I certainly never imagined nursing my 4.5 year old! Come on- he would be old enough to ask for it, have teeth and be eating full-fledged food for cyring out loud!
But here we are, and just a few days ago Owen climbed up onto the couch and asked to nurse. He is four and a half. My husband Kris had been away all week and I knew Owen was missing him.
Before this, I think the last time Owen nursed was about a month ago. He had a significant cut on his leg and was in pain. Breastmilik is an analgesic and it is always the first thing I offer when one of my children are hurt or sick.
I also have a daughter, Sydney, who is 2.5 and nurses much more frequently- multiple times each day. I have never scheduled either of my children’s nursing sessions or even noticed the time when they latch on. This is surprising because I am a “type A” personality who does not typically go with the flow (pun fully intended). Early on though, Owen taught me that he would tell me when he was hungry or needed comfort, and for whatever reason it clicked, and I understood.
I am now noticing though that each month the frequency of nursing sessions becomes less- slowly both of my children are self weaning. I thought I would feel more sadness about this, but I think a sense of loss can come from regret, and with this particular choice I have none. The process has been so natural for us. I have not forced anything on my children and we have followed nature’s intent.
I read accounts of moms who know their last nursing session when they sit down to it, which is sort of nice. I don’t think it will be like that for us though, I think one day I will notice that it has been six months since Owen has nursed and realize that he must be done. And that the same will happen with Sydney.
And this is exactly the sort of transition that is right for my children and I. None of us like good-byes and we tend not to make a celebration out of things. A natural and undetermined ending to this relationship seems fitting.