do you remember being breastfed as toddlers

(34 Posts)
ilovemuffins Tue 23-Feb-10 14:47:07

Just wondering really! Am hoping to bf DS (16 mths) until he weans off bf naturally. If he keeps bf'ing beyond, say, 2.5 years, he will probably remember. I hope these will be positive memories, of a warm cuddly lovely kind of feeling... At the same time, I wonder if, for a Western child, these memories might occasionally be a bit cringeworthy??

If you were breastfed into toddlerhood, do you remember it clearly? And if so, how do you feel about it?

eggontoast Tue 23-Feb-10 17:21:34

My friend was bf to 3 years - she cannot remember though.

My earliest memory is 5 years old.

I don't think many people actually remember much of their toddler hood, unless it is in pictures or a significant event.

Reallytired Tue 23-Feb-10 20:52:34

My son does not remember being breastfeed and he was breastfed until 33 months. He knows he was breastfed longer than average, but it doesn't bother him. For a toddler a breastfeed is a special sort of cuddle. It is emotional rather than nutrician.

At the age of eight years old he breastfeeds his dolly which is really funny to watch. My father asked him why he was breastfeeding his dolly and he was indigant that how else should he feed a baby. His positioning and technique were perfect and I am sure he will be able to help his wife when he is older.

rainbowinthesky Tue 23-Feb-10 20:54:03

Ds was breastfed till he was 4 and has no memories nor has it every been an issue. DD till 3 and is now 6 and doesnt remember. Dh till he was 4 (by his mother in case you were wondering) and reckons he remembers stopping but I doubt it.

rainbowinthesky Tue 23-Feb-10 20:54:38

Meant to put ds is now 14.

ShowOfHands Tue 23-Feb-10 20:57:31

Have friends who are twins and were bfed until age 5. They 'sort of' remember it. They remember the feelings of warmth and comfort and the sensations of being cuddled and nurtured but not the specific act iyswim.

JaynieB Tue 23-Feb-10 20:58:10

Interesting thread - I stopped feeding DD about 6 months ago, but think she misses it a bit (she's nearly 3 now) but I expect the memory of it to fade, although she obviously still remembers now.

Elasticwoman Tue 23-Feb-10 21:05:52

My son was bf till age 4 or 5 and can remember. He says it tasted nice and is quite happy about it.

CoteDAzur Wed 24-Feb-10 08:45:41

How kids remember it now is interesting, but more interesting would be to see what effect (psychologically) these memories will have on these girls and boys in their adult life - with their mothers, mother figures, girlfriends, etc.

ShowOfHands Wed 24-Feb-10 10:38:04

CoteDAzur the friends I have who were bfed until 5 are 28 now. Interestingly, and possibly nothing to do with weaning age, they are extremely close to their mother and have both chosen to settle close to her. They are both married, one to a partner 13yrs older than her and one to a partner 16 years older.

Elasticwoman Wed 24-Feb-10 10:50:01

In many cultures of the world, infants are routinely bf till 3 or 4 years of age, sometimes older.

It is our western affluent culture which perversely regards breasts as more to do with sex than with the feeding of children.

The question, for me, is less what does extended bf do to the adult psyche, and more what does bf deprivation do to the adult psyche?

rainbowinthesky Wed 24-Feb-10 13:18:45

Cotedezur - dh was sent to boarding school in another country at 11 and has never lived with his parents sicne then. He is close but they live in different continents so can only be as close as this allows. I cannot see that bf made any difference. His sibling were not bf and are probably closer tbh.

CoteDAzur Wed 24-Feb-10 18:57:15

Elastic - I keep reading this on MN. Would you tell us in which countries a vast majority of children are breastfed at age 3 and 4?

I'm looking at WHO breastfeeding data by countries and can't find any. In Morocco, for example, only 15% of 2 year olds are breastfed, let alone 3 or 4 year olds. This figure is 30% in Afghanistan, 36% in Iraq, and 24% in Turkey.

So which countries have this high rate of breastfeeding 3 and 4 year olds, and what percentage of world's children are they?

DrivenToDistraction Wed 24-Feb-10 19:17:05

DB and I were both fed to about 2 1/2 and neither of us remember it or see it as anything other than excellent.

The only side effects have been to utterly normalize BF for us and make us both very pro-BF. The woman my brother has children with can be sure of much more support and understanding than most men are able to give (should she choose / be able to BF).

DrivenToDistraction Wed 24-Feb-10 19:18:40

DB and I both live in different countries to our mother (and each other).

welliemum Wed 24-Feb-10 20:21:49

Cote, extended breastfeeding rates will vary a lot within a country depending to quite a large extent on how "Westernised" people are.

So, looking at those figures you quote, about 1 in 4 children in Turkey overall are breastfed at the age of 2 - but that will encompass a lot of children living pretty Westernised lives in Istanbul or Izmir, say, as well as children living more traditional lives elsewhere.

If 1 in 4 is an average over the country, and it's likely that women in the big cities breastfeed for shorter durations than 2 years in keeping with Western norms - then conversely it implies that women in rural areas are likely to be breastfeeding for longer.

Sort of like the national average number of children a couple have might be 2.4, but no-one actually has 2.4 children - it might be that most people have 2 or 3 children, but if many have none and a few have 12, the average could still be 2.4.

ArthurPewty Wed 24-Feb-10 20:26:18

DD1 was 3.5 when she quit and doesnt remember it.

I wish i could remember it, but i was bottlefed hmm. My teeth prove that fact, sigh.

Elasticwoman Wed 24-Feb-10 20:40:35

Leonie - I don't think you can blame the state of your teeth entirely on what you drank before you had your adult gnashers!

Cote: I quote from The Breastfeeding Answerbook, page 157.

"In most periods of history and in most parts of the world, babies have been breastfed for years rather than months - 2 to 4 years being the general norm, according to Margaret Mead and Niles Newton (1967).

It was not until 1800 that most of the pupular English writings on childcare recommended weaning as young as 12 months. Even in 1725 writers commented on nursing 4 year olds with disapproval, an indication that a significant number of 18th c 4 yos were still breastfeeding. .... These changes in recommended patterns of childrearing closely parallel other changes in family life that occurred during the Industrial Revolution in England and US.

In other cultures around the world, extended nursing continued for much longer and in some places is still common. Until early in [C20th] mothers in China and Japan still nursed for 4 or 5 years."

ArthurPewty Wed 24-Feb-10 20:50:37

No no, not the state of them, the SHAPE of them.

CoteDAzur Wed 24-Feb-10 20:51:37

welliemum - I am familiar with basic rules of statistics and especially with Turkey's demographics. Yes, urban and rural areas have different rates of breastfeeding (as you would see if you looked at WHO link) which will be above or below the national average. So what? National average remains what it is.

In order to claim that in "many" countries, "infants are routinely BF to 3 or 4, sometimes older", you need to find many countries where pretty much all infants are BF at age 2, so that it can be somewhat plausible that the majority of them are BF at age 3, 4, or older.

So, again: Which countries are they? And what percentage of the world's infant population do they make up?

CoteDAzur Wed 24-Feb-10 20:58:30

Elastic - Rather than quoting a book I have never heard of and don't have in front of me, please check out WHO's figures that I linked to. They are much more recent than your 1967 book and there for all to see.

Elasticwoman Wed 24-Feb-10 21:03:24

The Breastfeeding Answerbook is issued by La Leche League and my copy is less than 10 years old. 1967 is just the work they were quoting from.

In the context of several million years of evolution I don't think breastfeeding has changed that much since 1967 anyway.

Personally I think a book is a more reliable source of information than the Internet. But take it or leave it, Cote.

your WHO chart is all well and good, but take a look at some of the sample sizes. In Albania it claims 20 (what? percent?) children are still breastfed at 2yrs old. the sample size was 54 hmm

and it also sayss that 91 (again, presume this is percent as it doesn't specify) are being BF at 2 in bangladesh

95 for nepal

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