When is good time to stop breastfeeding?

Heela - posted on 03/16/2011 ( 32 moms have responded )

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My daughter is getting 2 years old by April 2nd and every one around me keeps telling me that its time to stop breastfeeding because later it will be hard and she will not take enough food needed for her growth. Please let me know when shall i stop breatfeeding and how to stop because she loves it the most.

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Celeste - posted on 03/16/2011

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The people around you are misinformed. I wouldn't let them dictate your breastfeeding relationship.

Their claims just aren't true. Of course it's fine to nurse past 2. The World Health Organization recommends 2 years *OR* beyond. She will eat fine to grow.

IF you want to wean, then do it because *YOU* want to, not because of someone else's ill informed opinion.

Maggie - posted on 03/21/2011

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Breastmilk is highly nutritious, and contains growth factors which means your breastmilk will actually aid healthy growth rather than inhibit it. As has already been said WHO recommend breastfeeding for two years or beyond. More important than what those around you think or what the WHO think is what you and your daughter think.

Well done you for making it this far. Keep following the instincts that have served you both so well. There is a great book called 'Breastfeeding older children' by Ann Sinnott which you might find a reassuring read if you can get hold of it.
My daughter turns two on the 31st of March and is still happily nursing. My mother disapproves, but I just ignore her as best I can!

Amy Beth - posted on 03/20/2011

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I nursed both my kids to age 3 or 4. They were the ones to initiate weaning. We slowed down as time went on, mostly nursing first thing in the morning and late evening or when they were ill or hurt. My kids never had trouble eating enough food! Nursing wasn't really about nutrition at the end. It was about bonding and comfort. I say to go with your own gut and wean when you feel ready. Good luck.

Jennifer - posted on 03/25/2011

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Heela, I think that every mom and every child is different. I can tell you that with my son I continued breastfeeding until he was just over 2 years old. At about 20 months he was nursing in the morning and the evening. Within a month or so later, he had a couple of nights where he opted not to nurse. While the evening feed was my favorite, I chose to let him take the lead and cut out the evening nursing time. For about a week, I made myself scarce during bedtime and my husband put my son Ethan to bed. So, by the time he turned 2, we were only nursing in the morning. I reached a point where I was tired of nursing, so my husband helped with this transition as well--he got up with my son and they started a morning routine together getting breakfast. Above all, I would say that whatever you decide to do, it should feel like the right thing for you. I think if my son had given up the morning feed before the evening feed, I might be still nursing now. But, I followed his lead, then listened to what my body and emotions were telling me about the timing and how it was/was not working for me. Best of luck to you!

Rochelle - posted on 03/22/2011

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Love reading all these great supportive replies :D

I plan to breastfeed my 18mo DD as long as it is mutually desired! Some days she barely eats a scrap of food other than breastmilk... other days she eats more of something than me as well as her breastmilk!

I love this article on breastfeeding in Mongolia: http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/ruth_k...

I choose to not take notice of most reactions around me when we NIP... which we do constantly as I believe it's the way we should be & needs to be re-normalised in society. I'll occasionally notice a funny look but most often notice smiles & get positive comments :D

I have once had an aquaintance tell me I "need to" wean her & I was so dumbfounded that this was coming from a Paediatric Nurse that the only thing I could get out of my head in reply was "She's not even 2 yet!".... I promptly posted a pile of stuff on facebook hoping she wouls notice (she is on my friends list).

Enjoy this special time for the short years that it lasts & just ignore the naysayers :)

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Gloria - posted on 05/04/2013

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I stop breastfeeding when my baby was 2yr it was hard. Until finally I put mustard he would just wipe it and feed again but then I put mayo and stop but now he hates mayo lol

Jenn - posted on 03/25/2011

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This decision is 100% yours. It will not harm your daughter to continue BF after 2!

Sherry - posted on 03/23/2011

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My apologies Heela for the incorrect spelling of your name at the beginning of my origional post :) Blessings

Sherry - posted on 03/23/2011

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Hella,
In my opinion, CHILD LED WEANING , is the only way to go......I have 8 children and they ALL weaned and will wean on their own . My 2 youngest are nurslings at 5 yrs. and 2 1/2 yrs. Tons of liturature that support this type of weaning. March 29 /11 I will celebrate 18 straight yrs. of nursing . Thats right , I allowed each child to nurse til they were ready to wean . This choice and choosing to tandem nurse, made the trans. of a new baby very smooth :) No sibling rivalry at all......the older child loved to share and nurse with the new babe. Please Heela, listen to your gut or you will regret it. Breast is BEST ..... much more than "food" to your wee one ! Great job !

Claire - posted on 03/22/2011

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Don't worry about other people. YOU are the mother, here. When you and your daughter are comfortable, she will wean (baby-led weaning). Just keep your head up and wait for her. You know that giving breast is the best, so don't sweat what others say! :)

Sherree - posted on 03/22/2011

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Dear Heela,

It is not true that later she will not take enough food :-) You do not need to wean your sweet child in order to get her to eat other food.

Because I do not know your current circumstance of how much food she currently has, or how often she nurses, so instead of trying to guess, I shall offer an excellent book as a reference.
When I began nursing my first child, I had no support and had no one else around who was nursing. Thank goodness I discovered this book that got me through!

"Child of Mine Feeding with love and good sense" by Ellyn Satter
Bull Publishing isbn 0-915950-74-X

Good luck!!

♥ Sherree

Sherree - posted on 03/22/2011

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Dear Heela,

It is not true that later she will not take enough food :-) You do not need to wean your sweet child in order to get her to eat other food.

Because I do not know your current circumstance of how much food she currently has, or how often she nurses, so instead of trying to guess, I shall offer an excellent book as a reference.
When I began nursing my first child, I had no support and had no one else around who was nursing. Thank goodness I discovered this book that got me through!

"Child of Mine Feeding with love and good sense" by Ellyn Satter
Bull Publishing isbn 0-915950-74-X

Good luck!!

♥ Sherree

[deleted account]

That's so cute Tammy! My son (3 this Sunday) tells me that 'baboo' is his favorite thing to drink. :)

Jennifer - posted on 03/22/2011

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Hey Miss. I know I'm going to be a big poop disturber here because I am a cultural salmon, swimming against the stream of western society, but here's my 2 cents and anecdotal experience.
She is still TOTALLY so young to be weaning. Don't worry about it! There is not rush! She is still a baby!
I am still nursing my 3 yr old. If you would have told me 3 years ago that I would be doing this, even once a day, I would have said you were crazy. But here I find myself, as my little girl still loves it and relies on it for comfort, first thing in the morning having a little snuggle with nursing. She simply loves it. She is more of a needy snuggler than her older sister who weaned at 19 mo. Early Childhood Intervention and La Leche League would be quick to inform you of the World Health Org. position of 2 yrs as a MINimum for nursing, and their recommendation of going 5-7 years! I know! I was surprised too, but it IS NOT so strange and unusual globally. Just here in the West. My only questions for you would be - Is your child still eating meals? Cause mine is. Is she meeting her milestones? (probably surpassing them with all that great breastmilk! :) then there is nothing to worry about. Unless she refuses to eat meals and only nurse (which would still be ok occasionally at 2!) I'm sure it is fine!
You stop breastfeeding her whenever YOU TWO - you and she- decide it is best. Whenever you want to, and/or whenever she is good and ready! I think you will know. La Leche League in general teaches the 'don't offer, don't refuse' weaning method.
Don't feel bullied by opinionated people! If I could, I would let you bring me around to lecture them for you. In leiu of that option, you shall be your own muscle, hold your own ground. You can do it! It's all about your daughter- you know that. Stick to your guns, do what you believe in. The ones that mind don't matter, and the ones that matter don't mind!!!

Rebecca - posted on 03/22/2011

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Breatsfeeding is the absolute best thing for your children!! It's entirely up to you when you stop breastfeeding, and don't let anyone else pressure you about it!!There are people in other countries that will breastfeed till 5 or older, it just depends on your own comfort level.No matter what, at this stage you have done wonders for your daughter, and you are wonderful for that. I had to stop breastfeeding my son at 10 months due to my work schedule. I was disappointed, but I did what I could.Weaning from the breast is just like weaning from anything else. Slowly substitute breastfeeding with cups of regular milk, or even if you want to express breast milk still

Kate - posted on 03/22/2011

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What great, encouraging answers!

Breastmilk is always healthy for your child, no matter her age. Continuing to nurse at this point will not inhibit her growth. She will eat other foods she needs to fill herself up and help her grow, and the breastmilk will be one of those foods at this point.

I've nursed each of my kids past 3 years old, and they've all weaned before 3 1/2. Keep nursing as long as you and she both want. I think it's much easier to reason with a 3 year old than a 2 year old regarding breastfeeding and the rules you make for nursing (such as when you nurse every day).

Way to go, mama! Two years of breasfeeding is a great accomplishment so far!

Rayanna - posted on 03/22/2011

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From everything I've read, it's best to let them self wean. If you want to continue to breastfeed, it shouldn't be anyone else' concern.

Ronnetta - posted on 03/22/2011

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How do u feel about nursing ur child at 2? U can't go on other people feelings Do what's best for u and ur child People is always going to have something to say

Lisa - posted on 03/21/2011

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My LO is getting ready to be 2 in June and I've been thinking about weaning her. She eats plenty of table food and has been doing so since I introduced it at 7 months. She LOVES breastfeeding though so I'm finding it hard to say no to her when she asks. I plan on doing it very slowly so as not to make it something heartbreaking for both of us. This is such a short time in their lives to give them something that is so nutritious, healthy, and comforting to them. Do it when you and she are ready, not when someone else thinks it's time. You want to look back on this time in your lives with a smile, knowing it was something beautiful that you gave your daughter, not that you cut her off because someone else wanted you to. Go with your heart. Good job doing something so right for your little girl :)

Tammy - posted on 03/21/2011

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My daughter will be 3 the end of June and I am still nursing her, only at night mind you. Just this past week I have started to skip it and it doesn't seem to bother her. I only stopped because as I was nursing her one night she stopped and told me my boobs were tasty. In those exact words! They taste like strawberry shortcake she said. At that point I knew it was time to stop LOL. She never suffered from not getting enough food. I find as long as you nurse after you give them a meal you really can't go wrong. You are this childs mother and you are the person that will always know them best. Use your common sence and your mother's intuition. If it doesn't feel right to stop then don't stop. You will know when the day comes when it's time to stop. You are the only one that will know. Good luck :)

Alicia - posted on 03/21/2011

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That's all false information! What is good for your baby never stops being good for you baby. So don't wean her from the pressure of other people. If both you and your daughter both enjoying breastfeeding, by all means continue. Having a cup of whole milk with dinner doesn't prevent kids from eating and neither will breastfeeding! It's all part of the nutritional diet. I have a 20 month old who breastfeeds. Breastfeeding is natural and in no way will harm your child.

[deleted account]

What do you think exclusively provided for her growth in her first 6 months? Your breastmilk. The people who are telling you to wean based on growth and nutrition are misinformed. For as long as you breastfeed your milk is filling in the nutritional gaps and providing important immunity benefits. Breastfeeding also provides much needed emotional connectedness. So many people are ready to rush babies into being independent and later on aren't as adept at truly being independent because they weren't allowed to be depended when they really needed to. I say ignore them. Let your daughter wean herself.

Aicha - posted on 03/21/2011

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when both you and your daughter decide it is time to stop breastfeeding then you stop

.anna - posted on 03/21/2011

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i BFd all 3 of mine....my 3rd was the longest, 14months. i made the decision to wean him...because I was his binky, his blanky, his teddy...I was his comfort. it was hard being the only person he wanted. he still tries to latch on if he sees my 'doo-dooies'...he's now 21 mo. if i could do it again, i would have weaned him sooner. IMO, if they can walk and talk, and they can ask for it...then they should be able to ask for a cup of regualr milk.

Jaye (Josephine) - posted on 03/21/2011

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The World Health Organisation recommends feeding to 2 years and beyond. Congratulations to you. When you stop is a personal decision for you and your DD.

Brigitte - posted on 03/21/2011

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I weaned both my daughters just after they turned a year old and went to whole milk. I agree each mother needs to do what feels right for her. I would not let others make me feel it was wrong. Even if you do it for only 6 months you have given your child something wonderful =)

Cathie - posted on 03/20/2011

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As everyone has said - wean when you and your daughter are ready, and not before! My daughter self weaned not long before she was 3 - she forgot to feed for a couple of days, so when she came for a feed I told her it was all gone - she had drunk it all. She was quite happy and went off to play. Your daughter will all eat the solid food she needs to, and is getting extra fluids and nutrients from your breastmilk.

Kathleen - posted on 03/20/2011

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Stop when you and/or your baby is ready. My twins nursed exclusively. they started solids at 10 months and self weaned when they were 3 1/2 yrs old. If you are comfortable just nurse til your daughter is ready to stop. the twins wouldn't nurse as often and it became les and less til they decided to stop within a week of each other. As time goes by it'll be easier to wean since they will most likely be getting ready to stop.

Barbara - posted on 03/20/2011

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Hannah, I presonally could rebuke, many of the points made in that link (personal experience) ...BUT I still say, it is the best thing! Agree with aalll the posts here.

Hannah - posted on 03/20/2011

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Hey Heela, I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL! I CONSTANTLY get people telling me it's wrong and asking me "when are you going to stop", these people are mainly my partner and my best friend-which makes it all that more worse for me =( BUT despite that I know what me and my toddler want. I feel that both me and my toddler are not ready to stop yet. He is 2 months off being 3 years old and I do not plan on stopping yet. He only has it when he goes to sleep or if i feel he needs some comfort (along with him asking). Here is a really awesome link on 10 reasons to feed your toddler-http://www.lightparty.com/Health/10Reaso...

Just go with your heart and know that you are giving the best gift to your daughter (and yourself) and don't let anyone change or influence you. This is your body and your child.

Barbara - posted on 03/20/2011

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My LO is a little passed 3 & still BFing. Although, I would like her to think about stopping, I think it is kind of wrong. It is I who let her continue BFing to this age & don't want to *torture*/traumatize her, to get her to stop. *I* think once we've decided to extend BF , trying to *impose* when to stop, is kinda wrong...we have let them BF beyond a year or two, they are older & so attached, how can you just make them stop?BFing implies so much more than simply drinking mother's milk, especially the older they get. Sounds painful & cold... That is *my* opinion, personally...

As I said, I would like her to think about stopping soon, but I wouldn't be able to impose something on her, that would *hurt* her, knowing I was the cause of it

. You learn to ignore everyone , if you are comfortable in what you are doing for you & your child. I was a single mom (from get go, still am) LO was a preemie, I fought to have her BF...never in my wildest dreams did I think we would go a year, let alone beyond, and here we are...



Also, she has never 'not' eaten because of BFing ( I Mean as an older child) She has been at one feed (bedtime) since about 18 months....(on her own) before that was nap time & bed time...I never cut her down, she did it on her own...

Maybe you just need to cut down feeds? How many times is LO feeding?

Hey, LO jumped onto 60 th percentile for weight & 90 th for height, at her third birthday. Not too shabby. She gained 4.8 kg & 10 cm, in less than a year!

Good luck!

Dora - posted on 03/16/2011

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There are many articles out there regarding length of time to breast feed. Some say 6 months old, 2 years old and others even say 4 years old. It really is a personal choice on when to stop. If you don't mind and your daughter wants to continue then don't listen to anyone else. Either way breast milk is highly nutritious and changes with your babies needs. If you want her to start eating solids then just offer some to her when she shows interest. Let her try different foods when she wants to while you are still nursing. If you want to start weaning her then do it slowly. Start offering her sippy cups with characters/colors she loves. But just remember don't rush her. Take your time so the weaning process isn't traumatic for her.

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