My longest nurser was just short of her 4th birthday when I (at the very end) guided her to weaning with more purpose. I think she'd have gone past 4 by a short bit otherwise, but by that point I was ready to have just one nursing child. My first who weaned on his own was 2 months past 3, my third is still nursing at just over 3 and I expect he will nurse as long as his sister easily.
Still well within normal for child lead weaning I think.
I have had some hand in their weaning journey, in that I have encouraged the dropping of nursing sessions. I did however, get no resistance until cutting the first thing in the morning one. I had to for practical purposes as they are starting nursery and there wasn't enough time. However, their resistance has mad me determined that they should decide when the very last feed (in jammies, but not to sleep) should go.
We are currently at 3y8m. However I just gave birth to DS last week and DD has cut back a lot. At 35w I had to severely limit her bc it was causing contractions (real ones not BH) so she basically dropped to once a day for 2-3 minutes. Now she might ask once a day (and goes longer) but its sporadic.
My goal with my current nursling is five years. :-)
Most of my friends nurse their kids for several years, so I know lots of kids who nursed for four or more years. I had my kids later than a lot of my friends, so I watched how completely child-led weaning can work. They would gradually stop over time, and often nursing was this awesome thing they remembered fondly. Some of them would occasionally mention it as an example of how awesome their mom was when they saw me first nursing my little one.
I pumped exclusively for my first child for four and a half years. I'm a big believer in getting those antibodies as long as possible!
(Also great apes, which we are, nurse their babies for at least six times full term gestation. From a physiological perspective humans are born immature, and our gestation would be up to three months longer if we didn't have that walking upright/huge head thing going. I would be totally comfortable with my kid nursing six years, which is the point at which the shape of the jaw starts to really have changed so much it gets difficult to nurse. I don't think he's going to nurse that long though. I doubt I'll make it to my five year goal either. We'll see.)
2012-09-11 01:37 pm (UTC)
Holy pumping! You rule for that.
My son nursed until he was 5 yrs and 2 months old .. and I think if he had his way he'd still be nursing (11 months later!). I'm not sure if it was 'child led weaning' because I had to finally stop him (he was just nursing to sleep at that point).
My daughter nursed until just after her 4th birthday. I did gently encourage weaning at that point, but as she's disabled and held by me *all the time*, it was something I felt it was OK. :) But yes. Normal! And congratulations! :)
My son will also be four in January and still loves to nurse. We've kind of cut out the before bed session (I tell him he needs to wait until his sleep fighting sister goes to sleep and he usually lies down with us and goes to sleep too) and he doesn't always get the morning session on days I work, but loves his after work session and asks to nurse all weekend long when we're home.
I think he'll probably wean around 4.5?
2012-09-11 01:36 pm (UTC)
Mine is almost 3.5.
I'm still nursing my 3.75y but have set 4 as the cut-off (which will happen in December) She will enter kindergarten in January (that's when we begin our school year here in Singapore), so I think she would be old enough to cope with some gentle mother-led weaning. As it is, we have been cutting back feeds for the last 1 year (since I was pregnant; baby brother is now 8m) and she has taken to them quite well. We recently dropped down to just 1 feed with my encouragement, but with no fuss on her side. I take it to mean that she is ready. I would not encourage her to wean if she put up resistance or if I felt that she was not ready.
My daughter stopped nursing a few months shy of her 4th birthday. There was a little encouragement on my part to drop some sessions until we were only nursing before bed (but not to sleep). Then over the Christmas holidays, with our schedule all wonky, and guests coming into town and such, she started forgetting about the bedtime session. We nursed a few times in January, and she never asked again.
7 years straight this year ;-). My first nursed for 3y3m, my second for 2y10m, my third is nursing and ~3.5, and my baby is nursing at 18m. <3 You are NORMAL!
4.5 I think. Current nursling is almost 3.5 and no signs of weaning or slowing down.
DD nursed til she was 4 ... starting at 3.5 I started talking to her about her getting bigger and that she was maybe starting to be too big for nursing. She came to the decision to stop at her 4th birthday. She did nurse a couple times after but then was done. DS is 19m and going strong.
Good job mama!
My son nursed till 4.5. I ended up throwing him a (private) ending nursing party b/c it didn't seem like he would ever stop on his own. I can tell he still misses it, and he is now 6. My daughter is still nursing now at 3.
my son last nursed the week of his fourth birthday. It was CLW, but he ended up with a convenient time for me to remember. ;)
My nursling turned 4 in July.
Normal to me! :)
I know in the beginning, I expected his "child led" weaning to end much sooner... but I later realized I was comparing with kids who had younger siblings. He's my only, so there hasn't been a pregnancy or younger sibling taking the milk away.
He night weaned himself.
I've never cut out any nursing sessions.
I still offer to nurse him when he doesn't even request it, probably 4-5 times a week. Usually he says no.
He tends to nurse once a day, in the afternoon or evening, for about 2 minutes. He's been going every-other day for a few weeks, which he's done before in the past and then resumed daily again.
I'd like to get through one more winter before he stops. ;) I'm also hoping that I'll be one of those women who can still express a few drops on demand years after weaning, because I love having it on hand for topical uses.
(Pardon late response, I'm very behind with lj!) My current nursling is 4yrs 3mo, and shows no sign of wanting to stop :-) He mostly nurses first thing in the morning and last thing at night (I helped him night-wean for both our sakes some time ago, which he was fine with.) Sometimes he misses one or other of those sessions for various reasons, and more days than not he has at least one other session during the day, sometimes could be as many as 4 or 5 sessions but that is rare.
Going as long as you already have with twins is impressive - congratulations!