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To those of you who have already nursed toddlers what do you think is different than nursing a infant?

Emily - posted on 01/27/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Kari - I don't mean to high-jack your question... I just figured we could start a new thread with this one, and not clutter up the Welcome thread. :)

The thing I noticed most about nursing a toddler, is that I didn't really notice anything different. :) Everything changes so gradually as they grow, that you just kind of adapt as you go.

When #3 was born and I started tandem nursing, I suddenly noticed huge differences. I had to be constantly aware of how my infant was latched, I had to make sure she was positioned correctly (tummy to tummy) and I had a hard time helping her learn to nurse discreetly because she had a hard time latching when my shirt was partially covering her face. I also had to be more aware of her hunger cues, because I was used to a 19 month old saying or signing for milk when she wanted it.

Now that my baby is 13 months, she's nursing pretty much the same as her older sister. Position isn't nearly as important... if she can reach, she can latch. She's a great discreet nurser, and she's also starting to sign when she wants milk too. I've found it's much easier to nurse my older kids when they ask for it, because I know that's what they really want, and they become much more patient with my milk as they get older. There's always that nasty period from about 6-12 months when they get so distracted by everything that they don't want to hold still to nurse. After my kids reach around 13-14 months, they suddenly calm down, and if they ask to nurse... they'll actually hold still and nurse.

It's also wonderful to be able to communicate better with a toddler and ask them to open wider for a better latch, or to let go because you need to get up to go to the bathroom, etc.

Nursing an infant is a wonderful, precious experience... but having that bond with a toddler, who can better express pleasure in "mommy milk" is priceless.

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Nancy - posted on 02/17/2009

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My favorite thing when they got older was that they could "communicate" with me and I would know that I was meeting their needs.  By the time each of my girls was between 6 and 9 month old or so she could sign that she wanted to nurse.  I created my own sign for nursing (I could not find one at the time and did not want to confuse nursing with the sign for cows milk) and each of them had their own way of signing it, but we all knew what the sign was and what it meant.  It was great that they could "tell" me what they needed. 



I also loved that they could latch on by themselves as they got older. 



When they got even older it was neat to tandem nurse as the older one would climb into my lap and "assume the position" and then I would place the baby in the older child's lap and get the baby latched on and then the older one would latch on and we could (as my oldest called it) "nurse all together whole family".



The other thing I liked is that as they got older they could wait a while between nursing sessions.  A baby does not understand that they need to wait for a moment while you go potty, but an older nursling can understand that and can wait for a little while.  As they get even older they can understand that they have to wait until you have a place to sit comfortably (when they are too big/heavy to hold and walk around), and when they are even older they can understand that nursing is for at home or privacy and they wait until they are home to ask for nursing.



Babies nurse all day and night, but as they get older they nurse less often.



 



I loved nursing both babies and older nurslings, and they both have their positive and negative things about them!

[deleted account]

While I don't think I noticed much of a difference in nursing a toddler vs infant, I have definately noticed a differnce in a preschooler vs toddler or infant.

she always asks politely before nursing
she puts my breast away when she is done
she doesn't twiddle or do acrobats while nursing
she thanks me with big girl words when she is finished and tells me how much she loves mommy's milk

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Amber - posted on 08/27/2011

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i like that the positions aren't as awkward. she knows how to move around and make it work, so it's not all up to me... saves my back and shoulders a lot of work! i also like that i dont have to be quite as tuned in to her crying/suckling mouth to know when she's hungry... she just comes to me, points to my breast and says, "num num?" .... SO much easier! sometimes i think i want to wean her, but i really cant come up with a good enough reason to take away her favorite thing :P

Tonia - posted on 02/19/2009

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I would take a full toothed mouthed toddler over a newborn any day! I found it easier and more rewarding. I love the funny antics she does, even though some hurt. On the other hand, I loved watching DD grow on my milk, very empowering!

[deleted account]

How old is Kenzie? When Alice got around 18 months old I implemented nursing manners. She had to ask to nurse instead of tugging my shirt down, she had to be still while nursing and she had to stay on and not go back & forth. If we hadn't have started her nursing manners I wouldn't have been able to continue, the distractions were driving me crazy and hurting my nipples to boot.

I think at a certain age, before they can understand manners, the distractions and popping off if just part of it. Just stick with it, when I had to NIP when mine were in the distracted stage I would just keep a washrag ready to cover myself if one of them popped off so I wouldn't be exposed.

Kari - posted on 01/28/2009

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I am in a real mess with Kenzie... for the last 2 or so months she constantly "pops off" at every sound while nursing. It almost drives me nuts and I wish she would stay more focused and not leave me exposed! I am attempting to wear a nursing necklace for her to play with during those feedings where she tends to stray.

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