Rosie is done nursing.

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37 Responses

  1. Camille says:

    That was so beautiful. I also nursed my 2 year old through a miscarriage and now will nurse her through pregnancy (we are TTC). My mother gives me the courage to ignore disapproval. She let me self-wean even though I didn’t until almost age 7! My brother and I self-weaned at the same time, he was 4. I can’t imagine nursing that long, especially tandem nursing! The things we do for our kids, huh? =)

  2. Hope says:

    I’ve been reading your blog ever since I saw Ada’s birth video (through a natural birth website) but I’ve never commented. I have a daughter about 2 months older than Ada, so I’ve enjoyed watching her grow and hearing about your parenting of her and Rosie, as your style is very similar to my own.

    What a beautiful post-it made me cry to read it!
    I plan to nurse Alexandra for as long as she wants, and I’ve thought about when that day will come when she doesn’t want to nurse anymore and it makes me so sad! I love our nursing relationship and I don’t want it to end!
    Like you said, nursing cures all ills and it’s such a special time for us. Now that she’s 18 months, she only nurses in the morning before I go to work and at night to go to sleep. On the weekends she nurses more, and I still pump once at work to keep my supply up for these extra sessions on the weekend.

    I love that, while sad, it was a peaceful parting for both of you.


  3. Dina says:

    I have ten children and breastfed all of them…. But my last sweet girl the longest- I think 2 1/2 years….. We call it Mummy milk. She is five now & often speaks of her Mummy milk. It is a beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience and precious feelings. I would do it all again ten times over! XOXO

  4. sarah vine says:

    Oh man, that was so well put, it just made me cry. Thanks for sharing.x
    And since we women like to share – my eldest self-weaned at 10 months, which shocked me. He was huge. He found food and adored it. At 10 months he took my nipple, and spit it out and turned away. And never asked for it again. My second, I had severe PND and needed medication (and eventually hospitalization) so I had to stop. It was loose the milk, or loose the mama, at 7 months. I cried. Now number three is almost 5 months old and I’m relishing the thought that maybe THIS one will want to nurse until he’s had enough! It’s a beautiful thing, what you wrote.

  5. laura b says:

    <– sobbing.

    my story is almost identical to yours.

    <3 <3 <3

  6. Em says:

    I’ve been a silent reader since right about the time Ada was born. I found your blog because I was going to have a homebirth (and eventually did) back in December. My DD is nearing 7 months and already people are telling me to wean. It is hard when people give you grief especially when it’s family. I’m glad you let Rosie wean when she was ready and I hope to do the same for my DD, I’m just going to have to be quiet about it apparently. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  7. Robin Bowman says:

    Bawling my head off. What beautiful memoirs.

  8. christy says:

    this post was beautiful and powerful. great write-up! you said rosie didnt really enjoy eating much solids until 16 months old; did she have trouble gaining weight at all and if so was your pediatrician on your case? i have an 11 month old and he will barely touch solid foods and is only in the 4 percentile for weight and i’m so scared to go to the 1 yr check up. we had trouble with the 9 month checkup for the same reason. i always say 18 months is my goal for weaning, but we’ll see. 12 months was my original goal but it is clear that won’t happen so we’ll go for 6 months more and see. :)

    • azuroo says:

      She was a normal weight so I didn’t worry about it. We only do well child check-ups once a year. Our doctor is supportive of child led weaning, which was great! (He didn’t ask about nursing at our last few yearly well child visits though, and I didn’t mention it since it didn’t seem like any of his business.)

  9. Michelle says:

    Beautiful sentiments mama. I am always so delighted to see reflections on what nursing can truly be, for both mother and child. Thank you so much for your thoughts on such a personal, beautiful journey!

  10. Monica says:

    This post brought tears to my eyes. I am currently nursing my 15 month old and I know the day will come where our nursing relationship ends and it makes me sad. I cherish the closeness and the time we spend snuggling while he nurses.

    Thank you so much for sharing, this was a very sweet story that was beautifully written.

  11. Rachel says:

    That was so beautiful. I am now tandem nursing my 3yo and 8 week old, and I so identify with your story. Thank you so much for sharing :)

  12. Lori H. says:

    This was just beautiful! It is great to hear this lovely story of how natural this transition can be. My daughter self weaned when she was 2y8m while we were tandem nursing, and my son only recently weaned himself at 3y6m.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  13. Christina says:

    I never thought I would be nursing a toddler and one day I was, and then she turned into a preschooler. And now I homeschool. She is 5 and nurses maybe once a week. I know our time is nearly up. Bittersweet it will be.

  14. Kelly says:

    So sweet! (Alice has moved to 3 during the day, waking up, when I get home, and right before bed, then several at night, but they are getting less) I love how peaceful it was for the two of you, I was just thinking earlier today about how you told me Rosie wanted to nurse forever, and wondering if Alice will ever say the same.

  15. Wendy says:

    I’m a first time reader. I had tears in my eyes reading this post. So beautiful. I nursed my older daughter until she was 38 months and she was done. Like you, I have a snapshot in my mind. I knew it was the last time. But then it wasn’t. Nine months later we went to a friend’s unassisted homebirth, and I woke up engorged the next morning. My older daughter helped me out by nursing. “There’s milk!” I had been dry nursing for months or years, apparently, before she weaned.

    Then my second daughter came along several years later. She’s still nursing at 21 months with no plans of stopping (going an hour when we’re together and home without nursing is a milestone). I’d love for her to get to four. And occasionally my older daughter still asks to nurse. I wouldn’t call it tandem nursing, I don’t nurse both regularly, or for very long, but I did get to experience the two of them holding hands and smiling at one another over my chest, even though there’s seven years between them. I cherish those few moments.

  16. Karen says:

    What a beautiful post.
    I read it this morning and again this afternoon and cried both times. What an amazing gift that you were able to give to her.
    Big pat on the back, mama =]
    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful snapshot into your world.

  17. amelia222 says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! My daughter just turned two and people keep asking me when we are going to stop. She, just like your Rosie, wants to nurse all the time. My response is always ‘when she is done’, and I am starting to wonder when that will be. Will it be next month or not for years? Only time will tell and her milky smiles make it all worth it.

  18. Kristen says:

    A friend linked me to this post today after I posted a huge rant in my private journal about the general public’s perception of “extended” nursing and child-led weaning. I am nursing my 2-year-old and am pregnant with another baby due in December. My daughter, Ava, had been the most fanatic nurser I have ever heard of and it was great to hear that Rosie was the same. I laughed so hard at her quote about nursing until she is 90. I bet if Ava could talk, she’d say something similar :)

    It is so encouraging to read a story from someone who has done what I am hoping to do. We have made it though the horrible first trimester nursing and even some tears of frustration from myself because I would rather do ANYTHING else but nurse during those sensitive times. I am also not looking forward to the dry-tap nursing coming up. However, I am so happy to hear it will be worth it, just as I expected. And I am so sorry for your loss before Ada. I think about that sometimes, and I would totally want Ava’s comfort of needing me like that during such a hard time.

    More than anything, i love your description of how it feels to you. How Rosie will always be your baby, and how it is like seeing someone every day, the change is so gradual. I think this may help me explain why it isn’t weird or gross to nurse my 2-year-old, but more often than not I choose not to share. I hope that someday our culture is more accepting of this and it becomes the norm. It is definitely a very enriching and rewarding experience.

  19. Devon says:

    Thank you. That was so beautifully written. At this point, I’m nursing three of my seven children. One of them will turn five in a couple weeks. She and her sister, who is almost three, have a code word for nursing — “Get”. They made it up themselves. My youngest is 10 months old and is completely breastfed. She has no interest in solids yet. I suppose I’m fortunate in that with all the other crazy things we do (homeschool, homebirth, have 7 children…), no-one bothers to criticize any of it anymore.

  20. Tanya says:

    What a beautiful post! I am still nursing my 27 month old son. I do not know if I have it in me to do CLW but I sure hope so for his sake! The thought of us *both* being done, instead of just *me* being done, with our nursing relationship is definitely something to aspire to!

  21. What a beautiful post! My 13 month Ella is the same way. She’d rather nurse than do anything else. I foresee her nursing for a long while yet. I wonder how future pregnacy(s) might affect our relationship, or if I’ll even be able to get pregnant until she weans (still no cycle in sight!). The only thing that concerns me about her not eating solids yet (she’s like 99% breastfed still) is low iron. I was borderline anemic while pregnant with her, and although I managed to raise my levels at the end, there is a little worry that since she’s still not eating any iron rich foods, she might be deficient. My dr wants to do a blood test at 15 months to check, but I’m wary of that. Did you have any of these concerns?

  22. Lynn says:

    Beautifully written post! Thank you for shining a light in the darkness. I nursed my two biggest girls until they turned 4 and am waiting to see when my youngest will wean (she’s almost 4). I identified so much with the feelings that you descibed throughout the nursing relationship. I hope you don’t mind if I share this around. This is a topic that makes so many people uncomfortable and it shouldn’t, and it’s only by talking about it that we’ll begin to see change.

  23. Danielle says:

    What a wonderful story. I’m not going to lie– when your daughter asked for a glass of water instead, I started crying. My son is eight months old and blissfully breastfeeding away, so I can’t stand to think about the time when he will be ready to stop. It’s heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  24. Leigh Spencer says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! (Even if I am crying at my desk.)

    My son, Henry, is almost 3 and a half and still nursing. Some folks freak out when I “confess” this, but I think forcing him to stop before he’s ready is just unnecessarily cruel.

    Henry was born with a cleft lip, which we were expecting based on a 16-week ultrasound. So many professionals (doctors, lactation consultants, genetics counselors) warned me that I might not be able to nurse him at all, depending on the severity of the cleft. I was bracing myself to lose this warm fuzzy, cherished part of mothering a newborn (my older son weaned himself at 8 months. I was disappointed and not ready to stop, but he was DONE) and preparing myself for a stressful but worthwhile relationship with the breast pump.

    Henry was a trooper, though. Pre and post surgery, we figured it out. I think that challenging beginning and the sadness I felt over possibly losing this chance really made me appreciate this relationship and not take it for granted or try to rush through it.

    I know the last time will be bittersweet. There’s nothing like that warmth and closeness and I know I will miss it, especially since he is my last baby. But we’ve had a great run and I don’t think I’ll have any regrets. Watching your kids grow up is chock full of feelings like that.

    Besides, when the time eventually comes, I plan to soothe my sadness with a nice, chilled shot of top shelf tequila. :)

    I wrote a poem recently in response to conversations with some friends who think my extended nursing is “creepy”. I hope you don’t mind if I share it here.

    Thank you again for so beautifully expressing (haha :) ) your opinions and experiences on a subject so close to my heart and soul.

    The Weaning

    I hold you close to me
    Breathe in the scent of you –
    Baby shampoo on long blonde curls
    Goldfish crackers, crayons, fresh diaper.
    I watch your big blue eyes disappear
    behind drooping pink eyelids
    as you fall towards the evening’s final blink.
    Body suddenly heavy against me,
    your sweet breath forms a fine mist against my skin.
    Your peace is contagious.
    Together now, safe from the stresses of the day
    we are wrapped in this blanket
    of frozen time
    of nowhere else to be
    of all-encompassing love.
    I feel your warmth, your heartbeat, your soft new skin
    and I wonder
    which of us needs to be weaned?

    Leigh Spencer, 2011

  25. H says:

    “I dedicated myself to child led weaning…

    I started thinking that four was hitting my comfort limit…

    Suggestions to skip one night…”

    Congratulations on these lovely years of nursing, but this isn’t really ‘child-led.’ I do not mean to suggest any criticism, except for of the use of terms here. This sort of thing invariably makes problems for mothers who are going the ‘child-led’ route; people think this is the usual progression — Mom gets uncomfortable, starts the weaning process, kid is off the breast before school starts, and families who really are going a ‘child-led’ route get suspicion and negativity because surely self-weaning always happens by school age? Etc. This’s a lovely nursing story but I’m always left scratching my head over the ‘child-led’ crossed with suggestions to stop from the mother. But this is a great story about how to initiate weaning for a preschooler.

    • azuroo says:

      Actually you misread my post. We never ever forced her to skip once. If we ever suggested she have a sleep over at grandma’s or something fun she wouldn’t go because she didn’t want to skip one night of nursing, and that was fine with us. I did practice child-led weaning to the fullest extent, though I guess you’re welcome to believe what you want. It’s just a label. And just for the record it really had nothing to do with school age since we are homeschooling and she isn’t starting school or anything like that in the near future.

  26. kris says:

    i love the pictures, amy! and kudos for you for doing childled weaning. my boys have nursed for 2.5 y, 4 y and now with micah…who knows… but i definitely wean them at night and then eventually wean them down to a schedule for me.

    you captured the emotions of a longterm nursing relationship very well! :)

  27. Rhiannon says:

    What you did was totally about as child-led as you can get. I in no way think child-led has to mean that mommy can’t make suggestions and that mom and child cannot discuss things. But rather that the child has the ultimate decision on it.

    One of the beautiful thing about nursing an older child is that you CAN discuss it.

  28. DrMomma says:

    This is absolutely beautiful. Tears streaming down my face. Thank you so much for tenderly caring for your daughters, and for sharing the joy – all the ups and downs and everything in between – that is child-led weaning. Pure perfection.

  29. jessamyn says:

    so beautiful!! beautifully written, photographed, and experienced. xoxoxoxo to you girls.

    now… I wonder how long ada will nurse?!! eat eat eat!

  30. Niki says:

    A beautiful story, and the very definition of child-led weaning. Lovely photos, too!

  31. jessamyn says:

    H, sounds like you’ve had pressure to stop nursing, which is too bad :(. I don’t think this blog post at all reflects a mom trying to get her daughter to stop… and I wonder if you read the whole thing? she specifically kept nursing through pregnancies, miscarriage, birth (did you nurse rosie the night ada was born too?!), and so on. even when she didn’t want to, she did it. I could never do that (although we’ll see what I’m saying in a few years, I guess!). it’s not forced weaning to ask your 4 year old if she’d like to skip a night. that’s just.. dialogue.

    again, this blog post is so amazingly lovely!

  32. Aimee says:

    Amy, this is gorgeous! I cried as I read it as well.

    H, I believe you must have misread or misunderstood Amy’s words as well. There is nothing in her post that indicates that she pushed Rosie to wean. A child of four is capable of having a dialogue with her mother about what they’re going to do that day, that evening, etc. Would you consider it pressuring a child to do what he/she doesn’t want to if a mother said, “Hey, if we go to grandma and grandpa’s today, we’ll miss swim time at the pool. What do you want to do?” That is how I interpreted Amy’s question to Rosie about spending the night at her grandparents. It’s not pressuring, it’s conversation.

  33. Nicole says:

    Thank you for the intimate snapshot of your nursing relationships. My heart swelled as I read this, bringing me to my own thoughts about my current breastfeeding relationship with my 18 month old son, Beck. I love nursing my baby boy, and am currently putting off a much needed hip surgery so I can continue to cosleep and nurse Beck throughout the night — his most needy time to nourish and comfort himself. Anyway, I am grateful to know that you and other nursing moms are out there; I have found myself feeling isolated on this “issue” (as others see it). Regardless, I plan to respect Beck’s timeframe and needs and wants with breastfeeding. Again, thank you for sharing your story and best to you and your girls and husband.

  34. HSalegio says:


    I am currently 31 weeks (with a girl ;>) and I fully intend on BFing.
    I don’t know for how long yet, but if all goes well DEFIANTLY for the first year.

    I find it sad that most people in the western culture frown at women who choose to breastfeed. Most people can only see the breasts as sexual objects and forget what they’re actually made for. I am trying to mentally prepare for the looks and remarks I’m sure to receive from BFing in public :D

    Mucho Love,

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