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Extended breastfeeders come and talk to me

(14 Posts)
JustcallmeDog Sat 25-Jul-09 12:59:19

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CharCharGabor Sat 25-Jul-09 13:20:06

Hello smile I'm bfing DD who is two in two weeks. I decided that I wanted to allow her to self wean from a few months old, once bfing was going well. I had read up on it and it appealed to me. DD is a very enthusiastic feeder so as needed very little encouragement tbh, although I do offer if she's narky or tired. She has just dropped down to two feeds a day (poss due to me being pg) but she fed fairly frequently for most of her second year. I have been out for a few evenings with no problems, she settles fine for DP when I'm not there. As for the benefits, see here HTH smile

Verity79 Sat 25-Jul-09 15:14:49

Did you intend to feed past a certain age?
I intend to let all of mine self wean (I am currently nursing my DD1 3.5y/o, DD2 19m/o and am 28 weeks pg.)

Did you have to encourage feeding?
Not with DD1 as she was/is a bah-monster (Bah is her name for nursing). DD2 went on a nursing strike a while back when she was cutting all 4 canines but came back to it of her own accord - just me offering at night before bed then she asked to feed the next morning and wouldn't let her sister near me shouting 'mine, mine bah'.

How often do you feed?
DD1 has a short feed on waking (approx 10-30 secs) and a short feed of he same duration before bed, but both of those are if she asks for it, I never offer. She has one feed in the day in months and that was after a boy bit her on the thigh.
DD2 will ask at random points during the day but no more than twice and will sometimes initiate a feed in the mornings or at night. I do offer at night but if she refuses I don't force the issue.

Is it impossible to get away for an evening?
Not at all, both of them were left all day and well in to the evening last year for two child free weddings and went to bed fine. DD1 had cows milk and DD2 had a few expressed bottles. I tend to go out after they have gone to sleep but neither of them need a feed before bed at their ages (in their eyes not mine). They both drink cows milk and have done from around 15 months in each case (my milk supply drops/dries up in 2nd trimester so they need something!)

DD1 also spent from Saturday morning until Monday afternoon being looked after by Grandparents when DD2 was born and she was perfectly fine (she was 20 m/o).

As they get older do they come more dependant on it?
No, and in fact DD1 has been known to go 10 days with out a feed but has come back to nursing of her own accord. She is ever so independant, and when she started playschool she never even bothered to say goodbye! shock
I teach nursing manners from about 1 year. They both have to say please/ta, not bite, no twiddling/fiddling, if mummy says no she means no, if mummy says in a minute/when I've finished the dishes/whatever she will follow through and offer bah and most definately not while I'm on the loo! Obviously if they fall/hurt themselves all bets are off and they get nursed where-ever/whenever.

What are the benefits of feeding past 1?
Apart from all the physical benefits (which I'm sure other people will post) there is the benefit of letting your child decide when they no longer need that particular form of comfort and letting them grow up secure in the knowledge that when they need it you will give it to them with cuddles and kisses to boot. It calms them down when they are fractious and it was invaluable when DD1 was hospitalised from an asthma attack and DD2 was hospitalised for a chest infection with a 40.3C temp.

When DD2 was a few weeks old I exclusively nursed DD1 and DD2 (she did have a syringe of 40mls of formula which she puked up) for 3 days while we all had the most filthy cold. DD1 refused anything to eat and drink and would only nurse. I dread to think what would have happened if she wasn't nursing.

All in all it works for our family but I would never say that it is for every family/situation. Go with your gut and with your child, you never know where you may end up!

elvislives Sat 25-Jul-09 15:34:30

Did you intend to feed past a certain age?
My other 4 all self-weaned at 15 mo so I assumed this one would be the same. At 2.4 she shows no signs of stopping. I didn't plan to carry on this long.

Did you have to encourage feeding
Far from it- she demands it

How often do you feed?
During the week she's at nursery from 8ish until 5. I feed her at nursery drop off then she asks as soon as we get home. At home it seems to be all the time ATM, every time I sit down.

Is it impossible to get away for an evening?
No. She isn't bothered when I'm not here. I've been out out a few times, and I go to a weekly evening dance class.

As they get older do they come more dependant on it?
Mine seems to be but I didn't find that with my others.

What are the benefits of feeding past 1?
For me personally it's an instant antedote to scrapes/ teeth or other upsets, gets her off to sleep instantly and gives us chance to reconnect after nursery. For her it's the comfort factor, and also she gets antibodies when we are ill.

theyoungvisiter Sat 25-Jul-09 15:47:29

Hello, I am tandem feeding DS1 (3 and a bit) and DS2 (7 months.

In answer to your qs...

Did you intend to feed past a certain age?
Not really, I always hoped to feed to at least 12 months and then see how it went. In my naivety I suppose I thought one day I would just stop - I never thought the baby would have an opinion too!

Did you have to encourage feeding?
No, even when I had next to no milk (during pregnancy) DS1 always showed a very, very strong need to nurse. I have spent most of our relationship trying to cut down feeds in fact.

How often do you feed?
DS2 - whenever he wants (6-10 times in 24 hours) DS1 - once or twice a day - generally always mornings, and about half the time evenings too.

Is it impossible to get away for an evening?
Not at all, from the age of about 18 months DS1 was happy to go down without a feed for DH, it was only if I was there that he demanded one. Now he goes to bed without a feed about half the time anyway.

As they get older do they come more dependant on it?
I think it comes and goes - there have definitely been times when DS1 has been less dependent on feeding, and times when it's been incredibly important to him. At the moment I would say he's at one of his less dependent stages, although he's still quite keen.

What are the benefits of feeding past 1?
Well obviously there are health benefits for the baby and I think it has made DS1 very confident and secure. He's dealt with changes like nursery and a new baby brother very calmly and without rivalry. He is also incredibly healthy and has never had any medication other than calpol or any illness greater than a cold, although I appreciate there are probably lots of FF babies you could say the same for! In my case it's always been an incredibly easy way to settle DS1 to sleep, I never had to spend more than a few minutes putting him down for naps and he never resisted bedtimes or naps. It meant I was a lot more rested during my pregnancy than with a non-nursing toddler. It was also a lovely way of reconnecting after a day at work when I first went back to work after maternity leave.

On the whole I think it has been an extremely positive experience but definitely more driven by DS1's desire to keep nursing than my desire to do it - there have been a lot of times when I would have been glad to see him wean (particularly when pregnant) but he was not just not ready, but incredibly resistant to the idea!

hercules1 Sat 25-Jul-09 18:07:32

Not read other replies so sorry if repeating.

Did you intend to feed past a certain age?
With ds I never intended to feed for very long at all. However I joined la leche league and realised that is perfectly fine to feed for a much longer time than I intended to originally. Dh was bf till he was 4 and I ended up feeding ds till he was 4 also. That was my cut off point.
With dd, I knew I would feed her for a long time but I never wanted to feed as long as 4 sso stopped at 3.

Did you have to encourage feeding (DD at 15 months was quite reluctant to feed and it gradually tailed out).

Never encouraged unless child was upset and in obvious need of breastfeeding.

How often do you feed?

I went back to work when dd was 5 months so apart from weekends and holidays I bf in the eevening and first thing in the morning.

Is it impossible to get away for an evening? As they get older do they come more dependant on it?

Less dependant on it as they get older. As I said I was back at work full time when dd was 5 months. No problem going out for an evening.

What are the benefits of feeding past 1?
Lots of allergies, excema, asthma in family so I figured I was giving them the best protection I could. Instant calming method. Great when child ill and unable to take any other food.

PinkTulips Sat 25-Jul-09 18:17:42

Did you intend to feed past a certain age?

with dd when i was pregnant i told myself 'Just get the colostrum into her and see how it goes', i found once i was feeding though even though feeding dd was fairly horrific the thought of giving her formula upset me far too much so i decided to go for 6 months. At 6 months i tried her on some formula as i was planning on gradually weani9ng but she turned out to be cows milk intolerant and formula reacted badly, she spat soya at me. So i went for the one year mark and gave up at exactly 12 months... i found those last 6 months easier but tbh i was still quite relieved to give up, not least becasue i was 3 months preg and was having to fight dd into feeding as she was no longer really interested!

with ds1 i decided to go for 12 months as i'd done it for dd but found him much easier to feed and we ended up going to 2.5 when i was very close to giving birth to ds2 and ds1 just seemed to lose his latch, he tried again after ds2's birth but wasn't able to.

with ds2 i'll be going natural term again hopefully.

Did you have to encourage feeding (DD at 15 months was quite reluctant to feed and it gradually tailed out).

see q1 regarding dd. ds1 never lost interest and once i was preg with ds2 i adopted the don't ask/don't refuce method and he only asked at bedtime.

How often do you feed?

0-6 months: every hour to 3 hours depending on babies mood
6-12 months: 4 times a day approx
12-18 months: 2/3 times a day
18 months+: 1/2 times a day (more if sick)

Is it impossible to get away for an evening?

totally, we started going out again when each baby was about 7/8 months, up til a year i left a bottle of expressed milk but after that didn't bother. we got the kids to bed and i fed before leaving and they were always still asleep when we got back a few hours later.

As they get older do they come more dependant on it?

no, far less ime.

What are the benefits of feeding past 1?

kellymom has some great stats on this but the basics are that the immunological factors and protection against cancer and other disieses actually increase past the age of one. also, it still remains the best and easiest way to comfort a child

PinkTulips Sat 25-Jul-09 18:29:06

Obviously i read that question as 'is it possible' blush

I also forgot to add, ds1 was just at a summer camp with 20 odd kids of 3/4/5 years of age... he's not 3 til next week. The teachers there were amazed at how outgoing, confidant and unfazed by the experiance he was... kids 2 years older than him had problems yet he had none. I'm not saying natural term bf-ing is totally responsible for that but i do feel strongly that allowing a child to chose when to finish feeding does make them more secure and confidant in themselves.

LeninGrad Sat 25-Jul-09 18:42:30

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LeninGrad Sat 25-Jul-09 18:45:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JustcallmeDog Sun 26-Jul-09 21:04:16

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Mummy369 Mon 27-Jul-09 23:32:48

Have got 2 boys and a little girl. Fed DS1 for 2 yrs 8 months - stopped early pregnancy. Fed DS2 for 2 yrs - very demanding breastfeeder, big + hungry baby. Stopped before next pregnancy. Had every intention DD self-weaning but had to stop 7 weeks ago (3 yrs 1 month) - night feeds increasing in frequency and duration. Last couple months of breastfeeding BF 3-4 time per night plus evening feed and morning feed (7ish), each feed 60-90 minutes long. Also fed (occasionally) during day when not working.

Would love to have continued breastfeeding - really miss it sometimes, but not the disturbed sleep! DD still interested in Mummy cuddles and likes to caress and lay her head on my breasts. Will occasionally tease me and pretend to try and BF, but has cheeky look and then giggles!

HoppityBunny Wed 29-Jul-09 16:15:45

I got 2 girls ages 5 and 3 and I am now currently BFG my 4 mth baby boy.

I had always intended to BF cos I seen a cousin of mine doing it when I was a child.

I had planned to BF my DD1 for a year, then when the year was up I said I BF till she's walked. When DD1 walked I still didn't give BFG her, I carried on till she was nearly 2 and I was also pregnant with DD2 at the same time. I BF DD2 for 2 1/2 years. And, again I was still BFG DD2 while pregnant with my 3rd baby. I find that using the pregnancy hormones help with the weaning process. Cos my 3rd baby (DS) is the last one, I am assuming that I will probably be BFG for longer maybe till 3 yrs cos there's no pregnancy hormones to help me out here! With every child I had, I find I BF for longer with each one!

PortAndLemon Wed 29-Jul-09 16:47:16

(Background: bf DS until 3.2 and currently bf DD (16 months))

Did you intend to feed past a certain age?

Not particularly. I had heard of the idea of self-weaning but wasn't particularly wedded to it initially. But by the time breastfeeding was well-established with DS it just seemed like the obvious thing to do.

Did you have to encourage feeding?


How often do you feed?

I went back to work when DS was 8.5 months old and when DD was 10.5 months old and from that point they fed morning, evening, and (until night-weaning) once at night on days when I was at work, and sometimes an additional once or twice on days when I wasn't. More often if they were ill.

Is it impossible to get away for an evening?

Not at all. Or not because of the breastfeeding, anyway grin. I went away for a week with work twice when DS was about 14-16 months, with no problems, and evenings out weren't any more of a practical issue than that.

As they get older do they become more dependant on it?

Not in my experience

What are the benefits of feeding past 1?

Well... they like it smile. That's a pretty big benefit. And it's also great for calming down from tantrums (when they get to the I'd-really-like-to-stop-this-tantrum-now-but-I'm-all-overwhelmed-by-my-emotions stage, which DS used to hit quite often but DD hasn't as yet). Also quite often when ill I found they could keep down breastmilk but not anything else, so it was handy to still be breastfeeding at those times.

For more concrete health benefits, research has shown that breastfeeding toddlers have fewer illnesses, and illnesses of shorter duration, than children of the same age not currently breastfeeding. In relation to this, it's interesting that some of the immune factors in breastmilk actually increase in concentration during the second year.

Increased time spent bf also offers some protection for the mother against breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, endometrial cancer, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis (it's possible that the protective effects in some cancers may be related to the duration of lactational amenorrhoea rather than to the duration of breastfeeding in itself, though).

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