AIBU to breastfeed my toddler in public?

(368 Posts)
RainbowsFriend Mon 03-Dec-12 21:10:14

My 18 month DD still breastfeeds a lot. Day and night, if I'm around and not at work.

I don't have a problem with this, (although I would like more sleep! grin) but it's increasingly becoming awkward when out and about, as toddlers don't cuddle in nicely but squirm and pop on and off a lot.

Today we were in a garden centre cafe, and having polished off most of her lunch, half of my sandwiches AND most of a flapjack, DD wanted mummy milk.
So I obliged. As discreetly as possible with one top up/ on top down, DD tucked in under my jumper and facing a wall.

Then all I can hear is the group of mums on the table behind me saying "it shouldn;t be allowed when they're that age - they should be down to morning and evening feeds MAXIMUM - in fact they should be on formula/cows milk by 6 months/a year" etc. There were about 5 mums all loudly discussing it....

I think my daughter should be allowed mummy milk for as long as she wants it personally. She's not still going to be feeding aged 8 - and she's only 18 months now! I am getting VERY fed up with stares when this happens and really don't want to be confined to the house. I could ask her to wait, but she doesn't really understand that yet - and just asks louder and louder grin

So WIBU to feed her in public?

I don't think YABU to feed in public - I'm feeding my nearly 1yo and still feed in public - though I know he tends to be a pain with the popping off and messing, so actually I'm more likely to feed him in the car for the benefit of us both.

I think feeding an older baby is still quite rare, unfortunately, and people DO comment and hoick their judgeypants.

I do think "mummy milk" is cringe-worthy though.

coconutty that made me snort!

OP YANBU at all, it's a personal choice and you were discreet about it, if that had been me I would have turned around and looked them in the eye whilst doing it, she's 18months for christs sakes not starting school.

And what she calls it is up to you personally...at least it's not bitttttyyyy grin

aufaniae Mon 03-Dec-12 21:26:22

YANBU at all.

What narrow-minded, judgemental, ignorant people sad

Why it's more socially acceptable for babies to drink milk from a cow, than milk designed by millions of years of evolution to suit them is beyond me!

However our society is just plain weird about BF.

I used to feel uncomfortable BFing in public. I remember seeing someone feeding a 2yo, and it made me feel a lot better about it. If I felt bad about it public, I told myself that there might be someone around who felt as I used to, and seeing me and DS BF might help them gain confidence. Thinking this helped to make me braver about it!

However I still feed DS every so often (he's nearly 4). We're coming to the end of BFing, he only asks for it every few days now. We haven't fed in public for a very long time, so I bowed to the pressure at some point, can't remember exactly when now!

RainbowsFriend Mon 03-Dec-12 21:26:52

Fine, so IABU to use my toddler's phrase - fair enough grin

Also, expressing wouldn't work for a number of reasons - when she wants a breastfeed it is not totally about the milk - its about the cuddle. She is not a cuddly baby but still needs cuddles, and this is the way she gets them. Also, my milk starts to smell a but soapy very quickly after being expressed, even if frozen/fridged immediately, and DD won't drink it then. Also I find it very difficult to express much.
Finally, CBA to faffing with bottles and suchlike. DD is even starting to refuse sippy cups - will only drink from an open glass currently.

SantaWearsGreen Mon 03-Dec-12 21:27:11

Nothing wrong with mummy milk.

Yanbu at all. 18 mo is nothing. My 18 mo is still tiny to me. My almost 3 yo is a bit of a monster, I think i'd find it a bit odd to still be feeding him on my lap (he does have the odd bit of expressed in a cup still but mostly just has alpro). 18 mo is still a baby imo, its hardly like a 10 year old! I can imagine that would get looks, but not an 18 mo.

None of their business anyway. They should be pretty ashamed at their own ignorance.

mollycuddles Mon 03-Dec-12 21:27:22

Yabu to come here and ask as it starts another bloody breastfeeding discussion

Yanbu to feed your toddler whatever way you and they want

Nobody else's business in rl or on mn

cashmere Mon 03-Dec-12 21:27:54

YANBU and call it what you like. I called it 'milk' as it was DS's standard milk. It also meant that as he got older it wasn't clear what he was asking for and I didnt have to worry about what others thought if he started shouting for milk. I called other milk 'cow milk' to differentiate.

They sound like bullies- it's a really mean thing to do.

I don't like dummies but would never start sounding off in earshot of someone- it's just unnecessary.

aufaniae Mon 03-Dec-12 21:28:42

Why on earth is "mummy milk" getting such bad comments?

It is mummy milk!

(Our word was "Mama", which DS made up - it was his first word. Couldn't care less if it's twee, he was a baby when he invented the word and it worked for us!).

Oldladypillow Mon 03-Dec-12 21:29:03

Nothing wrong with extended bf.
only twee expressions. Could be worse - could be 'boo boo'. Vom

safflower Mon 03-Dec-12 21:29:29

yanbu on breastfeeding but yabvvvvvvvvu to talk to other adults about mummy milk.

OovoofWelcome Mon 03-Dec-12 21:31:45

YANBU.

And 'mummy milk' is a perfectly reasonable way to describe it to your still very little DC.

Do what you feel is right; it was very rude and self-important of those women to loudly criticise you.

Posterofapombear Mon 03-Dec-12 21:32:08

YANBU they can all fuck right off. You are right to feed your baby if she wants.

It's a sad world when an 18 month old is too old for boob hmm

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 03-Dec-12 21:32:27

YANBU to do what you want with your own body and your own child, but you know that you are doing something that is considered controversial, so if you are going to choose to feed a toddler in public in the middle of the day, then YABU to expect that it won't be noticed.

MsMoastyToasty Mon 03-Dec-12 21:33:54

It's absolutely fine to feed your child is public and 18 months is still really little. It's your call (and your child's, obviously!).

(It's a bit silly to say if they can ask for it, they're too old to be doing it. When do you decide when the cut-off point is? When they say "mmmmm"? When they say "milk"? When they say "milk please"? Or when they say, "Mother, kindly unhook your bra as I wish to feed now"?)

FeijoaVodkaAndCheezels Mon 03-Dec-12 21:34:16

I bf my 17 month old DD in public and frankly if a group of mums sat there commenting like that I would damned well turn around and tell them to shut up. It is perfectly natural, beats having a crying toddler (because most likely she'd fall asleep mid feed) and even WHO recommend bfing til they are 2. I don't sit there commenting on toddlers having a bottle when they should be using a cup etc etc and people should not comment on my (or your) choice to bf.

Rant over. In conclusion, YWNBU but those stupid women definitely were.

SirBoobAlot Mon 03-Dec-12 21:34:17

Of course you are not being unreasonable - feed wherever and whenever.

Don't let the bastards get you down. You're doing a brilliant thing. And the more people that do it, the more normal it will become, so really you're helping future mums as well smile

RainbowsFriend Mon 03-Dec-12 21:35:02

I actually thought it was becoming more accepted and that I wouldn't get stared like this.

I spent many years abroad in another culture where breastfeeding to natural weaning age is normal and expected so it's been a bit of a shock actually.

lovebunny Mon 03-Dec-12 21:37:46

no. feed your toddler wherever you like. i'm behind you. fed mine till she was four.

cashmere Mon 03-Dec-12 21:37:54

Actually up to 2 yrs (when I stopped feeding) DS called it 'milk'. At some point over the last 8 months he had started to refer to breastfeeding as 'mummy milk' himself. I think it's just his way of making sense of the world. He has a baby doll with a bottle but also sees breastfeeding. He knows where cow's milk comes from (obsession with farming) but also comments on baby animals having their 'mummy milk'.

It isn't actually that twee but factually correct!
Could call it breast milk I guess but would cow's milk then be 'udder milk'?!

TheElfOnThePanopticon Mon 03-Dec-12 21:38:07

YANBU and 18 months is teeny and not controversial at all.

BertieBotts Mon 03-Dec-12 21:38:52

It must be a bit of a shock to move from somewhere like that to here! While things are getting better sometimes it feels like we're in the stone ages with attitudes to breastfeeding.

Oh wait, that doesn't work at all as a metaphor, does it? grin

coldcupoftea Mon 03-Dec-12 21:39:59

YANBU at all, and I can't believe some of the attitudes on here! My 2.5 yo also calls it 'mummy milk' , after all to her that's what it is.

I don't tend to feed in public anymore umless I really have to, eg if she has fallen and hurt herself she will ask for it, and tbh the sight of me giving her what looks like a cuddle is a lot more discreet than a toddler screaming 'I WANT MUMMY MILK!!!!'

SirBoobAlot Mon 03-Dec-12 21:40:57

Oh, and DS called it mummy milk too. Quite logical really - when we went to the shop, we got fridge milk, and when he wanted milk, he had mummy milk.

I think things like "bot bot" and "doggie" are much worse things to hear coming out of a mothers childs mouth.

God threads like this are so depressing.

The amount of people that think it's wrong to be feeding a human baby/child human breastmilk when you could be giving them milk from a completely different species or something artificially manufactured is just so sad. It's perfectly normal to breastfeed children in other societies.

Why did we become skewed in our way of thinking in this country? The world average age for a child to stop breastfeeding is 4. This is NORMAL!

Op I hope these ignorant women haven't put you off giving your dd what she needs.

Disclaimer. I really hope to have stopped feeding my own dd before she is 4. <sore boobs emoticon>

RainbowsFriend Mon 03-Dec-12 21:42:01

Bertie grin

She started with the mummy milk after she started at the childminder who gave her cows milk - I think she got confused at first but then it became milk= cows milk, mummy milk = breastfeed.

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