Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mama, can I nurse?

Layla self weaned at about 18 months when I was knocked up with Evie. She had been down to really just nursing in the morning and at bedtime, so it wasn't a huge change, and it was harder for me than it was for her. One day she decided she was done and she just never nursed again. We didn't even really talk about it, she was just done. Like I said. She was fine, and I was a little sad. Luckily I had Evie to look forward to.

Layla never showed any jelousy or resentment of Evie nursing. She is actually extremely well behaved around the issue. If we were out shopping and I had to sit down to nurse, she would be an angle until I was done. She has never been antsy, whined or complained while Evie was nursing. And lately she has started nursing her polar bear and the other two polar bears. It's very cute.

Last night I was putting her down for bed. She was a little sad and so I sat down and gathered her up in my arms, much like a baby, as I often do when she is upset. She looked up at me and said "mama, can I nurse"?

Long Pause

I can't begin to tell you the jumble of thoughts and feelings that washed through me during that pause, but ultimately I said "no honey, you're too big". And that was the end of that discussion.
As far as she was concerned.

But of course it wasn't the end for me. Did I do the right thing? Say the right thing? Some say that your older kid is going to ask at some point, and there is nothing wrong with letting them try. I'm not sure why I didn't just let her, and why I was a bit uncomfortable with the thought. I think it has more to do with the fact that I knew it would make Mike uncomfortable, than actually ME being uncomfortable. All I know is that I had sadness turning her away. And it's stayed on my mind.

Parenting is hard. And sometimes sad.


  1. I've refused as well. But usually I just suggest something else we can do instead rather than outright deny it. Skirting the issue, that's me.

    I'm told that kids forget how to nurse pretty quickly. The whole compression/suction thing. Some moms have told me they let their older child try, the kid said they were broken, and that was the end of that. But I'm not up for starting to tandem nurse at this point, and I'm not taking the chance that I'll have the rare kid that remembers.

  2. Anne, are you sure you aren't from Wisconsin? Skirting the issue, ignoring, and deflection are our specialties.

    Well, that, and being passive aggressive.