Should I allow my weaned child to nurse again with new baby?

Cheri - posted on 02/21/2011 ( 62 moms have responded )

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I haven't been on the forum in awhile dealing with a lot of things but I need some advice. Well here is my dilemma...

My first daughter was a micro preemie born at 27 weeks gestation. She is now 15 months old. We weaned around 8 months old because of medications I had to take at the time not being safe for her and others causing her some of the same miserable side effects that they were me... It broke my heart! I had planned on bfing until at least one year and probably longer (up to two years or so). I was sooo disappointed. We had worked so hard to start truly bfing after she came homeat 2 1/2 months old and had defied so many odds about being able to keep it up. She still gets one bottle of milk in the AM and one at bedtime. All other times she gets water in her sippy cup.

That being said... We are expecting baby number two the first of June and I have been debating on if I will/will not or should/should not let my daughter nurse again if she is interested. Since she is still getting her couple bottles in the AM and PM I know she still has the physical concept of how to but I just am needing some advice on this.

Anyone have any input?

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Rachael - posted on 02/21/2011

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I think that if she is interested in breastfeeding again you should allow her to at least try. Some times the older child will want to try nursing with the younger one and then not want to continue, or she may decide she likes it. I say kudos to you for allowing her a chance at the breastmilk goodness! It should ease you mind at having not been able to continue as long as you wanted the first time around.

Lori - posted on 02/22/2011

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I briefly considered letting my 2 1/2 year old nurse again now that she has a baby sister who is nursing. But she was 23 months old when weaned and even though I pushed the weaning since I was pregnant and it was hurting every time she nursed i am still happy that she got to nurse for almost 2 years. I debated letting her start again because even after weaning she'd ask for mommy milk at least once a week for a few months. She hadn't asked for mommy milk for a few months when her sister was born, but now she's asking again. I mentioned this to my LC and she said that if I did let her start again it might be a very long time before she stops on her own. So I've settled on pumping some for my toddler and letting her drink it however she likes,sippy, big girl cup, or bottle.

Good luck to you on whatever you decide to do. And don't let others tell you what's best for your kids. I know it can be hard explaining to your parents or in laws that you are doing what is right for your babies. My Mom who nursed me and my brothers about 9 months each could NOT understand why I kept nursing my daughter after her first birthday

Rachael - posted on 02/22/2011

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I wish I remembered where I read this... maybe LLL website, but they say that older children are often interested in why the baby gets to breastfeed and they do not. They often WANT to try. Not allowing them to (within reason of course) can lead to temporary feelings of "displacement" It is recommended (as long as you are comfortable with it) to allow them to try nursing. Often times they may not be interested in continuing, especially after they are on solid foods, but just knowing that mommy's milk isn't "off limits" is reassuring. As far as dealing with your relatives you can tell them that you are considering this as your oldest didn't get a chance to continue as long as you had wanted, and since you are having another one it will provide both you and your oldest daughter a chance to continue breastfeeding and end in a non-traumatic way that will provide closure for both of you. If they seem "weird about it" try simply explaining how you feel, and how you came to the decision. Best of luck!

Samantha - posted on 02/24/2011

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I say if you are comfortable with it,go for it! I had #2 in January, #1 was 16 months old. She did not seem to care about me breastfeeding the baby until about two weeks ago. Every time I would pick up the baby, she would get upset and start tugging at me. So, I let her nurse. That lasted about 30 seconds and she was done, not interested in it at all anymore.It was a much easier fix than I was expecting it to be seeing she has been weaned from the breast for 5 months (working full time and supply issues. Broke my heart!)!

Melanie - posted on 03/12/2011

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i think if you want to you should. my daughter weaned herself just before she turned 2 because i was pregnant and i assume my milk changed but after her brother was born she wanted to again so i let her. i nursed him to past 2 and im nursing my 15 mo now. and intend to continure. good luck.

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Cassandra - posted on 01/17/2014

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My son was only 6 months old when I became pregnant with his little sister. I continued breastfeeding him throughout my entire pregnancy and after his sister was born, which meant often times I had a baby on each breast! And I still do to this day, my 23 month old on one side and my 8 month old on the other with absolutely no milk production problems of any sort. I never really asked for any women's advice on my situations (although plenty of women didn't mind telling me they thought) because I trusted that God made our bodies and God allowed me to be pregnant again so soon so He would provide. And He has! :)

Joanne - posted on 03/18/2011

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I have heard of moms breastfeeding two babies at different ages at the same time. It can be done.

Joanne - posted on 03/18/2011

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It is a personal decision. But since she is already weaned, and I know it is hard, and you are pregnant, you can nurse, but I think it is best not too, but really it is a personal decision. Would have to wean her once the new baby comes, but is she is doing good, and it sounds like she is then, I just start to wean her on the bottle. It is hard, and I hope you do what is best for you, your toddler and your new baby. She might of missed out, but she really didn't, because 8 months is still good, some moms stop at 8 months or even 3 months or 6 months. So she still has that bond and loves you and does understand. Good Luck!

Michaela - posted on 03/12/2011

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They reccomend t let your child self wean if possible, my neice is 3 and still BF at night only before bed for soothing reasons. I would assume if your child is wanting to breastfeed again it may have been getting nutrients it wants and is not receiving otherwise. I know it's not "normal" to breastfeed past a year but the breastmilk offers nutrients they can't get anywhere else and the longer they want it the better.

Merry - posted on 03/12/2011

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Chelsea, I've had the same concerns since Eric is still bf about 8 times a day! The info I've found all says that you can allow the toddler to bf first or second, but keep in mind the best milk for the newborn is at the end of the breast so it's more ideal for the toddler to take off the fore milk and leave the hind milk for the newborn. Or,if you want to get more milk going you can let the toddler bf after the baby to empty the breast completely.

As for colostrum, the advise I've gotten is to try to let the baby get as much as possible, but since in my case it's unrealistic for Eric not to ask for three days, I've been told that my milk wil come in faster, and the positive of this is that my baby will likely not drop weight! She might just gain weight straight away and not have that typical dip.

Check out Kellymom.com there's a section on bf while pregnant and tandem feeding. It has a ton of info, and helped me alot when I was deciding what I was going to do.

Chelsea - posted on 03/09/2011

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Thanks for posting, i am in the same postitoin as you are, i weaned my daughter now 2 at 8 months because of low milk production and she was never satisfied, i didnt want to stop and was so upset when it ended, now im pregnant with our second baby due 2 months from the day our daughter turns 2. I have been going back and forth about weather to just redirect her or let her try, i also really worry about what she is taking from the new babys supply, how do you switch breast and let them continue to nurse if the other child already drank from that side, how long do i wait after the new baby is born to let her nurse so the baby gets the colostrum, how will i know if i produce enough for both of them if she does figure it out and wants to. I have been reading everyone's responses and im still on the fence mainly because of the logistics. Again thanks for posting so i can come to a decision soon

[deleted account]

Great question! I'm planning on nursing my daughter, if she still will, when baby #2 is born. She'll be 22 months when the baby is born and although it might seem funny to tandem feed to some people, I really want to try so I'm just going to put up with it. I think most of my family will be supportive but if they find it funny I'll just say that I'm letting my toddler stop when she wants. Plus, breast milk is still so beneficial, even past 2 years, so why not! Good luck though, stand strong if you decide to let her breastfeed again in the end!

Rebecca - posted on 03/08/2011

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I nursed all my children till they were three. You could try. It would be good for her. You also have the option of expressing and giving her a bottle of breast milk if the nursing doesn't work out.

Franchesca - posted on 03/08/2011

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I let my daughter try breastfeeding again after she weaned. Her friend BF and so she's got interested again. She forgot how, not that my milk supply was anything, and she thought it was funny because she knew she nursed and the idea, but couldn't figure out how to latch. It was hilarious actually. She tried about 3-4 times on separate occasions before she gave up entirely.

Evaleen - posted on 03/07/2011

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I say let the child lead the way. She may need the comfort of nursing when the new baby arrives. She is still so young, and being a premie, the antibodies of breastmilk can only up her immune system.

Jennifer - posted on 03/07/2011

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As a current tandem nursing mother, I say 'who's it going to hurt if you do?' Go for it. The older child may regress when the younger child is born. I have a 2 month old and a 2 year old. The older wants to nurse now more than ever. Good luck in your decision!

Jameelah - posted on 03/07/2011

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I'm not sure if drinking from a bottle really means they will know what to do when it comes to breastfeeding. I am pretty sure my children were still drinking from bottles when the next baby came along (22 months and 15 months apart) and both times the older child who was weaned off the breast showed an interest in feeding. When I allowed them a try, neither of them had any idea what to do and never asked again.



I would certainly let her try if she shows a desire. If she does manage to work it out then it will benefit her, and if she doesn't figure it out then at least she won't feel rejected and feel that she's missing out on something the baby is getting.

Keisler - posted on 03/07/2011

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If it was me I would say no to starting your daughter breastfeeding again, but it is your choice to do what you want. I breastfeed my oldest until she self-weaned at 11 months, my son is still nursing at 18 months. If your worried about your daughter getting her daily Calcium requirements, there are other foods that help supplement other than milk or you could pump the breastmilk and see if your daughter will take that. Good luck withyour decision!

Tiffany - posted on 03/07/2011

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Cheri, Thanks for posting this question. I am due with my second in June, my DD is 15 months now and has been weaned since she was 8 months. I was wondering how she will react to my nursing the new baby, especially with her sudden interest in my breasts (fascinated when I am dressing and generally poking at them during the day). It did occur to me that she might want to try nursing because the baby is, but I didn't know if I should let her or not. And if it would be weird if I did. From all the wonderful responses, I will let her if she wants and see what happens :)

[deleted account]

I think as long as breastfeeding in #2 is well established, there should be no problem. I tandum nurrsed for a period of time, and it took a lot out of me as well as the younger child. I know that everyone doesn't have that experience, but I did. As soon as #1 was off the breast, #2's weight gain really picked up and was more content and satisfied. We enjoyed a legnthly BF relationship! Good luck!

Angel - posted on 03/06/2011

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idk because she would be learning how 2 nurse and with teeth trust mi it would hurt my mother has a 1yr old nd she did the same but she is tryng 2wean her and she bites..... I Nurse my son he's 3months nd when he bites down it hurts and he's teething but if she's interested then go for it but u might want 2 try to pump a bottle since that is what she is familiar with 1st then if she likes it then you can try to get her to eat off your breast

Melissa - posted on 03/06/2011

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i think if you would loke to go for it! It certainly wouldnt do any harm. Goodluck with the birth and with whatever decision you make (go with your heart) x

Karen - posted on 03/06/2011

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my dd fed until 23 months and everyone seemed to have an opinion that that was too long to feed her but we were both comfortable with it I stopped because I was pregnant with no 2 and when he arrived dd asked if she could try 'mummy's special milk' as well as she was only 2yr 9 months and I did not want any jealousy I allowed her to feed when she wanted it was very occassional and soon stopped again she had a mouth full of teeth, never bit me and it was at night in the privacy of our own home. I defy anyone to say it is wrong to feed your toddler it is proven to be beneficial to them and my dd now 51/2 has never had any of the common childhood illnesses ie chickenpox etc and the hv thinks it is due to extended bf. She loved the arrival of her little brother and had no feelings of jealousy at all. Do what you and your daughter are comfortable with if she wants to try it is a natural thing and she will benefit from it if she wants to feed again.
Good luck x

Melisa - posted on 03/06/2011

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Hey. i believe that it is totally up to you, and if you are comfortable with it, it would be really good for her to get that extra nutrition boost too. But just make sure that there is enough for the new baby too and that you are gettiing enough nutrition to supply all three of you with the vitamins and minerals that you need. you should be on a really good multi vitamin and mineral and omega 3 supplement to support yoor own health and your babies' health too. Whatever your decision, it is YOUR decision. Don't let anyone elses opinion make up your mind. Your babies are lucky to have such a fantastic and concerned mommy! Cogratulations on your little miracles and have a wonderful time!
Melisa

Laura - posted on 03/06/2011

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i stopped breastfeeding at 2.5 years old because my milk dried up due to a new pregnancy. Your first child is alot younger and you have this wonderful opportunity to continue to give her your immunity and soothing- go for it!

Jo - posted on 03/06/2011

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I personally would to avoid sibling rivalry if you think she can remember how to. If she wants to and knows how to suckle correctly, I would.

Amy - posted on 03/05/2011

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My son weaned when I was about 6 months pregnant with my second, mainly due to the fact there wasn't really any milk. After his brother came (they are almost exactly 2 years apart) he would ask about the boobies. He wanted reassurance that one was still his, then when the younger one was about 2 months my oldest wanted to nurse again. It has worked out great for us. I've told him he can only nurse in bed, and he's fine with that. I'm a working mom, so as soon as I come home me and my boys go lay down for some nursing time. It gives me a chance to rest a little from along day, and reconnect to them. I never would've thought I be tandem nursing, but it just worked out. I think just go with what feels right for you and your little ones, and ignore the outsiders. Best of luck

Merry - posted on 03/04/2011

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You most certainly can breastfeed while pregnant! Aap, aafp, who, on and on and on all the health organizations say it's just fine and normal.
7 months pregnant and bf my 2 year old Son!

Karen - posted on 03/03/2011

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Definitely give it a go. It was recommended for me to continue breast-feeding whilst I was pregnant..I continued on until my eldest was 28 months and the new baby almost 5 months. Worked really well and was a fantastic transition when the baby was born. So many positive benefits all around. My milk was already established; colostrum still came through after giving birth which I was advised was a fantastic boost for my 23 month old. He was only having a night feed, however when my breasts were full he could have some extra (much to my relief) Very naturally weaned himself with some slight help from me around 28 months and said "his little brother needed Mummy's milk to be strong so he'd have milk from the fridge now!!" A really positive thing to do that I'm sure you will love and health wise hugely benefit your children. Go for it! Good luck.

Talia - posted on 03/02/2011

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Your body CAN feed two children, even if one is older -- you can also breastfeed while pregnant. Neither is dangerous whatsoever!

However... drinking from a bottle is actually very different from nursing. She may not remember how. Although if you tried I'm sure she could learn again, if she and you had the desire to!

Constance - posted on 03/02/2011

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You should not breastfeed while you are pregnant, the nutrients your body is making now are needed for you and your baby yet born. Also I think you will be going down a road that will ultimately lead to heartbreak for your daughter and you once her sibling is born and you can not supply both. I feel how heart breaking it is for you to not have reached you goal for her, but you have to look out for what is best for her at this stage and at this point in your family.
Best of luck and congratulations!!!

Misty - posted on 03/01/2011

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My DD is 22mos today. I had planned on nursing at least to 2 years but got pregnant when she was 8mos old when she hit 14mos she bit me and wouldn't let go but even after that I'd still let her nurse but she dropped to doing it only b4 bed and I guess my milk changed cuz she just stopped last July/aug. Her brother came in Sept and she didn't seem interested in nursing but she has "stolen" his bottles of pumped milk for outings and drank them leaving him shorted so I have to take double on outings now but lately she has been touching my breast when he feeds she hasn't attempted nursing but if she tried (as long as she doesn't bite cuz those molars are sharp) I'd have no problem. As fast as my second pregnancy happened and her nursing getting cut off I felt like she hadn't gotten short-changed so if she wanted to start back up so be it. I know my Mom would have a problem but she'd have to get over it.

Jodi - posted on 03/01/2011

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If the child showed interest - I would allow him/her to nurse, but I wouldn't encourage it. I feel like tandem nursing has become the latest feather in your cap in the mommy wars - it's not enough to nurse, it's not enough to do extended nursing, now the goal is to nurse two at once to show how uber hard core you are. So there are actually certain moms I know who are trying to get pregnant again and still nursing their 3+ year olds with tandem nursing being some crazy goal on which they are hanging their self worth. And i think this is insane.



Me, I don't understand it. I breastfed twins and it was a struggle, I never made enough milk for two babies. So even though I know some women are able to make enough milk for 2 kids, my fear would be short changing the younger one.



If your older child is doing well on solids and whatever else she is eating, I personally am skeptical she will gain any immense benefits from going back to nursing. That is just my opinion - but I am just not convinced extended nursing has the benefits some claim.



Again though I wouldn't refuse - I just wouldn't encourage it, either. FWIW I weaned my girls at 15 months or so and then a few months later tried to nurse one of them because we had some sickness going around, she hadn't been hit yet - I thought I could get her some immunity that way - she spit my nipple out and laughed at me like it was the most hysterical thing she'd ever seen.



So the older one might not even show interest LOL



But if they DO show interest and you deny them it will just make it that much more appealing.



I'm due w/ #4 in a few weeks and curious to see if my 2yos have any interest in nursing once he's here. I doubt it, but who knows.

Angela - posted on 02/28/2011

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There's no reason I can figure that would tell me not to! It's good for her, and it may turn out to be great for you as well. I tandem nursed my kids (actually still do occasionally) and there are so many good things to say about it! When I was engorged my older daughter would help me out faster than the baby could. They got bonding time with mommy and didn't have to wait or be told no. My younger one still nurses regularly at 2 and my older one usually only requests it when she's sick and we're all in the tub together. It's a great vitamin boost for her and I certainly don't mind. She usually says "I'm not getting any" but still tries.

There's nothing wrong with it!

Sarah - posted on 02/28/2011

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Personally I wouldn't! Its really hard to wean an older child off breast feeding. I ended up bf one to 5 years!!!! I think as long as you realise it could be difficult to sop again then go with your gut instinct x good luck!

Linda - posted on 02/27/2011

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My baby number 2 is now 6 months old, and my baby number 1 is 29 months old. And I breastfeed my baby no. 2 at the moment, and at the same time, my baby no. 1 still need milk at night and in the morning, so I pump some milk out and bottle feed my baby no. 1, and she loves it. She loves breastmilk more than milk powder! The only thing is that she doesn't want to directly drink from my breast any more. So as long as I have enough milk for my baby no. 2, I will continue to breastfeed my baby no. 1!

Amanda - posted on 02/27/2011

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nursing babies with teeth isnt as bad as people think my 10 month old has 8 teeth now and started teething at 6 months. He has bit me a couple of times it wasnt bad and i pull away and put him down and he figured out and doesn't do it now

Gwen - posted on 02/27/2011

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Cheri,
I can't imagine the anguish of having the choice to breastfeed taken away by a medical need. I am sorry to hear that you and your husband had that looming on your shoulders. I understand the need to want your little one to latch on again for that bonding experience, however you mentioned having a new little love on the way. (Congratulations, by the way!) I am no expert on this - I have one - but my initial reaction to this was that you may experience problems re-introducing your child to the breast. I know that older sibs sometimes regress with the introduction of a new baby into the home, so asking your older child to re-engage in this may be developmentally challenging for her. You also have to consider the amount of milk you would be suddenly be asking your body to produce, and the caloric increase your body will demand. At the beginning, you will want your new baby to have full access to your breast and some have a difficult time learning the skill.
As I said, I can not imagine what you described - teaching your daughter to latch on after 10 weeks of bottle feeding. Since she is already cup trained, how would you feel about pumping a little extra for her in her cup each day. I remember pumping copiously in order to have a freezer supply (which I am still hoarding for some reason). That way, your body will have a steady demand and I don't know that it will deplete you as much.

I hope this is helpful. I don't want to discourage you and your husband from doing what you feel is best. Just wanted to throw out some food for thought.

All the best for your family and your new love to come!
Gwen

[deleted account]

I am currently feeding my 22mth old and my 9 month old who was 9 and a 1/2 weeks premature. My older one just hung on to feeding, when I was pregnant, as the supply kept dropping. She showed renewed interest in the breast once the new baby came, and my milk came in anew, and helped me with my supply as I was expressing for the premmie.
It's nice to feed both at the same time. The older one is not running off and getting into mischief. Mind you, I don't always feed them at the exact same time.

Laurian - posted on 02/26/2011

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Hey I know a lot of people have responded, but I thought I'd just add my 2cents worth of encouragement. I had my two 12mths 2 days apart, and my first was born at 29wks gestation and had issues with attachment, so we did not bfeed for as long as I had originally hoped. I too was wondering if she'd be interested or would want to try again. We have tried multiple times, but she doesn't really like the taste, was more interested in her bottle cause it was easier, and really just wanted to cuddle. She'll even now (She is 2 and my youngest 1) still ask me for milk, but I've discovered that's just her way of saying I want to lay on Mummy's chest too. I truly hope that your little one will want to have a go but don't be disheartened if she doesn't, just give her lots of reassuring cuddles. Good Luck

Maria - posted on 02/26/2011

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When my first asked to try, I let her. She had no idea how to latch on and her attempt only lasted about 10 seconds, lol... She had been weaned for about 7 months when then baby was born...

Sara - posted on 02/26/2011

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I'm sorry you didn't get to nurse as long as you wanted to with your first. My 2 kids are 22 months apart and my toddler was interested in what I was doing. Upon a suggestion I'd read somewhere (kellymom.com?) I decided to offer her some expressed milk in a cup before offering her the breast. As it turned out, she did not care for the milk in a cup and never asked again. But she was there wanting cuddles at almost every nursing session with my newborn for a while. I'm sure you'll find out what works for the three of you!

Liza - posted on 02/26/2011

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If she is interested I say go for it. My first weaned at 15 mos but then had some health issues. It didn't help that she is extremely allergic to cow's dairy. When my second came along I started pumping extra and I offer it to my first. We put it on cereal or she gets a small glass every once in a while. She is 3 and I don't think she or I are interested in breastfeeding, but the pumped milk it a special treat for her especially since she can't have cows milk. I say go for it and if she's not interested in breastfeeding, you can always try to pump a little extra for her now and then. Good luck.

Sally - posted on 02/26/2011

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Why not? If she doesn't want to, you haven't lost anything and if she does, think of all you'll both gain.
Good luck

Kirstin - posted on 02/26/2011

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Absolutely let her try it, if you're up to it! It sounds like you would still have been breastfeeding her now, had you had the chance, so why not give it another shot? It will still be beneficial to her, and it's always a wonderful bonding experience. I commend you for considering it. Breastfeeding is so good for our little ones, and I know how hard it can be to come up against other people's opinions.

Sarah - posted on 02/26/2011

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You could offer, but she probably won't remember how to latch and may not be at all interested. Good Luck :)

Tanya - posted on 02/26/2011

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I nursed my son until I was 8.5 months pregnant and then he started crying because there was no milk (or very little), so I gave in and gave him milk for the last 2 weeks. Now, he is not interested in nursing anymore. The bottle is easier, I guess. I am disappointed but it's what he wants now. I say let your daughter nurse if she is interested, but don't force the issue. Good luck!

Cheri - posted on 02/24/2011

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Colleen I think I will look that book up right now and see how I can get it!

Thanks for the kellymom link too Lise. I used that site a good bit for great tips when all I could do was pump the first couple months.

Samantha- I figure that is probably what will happen with my daughter. :)

You guys have definately reassured me about it all! :) Thanks!

Colleen - posted on 02/24/2011

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Rachel - great advice (in your second post i think) about LLL. I am in the middle of reading their The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I highly recommend it to anyone. Especially when pregnant, before you have made all your BF decisions. I have a two year old and if he wanted to try (teeth and all) I would probably let him. I was able to BF him for 13 months, but truly wish that we had not stopped. Their advice on a pacifier is excellent as well (used one with William and feel it was part of the early weaning, that and pressure from my family.)

I really like what the other ladies are saying too. The one that got the advice from the LC is right. Your older one may not want to stop, but who said they had to? Her solution of pumping is great so her eldest gets all the wonderful benefits of breast milk.

Nicole - posted on 02/24/2011

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If you and her want to try it. I remember my toddler trying to nurse when I was pregnant with her brother and she could not remember how to. LOL

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