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B. After the first year, how frequently did you nurse? Were you on a regular schedule, or not?


This article is from the Breastfeeding Past the First Year FAQ, by Kim Smith with numerous contributions by others.

B. After the first year, how frequently did you nurse? Were you on a regular schedule, or not?

1. We fed as wanted, really. Most of the time, it wasn't a problem.
Sometimes, in the year between 1 and 2, they were pretty needy, but I was
always glad to be nursing. It was a wonderful comforter, and it made the
trials, tantrums, fears etc. much easier to cope with and get over.

2. Morganne was pretty irregular from day to day, but it caused no
problems. She always nursed before bed, first thing in the morning
and at least once at night. She also would nurse 2 - 6 times during
the day.

3. He had cut down to about 2-3 nursings by 1 year, and the nursing
sessions were fairly predictable, though I would hesitate to claim we
were on a schedule.

3. Still nursed on demand.

4. With all children, I nursed on demand, frequently. After the first
year, I nursed someone pretty much any time I sat down.

5. She is breastfed twice or 3 times a day; in the morning, in early evening
and just before she sleeps (I work full time on weekdays). On weekends she'd
ask to nurse after lunch and skip the early evening nursing. I make a point
to stop her nursing just before she sleeps so she can fall asleep on her own.
I think it may be easier to wean when they're older because you can explain
to her that adults don't nurse :).
I'm slowly trying to get her down to two feeds. She usually asks to
nurse ("mama" pointing to my chest). Sometimes when she asks, I offer her
water/juice or food before nursing. Sometimes she's content to wait. Other
times she forgets the request. I satisfy her emotional needs by carrying her
and playing with her. Usually, when she's tired or cranky, she'd want me to
carry her for a while before asking to nurse. Nowadays, she doesn't ask to
nurse while we're out. If she did, usually, I'd say wait till we get home.

6. I think we nursed about 5 or 6 times when he was one year old. Not really
regular but at least one night time feeding, then he wanted to nurse when he
awakened in the morning and he nursed when he went down to nap and when he
went to sleep in the evening. When he became older we lost the night time
feeding (at last!), and because I was pregnant I restricted the nursings to
when he awakened and when he went to sleep.
Now his little baby brother is born 8 days ago and we are still
searching for a new routine. Cees would like to nurse all day, but I don't
want to let him nurse so much. So now some days he is nursing 4 or 5 times
instead of the 2 times we were doing before the new arrival. I don't know
yet how things will be going during the coming weeks.

7. Not at all regular. After the introduction of solids, I have only nursed
on demand, combined with offering the breast for comfort until about 1 year.
After that, I do not ever offer. I have gone as long as 8 hours without any
requests from the 17 m.o., and as long as 4 days for the big sister.

9. We were on a pretty regular schedule: getting up, lunchtime, coming home
from work, and bedtime. At twelve months we gave up all lunchtime nursings,
at thirteen all bedtime nursings, leaving us with two feedings a day except
with an additional middle-of-the-night feeding when he was last sick, for a
few nights, and sometimes only one on the weekends since there is no
'reuniting' nursing.

10. After the first year Kayli nursed once in the morning, once at noon
and/or naptime, once at about 5:00 pm and again at bedtime. The cutting back
happened as nursing mom went back to work full-time and was less available,
plus Kayli was eating well andnot requiring so much. By that time the
nursing became more of a nurturing time than a feeding time. The times
listed above were typical, not scheduled. If there were changes in
schedule or event, we went with the flow, and with her needs. As for her
emotional needs, we practiced the philosophy for the first year that the
baby's wants were the baby's needs. She got held a lot and got lots of
attention, and by the time she passed her first birthday we felt we had a
pretty happy kid. She has never used a pacifier - we couldn't get her

12. I almost always nurse Elizabeth before bed and in the early morning.
Otherwise it depends on what we're doing. We nurse more during the day on
weekends. During the week I'm away during the day so she wakes up at night
and nurses.

13. Interestingly enough, if I pick him up at daycare, he no longer asks to
be breastfed, but if my husband picks him up and brings him home, he does.
If he's ill, or otherwise wakes in the middle of the night, he will sometimes
want to be breastfed, and sometimes, water will be enough (we keep a sipper
cup of water by the bedside). I think at 1 year, I might have nursed him 5
times a day (at least, I remember pumping 2x a day at work + the 3 we still

15. I put them on a regular schedule in a specific location (the location did
vary with the feeding time). This helped to avoid embarrasments like having
the kid demand to nurse in a very public location, and lifting up my shirt
(which does happen).

16. Well, now, it's hard to remember; I went back to work when Leo was 7
weeks old, though, so our schedule has always been pretty regular during
the week. On weekends it was kind of random.

17. I didn't consciously ever change my plan - just kept taking cues from the

18. La Leche League philosophy is "Don't offer; don't refuse." I think
that's a great approach, but I've often offered, because my full-time work
schedule means that there aren't that many opportunities to nurse, and I've
always worried that she could just happen to be uninterested for just a
couple of times and whoops! she'd be weaned without really intending it. I
suspect, however, that my offers to nurse have satisfied *my* needs more
than her needs. :-) I'm sure that there would still be milk if she stopped
for even a couple of days and she could re-establish nursing if she wanted
After the first year, she nursed about 3 times/day - first thing in the
morning (about 5:30 a.m.!), when I returned from work (about 4:30) and before
bed (about 7). On weekends we sometimes nursed in the morning or before her
nap. A little after she started afternoon daycare (at 15 mos.), we gave up
the late afternoon nursing and went to 2X day. In the last month we've
played around with this a bit - sometimes only one nursing, sometimes two or

19. Once we began solids, nursings decreased. We were somewhat on a schedule
since I worked outside the home. When Kenneth turned one, I dropped the
final pumping at work. About six weeks later, we dropped the morning
nursing. Now, we are down to just at bedtime. Kenneth would prefer to drink
from a cup (which he has been doing since 6 months), it lets him drink faster
and then go on about his business. Walking seems to be more important to him
than nursing.

20. Nolan is a voracious nurser--at 12 months, he still nurses 4-5 times a
day (including middle of night nuzzling). It's often a matter of out-of-
sight, out-of-mind; those days when he is around me all day, he wants to
nurse more often. Also, if he's feeling bad, very tired, or sick, my breasts
seem to be very soothing to him.

21. At 12 mo, Emily nursed 4X/day, cutting down to 3X around 15 mo, and twice
by about 18 mo. She stayed at 2X (first thing in the am, last thing at
night) until shortly before she weaned. She cut out the early am one first.

22. After the first year I continued to nurse several times a day, on a
semi-regular schedule (some nursings fixed, others variable). We always
nursed first thing in the morning and first thing when I got back from work.

23. He usually only nurses once in the morning, sometimes just on one
side if he gets interested in something else, and in the evening to
reconnect after our day apart and to drift off to sleep.

24. Now that Tommy (my first) has turned 1year old I nurse him on a very
bizzare "schedule" sometimes going 8-10 hours with out nursing, sometimes
every hour. I really just nurse him at every opportunity when we are
together. I don't nurse him for long periods of time if I am at work, then
come home and he is asleep.

25. I can't easily count how often we nurse. She nurses during the day and
night. Some days she nurses more than others.

26. Jeff nurses frequently, on no particular schedule. He nurses approx. 4
times at night and 5 times during the day when we're together. I work 32
hours a week.


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previous page: A. How long did you (or do you plan to) breastfeed your child?
page up: Breastfeeding Past the First Year FAQ
next page: C. After the first year, did you nurse on demand, whenever the child requested, or only when you wanted to?