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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?

RainbowsFriend Mon 03-Dec-12 21:44:33

I'm not goo at confrontation, and actually this episode and the response of other posters on here has really made me think that I will probably just try to feed her at homw from now on.

Even the childminder doesn't like me feeding her in her house on pick up anymore - have to go and sit in the car sad

RubyrooUK Mon 03-Dec-12 21:44:51


I don't think breastfeeding a toddler is controversial. I don't think bottle feeding one is controversial either.

When you are a parent, everything you do is up for discussion by strangers. People will make comments about how small children get fed/behave/speak/ always happens.

A man on the train the other day started talking loudly about how spoilt modern children are when I gave my two year old my phone to play with. We had a seven hour journey and he was being so good but was very tired so I was trying to stop him getting bored and miserable. So people think it's fine to say anything when you are out with a small child. Just let it wash over you as you and your DD are perfectly happy.

Personally I always think it's really lovely when I see a toddler feeding in public as I am a big fan of extended breastfeeding. I wouldn't comment though as I think that is rude.

FredKiller Mon 03-Dec-12 21:45:32

Well DS calls it 'beddy' as it's what he always has at bedtime. But it sounds unfortunately like he is saying 'bitty' to the shocked delight of all the judgmental folk within earshot. Again, I couldn't care less what they think. smile

byhec Mon 03-Dec-12 21:46:58

YANBU. Some of the comments on this thread just show how attitudes towards breastfeeding need to change in this country :-(

Pourquoimoi Mon 03-Dec-12 21:48:58

YANBU at all.

Although I wonder if the childminder just wants you to leave when you pick up dd. I would think it's about timing not bfing.

Moominsarescary Mon 03-Dec-12 21:49:40

Whatever you like, however ds3 is nearly 20 months and still has a bottle of milk at night or when he goes for a nap. I'm sure if I have him a bottle in a cafe that would probably get some people commenting too.

gimmecakeandcandy Mon 03-Dec-12 21:49:43

Oh hear we go with the posters who have a big massive breast milk chip - yes people like you squeakytoy - why is mummy milk a weird phrase? Really? Milk designed perfectly for a baby/growing toddler - far far superior than any formula you could ever give to a baby but you find the words icky... Oh the irony in your way of thinking. How weird of YOU to find mummy milk icky and how very sad.

Op - the women who commented and said babies should be on formula from six months are clearly stupid idiots who have no idea - or don't want to have an idea - of how perfect breast milk is for a growing toddler. The fact they think a baby should go to formula at a certain age just shows their staggering stupidity and ignorance. Now there is nothing wrong with that if you choose to (Although I personally favour breast milk for babies at six months) but for them to say a baby should... Idiots.

SirBoobAlot Mon 03-Dec-12 21:49:46

Rainbow, please don't feel like that. You are doing a wonderful think. Ignore the idiots, in public and on here.

nannyl Mon 03-Dec-12 21:50:24


breastmilk is advised as the main milk drink until at least 2 years

it amazes me that people are ignorant enough to think that human infants should be fed cow milk

I was devestated when DD self weaned at 13m... i hope number 2 feeds until at least 2 or 3 or 4 etc! (as id hoped DD1 would!)

EasilyBored Mon 03-Dec-12 21:50:32

Tell them to piss off. 18 months is still a baby to me Some 18 month olds aren't even walking.

If he's still coming round for a feed when he's at uni, then you might have a problem.

And thats's from someone who gave up BFing at less than 3 months.

gimmecakeandcandy Mon 03-Dec-12 21:52:12

Op please don't let some of the chip on shoulder/pathetic and ignorant responses make you change how and when you feed your baby. You should be so so proud you have breastfed your Growing child and that they still want to feed. Your mummy milk is still giving your child so many benefits!

Skiffen Mon 03-Dec-12 21:52:43

Poor you, what a horrible experience, I hope you're not too shaken.

I have a 16 month old DD and she stills bfs a lot. I am trying to night wean due to exhaustion, but have no wish to deny her comfort and important antibodies/immunological protection (wish she sorely needs due to long term health problems). However, I find it quite upsetting that I am straying inadvertantly into such controversial territory. I am fortunate enough to have never been the victim of prejudice (knowingly) and find it quite hard now that many people have a strident (negative) opinion on what I do with my body and child. It's quite odd to be asked why I am still feeding, be told it's time I stopped and viewed by so many as a freak. I feel sad that I will soon have to deny that I still feed my baby, or lie by omission ie only feed her out of sight.

It's such a strange situation - there are threads after threads from agonised mothers of nb babies, who feel subject to immense pressure to bf, and then unsupported/terrible guilt if they can't/don't want to/mix feed etc etc. On the other hand, there are threads like these, where perfectly ordinary women and children, doing something perfectly ordinary and everyday (to them) come under unpleasnat pressure to stop. Sad, contradictory and confusing all round sad.

maddening Mon 03-Dec-12 21:53:12

I bf my 22mth old in public but have never experienced any negative comments or not noticed at least - ignore them smile

BumbleBee2011 Mon 03-Dec-12 21:53:21

Another YANBU

I don't tend to feed 17mo DD in public anymore (she's a morning/night BFer), but the other day I did for the first time in ages in front of my MIL, I think she found it surprising at first but then sat with us and was smiling at how sweet we looked.

It's not for others to judge, but if they're going to be negative about it they should really keep their opinion to themselves. Isn't that just common decency and good manners?

we3kingsoforientRaahh Mon 03-Dec-12 21:53:25

As an aside, because it makes me laugh, dh works for Wiseman dairies. When dd1 see's a carton of Wiseman milk, she calls it 'daddy milk' grin Now that is wrong....

OP, yanbu. 18 months is still a baby.

Cabrinha Mon 03-Dec-12 21:54:05

Rude bitches can fuck right off.
As for "if they're old enough to ask, they're too old to breastfeed" what ridiculous ignorant sloganising.
My daughter is 4 next month.
She has a nasty cough which as I lie next to her is waking her every 10mins or so in tears. Last waking, she cried and whispered "mummy, please can I have some mimi?" (twee, but she's 3.11, she can be as twee as she likes)
You know what? I am so glad she can just ASK for the comfort she needs.
Well done you, OP, for meeting your daughter's needs.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 03-Dec-12 21:55:30

I would have told them to fuck off angry

How very rude.

Haberdashery Mon 03-Dec-12 21:55:38

YANBU, 18 months old is a BABY.

RainbowsFriend Mon 03-Dec-12 21:55:50

Pourquoimoi yes it's possible she just wants me to leave, but DD really doesn't take long, and I want a quick chat anyway about how she's been - doesn't take longer than that.

SirBoobAlot I understand what you're saying, but I really don't like being stared at and it is now happening LOTS. I could sort of ignore it as random nutters, but when lots on here are saying the same thing, and saying they feel the samr, that maybe I'll just have to start teaching DD to wait for home.

Llareggub Mon 03-Dec-12 21:56:11

My DS2 is 3.5 and is breastfed. He only asks for it at home or in the homes of people he knows well. I think he is very aware that most children his age don't do it. I think he stopped asking in public when he was around 2 and I was happy to oblige. I work full time so it is great way for us to reconnect at the end of the day and we'll keep going for as long as he asks for it. I made the decision some time ago to stop offering, and probably would have stopped offering in public when he was around 18 months or so. Not because I am ashamed, but it did become bit of a logistical nightmare.

aprilrain Mon 03-Dec-12 21:56:14

Squeakytoy always appears on these threads to state her bigoted opinion that babies over 6 months should not be breast fed. Unfortunately I have never seen her give even one good reason for her viewpoint. She tells us that babies who are old enough to ask for breastmilk shouldn't have it. Well I'm old enough to ask for a cup of tea - so therefore I shouldn't be allowed one confused.

OP yanbu. Feed her wherever you like. The more people that do, the more acceptable it will be.

Idocrazythings Mon 03-Dec-12 21:56:49

I'll put my hand up- still feeding my 2 1/2 year old. Never thought I'd be "one of "those" women" but here we are, time flies and before you know it they are still feeding, and not wanting to stop. I'm happy to keep going through winter then we'll try to give up "boo boo". I think a lot more women breast feed toddlers than people would realise.

gimmecakeandcandy Mon 03-Dec-12 21:58:54

If you want your dd to wait until she is home then do so because you want to not because of fucking ignorant arseholes :-)

Ignore the twats! YOU are giving your child so much benefit with bf x

Startail Mon 03-Dec-12 21:59:17

although I found DD2 got very difficult to feed in public around that age as we started needing two chairs.As for still feeding at 8 DD would't let me comment.

RainbowsFriend Mon 03-Dec-12 22:00:55

Anyway - she was "asking" by saying "mmm" from 7 months!

She talks very well, and is quite tall, so I wonder if they thought she was older than she is...

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