A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

I Will Not Wean My 3-Year-Old

By Abby Theuring, MSW

I’ve heard that I should have weaned Jack before Exley came along. I have heard that I am raising a spoiled brat by breastfeeding my toddler. I have heard that it’s disgusting, that he’s too old, that he’ll have psychological problems. I’ve heard that I’m doing it for my own needs and not his.


Whenever we leave the house I keep Exley in the wrap. It has been complicated continuing to nurse Jack on demand since my breasts are covered by the wrap. Jack’s nursing has increased since the birth of his little brother. He has shown me that he needs me more than ever. He has shown me that now is not the right time to make major changes. It’s important to me that we make this work. I found that I can slide Exley slightly to one side and pull my boob out the opposite side. Jack can latch on and sit on my lap. It’s not pretty. It’s not like those photos you see of women breastfeeding in a meadow. This is not a photo shoot. This is my life. This is real. This is me and my 2 sons hobbling our way into a new normal. It’s sloppy. It’s awkward. It’s the most important thing I do. Every single day.


I will work to make room on my lap for Jack. I will work to make him feel welcome at my breast. I will work to make him feel that the safest place to him on earth hasn’t been completely taken away. This is not easy. I’ve been hanging on by a thread to my breastfeeding relationship with Jack since I got pregnant. I’ve struggled with everything from pregnancy hormones, to breast pain, to sever nursing aversion, to plain old touched out. This isn’t the way to do it. It’s just our way. I will continue to work until it doesn’t work anymore. And then we will figure out our new way. But I will not wean my 3-year-old.