weanortrain
[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”22″ size_format=”px”]The question posed by a family member “when will you be done nursing?” was shortly followed by “when is he going to be out of diapers?” [/typography]

and I didn’t have answers to either one of those questions.  With my first son the weaning came first because I was pregnant again and gently led him to that decision over the span of a few months because the pain was increasing.  Since he weaned fairly early at 18 months I never considered I would nurse past potty training because that event was so far off for us.

This time things are different.  I’ve gone past 18 months with Everett, then we hit the two year milestone… that is when I started thinking “Am I going to be nursing a ‘child’ wearing underwear?”  The thought is a bit uncomfortable and certainly a foreign one to myself and most Americans.  I’ve only seen babies wearing diapers at the breast.  Nowhere except the sensationalized Time cover have I seen what is obviously a child capable of using the toilet on his own still who was still nursing.  Photos and real life don’t often reveal what happens in our homes when our babies turn into toddlers, and even *gasp* preschoolers who are still breastfeeding.  The topic is taboo and quite frankly, children of this age aren’t nursed in public because their needs are not all nutritional.  The comfort and peace of nursing is just as important, if not more, than the nutrition of breast milk; they can eat and drink at the table and don’t need the milk to feed their hunger.  I haven’t nursed in public for probably a year, although I have nursed at other places than my home, including when staying with family.  I knew what they were thinking… that he should have weaned by now… but this time they kept quiet.

As for potty training… we have hit several bumps on that road.  Each time I started our diaper free adventure (I like the 3 Day-Method) Ev would get sick and we would have to stop.  Without comparing children (which parents always do…) I knew that my first son was already trained by now and had been for a few months so the expectation has been that we would already be done with that phase of life.

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”21″ size_format=”px”]So here we are. The question has been answered- “Would Everett wean or potty train first?”  [/typography]

 

Everett and Mom, age 2.5

Everett is officially out of diapers and the nursing is going strong with no end in sight. I am so thankful to have come this far because, as some of you may recall, Everett was very ill for over a week and breast milk was about all he was getting and nursing was one of the new things that could calm him down during what was obviously a painful experience.

The potty training thing has been in the works for months, but again, he has suffered from the flu, two bouts of a stomach virus, and then his Strep/Cat Scratch Fever/ HSP so each time I would begin the process he would suddenly fall ill. For a while I was suspicious that he was getting sick on purpose to get out of it! I expected the blessed event to be much more difficult and involved. Instead, he practically potty trained himself. After being shown the potty once and getting the “song and dance” that befits such an occasion, he was on track to continue each time he needed to go. He has had a few accidents but we are only using diapers at night- even his naps and outings are dry now!

evonpotty

Now what? I don’t have plans for weaning quite yet. Everett still seems like such a baby to me despite him now wearing tiny little underwear. He is the reason we keep going, even though I love our nursing time together, he is holding all the cards here.  I used to say I couldn’t breastfeed a baby once they got teeth (before actually becoming a parent), then it was “when they are old enough to ask for it” (a gem passed down from family), and now I have stopped having any expectations. We will be done when we are done.

evmomenough
Not Mom Enough… just a Mom

I enjoy sharing our breastfeeding journey here on the blog because I know how many mothers need to see it. Please be respectful of our family and, if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.

37 Responses

  1. Good for you Mama! Keep up the amazing work, every ounce of breastmilk he continues to get will hold life long benefits!

    1. Time magazine showed a woman posing with a boy’s mouth attached to her breast. This pictures show an unbreakable bond

  2. I noticed you said you no longer NIP because at this point its more comfort nursing than nutritional nursing. My guy is only 10 months and still nursing and NIP. Just wondering when it is no longer cool to nurse In public. Or what you think about it? Also at what age is nursing more for comfort and less for n utritional value? Btw I loved reading this Kim! You’re so honest and I love that!!!!

    1. I stopped NIP with my first at around 15 months, but didn’t with Everett until probably after 18 months. He was more demanding of it when out of the house but I usually did it in a carrier or somewhere less public. I don’t have any issues with NIP but as my kids get older I am more discreet. I’ve nursed an 18 month old Ev while in the ocean on the beach but no one even noticed. It is really all a personal choice and also up to how your child is eating. Everett was still relying on breast milk for most of his nutrition for probably longer than most babies so we NIPed longer when I knew he was hungry and I couldn’t get him to eat anything.

    2. Based on my experience: Sometime around 15-18 months, when the child is generally down to feeding in the morning, before nap, and before bed.

    3. Its always “cool” to nip! There is NO set time, age, place that changes that! Also- breast feeding no matter what age, gives them the nutrition they need! Yes, they need more of it before the age of one, but they continue to thrive off mothers milk even years after! Remember, breast feeding is your journey, no one else’s..if you choose to nip for 5 years then do so! Do what makes you comfortable. Its always beneficial to nurse your baby/toddler/child..there’s never a time it isnt!!

    4. We still occasionally nurse in public at 22 months… I think it depends on your childs comfort more than anyone else’s. Some little one’s can handle waiting at 12-15 months, others it’s not until older than 2 or 3. Only you can know if your child needs it 🙂 I’ve also found it’s easier for me to be discreet and nurse her than to deal with a tantrum that would evolve out of not nursing her.

  3. How do you think Everett will feel about having these photos online when he’s in middle school? I am all for extended breast feeding and I love the knock off of the time magazine cover, but I feel bad for middle school Everett if his friends ever find these pictures.

    1. It’s crossed my mind. I have the ability to remove photos at any time and I’ll always have the originals for our family.

      1. Yes. I am so grateful that my husband took a photo of our last nursing session. Its such a special keepsake.

      2. Kim, just in case you didn’t know, people are able to download and save the images from your blog. I don’t know if that makes a difference to you or not but I thought I’d let you know just in case. =)

        P.S. I hadn’t really thought about the timing of potty training and EBFing before. Thanks for the post.

    2. How would he ever know!? Once again, think before you write. If you have nothing nice to say, then dont say it at all..”I” believe this question goes with that saying!

  4. Beautiful! Love this story. :O)
    I have an 18mth old son as well, whom im afraid will self wean before potty training 🙁
    He’s our last of 6, so the thought of him weaning makes me want to cry. I hope our story turns out like yours!

  5. Kim, you’ve been posting every day for the last week, taking care of a child and doing some hand washing. When did you get the time to do this beautiful long posting? does time stop when you write? seriously, you’re amazing. Well, coming back to the subject in hand, kuddos for Everett!! and he’ll wean when he does

  6. Beautiful post! My 24 month old potty trained in about a week at the age of 23 months and is still nursing at least 3 times a day (morning, nap, and bedtime), but sometimes more. While I think some might think it weird to breastfeed a potty-trained toddler (and it you had told me 3 years ago I would be doing it, I would have thought you were crazy), for us it seems so natural. My first weaned at 15 months and potty trained at 3 and a half years, but this is my second and last baby, so I’m savoring the breastfeeding until the very last session!

  7. Thanks so much for winning about your journey. It’s nice to have an extended breastfeeding role model.

  8. I wondered this question too when my DD showed potty readiness signs around 16 months, and now she has been out of diapers for 3 months (22 mos now) and we are still nursing despite being 6.5 mos pregnant! I thought it might be “weird” too that she has teeny underwear on and I’ve been surprised how much baby she still is to me. I love your blog and your pictures. Congrats on being diaper free!!

  9. You GO GIRL! My girls each weaned in their own timing (first was 13 months, and the second was 15 months), but I was comfortable nursing just as long as they wanted to. Glad to see another mom that takes her kids’ lead when weaning!

  10. I nursed my son (now 18 months) for 6 months and it was a struggle. I’m expecting in August and am looking forward to nursing again. I hope to breastfeed this baby much longer!

  11. Another great post about real parenting. We all have different experiences and should support each Mom for making decisions based on her family and child. My son has other dietary issues and I was asked to stop (by his dietitian) around 10 months. He became very ill around a year old and dropped off the growth chart entirely. I only wish I had been nursing him then. We might have had far fewer IVs and ER visits with a sick and dehydrated child. With my daughter I told them up front it would be her choice to stop and when… we went till 18 months and then she decided to stop. …but, I would have nursed her longer if she had wanted to. 🙂

  12. I loved reading this article. I don’t normally post here but I felt the need to share. I, and I’m sure many others, need to read stories like this. It lets us know we are not alone. I went to a baseball game yesterday and saw a mom breast feeding and I just wanted to give her a big hug lol. Thank you for the great articles!

  13. This made me cry a little. Thank you for putting in words all the internal reactions I have when people make insensitive comments or ask blunt and very personal questions. The way I raise my child is how I raise MY child…not how YOU would raise YOUR (or my, apparently) child.

    I nursed my first too long (just til I ran out of milk mid pregnancy and he was only 15mo!), I nursed while PREGNANT!? are you CRAZY!??! I started potty training my first too early (20 months), I don’t give my kids BOTTLES!??!, I STILL breastfeed?!?! Yeah, he just turned one and I’ve already gotten that one.

    I have a good network of moms (lots of cyber moms too) who support the same concepts of motherhood that I do but all the generation before (my inlaws mostly) have such an issue with my natural parenting and it grates me.

  14. Love this! The not-past-potty-training idea seemed absolutely ridiculous to me when my first began asking to use the potty at 15-16 months and was diaper free during the day by 18 months and even at night by 20 months. I was determined from the time she was only a few months old to breastfeed until at least 2, so I just pretty much ignored that. I. like you. decided we would be done when we were done.

  15. I don’t know when I want my son to stop nursing. I don’t think I want to keep going into toddler years, but since he is only 10 months, I won’t know until we get there. What actually bothers me the most with all of it, is my husband. He was barely supportive when I got pregnant, and while he definitely thinks it is the way to go, and even told his sister that, he thinks we should stop soon. Hopefully it will all work out. 🙂

  16. Aw, I love the photo! My boys are now 9 & 12 (almost) but I nursed both of them well past potty training. They were both potty trained before they were 2 (we used the Azrin method quite easily) but I nursed them each until they were almost 3. Wow, now that I have an almost teenager that seems like so long ago! Cherish all those sweet moments of nursing. It is fleeting regardless of how “extended” it is. xoxo

  17. OMG you mirror my life! 🙂 DS is 25 months now, i dont offer. he asks ever so nicely. 90% potty trained (night clothy only) same little undies same teething necklace.. although he does not technically need it anymore, his 2 yr molars are in.. it has become him 🙁 every time he nurses now i think.. will this be the last?

  18. 🙂 I love this. I am still nursing my potty-trained 23 month old, 7 weeks pregnant with number 2. He is not ready for weaning at all, so it will be interesting to see how the coming months go for us. Reading stories like this really helps so much. At this point I have nursed my child longer than any other person I know, I think.

  19. Thank you for this beautiful story! My daughter is 28 months and is doing awesome at potty training but has zero desire to stop nursing. I am letting her make the decision to quit. Everyone tells me to just quit or tell her no but breastfeeding is so much more than just nutritional needs. That’s her comfort, her support her way to calm down at night, our bonding time. I am only nursing when she goes to bed and those super early AM feedings but I don’t see any signs of her wanting to quit anytime soon. Yay for nursing mamas who put there little ones first!

  20. I am going to try to start potty training my 2 yr old and she is still full on nursing. It’s comforting to see a fellow mom and hear your story that the potty training went well and your little one is still nursing. Nursing my daughter has been such a blessing and a sweet experience. When she’s ready to move on without nursing then we’ll take that step but for now it’s still part of our lives. Thank you for sharing your story.

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