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Mothering Your Nursing Toddler

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  640 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Warmth, wisdom, and wit add to this classic LLLI bestseller about mothering and breast-feeding your child into toddlerhoodNorma Jane Bumgarner revisits the challenges of getting enough rest, dealing with criticism from family and friends, weaning, and more in her long-awaited, significant revision of this classic.
Paperback, 308 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by La Leche League International (first published December 1982)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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Jun 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book didn't give me as much as I'd hoped for in terms of helpful, practical advice for nursing a toddler—when it came down to it, most of her advice was either stuff I'd already figured out for myself (nursing a 19-month-old, here) or stuff that didn't directly apply to my situation (for instance, all my friends are very pro-extended-breastfeeding, so I don't have to deal with negative peer pressure).

The reason I'm giving the book a two-star rating, though, is I was annoyed by a lot of the
Feb 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008
This book was helpful to me when I entered the world of nursing my toddler, though it does appear to operate on the assumption that the mother nursing for this duration is a stay-at-home or work-at-home mom, so some of the book rubbed me a bit the wrong way.
Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: nursing mothers whose children are 8 months old or older
Recommended to Jessie by: LLL
What a breath of fresh air to see normal life with a nursing toddler!

A great read for anyone considering nursing beyond the one year mark. I liked that this book was focused on the benefits of continued nursing while never stating exactly how long one should nurse.

This book is full of support & comfort. Helpful when you're living in a society that is completely uninformed as to how the relationship of nursing ends naturally.

I enjoyed the personal anecdotes, although there weren't many.

It is a
Nov 12, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting
great resource for nursing a toddler when you feel like you are the only one! I did find that it really lacked advice on how to go about weaning or examples & support of weaning. Yes, child led weaning. But what about when both parties are not in it together...or when your 3.5 yo is showing no interest in slowing down or nursing less frequently let alone weaning!! LLL really needs to have a book about weaning as well as all of their other great supportive books. I find their support with this la ...more
Jan 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, parenting
How had I not read this before? This is fantastic for anyone considering or currently nursing past a year. Wonderful resource.
Mar 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This out-of-print book is all about nursing your baby up through toddler-hood and allowing them to self-wean when ready. I acquired it when on the search for materials about nursing your infant beyond one year--a subject on which I've found a dearth of material. What does it look like to nurse a toddler? What are the tips and tricks and need-to-knows? Mothering Your Nursing Toddler contains them all, as well as a great chapter on the history of nursing and what is considered "normal" around the ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
I know it's an old book, but being listed as a Unique Circumstance because I work full time and am still nursing my daughter (15+ months and going strong) was depressing. I walked away from the book feeling very discouraged. Everything was geared towards Stay at Home Moms and so made me feel like crap for having to work. I also found her to be very wordy and repetitive. I will not recommend this to my friends who are still nursing. ...more
Zulaika Hernandez
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An awesome resource that helped to reassure me that each breastfeeding journey with our child is different and we can work through the nursing relationship as we find best between mother and child.

Read this book if you are questioning or being questioned about weaning your child off the breast.

Includes 4 pages, of over 200 references. Also a great resource guide of other books and organizations regarding children’s health as related to breastfeeding.
Rachel Smith
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic resource, even twenty or so years later. Interesting to see how many of the same issues face mothers, women, fathers, and people in general.
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Great parenting advice. She is opinionated but it's refreshing since she is so not PC. Very valuable and applicable info for bfing moms. ...more
Mar 11, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't finish this book. I just can't do it.

This book is a relic -- a historical document, a "time capsule" if you will, depicting a time period not so very long ago in which it was largely assumed that women would stay home with their children, that their "ninnies" were expected to be for their husbands... heck, that they would have husbands in the first place. Through these and other assumptions, Norma Jane Bumgarner targets such a narrow readership that I cannot, in good conscience, refer t
May 09, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is a guide specifically focused on breastfeeding past age 1.

There isn't much nuts and bolts instruction aside from a few pointers here and there . . . although any mother who has successfully breastfed a child for 12 months probably doesn't need that kind of help. The sections on weaning and particularly how to wean gently are the most helpful when it comes to technical support, but yet again instead of a firm set of steps the author provides broad guidelines.

This book is most useful
Sonya Feher
Jan 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
Mothering Your Nursing Toddler is a great resource if you use the table of contents to find what you’re looking for rather than reading from cover to cover. The book’s title is apt and the book covers why one would nurse a child into toddlerhood, how nursing changes as a child ages, other considerations with nursing (like tandem nursing, rest, fathers), and weaning. I particularly found Parts Three and Four on “Nursing Your Toddler Year by Year” and “Weaning” helpful. Though looking at all of th ...more
Lacey Louwagie
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just my regularly scheduled dosage of a book to reaffirm my pre-existing beliefs about parenting and feel like a good mom.

Seriously, though, this book was very welcome because it seems like almost all the community and information available about nursing is centered around the first year of life, and tilted heavily toward those early weeks when Mom and baby are first establishing the nursing relationship. As I continued to nurse well past my son's first birthday, I found I didn't really have que
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
What a great book! I am nursing my 26-month old son and while I thought I was strong enough to withstand the social pressures against this, I realized as I read how much I needed this encouragement. It was like sitting in a room full of older women smiling and patting me on the back for following my mother instincts to not pressure my son to wean when he is clearly not ready to do so. There are a lot of specific facts (history of breastfeeding into older years, cultural examples, benefits to chi ...more
Mar 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lll
This book was helpful in terms of being very supportive. It can be appropriate for various ages of children, from 9 months, to 18 months, to older nurslings. It's definitely presented as that babies need to nurse a lot, so it could come across wrong to someone who truly wants to wean sooner, that they aren't meeting their baby's needs. I didn't feel like I necessarily learned anything specific, but it was reassuring to me, that my baby's behavior is normal, my feelings and responses are normal. ...more
Feb 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Nursing Moms
Shelves: non-fiction, 2007
This is probably the best book on breastfeeding available. I didn't read it till my son was nearly 2 but the book really starts with the 1 year old. I would highly recommend this to moms when their child is 9 or 10 months old or to anyone who wants to know more about the "normal" course of nursing. It gives lots of good information on why stopping nursing at 1 year old is not "normal" in the context of history, world-wide nursing practices and compared to other primates.
Even though The Womanly
Jan 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Some parts of this book were kind of bland and obvious, like "Many mothers are finding that a ceiling fan keeps their baby cooler on a hot night..." (duh).

That being said, I really did enjoy reading this, and felt very validated at the end. I feel like this quote from the introduction sums it up: "Increasingly we are learning for sure that if we turn away from our children instead of turning away from things, the children's unmet needs may grow in them and burden them and their families in one w
Jun 20, 2007 rated it it was ok
If you don't know anyone who is nursing or has nursed a toddler, if you have no community to support your breastfeeding efforts and answer your questions, then you might want to read this book. If you don't fall into that category, then you might find about 10% of the book interesting or helpful. I was reading it to fill a requirement, so I was bored stiff, but it might not have been so bad if I could have just skipped around to relevant parts. I'm glad this book exists, but I didn't need to rea ...more
Aug 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: borrowed
This was a great book for reaffirming your choice to nurse past a year. It had quite a few little tips and tricks in it as well that many of us learned through trial and error, but perhaps will not have to learn the hard way with the next issue! It was a very supportive book as well. It was pretty strident about not weaning cold-turkey, but that is to be expected (it just might hurt someone who, say, had to wean quickly for a medical reason) but it also had some good gentle weaning tips for thos ...more
Jul 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
I like the supportive tone of the book. Even those who are quite open to breastfeeding longer than a year do need a reminder of why they are doing it. The book reminds mothers that it's not really the nursing that is the problem - kids are quite dependent whether or not they are nursing. I thought it ironic that the author kept referring to early potty training as a negative thing, while growing numbers of mothers who do nurse toddlers are doing elimination communication. But I think she's talki ...more
Nov 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
You know how when you review a scientific report all the stuff you really *need* to know is in the conclusion at the end? Here's your conclusion: Just keep giving them boob. It's good for them. It's good for you. I wouldn't recommend reading the rest of the book unless you don't feel comfortable with my conclusion or you really get a kick out of books about breastfeeding.

I read the parts I thought I could use. Otherwise, after 3 years of nursing one child, I guess I'm over the topic. Perhaps if
Nov 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
I read this before Hazel turned a year old thinking there would be some helpful info in it for the coming year(s), and maybe there are, but I had/have a hard time getting past Bumgarner's HORRIBLE (imho) writing! Her writing voice is that of a first year college student (at best), still struggling through the demands of ENG 101. Great subject matter, but perhaps someone else could have done it better. ...more
Oct 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A great book to read when your child is 9 months old and approaching the "restless, distracted" stage so many moms interpret to be a sign of weaning.

This book would also be a very reassuring read for a mother who finds herself unsure about continuing to nurse her toddler for whatever reason (what others think, are there health benefits past 1l12 months, pressure from family to stop,etc.)

A few minutes with this book always helps me reaffirm what I love about nursing my toddler.

May 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A gem! Critics of this book say it lacks evidence-based research, but I'm not sure if they read the book because it was full of citations of scientific studies to show why nursing a child from day one to six or more years is still beneficial and in no way harmful for baby/child and mommy. It also contains a good balance of anecdotal evidence. I enjoyed every minute of it and it was just what I needed to give me the boost to keep going despite external (and internal) pressure to wean. ...more
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Honestly, it's not often I finish a book cover to cover so quickly (a day!). It takes a lot to keep my attention.
Then again it's not that often that I read something that seems to have jumped into my head & soul and written down everything I've felt, wondered or experienced.
Best bf book I've read; some of the LL stuff might be a bit 'hippy' for some and I certainly don't think it's the only way to mother or bf, so just take out the bits that apply to you and your child x
Jan 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
I was expecting to read a book about nursing. What this book was more about was mothering your toddler. There was a section about nursing, but I think this book had lots of great information for dealing with a toddler even if you aren't nursing. I gave it four stars out of five only because it wasn't exactly what I expected. ...more
Aug 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
What I really liked about this book was that it focused on the benefits of continued nursing while not providing any concrete ideas about how long one should nurse. I only wish that she hadn't offered so much poor advice about work (much of which is unrealistic for many families) and dealing with elimination needs and had spoke more about the experience of nursing past the age of three. ...more
May 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
I liked the topic a lot, in theory. But I was hoping the author would get into the science of WHY it's a good idea to nurse your toddler. What is the nutritional benefit? Instead, the main answer was "you should nurse into toddlerhood because lots of other cultures past and present have done so." Not what I was looking for. The nitty gritty "how-to" details were helpful, however. ...more
Jun 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Finally! A book to answer questions about nursing that doesn't assume you are a novice breastfeeder, that your baby is only 2 months old, or that you will wean before 6 months. It was so nice to find answers to questions unique to nursing toddlers--like when they climb in your shirt! ...more
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