Breastfeeding beyond a year - who has done it?(71 Posts)
I initially thought I'd only do the 1st 6 months. I then decided to go till he's a year old and am now thinking of going even longer than that. Unless he decides he doesn't want it any more. He is eating 2/3 meals per day now but still gets 4 BFs, almost 8 months old.
What about you guys? People seem very surprised that I'm still BFing him now, I imagine I'm going to get odd attitudes the longer I go on. Even other parents say "Still"when I tell them he still BFs.
Are teeth an issue? Not got any yet!
Teeth have never been a problem - still feeding DS who is 2.
I have bf'd my lot up until the age of 2. I get a bit cheesed off with it by then.
Ds3 is 1 now and I'm fine but I know that in a year, I'll've had enough of it and he'll have had a good dose of bm.
Teeth or gums - both can give a hard bite. I scream and the child looks horrified and doesn't bite again.
I just tell people I do it because I've read the scientific studies. And then I don't really engage any more with negative opinions on it. Who cares what other people think. You do what you feel is best.
Never had any problems with teeth either.
Initially I thought I'd try bfing and see how it went, then when I'd done it for a while I thought I'd go to six months. Once I'd got to that point I couldn't see the point in doing bottles when bfing was so convenient so I just carried on. For us it was the right decision.
If you do continue, think you need to develop a thick skin and get done replies ready. Smiling and saying "it works for us as a family" and just repeating ad infinitum worked as does just saying that you are following the WHO guidlelines which are to bf for a minimum of 2 years...
I did, and like you I wanted to get to 6 months, and then I just thought I would go on with it as long as it worked. However, the frequency dropped down quite a bit. Once DS was in childcare I expressed for a few months but then dropped to just bfing morning and evening with formula in between (this was around 10/11 months old. Continued with that until the last few months before his 2nd birthday, and that was because DS started refusing and it became clear he'd had enough.
Teeth - he did have a phase of biting but taking him off every time he did it put a stop to that. Then he was fine again.
I did keep it fairly quiet though other than with family and close friends as I had the same reaction as you from some people.
DS self-weaned at 12 months but DD has kept going; we are just stopping at 16.5 months because my nipples can't take any more biting (lots of teeth coming all at once) but teeth were never an issue with DS who only got one tooth at a time.
Just keep going until one or both of you are ready to stop, don't worry what anyone else thinks.
Have you read bfing after the first year OP?
I'd always assumed most people went to a year (why start on formula when you've got bf established and over the hard bit?!). However it was only after I was past a year that I realised this wasn't universal. At a year you can go onto cows milk to supplement so you never need to make bottles!
My plan was 6 weeks which changed to 3 years 4 months! I stopped as I was fed up, ds would have happily continued, I think I went about a year too long for me.
Had no plans to breastfeed over 6 months DS1 was not impressed and v distressed with bottle..investigated and could see no reason not to carry bf on and nutritional, emotional and immunological benefit....went to 30 odd months but last 6 months v occasional. DS2 for 21 months when he self-weaned. DS3 10 months going strong.....I felt very weird and self conscious with DS1 as no one in my antenatal group went past 7 months but actually it's the most natural thing in the world...
Hi, I'm feeding DD1, she's 2 and still asks for a feed once a day or so (more if she's feeling under the weather). Teeth haven't been a problem.
I've found that people stop asking about feeding after a year or earlier, simply because they assume you've stopped.
People ask me if I'm 'still' feeding DD2 (6 months old) and I always want to say that I'm feeding both but can't always be bothered with their reactions!
Do what suits you, your DS will tell you if he's ready to stop feeding.
I did a year and a week with twins, they would of happily carried on but I was starting to resent having to do every bedtime etc and wanted a bit of freedom back. BF for me was a great experience and I felt I stopped at the right time for me. You should carry on as long as you want to
I'm still feeding DS at 16m, just morning and evening now. We started cutting down when I went back to work at 1yr - initially I continued feeding during the day on my days off (I work 3 days/week), but I soon I didn't really like feeding so much, and really felt the need to cut down.
I've felt for a few months like I want to stop, but I didn't feel DD was ready to stop. Now he isn't so reliant on it, and we do skip the odd feed here and there, so I think I could now wind down to stopping entirely, without upsetting him too much.
I originally intended to feed for at least two years, but I don't think I was prepared for how I might feel about it.
He got his first teeth at 11m, we are now on number 7 - they've not really been too much of a problem, the occasional accidental bite and sometimes rubbing a bit when he is teething, but nothing bad enough to make me want to stop because of that.
26m twice (inc during two pg each).
To be honest, I never quite worked out how one would stop. I was only ever feeding the same child as yesterday. They gradually cut down themselves, probably aided by pgy hormones/taste change/reduced supply, and eventually I realised they had already stopped.
Oh and nobody ever really knew because toddler feeds tend to be at pyjama times or when ill so not in public.
Fed DD1 to 17 months - was 14 wks pg with DD2. She is now 10 months and having 4/5 feeds per day. For us, feeding turned out to be a god send as DD1 had multiple allergies. The consultant was extremely pleased to hear DD1 was bf and asked if I could continue. Her allergies were gone by the time he was retested at 16 months (initial tests 8mths). Healing power of breast milk!
I would say that I am very lucky. I come from a family of breast feeders as does DH. Lots if family support as encouragement.
Go for it. X
Went to about 18 months with DS. Dd was around 10 months - year.
I'm still breastfeeding 21 month old ds - in fact I just wrote a blog about people's attitude to natural term breastfeeding! carovioletfizz.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/five-things-to-say-to-people-who-dont.html
4 DC all bf until over a year, they gradually cut down and all had stopped by 2 years.
Do what feels right for you and your baby/child.
One day one or the other of you will be happy to stop.....
DD2 was two.
Her choice not mine.
Looking back, it wasn't worth it.
Just stopped feeding DS on his second birthday, it was a week and a half ago and he stopped mentioning it 2 days ago. Nobody ever gave me any stick for feeding him, I only stopped because he was becoming quite rough and demanding and I could feel myself getting irritated, especially at the time of the month! I was a bit sad at stopping but that's mostly because I'll probably never breastfeed again now (don't plan to have any more, have a DD as well).
Ds is 16 months and comes into our bed for a morning feed and had one just before bed at night unless he's ill. I've had nights away, he happily had cows milk but wants bm when I'm in the house.
Full time at nursery too, he's not tied to me.
Its not tasking except when he's ill I'm which case I'd expect life to be harder anyway and is healthy for both of us. I'm happy to continue until he wants to stop.
Yep, ds1 bf for 18 months & currently bfing 16 month old ds2. Am thinking of gently weaning by 2yo. My US's are the most handsome, strong, brightest boys on the block! (& I think that's down to bfing/being mothered at the breast).
I've done it twice with dd2 and dd3. 42 months and 30 months respectively. 18 months tandem feeding.
DD1 was 8 months and I stopped due to a bite, it never bothered her but I was still producing milk until she was 18 months old.
I hadn't planned to bf dd2 that long but she loved it and I loved it so we just kept going. I fed throughout DD3's pregnancy as well, again didn't plan to but dd2 wouldn't stop. TBH I didn't notice the age 'limit' really. I know some people feel icky about feeding after one year but really what changes? It is still the same child and it's not like they dramatically grow or change in the space of one day
TwasBrillig that was my feeling about formula - why start with all the faff if you can avoid it? And I personally was able to because while I couldn't express enough to supply DS throughout the day by 10/11 months, he just had formula during the day while at nursery. At weekends I just bfed when needed. So I have never had to make formula and still don't know how. Not saying my experience is universal, but I certainly found bf the
lazier easier option.
I did 8 years without a break. DD1 'til almost 2 and a half, (through my pregnancy with DD2) and then DD2 for over five and a half years. She just was happy to carry on and only had to stop as I needed antibiotics that were not ok for her to take in through the milk. I ignored what anyone else thought after the first year or so! (clearly...)Your baby, your body, your business how long you want to feed for.
Still feeding DD who just turned 3.
Not had any negative reactions from anyone so far. I have recently cut down to just bedtime. I feed her to sleep which makes bedtime so easy so I'm going to stick with it till she doesn't want it anymore. She goes to sleep fine (although more hand holding needed) without me too.
My DD self weaned a few weeks ago when she was 26 months. I am 34 weeks pregnant now and had assumed I'd tandem feed them, but probably not now.
I initially intended to feed for a year as it seemed natural to continue until I could switch to cows milk. I didn't even realise people breastfed longer or what the WHO guideline was and I had tried and 'failed' to BF my first 3DC.
I would have happily fed her until self weaning whatever age that was and the same applies to the baby I am carrying now. No one ever really said anything to me, but I think my views on BF and natural term BF are quite clear to all my friends and family anyway.
Everyone I know well who BF did so for more than a year.
My DD2 BF way way past school age. DFs DD until she was 5 and two other DFs and DSIL well into toddlerhood. I've no idea when they gave up.
You don't see older DCs being fed, they tend to do it in the morning and evening.
And no we aren't a load of hippies all very ordinary.
Teeth are not a problem! I was still tandemming when both mine had a full set, so there were 40 teeth near my boobs when they fed together LOL
I did it too.
By 6m it was so second nature that I just decided to carry on for a while, Then 12m came and went. He stopped just after turning 2.
I did have phases of feeling bloody sick of it (I won't pretend I was delighted all the time) but I was more fed up with being pawed/touched all the time, or fed up of the broken nights and generally knackered.
But my older one was FF from 3m and she didn't sleep either so I knew it was just another non-sleeping baby, who happened to be BF rather than he didn't sleep because he was BF.
I fed my Ds for 18 months and Dd for 4yrs 10 months!!
Teeth? when Ds bit me, I yelped loudly and he cried. He never did it again though! Dd bit me often, but I'm stubborn and carried on anyway, but I continued through many many bouts of ductal thrush and mastitis and the biting was nowhere near as painful as the thrush was. The day she stopped was the day my supply ended. I reckon she'd have continued until she went to uni if supply had continued!
Teeth didn't make any difference at all for us BTW, the very occasional bite/chomping down all happened before any teeth appeared. Those gums are hard
I'm still feeding dd who turned 2 a few weeks ago. Everyone who knows us knows shes still bf as she feeds loads, at least 6 times per 24 hours. I've had a few subtle comments from family but it's none of their business.
Really pleased to see this thread. My DS is 5.5 mo and like the op I had thought 'well, I'll get to 6 months'. Not really sure what I thought would happen then! I just can't imagine stopping now - it is so quick, easy and lovely. Oh, and DS refuses a bottle. Yes would like a night off but can wait a bit for all that...
I plan to keep feeding until I go back to work at one year and even then would plan to do morning and evening feeds I think.
Will have to grow a thick skin. People already raise eyebrows because DS looks older than he is. But screw them. 6 out of 7 of my nct group still feed, 4 of us exclusively so at least I won't be alone!!
Bona my Dc's both looked older than they were too. I fed Ds in public at 12 months, but he looked like a 3 year old. Dd at 12 months looked like a 30 month old. It wasn't my problem and maybe I exuded a 'don't you dare' hormone or something, but no one ever said anything to me!
DD is still nursing most nights she will be 6 in a few months and has absolutely no inclination to stop any time soon!
14 months, then she self weaned with the introduction of cows milk. I was but I think it was time.
Still going at 22 months. Teeth were an issue for me. I got several painful bites and blood on numerous occasions (sorry!) It was a phase. Although my experience is probably not representative as my DS fidgets, wriggles, scratches, hits and kicks constantly whilst bfing and always has done (although that might be normal, I don't know!).
What lovely responses. I'm certainly planning to continue and stop only when he or I decide that enough is enough. At the moment its pretty easy to plan my day around the feeds and he's so quick now...
Yup, DS1 27 months, DTs are 13 months and no plans to wean in the foreseeable... Far too lazy
Breastfeeding beyond a year - who has done it? - Me. DS is nearly 28 months and still going strong, no end in sight
Still feeding ds at 19 months. He feeds 3-4 times during the night, 1st thing in the morn, before bed & can feed anywhere from once to ten times during the day depending on what we are doing, what food is on offer, the weather etc. I didn't feed my first 2 DC & struggled with a low milk supply with him & it took a lot of time & effort to build it up so I will feed as long as he wants it. Well not until he's a teenager but for the next year or two, lol
Ooooh I had major problems with teeth. I fed Ds1 till 12 months and Ds2 tlll 18 months. They both bit me badly when their teeth came in. Proper nasty cuts and bleeding nipples not just the soreness of the first two weeks - proper deep bites. I nearly gave up both times, flipping agony, but manged to grit my teeth through it and growl/yell at them scarily enough to put them off doing it.
DS1 self weaned at 12 months. He just didn't want it any more. Ds2 I had to go cold turkey with at 18 months as I was totally fed up by then.
DS, 3.4, is in the process of self-weaning and the feeds are getting further and further apart. He had a quick feed this afternoon because we were cuddling on the sofa, but the last one before that was 3-4 weeks ago. I always thought I would feed for as long as he wanted to, but I assumed it would be a lot sooner than this! However, there's never been any positive reason to stop and it's just lovely- I have always thought of breastfeeding a toddler as my reward for the hideous first couple of weeks when we struggled a bit. I'm going to miss it!
I'm still bf my ds (26months) but when he turned 2 we cut down to one feed a day. We have had a few days where he didnt even ask for that feed so I'm hoping he will decide to stop completely soon.
I don't think anyone evens suspects he is still breastfed. Apart from my dp of course and the pharmacist (who didnt even blink).
I stopped feeding him in public (or around family/friends ar home) at around 8 months or so and I think people just assumed I stopped altogether.
Teeth have never been an issue, they don't seem to get in the way at all iykwim.
I am happy with how it has turned out. Although I never really enjoyed breastfeeding for myself, I think it really benefitted my ds health wise and also it has made him bond really well too. So I don't think it was too much of a sacrifice for me to make for him.
I am jealous of those with no teeth problems! I would love to carry on but dd's teeth graze my nipples with every suck and I don't know how much longer I can do. (11 months now.). As above, most don't have a problem. Enjoy feeding as long as you want OP.
I didn't have any plans when I started, just one day at a time. DD is still bf now at 2.4yo, however at 2yo I stopped the 'don't offer, don't refuse' because she was asking every two hours, even through the night, despite eating loads of solids. She is now on 3 feeds, morning, before afternoon nap, and before bed time and it's more manageable. I can finally wear whatever I want and no one knows I am bf as it is all done at home.
I did have a problem with teeth when she got her first ones, but as soon as she bit I would say 'ouchie that hurt', take her off the breast and put her down for a little while. She quickly cottoned on that bitting means no bf.
I had massive problems with bf to start with, was still very painful at 4 months but it suddenly got easier and now dd2 is 12 months so we've done loads better than I could have hoped. She turns out to be cows milk protein intolerant so I'm so pleased I stuck with it and I don't have any intention to stop any time soon.
Fed DS until 26 months - had a massive biting issue for a few days at c.16 months when lots of teeth came through - but otherwise all good!
Currently bf DD 4 months and I expect I'll feed for at least a year.
Nicknamefail I was having the same problem with dd (10mths) a few weeks ago. I used loads of Lansinoh, breastfed dd with a thin plaster over the sore patch, and wore a nipple shield while not feeding her so that my bra didn't rub where I was sore. It gave the soreness a chance to heal instead of being constantly grazed, iyswim? hth
Me - I fed by twins until around two - DTD stopped at about 22 mths, DTS at 26 months.
I only fed morning and night from about 1 year old, so feeding in public wasn't an issue, and hardly anyone knew I was still feeding towards the end.
I fed DS to 23 months. From 12 months he was down to 2 feeds a day (morning and evening), a couple of months later it dropped to bedtime only, his choice. I had a cut-off age of 2 in my mind, and when I went to never offer, never refuse he dropped the last feed very quickly in favour of a cup of warm cow's milk so he must have been ready too.
I'd only really aimed to get to 6 months. Now feeding DD, and I guess we'll see how it goes.
No-one would have known I was still feeding DS past 1 though as it was always upstairs. Not intentional, just the way it happened.
And I got bitten more during early teething than I did once he had teeth.
I planned to do 6months still feeding to sleep and early mornings at 2y 4m. I'm starting to get fed up with it but can't put my finger on why.
I'm still bfing my nearly 3 yr old, and while I don't get any negative comments as such I have had a lot of assumptions from family about when i'd stop - when he started to get teeth, when he started to talk, etc. My dm tentatively asked me recently whether we'd stop before school - I was noncommittal!
Like others have said, it tends to be morning and bedtime feeds now, so it is rare that I feed in public (when ebf we fed anywhere and everywhere), though I do it when required. Teeth have never been much of a problem, other than a bit of discomfort for a few days when a new tooth came through.
I've kept going for various reasons. Ds has a cow milk allergy so that was a factor. We also both still enjoy the closeness, and it comforts him when he's ill (which is rarely). It also helped him have a sleep after lunch, though that has finished now, and it is way and above the easiest way to get him to go to sleep at night, though he will go to sleep without it. My dm also has breast cancer, and I hope that bfing for as long as possible may also help protect me from that, even a little.
I am feeding DS at 26 months. I now only feed in the mornings and the last couple of weeks I have cut down a bit so no longer feeding everyday. He seems just as happy with a cup of cows milk on the days I don't feed him myself.
The nurse at my doctors was very surprised I was 'still' feeding him myself, I was more surprised that she was surprised
DS1 stopped at 23 months as I was 5 months' pregnant with DS2. DS2 is 17 months and still going strong. Good luck!
Dd1 weaned at 22 months though I slowly weaned daytime feeds around 13 months as if we didn't go out anywhere she would be on my lap. Dd2 is 6m and was ebf until a few days ago. The only thing I hope to do differently is for dd2 to have a beaker of cows milk from a year as dd1 doesn't drink milk at all.
Never had comments, my mum always reminded me she fed her last dc until 20 months which was supportive.
Still feeding my 20 mo. Just spent 9 days away from him whilst he stayed with Granny and we've picked the bf back up no bother. I love feeding him still, especially knowing I can take time away from it (and him) when I need it. It's just a lovely bonding experience and a good immune booster - especially as we go into winter and start all the toddler groups again!
However - I
never rarely feed in public now. Even when at family's I tend to take him into a different room. They all know I'm feeding him, but it's a private thing between me and him and I see no reason to make people uncomfortable unnecessarily. The only time I break this 'rule' is if he's in pain or ill and really needs comfort, then I'll do it wherever.
I'm also very lucky in that I live in an area surrounded by natural term bf mums, so many of the mums I associate with see no issues with bf a 3 year old, never mind my 'titchy baby' of a 20 month old!
I'm still BFing 3yo DD2 morning and bedtime- like many others I never planned to feed her for so long (and I only BFed DD1 for 5 months) but she just never stopped!
I've got past the point of caring what people think- I imagine most people don't realise I am still feeding her, as the subject never really comes up, but I don't hide it if anyone does ask. It suits us and I'm sure she'll stop when she's ready.
DD is 2.4 and still breastfed, but generally only at bedtime and not every bedtime as I am work 1-3 times a week. I've no idea how I would go about persuading her to stop if I wanted that.
I certainly didn't plan this. I planned to try breastfeeding and see how it went. The first 3 months were horrible. Just about everyday I cried and said I can't do this anymore but the next day I carried on through the pain. Breastfeeding is one of the hardest things I've ever persevered with. THen I assumed it would have to stop when I went back to work at 8 months, as my job means I am out of the house for about 15hrs a day sometimes on consecutive days. I assumed no feeding for 2 days would dry up the supply, as I couldn't express. It didn't and so we continue.
People don't generally ask about it as I am sure they assume we stopped ages ago. Occasionally, at work, the subject comes up due to the constantly high number of pregnant colleagues, and someone will ask me how long I breastfed for. They would be horrified by the answer if it comes up again. My colleagues are healthcare professionals, and recently we encountered a 3yr old who was breastfed for comfort. The general reaction was disgust and 'why would anyone do that?' I was very busy at the time and couldn't be bothered to discuss it with them.
Hello Octane. DS1 is 3 tomorrow and still has one feed a day, I'm hoping to wind it up by Christmas which will make 3.3 years altogether. DS2 is 8 months and has 6 teeth. I can't feel any of them . I plan to let him feed til he grows out of it himself.
DS is 14mths and still bf full time. Has 3 feeds a day 3 days a week when I'm at work and 5 or more feeds the other 4 days. The only time I get fed up is the morning when he wants to feed for ages and fidgets the whole time.
Can't see him stopping just yet but hopefully will cut out a few feeds as I'm 9 weeks pregnant and would like him to feed a bit less and eat a bit more food instead!
I bf both mine till 15/16 and 16/17 months, they both gave up on their own in the end. Do what you feel happy with.
I am in the us.....I do not know a single mum around me who has done less than a year....must be the crowd I hang out with......I have never seen a baby being bottle fed in the twenty or so mums I know yet. Lots go beyond 2 years too but everyone covers up in public.....people are horrified if they catch a flash of your boob here.
BF my DD until 4 days ago when I gave birth to DS. She has just turned 3. I contemplated tandem feeding but he is difficult to settle so she is just having little bits every day which I think will tail off.
Never planned to carry on passed a year but glad I did. Its been a lovely way to be close to her and comfort her if she's sad.
I was planning on feeding for 6 months, had vaguely wondered what you were supposed to do next, and then found MN. DS is three and a half and we're still going!
I'm tandem feeding my 26m and 12w DDs; I was always going to breastfeed for a year if I could, when milk is still the main source of nutrition. Then with DD1 she showed no sign of wanting to stop and I had no reason to want to stop either so we carried on; her main feed is the first of the day, then maybe once or twice more if she's tired/cranky, and she's not interested in the evenings anymore (yay!). The WHO recommends going for 2 years so I was happy with that, and now we will just see how it goes this year. I'm going to go the self-weaning route I think.
Your happy, he's happy. Can't see any problem here. Congratulations on getting so far.
WHO recommends to BF till two so just quote that if people say anything.
then tell them its non of their business
Join the discussion
Please login first.