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Whats your ideal length of time to breastfeed?

Forum: Natural Childbirth


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February 16th, 2012, 06:20 AM
Platinum Supermommy
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My ideal is 2-3 years. Once I hit that point with both girls, I started to feel "done". It will be interesting to see how things go with Alexis because I went through a pregnancy with the other 2 that really hurt my breastfeeding relationship with both of them. I was really sore and my milk dried up and breastfeeding wasn't enjoyable anymore. Abby kept nursing and we tandem nursed, and she weaned right after her 4th birthday, but I wouldn't have cared if she weaned after I got pregnant because I quit enjoying it after that and continued because she wanted to. Anna weaned a few months into my pregnancy, right after she turned 2 and that was good for me. We dont' plan on having another, so I'm hoping to enjoy nursing Alexis for as long as she wants to continue.
Andrea, mom to 3 beautiful girls - Abigail (8) Annabelle (5) and Alexis (3)

Expecting baby #4 - It's a BOY!

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February 16th, 2012, 02:36 PM
GranolaMamaOf3's Avatar ~Heather~
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If I had to choose an age, I'd say 18 months- 2 years is my "goal", but longer is fine with me...

I guess I have a different view than most others here. We follow "baby-led weaning", which to me is a (very log) process that takes place from the start of introducing solid foods, until the child completely weans.

I nurse exclusively until I see that they are ready for solid foods (ie; showing signs of interest, no tongue thrust when food is offered, can sit up unassisted, TEETH, etc..); Any time after 6 months, but roughly between 9 months and a year. and then continue nursing as they lead, as a means of supplementing their solid food intake.

My first weaned due to my milk drying up (being 5 months pregnant) at 14 months old. Honestly, neither of us was ready but it's just the way it happened..

My second just turned 17 months old, and he's still nursing round the clock; Approx every 4 hours. sometimes more, sometimes less. Yes, even at night! He still doesn't eat very consistently, so nursing is my way of ensuring he is getting adequate nutrition... The longer we travel down this path the more I realize how normal this is! Truth is, babies digestive tracks were not designed to go from a liquid (milk) diet to 3 solid meals a day, in less than a months time... it should be more gradual.

I also think our society has the opinion that babies are no longer babies after their first birthday, and that's just not true, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Especially into their second year, they are still VERY much babies! So I think continuing to nurse is only natural.

I like to remind myself that the world wide average for weaning is 4 years old. Not that it's my goal, but if my children choose to nurse that long, (I think ) I'm fine with that.
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February 19th, 2012, 12:33 AM
Quantum_Leap's Avatar frequent flier
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Location: Seattle area, Washington
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Mine isn't so much a set length of time, as based on the situation. If possible, I just want each of my kids to be weaned some time before the next kid comes along. I plan to let them all self-wean, so if they want to keep going through a pregnancy I will, but if it were totally up to me I'd prefer to avoid having to tandem nurse. It just sounds like a pain in the rear to me. Kudos to the mamas who can do it! Charlie self-weaned when he was 2 1/2, pretty much the week Beau was born, and that worked out perfectly as far as I'm concerned. Maximum milk for Charlie, and minimum hassle for me.

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February 21st, 2012, 08:45 AM
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I plan to let them all self-wean, so if they want to keep going through a pregnancy I will, but if it were totally up to me I'd prefer to avoid having to tandem nurse. It just sounds like a pain in the rear to me. Kudos to the mamas who can do it!
I think most people view tandem nursing and literally nursing 2 children at the same time. I can count on one hand the number of times I nursed both of my girls at the same time, and it was just to try it. Otherwise, they nursed seperately, which was much easier
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Andrea, mom to 3 beautiful girls - Abigail (8) Annabelle (5) and Alexis (3)

Expecting baby #4 - It's a BOY!

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February 21st, 2012, 08:52 AM
3Sapphires's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I never had a set goal, I wanted to nurse as long as possible with both of mine. Adam weaned at just over 15 months and Nate weaned at just shy of 15 months. I wasn't ready yet, but they were.

I guess this time I am hoping for the same. Oh how I miss nursing.
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February 22nd, 2012, 09:26 AM
LoriLou35's Avatar Veteran
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With my first I nursed for 6 months. I was disappointed that I did not go longer, but I felt pressure from family and friends. (boo....hiss) With my second I would not listen to others at all. Jenna nursed for 22 months and then self weaned. I never felt better!!

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February 22nd, 2012, 01:59 PM
Momof4Boyz's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Until he's done - my last two self-weaned at about 2 years so I expect to go that long again, maybe longer because he will be the "baby".
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February 22nd, 2012, 05:35 PM
KiwiMommy's Avatar Ashlynn's Mama
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I let them self-wean. Or try anyways. Ashlynn nursed until I was 12 weeks pregnant, and has dry nursed every few days here and there ever since. If she wants to go back to mamas milk when brother is born, so be it.
Originally with her my goal was 3 months. Then 6. Then a year. Then I said the heck with it, she can wean whenever she wants.
I plan to let this little guy self-wean as well
It gets tiring, but it's sooo worth it. Ashlynn got sick a lot less when she nursed..then once she stopped actually getting milk I noticed she was getting sick more often Felt awful and still sorta do. So I secretly hope she still wants to nurse when brother is born.
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Kailey(22) Cloth diapering, breastfeeding, babywearing, extended RF'ing, slightly crazy mommy to Ashlynn Heather (4 1/2 * 1/28/10) and Matthew Toryn (2 * 6/20/12) and loving wife to Dylan (2/28/14)

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February 22nd, 2012, 07:30 PM
Mom.to.PinknBlue's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I would love to make it to 12 months. And then let baby decide from there. Harleigh self weaned at 6 months and I was devastated. I continued to pump till she was 9 months, but my pump and I were not friends so it made it difficult. Then I just gave up.
Amelia: Wife to Ryan, Mama to Harleigh, with a boy on the way
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February 23rd, 2012, 08:51 PM
lunarmagic's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My goal was 18 months and I just hit the 18 month mark when me being pregnant and not having any milk took too much of a toll and I gently weaned her. This one I shouldn't have the whole pregnancy problem with, lol, so I'd say between 18 months - 2 years old is my ideal.

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February 27th, 2012, 05:48 AM
MiniMom's Avatar Head Lady Bird
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I'm probably the odd ball out on this one, but I'm hoping to go to atleast 9 months. I never really thought about going 2 years, but my sister did that and I respect her for that! I Loooove nursing and the bond it promotes with my daughter right now, but in the long run I'd love to have my body back before we start trying for #2 in a year! We'll see how I feel at 9 months though, who knows.

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March 1st, 2012, 12:23 PM
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I don't really have a set goal but I know for me I won't go past 2 that is my cut off

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March 1st, 2012, 10:30 PM
Erin.minus.thyroid's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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i think it depends on the child but somewhere around 18 months. my son was 16.5mo when he self weaned and i was a bit sad, i was hoping to make it to 18mo. He was a very independent child and looking back at him at 18mo i cant imagine him still nursing at that age.
its hard to say with my new baby as she is only 8weeks but im hoping to get to 18mo this time around as long as she is willing. I dont really care to go past 2yrs but id have to see how things are going at that time
Erin & Jeremy
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March 20th, 2012, 03:54 PM
Jule'sMomInOR's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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As long as she wants, but let's see if I still feel that way when she turns 3. She is a hard-core boobie addict at almost 20 months and I don't see that changing any time soon.
Mariah, AP Mommy to Juliana

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March 22nd, 2012, 11:57 PM
ChicaChels's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I BF brylie til 16m and she weaned herself after a total melt down - I told her "you drank mommas milk all gone" and she never asked again.

Hunter is still going strong at ~11m. I'd like to make it to 18-24m, but after 12 it's his call.

Maverick Jude
December 9, 2013
5:20PM 8lb3oz 20.5"
Hospital water birth
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March 23rd, 2012, 03:25 AM
HopeTea's Avatar Cautiously expecting #1
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I'm pregnant with my first, so I can only say that I am very much looking forward to BFing, and that I would ideally like to do it for as long as the child wants. I guess we will see what happens!
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March 23rd, 2012, 10:19 AM
Earthy.Mama's Avatar .*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.
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My goal with Kailey was 2 years, only made it 15mths because I had to go back to work and she refused to only do part-time nursing so I had to wean her completely.

With Nola, I was going to self-wean, however at 15 mths (shocking..) I got thrush BAD and my nipples were literally about to fall off so I had to quit cold turkey

At least 2 years, ideally - self weaning is what my goal is.

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May 12th, 2012, 11:03 PM
Platinum Supermommy
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I would have loved to nurse longer than the 6-7 months my daughter did and then I pumped until she was almost 25 months... I would prefer to do child led weaning but I enjoyed BFing and even EPing that if it wasn't for my unexpected trip and stress of school causing low supply I would still be EPing....
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June 9th, 2012, 11:12 PM
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As long as they gosh darn please!
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June 11th, 2012, 06:10 PM
MissusF's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I don't have a set limit. I would like to make it to 24 months but I don't see myself nursing past 3 years. I have a hunch I'll be ready to have my body all for myself again by the 3 yr mark.

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