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To ask if you bf past a year?

(217 Posts)
Susiethetortoiseshellcat Sat 18-Mar-17 09:23:52

I am currently breastfeeding my almost 1 year old. I only feed him 2/3 times a day now but I think he would struggle to be weaned from these as he still very much demands them, particularly the night feed.

I have a group of friends with similar aged babies and all the ones who are breastfeeding are on a deadline to give up at a year. They are surprised, if not a little disgusted, that I don't feel the same urgency to wean by then. I would like another baby and know it will be difficult while I am still feeding but other than this I don't see the great urgency if he's not ready. It's true he is now a good eater so perhaps is only breastfeeding for comfort but there must be some benefits, are there? If you continued past a year can I ask why and if you think there are any benefits or should I try to wean him completely now? He is not a fan of cows milk.

ShutTheFridgeUp Sat 18-Mar-17 09:26:55

I breast fed for just over 2 years. Was only a bed time feed by that time and didn't see the point in trying to wean when we were both perfectly happy as we were. At 2 years 4 months and 2 days she just stopped. It was her decision and I was fine with it.
Just do what feels right for the two of you.

Cat2014 Sat 18-Mar-17 09:28:47

There are several benefits for as long as you continue to feed.

Cat2014 Sat 18-Mar-17 09:28:56

3 years here

BendingSpoons Sat 18-Mar-17 09:30:17

Definitely don't wean if both of you are happy with it! I am still feeding my 1 year old 2-3 times a day and she eats well in between. Why rush to replace milk made for a baby human with milk for a calf. There are apparently still antibody benefits and comfort should also be a legitimate reason, as surely that is one of our main roles as parents. Of course if you want to stop then go for it, but don't do it because they are judging you.

thewideeyedpea Sat 18-Mar-17 09:30:21

Hi, I'm still bf ds at 2 and will continue to do so until he no longer wants to. I think it's very much a comfort thing now for him and as it's only a couple of times a day (no longer at night). Do it for as long as you want and don't feel pressured to stop before you want to. Well done for doing it for this long!

Hugepeppapigfan Sat 18-Mar-17 09:30:46

Do what feels right for you. My DD stopped herself just after her first birthday but I would have carried on if she hadn't.

Bananamanfan Sat 18-Mar-17 09:31:15

Don't be put off. I fed dd until 21 months at bedtime for the same reasons as you (& i'm not an earth mother type grin) Don't discuss it they're being a bit silly about it.

LollyLarkin Sat 18-Mar-17 09:31:27

I still breastfeed my 15 month son at night. It has still amazing benefits beyond a year. I never particularly planned on feeding beyond a year but it's just so easy and it comforts and settles him so nicely that I don't see the point in stopping. He also quite happily takes cows milk or expressed milk if I'm out for an evening but loves to go back to breastfeeding! I used to express at work so I wasn't engorged during the day but my supply has dropped to the point I'm no longer uncomfortable going over 12 hours. Do what works and is easiest for you. Well done for making it this far, it's a hard slog but gets so much easier past 1!

happypoobum Sat 18-Mar-17 09:32:24

I ebf both of mine for 14 months each. Beyond a year each time it just sort of tailed off to the point where the only feed left was the first thing in the morning one and they were more interested in playing than having that feed.

It all felt very natural and not forced in any way.

Runningissimple Sat 18-Mar-17 09:32:28

Breastfed all 3 of mine for 2-3 years. All in their teens. No lasting damage grin I know quite a few people who breastfed well beyond a year. It's not that unusual. Some people get very uptight about it though. Shrug.

triskele Sat 18-Mar-17 09:33:25

I managed a week shy of a year and stopped because he was drawing blood and it was too painful! He was a nursery 4 days at the time though so he was having other milk anyway.

Runningissimple Sat 18-Mar-17 09:33:26

All in their teens now!!! I didn't breastfeed teens. That would have raised a few eyebrows !!!

grannytomine Sat 18-Mar-17 09:34:04

I fed my youngest till he was 3. On his birthday we said he was a big boy now and he stopped just like that. My family were convinced he was never going to give up as he was still feeding a few times a day but obviously the time was right for him.

lozzylizzy Sat 18-Mar-17 09:34:16

I bottle fed but mine decided themselves when they stopped - 10m (although I did use the formula in a cup up to a year), 2 1/2 years (cows milk after about 14m) and 15m. I presume that the same theory would go with breastfeeding.

I' do wonder when it goes up towards school age that it is definitely more for comfort but anything under 3 I think they are still babies really!

OuchBollocks Sat 18-Mar-17 09:34:59

Bm still full of antibodies, good fats, probiotics, vitamins, whatever age the child is. I breastfed DD until she was 2.4, it wasn't my plan but it worked for both of us, and it was particularly handy during bouts of illness - I knew she was hydrated even when she was off water. I stopped because I got pregnant withDS and the sensation changed for me. Luckily for me my friends are very much of the 'do what works for you' variety.

EllaHen Sat 18-Mar-17 09:36:02

I stopped at 9 months first time a 12 months second time. Giving up was more to do with the heavy baby and bad back combo - it was really hurting me. Dh had to convince me that I'd done my bit and it was okay to stop. I thought dc2 would struggle but he didn't bat an eyelid.

notinagreatplace Sat 18-Mar-17 09:38:06

If you're happy to continue, go for it.

Personally (though it's different for me as I'm expressing - baby has cleft palate), I want to be able to go out for the evening and not have to rush back to express, I want to be able to have the occasional lie-in and not have to get up to pump. By a year, I would like to be able to go away for the weekend. I don't think breast milk is so important past around 6 months as to be worth continuing with when I'd prefer not to. But, if you don't care about any of that, then there absolutely are some benefits to continuing!

BroomstickOfLove Sat 18-Mar-17 09:38:09

I breastfed both of mine through toddlerhood. The main advantages were that it was very useful for calming tantrums, comforting and keeping hydrated during illnesses and for reassurance as they gained in independence. I breastfed through my second pregnancy, and I think that tandem nursing helped to prevent sibling rivalry, although that might well have been just a coincidence. It meant that I didn't worry about the DC getting thirsty on impromptu trips out on hot days.

I think the huge advantage is in dealing with toddler illnesses, and the second biggest advantage was as a source of comfort and which became important as they became more independent.

tinyproblem Sat 18-Mar-17 09:39:29

I'm planning on breastfeeding for as long as he wants it. It's no one else's business. How can you put a deadline on a baby hmm.

PerryCoxHair Sat 18-Mar-17 09:39:48

Dc 3 was 2 years and dc2 was 3 years here. They stopped themselves gradually and one day they didn't ask for it or we had been busy and that was it. My other 2 dc were bottle fed and I found getting them to give up the bottle harder.

Temporaryanonymity Sat 18-Mar-17 09:40:27

I decided to carry on for so long as it was demanded. DS1 stopped just before 3 and DS2 was 7. By then it was fairly sporadically.

BroomstickOfLove Sat 18-Mar-17 09:41:14

Also, breastfeeding a toddler is very different to breastfeeding a baby. You can go away and miss feeds and it doesn't matter, so it doesn't tie you to your DC the same way that feeding a baby does.

Ellisandra Sat 18-Mar-17 09:41:57

4.5 years.
She's 8 and would be feeding now if I had gently forced her off. Bribery grin
We had a long running (3 month?) period where we talked about it and each breast was going to give her a leaving present. The gifts kept changing.

I won't forget this conversation:
"Mummy, I think this one is going to get me a Disney store costume"

And I was thinking - OK, expensive but it's a lot to stop, so fair dos.

"And this one, will take me to Disneyland Paris to choose it in the big store there"

grin

In the end, I don't think she got any presents.

I think it's worth weaning after they are fluent talkers because talking about feeding is so much fun!

My daughter is a happy, independent little thing who vaguely remembers feeding and at the time took a lot of comfort from it.
There are also physical health benefits but it's so long ago now I can't tell you what.

Feed as long as you both want to flowers

user1482079332 Sat 18-Mar-17 09:42:02

You know your baby best do what feels right be a rule breaker

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