Exteneded Nursing...

[deleted account] ( 23 moms have responded )

Hello all! I am wondering how everyone feels about nursing in the second year and beyond. I have two boys (three and seventeen months) and I am still nursing both. I find myself fibbing to family and friends, especially about the oldest. And when I do admit that I am still nursing them, I just say "Well, it works for us!" That usually stops the strange comments, but it still makes me wonder why it is such a big deal! It shocks me sometimes that people are so put off by long-term nursing. Anyone have thoughts?

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Laura - posted on 05/29/2012

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do not knuckle under to the pressure of the ignorant, the world health org recommends,to AT least 2YRS...as you know thousands of moms bf part time 4 yr olds for affection and bonding and some cultures to 7 yrs...we moms have to resist the victorian shame"(i.e.) the breasts are sex objects",and all that tripe....bf is a beautiful bonding and it is ToTALLY up to the mom and child when to stop,,,this is Laura,of nature moms circle,all are welcome to join,,,,

Crystal - posted on 12/01/2010

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I nursed my daughter until one month before she turned 3, and that was only because she had weaned herself. With my next two i nursed them until they weaned themselves, which was much earlier but it seemed right. Although it is not the main source of nutrition after awhile, it was such a quiet, peaceful, and meaningful time that i would never trade for anything!

Amy - posted on 12/01/2010

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i loved nursing my gurls who are now 4 and 6. but they were free from illness for the first year here about. but after that they did get sick. espally after they started preschool. idk maybe its the cow milk but my oldest has asthma and gets sick often in winter. :{

Amy - posted on 12/01/2010

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here here mama! sounds like u are doing a bang up job! now if you can just come and get my husband to trust in this type of parenting!

Amy - posted on 12/01/2010

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if you were back in time or in eurpe you wouldnt be alone. after like 1 year you have to stop talking about to ur family and other people. or you are seen poorly and it can affect ur self esteem. i just stop nursing my older gurls last year in 09. they were 3 and 5! i nursed thru a pregnancy too! it was beauitful. now i have a 8 week old and im nursing again! yay me! ♥ but you just have to stop telling people. friend me. i'll talk to you bout it! i know its sad that we get judged so badly, just be positive while your are out nursing!

Krystal - posted on 03/03/2009

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i nursed my oldest until she was 18months. i stopped bc i became pregnant and it was just easier for us for me to stop, but i dont think i would have nursed her much longer definately not till she was three. i had problems with her wanting to stick her hands down my shirt in public. now with our second baby almost 7months old i will be stopping around her first bday just so i dont have the same problem with her hands trying to go down my shirt ha. it was hard to stop bfeeding bc they just want to do it for the comfort but i had to show her that i could comfort her without her bfeeding and would hold her and rub her head or do whatever i did while bfeeding to show her she can still have mommy time but that she was a big girl and got to have yummy cow milk and make it flavored chocolate or strawberry if she wanted and couldnt do that with my milk. but i believe you do what works for you. i also believe there is an age you just stop even if they dont want to like for me if i would have kept going i would have definately stopped before kindergarden no matter what

Emily - posted on 03/03/2009

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I only nursed my first for 4 1/2 months because I got pregnant again and didn't have the information or support to continue nursing. I nursed #2 for 2 years 8 months... right through my pregnancy with #3, tandem nursing for 13 months, and 1 month into my current pregnancy with #4. I'm still nursing #3 who is now 14 months and plan to continue nursing until at least 2... which means we'll be tandem nursing again. :)

I have several friends IRL who nurse older toddlers. One insisted that her daughter wean by age 4... just because she was having a hard time, but another is still nursing her 4 1/2 year old son along with a 1 year old. I asked if she'd still be nursing both in another year and she's pretty sure she will be. We all joke that if we choose complete child-led weaning, some of our kids may need to choose an in-state college so they can nurse while at home on the weekends. :) I have no problem with extended nursing for as long as the mother and child feel is appropriate... no one else should really have a say in their nursing relationship. I found that I reached a point about 6 months ago, when I was ready to be done nursing two kids, and I wanted to get pregnant again and did not want to nurse two kids through another pregnancy... this was just my personal feelings, which, thankfully were not affected by outside pressure. We spent 4 months doing gentle mother-led weaning with my second and now that she's totally weaned (and has been for almost two months), I'm a bit sad that that time in our life is over... but at the same time, I don't want to nurse her again, and I'm glad I'm done with her. It's not even close to the right time to wean #3, and I'm sure she'll nurse well past her second birthday also. We'll just have to wait and see how long I feel comfortable nursing her too.

Lucia - posted on 03/03/2009

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hi there lori i am breastfeeding my 7 month old and it is ging so well i have no desire to stop anytime soon i bf my other 5 kids too dont let any one stop you or make you feel bad or ashamed you are doing what god intended as long as your child wants it go for it it is the best for baby and child enjoy

[deleted account]

Where we live, in the US, it's just not common for breastfeeding a child at that age, but if we lived somewhere else where it is the ONLY source of nutrition for our child, it would make better sense. As long as you are ok with it, you shouldn't worry about what other people say. I was frowned upon or breastfeeding because people around me actually thought it was less "natural" than bottle feeding! Ugh...and some would even seem offended, as if it were obsence to breasfeed, even if I went to a private room and covered up completely. We just have to do what is best, and it helps if we can breastfeed for as long as we can.

[deleted account]

Also...breastfeeding is SO much easier than getting up to bring a drink or washing cups etc..  I say go for it!  I plan on doing extended nursing  if I have another baby!

[deleted account]

I think that extended nursing is great.  I weaned both my kids at 16.5months against their wills..and my firt baby was ok..but my son has taken a while to get over it.  He still reaches for my breasts for comfort and I just wish I'd kept at it instead of bowing to sociatal pressure to wean.   After all..the alternative milks can't be as good as what we make..human milk SHOULD be the norm for humans....but for many reasons society is brainwashed to think otherwise.  It is a real shame.   I wonder how much better the health of people would be if we all nursed for longer.  I say keep at it...don't worry about what others say or think.  You are doing what is best for your child and there is NOTHING wrong with that. 

Itsamystery - posted on 02/22/2009

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I'm still nursing my 21 month old (even though I would have liked him to stop months ago)... he's such a happy, easy going little guy and I'm sure that's why. I don't know why so many ppl have an opinion on extended nursing when really, unless it's them and their child, it's none of their business.

Lisa - posted on 02/17/2009

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I am still nursing my 15 month old daughter and plan on nursing her until about 2 or until she self-weans.  My thoughts are that if it works for you and your child than you are doing what is right.  Outsiders will always question you because it just isn't the norm here in the US, but I think your response is the best one.  You don't need to explain yourself to people.



I believe the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding as long as mutually acceptable to both mother and child.  So if people ask me why I'm still breastfeeding that's what I say.

Allison - posted on 02/17/2009

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I don't know why it's such a big deal, either. I nursed my daughter until she was 3 and my son is almost 2 and still nursing fine - and I'm 28 weeks pregnant. I plan on tandem nursing once the baby is here. I believe in child-led weaning and don't plan on forcing my kids to wean before they are ready.

I know in the US breasts are only for sex...unfortunately people have forgotten the reason we have them in the first place.

Frances - posted on 02/17/2009

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I breastfed my kids as long as I could. Wish it could have been longer, especially with my last because I had to stop at 2 1/2 because of medical reasons.



Now the medical people "in the know" say that at least two years is best. I think that part of the misconceptions in the controversy between the bottle, and the breast has been fueled by companies that make formula.



Many years ago in African countries the formula companies made a big push that the bottle is best. Sadly this has made a large contribution to the ill-health of many little ones.They don't have the money to buy formula and also don't get the anti-bodies that the breastfed babies are given through their mothers.



I think that they have done a good job of marketing, not just in poorer countries than ours.



Breastfeed as long as it is good for you and for you little ones.



Often end my messages with stop when either wants to stop, otherwise just smile,nod and do what you feel is best for the two (or three) of you.



 

Rachael - posted on 02/17/2009

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I think if it works for you! i usually stopped at a year well they showed no interest in it after a yea,r but my 18 month old still nurses and some times i feel so done, then other times i feel so connnected to him during that time and hes deffinitly not ready to stop.  their are moms out their that nurse up to age 5 its a small group and I hope you find them because they can offer support that I have no experience in.

Dawn - posted on 02/17/2009

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i have a friend who still feeds her 3 yr old and her 5yr old, if your happy with it great! i think you and your children will no when its time to stop, the longer the better well as long as they aren't teenagers lol

[deleted account]

Im still breastfeeding my 17 months old daughter and will until she is ready to stop. Im planning on another baby and have been reading a lot on tandem nursing. My only concern would be at night as my daughter still wakes up a few times and only goes down on my breast, lol!

Ellen - posted on 02/16/2009

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Random thoughts on extended breastfeeding:



-If breastmilk is good for a baby, why not for a young child?  Breastmilk doesn't lose its benefits as the child grows older.



-Everyone knows that breastfed children are sick less often, less severely, tend to have fewer allergies, and have higher IQs.  What's not to like?



-Biological research indicates that the natural weaning age for humans would be between 2.5 and 6 years.



-In other cultures around the world, extended breastfeeding is considered the norm.



-The "Last Emporer" of China nursed until he was 8.  (Try saying that next time someone bugs you.)



-When someone asks you how long you plan to consider nursing, you can say, "Well, I'm not going with him to college!"



-Different children have different levels of need.  Some children want to keep a pacifier in their mouths until they are 5 or 6.  What does this tell you?



I am still nursing my 3 year old son.  My daughter nursed until she was 4 years and 9 months old.  Of course when they are older, they don't need to nurse in public.  I never brought up the subject around moms that were not like-minded about extended nursing, and everyone will just assume they are weaned.  Neither child has ever had an ear infection, and they have had only one antiobiotic, for strep.  I attribute this to extended breastfeeding.



You'll be most likely to find other moms who are also doing extended breastfeeding at La Leche League meetings.  There are more of us out here than you think!



 

Shanyn - posted on 02/16/2009

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My son nursed until he self-weaned at 22 months and my daughter just self-weaned at 31 months. I'm VERY familiar with friends and family thinking I'm crazy for wanting to nurse for that long. And your first response is your best in my opinion - it works for you! That's all they need to know, quite honestly. There is a ton of research out there about the benefits of extended breastfeeding, so you could always do a bit of homework and throw statistics at them when they start to question your choices. But mostly, it works for you, your babe and your family and that is what is most important. Good for you for sticking to your guns and following your gut!

[deleted account]

Oh by the way, we also co-slept from 6mo. to almost 2 yrs so I could sleep and he could nurse... although he night weaned from like 12a-6-7a every night at 18 mo. Anyway, he is now in his own toddler bed at the end of our bed because I told him I needed him to sleep there as he was kicking mommy in the back and belly. He transitioned just fine, this was just before 2 yr.
He is VERY smart, at almost 26mo. he talks in full sentences, like the other night he said a 9 word sentence, "Mommy, I need Diego on the T now please". The milestone at 2 yrs. is 2-3 word sentences. He is a little older, but still. He is VERY smart, healthy and very independent. He tells me all the time, "No Mommy, I do it myself". Whatever "it" may be. LOL! I do attribute a lot of this to the full term BFing and co-sleeping. He is secure in knowing mommy and daddy are there for him. He makes the choice himself when to stop, or with some light encouragement from me... i.e. cosleeping. He's very social and well mannered too.

[deleted account]

I am still breastfeeding my son who will be 26 mo. on Friday. I am also 32w pregnant w/our second. I plan to tandem nurse. The family and some friends did ask a lot in the beginning, "when are you going to stop" and I just tell them we're doing child-led weaning and if they want to know more I start to educate them on the benefits both healthy wise and emotionally.

Some good links:
Just found this today and liked what it had to say:
http://ecochildsplay.com/2008/08/05/moth...
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/eb...
http://www.parenting.com/article/Baby/Fe...

I like that one... it says, Science is on our side, world view is on our side, it's best for our health and the baby's.

http://www.llli.org/NB/NBextended.html

Clare - posted on 02/16/2009

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hello im still nursing my 22month old and it is much better than not i have found out so many possitive and i find that i fire these at the relatives but i think they have stopped talking about it as the little one is so bright and ahead they can see the evidence.



i fed my first partially till eighteen months and he has autism which i diddnt know at the time he had. there is evidence that in suseptible  individuals cows milk intake really makes this worse and possibly causes some of the original brain damage.



so we are all dairy free too and it makes a big difference to all of us and i do use this as ammunition but theres plenty of other good things like intelligence which increses the longer you feed for! and your risks of getting breast cancer falling also the longer you feed for



clare



breastfeeding peer supporter

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