Post update: Will a 2 year old still nurse if you leave for 8 days? It appears YES, if you let them. My toddler still wants to nurse – and that’s normal, fine and completely acceptable.
My almost 3 year old and I were separated for 8 days while I supported a friend who was to go to Indiato pick up her newly adopted 5 year old daughter. (She’s 6 now!) Even after that amount of time, my son decided nursing was still for him. I had acquired some donor milk and bottles for him, just in case, while I was gone, but I was told he was not interested in them and that it was “yucky.” He drank raw cow’s milk while I was gone and did fine with that.
So I did wonder, will he nurse? Will I remember the “last nursing session” with him? Well that was worry for nothing because I’ve been back a month now and he is still nursing. The last two nights I’ve worked on not letting him nurse to sleep and he’s done fine. It is funny because my 5 year old will nurse once a month if her knees are hurting at night (generally after an especially active day) and she moved on from nursing to sleep mostly on her own, but my son is not at all interested. Plus, with my daughter, I night weaned her just before age 2 due to my pregnancy and pain.
My toddler still wants to nurse: So What!?
I think when I returned if I had used that time to wean him, it would have been extremely trying for all involved. He’s just not ready. While he doesn’t nurse very often, when he does it is because he needs comfort. There’s NOTHING wrong with a toddler or preschooler nursing. The average nursing age around the world is much longer than in the US – and in fact like 50% of kiddos are being nursed when they turn 2.
Nursing is normal, natural and as long as both those involved (as in mom and kiddo), then weaning doesn’t have to happen.