How long is too long with extended Breast Feeding??

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/19/2011 ( 119 moms have responded )

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This is yet another BFing thread....the other thread is about the law of BFing in public, now I want to hear when it is considered to long....public or private.

I have said it before, I am uncomfortable with the thought of a child over 4 being BF. I have no problem admitting this. I just don't know what age I feel it should stop all together.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/19/2011

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Laura, my point exactly. I have said it in many BFing threads, when a child can run up and lift moms shirt and clearly state I want milk,,....it is time to stop. It is IMO emotionally stunting to go past a certain point. I want my children to be individuals, but I sure as hell am not going to have them ostracized by other kids because they still breastfeed past a certain age.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/19/2011

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Lisa, I am not trying to be offensive. Hell, I get on a soap box about animals. I cannot help but feel you are the same with BFing. It is not meant to be an insult. Sometimes we get so caught up in our views, we cannot see past them and what we are trying to do educating people.

Isobel - posted on 05/19/2011

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well...I've MET 2 people who are EXTREMELY uncomfortable with their memories of breastfeeding...may I suggest that your biased studied COULD be incorrect? (unless of course I happen to have met the only 2 on the planet...what are the odds?)

Minnie - posted on 05/19/2011

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Laura, you can say there is a great risk for developmental issues and mental problems, but none has been found. The AAP supports this.

Minnie - posted on 05/19/2011

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I truthfully have not considered what age I am comfortable nursing to. Eight does seem old to me, and right now I don't think I would like to nurse a seven or eight year old. Right now. But two years ago I did not want to continue past two, and here we are. I am thinking that if Adelaide is still nursing at five it probably will become an intelligent dialogue between us, with both of our feelings discussed and us making a decision together.

Yes, I am supportive of a mother nursing an eight year old. I do not believe it is harmful and since it is not my family, then...why butt my nose in?

Isobel - posted on 05/19/2011

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I feel like it's our job as parents to prepare our children as best we can for the society they are going to live in.

Breastfeeding long enough for them to remember it is NOT preparing them for THIS society. Sorry, it's just not.

The risk of lingering mental issues and ostracization is too much for me when you start talking about anybody over 5.

Personally 3 would probably be my absolute top level but...it's not my choice so I don't think anybody should be forced to stop either.

Minnie - posted on 05/19/2011

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Perhaps, Marina, you can just assume that I am telling you my honest feelings, and from now on refrain from being concerned that I am on a soapbox or having an agenda? I'm trying to be patient with that, but it's getting a little annoying.

It's hard to understand how someone can have such a different view on life than what a particular culture espouses, but that's because we're all individuals.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/19/2011

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Lisa, well then I guess I need to change the questioning cuase you are not at that age with your children yet. As of now, how long do you think you will be comfortable??? Just a guess of how it will go for you.....and secondly, you really would support fully another mother BFing there child past the age of 8?

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My personal comfort level is around age 2. With my first, I'd have said age one. That's what is acceptable in society, so that's what I thought weaning was supposed to happen. I come from a breastfeeding family, but most of the kids are weaned by 12 or 18 months. I'm a nerd, so I read. And I've learned from my reading (and on COM) that breastmilk is beneficial as long as the child is nursing. So I got over my aversion to nursing a toddler. Now I love to hear about toddlers nursing. Still, and it's a hang up on my part, I won't likely go past age 2. Don't think there's a single thing wrong with it. But for ME personally. Maybe if I just continue to nurse my daughter past a year and as long as she wants, I'll get over that hang up. It helps that my husband is encouraging me to nurse to age 2...he said he'd deal with comments from his family (generally a non-breastfeeding or early weaning family).

Minnie - posted on 05/19/2011

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No, I am not saying that- I will continue for as long as we are both comfortable. I'm part of that relationship too :). I'll consider it if we do get to that point.



What I am saying is that I am supportive of other nursing dyad's choice to continue that long.

Minnie - posted on 05/19/2011

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For YOUR family, Marina.

A gradual process WILL end, eventually. Just because you believe in taking away the comfort in one shot does not mean that works best for others.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/19/2011

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So, you are SINCERELY telling me, and not just saying it to stand on a soap box, that if your child gets to be 8 years old and STILL wants to breastfeed, you are going to let it continue???

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/19/2011

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Lisa~"probably those who are older and nursing have a need for it."

At that point, I find it very difficult to believe it would be for nutritional content, and just for a physical comfort. There is a point to get rid of a binky, there is a point to get rid of the boob.

Minnie - posted on 05/19/2011

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OK, well, going back to the fact that if a child is nursing at five, it's usually just once a day, or even once a week by that age, and that it is an EXTREMELY gradual thing, this natural weaning process.

And I am supportive of it.

Minnie - posted on 05/19/2011

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MUAHAHAHAH! See, it rubs off.

Yes, most children definitely will wean of their own volition at around three to four years old. It is very rare for one to continue longer. When I hear of that happening, I don't assume negative intent on the part of the mother, just that its a bell curve, and there will be those who wean either very early, and are normal, and those who wean very late, and are normal, and probably those who are older and nursing have a need for it.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/19/2011

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Ok, so this is where i have the issue. I have seen the reports that people have posted in the past about how long certain countries go for etc. My issue with this is, many of those countries do not have clean water readily available...or food for that matter....at least limited for both. I can see the need to BF past the point of 2 for this reason....even going to 5 years old for this. I am strictly talking about what the average age should extent to in countries that do not have a shortage of food and water.

Krista - posted on 05/19/2011

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Holy shit, I've just realized that I've brought primates in to make my point. Lisa, you've totally corrupted me! ;)

Krista - posted on 05/19/2011

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I have no issue with toddlers BFing. Personally, I would not feel comfortable nursing a preschooler, but that's just my own preference. I don't really think that school-age kids should be BFing -- I think if you weigh the pros and cons, the potential for major social ostracization probably outweighs any remaining benefits that the child is getting from (what would likely only be sporadic) nursing. Most of the great primates nurse until their offspring is 3-4 years old, so there really isn't much of a biological imperative to keep it going beyond that point.

Minnie - posted on 05/19/2011

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It's up to the individual pair to decide. No one else.

The world over, the Mongolians are the longest breastfeeders, about nine years, but even there that's very long. The world average is 4.5, so you really don't have the liklihood of seeing a child BF in public over the age of five. By that age, they typically nurse only at bed time anyways.

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