Should I continue breatfeeding my 15 months old?

Mira - posted on 11/05/2009 ( 29 moms have responded )

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I am confused....some people are encouraging me to breatfeed, saying that it is the best thing for the baby; some people said 'shame on you' still feeding your 15 months old...he is too old for breatmilk now. What should I do? I am battling deep inside myself. I love the bounding between my son and me when I hold him close to my breasts and watching him enjoying the breastmilk. However, he wakes up a few time a night searching for my breasts too for comfort. I want him to have nice restful sleep and begin to eat more other solids (he is a picky eater...loves veggies, fruits, yogurt, but not so much meat). He wouldn't drink any formula nor milk. Not sure if it's due to breastfeeding. These are the reasons that I want to quit breastfeeding. Other than that, I love to feed him and I am not ready to give up yet. How did other moms do?

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Tania - posted on 11/07/2009

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Quoting Nicole:


I know the past poster said that he is getting antibodies from you but I thought that stopped after 6mo. That is what I was told. But it is still beneficial to keep breastfeeding for as long as you are happy with it. Babies that are breastfed have higher IQ's than non BF babies! Those were some of the biggest reason's why I wanted to BF to have a smart healthy baby but unfortunately for me my breast milk never came in. I think you are doing great and wish I was able to do it also.


Why would antibodies stop at 6 months? That is completely false. Baby (or child) continues to recieve antibodies throughout breastfeeding. If mother becomes ill, she will pass antibodies to baby for that particular virus.

Heather - posted on 11/06/2009

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I wish my kids would have kept feeding, I have heard of moms feeding up to the age of 4. Its totally up to you. I talked with a lady the other day about my son not eating much meats, as long as he is eating beans or rice for pro. he will be just fine, don't worry about it.

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Nicole - posted on 12/14/2009

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world health organization reccomends a two year minimum. if he is still nursing often, don't worry about the solids. my fourteen month nurses tons through the night. we haven't even bothered with cow milk yet- with mamma milk, they don't need the moo juice :) I give solids when phoebe is interested- some days she eats a ton, other days mainly breastmilk. Baby led weaning is great- they'll take solids when they are ready.

Donna - posted on 12/13/2009

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You know what girl?! People who tell you he is too old - (/$&&* em), if you and your son are confortable with it - don't stop. My daughter was 18 months when she started weened herself off by the time she was 24 months...

Chris - posted on 12/06/2009

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Quoting Mira:

Should I continue breatfeeding my 15 months old?

I am confused....some people are encouraging me to breatfeed, saying that it is the best thing for the baby; some people said 'shame on you' still feeding your 15 months old...he is too old for breatmilk now. What should I do? I am battling deep inside myself. I love the bounding between my son and me when I hold him close to my breasts and watching him enjoying the breastmilk. However, he wakes up a few time a night searching for my breasts too for comfort. I want him to have nice restful sleep and begin to eat more other solids (he is a picky eater...loves veggies, fruits, yogurt, but not so much meat). He wouldn't drink any formula nor milk. Not sure if it's due to breastfeeding. These are the reasons that I want to quit breastfeeding. Other than that, I love to feed him and I am not ready to give up yet. How did other moms do?


I nurse all three of my children to the age of two years old, so continue you on with the breastfeeding - you will know when the time is right, my was when I was ready to have the next baby.. it was more my kids choice.   And you can introduce regular milk to your little one, and by pass the formula...from a mommy who nursed until 2yrs x 3 little people.

[deleted account]

The average in the world for a child to be breastfed is four years. The immune system is stronger with milk that comes from the natural source for that animal which means human milk good for human baby and cow milk for calfs, etc. We'd started solid foods about seven months and then backed off until a year because our daughter wasn't interested, so it was all breastmilk then.
Babies and toddlers sleep patterns are different from adults so they naturally awaken more often. You can "train" a child to sleep through the night, but there are stronger connections made when breastfeeding on demand. We co-sleep our 16-month-old which is hard on me, especially when she is teething or sick, but I signed on to be a mommy and this is part of the package. I plan to let her wean when she is ready which I expect will be after her third birthday.
It seems that many parents do what is more convenient for them - which I understand, but I know of many of the benefits of breastmilk and still go to the free LaLecheLeague meetings (available many places in the world!) to get a refresher and see other moms breastfeeding their toddlers. I hope you continue to give your sweetie a gift only you can give!

[deleted account]

Do whatever is most comfortable for you and your baby and ignore everyone else! I nursed my girl for 20 months, when she looked at me and said "NO!" I was surprised, tried again, still "NO!" She nursed later that day to alleviate my pressure and was done with it.

Be thrilled he eats veggies, fruits, and yogurts! That sounds like a nice healthy diet. Could try having him sleep somewhere else so the breasts are not as accessible and so you both get a better night's sleep. Help him to find something else for comfort.

The worldwide average for breastfeeding is much higher than it is in the US. He is not too "old" for it. It really boils down to both of your comfort levels, and not the opinion of others.

Beth - posted on 12/04/2009

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My son sounds kind of similar to yours. When he was about 15 months old I felt like people thought I was weird still breast feeding him. He is a picky eater too and eats mostly veggies, yogurt, beans and no meat. Which is weird since we eat meat in the house. But I just slowed down the feedings to right before bedtime and if he would wake up in the middle of the night. At just after 16 months he just quit on his own. He started getting fussy about feeding, it lasted about a week and one day he just flat out refused. So I decided that he was done and that was the end. I'm glad that I went that far though, because then I didn't have to question whether I took it away from him before he was ready. You know your son best, just do what you think is right. Good luck!

Lorraine - posted on 12/04/2009

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hi there i continued breastfeeding until my daughter was two. when she started nursery, it eased the feeding as she had beakers. i dont see a problem with it, just aslong as you are both happy. me and my daughter still to this day have that special bond, so dont worry xx

Deepa - posted on 12/03/2009

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I stopped breastfeeding both my kids just before they were one. Found with many of my friends the longer the feeding continued the harder it was to wean.

Susan - posted on 12/03/2009

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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding until the age of 24 months. So, breastfeed as long as you are comfortable and willing. Your son is not too old.

Claire - posted on 12/03/2009

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Hi Mira,

I think it's horrible anyone made you feel 'shamed' for breastfeeding your 15 MO. It is your and your familys decision, pleast try not to let other less informed people make you feel what you're doing is wrong. As so many other women have commented, by continuing to BF your baby well into his second year, and beyond, you are still giving him excellent nutritional benefits, antibodies, comfort and nuturing. On the antibodies thing, I am still BF my 14 MO son, but when he was 12 MO I had the flu, I was very ill, and even though he was still in my care 24/7, and I was coughing all over him (I know that sounds terrible) he didn't get the flu. I am sure it is because he recieved my antibodies through the breast milk. You say your son wakes overnight searching for your breast - are you co-sleeping? I can imagine it would be harder to wean a child overnight if you co-sleep because it is avalible for him all night long... I don't co-sleep, but my son sleeps all night and has done for a while, so I can't give you much advice on that... But you could think about weaning him only at night, their are a number of good books to recomend ways to do this - I really like 'the baby whisperer' - doesn't use a controlled crying method at all, which I personally don't agree with!
I had a very hard time getting my son to drink anything other than breastmilk, but with persistance, he now drinks rice milk (which he loves, he's too young for cow's milk in my opinion) and some soy milk, and water. It was hard to get him to drink it, persistance pays off... and in addition he has his 3 breastfeeds a day too, which I will keep going with as long as he, and I want to...
Please don't battle with yourself over this, know you are doing the very best for your son, their are many other ways to tackle the small issues you have mentioned besides weaning. Good luck!

ELISHA - posted on 12/03/2009

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Mira,

The bond a mother and child have never fades, it simply matures through time. Only you can decide when enough is enough!!!!!I'm sure you little angel will be fine, one step at a time. As per my children, I breast fed both of them, and I additionally supplemented, and in due time It became evident that they were ready for solids , at which point it was time to change up the menu. What I learned is a mother's job is never done, keep up your energy ..Everything works it way out.Good Luck and Happy Holidays . Elisha

Angie - posted on 12/03/2009

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Don't worry about what other's say or think. Do what YOU think is best. I admire you for continueing to breastfeed. I let my kids self wean and I'm glad I did. You and your son enjoy this time together, it won't last long.

Leslie - posted on 12/03/2009

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Dont be confused! Be proud that you put your child's needs ahead of all the nay sayers and people sticking their nose in where it doesnt belong. My son just turned four and I am pregnant with my second. It used to be that he would nurse in the morning before getting out of bed as our special "cuddle" time. Now he wants to nurse more often (I think because of the new baby thing) and I let him nurse in the morning and before bed. It comforts him and allows us some special time together before the new baby gets here. The fact is that you should breastfeed as long as you and your child feel comfortable with it. I have never heard of a 17 year old still breast feeding, so your little one will grow out of it in time. Enjoy the bond that it creates and know that you are doing what is best for you and your son. As long as it is not bothering you, I think it is fine.

Lewen - posted on 12/03/2009

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Hi Mira

I breast my daughter for wait for it 2 and a half years and i loved every minute and we are planning another one and ill with out a dought do it a gain!!I loved it!!They do still get a load of benifts as im becoming a LLL leader and its stunning that you still are!!Dont let people sway you in any way its your baby and you are doing the best for him!!Your milk has everything he needs and so what if he is picky he is getting liquid gold and nothing can match up to it!!Your doing good Carry on and enjoy it!!!

Lewen.

[deleted account]

Sorry if others have repeated this. The World Health Organisation recommends mothers should breastfeed for the first 2 years. Children will naturally ween themselves off. My son turned 2 on Monday and he's down to breastfeeding only once or twice/day. We also give him whole chocolate milk, goats milk, or water to drink during the day (no juice).

Don't feel that you have to quit because it's socially unacceptable. This bonding time with your child is priceless. Keep up the good work!

Minnie - posted on 12/03/2009

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Humans are biologically designed to be breastfed for the first several YEARS of their life. It's a fact. Your milk does not up and lose it's healthful properties at 12 months.



I am happily continuing to nurse my 14 month old, and plan to for as long as she desires it.



Please be aware that the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for a minimum of two years, and that LLLI states "ideally the breastfeeding relationship shall continue until the child out grows the need."

Tania - posted on 12/03/2009

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Quoting Mira:

Thanks all the moms for the encouragement!!! I am still feeding my son. YEAH! It's been 16 months! He still wakes up a few times at night, but I believe teething is also a factor for the past a little while as he's got 8 teeth pushing through at the same time. He sleeps with us in the same room, but on a mattress right beside us. So when he wakes up at night, he would crawl up and search for me. I don't mind that, but just not so sure if frequent awaken would be bad for his growth and development.
For those working moms who are still breastfeeding, how often do you feed? I only feed my son before his bedtime and in the middle of night when he cries for it, but nothing during the daytime. How do you keep the milk supply if only one feeding a day?


  No, waking during the night is not bad for his growth. It actually helps it because he is getting the benefits of your milk. :) My son started sleeping through the night around 30 months. He is in the 98% for his size. So, waking in no way stunted his growth.



If you are only nursing once or twice a day, that is fine. Your supply will continue for as long as you keep feeding. We are only nursing about once or twice a week now and I still have milk. Milk production is supply and demand. Every time you nurse milk is made to replace the milk that has left. As long as you are removing milk, no matter now infrequent, you will continue to produce milk for the demand that is needed.

Mira - posted on 12/03/2009

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Thanks all the moms for the encouragement!!! I am still feeding my son. YEAH! It's been 16 months! He still wakes up a few times at night, but I believe teething is also a factor for the past a little while as he's got 8 teeth pushing through at the same time. He sleeps with us in the same room, but on a mattress right beside us. So when he wakes up at night, he would crawl up and search for me. I don't mind that, but just not so sure if frequent awaken would be bad for his growth and development.
For those working moms who are still breastfeeding, how often do you feed? I only feed my son before his bedtime and in the middle of night when he cries for it, but nothing during the daytime. How do you keep the milk supply if only one feeding a day?

Mira - posted on 12/03/2009

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Thanks all the moms for the encouragement!!! I am still feeding my son. YEAH! It's been 16 months! He still wakes up a few times at night, but I believe teething is also a factor for the past a little while as he's got 8 teeth pushing through at the same time. He sleeps with us in the same room, but on a mattress right beside us. So when he wakes up at night, he would crawl up and search for me. I don't mind that, but just not so sure if frequent awaken would be bad for his growth and development.
For those working moms who are still breastfeeding, how often do you feed? I only feed my son before his bedtime and in the middle of night when he cries for it, but nothing during the daytime. How do you keep the milk supply if only one feeding a day?

Tania - posted on 11/07/2009

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It's OK. Breastmilk continues to have benefits as long as you breastfeed. It constantly changes to meet the needs of your child. At 6 months, a child's immune system is stronger, perhaps that is what whoever was trying to say. Or maybe they thought once the immune system has developed, the breastmilk is no longer needed.
It is a fact that children who wake more frequently in the night, are less susceptible to SIDS. Children who go into a deeper sleep and sleep through the night are more likely to die from SIDS. Again, breastfed babies are less likely to perish from SIDS. Is this because breastmilk is just far, far superior to formula? Does formula do something that increases the risk of death? Or is is because the breastfed child wakes more frequently? We may never know the answer. My son will be 3 in February and he has been sleeping through the night for maybe 4 months. While it can be trying on a mother, I got myself through by being thankful he WAS waking up. It is all perspective.
I still go to bed with my son. He does not 'put himself to bed'. He will probably not do so for quite sometime yet. It is just different ways of parenting. I do not think at 17 month old baby should have to self-soothe or put himself to bed. We are parents. It is our job to parent and be there for our babies. My son also co-sleeps, so that makes it much easier.

Joyce - posted on 11/07/2009

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My daughter is 16 months and still breastfeeding strong. I say go as long as he wants to. I don't think there is anything wrong with it. Most people that say otherwise probably have some negative breastfeeding experience that they are projecting on to you. As long as you are continuing to introduce more foods and expand his diet, he will let you know when he is ready to stop. Remember, breast milk is so nutritious and the bonding is good for you and him too. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what you are doing.

Nicole - posted on 11/07/2009

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I wasn't sure that's just what I was told that after 6m the antibodies no longer transfer or they no longer really need them. I guess they were wrong. Your right that doesn't make scene for it to just stop. Thanks for clearing it up.
I wouldn't know if I BF baby still needs to wake frequently at 15m bc I was unable to BF but I thought even a younger BF baby could sleep threw the night especially by 15m.
I do believe that a child should learn to fall asleep on there own (doesn't mean let them cry for hours on end or doing a CIO method at all) but soothing for other reason I totally agree. I rocked my son to sleep for every nap and bedtime till he was 17m then I decided it was time for him to learn to put himself to sleep..also we were going on vaca and there were no rocking chairs...I have a bad back so I would not have been able to rock him myself as he is a big boy...Thankfully for me he never cried. I put him in the crib and he played and sang himself to sleep. He has always loved being in his crib so I got luck and didn't have to do CIO or a no cry sleep solution. I think all the bonding we had rocking made him very secure.

Tania - posted on 11/07/2009

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You son is only 15 months. Waking a couple times a night is very normal, especially for the breastfed child. I totally do not agree that it is ok to let them cry and soothe themselves. An infant should not have to soothe themselves. No child, whatever the age, should have to. When I am upset or need something, I like to have someone (my Mother or Husband) to comfort me. I am still breastfeeding my 32 month old. My husband has suggested weaning a couple times. People, other than family, really frown upon it. As long as you are not going to their homes and offering their breasts to your child, they have no business telling you what to do. I say, shame on them for putting self-doubt in you. Breastfeeding is one of the most best things you can do for your child. Keep it up as long as you both want to. He doesn't need any other milk or formula while he is breastfeeding.Congratulations for making it this far!

Nicole - posted on 11/06/2009

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You should BF for as long as you are comfortable with it. Don't worry about what others say. Put your hater blockers on. You could try to wean him at night so he can begin to sleep threw the night. At this age he should be sleeping 11-12hrs at night and getting enough calories during the day that he doesn't need to wake up to nurse. It's probably just a comfort thing at night for him right now. Weaning him at night 1st will help when you are ready to fully wean also.
I know the past poster said that he is getting antibodies from you but I thought that stopped after 6mo. That is what I was told. But it is still beneficial to keep breastfeeding for as long as you are happy with it. Babies that are breastfed have higher IQ's than non BF babies! Those were some of the biggest reason's why I wanted to BF to have a smart healthy baby but unfortunately for me my breast milk never came in. I think you are doing great and wish I was able to do it also.

Diana -n Craig - posted on 11/05/2009

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Don't give up! The people that are negative are the one's that gave up on breastfeeding, so don't listen to them. This time of year with flu season it's extra important to keep breastfeeding as your son is getting antibodies through your milk. La Leche League International and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend nursing until 2 years old or longer (if it mutually desirable). My daughter is 12 1/2 months and still loves breastfeeding. I know she is getting whatever calories and nutrients that she's not getting from food, as she's a light eater. We have started giving her whole milk with dinner and she loves it.

There's nothing wrong with letting him cry a little at night, he'll probably soothe himself down to sleep. My daughter sleeps 11-14 hours thru the night never getting up.

It sounds like you and your son both still love breastfeeding and are benefiting from it, so stick with it. If you wean now you'll just be sad later and wish you hadn't. You're doing the right thing.

And on a sidenote, Avocado's are a great food for little ones, have you tried it? My daughter will each big chunks of it for dinner. Lots of healthy fats and brain building vitamins :)

Good luck!

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