This article is from the Breastfeeding
Past the First Year FAQ, by Kim Smith
This is a nursing log from birth-->2. Skim down if you're only
interested in a certain age.
Well, Emily officially weaned herself 2 months ago, at 27 mo. As there
were many times during her nursing years that I wished I could have
talked to others, particularly after one year, I thought I would post
Emily Dolson - born 3/19/91 Nursing Log
-The first three days - very frustrating for both of us. Emily wasn't
really interested in nursing at all! The nurses at the hospital were
quite concerned, and kept trying to get me to try again, which just
made me more upset. We went home from the hospital in the morning
(Emily was born at 4:45 the pm before), and I really didn't feel like
we knew what we were doing at all. My aerolas (aerioli?) are large,
and Emily kept slipping back to the end of my nipple.
Day 4 - My milk comes in - suddenly Emily says "hey, hey, this is what
I've been waiting for!", and gets avidly interested. Still has trouble
staying latched on properly, and my nipples are getting quite sore. Partly
I think this is made worse by my being fair-skinned - my nipples never did
darken up during pregnancy and are still pink. I call lactation consultants,
friends, read everything I can get my hands on.
Two weeks - Nipples still sore, despite trying everything. Lanolin seems to
help the most. I am practically in tears when Emily first latches on.
The good news: Emily has regained her birthweight plus 3 oz, and is now
6 lbs 14. It seems as though she is nursing all the time - Emily is a
long, slow, frequent nurser.
Six weeks - finally nipples start to get better - until an attack of thrush
hits us. Now they are on fire - a different painful sensation! Emily
nurses every 2 hours during the day, and every 3 (occasionally 4) at night.
2 months - Nipples feel fine now. Emily has started to do "mega-nursing"
in the evening, though - it seems she wants to nurse pretty much non-stop
from 5 pm on. BUT, in compensation, she begins lengthening out the time
she sleeps at night - 5 hours, 6 hours, now 7. At ten weeks, she sleeps
through the night, then gradually decreases her evening nursing. She was
tanking up for the night, apparently!
Weight at 2 mo: 11 pounds! That's over 4 lbs in 6 weeks!
3 months - Growth spurt causes nonstop feeding for a few days, otherwise
still every 2 hours during the day, sleeping 8-9 hours at night. Pumping
is much easier now that she's sleeping through the night. I pump every
morning before she wakes up with my little 2nd hand Gerber pump.
4 months - 15 lb 8 oz The child has gone from 25th percentile for
height and weight to 95th for height and 75th for weight! Still nursing
every 2 hours, but will go a little longer if I'm not around.
5 months - Emily is showing an avid interest in solids, ie swiping
rice from our plates, slurping curry juice off of our plates. The
ped said we could wait till 6 mo, but Emily is insisting! She wolfed
down the rice cereal. Within 24 hours, her bowel movements got
smelly and I must have ovulated!
6 months - Solids progressing well. Emily seems to like everything
so far, except Mountain High brand yogurt. 19 lbs. By now, she
pretty much has substitued 1 solid feeding/day for nursing and
we're working on #2.
8.5 months - Emily refuses to be fed solids - will only self feed.
Still loves to nurse - pulls on my shirt to give cue.
9 months - Nursing 4 times per day, Solids 3X/day.
12 month - Most babies in play group have weaned by now, only 3 of
us still nursing. Emily shows no signs of abating! The MD says
that the typical times for babies to wean themselves are th 8-10
mo range, and when they come out of the separation anxiety phase
at 14-16 mo. He says if she's still nursing at 18 mo, chances are
I will have to wean her myself.
15 mo - Nurse at Emily's appointment is VERY surprised to hear I am
still nursing. MD is supportive. Says his wife nursed until 20 mo.
But says that he thinks women who nurse beyond 2 years have "a
separation problem". Emily is now nursing 3 times/day - first
thing in the morning, at nap, at night. Smiles broadly when I
lift up my shirt! Getting better at accepting that we don't nurse
in public, though - we are starting to get stares, and I'm
16 mo - Emily adds the word "nurse" to her vocabulary. I am shocked -
I never call it that with her, but she has figured out the word -
and she uses it! Occasionally I offer her cow's milk, and her
typical reaction is to take a sip, fix me in a death stare, and,
never breaking eye contact, drop the cup on the floor!
18 mo - MD again says the stuff about separation. But adds that I
might as well wait a few months to wean her so that she can under-
stand "you're a big girl" etc.
21 mo. She is down to twice a day, but NO signs of self-weaning.
I write to misc.kids for support and hear from lots of moms whose
toddlers weaned themselves around 26-32 mo. I am cheered by this,
and decide to keep going, since Emily likes it so much, and I am
basically lazy and enjoy the time. Why would I want to start running
around when I can sit down and nurse Emily for half an hour when we
first get up?
25 mo - Emily is cutting down on the time per nursing, and occasionally
skipping one. Really liking cow's milk now.
26 mo - Rarely asks for a morning nursing. Evening ones shorter.
I offer a cup of milk, which she sometimes takes (she does both).
By 27 mo, Emily has pretty much stopped. She asked for a few token
nursings after that, usually after she hears me telling someone
that she weaned! Her last 2 or 3 nursings were literally less than
1 SECOND per side - obviously, she didn't get anything. Oddly, when
we came back from our vacation, and she hadn't asked in a month, she
asked to nurse. I told her I didn't think I had any milk left, and
would she like a cup of milk. She asked "Can we take the milk from
the cup and put it in your breasts?"
I feel so good that the whole thing was a pleasant experience for
both of us and that Emily was able to go at her own rate.
I don't really miss it at all, and feel "complete" with the experience,
though I did feel a little nostalgic, which prompted me to construct
Mom to Emily, 29 mo, weaned, potty trained, and recently moved into
her "big girl bed". Now I AM feeling sentimental - sniff!