Breastfeeding after 12 months???

Shayla - posted on 10/25/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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Hi. My daughter is about to be 11 months old and as we get closer and closer to the 12 months mark I am quite afraid with the whole breastfeeding issue. I mean its not really an issue. Ok anyways, I want to BF til my daughter is atleast 2 years old but how does a child get breastmilk, cows milk and foods???? I mean how can she eat all that. I hear cows milk and food food should be the majority of her daily intake. How do I fit nursing in there? I know for sure she will not be ready to give up the boobie and I know I am not ready to part with that bond yet. It makes me quite sad to think about it. We went thru hell the first 4 months and now we are in full swing with bf.

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Merry - posted on 10/29/2010

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She only needs cows milk if she's breastfeeding less then three times a day, actually even then she doesn't EVeR need cows milk!
Many many many cultures drink NO animal milk, they get calcium other ways.
So for cows milk, it's not important or necessary, just a cheap easy way to get calcium.
My son drinks no cows milk he is 1 1/2 now.
As for foods the percentages look like this 75% breast milk at 12 months 25% solids at 12 months
50-50 by 18months
And 75% solids 25% breast milk by two years
That said breast milk is still FAR more nutritious then any solid she can eat! Solids are somewhat important as you get to weaning age but at a year, my son ate almost No solids at all. Now at 1 1/2 I think he is like 50-50 and I never pressured him into it, he just ate with me off my plate and when he asks for boob he gets boob, when he asks for food he gets food.
He is In charge of his diet and he is doing beautifully. Now today he caught my stomach virus and so he will not be eating any solids all day he will be only breastfeeding and that's amazing!
Don't push her into any food or drink, just let her explore your food and eat what she wants, don't make it a stress factor, she will eat when her body is ready and your milk continues to be perfect nutrition for her after a year.

Celeste - posted on 10/25/2010

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Honestly, I found nursing after one was so much easier! I wasn't their sole source of nutrition anymore.
Cow's milk:
-If you're nursing at least 3x's a day, there is no need for cow's milk! Your milk IS whole milk. Check this link out about cow's milk:
http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids...

Honestly, I just went with the flow. My twin boys would typically nurse in the morning, before breakfast, then between breakfast and lunch, and then between lunch and dinner.

Brittany - posted on 10/25/2010

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First of all, it's wonderful that you plan to breastfeed her for two years! You don't need to give her cows milk if you are still breastfeeding. Cows milk is supposed to be a replacement, not an addition. Breastmilk is FAR superior to cows milk in every way so it will greatly benefit her health for as many years as you can breastfeed her!

Sarah-Jayne - posted on 10/28/2010

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my son is 13 months now and i still breast feed but its only in a morning now when he wakes up, when he has a nap or goes to bed he has cows milk and food for every meal and snacks. i know how you feel i am still clinging onto the bond and we are both happy still bfedding once a day xxx

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Donna - posted on 10/29/2010

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im a working mom so weening my daughter off the boobie is becomming easy. i stopped pumping around the time my daughter turned 11 months. during the day she takes cows milk and table food. when i get home from work she gets her boobie fix, and some table food with dinner. then she gets a booby for bed. if she wakes in the middle of the night i'll feed her again. She turned 1 and kinda just all of a sudden started to sleep through the night.

Amanda - posted on 10/29/2010

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The idea of cows milk is only due to the vit D and calcium, which your daughter can get from you and through other foods she will be eating. I commend you for wanting to feed until she is two. I am a WHO mommy myself and plan to just let my son self-wean. Look at the foods your baby can get vit D and calcium from, and also other vitamins. I have many friends who don't use cows milk because the sole purpose is for calories, calcium and vit d plus milk is full of so many hormones now. Some of my friends haven't even introduced milk to their toddlers because of the hormones. It's really up to you, but look at what your daughter can get from you and other foods without milk and see if it is enough.

Merry - posted on 10/29/2010

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Oh and Eric breastfeeds about 7 times a day and night, only a few minutes each time, but it's important for me to not cut him back, he is in charge!
Yes I breastfeed him to sleep, and back to sleep if he wakes, no it does not make him eat less in the morning!
There's NO down side to any amount of breastfeeding, I have never heard of such a thing as "too much breast milk" at any age.

Shayla - posted on 10/29/2010

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Thank you everyone soooo very much for the wonderful advice. I am 100% relieved. I was planning on letting my daughter self wean but wasn't sure about how to BFafter a year. Everyone is so great on here. U ladies have awesome advice and are awesome for willing to share your experiences and advice. I am highly thankful for all of you wonderful mommies!!!

Amanda - posted on 10/27/2010

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Just keep nursing her when she needs to, Feed her breakfast with juice lunch with water Nap time with the breast, snack with some water or a veggie juice and dinner with cows milk, bed time with breast.
If she is nursing at night try to cut that out or she wont eat breakfact very good, and then that will throw off the rest of the day. My son would nurse a little first thing in the morning but just not for very long. He self weaned at 22 months I had from the begining planed to let him choose when he was done. This schedule worked well for us both! Good luck

Jodi - posted on 10/27/2010

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The more you nurse, the less cow's milk you need to give her. It really isn't any different nursing a 12 month old than an 11 month old...they just drink some cows mik here and there! I give my daughter a little dixie cup of milk with her meals and sometimes with snacks...it doesn't add much to their diet at all. Best of luck!

Katrina - posted on 10/27/2010

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I nursed my first until he was 2 months shy of 3 years old, nursed my second until 3 months shy of his 5th birthday and am nursing my almost 17 month old. Cows milk isn't as important to a nursing baby as it is to a formula fed baby as you are weaning off formula completely and replacing it with cows milk whereas you are not taking the breast milk out of your child's diet. My oldest is lactose intolerate which was even more reason to not introduce it at all. My 17mo old has never had it at all and my second barely had it. Table foods are supposed to be the major part of my child's diet at this age? Tell that to my daughter LOL Seriously, some days we can't feed her enough other days she wants to do nothing but nurse and nibble on a few random things off my plate. All 3 of mine were like that. They all are perfectly fine. Most of those "rules" are for formula babies not breast fed babies. You're good :)

Rachel - posted on 10/27/2010

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my son is 19 months and he is just fine with my milk... I have tried to offer cow's milk and he just wont' take it ... not that I care :P he is happy to just nurse. he drinks water and some juice every once in a while but I just dont' see any need for cow milk

Melissa - posted on 10/27/2010

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I would continue on as you are! My dd wasn't interested in solids until nearly 2. The difference between now and after is you "can" offer other foods first, and then breast. Doesn't mean you HAVE to. ;-)
Oh, and it becomes so FUN that second year. My dd was signing and starting to talk (she called nursing boo-boo) and could express her appreciation (signing and saying thank you, and mmmm good!) lol and also learned to ask nicely (teachable moments!) to nurse. DD weaned of her own desire at 4- so you don't have to be sad, this could go on a good while if you want it to. :-D

Megan - posted on 10/27/2010

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I don't have anything new to add, just wanted to second what everyone else said! My son is 13 months and he is allergic to cow's milk. I never planned on making it an integral part of his diet so its no big deal. I do nurse every 2.5-3 hours still and through the night. Plus he eats 3 meals and snacks. I prefer to offer the breast before his meals because BM is way more nutritious than anything I can cook!!!

Good luck :)

Dian - posted on 10/26/2010

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It's so nice to hear many mothers still nurse their babies after 12 months. Not many people realise that the WHO's guideline is that infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond. Most people only mentioned exclusive breasfeeding for 6 months. My son is almost 20 months old and he still wants to be breastfed. He has a very good appetite and eats well. Since birth he has never wanted to use bottles, even though I tried. So I guess he only knows his mum's breasts as his source of milk. It's really funny because he has never that keen on drinking milk (expressed breastmilk, formula or cow's) from a cup. He would have cow's milk in his cereal and would finish it happily but as soon as I put some milk in his cup, he would only take a sip or two but no more. He drinks water, juice or even redbush tea happily from a cup. Just not milk. His his typical day is like this. He has breastmilk when he wakes up, followed by breakfast, then snack of fruits/yoghurt between breakfast and lunch, then after lunch breastmilk (before his nap), another fruit/yoghurt snack, dinner, breastmilk again before bedtime, then about 2-3 breastfeeds overnight. A couple of weeks ago, he picked up a 48 hour virus that made him nauseous and was really ill. He vomitted after breakfast and then for 3 days refused to eat (due to the nausea) and would only nurse on me. Our doctor said it's really good that I'm still breasfeeding him because when he can't keep anything down, breastmilk is the best thing for him. So I'm glad I'm still breastfeeding my son.

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Cow's milk is not a requirement for anyone. As long as you nurse at least 3 times/day... other dairy isn't even necessary (though certainly ok). Fitting nursing in has never been a problem for my 2.5 year old son. He eats 3 meals a day (usually), 1-3 'snacks', and nurses 3-10 times in 24 hours. He's still only 27ish pounds. ;)

Amanda - posted on 10/26/2010

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My DD is 19 months old and is still nursing...Cows milk is not a must. In fact there is so much Calories in BM you could just give her cups of water.. that is what we do. Now that my DD is getting older she will do the sign for eat and do a happy dance! I am going to miss this once she is two but and we went through hell too.. I am not actually setting a date.. I am going to let her self wean but the more she eats the less she will nurse, however my I always offer her a cup of water and food thoughout the day otherwise she will do nothing but nurse!

Stevie - posted on 10/26/2010

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I nursed my son for 2 years. By 1.5 years it was more of comfort nursing, when he was just shy of 2, he developed asthma and when we were in the hospital for a week and he was very sick, he wanted to nurse - I started to nurse him full time again and eventually at 25 months he stopped all together. Thankfully, I was able to pick back up and help him through the healing process.Good luck...

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I agree with the others. My pediatrician said not to worry about cow's milk while we're still BF. My daughter (17 months) drinks water with meals and nurses 3-5 times a day. She nurses when she wakes, at nap time and at bed time. Some days she nurses once in the afternoon and once at night. Like Celeste, I find nursing after one much easier.

Mary - posted on 10/25/2010

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Actually, my pediatrician said that as long as a child is nursing three times daily, he/she does not need cow's milk. Breastmilk will always be superior nutrition for your baby/toddler because, well, she is human rather than bovine. My daughter is almost 17 months, and right after she turned one her nursing actually increased. It has only decreased in the last 1-2 months. I work part time, and we needed to introduce cow's milk last summer since I was no longer able to pump enough. (We use lactaid; she didn't tolerate regular milk). Here is our current routine: wake up and nurse, breakfast--oatmeal and fruit =/- yogurt, sometimes a little milk in a cup if still thirsty or does not nurse well, midmorning snack solids, if at day care cow's milk, may or may not nurse if home, lunch milk + solids, midafternoon snack, may nurse after nap, always nurses at least once in the late afternoon/evening. If it is a day I am working she always wants to nurse before dinner. Dinner with us, milk or diluted juice depending on her intake, nursing as part of bedtime routine. So she nurses from 3-5 times daily, usually closer to 3. Also, keep in mind, at least for my daughter, the day time nursing is much shorter, although she is quite leisurely first thing in the morning. So don't feel like you have to give your daughter cow's milk. We only did initially to introduce it to her because she can't be with me all day every day, and now to supplement BF'ing. My daughter likes to eat a little bit throughout the day, so whenever I mention a cow's milk drink, it's usually only 3-4 oz. I hope that helps.

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