Extended Breastfeeding the Older Baby or Toddler

I’m a huge extended breastfeeding advocate, and let my son Griffin nurse as long as he wanted to.

When he was first born, I found so many awesome books and online resources about breastfeeding. I learned about the proper latch, the appropriate amounts and times to nurse (any and all times!), the best breastfeeding positions, etc.

Griff and I sailed through nicely for the first 8 months because, up to that point, he really wasn’t eating a ton of solids.

Once he did start incorporating food, he dropped his afternoon feeding. Like any first time mom, I started wondering… “was this OK?” I then started looking for books and online sources to learn more about the process of weaning.

I didn’t find much information about breastfeeding the older baby or toddler…

What I did find was vague and theoretical… I wanted a plan! Unlike the 8-12 feedings in 24 hour period guideline for newborns, all I saw were general statements like “the baby and you will figure it out.”

So here’s where I’m at now with breastfeeding my 16-month old

Extended breastfeeding: what I’ve learned along the way

So, I stumbled through the weaning process, and will continue to, by talking to other moms, a lactation consultant and La Leche League members. What I’ve learned along the way is trust yourself and trust your baby. The baby will lead the way.

The weaning process certainly isn’t linear

There’s no set plan or program for extended breastfeeding. All we can do is share our experience. We need to talk more about this so that we aren’t alone though.

By 13 months, Griffin went down to one nap a day, and dropped another feeding. At this point, he had just three feedings during the day; however he was still getting up two times a night for feedings.

At 14 months, Griffin started sleeping through the night 🙂

Griffin sleeping through the night is a whole other (joyous) post. What it meant for his nursing was that he was down to just three sessions a day and zero in the night (yippee!). He nurses once when he wakes up, once before his midday nap, and once before bed. Easy peasy!

In between, he’s eating a good amount of food, mostly fruits, vegetables, whole yogurt, cottage cheese, raw cheeses and some soaked or sprouted grains.

I have not supplemented with any other milk (cow, goat, etc.) because Griff is getting 16-20 ounces a day of breast milk which is plenty.

He pretty much sticks to our little schedule, but occasionally he’ll nurse spontaneously if he’s upset or tired, which I love.

And that’s where we are now with extended breastfeeding at 16 months

In retrospect, I think the reason there isn’t really specific weaning protocols is because of the huge variances between babies. Some kiddos are still nursing 5 times a day at 2 1/2 years old. Some babies fully wean at 10 months despite their mamas wanting them to continue. And there’s everything in-between.

So, let’s talk about extended breastfeeding and learn from each other.

Need  breastfeeding help?


I ended up weaning my extended breastfeeding toddler at 2 years of age. Click here to read and see how I did it.

How about you?

What’s your weaning experience been like? Are you extended breastfeeding on demand or setting limits?

Here are more breastfeeding resources:

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 75,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.


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  1. I’m currently still nursing my 15 month old. He nurses quite a few times a day still. In the early morning around 4-6 am and then again around 730 when he wakes for the day. Then before his nap at 1pm, occasionally around 11 as well depending on the day. Then after his nap at 3pm and then right before bed at 745. Sometimes he’ll choose to nurse at about 430 as well, but usually not. So that’s about 5 times on the regular day. Still working on upping his food intake though. We try to avoid too many snacks because then he wont eat his meal.

  2. I am also still nursing my LO who is 13 months. My goal is 2 years. He is currently nursing about 3 times a day. He nurses in the morning, after daycare and before bed. I am currently weaning myself from the pump at work. My question is should I be pumping after his feedings to keep my supply up?
    Thank you in advance, Kristin

  3. It’s so nice to read everyones’ experiences! Thanks for this amazing website. I’m still nursing my 14 month old, almost 15 months. I nurse him in the morning when he gets up, before and after his morning nap and afternoon nap (sometimes he doesn’t have a morning nap and just afternoon nap), before bed, and throughout the night about every 1-3 hours. So it doesn’t look like he’s weaning anytime soon lol. He does also eat a good amount of solids throughout the day. The only thing I hope for now is that he’ll sleep through the night soon! Unfortunately, he doesn’t know how to self soothe yet and the only way he’ll fall back asleep is if I nurse him. But other than that, I also love our bonding time and hope to nurse him ’till he’s 2 years old or when he chooses to self wean 🙂

    • I’m going through pretty much this same exact scenario with my almost 15 month old son! LoL.. I thought what I was going through wasn’t normal, but then again, what in life is “normal”? I often get pressure from his pediatrician to stop night feeding, but I take it in stride and do what’s best and what works for us. However, it is comforting to know that I’m not the only one in my particular boat. Hang in there mama! Lord knows I am too! 🙂 I hope to keep nursing my little guy for another couple yrs.

  4. Hi I have a 2 1/2 yr old that I’m working on weaning. I read this post and watched your video, very informative. I am working on giving him “no babies” milk (whole raw milk from a trusted source at the farmers market). It started being daddy’s special drink and he loved it, then I offered it to him but said if you have this then no babies (he calls breastfeeding babies). So he drank the drink but still wanted babies and was upset when I tried to explain the situation. Of course I gave him babies. I am curious with your method did it take a few weeks where you gave him the drink but still fed him? Or did you give drink and let him cry it out for a bit? Or maybe he weaned without any problem.l the first night. I know I have felt defeated because the special no babies drink hasn’t worked in the first 2 weeks yet.. Thanks for any advice!

  5. I am still breastfeeding my 3 year old (almost 39 mos) once or twice a day. I’m trying to figure out if I still need to take iron in my supplements. There’s not much info out there!

  6. My first child self weaned at 14 mo, when I was 1 month pregnant with baby #2. Baby #2 self weaned at 13 mo when I was 1 month pregnant with #3. Baby #3 is still nursing 3x a day at 16 months. But he is starting to seem not that interested and definitely not getting as much milk from me because he’s still full from dinner. I do feed him whole milk with his meals and he seems to like it. I do the FairLife with higher protein content because it seems to have some nutritional content. It doesn’t have the USDA organic stamp but in speaking to their customer service team, they seem to have pretty good practices with what their cows eat etc.

  7. I have a 14 month old who isn’t ready to let go yet. He doesn’t even take my milk from the bottle. He does eat some solids but he is VERY picky. Dad wants him to let go of the boob and a lot of other people too! Do you have any advice? I enjoy our bonding but how can I get him to enjoy my milk from a bottle or sippy cup?

    • How do YOU feel about weaning? Do YOU want to end your breastfeeding relationship? You mentioned everyone other than YOU wanting your child to wean. If it’s something YOU want, there is great info here:

  8. My son will be 5 next month and still nurses once ortwice a day! I think he would do more if I let him! Tandeming with my 14th month old!

  9. Please post your sleeping through the night miracle process!

  10. I love your post and just wanted to comment that although there were many bumps along the way, I still nurse my 4.3 year old to sleep. It lasts about 5 minutes and probably 2 mornings a week now, she’ll ask to nurse. Her weaning has been completely up to her, it’s what I felt that I instinctually wanted but countless times I’ve considered the possibility of gentle parent-led weaning. But, like I said it’s been completely up to her, and at this point she only desires 5 minutes a day, it sure makes bedtime a breeze!!! I feel a little emotional that we are not going to be nursing much longer but this journey has been a huge lesson in trusting my child to do what’s best for her and what a blessing the bond we’ve created through it has been. Many people including our pediatricians had told me that she would never stop on her own, totally untrue. Happy nursing!

  11. This was so encouraging; my 17 month old is nowhere near close to weaning, and I feel like so many people have to put in their two cents about it or mock the fact that he still breastfeeds so much. I’m content with letting him take the lead at this point. Of course, I can’t wait for him to sleep through the night or eat more solids, but for now this works. He’s healthy and strong and smart and sweet. Even though there are hard days when I want to be done with it, I know he won’t be little forever. I was only planning on nursing him for 5-6 months because I had such a difficult time from the start, and almost gave up. So I’m proud to say I made it this long :]

  12. I love breastfeeding and my son is now 15 months old. I am a working mom and have so far stopped pumping at work bc my son is eating solids and cows milk when im at work. We are down to feeding while sleeping , afternoon nursing when I get home, and nursing when he wants when im at home. Ive decided to let him lead the way with weaning as i love the bond we have and will miss it when he stops. 😁 so far so good!

  13. really amazing site

  14. I exclusively breastfed my son who is now 18.5 months…. everything was going well and we were down to one feeding a day which I connected to the fact that I found out I pregnant when he was 9 months. Well currently I and 8 days from my due date and my 18 month old is VERY ATTACHED. He wants to nurse more often, lay on me all the time, and even just hold my breast. While I know he’s still just a baby himself it gets very agitating because I’m constantly hot, sleepy, and annoyed. This pregnancy has been a true test as a breastfeeding mom.

    • I’m still breastfeeding my 18-month old son and I’m due with baby#2 this July26. I’m still wondering if I will have enough milk to provide for the two of them? Does tamdeming really works? Greatly appreciate getting tips regarding this?

  15. First of all, there is nothing gross about extended nursing a child. My son is 3 and still does at night before bed and sometimes before his afternoon nap. Breasts were not made to be sexualized so your opinion that it only benefits the woman after 6 months is clearly wrong. Your comments are very offensive and you need to educate yourself on the health perks for mom AND CHILD past the first year. Also my son does not “hang on me” either so there is another incorrect statement by your ignorance. What you did is good for you but judging others for a decision to nurse longer is very sad considering we are all mothers and should build each other up, not tear down. (Written as I nurse my son to sleep)

    • I totally agree with you. I breastfed my son until he was 2.5 years old. Although some family members tried to put me down for feeding too long, I ignored their comments and carried on until my son naturally weaned off.

      • Thank you for sharing. My son is about to be 17 months old and he prefers nursing over solids. It has been hard because I have not had support from my family. It is nice to hear other moms experiences.

  16. Hello,

    My daughter Riley is my first born; she turned one-year-old on the 21st of October this year past year. I have been breastfeeding her continuously (no formulas or other dairy products) from the time she was born until now. As a new mom I have absolutely no idea how many times a day she should be nursing.

    She sleeps through the night, so I do not nurse her then. I put her to bed about 6:30 maybe 7 p.m. and she doesn’t wake up again until about 7 in the morning at which point she eats breakfast and then I give her breast milk. Before she takes her morning nap I give her breast milk again, then after lunch she nurses, as well as before her afternoon nap. She nurses again right after dinner and one last time before she goes to bed at night.

    I have a friend who’s baby is a day younger than my daughter and she has already weaned him to only nursing twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. She told me that I should start trying to give Riley whole milk but I just don’t see the point in it if she’s still nursing that many times a day… do I really need to give her whole cow’s milk if she’s still nursing at least 6 times a day? ( I have tried giving her whole milk a few times and she just spits it out)

    Anyway I do not plan on stopping the nursing process until she’s at least 2 years old but again I don’t know how many times she should be nursing throughout the day. Any thoughts and or opinions would be great. Any helpful situations or your own personal experiences would be really helpful as well since I am a new mom all the help I can get is definitely appreciated.

    Thank you all,
    Mindy Hancq

  17. So, I am sure the answer is hidden in the comments and my silly phone won’t load it, but I have a question…

    My baby is 1 year old as of October 22nd, 2017. She was exclusively breastfed, meaning only breastmilk (minus the odd biscuit to keep her entertained while momma eats here and there) until her 1st birthday. Now, we are entering month 13 and we haven’t really entered into solids. She is still VERY interested in nursing and would truly nurse all day long if I let her. Do you have any suggests for us? I am not looking to wean any time soon, but I feel like we should be starting some kind of solids routine at this point. We are planning on BLWing, but want to definitely keep up the nursing for as long as possible. Just not sure what our next step is at this point.

    • Babies need iron and other vitamins and minerals not contained in breast milk starting around 6 months. You can still continue to nurse as long as your child would like.

  18. Hello again…..
    Also, for all you who got pregnant while BF’g. Any tips?
    I dont want to wean my little monkey (15mo) any time soon, but i do want another baby asap.
    I would have no issues with tandem nursing :). I plan on it.

  19. Hi,
    This post made me feel so much better. I have a 15mo and i nurse in the morning, before nap and before bed. Also…. Many night feeds lately. She lost her ability to self soothe and i can not let her “cry it out” when BF’g calms her so nicely. There are so many people out there with their opinions. My husband says its beacuse they probably feel a little jelous and guilty that they didnt BF their kids as long as you. But i dont feel 15 months as long… She is still a baby!
    My question…. Any tips on decreasing the mmmmmany new night feeds? Or should i just tough it out and let her nurse every 1-2 hours?? And tell myself…. “Not to worry, this too shall pass” & enjoy this time.
    Im proud of all you mama’s. 🙂

    • I, too, would love an answer on this! My 14mo daughter nurses on demand, still eats limited solids, and nurses ALL. NIGHT. LONG. I don’t mind nursing her at night, but I am truly exhausted from waking up every 1-2 hours. And I have absolutely no desire to make her CIO. No need to put her through all of that. But how to I get her to sleep for longer stretches at a time??

      • My girl is 2y5m and has only just started sleeping through, still has the odd night where she wants to nurse all night, I’m just enjoying the bonding as she won’t always want to nurse 🙂

  20. Hi there. I enjoyed this read. Right now I am nursing a 13 month old and I am currently 6 months pregnant. My daughter has been cutting down on the feedings in the last month or so and I am not sure if it’s the taste of the milk due to hormones, if it is because my milk supply is dropping, she is just over it or because of breastfeeding aversion we cut feedings down in time and this has affected our relationship. It could be all of the above but it is causing me some depression because I am not ready to wean her. I had a hard time w her when she was young due to both a tongue tie and a lip tie so her latch was never really ideal. We braved through and she flourished. When I became pregnant she still did fine for a while but then she was not gaining any more weight even though she was eating plenty solids and nursing a lot. I got her some toddler drinks and introduced nut milk, when now I really should have pumped and tried giving her my milk, but I was just following the advice from the pediatrician who said my milk just isn’t nourishing her enough. She is fine again and she eats mostly when she is tired or upset but I don’t think for nourishment, but for comfort and she had completely stopped during the night which she used too quite often. I don’t want to stop breastfeeding and then have to start again in 3 months. I guess I am sad and feeling guilty and needed some advice.

    • Hi, I would like to know what the outcome was for you? I am currently in the same boat and could use some encouragement!

  21. Hi

    I’ve got a year old daughter. She either naps on the pushchair or on the boob. At night I feed her and dad puts her down but she wakes up couple of times and if I dont offer boob she doesn’t calm down. She screams and screams. Sometimes dad can calm her down but not always. Any advice what to do?

    • I started playing music for my daughter at night and now she sleeps through the night. Between 12 to 14 hours. She is 13 months old.

      • I was bedsharing with my 17 month old baby and he was nursing every 2-3 hours through the night or less 🙁 I got a toddler bed and modified it into a cosleepingbed beside my bed and we have room to spread out now. Because my boob isn’t in sipping distance, he has started “sleeping through the night”, that is, sleeping 8pm-3am, waking up at 3 for a quick nosh and then goes back down til 7/7:30. It could be coincidence but it seems like the cosleeper bed and the extra breathing room helped.

  22. Hi..My baby girl is 10 months and we found she has milk allergy. Can I just continue to give her breast milk in the place of cow’s milk even after she turns 1.Would that meet her nutritional needs without soy or other ‘Milks’? I wish I could avoid Soy milk as long as possible. Thank you!

  23. I am in the same boat. Some of my family is trying to convince me that it’s wrong to still breastfeed my 9 1/2 month old. I’d love her to drop the night feedings and right now and working on reducing the daytime feedings (currently nurses 4-5 times in the day and 3-4 at night). Hubby and I want to breastfeed her and honestly without his support it would be tough. Some friends agree with us, but if it weren’t for sites like yours I would be at a loss. It can be depressing to not have support and be told you’re doing something wrong. Thank you so much.

    • I tell people the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least 2 years & that generally shuts them right up. You’re doing great!

      • Yes I say the same thing! Who knows more? Aunt Tabby or the WHO?

  24. My son will soon turn 4 yr old and honestly I really don’t know when I will stop. Because the idea that your child created a thick bond with you through breastfeeding is awesome. I tried weaning him few times and realized that it isn’t easy if you yourself is not ready. Because this means a little bonding time for me and my child and I think that’s emotionally challenging for me. I loved how he console himself through breastfeeding and it really makes me happy. I think i’ll have to wait until he doesn’t want to latch anymore.

    • Hello,

      I have a 2 1/2 yr old and still breast feeding, I would love to continue to breasting her, it even my inlaw said that it would be benefitial for her to learn to learn other ways to cope with her pains and aches as she is a big girl now.

      Have you encounter any of this comments before.

      I agree with you and I keep finding articles where it suggest that extended breast feeding makes them smarter and healthier so I think I
      going to continue with my husbands support.

      Thanks you and God bless you

  25. My son is 12 months and three weeks. I’m so glad I came across this post because I feel completely lost as far as breastfeeding and offering another type of milk… My son loves food and does great with three meals a day and then an afternoon and sometimes morning snack. While he’s at daycare he gets a 7 oz bottle of breast milk in the AM and one in the afternoon. I feed him when we get home and then we do a feed before bed and a couple during the night. After typing all this up I’m realizing he’s getting enough milk from me and I wouldn’t need to supplement. However on days when he’s at home with me or the weekend he doesn’t seem interested in breastfeeding other than a little bit before his afternoon nap and before bedtime and then in the night. Do I need to supplement on days we’re at home?

    • If he’s eating well, I don’t see the need to supplement. Offer him the breast when he would normally take a bottle at daycare, he’ll eat as much as he needs.

  26. Thanks so much for the helpful article! My sweet boy is 13 months old and nurses 3x during the day (before morning nap, before afternoon nap, before bedtime — but now that he’s getting molars it’s a bit of a negotiation) and then I often pump 1x a day depending on how I feel. He just went from 2 night feedings to NONE in the span of 10 days (and the angels sang the Hallelujah Chorus!) It’s wonderful that he’s sleeping, but I’ve had a severe case of mastitis and a plugged duct in the past 6 months and am terrified that with such a sudden change in his nursing habits, I’ll end up with mastitis again. How do I tell my supply to chill out a bit at night? Do I have to get up in the wee hours to pump to avoid terrible terrible mastitis? Thanks so much in advance!!

    • You can try hand expressing a small amount at the time he normally would be having his second nursing session. Just enough to relieve some of the engorgement. You may only need to do that once or twice before your body figures it out. Massaging your breast when he nurses again after the lull can help with minimizing clogged ducts. Good luck mama and yay for sleep!

  27. Breastfeeding a 4 year old feeling great

    • Hi I am breastfeeding a 3 1/2 year old and am trying to wean her. It is horrible. I am doing this because I need to get on meds that she can’t have. I was wondering if you have tried to wean your 4 year old yet? And if you haven’t what is your game plan. I am just trying to find ideas. This is a horrible situation I am in because I do not want to stop emotionally.
      Thanks for your advice and anyone else.

  28. Hi! Thanks for this website. So great!
    I am extended breastfeeding. My toddler is 47months old . She will be in her 48months on may 20,2017 but still breastfeeding. I am confused if do i still have a milk supply? Because when i squiz my breast no more milk comes out, because last 4 months i got cough and colds and took the herbal medicine. Since then, no more milk comes out but still my tod continue breastfeed.. is there still milk?
    ? thanks,

  29. Thanks for sharing! It is very interesting how feedings for breastfed babies can vary SO much!

    My son will be one year old in less than two weeks and he still breastfeeds 5-6 times a day. He too wasn’t super keen on solid foods for awhile and didn’t really start eating them regularly until about a month ago. Now we can hardly eat something in front of him because he will want it too. He eats 2-3 solid meals a day now.

    As for breastfeeding, I have had a really tough time coming to terms with his decrease in breastfeeds. He was still breastfeeding 8 times per day at 10 months. Now he is down to 5-6. It happened very quickly, but in hindsight I think he was ready to decrease a little sooner. I think I was in denial LOL. I do still have to dreamfeed him before I go to bed or else he will wake up around 1am.

    I have been lucky enough to stay home with him since birth, but am beginning to look for work again. I am VERY nervous about potentially starting a job at a time when he is still breastfeeding heavily as I am worried I won’t be able to pump enough at work. But he is growing fast and eating less and less breastmilk, so hopefully by the time I return to work I won’t have to pump too much.

  30. My 13 month old has given up all daytime nursing. I finally gave up pumping at work as I was only pumping a few ounces at a time. He nurses before bed and gets anywhere from two to six times a night to nurse.

  31. My boy is 26 months and still breastfeeding on demand multiple times per day and multiple times at night. The night feedings are a bit of a drag but I’m so happy to still be nursing him. We do have a beautiful bond and he is so healthy!

    • Hi ladies, I’m so glad I came across this post.
      My little girl is almost 2 and is still breastfeeding multiple times day and night. She isn’t too big on solids – she eats but in very small amounts.
      Over the last 9months I have noticed that her bowel movements are less frequent, sometimes once in 4 days but usually once every 2-3 days. When she does have a bowel movement it is normal and soft.
      My mother and a friend of mine who is a nurse keep telling me it’s because her diet is mainly Breastmilk there is not enough solids to come through. They keep telling me I need to reduce it so that her bowels work more regularly.
      I’ve seen our GP and paediatrician but they don’t say much, just seem puzzled (I think mainly because I’m still feeding her at this age). One of them mentioned lazy bowel syndrome which has me concerned. I don’t know what to do.
      Has anyone else experienced this with extended breastfeeding?
      I would really appreciate any advice.
      Thank you 🙂

      • Breastmilk does not produce much waste product at all to become stool! The body is using almost every single bit of it so non frequent bowel movements are NORMAL!

  32. I am still nursing my 25 month old son. He nurses 4-5 times a day. When he wakes up, before nap, after nap, and before bed. Sometimes nursing between morning and nap time. I night weaned him at 13 months because he was having periods of waking up every few minutes several hours a night sometimes getting so awake that he would not go to sleep for 2-3 hours. My husband started going in with water and he caught on within a couple of days. He cried some but surprisingly took it very well. I’m not sure when we will stop. I am following him as of now. 🙂 the bond is wonderful and he is so healthy! If I get pregnant again I might think about weaning him.

  33. Genevieve,

    Thanks so much for posting this article. My daughter is only 11 months, but I plan on breastfeeding her for as long as she is interested. I feel like a lot of people don’t talk about extended breastfeeding and when I do talk about it, people look at me like I am weirdo. It feels good to know you are not alone!

  34. i am still breastfeeding little one. she will be 15 months on sept 11th. we are down to 3 times a day — morning, before her afternoon nap and at night. i am not doing any milk — she does eat cheese and yogurt during the day. is this ok? is she getting enough? when i have to work, i pump and leave a bottle — usually 5 to 6 oz — for 2pm. should she use a cup now for that feeding or should i stick to a bottle? thank you!!!

    • I have the same question and would love to hear from the author or other readers. My son is 16 months old and still takes a bottle of breast milk before his nap when I’m at work (he nurses to sleep when I’m home). Should he use a cup for that feeding?

      • Nope, the bottle is fine. Babies usually give up the bottle when they are ready. I don’t know of anyone who uses one as an adult!

        • I have heard from speech pathologists that extended use of the bottle can cause issues for development of the muscles of the mouth and for speech…don’t know the details, but it might be worth researching. I do know 4-year-olds who still want a bottle, so it is possible that they won’t just give it up on their own…

  35. Hello! I really enjoyed the video you made! My daughter just turned 1 so I was wondering how many times should she be nursing along with eating solid foods and your video helped me! As of now, we nurse when she first wakes up (usually around 7am), before her 10:30 nap, then around the evening time sometime, then before she goes to bed. But she wakes up and I put her in my bed to nurse her and she wakes up to nurse about 2 to 3 times dieting the night. I’m wondering how did you get your son to sleep through the night?! Thank you!

    • Sorry for a the few typos in my post! I meant, during the night*. She still wakes up to nurse about 2 to 3 times and I would really love to see her sleeping the whole night through! ☺

  36. Referring to nursing your 13, 14 or 16 month old as “extending breastfeeding” suggests that you are stretching (i.e., extending) the normal period of nursing. A very common misperception in the U.S. is that nursing is something only done in the first year of a baby’s life and that anything beyond that is abnormal.
    The WHO recommends breastfeeding up to AT LEAST 2 years of life. In most other parts of the world, it is perfectly normal and widely accepted to breastfeed your infant well past the 1 year mark and certainly no one would say that you are “extending” anything. I would be careful in using this word as, in my opinion, it has a negative connotation.

    • Well said !!! I couldn’t agree more!

  37. Senna January 26th 12:30
    Hi all mamas and Genevieve I’ve loved the site, very helpful.
    I’m a very proud mother of a healthy, gorgeous, happy 21 month old baby who enjoys his solid food a lot, although he loves goat and gold top jersey milk he still has his breastfeeding. Waking up, b4 naps, aftr meals, for comfort, when not so well and whenever and for whatever reason he feels like.
    Although some days it may feel a bit draining I love it and decided that it is our time and ride together, although he is really and truly the driver and he’ll know when he wants to stop as much as I may miss it once it happens, I’ve decided to enjoy it instead of controlling it.
    From 6 months old at times as been quite annoying having ppl expressing their opinions (without being requested) against breastfeeding him at this age as from 6 months they start on solids (so, your point is???!!!), just because he’s quite tall for his age and often ppl think that he’s 3+ (as if it matters) mostly if it involves feeding him in public places often I get the disproving looks and comments which it’s easy to ignore.
    Although in the last couple of weeks my nipples been very sore and I’m just not ready to have my body deciding to shut down production of milk, do you think the reason behind my soreness means that I’m drying? And if so how to avoid it? How to avoid it? I feel so betrayed by my own body…
    Please help me

    P.S. I am not pregnant.

    • My ds is currently 30 months still breastfeeeding. Have you tried olive oil? I think I remember a brief period I had to pull it back out. It was mostly because he was too busy playing to latch properly. But I used my milk to heal the cuts and olive oil to keep it moist till it healed.
      Painful week but found out he had his first molar coming in so I forgave him. Plus he’s so cute I couldn’t get mad at him. 🙂
      Not sure when I planning to wean or if. But he’s 2.5 now and still going strong about 4-5 times a day and once during the night (sometimes none). He drinks in morning as soon as he gets up, after breakfast, after lunch (before nap), after snack, and his longest period is before bed(before I head to work). But, it’s still can be more or less depending on what he’s doing.
      Not planning on actively weaning yet. (We’ll see how this year goes.) I’m wondering if I should start pumping again. That way I could wean from the breast smoothly without taking away the milk.

      • Not planning on weaning but I need to plan for times I am not around. Right now he is with me all day everyday but eventually I won’t be with him all day in trip to store, playdate, daddy time, day@ grandmas, and maybe one day a babysitter.

  38. I’m still nursing and pumping at 15.5months but he is starting to refuse milk in bottles during the day (or sippy cup, straw cup, etc). He is happy to nurse when I am home.

    My question is, how did you know how much milk he is getting from nursing?

  39. Hi, i have recently encounter nursing strike for my soon 1 year old baby. He wil stare n twiddle the nipple then refuse to latch, though he is hungry. Is he self weaning or just nursing strike? I am not ready to wean him yet.

    • Might have to burp or eliminate, or need some time to experience the breast with his toddler mind/vision/hands now, before latching on.
      My son will pause at the breast before or during breastfeeding, and even be prevented from falling into deep sleep, because of a need to eliminate gas..

  40. I’m still breastfeeding my 16 month old. I don’t think I’m producing alot because my nipple are sore everyday. He still want to drink breastmilk even tho he eats really good. Even after a good meal or snack he wants to drink breastmilk. I been trying to wean him off at nights I been successful. He loves cow milk and juices but he refuses to drink it in the mornings. He wants breastmilk. should I pump and store milk while I’m trying to wean him off?

    • Are you getting enough sleep and peace time for yourself, so that your body can produce? How is your liquid intake and stress levels?
      Also, I do believe that night time nursing can help your body to produce more per feed.. Or just be ready to offer the breast a few more times in the day, so the body knows to produce more for l.o.
      My fourth son has been so distracted and often ignored as I have become quite busy on a side job , so suddenly he is more needs needy for time on the breast when we finally get around to it again, and yet my breast is sore (for the first time) and empty sooner than my son would like..
      I believe, therefore, that I was ignoring cues to bring him to a quiet place to nurse because of our mutual busyness, and hence the drying up of milk supply. My l.o. is 29 months old.

    • Is your little on teething? I had a nurse/lactation specialist tell me that the newly sore nipples could be from a tooth bud that is coming through even though you can’t see it yet, I have found that within a few days of the soreness there is a new tooth popping through.

  41. For me, each child was weaned at a different age. #1 was about a year and a half. I was pregnant and was told to wean so I did (this was before facebook), #2 weaned at just over 2 years. # 3 was 5 1/2 and I was DONE. I tandem nursed her through #4’s pregnancy and for 2 years after. I got about a year of nursing #4 on her own until I got pregnant again. She weaned by herself 3 days before her brother was born at the age of 3 1/2. #4 is 1 1/2 and neither of us are ready for weaning.

    • That’s amazing. I’m tandem nursing my son who will be 3 in two months along with my 11 wk old daughter. I also nursed my now 15 and 11 yr old daughters for over 2 yrs each. I was only 19 with my first and I’m proud I nursed so long when I got so much negativity for it. I stuck to it and I’m so glad I did. I still regret making my first two wean before they were ready. With my boy now and this newborn girl, I am letting them self wean. Nursing through my pregnancy was pretty painful but, I’m so glad I continued.

  42. Hi,

    I’m currently EBF my 5 month old 🙂 plus BF my 3 year old who now wants me every time his brother has a feed, I don’t mind it because I love Breastfeeding but it’s hard dealing with others comments x

    • This sounds like me. I’m breastfeeding my 3 yr old and 3 1/2 month old except I’m annoyed by it. He’s always all over my breast and wants to nurse all day. Sometimes I can take it but other times I can’t. What do you can think I can do to feel better about it? I love that he’s getting the extra nutrients and I can see how much comfort it brings. I just feel over touched or sucked.

      • It helps me to have routine planned activities for my children at home, so that they are not focused on the breast. They can be stimulated and connected to me through morning walk, books, and meal prep time, colour and scissors time, Lego puzzle time, and cleaning time, which we do regularly and with eye contact and conversation. This helps l.o. to meet me in new toddler activities, amd to distinguish from the baby’s activities..

  43. Just finding this blog and as a FTM I’m thankful for a post on extended breastfeeding!

    My 10m old is EBF but has only taken my left boob since 6 months. My right never made as much but now is almost totally dried up. I pump it when I can (I work from home 3 days and go “in” two days, so days home it’s sporadic). She is growing fine, eating 3 meals a day + snacks, nurses 1x during the night, and is generally happy. I only get 1/2oz or 1 oz when I pump. Is it worth the trouble? Should I just let it dry up and focus on the left. It is completely stressing me out and I’m so whop-sided. I’ve tried diluted basil/fennel oil on it but have had minimal results… again, everything is sporadic as I’m usually doing 20 things at one time. The other issues that causes stress with the one boob issue is that she is lactose intolerant so if my milk goes dry I’m unsure what to give her…

  44. Let me start by saying I love your blog. But this post has me a little baffled and concerned. It’s great that you are excited that your 14 month old is only nursing 3 times a day and sleeping all night. My 14 month old on the other hand still nurses 2-3 times at night and at least 5 times a day. You are absolutely right that every child is different and every mama finds something that works for them.

    My real concern is the statement that “some babies self wean at 10 months and that’s ok too” because actually it’s not. There is actually quite a bit of information out there (and a WHO recommendation) that breastfeeding should last a minimum of 2 years. So a baby weaning at 10 months isn’t really “ok” it typically means there is something else going on. If the mother isn’t leading weaning (intentionally or not) its very unlikely a child will wean before 2.

    • My thoughts exactly!!

    • I just want to say I think she means “don’t beat yourself up” if your child self weans at 10 months old.:) My first child and I struggled with nursing and she absolutely refused to nurse after 4 months old. I know, so sad! I went to exclusively pumping, but my milk dried up. My 2nd is nursing great and I plan on extending nursing. I absolutely understand all the benefits, but everything doesn’t always work out as planned. There are 2 people in the nursing relationship. My first is now an extremely intelligent and happy 3 year old! Another example is a good friend of mine who had to wean around 6 months because she had cancer and needed treatments. It’s OK though! She is doing well and her toddler is thriving as well! We all do our best with the circumstances we are given.

    • All my children self weaned. All 5 would wake up one morning and not once nurse, no matter how many timaes I offered. TTheywere 6 mos., 4 mos., 9 mos., 11 mos., and 13 mos. The 4 months old, we r sure y this happened, and it bothered me something awful! So yes, it is natural and goes with what their body needs at the time. Once you offer those solid foods, that’s when mine started to lose interest.

    • Night feeding helps with children “extending” breastfeeding to a healthier age, and so does a more routines and work-together environment in the home/family. <3

      • True

  45. I felt the same way about the lack of info. My now 26m old has been weaned for two months. It felt like,a,roller coaster ride from the time she was a year old and eating/ drinking a little besides me! She was never consistent from day to day. Finally when she was about 20 months she was sleeping through the night and was cutting back significantly when she decided she didn’t need a nap. Now that she’s weaned I’ve been looking for some post weaning feelings and weight gain.

  46. All my kids (5) have self weaned between 5 and 14 months. The one at 5 months, we found out my milk was too thin so she would just get mad at me and scream and push me away. So I had to change plans on that one. Usually it was they fed one day then starting the next day wanted nothing to do with it.

  47. I’m still nursing my 21-month old. I work full time, and pump, and he has about 7-10 oz of my milk bottled. He feeds overnight, I’d say 3-6x/night. When I spend time with him in the morning before work he will come to the breast but it’s not nursing so much as closeness…he knows I’ll be leaving soon. When I come home from work he feeds, maybe 2-4 oz. And on weekends when I am with him all day he nurses about every 90 minutes.

    I guess I’d describe him as still heavily nursing, more for food but a lot for closeness as well. It’s interesting…I’ve read that if left to their own devices, the average self-weaning age would be 4.2 years old. Who knows what can change, but my guess is my son may well reach that age and still be nursing, and perhaps a bit beyond.

    I’m most interested in how folks NIP with toddlers. I used to get sweet looks of approval from folks who figure out I’m NIP; now I sometimes get disapproving looks, and I realize it’s because they see an active toddler nursing and feel it’s too old. What are folks’ experiences with this?

    • Our little man is 19 months, still goin strong nursing. MAINLY 3 nursings also but throughout the day he’ll randomly want to nurse for a minute if it’s just me and him (no other kids to distract him). I didn’t think he was even close to weaning bc his interest in food wasn’t huge (mostly veggies fruit and yogurt and sometimes beans) but then the other day he was totally into lemon roasted chicken breast, then my chicken fajitas another night and then ate my meatloaf yesterday (he hadn’t previously been interested in meat much at all). So who knows what this new interest in meat may bring! We’ll see. We are talking about trying for baby #2 and I’m just not lovin the idea of nursing while pregnant so I’d like him to wean soon even though I know I’ll be sad when he does.

  48. Hey Mamas,
    I’m in this exact boat right now…loving breastfeeding my 9-month-old (EBF since birth), and he still loves it too! He’s been eating solids since 5.5 months and LOVES any/everything (solids and milk), recently going up to 3 meals a day just this week because he still seemed hungry with just 2 solid meals per day (crying after finishing the bowl). I also always nurse first an offer solids second, but I’m going out on a limb here by saying he has been sleeping *completely* through the night since 5 months!!! (didn’t night-wean on purpose, and I kind of loved it…don’t hate me, lol). So he’s actually only been nursing 5x/day since about 7/8 months, but seems completely satisfied and is in 90% percentile for height and 75% for weight. I definitely want a gentle end to nursing, and I’ll be honest that I’m going to miss it TONS! But at the same time, I just don’t feel quite comfortable nursing a toddler. I’m wanting to approach it with a combination of baby-led and mother-led, but not sure what that looks like. I’m also planning on working part-time once he’s around 14-15 months old and would be totally fine with nursing 1-3x day (like morning, evening/bedtime), but need him to take cow’s milk during the day. Just going to pray and take it one day at a time;)

  49. Hi I am new to the blog. I have so many questions and concerns about breastfeeding. My son is 6 weeks old and I have been away from him since he was 2 weeks old due to circumstances. Breastfeeding had its niggles in the beginning but we got into a nice routine. I then put him on formula since I wouldnt be with him in order to breastfeed. every formula used thus far has resulted in him not being very well (3 different brands- one made him sicker than the other). I then decided to put him back on the breast but because I am away from him its difficult. I am expressing milk but my supply is very low and not enough to last him. What should I do when formula messes him up? I hate having to see him unhappy and in pain. your advice would be appreciated xoxo Gigi

    • Hi there, I read your blog and hope I can help because my baby is a year today and I’ve gone through similar situations as you have. First off, there are ways you CAN increase your milk supply.
      1. Try taking fenugreek and blessed thistle. (3, 3x daily).
      2. Always nurse your baby first, then pump for 10 minutes afterward to drain breast more fully. If you do this for a week after each nursing, you will start to see it helping. Then feed it to your baby via bottle or little cup. My baby never had nipple confusion, but if your giving pumped milk/formula with bottle, ensure it’s a SLOW flow nipple so baby has to work for milk much like at the breast.
      3. Try giving a baby probiotic drops with formula to help with digestion of formula.
      4. Always nurse first, before offering any other supplement.
      I wish you the best! Stick with it, I know it’s hard but I’m proof it can get better!

      • Hi Briggy unfortunately I cannot nurse him as I am not with him very often. Could expressing milk take the place of nursing for milk production to increase?

        I hope its not an issue. Many people say I am a bad mother not to be with him all the time. Have a good Day Kind Regards and blessings to you and your family

        • Hi Gigi! Absolutely! Pump every time baby would nurse. At 6 weeks that would be every 2 hours. The more nipples are stimulated, the more milk production. Granted baby drains breast better than a pump, many women have successfully pumped for baby. I pumped 20 minutes on a dual pump meaning pumps on both breasts at the same time. Invest in a good one like a hospital one they are powerful. You can rent them monthly. I bought a medela which is okay but hospital ones are stronger. When milk is pumped fresh milk can stay at room temperature for 4 hours, in fridge for 4 days, freezer 4 months. I’d check on freezer guidelines, I never froze mine. Then gently swirl milk to mix it, never shake it as it will alter properties in milk and warm gently under hot tap water. You don’t want to microwave it, as it’ll kill it’s goodness. You’re not a bad mom and just try to ignore comments. You are doing the BEST for your baby by pumping and giving baby an excellent start in life! Any other questions id be happy to help you. All the best!!

          • Thank you! you are such a good source of information. I have so much anxiety about not being with him. I try to visit as much as I can. Feeling down. On breastfeeding, Have you ever been physically sick when feeding, like you would throw up? How do you purchase clothing when you buy it bigger so baby can grow into it? one size bigger or much more than that? I still struggle in that department. I think I need so much advice. It would be nice just to hear what a fellow mom has to say. I’ve been expressing by hand can’t afford a pump.

        • Gigi, also try to check out these sites: kellymom.com and jack newman website. They provide a wealth of information!

          • The only thing I can think of regarding feeling sick while nursing is maybe feeling dehydrated? Nursing uses up many calories so you need to also replenish yourself by drinking a lot of water. Have a water bottle out to drink from during the day and you need to keep up your calories because nursjng burns more hence maybe the dizziness. You need 2-3 extra servings of food while nursing/pumping to ensure good milk. Such as an addition slice of bread, extra yogurt. With then hand expressing, that’s fine because your still stimulating your nipples and draining milk. Could you talk to a service that could help you with getting a pump? With buying baby clothes, I go by the weight on the tag and it gives some growing room still. By 6 weeks, try 3 months clothing. Good luck and hang in there

        • why cant you be with your baby?

  50. Hi there! Great website!! I too have been looking for information regarding extending breastfeeding. My almost 12 month old daughter LOVES to explore the world around her and so I never “know” when she’d really like to breastfeed so I offer breasts to her and sometimes she takes it, sometimes not. As of 10 months, she basically will only nurse for 5 minutes on one breast, only taking both breasts if she nurses before naps, bedtime and through the night. I feed her 2-3 times at night. Having said that, is she getting enough on one breast for only 5 minutes? Her bowel movements change all the time, sometimes good, sometimes constipated. Is that due to perhaps not getting enough milk? She seems content all day, as she is happy to play and cruise all day long. Do I continue offering breast before each meal, or just during nap times and bedtime. In the morning I nurse her for only 5 minutes on one breast again, and pump afterward as I use the milk for her cereal. Also, if I ever started offering organic cows milk, would I offer it in a cup DURING meals and snacks, or before nap time as I would nurse? Also, she hates zippy cups and only loves open cups, yet I guide her. I am just afraid I’m not really teaching her how to use the cup, as she wants me to hold it to. Thanks for any advice! Love your blog!

  51. Going strong 5x daily at 20.5 months!

  52. Hello Everyone & Natural Mama!

    I am currently eating up this website, it is absolutely wonderful! It is one of a kind and well-needed! I know this is a really late post, but can anyone tell me their experience on introducing milk products (i.e. yogurt & cheese) to a breastfed baby? My daughter is 12 months and eats solid foods–mostly oatmeal, fruits & veggies but also breastfeeds 6-8 times in a 24 period. I haven’t given her yogurt or cheese b/c I always assumed that it would not be a good idea to mix human milk and cow’s milk, but I am beginning to think that my assumptions are wrong and it would be okay to introduce cow products (not necessarily milk). I would just like to know how and when. I can’t find a lot of information about this on the internet. Thanks for any advice or related experiences!

  53. I know I’m reading this a year and a half after it was posted, but keeping my fingers crossed for advice. My baby is 19 months and I’m at the stage of only nursing 3 times a day, the night feeds seem to have naturally stopped but I’m really stuck on how to stop nursing to sleep during the day and at night. I am pregnant again and would like to wean completely before the new baby arrives.
    I just don’t know how to get my toddler to nap without nursing. Thanks in anticipation.

  54. How do you know your son gets 16-20 oz per day? I’m sometimes confused when I pump at work 2 days a week vs the time I’m home and breastfeeding. My guy is 8.5 months and I only get 10 oz at work ( that’s 3 pump sessions).

  55. Hi, I am a working mom. I used to breast feed my son after work and in the morning up to 6 months. Since he started teething he rejects breast totally. I express via pump 6 – 8 times a day but yet the supply is low. I really want to get him to breastfeed directly. I sleep together with him, he rejects even in sleep. I even tried nipple shield, still rejects it. My little boy is growing up fast and I really want to breastfeed him. Please help

  56. I am still nursing my 12 mo 1 week old. I’ve stopped pumping at work. yay for that! I go see her during my lunch break. Then I nurse again after dinner but she still wakes up at night a couple of times and nurses. I co-sleep so I think this is the reason we are still at it.

    During the weekend we nurse as often as she wants wich is decreasing as she is into trying all sorts of food and loves water.

    I am loving it and want to continue until she says enough and starts sleeping through the night. She does get a bottle with whole milk at the daycare and she didn’t fuss about it. She really does like to eat everything.

    • My sweet 12 mo 3 wk baby is still nursing and I’m a working away from home mom. Any advise of pumping routine? I’ve consistently pumped every 3-5 hours (counting after her morning feeding before I leave for work). My nanny says Baby is rejecting milk in a bottle so we are trying a sippy cup. She drinks 2-7oz with her a day. She nurses right when I get home from work and then right before bed. Up multiple times a night to nurse. I don’t want my body to think weaning this pumping 2x a day.

  57. Hi, I posted a little over a month ago. I had to leave my son (now 23 months ) for the first time to attend a two-day graduate school interview process. Our first experience apart from one another posed no nursing problems whatsoever. On a side note, I was accepted into the graduate program 🙂

    My question today is about toddler nursing strikes. The only time my son ever refused to nurse was around 9 months when he cut his first tooth and that only lasted for a day. We haven’t nursed in three days and this drastic change seemed to happen overnight. One day we did our usual nursing sessions before nap and bedtime and then the next day he refused to nurse completely. The major difference is that every time we would sit down to nurse, he would get into position, almost latch, and then bite me. I would put him down and then it was exactly the same thing whenever we would try again. I’m just wondering if he is trying to tell me that he is ready to wean or if it’s just a strike.

    My husband thinks this is the end and couldn’t be happier. He was ready for us to wean several months ago and even tells our son that he is a big boy and needs to stop nursing. I still love nursing and don’t want to stop unless my son is ready.

    I would love to hear your thoughts.

    • My 12 mo baby was biting me too and of course teething early at 5 mo. I found an article that suggested having a teether handy and giving it to her to “bite it out” was a huge help. She got frustrated and would cry that I detached her but would jump right back in to latch without any biting. Give that a try. And regarding hubby not supporting your desire to breastfeed, be truthful with him and maybe until he “gets” it, go to nurse baby away from daddy. Praying for your sweet family.

  58. I just came across your site tonight and wish i had earlier! I’m a first time mom and constantly question the breastfeeding because I can’t actually see how much she is eating and she only ever does eat for 5 min, so am always looking for breastfeeding tips and stories. My little girl is just about 5 months so haven’t even considered when to wean yet but was concerned about introducing solids because everything I’ve read said between 4-6 months. It’s nice to see that later doesn’t actually affect the child. We had a very easy start with breastfeeding but then she started reacting to any dairy or caffeine in my diet. Now she is on the probiotic drops for infants and if we miss even a day she gets very bad gas pains and until her digestive systems straightens that all out I really didn’t want to mess with her diet. She can handle the cooked dairy now though. But I ramble, came on to say that out of the many sites I’ve looked at yours is my fave. Its informative but comfortable and fun, almost like chatting with the girls. I will be coming back to read more.

  59. Love your show Genevieve! You are a natural and a pleasure to watch. I have been lurking on your site for awhile but I wanted to leave a comment on how much I enjoy it! I can’t wait for the next mama natural show. . . .

    • Aw, thanks so much Steph! Hope and pray you are well!!!!! Would love to see you soon :).

  60. Hi Genevieve,

    My daughter is turning 2 on Monday and is also nursing 3 times a day still and then once at midnight. You mentioned that you and your hubby managed to get Griffin to sleep through the night without a feed. I would LOVE to know how you did that!!

  61. Thanks for the post – it’s so great to read others’ experiences. My daughter is almost 11 months and she is still nursing many times throughout the day (I don’t really pay attention to times anymore!). I do still offer before meals and after naps, and she definitely nurses for her naps and 2-3 times during the night (or more… last night it seemed to be every 1 1/2 hours… and I have a cold so it was a miserable night).

    She started solids pretty much at 6 months. I guess I didn’t realize delaying was okay – her ped would say things like “if they don’t start solids by a certain age” then, I don’t know, it doesn’t go as well or something. I thought, eh, okay, she does seem interested in food. Plus, the ped was pretty much pushing solids because of my daughter’s slow weight gain – only 6 oz between 4-6 months, and then over 2 lbs 6-9. The ped thought my supply was low, so I spent some time increasing it (I’m still taking Fenugreek every day). She finally hit 15 lbs at 9 months! I wanted to do baby led weaning (solids) but with the ped’s pressure we started doing purees. It was around 9 months that I started giving her yogurt just about every day, and she really seemed to want whatever it was I was eating, so we just give her what we’re having. She loves food, but loves nursing too. I’m all for letting her go as long as she wants, though she’s my first and we want more children, so we’ll see how that goes.

    So I mentioned I still offer her the breast several times a day – should I not do this and let her “ask”? She’s started pointing at everything and making “requests” that way especially at dinner, and now she’s pointing at my boobs too. It’s really cute. 🙂 Should I just wait for her to indicate when she wants to? I guess I just thought I “should” offer before all meals… sometimes she takes it, sometimes not.


    • I was like you and always offered breast first but at around 1 year, I started making the transition to offering food more. Griffin is also “smaller” and I don’t think my breast milk could keep up! It’s all part of the natural process. So, I still did a first morning nursing but then I would offer food “first” throughout day and then he stilled nursed for naps, bed and middle of night so he was getting plenty of breast milk too. But, I do think it was important for me to make that transition to offering food as main source of calories because that’s where it needs to go as they approach 1 1/2, etc. Hope this helps!

  62. PS
    Treasure it all, you may never know when that last nursing happens.

  63. Love the video. It took me back as mine are now 2o, 17, and 9. With child led weaning they all bf into their 5th year and some past. I tandem nursed for about 3 years. My middle one actually began weaning the earliest about 4 years old. She was even skipping a day or two here and there. Then, she became extremely ill with Kawasaki’s disease and could not keep anything down except breast milk. My milk came in at full force.
    The nursing relationship is amazing. I know the fact that she was still bfing kept her alive.

    It’s great to find your site and relive those nursing the older choked memories – how well I remember the giggles, the hands up the nose, in the mouth and down the other side of the shirt. My youngest insisted it tasted like root beer!

    Keep it going, mommas!

    former chilbirth educator, ibclc, and sometimes doula

  64. Holy smokes!! Over 8 years non stop Liz?! You are my hero. That is incredible and very selfless!!
    Thank you for your responses Liz, Lilja and Veronica – they really helped! As long as I know its possible, I will not worry and give it a try.
    Much appreciated! Thanks for creating this community Mama Natural and yes, hilarious Crunchy Mom video! That’s totally me also!! haha..

  65. Just found your site! Love the Crunchy Mama’s video – that’s me!!! lol!

    Anyhow. I’ve BF’d 3 daughters. My older 2 were tandem, since my first had just turned 2 and wasn’t ready to wean. We did that for 3 months and then my DD#2 had thrush (so awful and always comes back for the first 6-9 months, at least in my experience w/2 bb’s having it) and I couldn’t nurse both, it was too painful. So DD#2 was weaned at about 27 months, and she was okay with it, but a little sad. It was a really tough decision.
    DD#2 however, was done at 26 months with a declaration of it being “too spicy!” haha! It was wonderful to have a self -weaner!
    DD#3, is still nursing at 31 months. I have to say I’ve cut her back to just at nap-time and it’s better. Up until last week it was still 6 – 8 times a day, even though she ate food. She just loves to nurse! But I was getting sick and not getting better from being so drained and not sleeping. So I cut back to once a day and suprisingly, she’s fine with it! I keep telling her when she’s 3 she won’t nurse any longer. I just don’t think I can do it past 3. I’ve been nursing now non-stop for over 8 years! Mama needs a break.
    Anyhow, sorry for the loooong post! But I love your blog!

    • Thanks Liz. I’m glad you’re taking care of you :). Mama needs to do that. XOXO.

  66. Another question – anyone continue breastfeeding while pregnant? I am planning on having another baby by the time my daughter is 2 and I have heard of people nursing while pregnant and then nursing both babies. Mama Natural do you know anything about this?

    • I did. I got pregnant when my son was about 12 months, and he noticed right away due to some change in taste or quantity of milk. He went from 7 to 4 feedings per day – cutting out the snacks, and focusing on meals before naps, bed time, and dinner. I nursed him until he was 18 months, I was 6 months pregnant and uncomfortable. My breasts were tender, my belly huge, it was uncomfortable for me, and he was ready to take a break.
      After my new baby was born, and my milk came back in force, my son was interested in nursing again – although he had forgotten how. He would still put his mouth on my nipple, but didn’t remember how to suck. He got a cold at around 24 months, and I expressed milk into his mouth, and he suddenly remembered how to nurse. He is almost 3, I have attempted to wean him a few times since then, but he really likes nursing, and seems to do better when I nurse him – at least every few days – or even once a week.
      I have mixed feelings about nursing him still. I know it is good for him, but sometimes I want my body back. I’ve weaned him a few times, going a month or two between nursing him (if you scroll above, on January 24th when I posted, I had him weaned since Thanksgiving, but now I’m nursing him again). It just seems like the right thing to do, even though sometimes I need to say, “no, I’m all done”
      oh, but your question is nursing through a pregnancy and tandem nursing. It is completely do-able.
      Good luck!

    • I breastfeed through the entire pregnancy and am currently tandem nursing.
      When my firstborn was eight months we reduced the nursing to two times a day due to me starting working again. When he was 12 months old I got pregnant and pretty much nothing changed. About four months into the pregnancy my nipples got pretty soar, I’m told it’s probably caused by hormones. I decided to see if it would stop but it wasn’t until about my last trimester that it got better. I can recall him nursing for a shorter period of time, probably because it tasted differently because of the hormones.
      When the baby was born the first days and weeks were much better than when I had my firstborn. I knew better how to latch him on and my breasts didn’t get as full when the milk came as the first time, just as needed. The downside was that my nipples did get soar again, but it didn’t last long (about 10 days). It also hurt when the toddler was nursing although nothing had changed about how he nursed, so I’m guessing it was, again, a hormone issue.
      I can’t remember when we reduced the toddler nursing down to once a day, if it was while pregnant because of the nipple tenderness or after the baby being born. But now he’s back on long nursing periods and he clearly enjoys it very much.
      I’m very happy that I didn’t wean him, neither of us was ready for that. Now he’s 24 months old and his little brother is about to be 3 months and everything is going great 🙂 We just changed his morning nursing to evening-bedtime nursing in hope he’ll sleep a little longer in the morning 🙂
      God bless you on your nursing journey!
      -Lilja Írena

      • I just remembered: I reduced the nursing to once a day during the pregnancy due to nipple soreness. Normally I just give one breast at a time but because I was just nursing him once a day I had to give him both so the milk supply wouldn’t get weird 🙂
        It was either reduce to once a day or stop all together, it was a pretty good choice and the soreness got less!

  67. Hi! Great post Natural Mama! It’s one of the first good ones I have seen on this topic – you are right, not much out there.
    My daughter is over 9 months now and I still nurse her about 6 times and day and sometimes once or twice at night. She hasn’t taken a huge liking to real food yet but will eat small bits thought the day of a variety of veggies and fruit. I have started her on some organic kefir lately and she seems to love that.

  68. Do you get engorged from not nursing at night? If not, did you when he first started sleeping through the night and if so how long until it calmed down? Thank you for the information. I think all EBF moms struggle with introducing solids, including myself.

  69. I just found your site and I am so happy to know that I am not the only one breastfeeding an older baby. My son is 22 months and we are pretty much down to 3 times a day unless he is sick or teething, in which case he will revert back to wanting to nurse all the time. I am leaving town next week for a few days to attend graduate school interviews. I have never been separated from my son for more than 12 hours, so this is going to be a challenge for both of us. I was just wondering if anyone has any tips or advice.

    • Pump three times a day at the same times that you’d normally nurse for 15 minutes +. Good luck with your travels and you and son will learn so much from the experience. In my opinion, little breaks are good for mamas and babies… makes us more flexible and adaptable. XO.

      • Agreed. It’s the best way to keep things going. And if your body doesn’t respond well to the pump, keep it up anyway. At the end of the day, a few days isn’t enough to dry you up. If you don’t do well pumping, just be prepared for the “milk building” session upon arrival home.

        Good luck with your interviews! Hope you can enjoy some of your alone time!

    • I just wanted to give you an update on my first experience away from my 22 month-old: I pumped about 3 times each day and even hand expressed in a bathroom when my pump wasn’t available. I never became engorged and my son is doing great. Thanks for all of your support!

      • YIPPEE!!!! So happy to hear, Courtney. Thank you for circling back. XOXO.

  70. I love this video. I was the mom that would’ve been happy to get through 6 weeks (and that was a goal based on finances over health back then!). I wound up nursing my son until he self-weaned two weeks before his FIFTH (you read that right, FIFTH) birthday (likely because I had JUST gotten pregnant). It’s funny: by 3yo people just assumed he’d stopped because it was mostly upon waking and going to sleep. He definitely kicked it up a notch (or four) when he was getting sick, but it was nothing like what people expect when they think of nursing a toddler.

    Great video!

    • Thank you for sharing Heather as other mamas need to hear your story! XO

      • Worthy of note is that pre-baby, I was one of those women who said “If they’re old enough to walk over, pull up your shirt and latch on–they’re old enough to be done!”

        Funny how life likes to bite ya in the arse sometimes, right? 😛 I can’t wait to see the video of when Griffin is 3 and still nursing (should that day come)

  71. Oh my goodness, THANK YOU for this post! I stumbled across your site today. I’ve been so worried lately about my son’s nursing to eating solids ratio, also his sleeping habits. I am around a bunch of other mom’s who weaned their children by 12-15 months, and their babies ate solids regularly starting at 6-8 months. Hunter, my little boy, took a long time to show any interest in solids but even now he only eats a tiny bit, not substantial enough to drop a feeding. He loves to nurse frequently and it made me think he was not developing normally. He is 9 months old and still feeds every 2-2.5 hours, day and night. My other mom friends make me feel like this is not normal and I should do something about it so I can “get more sleep”. I love how you said to trust yourself and your baby. He’s only 9 months and I shouldn’t feel pressure to wean him by the time he’s 12-15 months just because it’s not the norm!

    • It’s so crazy because globally weaning at 1 year is unheard of… You’re doing great!

    • Thank you Jessie for yourcomment. Our baby girl is 9 months and 1 week today. At night she wakes for feedings every 1/2 hrs at night. During the day it is about every 2-2.5 hrs, family & friends like you think I am crazy and should get more sleep, and start her on solids…I started wondering what mothers in africa do ( found a good link by a Kenyan lady – J. Claire K. Niala http://www.drmomma.org/2010/09/why-african-babies-dont-cry.html)…with no interferance from western thinking. I feed her when she’s hungry, needing comfort and putting to sleep. I have stopped taking note of how often I breastfeed her…that to me is more comforting 🙂 My naturopath doctor told me not to start solids until her teethpush through that way you are sure her digestive workings are ready. I’m wondering if we are going to hit the 1 year mark, I don’t find much info on this either except for what I have found here, thanks to Genevieve and all who have commented. I will sleep better at night even if I have to wake every 1-2 hrs, I want what is best and most natural for my little angel

  72. My son is soon 24 months old and me and my husband have been talking about weening him because now he wakes up so early for his morning nursing. It’s great to read about your stories, it encourages me to try everything to keep on nursing him. He only nurses once a day now and I think I’ll try move it to the bed time routine and see if that works better for us. He has a 2 1/2 month old little brother and it’s been great to nurse the both of them, though I felt I had to reduce my older boys nursing from twice a day two once, mainly because of nipple soreness. My older boy definetly likes to nurse because he wakes up so early, says “dúda” ((súpa) which is our Icelandic word for nurse) all the time (my husband tries to delay the nursing) and when he finally laches on he stays on forever. So, thank’s for sharing everyone, it’s been really encouraging!

    • Aw, I hear you about the son adoring nursing. That’s how Griffin is. I think if he had his way, he’d nurse instead of eat! Good for you for tandem nursing, mama. Thanks for stopping by all the way from Iceland :)>. XOXO

  73. A really great book on baby feeding is “Real Food for Mother and Baby” by Nina Planck. It also covers pre-conception, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and that weaning process which begins with their first bites of food. I love it. I recommend it to everyone, all of the time. She focuses on eating a diet rich in whole foods, ahem…. real foods.

    • I have that book :)>. I thought it was pretty good.

  74. Thanks for this information! I have been breastfeeding my baby since birth and it really has been a hard journey. I want to encourage all moms who are thinking about quitting to not quit.
    Here is my story: I gave birth to my daughter in June 2011.
    As a newborn, she nursed constantly until about four months. It was like she was on a never-ending feeding. After four up to about six months, she was eating almost every hour and a half. I attempted pumping up until the fifth month and it stressed me out!! Luckily, my oldest sister had a baby a month before me. She decided to nurse as well. Had deep freezers filled with milk, she was a pumping mean machine! Now she is 7 and 1/2 months old. Lately, it’s seem to have been getting better. I feed her once when she wakes up in the morning, lunch, two or three snacks, and then through the night. Jasmine sleeping habits recently started to show signs of getting better. As of now, Jasmine only wakes up about three times to feed. My story sounds like it has been a lot of trouble. I will not hide the fact that it has been, but was it all worth it? Yes, I would not have done it differently. By the way, My lactation nurse mention a natural herb called fenugreek to help increase my milk supply. ( Please speak with a medical doctor or lactation nurse before using this.) It definitely works great for me!
    God Bless

  75. Hi! My son is 27 months and he nurses 8+ times a day 🙂 I don’t mind it at all and he loves. I think it just depends on your approach, before 2 years of age I believe in offering frequently unless you’re trying to wean. I’m sure my son will nurse until age 3 or 4 and I’m all for it. Studies show that the longer a child nurses, the higher the IQ, the bigger the brain, and the even lower the risks of childhood cancers, and other serious diseases. And the mothers risk of breast cancer is reduced significantly if she breastfeeds for a minimum of 2 years. :thumbsup:

  76. I found your site through the Getting the Love you Want site and this video kinda cracked me up. I had one biological child who was born 9 weeks early due to my medical problems and as I knew I would probably never nurse another child EVER (since we decided not to have any more due to my issues) I chose to let her nurse as long as possible. Finally, when she was FOUR years old, I sat down with her. She was nursing only twice a day, morning and night, and said, “Okay, we need to talk about this and make a decision.” I suggested we end on her fifth birthday and that’s what we did. I think she wanted to keep going but it was beginning to get a little hard to justify given that she was going into kindergarten. She is now 22, about to graduate college and is a happy, beautiful, healthy young woman.

    Oh, and we adopted a little boy when she was 12 and he was 8 weeks old. He’s not 9 and a whole different set of parenting issues as Mommy is now past menopause!

    • Oh my, I love your story! Your girl like to nurse, alright! Woo hoo! Way to go the distance :)> And, I can imagine having a youngster again would be an adjustment. Thanks for stopping by! XOXO.

  77. My 9 month old eats solid food and drinks water from a sippy cup 3 times a day. She has never had a bottle or cow’s milk or juice. She likes every food we have given her including fruit, veggies, meat, and grains – either tiny bits or mashed up. She co-sleeps about half the night. She nurses about 6 times per 24 hours. We have been following her lead – she started grabbing for food at 5 months and grabbing for our drinking cups around 6 months.

    • PERFECT, mama! Griff didn’t really get interested in water till around 1 year old, same as the food. I think they go hand in hand.

  78. Very informative post! Could you share with us some of the breastfeeding resources and books that you mentioned?

    • I like kelly mom for easy access to info. Jack Newman also has a tremendous website with lots of great videos on latches, etc. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is a classic. La Leche League has tons of great posts on their site. But I felt that there still wasn’t really specific or good info on the later nursing stage. Hope this helps!

      • YES. it is really hard to find info on nursing older babies. Before mine was “older” I didn’t know when that magic line of ‘older’ occured… then one day i realized — Oh MY! She is an older baby now! Not a toddler, not a newborn! Anyway -I think this is a really tricky stage for some of us, maybe esp. first time moms. I worried A LOT about her disinterest (ie hatred) of solid foods. I am more relaxed now, but still wonder about what kinds of foods to try and what form they should be in. (issues of food sensitivities, digestion and elimination come in to play as well!) I wish i knew what the poo should look like at this stage! (mostly breastmilk with occasional bits of solids whether raw, pureed or just mushy). How digested should they be? well, at any rate, she is doing well and is 9 months. She just began pushing herself up from tummy and is getting top teeth so it will be interesting if that coincides with more interest in food.

  79. My baby is only 5 months old and exclusively breastfed, but I’m really interested in this topic, since the time is coming when we’ll soon start solid food and there will be less breastmilk and (hopefully) more night time sleeping. So I don’t know yet how I’m gonna do it and when I’m gonna start it exactly. I have a question though. I understand that you don’t give him any cow or goat’s milk, but do u give him WATER at all? Or is the 3x a day breastmilk enough liquid for him? I was wondering about this. Thank you for your answer.

    • Good question! I didn’t start regularly giving Griffin water till around 13-14 months when he went down to 3 feedings a day. Before then, I would give him drinks here and there but he was nursing 5-6 times a day so was getting lots of liquids through me. Now, he’s OBSESSED with water. Can’t get enough. He thinks he’s mister big boy as he slugs back his sippy with abandon :)> LOL!

    • It is actually recommended that babies still receive 90% of calories from breastmilk until AFTER their first birthday. Also, I would look into delaying solids as there are many benefits to starting solids later rather than sooner. The signs of readiness that I look for are: teeth, pincher grasp, and being able to get into a seated position from a laying position. We actually waited until 12 months to start solids and I think it was a great decision.
      Here’s a great link from kellymom about delaying solids.

  80. My 20 month old is still nursing and he likes it.

    It is calming for him, it is only before bedtimes and naptimes and first thing in the morning.

    • Nice! That’s about where we’re at…

      • I know I don’t know when I will stop.

        He is a happy baby mostly and really chills him out if he gets a little upset.

        There is nothing like having the option after having a fall or a boo boo.

  81. Sounds very similar to our EB story. Our little guy is 18 months now. He nurses when he wakes up, once at naptime, and before bed. It’s the ideal situation for both of us. We left him for the night for the first time recently, and supplemented with whole (organic) cow’s milk then (since I don’t have enough milk to pump anymore). I just asked that my mom follow the same routine (morning, naptime, bed) with the cow’s milk so that nothing would interrupt our breastfeeding routine and it worked out perfectly! It’s nice to know that if I need to be away from him for an extended time we can supplement with the cow’s milk – or if I happen to want a glass of wine or something like that 🙂 – and we can still continue with nursing after that time. Loving every minute of it!

    • Awesome, mama! Sounds like your guy goes with the flow. When Mike puts Griffin down, he doesn’t give him any drink. Just a few rocks, a cuddle and it’s night night time. He tried brining in a sippy but Griff wasn’t having it. He also doesn’t like any other milk but mine.

  82. I think that I would be overwhelmed with twins. I used to think it would be so great, but having a 2 year old and a new born kinda overwhelmed me at times. And hubby says we are done now, so no chance of twins for me. 😉

    • Yes, you have 2 babies now and that’s plenty :)> God bless.

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