts. My aunt nursed her sons 14mo, 14 mo, and 2 years so she is supportive and she even has a friend nursing her 3yr old and baby too. So I feel she will not be too shocked if I tandem nurse.
So I chose to nurse a minimum of two years because of the health reasons. And then after that I will do my best to nurse him until he outgrows the need. I want to aim my sights at 4 years as this sounds 'average' but I can't say how it will turn out. But two years is my bare minimum.

Brenda - posted on 09/21/2010

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I am breastfeeding a 2 1/2 year old and a 4 1/2 year old. I am currently increasing the amount my 4 year old nurses because he was clearly demonstrating signs of forced weaning and I realized that inadvertently I'd been pressuring him to stop and that he very much needs to breastfeed for awhile yet.

How do you convince your husband? Easy. Is it his breasts? No. Is it inconveniencing him? No. Does it require more time, money, or effort on his part? No. So how can he object to something that is beneficial to his child, enjoyed by his wife, and costs him nothing at all?

And at 12 months the need for breastmilk is inarguably more than "just comfort" or "just bonding". Its even more than just immune support. More and more evidence suggests that even woefully inadequate formula should be continued until at least 18 months because babies don't thrive on "food" alone.

A Natural Age of Weaning
http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.ht...

Beyond Breastmilk
http://thebabybond.com/BEYONDBREASTMILK....

Are You Still Doing That?
http://www.mothersover40.com/extendedbre...


AAP
http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi...
During the first 6 months of age, even in hot climates, water and juice are unnecessary for breastfed infants and may introduce contaminants or allergens.195
Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother, especially in delaying return of fertility (thereby promoting optimal intervals between births).196
There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer.197

AAFP
http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/polic...
As recommended by the WHO, breastfeeding should ideally continue beyond infancy, but this is not the cultural norm in the United States and requires ongoing support and encouragement.69 It has been estimated that a natural weaning age for humans is between two and seven years.70 Family physicians should be knowledgeable regarding the ongoing benefits to the child of extended breastfeeding, including continued immune protection,71 better social adjustment,72 and having a sustainable food source in times of emergency. The longer women breastfeed, the greater the decrease in their risk of breast cancer.73 Mothers who have immigrated from cultures in which breastfeeding beyond infancy is routine should be encouraged to continue this tradition. There is no evidence that extended breastfeeding is harmful to mother or child. Breastfeeding during a subsequent pregnancy is not unusual. If the pregnancy is normal and the mother is healthy, breastfeeding during pregnancy is the woman's personal decision. If the child is younger than two years, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned. Breastfeeding the nursing child after delivery of the next child (tandem nursing) may help provide a smooth transition psychologically for the older child.19

Marcy - posted on 09/21/2010

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My sons last nursing day was his 4th birthday. He would have kept going until college I think (HAHA). it was tough on both of us for about a week. We replaced it with lots of cuddles, kisses and some crying for both of us. my hubby was/is a big supporter of extended BF and even suggested I keep going. I have to tell you that I never in a million years thought I would nurse until he was 4 but its been a few months now and I am so proud of my decision.....

The other thing to remember is that as they get older nursing changes. What once was a 10-15 times per day and all night long life for us turns to eventually a 1-2 times per day for a few minutes....just to check in. During the first year its tough to imagine continuing on the type of demanding schedule nursing requires but eventually it dwindles down to next to nothing and sometimes my son even preferred milk. Its a totally different ballgame with nursing a toddler..whatever you decide to do, do it slowly. Good luck and congrats on EBF....

Lise - posted on 09/19/2010

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Self-weaning here. It is something so healthy for she and I, and it is such a comfort for her - I can't imagine taking it away.

Celeste - posted on 09/20/2010

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With my first, I thought 6 months or teeth. Then I said a year. She ended up weaning at 17 months.



With my twins, I knew I wanted to go at least a year. I set time lines but I've always surpassed them because I've felt comfortable surpassing that.



I've dealt with a lot of criticisms. My family isn't supportive at all. They can be jerks about it. I deal with it by just ignoring them. I also have facts to back me up so I feel better about my decision to continue.



I have 3 year old twin boys, one is weaned but the other one nurses once a day. At this point, for me, I probably won't go past 4, which is in less than a month.



As far as husbands, he has always been supportive of me. At first he wasn't sure about my boys nursing this long, but seeing first hand the benefits, he's become very supportive.

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Lindsay - posted on 10/02/2010

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I am planning (hopefully) to let my daughter self-wean. She is 18 months old and only nurses 3 times per day, morning, nap and bedtime. I think she mainly uses it to fall asleep. She can fall asleep without it, but she (and I) like the closeness shared while BF. :) My husband, I think, is a bit nervous about extended breastfeeding. He will drop a comment occasionally about it. It doesn't bother me, I know that I will make the right and natural decision for both Meredith and myself.
As to the biting, I have been nastily bitten and also nursed through a minor infection due to sharp little chompers. I yelped really loudly, it made my daughter cry, and she hasn't done it since. I read that, to release their little jaws, you can pull them in really tight and it makes them have to open their mouth to breathe, thus letting you breathe, too! Anyway, it seems like the most gentle way to curb the nipping habit without making it traumatic. I hope this is helpful. :)

Krystal - posted on 10/02/2010

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We are still breastfeeding and my little man is almost 17 months old. I never planned on quiting at a certain time. I just believe in child-wed weaning. The WHO recommends at least two years...minimum.

I just can't imagine taking it away from him. And why would I? I love it and so does he. It's such wonderful nutrition for him, comfort when he doesn't feel well, ect, ect.

I could do without the 11pm, 1am, 3am and 5am feeds....but that will come in time! (we cosleep, so he has it on tap all night!).



Oh, and on the husband part of the convo, my hubby is completely on board with me nursing our son, and has never said a word. My boobs, my decision!

RACHAEL - posted on 10/02/2010

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My daughter weaned herself at ~15 mos. I was ~2 mos pregnant with bb #2, and I think that was the ultimate cause of her completely weaning herself (I have heard that the flavor and consistency changes). I EBF for the first 6 mos, and then went straight to table foods (also called Baby-Led Weaning). I never bought one jar of baby food or pureed anything myself. I just steamed veggies and tried toast and yoghurt, and slowly expanded the foods I tried with her. I was willing to BF as long as she wanted to, and my husband thought I should definitely wean her by 2 yo, so we were willing to cross that bridge when it came. I never received any criticism for extended BFing. Most of the people I surround myself with are for extended BFing. I don't even pay attention to anyone who is against it...or I inundate their inbox with supporting literature. My daughter has an amazing immune digestive system, is healthy, intelligent and active. This may or may not have anything to do with extended BFing, but I believe in my heart it does. I actually miss the bonding time we had while BFing, and very much look forward to BFing bb#2 as long as he wishes to. I promised myself two things before ever having children...never to fight them about weaning and potty training. So far, that philosophy has saved me the stress of either. =)

[deleted account]

My son just turned 19 months and planning to let him self wean. Like many others I planned to wean at 12 months but that was before I had my son and saw how much relaxation and comfort it brings him. When he doesn't want it he doesn't want it but I don't want to take myself away from him unecessarily. I work and sometimes I still pump during the day but I just toss it. He drinks whole milk, toddler formula, and nurses at nap time if I am home and at night. It works for us.

Janet - posted on 10/01/2010

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I was hopeful to wean my now 18 month old at 12 months (she is my second child and I only managed 7 weeks with my first) but she is still going strong. I had the oportuntity to have a few days off (as I am a single mum, this happens very rarely) in August of this year. I thought that the time away would be a good chance to wean her off, boy was I wrong. after 5 days of no relive and also been on cold and flu tablets, i got home to my girls and almost like clockwork, before i knew what was going on she had attached herself.
2 months later, I have cut her right back to 1 feed a day, in the mornings. She still wants it at other times, but I am not giving in

Laura - posted on 10/01/2010

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I had intended to let her self wean but at 12 months she was still nursing every 2-3 hours during the night. So i started limiting it to 1-2 times per night and on demand during the day. She is now 15 months and I have completely night weaned but she still nurses on demand during the day. I am 11 weeks prego with #2 and if she is still nursing when I deliver thats fine with me. So i guess I am sort of weaning and sort of letting her self wean. But at 12 months I decided we all needed more sleep.

Carrie - posted on 10/01/2010

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I mostly allowed my daughter to wean herself. I started scheduling her after her second birthday and if she didn't remember a nursing session for 3 days, I wouldn't let her resume. She weaned herself at 3 1/2.

I honestly was never criticized and I openly nursed in public until she was 2 years old. I started conditioning my husband long before we had kids that "normal" breastfeeding was at least 2 years.

My advice is to play it by ear. You baby doesn't magically change at 12 months old, it's an arbitrary line in the sand.

Alex - posted on 10/01/2010

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I have three kids and let each of them wean themselves. The first weaned at 18 months, the second at 6 months (!) - decided preferred bottle - and the most recent one weaned about a month ago at 11 months. My husband didn;t really voice an opinion he was pretty supportive of whatever felt right for me and the baby. I was a little sad when #3 weaned recently as that will be my last one, but ultimately I think you need to do what works best for your baby and your homelife. With my oldest, I continued just twice a day, and that worked.

Roxanne - posted on 10/01/2010

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We're 9 months strong w/BFing. I work FT, so I have pumped 2x/day since I returned to work when he was 6 weeks old. I always said I'd go AT LEAST a year, but as that year is approaching, and he's still very interested, I won't give it up until HE's ready, no matter what anyone thinks or says. Not their child!! I won't pump any longer unless I really need to once he goes to milk, but I'll still BF while we're together. I really enjoy it, I just hate my pump! lol

Merry - posted on 10/01/2010

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Tiffany, I agree on that! Also the famous 'picky eater stage' is really avoidable by breastfeeding through toddlerhood. So many moms are struggling to get their toddler to eat, I think it's quite simple, at this age they should be still getting nutrients from your milk, so naturally they can't get a full diet through table foods. While they still have milk teeth, they are supposed to be drinking milk! Human milk mind you :) when adult teeth come in, then they are capable and equipped to eat a full diet through table foods. That's why there's rarely a picky eater phase if you are still breastfeeding! But it's seen as the norm to wean, then struggle to get them to eat, and struggle to put them to bed, and struggle to understand the terrible twos, breastfeeding is the missing link to so much of the traditional problems we have with 1,2,3,4 year olds.

Amber - posted on 10/01/2010

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I breastfed my 9 year old til she was 2 1/2 until I just couldn't take it anymore lol I had to drop her off at my moms for 2 weeks. My toddler now 19 months, Is exactly the same. I am a stay at home mom and she still nurses to sleep and wakes up at lease 3x a night to nurse ( we cosleep) It is driving me insane. Although I do enjoy it and I love being able to provide her with my love, milk and bonding, I am hoping to stop ASAP. I live far from family and friends and I am a human pacifier too it's making me a little crazy

Tiffany - posted on 10/01/2010

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I am on baby number three, still nursing at 2.5. The oldest two nursed past their third birthday, then weaned themselves.

It gets less and less over time, and also with an older baby you are able to place reasonable limits on things without going all the way to "weaning." For instance, an older baby does not need to nurse in the middle of the shopping center, but can wait until you get home (or at least to the car, etc., depending on the situation).

I would never, ever, choose to give up this parenting tool for toddlers. Two is my very favorite age, and I suspect that our culture's fear of the "terrible twos" is because so many moms have given up this nearly foolproof method of soothing an emotionally ragged toddler.

Shaina - posted on 10/01/2010

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Tamra, that is very interesting about it being biblical that children were weaned at 2....do you have the references for that??

Brooke - posted on 10/01/2010

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I am still nursing my 20 month old girl. She drinks whole milk, eats food. But we still enjoy the cuddles at bedtime, etc... As far as the biting, yelling "No!" or "ouch!" and pressing their face into your breast does solve the behavior usually. She hasn't really nipped me for over a year.
If she hasn't self-weaned by 3 I will probably choose it for her.

Shaina - posted on 10/01/2010

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With my first my goal was 12 months and we weaned at 12 1/2 months. I now wish I would have nursed her longer. With my second my goal is 2 years, we're still nursing at 14 months and will decide at 2 years if we want to wean or keep going. I haven't really had any negative comments about nursing her this long. My MIL will occasionally ask me how long I'm going to keep nursing and I just politely say "I'm not sure, we're just going to see how it goes." and let that be that. The world health organization actually recommends 2 years minimum and there is movement to try and get the American academy of pediatrics on board with 2 years also. The worldwide average for nursing is 7 years.

Tamra - posted on 10/01/2010

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I knew I would BF at least one year. My daughter is one now and I am fine with letting her wean herself. I'm only reconsidering now so that I have a better chance at getting pregnant with my second. Did you know that Biblically children were weaned around 2?

Charity - posted on 10/01/2010

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My plan was a yr too,well shes a little over a yr now and still going.My husband also said no more then ayr but its all up to me and my baby.i want to let her self wean so now im shooting for 2yrs. My doctor also supports me breastfeeding so that is a big help. i love the special bond between us when she is Bf

Brittany - posted on 10/01/2010

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I had to wean my daughter at 12 months. I am expecting another baby in Dec. and when she was about 11 months my milk started to dry up. She wasn't getting enough and it was causing some problems. Now because i am having another one i did want to wean her by at least 14 months. but if i wasn't and i could have kept BFing (i am not for tandem feeding, i dont have that kind of mental stability to feed 2 babies, but that is me personally) Im not sure how long i would have continued. I probably would have still started weaning around 14 months and by 18 months wanted her to be done.

Inga (Uttara) - posted on 10/01/2010

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My midwife said that I should nurse AT LEAST for a year. My daughter loved to nurse so much that I weened her completely when she was over three years old.

Merry - posted on 10/01/2010

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Ania, even 1 feed a day provides him with your immunities! They are dose related so the less milk you make the richer it is with the good stuff! So even 1-2 times a day is extremely beneficial to him. Any amount will be a plus, and it will help him have some things not change when you go to work. It's such a comfort to them to have your complete attention and warmth like that!

Ania - posted on 10/01/2010

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It is hard to say, at first I thought I will breast feed for a year only, then when my son was actually born I hoped to survive to 6 months and now he is 7.5 months and I don't know if I let him wean or I will do it. It depends if I go back to work and his reaction to it, if it is going to be too stressful for him, I will do one or two feedings a day, it shouldn't harm anyone, right :)?

Cheryl - posted on 10/01/2010

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Hi I think go with the flow with whatever you and your child are happy with. I planned to BF my daughter(now 7mths) for the 1st 6 mths, however, she had other ideas!! At 4 and a half months she was SOOO nosy that she didn't take proper feeds as she was always interested in lookin around. I did also express but without the proper suckin stimulation i didn't feel i was producing enough and it was becomin impossible to go anywhere what with havin to pump etc.... So, i then moved onto Aptamil formula and started weaning at 5 and a half months as she was showing a great interest in our food and watching us eat. She now has 3 meals a day with milk at lunch and dinner and before bed. She has now started copying the chewing motion and so i have just started on lumpier foods and she enjoyed sucking and chewing her 1st bit of toast today!!

Alison - posted on 10/01/2010

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I had planed on self weaning but my LO got sick and lost a lot of weight so I had to start giving her some suppliment feeds. It was then that we found out she is lactose intolerant and my milk was ok but not really helping her to grow as she needed. I still feed her once a day in the morning but she is mostly on lactose free formula now. I got to 9 months so Im happy with my effort

Chidinma - posted on 10/01/2010

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I plan to stop at 12 months. I hope I stick to it. Its so much fun and the bond of BFing is just amazing.

Rebecca - posted on 09/30/2010

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My son is1 and people keep asking me when I plan to stop BF and I always tell them when I feel like it or when he decides to stop. Honestly I thought I was going to stop at 1 also but I found it hard to do so I'm still doing it. My opinion is do what feels right for you and your baby.

Tisa - posted on 09/30/2010

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My daughter is 6 months this week and only breast feed her if she wakes at night. I am back at work so from 5 months this is our routine. My milk has stayed put and seems to be ok with the once a day feeds. She is eating 3 meals a day and gets 3-4 bottles of formula. I dont particulalrly enjoy b/f but I know there are health benefits to it. Its just as nice to snuggle with her and a bottle. Once the teeth come in though im outta there! :)

Kyrie - posted on 09/30/2010

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My son turned 2 in July and he still nurses throughout the day. I planned on making it until he was at least two then I'd see where we were at. I kinda thought he'd just stop. He has slown down a bit but he's not nearly ready to quit so I'm just going to keep goind. I mean kids were meant to nurse until 5 at least so we'll see where we're at when school comes around. lol. No one really says anything but my nana. She had 5 kids and didn't nurse one. It kind of embarasses me that she's ignorant enough to say such things to me. My mom jokes occasionally and I don't care. If my kids are happy then I'm happy. My husband has his own room since me and the kids co sleep and we like it this way. If we feel like having a sleep over where he sleeps with us then we just do it. He sleeps better alone so that only happens every 6 months or so. I also took a DNA test and I have the genes that up your kids intelligence if you nurse them. Yay! I'd hope people would just do as much as they can with nursing. IT does bother me to see bottles, but I don't get upset unless I here that they didn't bother nursing at all for whatever reason. A month isn't a big commitment and a year deserves a trophy. I should be at the rank of demi god by now. Both of my kids damaged my nipples and put me in excruciating pain, but I pushed through it every time. I thought there would be permanent damage but I just checked and you wouldn't be able to tell. lol Good luck everyone.

Amy - posted on 09/30/2010

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My daughter is almost 3, and still nursing. I adopted my daughter, and I couldn't see weaning her, because it took so much work to be able to nurse her, so why would I make her stop? I never thought we would make it to two. Now I can't figure out how people survive the terrible two's without the Mama milk secret weapon!

Tiera - posted on 09/30/2010

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My daughter is 2 and weaned herself. She still asks for it on occasion, but only at bedtime.

[deleted account]

I am still breastfeeding my 2 year old, he will be 3 next month. I am letting him decide when to quite although I try to keep it to a minimun sometimes during the day. He got sick with strep a few months ago and then I realised he would have been much sicker if I wasn't feeding him as it was all he would have, he would have ended up dehydrated otherwise. The DR in ER actually told me he hardly ever saw breastfed babies/toddlers in there, he said he had seen only 5 in the last 2 years. I have researched breastmilk and its beneficial effects, I know it does my child good, it helps him to feel more attached to me. Even the WHO suggests breastfeeding for a minimum of 2 years now. Its sad that so many children miss out on good nutritious breastmilk. Its a perfect living food for them.

Courtney - posted on 09/30/2010

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I have never exclusively breastfed either of my children, but hope too with my next one. I did breast feed longer with each child and hope to go 12 months with my little boy due to arrive in 6 weeks - I think you do what's right for you and your little guy. Don't let anyone, including your husband, take away from you that very special time that you have with him. I think it's wonderful that you've been able to go this long...keep it up and do what's right for you guys.

Keren - posted on 09/30/2010

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I originally planned to wean at 12 months because I thought "that's what you do!" My daughter is almost 18 months and is still nursing once in the morning and once in the evening. I work full time, and she eats a lot of table foods and drinks soy milk (dairy allergy) while at daycare. I plan to let her self wean unless I get pregnant with #2. We both enjoy the short quiet moments when she's nursing; plus, it's a great comfort to her.

[deleted account]

I have recently come to the decision that my 13 month old daughter needs to self-wean. I thought I could wean her at 12 months and got her down to 2 feedings (morning and night). Then she got sick and we went on vacation and she wouldn't take anything except my breast! So we started over again. She is fluctuating between 3 and 4 feedings again, although the cow's milk is going over a lot better than it was a month ago. I think she's just not ready yet to wean completely and I have to give her time to adjust to the idea. My goal is to get her down to 2 feedings again and see what happens.

Gretchen - posted on 09/30/2010

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I had always planned on "at least a year" also, but a year came and went, and my son showed no desire to stop nursing so here we are at 18 months and i still nurse him about 4 times a day and I'm 5 months pregnant! It's so good for him and there's no greater way to get him to go to sleep or calm down after a meltdown or an 'ouchie'. I plan on tandem nursing my sons when the next one is born in order to help them bond. I have never given my son any cow's milk because i still make whatever he needs in addition to a well balanced solid food diet. And to any naysayers I say, "Educate yourselves and you won't think it's weird to nurse beyond a year" It should just happen naturally.

Christine - posted on 09/30/2010

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My son is 26 months and nurses 3X day. I had planned for 12 months but when the time came it was so traumatic for him he stopped eating for a few hours. I had to put him back on. When he was 18 months I tried again and and he became so irritated and ill. He does not drink milk and he is very healthy and strong. I believe that has everything to do with the gourmet, organic, pure, unpasteurised and always warm breastmilk. I am determined now that he will self wean. In the mean-time whenever he is on we have brief conversations about the fact that he must stop one day. He does not like our conversations but at least he is listening.

Alicia - posted on 09/30/2010

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this is JUST an FYI, and I have not read all the posts so dint know if anyone put this in.
the world health organisation (WHO) now recommend that children are BF till age 2

Alicia - posted on 09/30/2010

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I'm letting mine wean on their own. and i have to admit I am getting a bit 'tired' of feeding my elder (he will be 3 in January) my baby (12 months) is still going strong. I am very open that i still BF both, so i think that kind of stops anyone in their tracks about voicing a negative judgment. Good luck and your discussion is right for you. don't let anyone pressure you either way!

Alison - posted on 09/30/2010

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I stopped BF at 11 months, I planned on going until 12 months. My son weaned himself off of it at that time, he refused to nurse anymore, we feed him mostly table food and a couple of bottles of formula at that time. Now he just eats table food, drinks juice, and whole milk with each meal.

Merry - posted on 09/30/2010

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Tiffanie, the one year got it's magic number rating because at one year you should take your baby off of a bottle, and stop formula feedings. We are forcing breastfed babies to conform to the artificial feeding standards. Because formula is sufficient for adequate growth in the first year, but while it always carries risks to formula feed, the risks increase after one year with the bottles, and with the formula not giving enough nutrition after that.
So essentially, just because formula is bad after one year, many moms are told so is breast milk. When in fact breast milk is always going to be healthy for any human, no matter age. Nursing from mom will always help tooth and jaw development. And breatfeeding in general has no expiration date! We just need to get the mindset back to breast as the standard and artificial feeding as the secondary option. Then maybe the pressure would back off of moms to stop at one year or any other 'magic' number age.

Tiffanie - posted on 09/30/2010

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I always wondered why 12 months was the "magic number" what made breastmilk better for a baby at 12 months than 13 months..KWIM?? before I wanted to have kids I had never thought that kids could breasfeed past one...soo when I got pregnant my hubby said that I HAD to stop BFing whenever the kids could come and get the milk herself..well, aroung 7 or 8 months she would start pulling at my shirt when she wonted milk soooo I told DH to jump in a lake.. he is more ok with my EBFing now, but I can tell there are times when he wishes I would stop... he has been amazing and is more supportive now, so I dont blame him for wanting my body back:D plus our daughter is starting to show signs of weaning:( she is only nursing for nap/bed:( oh well, we hopefully will make it to 2!!

Tracey - posted on 09/30/2010

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My daughter started weaning herself at 13 months, she just got too busy finding new things, she showed no interest in eating, I was pumping at home because I was soo full & she wanted nothing to do with it. She's almost 15 months now and is almost completely off BFing... I didn't set a date or time but she did! Now sometimes she will cry for me when she sees me change my shirt wanting to feed and it breaks my heart but I have already started to dry up so we just go get some milk and I hold her really close while she drinks it & it seems to work okay for us.

Sophia - posted on 09/29/2010

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My DS nursed until 30ish months & my DD is 17 months and pretty much exclusively nurses (I offer her food but she refuses more often than not due to bad experiences with food allergies). As you mention in your post, breast feeding is about more than just nourishment, it is also a time of bonding. My son need reassurances during hard times & new situations that his world was ok. So, he would come and nurse for 30 seconds and that gave him the courage to explore some more. I didn't get much criticism until 18 months and later & I was blessed with a very supportive husband so that was a plus. But for me, I knew that I was doing what was best for my son & me. Also, I knew that taking care of his emotional needs was just as important as taking care of his physical needs. As he got older we would discuss things and give him coping techniques to use in place of nursing & eventually life got to interesting for him to run back to Mama for nursing. I was probably more sad about that than He was. However, allowing him to participate in the guidance and direction of the nursing relationship & allowing him to address emotional needs, has made him a more independent, emotionally aware, capable child (I think & have observed) than many of his peers who were forced to wean at an early age.

I believe that the nursing relationship should be nurtured as long as the child needs it, whether that is 10 months (my niece self-weaned then) or 3 years, & as long as both participating parties are willing. The World Health Organization recommends 2 years & beyond according to mother & child's desires, the AAP recommends 1 years & beyond. Breast feeding is great for all sorts of reasons including antibodies & immune system boosts, oxytocin to help you & child relax, and just plain having time to sit down and cuddle with your child. Ultimately you have to decide what is best for you and your family.

T - posted on 09/29/2010

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Well, I initially planned to start weaning my daughter at 6 months but then found that she had a cow milk allergy when I tried giving her formula and continued on for the next 7 months. I enjoyed being able to spend that one-on-one time with her but I didn't want her to get too attached. Developmentally, I felt it was time to wean her completely when her nourishment primarily came from food. And around that 13 month mark, she was comfortable eating table food, had some teeth, and ate three meals a day. At that point, I didn't see milk as her primary nourishment and therefore, felt it was ok to wean her gradually. Cold turkey is just mean! lol...so I cut off the daytime feedings first, then the morning nursing, and last the night nursing. Now she drinks either Soy or Almond Milk 2-3 times a day and eats like we do. I really don't see a need to go beyond probably 1 and a half with breastfeeding unless your child is allergic to most kinds of milk. They are too alert and even begin trying to feed themselves at that point. Besides, it gets odd when they are pulling your boob out on their own and too big for a boppy pillow...lol! Nevertheless, I think it always boils down to that motherly instinct and always bearing in mind what is best for MY child. Every child is unique and so is every mommy...

Deborah - posted on 09/29/2010

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I too had planned to wean my son at 12 months, but here we are at 12 months and we are nowhere near weaning! It is a combination of factors that changed my mind - but one of the primary is that my son loves it so much and is not ready to wean. So I plan now to spend the next year very gradually weaning, slowly cutting out 1 feeding at a time (we are on 4 a day and extreme circumstances, such as shots!). Very slowly. :) My husband is very supportive, he says that since is not the one breastfeeding, and doesn't know much about it, that it isn't his place to tell me to stop. Also, I found the information on kellymom.com helpful in educating us.

Courtney - posted on 09/29/2010

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My Miss 2.5yrs is still a booby monster :) I am currently pregnant with No.2 and it seems Miss 2.5 has no plans on weaning. I am going to follow her lead as I actually think this is easier for us than arguing so I will prob be tandem feeding.
My husband loves the fact that I can solve any issue/tears/tanty/ouchie in a few seconds rather than having to put up with noise LOL.
I haven't come up against much judgment of my 'full term' breastfeeding, I just hit back with the minimum age recommendation facts etc and facts about it reducing my chances of breastcancer/diabetes etc etc.
I think if you can give people a legitimate reason for why you are continuing they tend to change their minds and I have even caught a few then telling others how wonderful it is that I am continuing for the above mentioned benefits :)
Hope my experiences/opinions help you make up your mind with what is right for you and yours, good luck :)

Olivia - posted on 09/29/2010

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I also love seeing all the moms out there that are still breastfeeding! I am 20 years old, and I know a bunch of girls that have babies, and they all bottle fed. None of them even tried to do breastfeeding.It really upsets me that they didn't even want to try. But that was up to them. I love breastfeeding, and still Nursing on Demand my 14 month old son. We call it his boobie snack, because all through the day he will come over to my lap and pull my shirt down, saying "Baa" and will only sit for a couple minutes then get up and go play, and come back again when he is thirsty. He has about 5 long feedings a day. I have no plans on weaning him any time soon, I am going to when me and him are ready to. I love being able to give him what he needs & i so enjoy the bonding with him. His father bugs me all the time about getting him off the boob, and Im just like, "Im his mother, and this is between me and him only, nobody else." My family is totally supportive on it, minus a few of my cousins & my 2 brothers. But who cares, not me! I gave birth to him & I didn't ask for any of their opinions, is exactly what i tell them when they feel the need to make a comment.

Georgina - posted on 09/29/2010

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My daughter is 10 months. I always said (before she was born) that I would BF until one year. Well, now that I've actually experienced this special bond that I have with my daughter (not to mention the health benefits of breast milk), I have decided to just let her self-wean. She gets bottles at daycare and randomly at home (if I'm not around and my husband needs to bottle-feed her) and she's pretty much on table food three meals a day plus snacks and juice. She only gets BF in the morning, after I pick her up from day care and before bed. On weekends she is BF all day. So...whenever she is ready, we'll both work together, but I'm not going to force it. I enjoy the time I get to spend with her...one day she'll be off doing her own thing...so right now I'm going to cherish these special moments I get to share with her. :)

Andrea - posted on 09/29/2010

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i love seeing all these posts. we are all so lucky to be breastfeeding our babies!! what a blessing that we have! i will forever me indebted to this post for giving me the strength to deal with people who feel like letting me know how displeased they are with MY baby's weaning agenda. What do they know!!??

Marsha - posted on 09/29/2010

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...I agree with Erin - it isn't 'extended' breastfeeding but 'full term', that sums it up great!! :)

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