Age to stop breastfeeding?

Kalynn - posted on 03/22/2013 ( 23 moms have responded )

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My son is about to be 2 . He still likes to be breastfed. What's a good age to stop breastfeeding or do I need to start weaning now?

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Sally - posted on 03/29/2013

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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nursing a minimum of 1 year; the World Health Organization recommends nursing a minimum of 2 years; the world wide average age to wean is just over 4 years; and humans are biologically designed to nurse for 6-8 years. The best time to wean any child is when that child no longer wants to nurse. At what age your child weans should be the business of only two people--your child and you, but personally, I wouldn't want to parent a toddler without my prolactin.

Julie - posted on 07/17/2013

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Liezl, while consulting with a healthcare professional seems like sensible enough advice, I'm rather wary of that particular doctor's advice- why did he not simply suggest she take a multivitamin or examine her diet? Surely the 3 year old could not have been feeding that often to "leech all the goodness" out of her?

My MIL's mother was told by a doctor that she couldn't breastfeed her children because there was "no goodness" in her milk- that it was like water. Another aunt was told that she should wean her 4 month old because there was nothing good left in the milk after that point, and she'd be better off switching to formula. Which we all know is a total crock of s***...

Kalynn, as others have said, go for as long as you and your son are happy to. :)

Sophia - posted on 04/04/2013

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There is no age to stop. It is between you & your son. If you feel comfortable and so does he there is no reason that you have to stop at any certain age. Most kids naturally wean between 2-4yrs. My oldest was 31 months, my middle was 28 & my 22 month old is still going strong with no signs of being done anytime time soon. Now, he only nurses before and after sleeping (naps & bedtime) and only rarely during the day, if he hurts himself, is bored or when he is sick. At 2 they are old enough to tell them "not now" or "later" so if frequency is the issue you can set some boundaries. But I just want to emphatically say there is NO age that your child has to wean by; it is totally up to you.

Lori - posted on 04/01/2013

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Congratulations on making it this far! I nursed my first until just before her 2nd birthday, and I still nurse my 2nd who turned 2 in November. A good age to stop is whenever you and your LO are ready to stop. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Aleks - posted on 04/01/2013

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I agree with all of the ladies above. Its up to you and your child in how long you wish to continue your breastfeeding relationship.

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Amanda - posted on 07/28/2013

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I have friends who have bf their children well after their first birthday. One of which who continues to feed her son at almost 3 years old. I think bf is a great thing having a son of my own of just 3 months old and bf him. It's a bond only a mother can share with their child, truly.

I served time in the USAF and was conditioned to workout a lot! So I grew to love it. I now run 3 miles 5 days a week and I love it...minus the heavy chest I now have due to carrying milk. I plan to bf my son until 1 year because I know in his first year of life, it's the best thing for him. After that, I know he will be just as healthy eating baby food I either prepare for him or that is store bought. My policy is, if they're old enough to ask to be bf, then they're too old to have breast milk. Weening them at a year will have no negative effects on their mental state of mind. I too was bf as a child until 1 year of age and turned out to be a very healthy individual. Also, if that couldn't convince you enough...I also choose to ween my son at 1 year to have my body back to myself. As any mother you dedicate your time, sleep, and body to your child for a solid 21 months. From the time you are pregnant to the first year of life. This is just my opinion and my perspective on bf. To each their own

Danielle - posted on 07/15/2013

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Stop whenever the two of you are ready. I stopped nursing my daughter at a year and wish I never did. I'm fourteen weeks pregnant now and I can not wait to nurse again!

Kelly - posted on 06/20/2013

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I agree stop when your ready! My youngest of the four I stopped at. Just after age 2 and now wish I would of just naturally let it happen.

Kyle - posted on 06/14/2013

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Stop when you're ready. My son is 2 1/2 now and we are still going strong. I regret weaning my daughter on her 2nd birthday because everybody told me it was the "right" thing to do. Ignore everyone's "helpful" advice and make your memories last as long as is right for your family.

Michelle - posted on 06/11/2013

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A good age is when both your son and you are ready. One of you may be ready before the other, and that's okay. Weaning is a process, and sometimes a slow one. You can stop whenever you like, but if you want to nurse full-term then your son will wean when he is ready (and I promise you won't be visiting him for school lunchtime - that's scaremongering crazy talk.)

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You stop when you and your son are ready. My eldest stopped on his own at 17 months. My youngest would get very upset whenever we tried to stop after the age of 2, so I kept feeding her. We finally stopped when she was 4 and 3 months. At that age she only had a feed at bedtime, but she was ready to stop and there were no tears. I'm glad I had that time with my daughter. Despite the grief I got from family, I still think I did the right thing.

Sally - posted on 05/31/2013

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The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization both recommend nursing for as long as mom and baby want to. The world wide average weaning age is almost 4 1/2 years and we're biologically designed for nursing to be a really good idea for 6-8 years. The best time to wean any child is when that child decides they don't want to nurse any more. Personally, I wouldn't want to parent a small child without my prolactin. Enjoy the quiet cuddle time while you can get it. :)

Liezl - posted on 05/26/2013

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Check with your doctor about YOUR health before continuing beyond 2 years. A friend of mine, who lives in Cairo, Egypt, started losing her hair and had extremely low energy levels. She had been breastfeeding for 3 years at that point. Due to the pollution in the city her body was giving her daughter every last ounce of goodness it had and leaving none for her. Her doctor instructed her to stop because she was harming herself and it was starting to affect the quality of her milk, which have started to affect her daughter's health too. Even if you're living in a clean city, just check with your doctor. You need to be healthy and strong too. If he gives you the okay, it's up to you how long you want to continue.

Micha - posted on 04/09/2013

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I agree with all before. You should not start weaning as long you are comfortable with that, regardless what other people might say. As long as he likes it and you can offer it, it is the best thing, what you can do for him and you. Most children self wean at the time, when they feel ready for that.

Merry - posted on 04/08/2013

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Two is the recommended minimum so you've done great so far! Now it's up to the two of you when to stop. Your milk is still jam packed full of healthy things for him, lots of antibodies and immunity boosters. As he nurses less and less it concentrates so it never looses it's impact to his benefit! Personally, I felt age 4 was a good stopping point since I was already tandem nursing and was pregnant with my third! My daughter is going to be two in a month and I'll tandem her and the new baby til around age 4 I expect as well.
It's ALLL up to you! You can night wean if you want or need to, you can cut back if wanted, or you can continue to nurse on cue til he decreases on his own!
Way to go mama! You've done amazing so far and your wpquestion shows you're going to do great from here on too :)

Victoria - posted on 04/08/2013

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If he wants to continue, and you are able to, then, by all means, do it! Ignore the advice against it. I firmly believe that weaning should be up to the child and mother.

Dove - posted on 03/31/2013

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If you WANT to start weaning it's ok, but if you want to continue... it is perfectly ok to continue until your son decides he's done.... whether that happens tomorrow or 2+ years from now.

Andrea - posted on 03/27/2013

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I live in Canada and it was recommended that women breastfeed up to and BEYOND two years of age. With that being said, you have to do what is right for you. If you want to continue to breastfeed go ahead! If you want to start weaning, then do that. It is whatever is best for you and baby.

Celeste - posted on 03/22/2013

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Are you fine with continuing? If so, there's nothing wrong with continuing. Age to stop is up to mom/child.

Christina - posted on 03/22/2013

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Definitely a personal choice. I think the recommended age now is 2. (by the American Academy of Pediatrics)

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