friend with 21mnth old still on the boob

Alison - posted on 09/13/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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i have a friend who is still breast feeding an the child is 21 months she has had no advice i cant help her my twins were bottle fed she wont just take it away im not sure why thats wat i would do can anyone help who maybe hav had the same thing or knows some one thanks xx

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Jodi - posted on 09/13/2010

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I am still breastfeeding my 18 month old. America Association of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization and La Leche League International all advise breastfeeding up to 2 years and beyond. A child's immune system isn't up and working properly until 2 years of age, breast milk supplies them with beneficial immune boosters, not to mention helping with brain development and etc etc etc.

My advice to you AND her, what a GREAT job she is doing!! If she wants to keep breastfeeding, be nothing but supportive, if she wants to wean, tell her to take out one nursing session at a time, replace that session with some other fun activity, such as cuddling, reading special books or playing with special toys. Once her child is comfortable without that session, remove one more until the child is weaned completely.

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21 Comments

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Melissa - posted on 02/24/2011

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30 months and we are down to twice a day if I'm here for it: before nap time and before bedtime. I'm considering stopping sometime soon. Wasn't planning on going this long but...I'm comfortable with it!

Jessica - posted on 11/03/2010

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If she wants to continue nursing then she should! But if she wants to wean the baby then she should do it gradually. Take one feeding away a week and over a little time the baby will be weaned. Gradual is best for baby and momma!
But good for her for breastfeeding this long - her baby will benefit for life!

Jennifer - posted on 09/15/2010

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I agree with Kayla Smith...To each their own.
I did breastfeed and glad i did, proud i did and encourage everone to do it, But i think 1 year is plenty enough.

Michele - posted on 09/15/2010

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21 months is a perfectly acceptable age here and most other countries in the developed and especially underdeveloped world for continued bf. It has been since the dawning of humanity. I did not get caught up with 'well-meaning' but horribly uneducated friends, coworkers, and family about bf. As part of your counseling your friend, I encourage you to read Dr. Greene's.website on bf. He is the 'Dr. Spock' for our generation. http://www.drgreene.com/health-parenting... And unless your friend is engaging in some kind of immoral or inappropriate behavior, wild parties, questionable company in the home and the like, I would say she is safe from child services accusing her of sexual abuse, which is ludicrous.Best of luck to her.

Carina - posted on 09/15/2010

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In reply to Liz Williams: it is insane to think that a mother could commit child's sexual abuse to its own child when breastfeeding for two years or more!! I would sue child services for that sick comment and investigations. She should look for legal advise and do something about it. There is noooo way a mother does that while breastfeeding. It is the best gift you can give to your child. God bless her she can.
I am breastfeeding my son who is 16 months and planning to keep doing it until I can. Thanks to it, a flu he caught when he was 6 months old, was very light. And that is not all, breastfeeding was his relief when he start teething. There are a lot of advantages. People should encourage mothers to keep doing and for long time.

Lori - posted on 09/14/2010

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Your friend has to do what is right for her and her child. As her friend, you should be 100 % supportive, especially if she is not doing something that will harm the child. There are lots of women who continue breastfeeding even past the age of two. Most children will wean themselves off the breast at somepoint if it's not forced upon them. It sounds to me like your friend is perfectly happy continuing with things the way they are. It will not be detrimental to the child and personally I think that anyone who wants to discourage her or badmouth her for this decision should just keep their opinions to themselves. Also, it has been proven that a child receives all the antibodies and nutrients it "needs" in the first 6 weeks of feeding. After that, it is a source of nutrition but it is also a way to help the mother and child bond and the child to develop an attachment. There is nothing wrong with what she is doing.

Marcela - posted on 09/14/2010

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Where do you live? I would have reported that - It's that mother's right to nurse where ever and however long she wants to nurse her own child.

[deleted account]

It's sad but true. Her case worker told her "its the 21st century and there is no need to breast feed that long", where I live they have taken children for much less. Personally I think child services has way too much power and they were way out of line. Her baby was under 2 still and she was called in by a women who came into her home and has never had children. Because of what happened to her I made it a point to nurse in private, even at my own home.

Marcela - posted on 09/13/2010

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"Some places actually frown against nursing for that long, a friend of mine was investigated by child services and they made her stop, they considered it sexual abuse."
WOW! That's a shame! I hope they don't catch me breastfeeding my toddler and make me stop!

Renae - posted on 09/13/2010

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Lots of mums breast feed for a long time these days. Up until about 2.5 years is considered normal. Personally I wouldn't do it that long but for those who do there is nothing wrong with it. I'm sure she will stop when she is ready or when baby self weans.

Sharlene - posted on 09/13/2010

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Is she wanting them to come off the breast? If she's wanting to stop breastfeeding, can she go to an Early Childhood Centre/Plunket/or whatever it is called in your area of the world for some advice? If she's not wanting to stop breastfeeding, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with her still doing so at this age.

Denise - posted on 09/13/2010

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I breast fed my one son until he was 2 1/2 yrs. My doctor recommended that I still continue but I was ready to stop. That doctor was in St.Lucia in the caribbean. In Canada they have a different mindset there but I think its great that your friend is still breast feeding. She is doing a great job!

Kayla - posted on 09/13/2010

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To each their own..
The AAP does recommend Bfeeding until 2..
I'd never do it but....

Alison - posted on 09/13/2010

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thanks for all your reply's they are very helpful she just asked for advice on taking to boob away yes it is about 6 months to a year when we thought you wean the baby off and she doesnt want to be going into playgroup when she is nearly 3 to give her boob because thats just ridiculous.

Ashley - posted on 09/13/2010

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Did she ask for help? I have several friends who breast fed until age 2 or older. In other cultures it is completely common and it is also very healthy. In fact, "Many people are familiar with the recommendation that, to achieve optimal growth, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. What some don't realize, however, is that there are benefits to nursing a child beyond six months. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends nursing for a minimum of two years, and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) advises the same. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding for at least a year. "
http://www.llli.org/NB/NBSepOct07p196.ht...
If she WANTS help weaning, most people suggest slowly taking it down to only right before bedtime, and then just taking it down by minutes - until it's just like 5 mintues long before bedtime.
Then eventually it will be much easier. Also they need to be able to drink out of the sippy cup and you substitue drinking milk out of the sippy cup for nursing. Her doctor should be able to help her with it much more.

[deleted account]

Does your friend want to wean? If she doesn't, then just don't worry about it. That is between her and her child and her partner (if he's around). The WHO suggests 2 years. I breastfed only a year, but it was the best thing ever. I can't wait to do it again with my second.

Alyssa - posted on 09/13/2010

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Every mama and every baby is different. BUT I would say each mother knows what is best for their lifestyle and baby. I personally breastfed my babies until 5 months, and all of them have had very little health issues. We are going on the 7th year of having children and three children out of womb, one on the way. We have had 1 earache @ 18 months, 1 case of RSV @ 1 month old and that is it. Well other than a bead stuck up a nose... :)

Let her choose the best time to stop breastfeeding her child. What would be helpful for her is to have a good friend that supports her decisions and discusses her options with her without being judgmental. Breastfeeding mothers have enough difficulties with society, they don't need it from good friends. So I would suggest talking to her, seeing if she is still comfortable with it, why she still chooses to do it and giving her a hug for being one of your friends. All moms need a good friend and a good hug. :)

[deleted account]

Personally I couldn't stand to do it that long, my max was 6 months. I think 2 years is too long, and beyond 2 years is ridiculous. Some places actually frown against nursing for that long, a friend of mine was investigated by child services and they made her stop, they considered it sexual abuse. I've always been told one year, 18 months for preemies. But if she's comfortable more power to her i guess, it's also harder to ween them the older they are. I have 4 kids and lack of breast milk hasn't effected them actually my step daughter who breast fed till she was 18 months or so has a horrible immune system and I know plenty more kids who nursed for a long time and they are no better off. In all reality most of them are very needy, codependent, and always sick.

I don't mean to generalize, but in my experience that is the case more often then not.

Heidi - posted on 09/13/2010

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Hi Alison!

My son is 22 months old and is still breastfeeding. First of all it's not terminal! As long as the little baba is eating solids and drinking juice then there is negligable nutritional loss if she stops.

What may help is introducing more bottle feeds. for example instead of putting the baba to sleep by breast every night give them a bottle twice a week and let them put themselves to sleep. also giving them a choice like 'big babas' of a cup or bottle, or milk or juice can help them understand that a change is occuring. If possible get dad to replace some breastfeeds with him and a bottle.

She doesn't have to just stop completely it can be gradual. My son now only has breastmilk at night about 4 times/week...so basically it's up to me to stop. At the age of 21months they can completely understand a conversation about stopping mommy's milk, maybe have a chat with the wee one....

Hope this gives you a different perspective...

much love,
H

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