How long until toddler forgets he nursed?

I have a 15-month-old son whom I have weaned about a month ago. He still wants to nurse even though I have given him a lot of attention since the weaning. He walks up to me and smiles and tries to lift my shirt. Cute enough, but I just can't nurse him again. How long does it take for a child to forget the breastfeeding experience?

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

It is common for babies and young children who are still nursing, as well as those who have weaned, to show interest in their mom's breasts. Little ones don't see anything at all inappropriate about patting or touching your breasts, or lifting your shirt. Your breasts mean food and love to your little guy.

Your son may just be fondly remembering the time spent at your breast. He may keep this memory for a while, though children under three to four years of age at weaning seem to "forget" the nursing experience more quickly. Older children may always remember being at the breast, nursing. This is a wonderful memory of a very special time in his life.

I would recommend talking with your little one. Even though he is still quite young, he will understand more than you might imagine. If he comes over and pulls up your shirt you might respond, "you remember when we nursed don't you? -- it was a very special time for me too". In this way you are acknowledging his thoughts/feelings. Then you may want to suggest that the two of you do something together. This will help to take his mind off nursing. You might want to try a nice, cuddly activity like looking at a picture book. Best wishes in mothering!

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