How long did you/do you want to bf for?

(82 Posts)
HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Mon 25-Mar-13 16:19:48

DD (2) recently had a bit of a strike and I panicked because I hadn't expected it. Up until then I didn't really think I would be that bothered when she stopped as we've reached my (WHO recommended) goal of 2 and beyond, but I was absolutely gutted.

Luckily, she's stopped striking now and we're back to normal, but it's got me thinking about how long I would like to feed for. It is obviously down to DD when she wants to stop, I'm not going to try and influence her either way but I think I will be really emotional when the time comes. Especially as I am unlikely to have any more babies.

My mum remembers the last time she fed me (self weaned), she said it was if we both knew it was the last time so it was bittersweet and when I thought DD had stopped, I was so sad I hadn't had that final feed for closure.

I suppose I'm just wondering what it was like when your DC weaned and how I'm going to feel when it does happen. At the moment I'm thinking that I wouldn't mind another year or so, but I might want another year after that, and another, and another........

wibblyjelly Mon 25-Mar-13 17:08:51

I really wanted to bf until at least 6 months. DS had other ideas, and rejected me at 12 weeks....

EauRouge Mon 25-Mar-13 17:11:22

My original goal with DD1 was 6 months- I've no idea why, I'd just heard it mentioned and thought that that was how long people breastfed for. Lots of reading (and joining MN) later, she's still BF and is 4.6yo- also BF DD2 who just turned 2yo. At the moment our plan is to let them self-wean but I'd not be averse to giving DD1 a gentle push in the right direction if I decide I've had enough.

I was visited by some HVs a year ago (two of them! They ganged up on me grin ) who got all pissy because I refused to rule out breastfeeding an 8 year old. Sure, it's not my long term plan and I certainly don't see myself doing it but who knows how I'll feel then? If someone had told me when DD1 was born that I'd be BF her at 4.6yo I'd have told them to fuck right off, and yet here I am.

Never say never, play it by ear and all that. Nothing wrong with moving the goalposts in either direction if you change your mind.

HappyAsASandboy Mon 25-Mar-13 17:30:24

I aimed for 6 months, as like you I thought that's what you should do. That point sailed right by, and my DTs are 2yrs5mo and still feeding all night. I have no idea when we'll stop, though it can sometimes do several nights with DS not feeding, then suddenly he wants a feed in the night and nothing else will do! So I suspect he is gradually self weaning sad

I suspect my DD will continue for a while yet as she asks most times she wakes in the night (cosleeping, so just minor wakes) and seems quite interested in the fact I have boobs! She can often be found breastfeeding her dolls and teddies too, so just seems more into it somehow.

I will be sad when this phase is over too. I am conscious that I don't want to encourage/discourage breastfeeding so that my babies can decide, so I only ever offer verbally (rather than physically presenting a boob) and only then as one of several options ('cold milk' or 'warm milk', which are cows milk, cuddle, teddy cuddle, mummy milk etc).

Like EauRouge, I would never have dreamed I'd feed this long. I really thought 6 months would be it, then thought it'd just be until cows milk at 12 months, then thought maybe we'd stop at the WHO guide of 2 years ..... I've no idea what the actual trigger for stopping will be smile

TryDrawing Mon 25-Mar-13 17:36:38

Before dd was born, I wanted to bf for 6 months. Then we had trouble getting bf established and by the time we'd got it sorted out, I couldn't imagine why I would want to stop at 6 months. Now dd is just shy of 18 months and I plan to just bf natural term. It's no hassle for me and would upset dd if I forced her to stop. Apart from dh, everyone who finds out I'm "still" feeding her reacts as though I'm either a masochist or a hippy. I'm actually neither, I just value dd's opinion over theirs.

By the time dd stops I will hopefully have another child so it'll be interesting to see if I miss nursing her or if it just gives me a bit more room on the sofa!

hufflepup Mon 25-Mar-13 17:38:39

I was aiming for 6 months and now we're here changing to formula just seems like an almighty pain in the arse so I'll keep going until 12 months I think...

CelticPromise Mon 25-Mar-13 17:42:11

I hadn't really considered how long, just knew I wanted to bf. Then DS arrived extremely premature and it became my mission, and a bit of a battle, to ebf. Then I thought right, I'll get him to six months corrected, then we just kept going. He was losing interest and down to one feed a day so we stopped at 18 months. I am a peer supporter now and know much more about bfing than I did and know many bfing toddlers. Wish I hadn't stopped in some ways.

birdofthenorth Mon 25-Mar-13 17:42:57

I was aiming for 6-12 months. Two and a half years later I can't get the little addict to stop!

noblegiraffe Mon 25-Mar-13 19:29:38

I thought I'd stop feeding at 13 months when I went back to work, but I wasn't ready to give up then so carried on till 17 months then it was right for both of us to stop.

marzipananimal Mon 25-Mar-13 19:36:37

I was vaguely aiming for 1 year, but when we got there I had no reason to stop. DS has recently stopped at about 2.4, with a bit of gentle encouragement from me because I'm pregnant, was a bit sore and not keen to tandem feed.
I think I might be keen to feed this baby for longer and it'll probably be my last but we'll see how it goes, I think 1 year will be my minimum target again

stargirl1701 Mon 25-Mar-13 19:37:20

I wanted to bf for 2 years. I made it 3 weeks.

ilovepicnmix Mon 25-Mar-13 19:42:13

I wanted to do 6 months but started mix feeding at 6 weeks. Kept this till 8 months when lo decided he wasn't interested! Im sad as ended up wanting to breastfeed much longer than my original 6 months.

mawbroon Mon 25-Mar-13 19:47:43

I never found any reason to stop with ds1 and he kept going til he was 7!! I had always imagined I would be sad to stop, but actually I was bloody well over the moon!!

DS2 still going strong at 3yo, no idea when he will give up....

I had originally planned to feed for 6 months and then see what happened shock

Bakingtins Mon 25-Mar-13 19:49:34

I was aiming at 6 months with DS1 and did 16m, aimed at a year with DS2 and did 2 yrs.

aufaniae Mon 25-Mar-13 19:50:15

I hadn't given it much thought, I guess I thought I'd feed until about a year.

Then I learnt about the WHO guidelines so aimed for 2 years. But DS didn't seem keen to stop so we carried on.

I was planning to stop before having DC2. I'm pregnant, and DS seemed to be winding down before Christmas, we'd dropped to once every few days. But then he got a nasty cold, and was back to feeding daily. Since then life's been pretty chaotic (e.g. moving house) and he's asked for a feed more often, we're back to daily again, I guess he needs the comfort. And now he's ill again.

So, DS is 4.3 and DC2 is due in 3 weeks! So I guess we are going to do tandem feeding after all grin

Great to see some other people feeding 4+ DCs here, I don't know any others openly feeding in RL. I must admit I let people assume DS has weaned these days <coward emoticon>

Although I did tell the other parents at my NCT class (all first timers except me) that I was still BFing DS, as I hoped it might give them courage later when feeling the pressure of well-meaning but misinformed idiots people asking "isn't it time to give up now?" (I got this from when DS was 10mo. We went "underground", feeding only in private, and not mentioning it unless asked when he has about 16 months IIRC as I was fed up with the comments.)

Posterofapombear Mon 25-Mar-13 19:51:11

Wanted to feed until 12 months, still feeding now at nearly 2.

I am weak when she does her little 'mommy pwease' grin

VinegarDrinker Mon 25-Mar-13 19:52:19

I imagined feeding to around a year, which is what we did (15months).

Although I was lucky to pretty much sail through with no thrush, mastitis etc, BFing was never anything emotional for me, which seems unusual reading MN. I didn't even shed a tear after our last feed.

littlestressy Mon 25-Mar-13 19:54:19

I wanted to do 6 months then when I got there 12 months. When we got to a year I couldn't be bothered to wean him and my DS likes it too much so we're still going at 15 months. Until I'm fed up with it or he wants to stop.

ShoeJunkie Mon 25-Mar-13 19:54:31

I thought I would bf for a year but DS has just turned 13 months and would be very upset if we tried to stop anytime soon!

Same as Vinegar. Wanted to do a year, and that's what I did with both DSs. Purely so I could avoid formula <lazy> and go straight from boob to cow's milk.

Also the same as Vinegar, it was a purely practical thing for me, and neither DS was particularly bothered when we stopped either

BertieBotts Mon 25-Mar-13 19:58:54

I only really wanted to breastfeed for about a year but then ended up letting DS self wean, which he did recently. He's 4.

VinegarDrinker Mon 25-Mar-13 20:00:15

Yup DS didn't even seem to notice mistress ! My plan was "don't offer, don't refuse" ... And he just never asked again! Tbf he had cow's milk half the time anyway when I was at work but still... he could've at least pretended to care! Ungrateful pest!

BertieBotts Mon 25-Mar-13 20:01:22

I didn't really feel anything much. He wound down so slowly I didn't actually notice blush until I explicitly offered and he said no, as if I'd just offered him a drink of engine oil or something.

His immune system seemed to take a big hit when he stopped - he got a stomach bug and then two colds in quick succession. That was the biggest thing for me.

Totally agree Vinegar! After all the horrible flappy clothes we wore for them did for them! (btw, I drink it too. Vinegar, that is, not breastmilk grin )

LaCucina Mon 25-Mar-13 20:07:47

With dd1 I wanted to get to a year as wanted to avoid formula/bottles/sterilising if we could - she self weaned at about 17 months after I followed 'don't offer, don't refuse'. I was heavily pg and found feeding sore so was more glad than sad. However, in hindsight I wish I'd got through it and tandem fed, I think it would have helped with the sibling shock and my feeling of losing time with dd1.

Dd2 is 21 mo and addicted to bf. I can't imagine her wanting to stop anytime soon, and that is fine with me. I definitely want to get to 2.

OhdearIquit Mon 25-Mar-13 20:10:20

Wanted to breastfeed DD for 1 year. We had loads of problems for the first 2 months but battled through, one feed at a time. We are still going strong at 14 months now and DD has never had a bottle in her life. Am very proud and am now aiming for 18 months but the ultimate goal is 2. After that, I hope she'll be done though.

I fed for 3 years with my last DC - it was a year too long in retrospect. DD didn't want to stop, (although I don't think she needed it nutritionally by that stage), I didn't have the energy to wean so we continued with neither of us really benefitting. I think two years is often a natural cut-off point.

Op your LO won't suffer if you stop - good luck whatever you do.

equiliteral Mon 25-Mar-13 20:20:26

With DS1 I think I was aiming for 6 months. Despite a very shaky start (DS1 is SCBU, was given formula top-ups for the first 10 days of his life, then we managed to get back to EBF once home - I am very proud of this because it really was a struggle), I went on to feed him until he was 15 months. I was sad when I stopped though - it was completely enforced by me, and just because I thought I should - I didn't know anyone else who had fed for longer than a year, my family were starting to make comments, and I was a little embarrassed about it.

DS2 is 23 months and still feeding. I am not in a huge hurry to stop (I wish I'd fed DS1 for longer), although he only feeds at bedtime and during the night (only once usually) now. It's odd though, although I do feel proud of feeding him for so long, I would probably not tell my friends and family (well, obviously DH knows and is completely supportive -but extended family) that I'm still feeding him, I think they'd be a bit shocked.

MostlyLovingLurchers Mon 25-Mar-13 20:26:33

We had a difficult start but am still feeding ds at 2.4, and see no signs of stopping. Still feed 3 times a day, more if he wants it. I don't feel the need to hide it, but do feel more conspicuous feeding a toddler when out and about than i did when he was tiny. If i ever get round to having dc2 i would try to tandem feed.

neontetra Mon 25-Mar-13 20:39:06

Still feeding at almost a year, though i hated the thought of it pre-dd, and intended to stop after about two days! Can't imagine we'll stop soon - dd is still a boob-monster, and as I work full time I find it a great way to reconnect with her after time apart. I am starting to feel a bit of pressure from family though, so sadly may go "underground" some time soon. Though that is bloody ridiculous, isnt it?

Twattybollocks Mon 25-Mar-13 21:31:50

I want to get to 6 months, did this with dd and I was ready to stop then. I'll see how I feel this time, and take it from there.

TeWiSavesTheDay Mon 25-Mar-13 21:44:20

I did both of mine for a year, DC1 slightly less, and DC2 slightly more.

I think I am very likely to bf DC3 when they arrive for less than a year. Maybe only 6mths, for practical/physical reasons. I feel a bit guilty about that, but it is definitely the right choice for me not to exclusively breast feed another baby.

I wanted to feed for 1 year. I stopped at 8 months - because LO just didn't seem interested any more. Really wish that I had kept trying because I really miss it! Which is a big surprise, what with PND/psychosis, D-MER, reflux, colic AND an undiagnosed lip-tie made those first few months very hard.

We struggled for 10 weeks before getting BF established. It was such hard work, but we did it. LO was mix-fed for 12 weeks, EBF for another 12, and then mix fed until 8 months. Now, at 11 months, he is EFF and a food-monster.

My intital reaction when asked by the MW if I wanted to BF was "I will try for 6 weeks, and if it's still not working I'll move to formula."

rubyslippers Tue 26-Mar-13 11:10:50

I thought I would feed for 6 months

I made it to three years

Weaning was a slow build up to cold turkey the day before her third birthday

HeadFairy Tue 26-Mar-13 11:44:43

I didn't really plan how long, I had no idea, just thought I'd wing it. Both children self weaned a few weeks after their first birthdays.

sleepyhead Tue 26-Mar-13 11:57:21

I'm aiming for 6 months and then we'll see. I bf ds for 14/15 months, returning to work when he was 11 months.

This time I'm back at work when dc2 will be around 6 months so not quite as straightforward but I might express if all goes well and feed directly when I can, or use formula and feed directly when I can. I can't remember what feeding was like at that stage with ds, and of course they could be completely different anyway, so I'm playing it by ear.

TheYamiOfYolk Tue 26-Mar-13 14:50:58

When I was pregnant, I wanted to feed for at least 6 months, probably a year or so. My 6 year old has almost weaned and my three year old still has a couple of feeds a day. They changed me more than I expected.

duchesse Tue 26-Mar-13 15:04:25

DS- I wanted to go for about 12 months. Stopped at 14 because I was pregnant again.

DD1- wanted to feed for about 18 months tops. Fed her for 17 months.

DD2- wanted to feed her for 18 months. Ended up feeding her for 2 years.

DD3- wanted to feed her for 18 months. Fed her for 2.5 years.

The problems with DDs 2 and 3 is that they both had eczema that seemed to get way worse every time I tried to introduce any other kind of milk. DD2 grew out of it (at 15 she only occasionally gets a bit behind her ears). DD3 is still prone to massive flare-ups so we are very careful with her milk intake as that appears to be the trigger.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Tue 26-Mar-13 16:04:05

Thanks for all the replies, I got on with tea etc. after posting this and fell asleep with DD at bedtime, so haven't got around to checking the thread till now!

It's good to see so many natural term feeders there are, as aufaniae says, it's rare to hear people openly discussing it in rl.

I was mainly worried about DD stopping atm as we are currently going through a turbulent period of our lives as my marriage is ending. I felt that bf would be a good way to reassure her through comfort and consistency so I was a bit alarmed when she was appearing to stop. Luckily she seems to be over this now and is back to her normal milk loving self.

It's funny to hear vinegar and others saying they never felt emotional about bf as I have found it very emotional and I suspect I will be heartbroken when it's over.

I'm also sorry to hear of those who didn't manage to reach their goals, I have to admit I hadn't really considered that when I posted, and I do hope it hasn't upset anybody.

MadameJosephine Tue 26-Mar-13 18:31:32

Forever! DD is only 19 weeks, I fed her brother until he self weaned at 21 months and plan to let her decide for herself when to stop but she will be my last baby and i feel a bit sad that once she does I'll never bf again sad

badguider Tue 26-Mar-13 18:53:58

I will need to use a bottle one afternoon a week at 3mnths for work reasons. I really hope that it can be bm and we can bf at all other times but I am not convinced. Has anybody used a bottle of ebm like this and been able to continue for a year or more?

Kveta Tue 26-Mar-13 19:03:16

I planned to feed for a year, to avoid having to buy formula. Finally weaned him a week before his 3rd birthday, although he would still nurse now if I let him.

I only weaned him because I was tandem feeding from when he was 2.8, and I HATED it, feeding him was making my skin crawl. So I just gradually wound down his feeds until he stopped.

I will probably feed DD until she is 2, then play it by ear.

The worst bit about weaning DS was that he got several nasty colds, and then chicken pox, since he stopped nursing - but he would have weaned at some point anyway, so I think I'd have felt guilty about him being I'll after weaning even if he had been 7.

Kveta Tue 26-Mar-13 19:04:55

Oh, and I went back to work when DS was 7 months old and everyone said that would be the end of bfing - ha! I even went away with work for a week when he was 18 months old, and he went back to feeding within an hour of my return grin

He did have the odd bottle of formula when I went back to work, but didn't like it much.

marthabear Tue 26-Mar-13 19:15:05

I aimed to feed my first born for about a year. I ended up stopping at 15 months after winding down slowly and really feeling the social pressure to stop.
Older and wiser, I aimed to feed my second until he wanted to stop which I thought would be between 1 and 2 years. He loved breastfeeding and showed no signs of wanting to stop after 2 years and into the pregnancy of baby number 3. So, ended up tandem feeding until he was 3. He actually had a couple of ear infections in the winter after stopping when all i could do to help his night pain was to offer the breast again so the last time he actually fed was at about 3.5 years.
Baby number 3 is now 15 months. I guess i'll get completely sick of it by age 2 or 3 if ahe hasn't already stopped, but who knows.

IShallCallYouSquishy Tue 26-Mar-13 19:19:51

I want to feed for 12 months, DD is 10 months so I'm nearly there. I don't actually know what I'm going to do at 12 months and will probably end up carrying on a bit longer.

I know I don't want to wait until self weaning but as I get closer to that year she still seems so little!

My son weaned in January at 3.3 years. We had a real rocky start, but kept at it, and it just seemed natural to continue. To be honest I had truly had enough by the time he stopped. I had incredibly sore breasts (period related) 2 weeks before he stopped, so his feed before bedtime was very short. He ended up falling asleep on his own a few nights after, then his dad put him to bed, and then that was it. He didn't ask again until 2 weeks later, then I explained that my milk had all gone. He has mentioned it a few times since, but is fine when I say it is all gone.

I feel a bit bittersweet about it, have lovely memories though. I am now no longer the only person who can put him to bed & I feel pretty liberated. He has become much more cuddly and affectionate too.

I am proud of us both, it was a bumpy journey but worth every minute.

JollyYellowGiant Tue 26-Mar-13 19:39:14

I wanted to get to at least 6months. But at the same time, I was clear that I had no desire to tandem feed, so natural term weaning was not on the cards for DC1.

We stopped when DS was 20mo. Actually, the day I found out I was pregnant. But that was more because it was a convenient time to stop rather than because of being pregnant.

We were only feeding morning and night by then. Stopping was very easy. We switched BF for cows milk in a cup and he has only asked once in the 3 months since we stopped.

ChocolateCoins Tue 26-Mar-13 19:50:47

I wanted bf DD til she was at least two but since becoming pregnant with DC2 my milk has dried up and she stopped a few weeks ago at 18 months. Feel so guilty that I couldn't reach 2 years.

MadameJosephine Tue 26-Mar-13 20:17:58

badguider I went back to work 2 days a week when DS was 6 months old and used to leave ebm for the childminder and express at work so yes it can be done. I'll be doing the same this time, I've already started to freeze some milk in advance

badguider Tue 26-Mar-13 22:07:40

thanks madame - good to know it can work.

chroniclackofimagination Tue 26-Mar-13 23:58:22

Stopped feeding DS1 at 9 months because I had been anxious about him getting enough and topped up each feed with formula until my milk supply dropped to almost nothing and he preferred the bottle. I was so sad and regretted not working harder to keep breastfeeding. Now DS2 is 5 months EBF and I hope to go to at least a year. Giving my 2 year old expressed milk in a cup now and then too which makes me feel better about him stopping bf before I wanted to.

lastseenleaving Wed 27-Mar-13 13:00:07

With DS1, until at least 6 months when I was going back to work. Ended up being 2 years when I accidentally caused him to self wean, by cutting a feed when I was impatient to get pregnant.

DS2 its coming up for 1 and aiming for at least as long as DS1, bf is useful and I missed it for comforting DS1 when he stopped!

TinyTear Wed 27-Mar-13 13:23:49

Wanted to just do it as allegedly my mum 'couldn't' do it with me (bad advice back in the 70s but that is a different story). So then I wanted 6 months, and then a year and here I am still feeding at 14 months... I will stop when my daughter wants (I think)

nananaps Wed 27-Mar-13 13:35:04

Wow, i was planning for 6 months but from all the posts on here, i think i will go on till 12 months to avoid formula and all the hassle that brings.

I have a year off on mat leave so can do that. 10 weeks in, its going fab. (fed DS1 till he was 7 months)

Interestingly, i am not sure WHY i decided on 6 months, but it appears that loads and loads of other folk on here also say 6 months! Why is 6 months the magic number i wonder?

nananaps I guess most people think 6 months because that's when most people start weaning? Also the formula companies push follow on milk from 6 months.

Personally my boy didn't really eat much in the way of solids until he was 1, so was a relief he was still breastfeeding.

noblegiraffe Wed 27-Mar-13 14:03:04

When I started breastfeeding I was clueless about babies. I knew you were supposed to breastfeed till 6 months then start solid food. I didn't realise that you had to keep giving milk at the same time. I thought weaning meant weaning off milk and you did it at 6 months.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Wed 27-Mar-13 14:18:07

I think it's partly because the correct advice to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months then begin to add food but continue bf gets confused as breastfeed till 6 months.

Also, ff companies aren't allowed to advertise formula as a replacement for breastmilk in the UK so all formula adverts you see are aimed at babies aged 6 months + and all talk about 'moving on from breast milk'and so you make the link with stopping bf then.

AND let's not forget the bizarre squeamishness about feeding an older baby/child that seems to affect so much of the western world.

Schooldidi Wed 27-Mar-13 14:53:20

Nananaps I can't believe your little one is 10 weeks already! It's amazing! You won't even recognise me now because I've namechanged but you helped me a lot around about this time last year.

I fed dd1 for 14 months. I'd just assumed that I would bf, didn't think about how long for, then once she arrived I wanted to get past the first week, then the next week, then before I knew it we'd gone past a year. She stopped when i went to uni full time. I recognise it now as a strike, but at the time I thought it was her self weaning.

Dd2 I fed til 2y8m. Again I just assumed I'd bf, and decided to aim for a year so we could avoid formula altogether. Then I never found a good enough reason to stop until she self weaned just before Christmas.

nananaps Thu 28-Mar-13 19:00:20

Schooldidi hi! Yes 10 weeks old and im still a nervous wreck!
Pinch myself daily to remind myself that he is here and that he is mine and that FINALLY we did it, we actually got our baby.
grin so happy to hear that i helped someone from my miserable journey, thats lovely xx

bonzo77 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:31:17

Didn't want to BF at all. Didn't BF at all. 2 DCs.

Crunchymunchyhoneycakes Thu 28-Mar-13 20:30:46

Fed ds1 till he was 18 months, still feel a bit sad I stopped when I did bu it was the right decision at the time.

Ds2 is 9 1/2 months now and I plan to feed as long as he wants really.

Not really sure what the pint of bonzo's comment was...

bonzo77 Thu 28-Mar-13 21:06:38

Point was I chose not to BF. not everyone wants to. It's a valid response to the OP's question.

chroniclackofimagination - that is a fab idea. I stopped BF at 8 months but really wish that I'd carried on going. I'd never of thought to offer a toddler EBM in a cup before. Once I'm pregnant again, and BF the next one, I'll remember to do that.

(I read once that in Mongolia, it's not uncommon for a mum to express some milk for her husband as a treat or for someone who is ill in the family!)

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Fri 29-Mar-13 22:52:04

Yes i read something about bf in Mongolia too visualise The general attitude over there is completely different to here IIRC the author mentioned that when she worked in an office there and left expressed milk in the fridge, colleagues kept nicking it to drink for themselves!

Yes you're right bonzo your response was valid. It's interesting on this thread some of us never wanted to bf at all, some didn't ever see bf as an emotional thing and some (including me) feel that it's very meaningful and emotional. I wonder what it is that makes us feel differently about it? I always assumed that all bf mothers felt like this and that it must be an innate biological response that resulted from the endorphins you get when you bf, but it obviously isn't if not everyone feels that way.

GrandPoohBah Fri 29-Mar-13 23:15:50

Badguider, my 18wo dd is bf all the time - except for the one bottle of formula she gets in the evening so daddy can put her to bed and I have some time to myself. It works fantastically for us and I can't imagine that it wouldn't work with ebm - we use formula because frankly I can't be faffed with expressing.

My aim is to get to at least 6mo but I can't think of a reason I would stop then - it's easy and works well for us. I suspect that I'll bf most of the time until I go back to work when she's 12mo, then do a morning and or evening feed until it stops working for us.

msbossy Fri 29-Mar-13 23:47:11

DD1, aiming for 6 months but only managed eight weeks. Very little help available to someone with a BF baby with colic :-(

DD2, hoped for 3 months but was able to do a bit more research in advance, knowing what I was likely to be challenged with. Avoiding expressing did help but also meant DD2 refused a bottle. EBF for 12 months until she was happy to drink from a cup.

Bunny19 Sat 30-Mar-13 03:55:55

Was aiming for 6 months, reached 6 months and am now aiming for a year!

weegiemum Sat 30-Mar-13 04:27:57

With dd1 (who is now 13!) I fed her for a year, when I gave up in order to ttc again - I now know I didn't have to but it was way back pre-mumsnet!

With ds (now 11, he was supposed to be my last baby) I thought I'd go to 2 years, but at 15 months he started head banging against me, screeching, biting. After a couple of days I realised I'd totally dried up - and that I was 13 weeks pregnant! So that xplained it.

Dd2 is now 9. She fed for almost exactly 2 years. By the end we were down to mornings only. Then one morning she bounced into bed and said "no no more mummy mok!" I asked what she wanted, she said "cup!" (her big sister and brother had a cup of milk in the morning). So we got her a cup. A few days later she said "more mummy mok?" and I had decided it wasn't starting again, so I said "sorry all gone" and she was happy enough, just asked for "more cup".

I was emotional stopping. I'm not sorry ill never be pg or give birth again, but I am a bit sorry ill never bf again.

I never really felt good about BF until the end. I had D-MER (Dysmorphic Milk Ejection Reflex), which meant that during the first 4 months, every time I fed the baby, I felt hollow and empty. And sometime nauseous too. I never got that feeling of bonding, in fact, even towards the end, I never felt bonded with the baby during feeding - I was doing it because I knew it was best for him.
I did begin to enjoy it towards the end, but still never felt great about it.

I think there is too much of 'BF is the best way to bond with your baby, and snuggling up with your baby is lovely' etc - there is not enough about how many mothers really struggle in the early days, and that it's normal to feel like your body has been taken over by this tiny being and your boobs are huge and you just feel so unlike your old self.

(But I also suffered PND and psychosis, and intitally tried very hard to BF - it's long and complicated, but the short story is that I believed that he was someone else's baby and his 'real mum' would be really mad at me if I didn't BF.)

fannywetleg Sat 30-Mar-13 15:31:26

It is so nice to hear people saying they are bf past 2 years! I was beginning to feel like a social pariah because DS is 2.3 years, still bf regularly and nearly everybody including HV and GP think I am an oddity!! I am planning to let DS decide when he wants to stop. I never had a particular bf goal when I started - just a wait and see. Thank you all for reminding me I am not weird!!grin

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 30-Mar-13 16:19:52

visualise that sounds horrid. sad

I think that because breast milk is technically the best nourishment for babies yet the bf rates are so low, cases where bf is not necessarily the best choice or is difficult are swept under the carpet to prevent them from putting people off trying or giving up.
But then people who do struggle feel marginalised and don't receive the support they need which creates resentment.

BertieBotts Sat 30-Mar-13 20:51:36

I thought the recommended time was 12 months when I had DS, but I don't know where that came from because I don't think it was the official advice. I think my step mum breastfed until about 9 months when her DC got teeth. I remember assuming you stopped when they got teeth anyway.

Weissdorn Sat 30-Mar-13 21:15:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Schooldidi Sat 30-Mar-13 21:21:14

Bertie if you had to stop when they got teeth than I would have stopped at 6 weeks with dd1 because that's when she got her first 2 teeth! Even my ex-sil realised that was stupid, and that was the woman who told me it was perverted to bf because boobs are for sex confused.

hoosyermama Sat 30-Mar-13 21:32:13

I have been very lucky being able to breast feed both of my children. With my first DD we went to 12 months (literally - the day before she turned one, all felt very symbolic!). I was very sad to stop and whilst she'd largely lost interest (before bed only feed by this time) and it did feel like a natural time to stop, with retrospect I was also responding to pressure, an assumption, that you don't go beyond a year (my mum and sister had and continue to have strong views about this, we were all bottle fed). So with my second, a boy, it has been a totally different story, he is devoted to the breast and is showing no signs of wanting to stop anytime soon! I had assumed I would go to 12 months, then 18 months, he's almost 26 months and I've stopped guessing when we'll stop! It works for both of us and I love the bonding / emotional element not to mention the sheer convenience! I still have to contend with disapproval / lack of understanding amongst some of those closest to me and when I'm tired I find I start to believe they are right and it is time to stop. Thankfully the desire to keep going outweighs that most of the time. More and more I think if I am lucky enough to be able to continue then I shall let him self wean.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 30-Mar-13 22:18:49

My ex MIL was born with a tooth!

BertieBotts Sun 31-Mar-13 11:02:35

Well I know that now! grin this was in the days when babies were just cute things that other people had!

MostlyLovingLurchers Sun 31-Mar-13 11:13:00

Perhaps we need to organise a mass toddler bfing somewhere very public!

It does seem that a big part of the problem is that people just don't see it, and most of those that do bf beyond a year or two feel they can only do so in private. I remember reading somewhere on here that even some bf support groups only let you attend for the first 6 months (not mine i'm glad to say), and that only reinforces the message that it doesn't matter after that.

Maybe just a paragraph in the nhs pregnancy/0-5 books would help, so that people are aware that natural term feeding it is at least a possibility, so that they don't feel like a freak for wanting to bf their child beyond infancy. The Real Baby Milk Guide does mention it - under special circumstances, which doesn't really help normalise it.

Kveta Sun 31-Mar-13 11:38:55

Those of you who are bfing a toddler, have you got a local La leche league group? I found mine very useful to remind me that I wasn't doing anything weird or freaky. Very gentle reassurance that I wasn't alone helped me a lot smile

EauRouge Sun 31-Mar-13 11:45:00

God yes, I started going to LLL when DD1 was about 18 mo and everyone I knew had stopped BF. I had already made my plan to let her self wean and it was such a relief to meet some like-minded people. Also they have good cake.

Welovegrapes Sun 31-Mar-13 16:10:06

Oh yes I love my LLL group - keep me sane and are lovely ladies smile

Welovegrapes Sun 31-Mar-13 16:11:41

Before I had a baby I was astonished to hear you could bf a toddler - was aiming for bf for 6 months.

Now DS is 20 months and I'm going strong grin

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