Reflections on Nursing a Toddler

nursing a toddler

My little monkey will be two in about a month.

I can’t foresee us ending our breastfeeding relationship in the immediate future.

I thought I’d like to talk about that.

While nursing beyond infancy is biologically normal for humans, and has been practiced throughout human history and continues to be practiced all over the world, it’s kind of weird here in the West. I’m something of an anomaly because I still breastfeed a child who can walk and talk and use a fork.

Sure, we’ve all heard that the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding up to two years and beyond. But only about half of all Canadian and American mothers are even breastfeeding at all by six months, and I haven’t been able to find a single stat regarding breastfeeding beyond a year. I imagine the number is tiny.

I’ve heard plenty of individuals riff on some version of, “If they’re old enough to ask for it, they’re too old to breast feed,” which is silly because it has absolutely no logical basis. What’s so special about being able to talk? How does that indicate a person’s nutritional needs?

Western people are just weirded out by children with teeth and speech nursing at a mother’s breast.

So I’d like to work towards normalizing it. I thought I’d start by telling my story.

* * *

While thinking about this post, I started out trying to answer the question, “Why are we still breastfeeding?” (I say “we” since it involves the two of us.) But I realized that this is the wrong way to frame it. The more apt question would be, “Why haven’t we quit breastfeeding?”

Because really, the issue isn’t so much a matter of something I’ve done or am doing, but something I never did. (Namely: wean her.)

This is the way it went:

I gave birth to a baby almost two years ago, and started breastfeeding because I could, and, well, duh: I wasn’t about to pay someone for an inferior imitation of what I already had for free — especially one that required assembly. So yes, in the beginning, I actively pursued a method of feeding my baby: the one that required the least amount of effort.

Breastfeeding was fraught with all the normal difficulties of the early weeks — engorgement, anxiety, chapped nipples, etc.  But from then on, it was mostly effortless.

And since then, I just haven’t put any effort into stopping.

The fact that I’m still nursing, in other words, has more to do with what I haven’t done:

  • I didn’t put anything else in her mouth for the first six months.
  • I never put any kind of plastic nipple in her mouth.
  • I never put the effort into trying to convince her that a plastic substitute was satisfactory.
  • I never put the effort into training her to be satisfied with the milk of another animal instead of mine, or to go longer and longer stretches between nursing. (She does drink cow’s milk now, from a glass, but only as an occasional drink; and she can easily go 12 hours without nursing, though she’s anxious to nurse again after a long separation.)

I just never had the motivation to go through that trouble.

Why should I have? I didn’t have to go back to work. I knew that my milk was more nutritious than virtually any food I could possibly offer her. And I was fortunate enough that I never suffered from illness or supply issues which might force me to quit prematurely.

Nursing was just so easy, cost-effective, convenient, nutritious, effective at pacifying her . . . I never worked up the energy to change anything.

Moreover, there were plenty of benefits involved in continuing with nursing:

  • I was able to continue inhaling fat and calories without consequences. Seriously: as I once heard actress Julie Bowen say, nursing babies are like little liposuction machines. It was never possible for me to eat too much for her little appetite.
  • I never had to worry about malnutrition during picky spells. Toddlers are famous for going days or weeks without eating much of anything, and for being exasperatingly choosy in what they’ll eat. Lydia was no exception. At least while breastfeeding part time, I never had to worry that she wasn’t getting enough of the right stuff. Of course she was. Breast milk has got everything!
  • I knew breastfeeding was helping keep her immune system strong, especially during cold and flu season. Apart from a few stuffy noses and a mild fever that lasted a day, Lydia hasn’t been seriously ill or had to visit a doctor’s office once in her short life so far. I think I have nursing to thank in part for this. (It also helps that she’s not in day care.)
  • It’s just so effortless. If I’m busy on the computer and she starts hassling me for a drink, I can just let her climb onto my lap and latch on while I continue typing. Breastfeeding is a boon for lazy moms.
  • I like it. I enjoy our special snuggle time. I love the content look on her face as she sits curled up on my lap, calmly sucking and breathing and thinking. I get a kick out of looking into her drowsy eyes and asking, “Do you love mommy milk?” and having her nod her head dreamily, still drifting along in her own world.

In short, there were only pros and zero cons to continuing our breastfeeding relationship. Whenever I would think, “I should really get on that weaning thing,” I would come up short with reasons to go through the trouble.

And now, here we are, at almost two years, and she’s still nursing.

* * *

I confess, I’ve finally come across one con to nursing:

I think it’s contributing to my inability to get pregnant again.

I would really like to give Lydia a sibling, and it just isn’t happening. But of course, I can’t know for sure that nursing is the culprit. I had trouble getting pregnant the first time, and my body seems to be doing the exact same thing it was doing three years ago. But breastfeeding so much might be a contributing factor in my secondary sub-fertility.

Lately, I’ve been thinking I really should put some effort into weaning. For the sake of baby#2.

For a while, a few weeks ago, we were doing really good. When Lydia would ask for “mommy milk,” I could often satisfy her with an offer of cow milk, water, or chocolate (depending on her need). When she would wake up at night, I could often get her to drift back to sleep simply by rubbing her back. We were down to nursing only two or three times a day and maybe once at night. I was finally starting to gain back some much-needed weight (much needed, I believe, for a second pregnancy).

But then she started getting molars, and NOTHING ELSE could placate her but the breast. No food, no drink, no cuddles. So we’re back to nursing several times during the day and way too many times at night.

It’s a nuisance. I feel anxious about my ticking biological clock. I’m resigning myself to the fact that we almost certainly won’t have a big family like I’d always imagined.

But for now, we’re still nursing. I don’t know how long we’ll continue, and whether I’ll finally decide to take action.

All I know is that for now, I’m still loving it. And I know she is, too.

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  1. Thanks for sharing your breastfeeding story so far! I like what you said about framing up the question. My son is going to be two in just two weeks, but he weaned himself at 19 months. My initial goal was 12 months and I wanted to go to 18 months if possible and if we both still wanted it. After that I was undecided about actively weaning. (I did night wean him at 12 months because we decided not to co-sleep for various reasons and this mama was desperate for more sleep.) Once 18 months came and went, I couldn’t think of a good reason to wean. I’m glad he made the decision for me. I didn’t push it and he just stopped asking, even crying a bit and saying no the last couple of times he tried to latch. The ending was bittersweet, but the memories are still sweet.

    Do you chart your cycles? I have dealt with infertility as well and have found charting to be extremely helpful. I know there are a wide variety of infertility issues though.
    Sarah recently posted..Summer Adventures 2013, Week 2My Profile

    • Thanks for sharing, Sarah! I was kind of hoping Lydia would wean on her own before two, too. Ah well. :)

      I do chart (it’s SO HELPFUL!), so I know I ovulate very late in my cycle and have an insufficient luteal phase, which was the same problem last time. So that’s why I’m unsure whether the breastfeeding has anything to do with it. It certainly can’t be helping my fertility, though, so that’s why I’m unsure what to do.

  2. It always good to hear really positive stories about breastfeeding. It’s something I want to commit to exclusively for the first 6 months next time around (but as a working mom I’m trying not to set my sights too high).

    Prayers that you get some answers about your family too. I’m glad we both have such amazing kids to help us get through the questions.
    Molly recently posted..In Which I Learn a Lesson in HumilityMy Profile

    • Thanks, Molly. Yeah, from the sounds of it, having to work makes breastfeeding a lot more challenging. That makes me SO grateful for the one-year maternity leave we get here in Canada. It makes it so much easier!

      Yeah, we’re both in kind of similar situations in terms of growing our families. Prayers are deeply appreciated. YES to amazing kids. :)

  3. Reading this post was very interesting! I’m very much for letting mothers make the choices for their children and I’ve read of all of the benefits of nursing longer than a year and it’s something I’d be interested in, but what concerns me is a child being able to remember it when they’ve grown. The only family I ever knew who I for sure knew breastfed past 1 year breastfed to like 6-7 years old and their kids were very unhealthy in their relationships and each other. Obviously 6-7 years old is very different from what you’re doing but I have memories from when I was 2 and half and I’m just not sure how healthy it would be if someone’s first memory was of breastfeeding. I don’t have kids yet and I’m still not sure how I feel and I’d just like your opinion on it.
    Joslyn recently posted..My Brand New Way of Looking At FoodMy Profile

    • Adrienne says:

      I read an article in which a woman who nursed until she was 6 was interviewed. She said that she remembered breastfeeding and that it was like a warm hug from her mom – that was the feeling she got from it. I’m not sure why that would be an unhealthy memory! Anyway, I don’t think anybody sits down when they’re pregnant and decides that they’ll nurse until their child is 6… or if they do, they could just as easily wind up with a baby who self-weans at 19 months like Sarah’s son. We all got to where we are, with our kids nursing at whatever age they are, just one nursing at a time. If you are ever uncomfortable with your kid nursing at a certain age, for whatever reason, you can wean! That’s totally your call, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of it, good or bad.

      I’ve talked with other people who expressed a similar concern. This may or may not be where you’re coming from, but in those other conversations it sounded to me like the concerned people were expressing our culture’s schizophrenia about sex, reproduction, and especially breasts. It’s like… how can breasts be for sex AND food? What if a kid remembers nursing – won’t that encourage the kid to think about mom sexually? I don’t have a really good evidence-based refutation for that but I can turn it around from a mom’s perspective. I’ve never heard of a mom who thinks of her baby sexually because of nursing! But moms don’t lose their sexuality because of nursing either (well, it might take a nosedive for a few months, but in the long run it’s still intact). I don’t think the distinction is too difficult to make whether you’re a mom or a kid.

      • Thanks for your reply, Adrienne — you voiced some of my exact thoughts.

        I’m not worried about any ill effects of Lydia having memories of breastfeeding. I think she’s unlikely to remember, since I’m sure we’ll wean sometime in the next months/year, but even if she does have vague memories, I can’t see it being a problem. If I have another baby, I plan on letting Lydia see me breastfeed. I remember my mom doing it, and I never had any weird feelings about it.

        • As a child who breastfed until I was 2 and my youngest sister nursed until she was 4, I think the memory thing is ludicrous. But I think the above comments about breasts being for both sex and food is mostly what it’s based in. And it makes adults uncomfortable to think that something they associate with sex have a toddler attached to it.
          I can’t speak for your fertility, but my brother and I self weaned when my mom got pregnant again, claiming we ‘didn’t like the taste’ but her plan was to co-breastfeed us through her pregnancies (she was on the cutting edge of crunchy 20+ years ago)

        • Adrienne and Kathleen, Thanks for the input! You did indeed get where a lot of the worry comes from, in my case and I think for a lot of women. I’m very much in favor of and planning on raising my children in a historically and emotionally natural way as possible and I really feel that a year to a year and a half is a minimum breastfeeding time for me, but I have a 2 1/2 year old nephew and I think a child that big and vocal would be a bit weird for me. I have been told by other mothers that it is not only natural but necessary to continue breastfeeding into preschool years. I hate it when anyone tells me what I need to do, but I also am petrified by the idea of not doing the absolute best thing for my future children.

          I feel like you both brought up some very good points and I really appreciate your open and honest approach to my concerns. I don’t have any children yet and so it may be something that I will change my mind about when I do. Thanks again, it is really nice to hear that whatever I decide will be right for me.
          Joslyn recently posted..My Brand New Way of Looking At FoodMy Profile

  4. Hi Kathleen,

    I’m so with you here. Lucy and I breastfed until 23 months, when I felt it was contributing to my infertility and decided to have a talk with her. She wants a baby in our family too and when I told her that it was time to be a big girl so we could have a baby, then made the last few times special, she never asked for it again. I think she made a choice and stuck with it. She probably misses it, I know I do, and I was so sad when we ended. But my luteal phases have definitely gotten longer even in just two cycles (I’m also taking Opti-vite and Omega3s, but I was also taking those before). So that’s good!

    Instead, Lucy and I have a new bedtime routine and we focus our rocking-chair snuggles for book reading, singing and praying together. I have to admit I do feel a bit relieved to have my bodily autonomy again, however short it might be. I was happy to give it up for a time, but it’s nice to watch Lucy gain her independence too.

    One other thing: Lucy was a huge breastfeeder, but never drank much from cups, so I’ve been a little worried about her staying hydrated through the summer. One thing I’ve found she loves is herbal peppermint tea, unsweetened, warm or cold. I’m happy it gets her drinking.

    Hoping for new babies for everyone. :::hug:::

    • Wow: Lucy was able to understand all that? What a smart cookie!

      I’m encouraged to hear that your luteal phases lengthened after you weaned. Maybe that is what I need after all. (But sigh. It makes my heart heavy, thinking of weaning.)

      Yes: babies for everyone! :)

  5. Thanks for this post, I always appreciate the open-book way you so naturally share about your experience . You are totally right–“if they can ask for it, they’re too old” is completely illogical–but who hasn’t heard it uttered? It seems like there is some kind of unofficial campaign to make people feel BAD nursing longer than average, which seems so ironic.
    On another note, I work in a nursing home and spend a lot of time talking with people who are in their 70s, 80,s and 90s, and the women love to talk about their early family life. I have been surprised how many fertility gaps these women report–spending 3+ years trying in their early 20s, having 5 year unintentional gaps between babies, etc. It’s fascinating since these women lived in the days of uninhibited reproduction–no Pill or whatever–and most say these things in the context of having desired more children. Since it’s the norm now to use contraception till you want a baby, I think my sense of what’s typical for conception timelines/expectations is skewed. So…this unfortunately is not an encouragement but just an observation that has intrigued me. I’ve heard, “Before 35=trying 1 year, after 35= trying 6 mos” as standards about when to be worried about fertility, but hearing from these old-time women who didn’t have precise control over fertility and still had inexplicable, undesired longer gaps has led me away from assuming that conception will occur every 1-2 years when uninhibited unless there is a serious problem.(Which, frankly, freaks me out as a childless 28-year-old who’s not even ready to try yet, but would like more than the standard 2 babies!)

    • just wanted to say that i loved this comment! “but hearing from these old-time women who didn’t have precise control over fertility and still had inexplicable, undesired longer gaps has led me away from assuming that conception will occur every 1-2 years when uninhibited unless there is a serious problem” I’ve recently read that although women are having babies later now, they are having them closer together than ever before, likely because of the “rush” on fertility and the lack of extended breastfeeding. its interesting how these cultural changes change our expectations!
      alison recently posted..My garden in JulyMy Profile

      • This isn’t about nursing, but I just had to come back and say that yesterday, I met a new, 92-year old woman who told me she was married for 51 years, and they were only able to have 1 child, who arrived after they’d been married for 21 years. (!!!) :)
        And, Alison, that is really interesting that spacing is the closest it’s ever been. It makes sense, but I wouldn’t have guessed.

    • Wow! Fascinating stuff, Hope! Thanks for sharing!

    • You just assume these “old-time women” had no measure of control. Who told you that? Some women have always had a measure of control!

  6. Sandra Sallee says:

    Beautiful! At 60, I am far past this stage of my life, but I am still grateful for the experience of nursing my two children. The decision to wean is one that each mother/child duo has to make together, and I get so annoyed when people make an issue of it. Breastfeeding is the most natural way of nourishing a child, for all the reasons you stated…and weaning is also a natural process and will happen when it’s supposed to, barring any outside influences. Thank you for your lovely writing.

  7. Excerpt from The Definitive Book of Body Language:

    Studies now show a clear relationship between whether an infant was breast-fed and its likelihood of becoming a smoker as an adult. It was found that babies who were largely bottle- fed represent the majority of adult smokers and the heaviest smokers, while the longer a baby was breast-fed, the less chance there was that it would become a smoker. It seems that breast-fed babies receive comfort and bonding from the breast that is unattainable from a bottle, the consequence being that the bottle-fed babies, as adults, continue the search for comfort by sucking things. Smokers use their cigarettes for the same reason as the child who sucks his blanket or thumb.

    Not only were smokers three times more likely to have been thumb-suckers as children, they have also been shown to be more neurotic than non-smokers and to experience oral fixations such as sucking the arm of their glasses, nail-biting, pen-munching, lip-biting and enough pencil-chewing to embarrass an average beaver. Clearly, many desires, including the urge to suck and feel secure, were satisfied in breast-fed babies but not in bottle-fed babies.

  8. I completely support breastfeeding past infancy. Everything I’ve read and heard indicates that it has a ton of benefits for both mother and child, and it’s something I would like to do someday when I have kids. However, every so often when I actually see someone breastfeeding a toddler it makes me uncomfortable and it really bothers me that I get uncomfortable. It should be completely normal and something I don’t even notice, but since so few people actually do it (at least in public) it can seem weird. Therefore thank you so much for sharing this post. I think that I, and probably a lot of other people, just need to see and be exposed to toddlers being breastfed more before it feels normal even if intellectually we know it’s normal and awesome. By the way, that is an beautiful photo, and don’t worry, it didn’t make me feel uncomfortable! ;)

    • Hi Vickie! You know what? Before I started breastfeeding, I was totally uncomfortable with seeing other people do it, too! I felt weird about it at any age, but especially when the child was over 6 months old. Fortunately, experiencing it firsthand changed all that. BUT: I still feel uncomfortable nursing around other people!

      I agree, though, that more openness and exposure might help people become more comfortable with it. That’s why I’m trying to be more open about it.

  9. Adrienne says:

    Wow, this was like reading our story with the hard parts left out! I’m still nursing my 19-month old and my approach at this point is similar to yours. But I had no choice about going back to work when he was 6 weeks old, and we struggled with tongue-tie and supply issues for the first 2 months of his life. We wound up having his frenulum (skin under the tongue) clipped twice and I had to pump ’round the clock for a week to heal my tortured nipples and try to build my supply back up. We even had to use a pacifier for a few months because suckling was the only thing that would calm him and my nipples couldn’t handle it. Fortunately we were able to stop using it during the day at 8 months and stop using it at night a couple months later. We were SO LUCKY to have a friend who pumped way more milk than her own baby could consume. She gave us all the extra when we had supply issues and we never had to use formula… but we had lots of plastic nipples and assembly for a while anyway. I pumped at work and kept my son exclusively on my milk until about 5.5 months, when we gave in and gave him the solid food he had been DEMANDING for a few weeks, and kept pumping until he was about 13-14 months old. We night-weaned at around 16 months, so he really only nurses in the evenings and mornings during the week but that’s still 3-4 times/day, more on weekends. I don’t plan to wean anytime soon!

    I expected that our experience would be something like yours in the beginning: learning curve, but ultimately easy, natural, and untroubled. That’s probably how breastfeeding goes for most families, but it wasn’t in our cards. My thinking in posting this comment, though, is to show that “extended” breastfeeding works even in less-than-ideal situations. I wouldn’t say that we’re still breastfeeding because of what we haven’t done, but rather because it was important to us and we fought for the ability to continue doing it, even compromising some of our ideals (like using the pacifier) in service of the more important goal. At this point though, it sounds like we’re on the same page. I just haven’t put effort into stopping, because why would I? It’s still working for everyone.

    • Goodness! You worked through some major difficulties, Adrienne! Your story is pretty amazing! And I love hearing that your friend shared milk. I wish that was a more common practice.

  10. so interesting to read this, so thanks for sharing! I believe nursing affects my fertility too, although I got my cycle back when he was 9 months. the first time around I tested high for prolactin, the breastfeeding hormone, which is also linked to cortisol and stress (and helps nursing moms avoid pregnancy for a good reason! why I as a single woman with no babies had this is another issue). I was on a low dose of parladel to lower it when we conceived (among other treatments). I imagine that by actually breastfeeding that hormone may have a bigger effect on my fertility. Ah well. I love how you framed this post though. After a certain point, all the effort you put into it pays off and nursing becomes second nature. Why change it? I can already tell though that Sam is just not as interested. And I think sometimes that if we had other kids around he would be way too distracted. But then other times he walks right up and blatantly asks for it and I can’t help think that’s the coolest thing in the world that I can provide such comfort to him. Bliss :) Why would I want to stop that?!

    I’m also intrigued to read how you did EC on the road (I think you said potty in the car? how do you empty it?) but that’s a tangent for another post…
    alison recently posted..My garden in JulyMy Profile

    • To answer your question: yeah, we keep a potty in the vehicle. We just pull over and empty it on the side of the road. :) Don’t worry — we choose a place nobody is going to walk. If it’s solid, we’ll wipe it out with a tissue and (I hate to admit this) usually throw that out with the waste. But USUALLY it’s just pee. When we get to our destination (hotel, etc), we clean it out properly.

  11. I needed to read this. I have been making attempts to stretch out the nursing times with my daughter (she just turned 15 months) in part because of my fertility and also because it has seemed like something I “should” do. But I have questioned it. I do like nursing, Ingrid likes nursing, and there really is no downside, that I can see, to continuing.

    Except my biological clock. I had hoped for more children. As I am 31 and my husband is 39, I am just feeling pressured for time. I have to remind myself, though, maybe there is good reason for having more spacing between children. Maybe I desire many children, but in reality, it wouldn’t suit our family. I don’t know. I just tell myself these things when I am feeling rushed for time and it helps.

    I do appreciate you talking about this topic. I have found several of your posts that have hit close to home about being a mother and find it comforting to know I am not alone. Thank you.

    By the way, I can’t believe you get a year maternity leave in Canada! Here in the US we are lucky to get 8 weeks and still have a job if the mother wants to go back. I actually had a lady look at me like I was nuts a few weeks ago because I told her I was happy being a stay at home mom.

    • Yes, I can totally relate to your struggle. I tell myself that maybe I’d actually be healthier/happier/more sane with fewer kids, further spaced apart. Maybe it’s taking so long to wean for a reason. I dunno. It’s a tough call. There are so many factors involved.

      I know — I feel really blessed that Canada offers such a great maternity leave, and frustrated on behalf of American mothers who often have to return to work so soon!! I was additionally fortunate that we were able to make it on one income, and I haven’t had to return to work. I truly love being a stay-at-home mom!

  12. I don’t know what we will do! Since so far T-Rex, at 7.5 months, is still not eating solid foods at all other than an occasional taste, clearly we’re still breastfeeding. Though I know you read about having to give him formula when I got sick.

    My mom said all three of us naturally weaned at about a year, and that seems to be pretty common if you nurse past the six month mark. I plan to keep at it for at least that long and see what happens from there.

    Honestly though? I sometimes kind of hate nursing. I’m not a touch sort of person and sometimes it makes me kind of anxious, to have some person attached to me semi-against my will, holding me in place. Also, T-Rex is kind of a jerk about it. He hits, kicks, scratches, and bites. He also likes to pop off and grab my nipple and twist. Ouch. He’s clearly having a good time, himself, but I am not.

    • Also? Totally not losing ANY weight, even though I’m eating basically what I did before (aka I’m not super hungry all the time). Not fair. *pouts* ;-)

  13. I really loved this post Kath! I didn’t have nearly as easy a time as you did at the beginning, and truthfully, it’s still hard since Taylor has such a strong sucking need that he has to be completely asleep before I can unlatch him or else he freaks out. That can take up to 30 min of trying which ends up hurting so bad. Sometimes I even give up putting him to sleep because both of my nipples feel like they will be nibbled off. lol.The reason I share this is I think it’s SO worth it still. I love breastfeeding, Taylor LOVES breastfeeding. I think he will love it even after he’s a year. I will probably be in the same boat as you… still breastfeeding at two years old. We’ll see.

  14. I’m nursing my 27 month old and I’m 36 weeks pregnant. We were ecologically breastfeeding for the first 11 months, so I didn’t get my cycles back until 14 months PP. Obviously we were able to get get pregnant again, but it was pretty hard figuring out my ovulation while continuing to breastfeed. My son is showing no signs of stopping, so I’m planning on tandem nursing, which makes me a little nervous just because there’s so many unknowns.

    I was really happy to read all of your reasons for not stopping breastfeeding. That’s pretty much been the case for me as well. There have been some bumps with being pregnant, but nothing to make me want to take any steps to limit him.

    I’m not sure how much you’ve looked into it, but I know several people who have lengthened their luteal cycles taking B vitamins.

  15. wow you got a lot of comments! great topic. :) love hearing your story … we are in the place of thinking about a third child into our family and we are thinking to wait until my youngest (18 months) is over two to start trying but so far i’ve had 12 anovulatory cycles – bleeding monthly but no ovulation. i didn’t check my temps this month so maybe i finally ovulated but i doubt it. Granted i’m nursing two toddlers but i was ovulating by 6 months (and pregnant by 8!) when I was nursing one baby so it’s interesting to see how much a bit more sucking has affected my fertility. I could see it definitely playing a part if your struggle to become pregnant. I wonder if I won’t get pregnant until my older child (almost 3) weans … but i’m ready for him to be done anyway. (he’s not ready though). Hm. I’ve head that often cultures that practice ecological breastfeeding as the norm usually have age gaps of about 3-4 years. I think close to three years would be a great gap (having done a 17 month gap!) I’m praying for your fertility to find it’s way back to how God intends and that you’d be able to become pregnant soon.
    p.s. i totally agree on the breastfeeding as weight loss bonus … i know it doesn’t happen like that for everyone but i’m 30 pounds lighter than when i got married. and i eat A LOT. and i’m pretty sure when my kids wean i’ll put most of it back on. and i’m okay with that. :)
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  16. I really enjoyed reading your post! I have had so many friends pushing me to wean my 14 month old son. I absolutely adore breastfeeding. I think it is such a miracle! He has started to wean himself off of a couple of feedings now. It’s sad, but I know he is just doing he needs. I hope that soon people start realizing how effective and wonderful breastfeeding truly is! Best wishes on having another child! If you aren’t able to conceive..maybe the Lord will lead you to adopt or foster :)

  17. Great post (as usual). Ana is still going strong at 17 1/2 months. My goal has always been at least two years and my dream was to get pregnant again and tandem nurse.

    Unfortunately my fertility seems to be as crappy as it was before conceiving Ana. I’ve wondered if it would get better after weaning but I can’t bring myself to wean her for a “maybe” increase in fertility. Especially since nursing is so important to her and she loves it do much.

    It’s funny to find this post of yours because about a month ago I started one on the same topic. I’ve yet to finish it though…

    • Michele, you sound exactly like me!! I thought tandem nursing sounded kind of romantic, but my fertility is also “as crappy as it was before I conceived.” And like you, I can’t bring myself to wean on the off-chance that it will help. What if it doesn’t, and I’ve taken away this beautiful thing?

      • That sounds like me too! I’m still nursing my 25 month old, and loving it, but I really want to get pregnant with #2. DD was doing great (nursing maybe once a night), then had those darned second molars start pushing up. Now I’m actively trying to night-wean her, because I still haven’t had my period (which is a blessing and a curse…no crazy PMS like I used to have, but no cycle to conceive). Everyone just says “wean her already”, but it’s the only cuddle time we get, since I work 8 hours a day, and commute an hour (or more) each way. Knowing that she’s only gotten sick once in her life, despite daycare and Daddy getting sick, makes me feel good, as do her little requests for “nursh” then just cuddling up on my lap, leaning her head against me.
        I was lucky that it was relatively easy to conceive the first time, but is nursing the reason I’m not getting there this time? I don’t know. I figure I can try the night weaning, still enjoying the day/evening cuddles, then maybe things will be kickstarted again…and I can enjoy tandem nursing when it comes. We already have the concept, as stuffed animals get their turn at the breast too.

  18. I had nine children and enjoyed nursing them all. For some reason many of them were inclined to wean themselves around a year but with each of the last two I expected not to have any more, and I don’t know if they were psychologically responding to me or what, but they each weaned themselves around their second birthday. By then it was mostly just a good morning and a good night snack but very special moments. I think nursing help to create a long lasting bond. I am close were all my children, but there seems to me something just a little extra with the last two.
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  19. I began to wean my first at 15 months for the sold purpose of getting pregnant with number 2. It worked and I weaned her completely at 18 months. After nursing, still nursing, my 26 month old I realized I weaned her too early. I was having my period and ovulating, but was ovulation at week 3 instead of the 2, my lutal phase was too short, which it the time from ovulation to when your period is suppose to start. Some of my LLL friends suggested that I could use progesterone cream to get pregnant because it will cause your ovulation cycle to get back to normal. I got pregnant the cycle before I decided I was going to use it.

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