Nursing an 18-month-old

Sometimes writing for this blog is like therapy for me. It helps me to type something out and really focus on something I’m struggling with. Do you ever just have to talk something out with someone else and then it makes total sense to you? You finally know which path to take? Yeah, that’s what I’m hoping will happen with this post. I hope by the end I can make some sense of my thoughts and come to a decision. Or maybe I’ll decide not to decide just yet. I hope you don’t mind.

Here’s a little background: My first child would not latch on so breastfeeding was ultimately unsuccessful. I am now successfully nursing my second child. She nurses two times a day and I am wondering if I should start weaning her or should keep things going as they are now? There are no real reasons to stop, just lots of reasons why maybe I should thinking about stopping?

I distinctively remember thinking it was weird that one of my playmate’s sisters was still nursing as a toddler, maybe even a preschooler. I don’t remember my mom nursing me. Before kids, I surely said if they can ask for it then they are too old to be nursing. Oh how times have change. Now here I am happily nursing an 18 month old who can absolutely ask for it. Add that to the list of things I said I’d never do!

When she cries out from her crib in the morning, the first thing I do is bring her to our bed to nurse. She drinks cow’s milk and eats solid food during the day without nursing, but the last thing she does at night before falling asleep is nurse. Luckily for me, she never really falls asleep nursing and it’s been ok to start brushing her teeth after she nurses and before she goes into her crib. She also seems to do just fine going to bed without nursing if I’m not home at bedtime. She no longer takes bottles.

I am contemplating dropping our morning feeding. School is about to start and I will once again have to get two kids out of the house totally solo every morning. Nursing may or may not slow us down in the mornings. I also worry that the longer I nurse her, the harder it will be for her to stop.

Another reason I’ve considered weaning is that I’d like to start taking birth control pills again. I know it’s fine to use oral contraceptives while nursing, but for some reason I’ve just avoided the added hormones out of caution. Everything I read indicates no risk to the baby but the possibility of reduction in milk supply.

8-8-14 S and Izzie (1)

The hard part is that I just love it so much. With two kids, it’s very nice to have some dedicated time with the little one. And she’s MY BABY! I really don’t think another baby is in the cards for us and this one is just growing up so fast. I feel like when I give up nursing she’ll officially no longer be a baby. I wish I knew what was best for her. A quick Google search tells me that she’s still getting lots of awesome nutrients and antibodies from breastfeeding, so that’s great news.

As always, I appreciate the chance to ramble on when it’s my turn to blog and I think I’ve reassured myself that there is no real reason to stop what’s working for us right now. I’ll have to save those posts about weaning for another time. Who knows, maybe the birth control pills and an upcoming weekend away will do the trick and a decision will be made for me.

2 thoughts on “Nursing an 18-month-old

  1. Whatever feels right to you is the best decision! There are many things I said I’d never do before I had a kid and found myself doing after lills was born! Becoming a mom has made me so much less judgemental.

  2. My son nursed the same, then I gradually stopped the night feeding since he would always fall asleep and needed to start learning to sleep without “mommy milk”. I started a new night routine with reading instead. The morning feedings lasted longer, even though the sessions were shorter, until one day he decided going to play was more important than nursing and that was the end of it. I don’t know if my supply was finally not worth his effort anymore or if he just outgrew the need.

    Whatever works and feels right is the right decision.

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