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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Bonnie - posted on 01/06/2011

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Breastfeeding takes up a lot of time IMO. It is a great bond for the mother and child, but I think anything past the age of 2 is too much and it would make it more difficult to completely wean the child off. By the time my son was a year it started to get uncomfortable not because I didn't want to do it anymore, but because he started to get so heavy, I felt as though his head was weighing me down.

Nikkole - posted on 01/06/2011

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@Julianne mine does and he just turned 3 lmao the other day he woke up and he had his diaper off and it was standing at attention and he was smacking it saying go down go down, i was like NOOO we dont smack it!! KIDS :)

Mother - posted on 01/06/2011

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I personally don't think its natural. If it was then it wouldn't creep so many women out and I think we would have seen it a time or two throughout history. I don't want to be judgmental but everyone is ASSUMING that once puberty was hit they would wean. No one knows this. What IF it wasn't right and mother and child were still comfortable with it into puberty....then would it be wrong?? No offence to anyone but it just seems wrong to me on all levels. I mean, what would happen if he did get an erection?

[deleted account]

elephants nurse till ten and their young start eating plants around 4-6 months, they live to be about 70.

Nikkole - posted on 01/06/2011

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My husband was breast feed till he was 3years old and he is such a boob man its annoying sometimes :) she let him wean tho didn't take it away she breast feed him and his brother because she had just had him! I wish i was able to with my kids but my milk would NOT come in at all and i treid breast feeding for a couple of weeks and didnt work it made me feel horrible but what can i do? I think 8 or 9 is way to old for me that is and i wouldn't breast feed in public when there that old put it in a cup or something lol But its up to the mother how long to do it!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/06/2011

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I see what you are saying Julianne...but animals age much much quicker than humans...for instance, kittens and dogs naturally ween around 8 weeks. I think cats mature....hmmmm...I think about 9 months to a year?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/06/2011

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IMO, if a child can walk over and ask for it, then it is time to stop. I am personally uncomfortable with children past 18 mos breastfeeding. Certainly not a 9 year old. I am sitting here thinking about what it would be like to have my almost 5 year old still bf'ing, an it makes me.....I guess glad we stopped with him at 7 months. My daughter is 9 months, and I am itching to stop.

[deleted account]

If other mammals feed up until just before puberty, then wouldn't it be natural for us to do the same? I doubt gabby will nurse that long, but if another mom is feeding her 8 year old, that is natural to them. Society made it seem unnatural, gross, sexual and plenty of other disgusting things.This bond between mother and child is a beautiful thing and should go on for as long as they both see fit. If thats school aged, then so be it. From looking at other mammals, sex hormones that are released during the onset of puberty are usually what prompts them to ween themselves.

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2011

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I get that Rebecca, but most children are not pubescent by age 8 (and for a girl that would be 2 years off the average for girls, 3 years off the average for boys). Your family hits puberty earlier than average, most 8 year olds who are still nursing (if not all) are NOT in puberty (and I really don't know much about other mammals nursing into pubescence, so I wont' use that as my basis), on top fo that, the average child weans before the ageof 8 anyways...so when put all together, the puberty thing is pretty much a non-issue unless, like your family, puberty hits 2-3 years earlier than the average AND your child nurses for longer than average. The chances are just so slim, and that's the point I was trying to make I guess.

Mrs. - posted on 01/06/2011

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Jodi, the girl in the video is 8. That is one year off the average no? That's why I started to comment on it. Then Julianne suggested that some mammals breastfeed their young into their teens. Then it would seem, that it was suggested that if humans weren't denied boobs into puberty they wouldn't have an issue.

I agree the issue is more about school aged children...it just got brought to breastfeeding teens/pre-teens by the collective.

Melissa - posted on 01/06/2011

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For me I dont believe in breast feeding past 12 months. I know alot of people who say 6 months then switch to formula. I think breast feeding is just amazing but its for babies not for toddlers and older children. Thats just a bit grose

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2011

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As Julianne stated, I also practice AP parenting, and my daughter is so incredibly independant at not even 2 years old. I know many parents who take that approach and wouldn't label any of their children as "clingy", in fact, the children I referred to that I know are from parents who DON'T practice AP...

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2011

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"Boys enter puberty at an average age of 11 (one year later than girls) but may occur anytime between 9 to 14 years."
http://www.drpaul.com/adolescent/puberty...

The average age for a child to self wean is 3ish to 7 years old, the average age for a male to hit puberty is 11...so the vast majority of boys will have naturally weaned BEFORE puberty, chances are, even yours. While, yes, technically, a child could self wean sometime during puberty, it's much much more likely they'll wean BEFORE puberty. I would place bets that a child were going to go through puberty at the age of 6, something in them would click and they would self wean before actually hitting puberty, just my hunch. So to me, this isn't about being in puberty and breastfeeding, it's about a school aged child, who in all liklihood is NOT going through puberty and still breastfeeding. Obviously there are exceptions to every case, but I'm thinking that a child nursing during or through puberty is highly unlikely and seriously rare.

[deleted account]

ap children are not clingy, i did the ap approach and gabby is the most independent little girl. AP is about letting the child decide when they are ready to do things, not the mother. She already stopped using her sling and co-sleeping.she soothes herself to sleep too. Saying AP children are generalizing them.

Rosie - posted on 01/06/2011

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see that's where the difference in parenting style comes in jodi. i'm not about AP, it doesn't feel natural to me. i don't understand why people who have children that are all clingy like that, don't teach them earlier on in life that their mother isn't the be all end all to help them out. they need to learn to soothe themselves.
that doesn't mean i don't soothe my children like i stated, they are obviously loved, and we do cuddle on the couch, and they demand hugs and kisses everynight at bedtime even at ages 10, 6 and 3. but there is a limit, they aren't doing it when they need soothing and i feel it wouldn't get to that if they would just teach them to soothe themselves sooner.

Mrs. - posted on 01/06/2011

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I watch my fiance piss pretty much everyday...we keep the bathroom door open. I still dig his dick.

Puberty makes boys dig Barbies non existent genitals. IMO, it wouldn't make a difference if they lived on a BF booby farm all their lives, if they are nursing during puberty, I'd put money on boner town.

[deleted account]

I would say it's too old when children start noticing certain body parts and asking about them. School age is a bit wierd to me.

[deleted account]

no im not but i can come up with theory's and not say one way or the other if its true or not, its a theory thats plausible because of the association factor that human tend to have. If you take something away from someone, they tend to want it more. I did not say, this is how it is either way. You did.

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2011

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Kati, not every child is as easy as yours though. I know children (both boys and girls) who a quick hug/quick doesn't work, they need to be held and thuroughly comforted. Hell, as an adult, when I'm down I like to cuddle and be held and have my hubby make ME feel better. A child who uses breast for comfort doesn't need his mother constantly (or her mother), in fact, by toddlerhood, MANY children are only nursing once or twice a day, it's a great bonding time, equivalent to snuggling on the couch watching cartoons with your child IMO. Both breast and cuddling give your child comfort and pleasure, and not all 8 year olds are above being comforted by their parents, one of my favorite pasttimes until about puberty was cuddling with my mom on the couch on saturdays with movie.

About the sexual breasts thing, isn't it possible that by normalizing the original function of the breast (i.e. a source of food) a child is LESS likely to become sexually aroused? I mean, if it's not hidden and this big secret and he gets to see it used as was it's original purpose, you're taking the sexual side out of it IMO. I'm sure if, everyday, I watched my husband take a piss, I'd be a lot less sexually attracted to his penis, and I'm comfortable with bodily functions, they are what they are.

Mrs. - posted on 01/06/2011

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Yeah, to a natural duration. You mean before puberty? Cause my family hit puberty young like 8/9ish. Having grown up with boys I can tell you they find pretty much anything inanimate sexual when they are going through puberty. When faced with a nipple sucking session with mommy while going through puberty, my guess is it might bring "up" some issues on the therapy couch later in life. Of course, this is my opinion. I will not be breastfeeding any of my kids (male or female) until they are 8 because I'd like them to take comfort/nourishment in less confusing ways.

[deleted account]

are you a psychologist trained in human developmental behavior? I doubt it, so you cant say its rubbish because it is a possibility. that SOME people feel this way, after all, not all men love the boobs.

Shauna - posted on 01/06/2011

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HAHA, my husband was BF as long as his mom was able, and he claims thats why hes obssesed with boobs, and hopes our son is a boob man now too ... -----eh i wouldnt go off of a guys opinon on the matter.

[deleted account]

A child who is still breastfeeding isn't necessarily getting all the comfort from nursing, i comfort gabby with hugs and stuff too..Hugging or kissing an 8 year old could be considered sexual, same as feeding could be. Is it not appropriate to hug an 8 year old boy?

Rosie - posted on 01/06/2011

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so EVERY man has a fascination with breasts becasue they were weaned early, or not BF at all?? that's rubbish julianne and you know it.

Rosie - posted on 01/06/2011

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i highly doubt that too julianne. the only way i could see that happening is if the mother is forcing them to BF which i highly doubt happens very often at all.

[deleted account]

It is a possibility that men get comforted by their womens breasts because they have a complex from have the breast taken from them too soon or not given to them at all. The human mind is a very tricky place. So the sexuality in the breast may not come from the pleasure with a partner, but the lack of comfort as a child.

Rosie - posted on 01/06/2011

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theres a difference to me jodi. i can hug my sons and kiss them and make them feel better, and then they can take over and start making themselves feel better. having a kid attached to my breast and just constantly needing me to make himself feel better is not the same as a little encouragement from me, and then finishing the job himself. at age 8 a child doesn't usually want their mother to soothe them, or even hug them, lol.

[deleted account]

people have attached a sexual stigma to bf a child. thats why women didnt feel comfortable with it, some still don't. I highly doubt a young boy who bf natural duration is going to get all sexual because hes eating. To him, its like a bottle. Food, nourishment.

Rosie - posted on 01/06/2011

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or maybe it feels really fucking good to have your breasts sucked on.

Mrs. - posted on 01/06/2011

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Okay. Or maybe it feels good when someone you are sexually attracted to sucks your nipples...so you ask them to. Or maybe since the dawn of time men (and some women) have liked feeling them cause it feels good (regardless of being bf or not).

Krista - posted on 01/06/2011

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drink breast milk for the natural duration, then because we dont actually need milk once we are not children...stop..

Sure, we don't NEED milk as adults. There are a lot of things that we eat that we don't need.

But I like milk. I enjoy it. And it has a hell of a lot of nutrients in it. I'm not drinking it directly from a cow's udder. So maybe it's weird, but hell, if you look at a lot of the things we consume, they're pretty darned weird when you think about it. (Eggs, anybody?)

As far as the original topic goes, personally, I think that BFing into school age is pushing it a bit (and opens the kid up to some teasing by their peers), but I have absolutely no issue with the idea of BFing a toddler or a preschooler.

[deleted account]

maybe their used for sexual purposes because people were deprived of the breast when young so they developed a complex.

Mrs. - posted on 01/06/2011

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Um, no Kelly that is not off base..that is why people, I think, are creeped out about it underneath it all. Seriously, I know breast are used to feed kids, they are also, wether they should be or not, used for sexual purposes. If you are breastfeeding an 8/9 year old boy....that is a surefire way, IMO, to mess him up when it comes to his identity as a sexual being. What if, by no fault of his own, he get sexual aroused, how f'in confusing would that be for a kid that age?

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2011

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Many (probably most) infants and toddlers are independant of their mothers for hours a day by being in daycare...but it's okay for them to nurse...

Being independant from mom doesn't mean not needing mom at all, like I said in a previous point, i really don't see the difference between hugging or rocking your child or reading them their favorite book or whatever it is that comforts them and nursing them if that's what comofrts the child. It's not always about the mother, generally, the part that's all about the mother is in the weaning, very rarely in our society are children allowed to self wean, lending a HUGE hand at making it "abnormal" and socially inappropriate.

[deleted account]

How the heck did she nurse an 8 year old in the car? NOT in the front seat I'm assuming cuz you all know how tiny I am and my almost 3 year old and I can barely fit there..... ;)

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2011

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Dana, I know you're trying to be understanding, and even I'm slightly weirded out by it, but I've never been there so I won't pass judgement (and I'm not saying you are, I'm just saying I'll be supportive of other people doing it I guess) But there aer many things children aren't comfortable doing in front of their friends, using the bathroom, hugging or kissing mom or dad, holding mom or dad's hand, being SEEN with mom or dad, noen of these actions hinder a child and children DO get teased for these things by their peers as well. I totally understand being weirded out and not fully understanding it, but it's more our society (any developed country) that deems it innappropriate than anything in nature,which shows breastfeeding to be chalk full of advantages.

Mother - posted on 01/06/2011

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*laffin @ Rebecca*

Way off topic but I use a Diva Cup....LOVE IT!!
Good point tho.....some girls start menstruating at 8 what then? If she's of age for that she's of age for sexual thoughts. So if its a boy.....wouldn't it or rather couldn't it become sexual?? Or am I way off base here.

Rosie - posted on 01/06/2011

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natural duration COULD be 18 years. i'm just saying it's got to stop before they are done being children. school age is just to much. they are completely independent of their mother for hours a day. they start their own little life. if you don't believe that you will once your child is in school for 4 years. the relationship is just different at that time. to me it doesn't seem like it's about the child at all, it seems like the mother just can't let go and accept that her kid isn't a baby anymore.

Shauna - posted on 01/06/2011

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But i would have to add IMO--- if i were able to BF that long i would pro just pump it and give it in a glass past the age of 2. Hell maybe id just pour it in the milk container and serve it for dinner for the whole family!!! ... it is pretty tasty! i have compared BM and formula .. BM wins .. FORMULA IS NASTY

Shauna - posted on 01/06/2011

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I do get your point , that we drink cows milk. So eh i guess its not that big of a deal, but society has made it a big deal. I cant say i wouldnt do it b/c ive never BF past the age of 8 mo b/c i wasnt able too. So i dont know maybe its not so bad.

Mrs. - posted on 01/06/2011

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I don't drink milk. I'm lactose intolerant. So, I ain't drinking from anyone's tit...unless rice and almonds have developed boobies. My daughter has lactose issues too, my mother as well. I guess you could say we don't like cow tit.

Rosie - posted on 01/06/2011

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i really am trying to be more understanding jodi, lol! i just cannot see how it can be healthy for a child that old to be breastfeeding. if its not something that they would be comfortable doing in front of their friends, it's not healthy for them, it's hindering them.

[deleted account]

drink breast milk for the natural duration, then because we dont actually need milk once we are not children...stop..

Rosie - posted on 01/06/2011

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are you still drinking breastmilk julianne? it stops eventually, it has too. unless you want to start hooking women up to machines and milking them, what the heck do you want people to do?:)

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2011

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"their immune system is fully developed, they get all the nutrients they need from food,"

I can get where you're coming from, but look at all the products we have to boost our immune systems, even though they're "fully developed". Look at all the kids vitamins out there to give them the nutritional advantage for what they don't get from food. You're right to a point, but then it also goes that vitamins are of no point or that airborne stuff (or products like it) to keep your immunity up...If you're not comfortable with it, that's fine, but there are distinct advantages to breastfeeding at any age that don't hinder the child. (Again, as long as it's still an emotional and mentally healthy relationship fro both involved, which is totally possible.)

[deleted account]

I can not for the life of me, wrap my head around the fact that people think its weird for a child of 8, to drink their own mothers milk which is made for them. Yet grown adults drink it from a cows utter. Thats normal..

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