November 29, 2010

Breastfeeding Beyond the Baby

breastfeeding beyond

So, she's 26 months old. And I mostly want to be done with breastfeeding but not enough to make it stop. If I let her nurse whenever she wanted, it would be
all I did every time I sat down. So I do have to tell her "no", and that she can have it at nighttime when we go to bed. That is usually a satisfying answer.

As always, of course if she is not feeling well or needs comfort, nursing is not 100% a night time thing.

And I can be away from her for a night or two (not a regular thing but I have done it) and it doesn't affect either of us.

That's how we do things right now.

I joke that she is totally the child that will still want to nurse when she is five years old and I don't mean it to be funny- it's quite a possible reality if I peek into the future, considering her current two-year old self, and so it's a we'll cross that bridge when we come to it kinda thing.

But right now? I don't see this as "extended" - I see it as "continuing."

little one little drink

She's just two.
And totally still my baby.


  1. Ooh yes, this is just how I'm feeling Steph.

    We're not at a point yet where I could leave her overnight, but I know we'll get there in the future.

    I also don't like saying extended... or any of that. Makes it sound like "more than normal" or "longer than usualy"... you know?

    That's just it. That's just how we're doing it & it works for us.

    And I love it <3

  2. Zane stopped right around his 3rd birthday. And it was all good. For both of us.

  3. Aww, my older ones both self-weaned sooner than that. She's sweet.<3

  4. Its a blessing you can. I wouldnt stop...
    I wish I had that.. but I just didnt have that ability... but I will continue to try until it does work.

    For now ill enjoy keeping my babies close and am thankful for babywearing that helps continue that even more.

  5. I have a feeling this is going to be us. We're only at 8 months now, but it's definitely every time I sit down ;)

  6. This makes me happy. My little guy stopped nursing around 16 months because I got pregnant and just dried up. I hope to be nursing his little brother much longer than that. I miss it so much.

  7. How beautiful. I wish my kids had been able to breast feed that long. That I hadn't listened to the idiot pediatrician and stopped feeding my middle.

    Congrats on 'continuing'...because you're right...she is still your baby. Just because of "toddler" supposed status doesn't make her any less your baby.

  8. she's so dear.

    we're on month 15 and sometimes i feel tired and ready to be done, but mostly i'm glad. we'll keep rolling as long as we're both happy.

  9. I'm in the same place with Ax.



  10. I am right there with you, except mine's just a couple months older and she won't take no for an answer when I try, and I do try, unless I want to hear a fit to end all fits. To say I'm done with it would be an understatement, but I'm trying to wait for her, though like you, I think mine would be content bfing until she's 5. or 10.

  11. I love breastfeeding still, but on some days I just want it over. He mugs me as soon as I sit (same as Ivy) so it takes a bit of prodding to get him to do something else. But I love our bonding time, and I'm not ready to give it up yet (and neither is he).

  12. this is just adorable, love those cute pictures!

  13. awesome, mama! you rock. i have a little one who is very into bf at (*counting on fingers*) 45 months now. so not yet 4, and it's almost only for sleep times... and all the same mix of "oh enough already" and "i never want this to end". typical mamahood stuff, but so poignant.

  14. Beautiful.

    And how I feel right now too.

    "No, wait until after dinner" usually works with our 26 month old too.

    I'm just not to the point that I could leave her yet lol

    Regardless of all the crap I get from our family (only one woman in my entire family nursed longer than 6 months ... and that was 50yrs ago), I do enjoy it.

    And she's totally still my baby.

  15. I meant our 25mo ... typo lol

  16. Audrey will be 29 months this week and everything you just said is EXACTLY us right now too!

    Many times when she's tugging at my shirt I am so ready, and other times it feels like heaven laying next to her and breastfeeding.

    Beautiful pictures!

  17. Absolutely she is! My own sweet baby and I are all done now (as of October 6th, I believe, not that I'm keeping track, sigh) but I LOVED LOVED LOVED nursing beyond a year. It was really beautiful and sweet. Enjoy it, Steph.

  18. Makes me miss those days! My boys are 7 and 10 and my nursing days seem like such a long time ago. Savor every moment!

  19. I totally understand that feeling. There's a long story behind my "having" to supplement my 3rd baby, who rejected the breast after a month of supplementation - at 3 months old. I was devastated. She's four now, and I still have the urge to put her to my breast when she needs comfort - but I know it wouldn't work.

    It makes me happy (and a wee bit jealous) that you're still nursing a 2-year-old. My last baby decided he was done pretty early, at 14 months...

    Oh, if I could turn back time!

  20. My little Will is just 26 months as well and still nursing, and I completely agree with you. :)

  21. this is all very interesting to me at the moment, as I've been on the fence about continuing with my 15 month old. I think she is sort of self weaning, because we are down to twice per day (morning and night), but sometimes she has ZERO interest, to the point of fussing and wiggling to get out of it, which is no fun for anyone... I don't know, maybe my supply has kind of dried up? I want to continue if she does, but I can't/don't want to force it.

  22. In the same place with you! the girls beg me everytime I sit down. I have to say "not right now" and sometimes they're okay but sometimes they throw a fit. UG! All my boys self weaned before now... wondering if the girls will ever be done?! :)


  23. Thanks, my 27month old still nurses frequently, I am trying to get him to a nighttime/naptime only but it will be a long sad road. It is encouraging to hear from other mothers of nursing toddlers!

  24. I so get this. I think any mom who breastfeeds beyond baby (love that) will get it. Some days I want to be done with Tommy, because he's so big and grabby (and bitey) about it, but he's still my baby that I can't quite bring myself to say goodbye to those moments.

  25. I nursed BJ to 20 months and Mia to 15. I miss it. It makes me sad to know I'll never nurse another baby. Hold on as long as you can! It's such a special time!


  26. My very spirited middle daughter is 4.5yo and still nursing on and off. She claims she will be done at 5yo. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. To be honest, I could not imagine how she would be if I weaned her back when my youngest daughter came along. She has needed to extended nurse for a reason, and I am glad I made the decision to tandem nurse her. Looking at the youngest just turning 2yo, I can not imagine her weaning at this point. I am in it for the long haul. *sigh* One day, they will be mine again.

  27. My son is about a month older than Ivy. He is less dedicated to nursing at this point than his big sister was at the same age. But he's also not willing to stop.

    And I'm totally OK with that. For now, anyway. Although I do sometimes fantasize about wearing clothes that in no way accommodate breastfeeding.

  28. My third child was just about that age when she had to stop nursing (because of an extended hospital stay for me), so your lovely pictures bring back many memories. She was the youngest of my children to wean, and when I think about it, there are many moments that would have been easier had nursing still been a tool we could turn to.

  29. I weaned my firstborn a couple of months ago at the age of three... I'm pregnant and couldn't stand it anymore! But, even at three I feel like they're just still so little! She was a big time nurser, too.

    Interesting, though, my little girl who's been sick like three times in her WHOLE life has gotten three colds (although mild) in the last two months! Coincidence?... maybe. But, that convinces me even more that nursing as long as you can is a good thing!

  30. Lovely post. With each of my children this time became more precious -- more important.

    Your words were beautiful.



  31. I read not only your post but all the comments up to this point.

    I'm so glad that I did. My older daughter will be 30 months old this week. My younger daughter is 3 months old. I never intended to tandem nurse, but here we are.

    Sometimes, when DD1 asks for (or demands) "mama milk," I just want to say, no, we're done, and never again. You're too big, yadda yadda. But usually I tell her to wait until nap time.

    As you say, she IS STILL my baby. And I am so thankful to have a supportive husband. It was just yesterday when he reminded me exactly what you just said, "Em, she's only 2."

  32. "Continuing." I like the sound of that.

    My youngest will turn 2 in March and she still nurses through the night like crazy (no overnights away for me...yet). (I'm okay with that).

  33. Nurse on girls!

    And I am LOVING that little lone curly pig-tail in that first photo! :D

  34. So sweet! I love BFing photos.

  35. 27 months and at more or less the same place...although I'm also 15 weeks pregnant and am perhaps more ready for it to be done. But not enough so to make him stop.

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  37. Aww... she's adorable!

    I think you're absolutely right. Breastfeeding at 2 years old isn't that big of an issue... she's still VERY young!

    However, like you said this is just a continuation... not an "extension." I wouldn't try to ween her off within the next year or so. You don't want to "continue" after she turns 4. That's when it becomes an extension. ;)

  38. Yesterday, I wrote about breastfeeding a 32 month old and mutual weaning (and a celebration).

    I've been procrastinating a post on breastfeeding older children since April out of fear and doubt.

    I feel kinda relieved and at peace at finally getting that post "out" there.

    Thank you so much for sharing your breastfeeding struggles and triumphs...there's comfort in knowing I wasn't going through the love and toughness of it on my own.

  39. Beautiful post! My oldest weaned at 2 years, 8 months, 8 days. I think it took some slight encouragement from me because if you asked her today, she would still latch on if she could! :) It was a sweet time that I still look fondly back on.


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