Anybody else getting questions about how long you will nurse for?

Louise - posted on 12/01/2011 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Just wondered if anybody else with older babies/ toddlers getting the 'how long are you going to keep it up?' question? How do you handle it when they are people you love and whose opinion matters to you but they find it weird? Does it even bother anybody else?

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Celeste - posted on 12/01/2011

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Yeah, my mom and sister were pretty terrible about it. My twin boys were 18 months and my sister told me some pretty ignorant things (my boys would have a boob fetish, silly stuff like that.

Honestly, it stopped bothering me. I am more educated on the facts, so their opinions meant nothing.

Tine - posted on 12/05/2011

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People can be pretty darn ignorant, and say really stupid hurtful things. for some reason folk think extended breastfeeding makes breaking all the rules of social politeness and consideration ok! It's apparently 'normal' and fine to feed kids coke, junk food and a let them watch commercial tv, but breastfeeding is 'weird', despite the fact that the world average age of weaning is over 4 years old! It is hurtful, and I don't know what to say, yes it is bothersome! I tended to keep it to ourselves when my daughter (now 3 and still sharing the odd feed with her new brother!) was past about 2, but of course you shouldn't have to! I'd suggest making up a fact sheet with references on it for them to read, and suggesting that if they want to make any further comments they should read all that first so that they at least understand where you're coming from!
Good on you, all mums who continue to provide thier kids with the liquid gold that nature intends us to feed and nurture them with!

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Ricki - posted on 02/07/2012

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lol I have four children and all have breastfed till 2 or 3 yrs old.

My youngest has just turned two and is still going :)

My family (Mother and two brothers) start asking me at 12 months when I will wean and my response is to just shrug, they know I'll breastfeed till my child self-weans but they still ask. Not in a bad way but now it is sort of tradition. I know that sounds weird but we are a weird family, lol. My Mum breastfed me till I was two and my brothers were also breastfed but not as long as she was pressured to stop.

They know my response so they then start asking my child when they are going to give it up and the general response from my child is just to latch on and smile cheekily :D

I know they don't mean it in a mean or nasty way and it doesn't bother me at all.



I have had strangers and friends ask the same thing and have never taken it to be mean or rude etc just curiosity as most people have never seen older children breastfeed or they are ignorant about breastmilk. So depending on the person I just say when they are ready to stop they will and sometimes I have to explain that breastmilk does not suddenly turn to water and become useless when the baby is a certain age. Seriously I know of people that think breastfeeding is only beneficial for 3 months and after that it becomes useless!! But for most people they think it happens at like 6 months which always astounds me.

Most people are only used to bottle feeding so have no real knowledge about breastfeeding and so they will ask questions based on their own experiences or untrue myths (like you should wean when they get teeth or can walk).

I find that the more relaxed and open and honest about it you are then people are more ok with it and will just ask questions to satisfy their curiosity and they learn without you having to get all upset and defend yourself which puts everyone in a bad mood.

Sandie - posted on 02/01/2012

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My son pretty much weaned himself at 27months, we stopped night feeds first because he was sleeping through anyway so he didn't miss it, then gradually he was telling me "all gone" after a short time at the breast so he came to me less and less and I let things happen naturally.



When people gave me the scrunched up face and asked how long we would continue, i would simply say "I dunno..." and just look at them smiling, lol, no one dared say anything snarky.



I'm very proud of myself for feeding for so long, and can't wait to feed my daughter when she's born too, well done all you ladies, we're pretty damn amazing :) x

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I got that question several times. My response was always that I had no plan... cuz I didn't. ;) He nursed until he was 3.25 years old and would've kept going if not for a 4 week visitation w/ his father. The last day he nursed was July 1 and he STILL talks about it a lot. ♥

Maree - posted on 01/31/2012

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a woman told me the other day i should give my daughter special formula because she has reflux and is taking losec for it....when i said that won't be happening and that she is breast fed...she said "how long are you going to do THAT for"...i told her 2 or 3 years and she told me she thinks that is wrong...stupid woman..

number one....WHO recommends 2 years so why is it wrong?

number 2....there is no reason why bf-ing would cause reflux.some people say things they have no idea about.

Denikka - posted on 12/05/2011

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I got the question a few times, never bothered me. With my first, I shot for an absolute minimum of 6mo. I wasn't sure of myself, didn't know how things would progress, so while I was pregnant, that was my time frame. After we passed that milestone, I told people that I was going to let him self wean. And he did, at a year old, with very minimal encouraging from me to end nursing to sleep at night (he started grinding his teeth as he was falling asleep. . .with my nipple still in his mouth XP that needed to end, quickly :P) The to sleep nursing was purely for comfort anyways, so we just changed the behavior that comforted him.
With my daughter, I'm still playing it by ear. She's over 10mo old now and still going, but just like her brother, she's starting to show a preference for real food. So I give her real food, then nurse her after. If she makes it the full year, awesome :) If she decides to continue until 14, 16, 18mo, that's fine too. By her behavior, I doubt we'll make it much over a year, but that's her choice, not mine.

That's pretty much what I tell people, when she decides she's done, that's when we're done. Not before :)

Aniesha - posted on 12/05/2011

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My family were really supportive in breastfeeding for a long time, so no one else's opinions really bothered me. In the end I didn't end up feeding for as long as I wanted to, as my son weaned himself at 17 months. That was a bit of a shock!! I know one lady who fed up until her son was 5, and just met another lady who currently co-feeds her 2 year old and 5 year old:)

Anna - posted on 12/05/2011

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My son is 19 months and at first these questions used to bother me, now, I just laugh them off. Breastfeeding feels natural to me, it's the people that wean early or bottle feed that ask me these questions, they're the ones who're doing something not natural, not me. It helps that my parents have always supported me and trusted my decisions, as they do in this situation. My husband finally relented too.

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Maybe it would be easier to use your doctor or the WHO since it sounds scientific.



I tell people, "The WHO recommends at least 2 years" or "my doctor recommends as long as possible" (true in my case as I'm a breast cancer survivor).



Nobody has said anything further to me, but if they did, I would say, "Well, take it up with the WHO."



I'd rather argue on this line than go the personal route, i.e. you're weird, your son will be too attached, your son will be gay.

Misty - posted on 12/03/2011

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I say when he's ready he will wean himself. Personally I'm trying to go to 24mos, my DS is 14mos now, but it's been difficult lately since he's only nursing 4-5 times a day now but we'll go as long as he wants. The longer you nurse the less likely your child will have weight issues later in life.

Amy - posted on 12/03/2011

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My son nursed until he was 18 months old. My goal was two. I started getting these comments from friends and family as early as 3 months old. I simply said We will nurse as long as we both are comfortable with it. Then I would throw out some facts to back up why I wanted to nurse for at least two years. Higher IQ levels, less susceptible to illnesses, decreased rate of breast cancer and ovarian cancer for me etc.. Sometimes it bothered me but I knew what was right for us and chalked it up to others not being educated on the topic or jealous that they couldn't or wouldn't nurse their children.

Joy - posted on 12/02/2011

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I get them, but the people who've given me reasons to stop are very uninformed. My daughter's 27 months old and nurses to sleep, to wake up, right after I've returned (from work or when I've left her at Sunday School) and whenever she is tired or hurt.

Reasons for some of the comments: My sister suggested I stop because for a period of time when my daughter was sick she wouldn't eat solids, only "Mommy milk." ...so deny a toddler the only source of nurishment & comfort while the child has the flu and risk dehydration? -I don't think so.

From my mom: While she's nursing you can't get pregnant again. OK... that did not work with my friend who has gotten pregnant twice while nursing an older child. -and my husband & I aren't actively trying to get pregnant anyway. We'll take another if one comes though we are happy with our girl right now.

From other friends: "She'll grow too attached/spoiled to you." I would rather have that 'problem' and use it to my advantage & cultivate it than have an unruly older child -or extremely rebellious teen (a somewhat rebellious teen is what I'm shooting for in 10 years.)

Lise - posted on 12/01/2011

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My daughter is 25 months, and I no longer get the questions - I just would say, "I don't know. Ask her. Her doctor recommended 5 years old" (true, too!)

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