Post # 1
If you didn’t know this week is Worldwide Breastfeeding Week. Many of my friends have been participating in activities focused on and around breastfeeding, including a flash mob! As well as having 10 of my fb friends changing their profile pictures to pics of them breastfeeding their children. Within my friend and family community it has spawned lots of conversations about breastfeeding. (which is probably the point)
The most heated topic has been regarding how long to breastfeed. The American Academy of pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least 1 year and the World Health Organazation says at least 2 years. Within conversations I noticed that the older generations believe that one year or less is acceptable, while some of the younger generation seems to feel as though allowing the child to breastfeed until an older age is more beneficial.
So ladies what do you think?
Post # 3
I want to breastfeed for about a year…. and personally I feel kinda weird having a toddler walk up to me, sit on my lap, and latch on themselves. lol
You know though… this made me think of the documentary “Babies” and those in Africa breastfed like that, where the child was a toddler and just came up and latched one while she was feeding the little one… and seeing it didn’t make me feel weird about it.
Guess it just depends on what is cultural accepted as “normal”
Post # 4
I don’t think there is really a right or a wrong answer for everyone. Personally, I set my limit to 12 months. For myself I didn’t want a toddler hanging off my boob when they are old enough to get nutrition from food- if other mums want to do it until 24months thats fine. I ended up stopping breastfeeding at about 6-7 months because my son cut 2 teeth- he was a biter!
He is now 11 months and on cows milk, and is weaning himself off milk completely. And, even though he was only breast fed for about 6-7 months he is healthy, never sick or had a cold, and reaching all of his milestones.
Post # 5
i feel comfortable with 18mths – my nephews wife still BF’s and hes 2.5yrs now and that weirds me out, ive always figured if they are old enough to sit at the table, use a fork and ask for dinner then they are old enough not to Boyfriend or Best Friend
but i keep this opinion to myself of course
Post # 6
I voted other. I stopped breastfeeding when my son turned 1. I did this because he had no interest in the bottle anymore, and so I just stopped breastfeeding as well. Put him onto a sippy cup.
However, I feel its such a personal choice, and I don’t really have an opinion on the matter.
Post # 7
@eloping: I understand 🙂 When my niece was 20 months or so (my sister was 8 months pregnant) I watched my her climb onto the couch lift up my sisters shirt and start jumping up and down while she was latched on. Then she turned to me and smiled and said “Lilly have Mama’s Moo” That was the last time my sister let her do it. It was a little awkward for me and hubby, but I supported her either way. I’m not sure how long I will until I’m in the situation.
Post # 8
I breastfed until 13 months…because his first birthday was so overwelming for him – that I thought I could wait a little to take the comfort of the boob away. He did great, he didn’t miss it. But I wanted to quit SO bad when he was 2 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months old…and then I just got use to it. But that whole year was a little uncomfortable, a little painful at times and all my shirts got stretched out lol. But I really hope it benefited him.
I think stopping before they start talking is a good idea.
Post # 9
When they can ask for it…
ETA: This reminds me of the movie Grown Ups!
Post # 10
If you are old enough to ask for it, you’re too old to have it.
Post # 11
I honestly think it’s up to the parent’s discretion. Obviously breastfeeding is extremely healthy for the baby, even as a toddler. And I personally know a mother (I was their nanny) who chose to breastfeed her daughter until she was 3. Now it seems weird, but we had many discussions about it because I was genuinely curious about her point of view. She never did it in public, and when she did Boyfriend or Best Friend is was only before naps and bedtime. She had a lot of health and cultural reasons for going as long as she did, and honestly, her daughter felt so bonded to her. She really felt loved when her mother shared that part of her. Usually mothers stop BF’ing before their children can talk, so it was interesting hearing it from a child’s perspective. Her mother had asked her what makes her feel loved, and she said “mommy’s milk”. I have never seen a daughter more well-behaved, respectful, healthy, mature and bonded with her parents than this 4-yr old girl. And honestly, is breastfeeding until she was 3 had anything to do with the amazingness of this little girl, I am so on board! haha. Seriously though, I am her nanny – and she is so GOOD. She never misbehaves, she might need an attitude adjustment now and then – but she is just, incredible.
Now myself personally, I said up to 24 months, although when my baby is born I know I want to go at least a year, and then see how things are going and get a feel for it then. I know that as a mother I have the best intuition of what it right and healthy for me and my baby, and I really don’t think that society or culture should determine anymore what is right and healthy for us. I think Mother’s need to start listening to themselves more.
Post # 12
In many places children breastfeed when they are 4, 5, 6, 7 years old and it’s completely acceptable.
Personally I will do it until my children no longer have any interest in it and if that means they are 3 years old then I’ll keep doing it. If my boobs are going to be saggy anyway I may as well get good use out of them.
Post # 13
Most other mammals feed their young until their second set of teeth come in, which for humans is about 4-7 years old. If we took culture and etiquette and society out of the picture, and went back to basic survival in the wild, most women would breastfeed pretty much continuously through their lives, often with 2 or 3 children breastfeeding at the same time.
Luckily this isn’t the case anymore, because I’m guessing these were also the women who had 12 kids then died in childbirth.
Anyway, personally, I think if they are 4 or younger its ok, 5 is pushing it, and by 6 your child should have other comfort mechanisms and be able to self soothe without nursing.
Although by 4 years old, the child is really only going to be nursing once or twice per day, maybe at bedtime or in the morning. I am a big supporter of nursing anywhere and everywhere, but I think I personally wouldn’t NIP if my kid was older than 2.5, though I’d still nurse them at home.
Post # 14
@Ms. Martian: “If my boobs are going to be saggy anyway I may as well get good use out of them.”
HAHAHA! Thanks for the laugh!
And I agree as well, many other cultures do it until the children are much older, and really it’s a more recent development that women stop at 6 mos or even 12 mos. In most of history, they breastfed until about age 5.
Post # 15
@Ms. Martian: “saggy” lol yeah good point!
Not that I’m having kids right now, but it’s always nice to hear everyone’s take on this.
I selected 2 years as my goal, but am willing to see what my child needs before putting a deadline on it.
Post # 16
I’m thinking between 6-12 months, but I wouldn’t mind pumping after that to keep providing breastmilk to them.
I know it’s natural and healthy to feed children this way, but if they can ask me for it or if they’ll be of the age where they can distinctly remember my breasts, that is just a bit much for me. Out of a sippy cup is one thing, but walking up or asking me for milk is just something I couldn’t do.