Breastfeeding older children......

Mother - posted on 01/06/2011 ( 352 moms have responded )

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Breastfeeding older children......How old is TOO old??
What age would make you go Hmmmmmmmm.........Is school aged children too old?

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Charlie - posted on 01/07/2011

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I Just want to address something said earlier about men being so obsessed with boobs because they were not BF or weaned too early because this really annoys me .

Men love breasts , breasts have dual functionality they are permanantly engorged unlike most other animals as a way to sexualy attract a mate it is utter rubbish that men who are "obsessed " by them are so because of their feeding as a baby .

Breasts are for breastfeeding yes but only after they have sexually attracted a mate to reproduce with .

Tara - posted on 01/07/2011

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Holy crap, how did I miss this thread??

Anyhow as a mom who has cumulatively nursed for over 12 years, 6 children. I nurse until about 2.5 some of my kids self-weaned at that age and others I chose to wean them for my own reasons.
I think that people who nurse until a child is 6 and upward are bordering on selfish. I think at that age, a nursing relationship has more to do with a mother not wanting or not ready to break that special bf'ing bond. I am not suggesting anyone does this intentionally or even consciously, I think it is a sub-conscious attempt to hold onto that symbiotic relationship.
And obviously that is not what I think of EVERY situation of extended nursing beyond 6 years. But from the moms I've known who did nurse a long time, it seemed to me and everyone else that her kids could take it or leave it, but she chose for them to take it.
One child I knew nursed in bed with his mom until age 8. He had a room of his own, he would get into her bed, she would get topless, he would snuggle up and nurse and she played with his hair. Then he would get up, go to his room, read and go to bed. I found and still find it bordering sexual interference. Again, not intentional but in my opinion not healthy.
Just my opinion in about 350 of them in this thread. Didn't bother to read any other replies, too little time...
But that's the shortie of it for me.. 6 and under, okay if that's what works for you, nightwaking etc. again do what works for you... but nursing beyond that, take a close look at who benefits more, you or your kid.

Johnny - posted on 01/07/2011

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I think perhaps that I rather discount the idea that breastmilk holds an important enough nutritional value for school-aged children to risk them becoming social pariahs. I know that breastmilk is a great substance, I was happy to breastfeed my daughter until 23 months and I hope to go at least as long if I have another child. I know that breastmilk does not suddenly lose it's nutritional value at any point. It changes as a child grows to meet his/her needs. I just seriously doubt that as a substance, it will make up for all the potential issues that come from being in grade 1 or 2 and still having "nursies." If someone thinks that it is a manna that can not be replaced with a suitable alternative, then give it in a cup. What has been studied is the benefits to cancer patients, and you don't see them curling up with a wetnurse for some booby.

Celeste - posted on 01/07/2011

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Shauna, the way your breasts feel and how much you get from a pump aren't good indicators of supply. Average pumping output is about 1/2 to 2 oz. Plus, pumping output does decrease over time. I couldn't pump but a few drops and had no problems continuing to nurse twins.



Generally, nursing works on supply and demand, so as long as a mother is nursing, there will be milk.

Celeste - posted on 01/07/2011

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I do all that too!! Nursing doesn't interfere with everyday life. I didn't drag my boys anywhere (which are barely 30 lbs). If I needed to do something, yes, I'd interrupt a nursing session. It's never been a problem.

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Kim - posted on 01/08/2011

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I really don't see any benefit to nursing over 4. My son self-weaned at 18 months, actually the same day I wanted him to wean so I could try to get pregnant again. Then my daughter self-weaned at 16 months. My other daughter self-weaned at 23 months and I was so ready to be done. Personally I would want to be done by 2 but if my 3rd child wasn't weaned i don't know what I would have done.

April - posted on 01/07/2011

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Kati C is right...Zachary does get up at least 3 (up to 5) times a night to nurse. I won't lie...it is hard sometimes, but the pros outweigh the cons for us. 1. He needs the fat and extra vitamins 2. Keeps up my milk supply 3. It helps him avoid illness. Right now, it's not affecting his sleep much. He goes right back to sleep and also is a pretty good napper. It's mostly my sleep that gets affected because I don't fall asleep right away when I get back to bed. The best thing has been bedsharing, but we can only do that when my husband is working at night (VERY SMALL BED).

Kati...to answer your question about doing other things..he only nurses for nap and bed so I am usually not needed for anything else at that time. However...I will have to interrupt a session when i have to pee very badly!!! I have to physically de-latch him because there isn't time to explain what I'm doing...I've got to get to the bathroom very fast!! He is usually surprised at first and then he's like "here we go again!" lol.. I dunno what it is but ever since being preggo with him I CANNOT HOLD MY PEE!!

Bonnie - posted on 01/07/2011

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Yeah that does sound really sound wrong. It's definitely for selfish reasons if she is going and punishing her kids if they won't do it. Very disturbing.

Johnny - posted on 01/07/2011

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I've only met her twice, at their wedding and then at my bf's baby shower. You know, she seemed very nice, normal, and actually extremely mainstream. But who knows...

[deleted account]

Carol, since that's 3rd hand information I don't know how reliable it is, but if it IS true.... THAT sounds highly disturbing.

ME - posted on 01/07/2011

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I bf'd my son until 18 months...would have gone until 2 with no probs, maybe a little beyond...but not much. I try not to judge other women for these types of decisions, but I think sometime between ages 3 and 4 is PLENTY...and anything past age 4 is excessive...

Johnny - posted on 01/07/2011

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Tara, your story reminds me of when my best friend told me that her SIL gives time outs to her 5 and 7 year old if they don't come to nurse when she gets home from work. Apparently if mommy has a bad day, the kids need to be there ASAP for num nums. I don't know her well enough to form an opinion as to her motivations, but I think she has lost some sight of where her kid's needs end and hers begin.

Becky - posted on 01/07/2011

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Well, rather than nursing my children until they're 8, I'm just going to keep having children and breastfeeding them until I'm too old to have anymore, to reduce my risk of breast cancer. haha! I have to say, I'm a wee bit jealous of those of you with older children who nurse only at bedtime. Zach is only 16 months, but the last couple of weeks, it seems he wants to nurse ALL day- and he's still up 3-4 times a night to nurse - and it'd probably be more if I didn't finally get fed up and just bring him to bed with me, where he's just on the boob the rest of the night until he's ready to get up! He doesn't NEED to nurse all day - if we're out, he's just fine, and he will eat other food, but if we're home, he fusses and pulls at my shirt until I give in. I want to let him self-wean, unless I get pregnant again in the meantime, but at the same time, it's starting to get a little wearing on me, especially the night feedings! I am so sleep deprived, it's not even funny.

Minnie - posted on 01/07/2011

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Makes sense. Sufficient glandular tissue to nourish one's young. Although they're totally fooled :) It's mostly fat.

Jennifer - posted on 01/07/2011

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to go along with the debate about the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding past the 2 or 3 year mark...even if children can get those nutrients from other places, what about the benefits of breastfeeding to mom? take breast cancer, for instance : "Women who breastfeed reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 25 percent. The reduction in cancer risk comes in proportion to the cumulative lifetime duration of breastfeeding. That is, the more months or years a mother breastfeeds, the lower her risk of breast cancer."

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/t020700...



*edit to add* so, the longer you breastfeed the better off you are in that respect.



the risk of breast cancer to the woman breastfeeding her 8 year old is so low, anyone who stands in a 5 mile radius also has a lower chance of breast cancer :-P

Rosie - posted on 01/07/2011

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this is totally off topic lisa, but your daughters name is very pretty! adelaide, i like it:)

[deleted account]

Yea i think that 4 would be a stopper for me, i doubt she will still nurse at that age though, if she does, i might be comfortable, might not. Gabby hang out in the bathroom with me too...

[deleted account]

yea kati she is a little over a year, she doesn't nurse as frequently as she did 6 months ago, or last year. My point was she decreased her nursing with age. So when shes 2 i can expect she drops a couple feedings.

Shauna - posted on 01/07/2011

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Ok..... so i have concluded ... Its ok to nurse to whatever age you are comfortable with. I pro wouldnt do it past the age of 3 ... but i dont see a prob with anyone wanting to do it past that age. I think this is the only topic anyone has ever changed my mind on.

Minnie - posted on 01/07/2011

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I don't have any problem getting anything done, Kati. If I need to get the door and Adelaide is nursing (remember she only nurses for a couple of minutes at a time) I'll say "I have to get the door, hang on a minute." And then get the door. Really, not a big deal. And she's cool with it, because she's a big girl and can understand language and knows that we can postpone things and take them up at a later time.



My kids hang out in the bathroom with me too :D

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Jodi - posted on 01/07/2011

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I have a question for you Kati, what happens if you have to take a crap with your children home? I mean, I know I take longer to use the bathroom than I did for any nursing sessions by her age and I couldn't just hop up off the toilet and dash to the phone or see other children. It was more of a hinderance for me to take a crap than to nurse my daughter, it took longer, I couldnt' just get up and get or do whatever "needed" to be done unless I wanted shit all over my pants.

Celeste - posted on 01/07/2011

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Yeah, that's true, Jodi. My boys only nursed a few minutes so it was never a problem. Plus, they only nursed in the morning and at night.

Rosie - posted on 01/07/2011

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just read the other posts, i was going by juliannes post, but i didn't think about how old her kid was. gabbys not quite a year yet right?? didn't think about that, sorry! :)

but i have also heard april talking about how zachary SOMETIMES wakes up 5 times a night to feed. i just don't get why when someones sleep is interrupted like that soooooo much that they wouldn't try to stop it. obviously if you are happy with it april that is great. I personally (which is what i'm trying to get at here) wouldn't do it. i would sleept train, i would do everything i could to NOT have a child that needs me that much to go to bed, or to function throughout the day.

Jodi - posted on 01/07/2011

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I wouldn't know Kati, my daughter really only nursed at night, sometimes in the morning. But when I was watching my nephews and she needed a comfort feed it only lasted maybe 5 minutes, and I think any older (or younger) children in the home can wait 5 minutes for their special time with mom unless it's an emergency or something. 5 minutes is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Rosie - posted on 01/07/2011

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he is separate from me, i can get up answer the phone, go pee, pay attention to my other children, see what they need, all without dragging a 50 lb kid around me. and they are fine with me doing that. would your kid be fine interrupting a nursing session, or is it a problem? (that's not meant to be snarky, i'm simply curious as i obviously don't know) :)

Jodi - posted on 01/07/2011

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Yes April, by the time we were ready to wean, she was down to nursing at bedtime, occasionally int eh morning. Each time was short with bedtime the longest at a max of 15 mins. Certainly not an hour out of my day nursing a not even 2 year old.

Celeste - posted on 01/07/2011

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Kati, as my boys got older, they'd nurse about once or twice a day, for maybe about 5 minutes or so.

Besides, so what if they're clingy for a bit of the day? That's my time with them. I don't see anything wrong with them wanting to be with their parents for a short time.

April - posted on 01/07/2011

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I don't know about everyone else's children on COM but Lisa's Adelaide and my Zachary don't nurse for 45 minutes straight (unless maybe it's right before bed). Adelaide usually nurses for just 2 minutes...Zachary is a bit longer at about 5 minutes per session. Jodi's Jaelyn was probably in a similar nursing pattern before she weaned. Nursing a toddler is NOT like nursing a baby (we've gone over this!!)

Minnie - posted on 01/07/2011

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Eh, hugging you're still attached.

Do you still think that an older child nursing is breastfeeding many times a day? It's been noted a few times that it's typically only for bed time by those ages.

Bonnie - posted on 01/07/2011

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Shauna, When I wanted to stop breast feeding my son, my doctor told me to just wean him and eventually the supply will just go away. Like someone else mentioned it's like supply and demand. If you have the demand for it, in this case a baby to breast feed, you will still have supply, but more of it if you breast feed more often. So the less you breast feed, the less milk you will have and when you stop the milk does just go away.

Jodi - posted on 01/07/2011

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How do you get anything done when you're snuggling or cuddling with your child...aka...spending time with them? What's the difference between reading your child a book, watching a movie with your child or breastfeeding your child in terms of getting things done, in those situations the point isn't to be getting things done, it's about spending quality time with your child.

Rosie - posted on 01/07/2011

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i see what you are saying, but to me there is a difference. ;) one the kid can move away from you, the other the kid is ATTACHED to you. how do you get anything done with a 50 lb child attached to your body? i just don't get the logistics of it.

[deleted account]

My son is clingy and I won't ever pretend he's not, but why is spending up to an hour and a half out of a 24 hour day 'snuggling' considered clingy?

Jodi - posted on 01/07/2011

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Many children like to cuddle with their parents (I know I did) for that length of time. I knwo lots of parents who cuddle with their kids on the couch on the couch reeading books or watching a movie or when company is over the child sits in their lap and cuddles...I guess you could call that clingy too whether they're breastfed or not.

*edit to add, just before started weaning (due to pregnancy and loss of milk) my daughter was nursing once, MAYBE twice a day for a total of maybe half an hour and she wasn't even two yet.

[deleted account]

gabby tries to do that on me.....her bedroom is right across from the kitchen so she plays in there when im cooking, i can see her, but then she tries to close the door sometimes LOL. If you ask me, its because BF helps strengthen the bond so they feel more secure by themselves for the simple fact they know, really KNOW you will always be there for them.

Rosie - posted on 01/07/2011

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okay you all are saying that they aren't clingy, but how is having a child attached to your breast for at least 45 minutes to an hour and a half each day NOT clingy? i'm not saying they won't ever let go and be clingy robots eternally by any means, but now in this moment to me that IS clingy.



i also am talking about older toddlers past the age of 2ish.

Jodi - posted on 01/07/2011

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LOL Lisa, I know what you mean. My almost 2 year old has taken (for several months now) to closing her bedroom door to play by herself. When we go the park she just runs off and comes to find me if she needs help or is hungry or what not (but I always have her in eyesight!) The door closing thing is just so funny, because she'll tell you (or anyone) "Jaelyn plays by self!" and she does! lol It's cute.

Minnie - posted on 01/07/2011

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Anyone who thinks that breastfed children are clingy and dependent needs to meet my two year old.

Who started solids of her own volition at ten months and still continued to depend mostly on my milk for sustenance for her entire second year.

Research HAS shown that there is a change in breastmilk as children get older and begin to nurse less- the fat concentration increases as do the immune factors. Milk produced by a mother nursing a four year old definitely isn't water. It's milk, for goodness sake. Milk made for humans.

[deleted account]

when you breastfeed it doesnt mean constantly on the boob, i feed her 3-5 times a day for 15-20 mins

Celeste - posted on 01/07/2011

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Tina, my children have never "hung" on my boob. And children who are breastfed past one doesn't mean that they won't be independent. That's fine you don't want to nurse past one, but that doesn't negate that there are benefits to it.

[deleted account]

same with gabby, its only been these past two month she really eats food. I love having my big baby hanging off my boob too :P

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My son wasn't eating food on a daily basis at a year and why would I have switched to formula when breastfeeding was working so well. If he hadn't still been breastfeeding at a year he probably could've died. Yeah, that's extreme and he might've started eating more food, but death COULD have been a possibility.....

Jodi - posted on 01/07/2011

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My child was only starting to eat regular solids by a year, by no means was she getting all of her nutrition at precisely a year from other foods. "Food before one is just for fun." My child only had front teeth, no molars for chewing and I loved having my "big babY hang off my boob", she loved it too. It's great that you breastfed to a year, but the benefits don't magically disappear once they reach 12 months of age.

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just because theres no research saying breast milk is necessary. doent mean that there's no research saying what a child's dietary needs are, which do include EVERYTHING THAT'S IN BREAST MILK.

April - posted on 01/07/2011

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Much of what I wanted to say has already been said. So what I'll say is this: Nursing my 24 month old...he is happy and I am happy. Most importantly...he RARELY gets sick. Our immune systems do not fully mature until around the age of 6-7. Hopefully, both of us are still comfortable with the relationship until at least then. I feel it's really important to give him the BEST start in life. IMO...weaning before the immune system fully matures doesn't give him the very best. It might give him an okay immune system..he could possibly have a good one...but I want the BEST for my son. I may not get the opportunity to give him the best...he might decide he is done before that. That's what it means to let your child self-wean. It's a selfless act to let your child decide.

Celeste - posted on 01/07/2011

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Marina, yes, you're right, there isn't any research. But I doubt that breastmilk turns into water either.

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yes there is marina, we are told by every doctor that when a child is dont bf or formula, to put them on WHOLE cows milk or an alternative, cows milk is an ALTERNATIVE to breast milk...breast milk isn't high sodium though.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/07/2011

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Actually Jennifer, I looked it up today, and there is no proof that it is beneficial past the age of 4 either. There is no proof either way.

Jennifer - posted on 01/07/2011

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Tina, why should you "definitely take them off?"

the benefits of breastfeeding don't magically disappear at a certain age.

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