When do u stop breast feeding?

Tanya - posted on 01/12/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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My son Aaron is 2yrs and 2months and I try to break him off my breast but he wont get off it, he eats regular food, but for some reason he still want my breast milk.

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Philena - posted on 01/15/2010

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Good for you!! You should be so proud of yourself for continuing to breastfeed your son! The health and emotional benefits are phenomenal. You should continue until you and your child are ready to stop. Don't let the opinions of anyone else (especially misguided individuals like the one above!) direct your decisions. If you need more information on extended breastfeeding, you should contact your health care provider or your local laleche league. They will be able to show you some statistics on how wonderful breastfeeding is for both you and your child. It truly is a wonderful gift to provide for your little man and will help him to become a very strong, independant, and intelligent member of society. Congratulations on being such a wonderful and caring mother :)

Ashley - posted on 01/13/2010

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Tanya,
I am a breastfeeding mom who has breast feed my children past two years and I want to say first that you are a great mom!! Most mom's have given up breastfeeding by now but you hung in there with him. The decision to wean and when to wean is a personal one. If you feel ready then try doing it gradually. Replace the time at the breast with something else he likes. Like reading a book, playing a game, etc. I would reassure him and encourage him along the way and he will be just fine. The main key to weaning is doing it a little at a time and allowing him to make the adjustment slowly. My first daughter I weaned at two and half, and my second was three before she weaned so don't feel rushed or criticized. My third is the same age as Aaron and she is still nursing and is a happy healthy toddler.
This is what the World Heath Organization recommends:
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.

Delia - posted on 01/21/2010

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I think its perfectly normal. I'm still breastfeeding my daughter who is 26 months, but only before sleep time-once in day and at night. It is very hard to wean a toddler because they find much emotional comfort. World health organisation's policy is weaning by age of 3. If u want to stop, try cutting down a bit. And then just see how it goes, you'll know the right time. Best of luck.

Brenda - posted on 01/20/2010

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I breastfed my daughter until she was 26 months old. I think it is a very personal decision to decide when to wean. She has been off the breast for a week and is doing very well. You have to wean when the timing is right for you. I think it helped for my daughter to be over 2 because she is logical about it. She says "no more nursing, I'm a big girl" I had her call her grandparents and aunts and uncles so she could have there encouragement. We also take rides in the car to nap sometimes or I tickle her back to put her to sleep. Also don't forget to offer food and drink more often, it will distract and the child may also be more hungry and/or thirsty. Again I think its a personal decision up to the mother. Afterall they are your breasts and you know your child best.

Jassica - posted on 01/16/2010

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I'm sorry, but you attacked those who choose to breastfeed longer. Your tone was very strong and judgmental. It is a mother's choice, and I just wanted to point out that it's OK to nurse longer, and actually has many benefits. You have your evidence of healthy happy girls who were weaned earlier, and we have our evidence of healthy happy children who have nursed longer. Different strokes for different folks! I don't know your reasons for weaning, and it was obvious you didn't give up, but that it was a very deliberate/conscientious decision, just as were the decisions of many of the moms who comment here. I am not threatened by anyone who nurses longer or shorter than me, as I know I did the best for myself and my children (balancing my needs with theirs) both times, whatever my preconceived notions were. Hopefully you have that same peace of mind!!

Ummm, I just read my first post, and I don't see anything provoking. I even stated that it was between her and her child when to wean, as I have stated several times since. I didn't address you at all because I didn't want to provoke you. I just wanted to emphasize that I agreed with a previous poster. In later responses, where I addressed you, point by point, perhaps I did. Sorry, but I take offense when someone says that I'm sick or disgusting because of the way I choose to nurture my little ones!

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree! I'm OK with that!!

Peace!
~Jassica

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25 Comments

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Amber - posted on 03/10/2010

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The question in the first place is a woman wo WANTS to get her son off the breast! There is no need to fight and argue anyones OPINION.....everyone has one and is entitled to it. I personally think it's strange to breastfeed more than a year(that is my opinion), but I am also a mother of two breastfed children.....so I do applaud any woman that at least does breastfeed no matter how long they do it! I wish I had some better advice for you Tanya, good luck on your journey!

Ruth - posted on 03/10/2010

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Here I go...I just stopped breatfeeding my son 2 weeks ago. 28 month old...



I was one of those mothers that said "I am going to stop at 1" then he turned 1 and I didn't want to. Then I said "I am going to top at 2" then he turned 2 and I didn't want to.



My last decision was at 2 1/2...well I got really sick and had to take medicine that he could not nurse with. So I decided instead of pump and dump I would stop nursing...thought it was time and had to.



I put bandaids on my breast and when he asked to be nursed the first time I showed him that I had BOO BOO. We co-sleep and he was used to nursing to fall asleep. I would tell him before bath that dad and him was going to put him to sleep and that I would see him in the morning. I went to the other room and slept. Dad put him to bed and read him books and he would fall asleep. We continued this until he stopped asking me to nurse.



I am a stay at home mom....I would distract, distract, distract in the daytime. I would take him out to the park until he got tired then I would have him fall asleep in the car and I would read a magazine/book while I waited.



This lasted Tue - Saturday....Saturday Dad and I put him down for a nap. Surprisingly didn't ask and went to sleep - reading books. So after that I slept back in bed with them.



Now your breast will hurt so Boo Boo was definetely right. I would just squeeze out when they were full. It took almost 2 weeks to feel normal again.



Good luck! And your a great mom!

Brianen - posted on 03/07/2010

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I breastfed my daughter until 15 months, and quit because I was pregnant. I believe I would have continued nursing longer and plan to do so with my son. At that point in time, she only had a night time nursing and it was something her and I both enjoyed doing. When we stopped, the first few nights were a little confusing to her, but I made sure that we had extra cuddles and books before bed.

Jane - posted on 03/02/2010

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My, my what an interesting read all the above makes! All I will add is that I also breastfed my little boy but only until he was four months old as I never felt he was gaining enough weight, although I loved the bonding experience his health was obviously more important so switched to formula. My friend continued to breastfeed her little boy until he was nearly three and although I do agree that it is a mothers choice, I also felt very uncomfortable when her son was asking for her boobies and constantly trying to pull her top up, it somehow just didnt seem right. Anyway, hope I dont set anyone off with my comments, surely the reason for these forums is to find out other peoples honest opinions on certain subjects so if you ask a question be prepared for their answers.

Ivy - posted on 02/27/2010

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I think everyone who responded so negatively has a lot of nerve judging others about how long a mom choose to breastfeed. Kudos to all of you who understand how personal the decision is.



I breastfed my son until he was 14 months old and for me, it was sufficient and time to quit. It is an individual decision and some mothers choose to go longer than others. I decided that it would be my time when my son can go after the boob himself, started biting too much or I dried up because he wasn't really nursing anymore. My son enjoyed food and since he had enough cuddle time without the breast, he was easy to wean. Not everyone has that situation. I was actually surprised that it was so easy for him - it was me who found it more difficult because of the separation anxiety.



So, the answer to your question of when is it time to quit is a personal one, and if you are asking, you may be thinking now is the right time. Just try to surround yourself with moms who get it, not those who are going to judge your decisions as a mother. They don't want to be judged, either.

[deleted account]

Tanya, this is all you, Girl! If you are ready to be done with breast feeding, you are done. It sounds like you want to be?! (I dunno, you tell me. Sounds like your question turned into a cat fight!) Some mothers can continue to breast feed for years, and it is NOT a problem for the child and will NOT cause traumatizing effects. It is natural. Has been for thousands of years! However, some mothers do not want to/cannot continue to due to lifestyle, society, etc. When my first son was 11 months he stopped himself. I took my second son off the breast at 1 1/2 because I was working full time and wanted my body back! My choice! You have yours. Breast milk is nutritious and tastes sweet! Of course Aaron wants it. But. . . "You can't always get what you want!" (singing in my head, of course.) If you are ready to be done, put your foot down. Let Aaron know he will not be breast feeding anymore and stick with your guns, Girl!! Best Wishes!!!

Shawn - posted on 01/17/2010

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Tanya,
I am a mom who strongly feels that the breast is not like the bottle. This is a bonding experience for mother and child. I let my son decide when he was weened at 16 months old he started nursing one night and looked at me like it was gross and never wanted to do it again. All the people I have ever talked to who know a lot on this subject say that discontinueing breastfeeding should be up to the child.

LeAndrea - posted on 01/16/2010

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Tanya, do NOT listen to Sarah. She knows not of what she speaks. She doesn't sound very educated, IMO.



You have done an excellent job! You can wean if YOU choose to.

[deleted account]

I only first replied to this post to give helpful advice! I got so angry because I felt so much manipulation, bullying and pressurisation to keep continuing to breastfeed! We came to a disagreement which got out of hand! I admit I said somethings I should not have but my kids are perfectly healthy, absolutely no probs. Its my body and its up to me when I decide to wean my child, in my opinion the sooner the better. Your facts on continuing to breast feed don't prove anything, its just what health experts say, I have the actual experience of bringing up 2 very happy, very healthy, very much loved beautiful girls and your comments deeply offended me. I should not feel bullied or judged because I weaned my baby off breast milk. I didn't "give up", I just felt it was the right time to do so and no mother should feel pressurised to continue breastfeeding. If you read my earlier comment to Tanya, I am not using any personal opinion about being a good mom simply for the fact that I do not know her but all I tried to do was give her some helpful advice based on my own experience and the downside that may occur if breastfeeding continues. Then you came up and tried to provoke me and yes it worked you did wind me & maybe I should not have lost my temper but I felt that there was no need for that. I thought COM was supposed to be to give other moms support and advice but unfortunately this post has turned into one big cat fight all over a disagreement and manipulation into pressurising a mother to carry on breastfeeding. I never expected so much abuse and of course I am going to stand up for myself. By the way just in case your interested there is a community on COM called breastfeeding moms.

Tara - posted on 01/15/2010

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I breast fed my daughter until about a month ago and she was over two. My doctors all thought that it was a really good thing for her and shocked that i was able to do it for so long despite having had a breast infection twice when she was younger. I would let him breast feed till he's ready to be done. MaKenna still asks every now and then to be breast fed but I tell her that she is a big girl now and gets a cup with milk. I would be proud of yourself that you made it this far, so don't stop because other people don't like it, it's not their body or their baby. Plus I doubt he will go to college still breast feeding. :)

Jassica - posted on 01/15/2010

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Sara,

When I clicked on the link, it only showed, "Jassica!! Have you ever heard of a bottle???" so I didn't respond to the rest of your post. So, here goes: I would only suggest the sexual aspect because that is the most common reason I've seen people give when they think that breastfeeding is wrong or gross or whatever, past a certain age. I assumed that's what you were implying when you said, "this could have traumatizing affects, you should especially be cautious because he is a boy." Also, I never explicitly said that you don't love your children, and I'm sorry you took it that way. Any breastfeeding is an act of motherly love. One among many loving, nurturing things we do, whether we're breastfeeding a 2 month old or a preschooler.

About weaning, I think it actually gets easier as they get older. They want it less and less as they eat more solid food and become more independent. It becomes easier to add substitutions when they want to nurse. Cuddle time or a snack, for example. Also, in my experience, it was a LOT easier on the breasts, too. Before about 10 months, they would still become engorged and painful if I went too long without nursing. After that, the time I could go without nursing increased over time until I no longer became engorged, but still produced it "on demand" if my daughter wanted to nurse. It's amazing that our bodies work so well to perfectly adjust to the needs of our young children.

And lets get the facts straight. 1) I am not now breastfeeding, it's been about a year since I weaned my son at 13 mo. 2) My children are in bed right now (I'm in a different time zone than you.) 3) My children never "chewed" my breasts. They nipped them a few times, but I'd tell them "No!" and put them down for a few minutes so they knew that biting is not acceptable. They learn pretty fast. (In my experience, toddlers are pretty gentle. A biting toddler is a darn good reason to wean in my book, and they seem to know it!)

Why are you so hostile? Why insult my breasts? Why assume that they sag any more than yours? Why assume that I'm so vain that I would want to augment my so-called saggy breasts? BTW, as a side note, my husband likes them just the way they are!

So, can you give me some good reasons why extended breastfeeding is "twisted," disturbed," "not normal," or "disgusting." Good, concrete, based on the facts, documented in research reasons? I'd love to hear them!!

Jassica - posted on 01/15/2010

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Yes, and they have their place, but why would I want a bottle when I have warm, soft breasts that aren't tainted with BPA or Phthalates. That I don't have to worry if one is "Clean" or not, if it spills, or if there's room for it in my diaper bag. I don't have to worry if the contents are the right temperature, or if the water for the formula is actually safe, or if the formula is tainted with some cheap protein fillers from China or oxidized Cholesterol. Breastfeeding saves money, and is 100% environmentally friendly. (No processing, shipping, or packaging!) Oh, and I don't have to worry about running out.

I was very grateful when my daughter got sick that I was still breastfeeding (at 10 mo and at 14 mo.) When she refused all other food and drink, she would still breastfeed, keeping her hydrated, giving her strength and aiding her immune system. I think this reason alone is enough to breastfeed longer!

I'm also OK with having my children with me all the time when they're babies (so don't need a bottle), and when they get older, a sippy cup works just fine when I can't be there.

I feel blessed to be able nurture my children with what God gave me.

That said, when I had to wean my son, I did use a bottle to give him cow's milk. I'm grateful he was old enough for milk. Did he have to have a bottle at that point? No, but it was SOME comfort to him since he couldn't have the breast anymore.

Point is, it has it's place, but every woman has a right to make the best choices for her child in her given situation. I made the best informed decision I could and tried to always pay attention to my children's needs without ignoring my own. Fortunately, meeting their needs is quite fulfilling, especially at that tender age which passes so quickly.

I know the thought of nursing my daughter at the age she is now kinda weirds me out. But that's because that relationship ended long ago, it's not a reality now. That doesn't mean that it would be wrong if she did still nurse occasionally. Kids don't see things the way an adult would. And a loving mother who chooses to extend breastfeeding does not see it as anything but another way to nurture her child and meet that child's needs, be they emotional or physical.

I'll give you an example. When my son was born, my daughter had just turned 2. After seeing him nurse for a few weeks, and knowing that she had nursed, and probably feeling a bit left out, she wanted to try. Did I want her to? No, definitely not, but I let her try. She barely touched it, and had forgotten how. But she accepted it. She wasn't even upset. She would have been if I didn't give her an opportunity. She would have felt hurt and left out. She did nothing wrong and neither did I. The issue was resolved peaceably. Will she remember? No, but I know her trust in me was reinforced in that moment, and I learned to trust her too.

Any more questions? Might have a few novellas left on the topic.....

[deleted account]

Philena! I am not a misguided individual! Talk about yourself! You people make me sick! Its nothing to be proud of to still be breast feeding a toddler!! Its twisted and disturbing!Try weaning your baby off breast milk! That is something to be proud of!!!

[deleted account]

Jassica!! Have you ever heard of a bottle??? By the way I never said anything about it being sexual!! That came from you not me! Its twisted and disturbed what you do! Its not normal, its such a shame your in denial! My girls are very healthy and very much loved and cared for. Every child needs weaning at some point of their lives and I have done a very good job of doing it, I don't care what anyone says! My girls are perfectly healthy, happy, loved babies and always will be no matter what and my toddler does not need to be comforted by hanging off my breast! It is obvious you are just jealous! Have you really got time to post comments on here? Go and get your breasts chewed up by your toddler. As a matter of fact get surgery while your at it they must be down to the ground by now and get professional psychological help as well!!

Jassica - posted on 01/15/2010

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I am so sorry for you. I'm glad you chose to breastfeed in the first place. So sorry you forcefully weaned your children to inferior formula despite a good HEALTHY breastfeeding relationship. Breasts may be sexual between you and your spouse, but their PRIMARY purpose is to nourish your young. Just because you and "everyone you know" think extended breastfeeding is gross/disgusting/wrong, doesn't make it so. Early weaning because breastfeeding is gross is simply a social norm based on opinion and misinformation, not fact. I have done many hours of reading on the topic, (anecdotal and actual research) and I can assure you, it is healthy both physically and emotionally! There are many more people out there than you know who were nursed for an extended period and are VERY well adjusted. Little ones WILL give it up when they're ready and it doesn't have to be traumatic for them. Weaning my daughter at 17 months was easy...we were both ready. Weaning my son forcefully at 13 months was traumatic for both of us. We weren't ready. Also, whether or not they have teeth makes no difference. A child can eat solid (soft) food without any teeth, or may get teeth at 3 months! A 3 month old baby's body is not ready for solid food, even if they have teeth and are capable of swallowing food. Also, just because they're still nursing at 18 mo, 2 years or beyond, this doesn't mean they're getting a lot. Typically it's just once or twice a day for a couple of minutes, and they may even go days between nursing. This is totally natural! Some people even tandem nurse. That's nurse more than one child at a time that aren't twins. Although I don't ever think I would do this, I totally respect moms who do. Now, I have less of a problem of with you weaning at 8 months than I do you judging Moms who breastfeed longer. It's your body, your child and your choice. But, you need to quit judging Moms who make different choices than you.

Sorry Tanya, don't mean to hijack your post!! I really didn't expect all this DRAMA!

[deleted account]

Jassica! How on earth can you encourage breast feeding at 2 yrs old!!! Its wrong and disgusting!!! I am so proud of myself for being able to wean my daughter off breast milk at such an early age! And can I also say both of my daughters are very healthy, thank you very much!!! Its such a shame on you!! 2 yrs old is too old to be relying on breast milk and they certainly should not be latching onto their mothers breast at 2, they should have been weaned off a bottle by now let alone breast milk! THEY ARE NOT BABIES ANYMORE!!! Everyone I know thinks its disgusting! The only reason for your comment is because you have been unable to wean your own child off and even though your child is at an age where they have developed their independance and a full set of teeth they are still latching onto your breast and you have let them do this for so long!!! SHAME ON YOU!!!! I'm getting off this site now you sad freaks, I feel really sick, I'm going to vomit!!!

Jassica - posted on 01/15/2010

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Ashley is right! Kudos to you! There is nothing wrong with nursing now. It is up to you and your child when to wean. You will NOT traumatize your child by nursing your child "too long." You will give him a healthy understanding of what breasts are really for!!! There are still immune and nutritional benefits of breastmilk even as your child gets older and the composition of the milk will change to meet the needs of your child. It is not necessary, but is still beneficial. I know we don't live in a "traditional" culture anymore, but in the past and even in some present day cultures it is/was expected that children were nursed until the were 4, 5, or even 6!! I'm not saying that is what you SHOULD do (I certainly didn't! 17 months for the first, quit due to being 3 mo preg and she was losing interest. 13 months with the second, and I'd probably still be nursing him, but had to quit because of medication I was taking), just that it is well within the range of what our bodies were designed to do. If it is time for you to wean (and not just social pressure), then I think Ashley's right on about how to go about it! I also recommend Kellymom.com for all kinds of breastfeeding advice!

Good luck to you and Aaron! He's so lucky to have you for a Mom!

[deleted account]

Hi Tanya! I'm back again! I would just like to say I hope you don't feel that I am critisizing you, that is not my intentions at all. I am really concerned. I know you have got your sons best interests at heart, but it really is time to wean your son off breast milk for his sake as well as yours. Everytime you breast feed your son is draining your nutrients that your body produces, not only that but the the damage it must be doing to your breasts and nipples! Its not healthy! Breast milk is only meant for babies who need help with the supply of vital nutrients. Your son should now be getting these nutrients from the food he eats and you should be getting your body back to normal. I'm not critisizing you honestly, my mom told me she breast fed me until I was 2 but thank God I don't remember! That is another reason you should not breast feed for so long, the older your child gets the harder it becomes to wean them off breast milk because they get too used to it and think it is normal to still be having mommys milk, it is not the childs fault as they are young and innocent, it is the responsibility of the mother to stop allowing access of their milk and teach the child that they are too old for mommys milk and don't need it anymore. Your child is 2 yrs old now so he is becoming of age where he is learning and understanding a lot more, he is not a baby anymore, he is a toddler and soon will become a child, if you continue to carry on breastfeeding he could become at an age where he will still remember being breast fed when he is older, this could have traumatizing affects, you should especially be cautious because he is a boy. I can only advice at this stage to give your son lots of encouragement, tell him he is a big boy now and mommys milk is only for babys.It also helped me when I was weaning to keep all of my breasts completely covered up when I was around my daughter, no cleavage or anything like that and to keep them zipped up, I'm sorry if this sounds crude but just stop giving your son access, he can't latch on to you if you keep them underneath your clothing, don't give in to him and pull your top up, it will be hard at first as your son may not like it but you have to be strong! I breast fed my first daughter until she was 8 months old and I found it really difficult. My first daughter was always very clingy to me and I was scared that if I wean her off my breast milk she will think that I don't love her anymore, however I made sure I still cuddled up to her and gave her lots of hugs and kisses and she soon forgot about my milk and moved on! She is 2 yrs old now and we still have a very close, loving relationship. Hope this helps. Good Luck x x x

[deleted account]

I don't think any 2 yr old should be breast fed! He shouldn't even be on a bottle now let alone breast milk! I'm sorry but you need to put your foot down and go a bit hard on your son! Weaning your child off breast milk is never easy! I breast fed my first daughter until she was 8 months. It was difficult as I was aiming at 6 months right from the beginning. I was in so much pain weaning her off I had to get tablets from the doctor to stop my milk producing. Everytime she went to my breast I just said "NO! You can't have mommys milk any more, you've got teeth now!!" And I gave her a bottle instead, I would never lift my top up and let her have breast milk! NO meant NO and she soon got used to it!

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