BFing big 10m old in public - shared experiences(20 Posts)
I'm still BFing my DS, who's 10m, and plan to do so for a good while yet. But he is big and looks more and more toddler-like. I'm scared people will stare and judge when i feed him when we're out and about.
I usually try to organise things so we're at home for his day feeds or I use the lovely BF room at mothercare (LIFE SAVER!) but it's not always possible eg. if we're on a train, or I've not planned my day properly.
I know it's a bit pathetic to still care what people think, but I think others' advice and suggestions would help me feel more confident.
I don't know how to make you feel more confident, but a lovely lady with a baby girl of around 8 months old spoke to us when we were in Starbucks with our baby the other day, then a bit later she breastfed her daughter. I thought it was lovely to see and really wanted to say something, but felt it would have been a bit odd to.
No-one else seemed to either notice or care though and she seemed quite happy to feed, so I assume she hasn't had negative remarks.
I tend to time my day to feed him in the car after we've parked if we're going into town. There's no feeding rooms where I live. If we're not in the town centre I just find the nearest bit of grass/bench and carry on.
Oddly enough, the most awkward place is my parents. My dad won't blink an eye and just carries on the conversation but my mum apologises, blushes and leaves the room!
We feed roughly around 10-11am and 3-4pm so its not very hard to just avoid those times.
I still feed my enormous 14mo DS in public from time to time, never had a negative comment, though. In fact I looked up from feeding him last week to see a lovely lady giving me a massive beaming grin of support!
IME they're able to go a lot longer without a feed once they're a bit older, so I suppose it doesn't arise quite as often. DS is now so busy being nosy and getting me to hold his hands to help him walk round, he doesn't really bother much about a feed.
I stopped bfing at 15 months and never had a problem or comment - at least not that I heard, and I bf everywhere. I know it's hard to be confident, but when I was full of self-doubt I just used to remind myself that it was normal, and that it might help encourage other women to bf if they saw it happening.
I'm feeding an 11 month old who is 28 lb and wearing 18-24 month size clothes.
I would have expected there to be issues but tbh, nursing is just part of everyday life with him and doesn't feel odd to me, so I don't really think about what others are thinking. He's learned not to mess around, ogle the room etc because I stop feeding him when he lets go.
I don't use feeding rooms, they are boring and not worth the effort when he feeds for such short bouts now, I'd rather have a coffee or sit on a bench with a view. It's not like anyone gets to see anything past the behemoth child anyhow.
The only time I ever felt a bit odd was with my mother in a cafe when she actually moved to block the line of sight from another table, but she had ishoos when he was a week old so I wouldn't expect any better of her.
ds is 17m and i've always fed him whenever/where ever. He's a fair size and has lots of hair so has always looked like a small boy. I've never had a negative comment.
As others say as they get older they tend to feed less often so it's not a huge issue. However he does like the odd snack, and bf is the best post-fall comfort so i'm happy to pop him on t'boob whenever. It would be pointless trying to go to a feeding room etc for those. They're over before they've begun.
It is such a usefull tool with a toddler op! Do try and tackle public feeding if you can...you shouldn't have to plan your day round bf...that's one of the advantages.
I've just read bf older children by anne sinnot and would recommend it. Not that yours is particularly an "older child" yet...but it's such a good reminder that bf past babyhood is normal and Good.
My Ds was bfed until he was 18 months...he was the size of a 3yo though! I still fed him wherever and whenever and nobody ever really noticed I don't think. I think I did used to tuck myself 'away' in a corner if I could though. The worst bit was when he was being nosy.
Try not to think about embarrassment and just concentrate on your LO
Next time you need to latch him on in public, remember that others will latch on a nearly 3yo in public. Most recently, in a busy cafe in Northumberland last weekend. (she's petite for her age but looks well over 1 ).
I still feed DD1 in public, she is 2.9yo. We're onto the 3rd or 4th stage of breastfeeding disapproval now which is 'denial'. Most people don't notice when I'm feeding DD1 probably because they just don't think a child that age will be BF.
I have never had any random people say anything to me about BF. Maybe I don't look very approachable
Hmm, well I fed DS2 (12 1/2 months) today in a meeting with one of my staff. I was gathering information about an incident which happened and for which I need to do a disciplinary. Bub was off nursery as he was unwell. Needs feeding, gets fed .
TBH I did go through a phase a couple of months ago where I was a bit nervous about progressing from babyhood to toddlerhood and continuing to BF in public but I spoke to a LLL leader about it and having talked it through, decided I couldn't be bothered to worry about it. I've never had anything other than positive reactions, so I just assume that's how it will always be.
I highly recommend going to a LLL toddler meet. It's really nice to see kids much older than your own being fed. Really normalises it.
If it helps at all, i fed ds1 in public until around age 3.5yo and the last time I did it, he was 4.6yo (ish) and tandemming with his new brother. Ds1 stood on one side and newborn ds2 was on the other.Nobody even noticed I don't think.
And, NO ONE has ever said anything to me, ever. And I don't think I've had any stares either, I really don't!
If I saw you feeding out and about, I would smile at you
I fed my dd on trains a lot when she was between 9m and about two,as we had to go to London ( a six hour journey) every couple of months.I took a pillow and fed her in a double seat as that was how she had her mid-day sleep.I didn't get any odd glances,I actually think very few people even noticed.I am still feeding her at 4,but only at home as its only first thing and last thing now.
I'm struggling to feed my 6 week old daughter - every day is a bonus. Relax, be proud that you've made it as far as you have. Your an inspiration to other mums. Those who disapprove are probably anti-breastfeeding, period - regardless of age. Enjoy feeding your child while it lasts; they grow up too soon.
I 'still' nurse my 21m old DD3 and my 3.8y DD2 in public though DD2 doesn't normally nurse more than once a day anyway unless we are at a bfing support group and then you can practically guarantee it Her thought process is 'Why should babies have all the fun? Let me at them Mummy!!'
Anyway, most people don't notice bfing in public and when you get past 6m or so you
babies tend to be very quick at latching on so don't need that big lead up to latching time they might have done when younger so it tends to just look like a big squidgy cuddle than breastfeeding.
Hi, I really wouldn't worry. I had a tiny daughter but am still feeding her at almost 3 years old (and 8 months pregnant) and although feeding her in public dwindled at around 20 months (when I cut back demand feeding in order to get a period) I have still occasionally fed out and about. Plus, with me about to give birth and talking to her about her being able to feed along with her baby sister, she's ramping up the demands again! I envisage embarrassing (yes, I know I shouldn't be, but hey) 'boobie' demands while out feeding new baby. Think I'll just do it anyway if she can't be dissuaded, it's only minutes/seconds anyway.
To be honest, I get more stares from backcarrying her in a wrap while pregnant.
Good luck, and well done.
Thanks every one, all this advice and shared stuff has really helped. And all of you are right - it IS normal!! And it IS great. I feel more confident already. Hooray!!
I feel a bit of a fool when I do feed my 14mth old in public, because it's rarer and rarer for me to do it I often haven't thought about a sensible outfit. So I am pulling up a tight t-shirt, showing off my tum and hauling an underwired bra about. Even then, i don't get any comments or stares.
I sat on a bench on the main route through a busy park the other day and bf my 18 m.o. to sleep. He's the size of many 3 year olds. Lots and lots of people gave us smiles - I bet not many of them realised what I was actually doing.
DS feeds quite often when we're out or with friends, and I've never had comments except from people I already know. And that's only because it's pretty obvious because he's shouting 'muh!' and pulling my neckline down to my waist.
As people have said, it's brilliant to have a constant source of comfort / pain relief on hand. Keep up the good work.
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