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Is it hard to stop breast-feeding an older child?

(16 Posts)
crayon Tue 21-Aug-07 09:28:17

I stopped breastfeeding DS1 and DS2 at about a year because I wanted to conceive again and needed my periods to come back/regulate. As DS3 is our last baby (sob) there's no hurry and I am considering extended feeding.

My question is, how do I then stop feeding when I want to? I assume it is easier to stop when they are this age than in a year's time, or is that not the case?

Does anyone have any experience of this?

numptysmummy Tue 21-Aug-07 09:37:32

How long do you call extented feeding? My first too weaned themselves at a year, my 3rd was 16mths and only stopped because i was admitted to hospital ( i was also 12 wks pregnant but not worried about that).
Dd2 is 13 mths and probally feeds as much now as she did when she was 6mths. Will be putting her in her own rm soon so the night feeds wilkl stop but god knows how long she will go on for after that. She is very forceful when she wants a bf though so i think it could be tricky.

lyndyloo Tue 21-Aug-07 15:37:17

Is it hard to stop bfing? YES! Would love to stop but can't face the tantrums from my LO (who is 13 months

littlepiggies Tue 21-Aug-07 15:48:30

My wee one is 22 mths and I stopped bfing 3 weeks ago. I thought it would be horrendous but I was surprised how easy it was in the end. I totally changed her bedtime routine, for about a week she got a little bit of booby before getting into bed and none after (we are co-sleepers). After that she just kind of forgot about the booby before bed. She has tried it on quite a few times but accepts the explanation that diddy is broken (she even strokes it and says "poor diddy"!).
So, I guess my message is that it doesn't need to be a battle and in fact it has probably helped that she is now at an age where she can understand (ish!) that it has gone for good. I say feed away! It's such a lovely time and I've only really stopped to get my periods back so we can get on and make number 2.

terramum Tue 21-Aug-07 17:37:19

If you are considering "extended bfing" why not also consider letting your DS3 wean naturally from the breast?

callmeovercautious Tue 21-Aug-07 17:57:29

My DD is 11m and I worried about the same. However having looked into it and asked on here a while ago it seems that most will self wean by 3 anyway. DD only really feeds well am and pm now, the 2 daytime ones are more my habit than hers iykwim.

I am hoping that she will evntually just stop feeding when offered - not soon though! I don't think I could handle tantrums over it

crayon Tue 21-Aug-07 22:45:41

Thanks all. I'm not about weaning naturally Terramum - I assumed it was usually instigated by the mother. Do they just stop of their own accord then as a rule?

emkana Tue 21-Aug-07 22:53:34

If you let your child be then they will stop of their own accord one day.

Dd1, for example, stopped at 2.2 years of age.

Dd2 was 2.6.

I had gently encouraged them to cut down by putting down certain rules over time when they could or could not feed, but at the end of the day they made the decision themselves.

melpomene Tue 21-Aug-07 22:59:06

It depends on the individual toddler. There are some who are reluctant to wean, but ime it's common for them to wean themselves,or with a little encouragment, gradually and happily before the age of 3.

I fed my dd1 until about 2.6. I encouraged her to wean because I was starting to find it a bit irritating. I began by restricting the length of feeds, offering her cuddles instead of feeds, and also used distraction etc. She didn't put up any real protest.

I think in some ways it's easier to wean at age 2 or 3 than it would be if the mother instigated wearning at age 1 (or below), because an older child is beginning to understand about compromise and other people's needs.

Loshad Tue 21-Aug-07 23:24:08

Depends whether you want to stop or not, weaned Ds1 very easily at 18 months as was 8 months pg with DS2. Ds2 had a nursing strike at 13 months which with hindsight i should have persevered through. Ds3 weaned himself,and potty trained himself the same week at about 2y4m, very very easy, but he had (as had DS1 and 2) had restricted access to the breast after 8m or so as I was working (slightly younger for DS1 and 2), Ds4 I didn't go back to work, he very gradually weaned himself at nearly 4, by about 2.5 y he was feeding more or less nighttime only, though quite a bit at night, and he just gradually dropped the feeds, moving on to only feeding every 2 or 3 days until he stopped. Was an experince I was delighted to have, that of a child genuinely self weaning without any restrictions on his feeding. He still (aged 6+) remembers it fondly

loopyredangel Wed 22-Aug-07 15:58:50

My DS is 2 in a couple of weeks, and is addicted! I am all but empty now and 28 weeks pregnant, but he stil insists on suckling even though there is nothing left. It's driving me mad now!!! He throws major tantrums if he doesn't get his boob, and pulls and tugs on me (doesn't help he's very, very strong for a 2 year old). Wish I was warned about this when I started I might have set out a different routine.

Highlander Wed 22-Aug-07 16:01:24

I stopped BFing DS1 at 18 months as I was having an amnio (the next day). He was down to just a morning and evening feed anyway (my decision on that). I just told him that the boofie was all finished and he replied, 'bissy bis?' (biscuit). That was the end of it. I was gutted he didn't put up more a fight!

geekgirl Wed 22-Aug-07 16:07:13

As others have said, it does depend on what you consider 'older' - my dd1 was a very, very avid breastfeeder but it did tail off a lot between 2-3 and she stopped without a fuss and some v. gentle persuasion when she was 3.5 years old.

Ds stopped without needing any persuasion when he was 3 - he just didn't ask anymore and I didn't offer.

Dd2 weaned herself suddenly during a nursing strike at 15 months - no matter how much I offered, tried, cajoled - she wouldn't have any.

IME breastfeeding really changes a lot between 2-3. At 2 they're still so little in so many ways and there is so much adjusting going on, they're bound to want to breastfeed lots. By the time they're 3 most children are a lot more settled in themselves and ready to move on.

terramum Wed 22-Aug-07 21:54:46

Crayon - most mothers in the western world do tend to self wean these days for a variety of reasons...but it isn't necessary at all. There seems to be a myth that a child will never self wean if left to their own devices.. I guess that's as a result of our western ideas about what age it is acceptable for a child to still be bfing. It is normal for children to self-wean between the ages of 2 & 4 yrs, although it's considered biologically normal for children to bf up until around 7 yrs. The average weaning age worldwide is 4 I think...so obviously there must be a fair few older children bfing out there to counter the western low weaning age.

You might find the LLL book "How Weaning happens" by Diane Bengson interesting as well as this links:

www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/how_weaning_happens.html

determination Wed 22-Aug-07 22:28:19

my dd1 self weaned at 25months probably coz i was pg with dd2, who is happily excusively BF

crayon Thu 23-Aug-07 18:20:19

Thanks all that's reassuring.

I thought he had decided enough was enough this week actually because my milk production dropped massively and he seems to have been having less, but I have been feeding like a loon and am back up to full capacity!

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