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being pressured to stop at 21 months

(46 Posts)
Yummies Wed 05-Oct-11 23:19:38

dd3 is 21 months, she is still bf on demand and I intend to continue to do so until SHE decides to stop but most people around me now think I've taken it too far. They are totally freaked out by the fact that my daughter can ask for milk and help herself. They also think it's really disgusting that she insists on having her hand down my bra on the other side the whole time. I don't have a problem at all, am I being weird?

tiktok Wed 05-Oct-11 23:33:48


Plenty of mothers and babies feed babies this age and older smile

People are being very rude if they share these horrible opinions with you. Disgusting? Weird? Freaked out? And they tell you this? They need learn better manners.

Tell them to mind their own business!

EmLH Wed 05-Oct-11 23:35:38

No, you're not weird. Just grow a thick skin (unfortunately you'll need one) and either ignore them or explain the numerous benefits of extended feeding. It's really no one's business apart from you and your child's anyway.

As for the hand down the top thing, I once read that thus is an instinctive thing that they do to stimulate let down smile

buttonmoon78 Thu 06-Oct-11 08:46:50

I know I don't know you so my validation is of limited benefit - but I am totally in awe of you!

I have 4dcs but have never managed to feed beyond 6m. Three of them fed for between 5wks and 10wks but I always hoped for at least 6-12m.

I agree with Tiktok - better manners needed but also Em - You'll have to learn to ignore.


Notquitegrownup Thu 06-Oct-11 08:58:47

I fed mine until they were 3.5 yrs and had no real lift support, just negative comments or sighs and tuts, from family and 'friends'. I don't regret continuing to feed. I do wish I'd been thicker skinned about it and had a few better replies ready, rather than letting them make me feel isolated and slightly inadequate.

I was so relieved that we were still feeding when ds2, at 24 months, was he was seriously ill in hospital for a month. The only food he would take was breastmilk, and we fed and fed and fed! The hospital were great - though at that stage I would have fought off tigers to keep on feeding him, as it was so obviously what he needed, for comfort as well as for nutrition.

"Yes I know people who have fed for a lot longer than 21 months" is a good simple reply to have up your sleeve - you do know us, via MN.
"Most extended feeders naturally self wean at around 4 years" said confidently, with head held high, is also a useful fact to have ready.

I also read a lovely story of a US marine, who was in the peacekeeping forces sent to Serbia in the 80s. He had been breastfed until 5 and co-slept with him mum until he was 7, as both he and his mum made a point of telling all those people who said that she was pampering him/spoiling him, as he passed out as a marine. I seem to recall that he also attended breast feeding support groups, talking to local mothers, whilst he was on active duty!!

mawbroon Thu 06-Oct-11 09:18:57

Have a read of Breastfeeding Older Children by Ann Sinnot. It is very interesting indeed.

As with notquitegrownup, I have had numerous times where I have mighty relieved to "still" be feeding ds1. Don't get me wrong, sometimes it does my head in and I wish he would stop, but overall I am glad to be meeting his needs.

LOL @ being freaked out at her asking. Send them over this way. DS1 could write me a note asking for it!

I often think that if most people did natural term feeding in this country, there would still be the rude ones who would comment to those who didn't.

EauRouge Thu 06-Oct-11 09:57:48

grin at the thought of mawbroon's DS writing a note, that's brilliant.

I'm BF DD1 (and DD2) who will be 3 next week. I used to get a lot of people asking when I was going to stop and I just used to say "ask her". People do stop asking after a while, I think it stopped when DD1 was around 2.

I found lots of other natural term BFers at LLL meetings, is there anything near you? You can find UK groups here.

Midori1999 Thu 06-Oct-11 10:27:54

I haven't yet BF an older child/toddler (really hope to keep going that long) but I don't find it weird at all. However, I did find it a bit weird before I was properly informed about BF, so I suspect that the comments you get are from nothing more than ignorance.

Threads like these are helpful to people like me, with still quite young children. I have already 'primed' family and close friends to the fact I am likely to BF to natural term. Most know what I am like and that I won't care what people think and wouldn't do something without good reason, but for those who have questioned it, I have explained the benefits. Most people are even suprised that there are recommendations to BF until 2 years of age. I think it helps to make people aware now too, when I'm not so emotionally invested in it because it's not something I am doing now, so their thoughts on it aren't a idrect critiscism of me, so that helps me explain rationally. Otherwise, I might blurt something silly out. blush

FWIW, I think it's brilliant that women are prepared to do what is best for their children, despite it meaning huge sacrifices for them in a lot of ways and I have nothing but admiration for women who natural term/extended BF.

MoaningMinnieWhingesAgain Thu 06-Oct-11 10:57:12

DS fed until he was 2 and a bit, self weaned. When people asked me (not many, as not many people knew, it's between me and him!) when we would stop I used to say I don't know, he hasn't decided yet.

WHO recommends BF until at least 2, for as long as you both want. It is lovely you are both still enjoying breastfeeding, it stops when one or both of you want it to.

It is one of the few things that only you can do for her, and in the grand scheme of things it isn't such a long time really - it's about 8 months since DS weaned and it's a bit like pregnancy in that it seems a lifetime ago already sad I missed it for quite a while.

WoTmania Thu 06-Oct-11 11:10:22

You are not weird. My family have given up with the comments (the odd one here or there) and luckily only got twitchy at around two and a half. I personally can't stand the twiddling/hand on other bood so stop that but that's my choice.
How about printing off a list of reason to BF past a year, laminate it and just hold it up whenever htey get funny. Alternatively you could get this
If you feel the need for RL support, LLL meetings are often a good place to find other folk who are 'still' BF. I tend to point out that I stopped BF around the age of one. My DC on the other hand are still BF.

ukrainianmum Thu 06-Oct-11 11:21:23

it is nothing weird.for the "interesting" comments always can say- well you still feed your babies and it is ok?
and for the play- try to buy some necklce with quite big balls( sorry dont know the name in english). the child can always play with them instead of a boob.

Yummies Thu 06-Oct-11 11:52:49

thanks everyone, I like the 'ask her' comment! I love feeding her and she loves it too, my problem is that she is quite happy to go without a feed until I sit down (not very often!) as soon as I do she sits on my knee and signs for milk. I totally love this but one of the most common times for this is if we go to a playgroup etc, so the people there think that that is what she's like all the time - she can quite happily spend an hour going back and forth if she's in the mood. Like I say it's not a problem for me, it's just that I can see what they are thinking... I guess your right I need to grow a thicker skin! (BTW I have no problem with the nipple twiddling, I did to start with but for her it is such an innate instinct it seemed cruel to stop her so now I've got used to it, although I was slightly embarrassed when realised she'd eased it out of my bra in the doctors surgery this week!!!).

WoTmania Thu 06-Oct-11 14:45:05

Oh, DD is like this too. A lap is formed and she's there asking for milk. I'm sure my family think she's constantly nursing thinking about it, she is The main problem is when I'm not in the mood and she's aking lots and my family seem to think they're doing me a favour by not letting her. My mum offered her chocolate instead and was shock when she siad 'no, milk'.
grin at your DD at the Docs. Hehe, aren't they treasures?

MigGril Thu 06-Oct-11 17:40:12

I don't think I will ever forget the look (well she almost chocked on her tea) that my motherinlaw had on her face when during a convication at dinner she realised I was still feeding DD who was 2.5yrs at the time.

She then asked when we would stop I my replay was when she wants to. Although we probably actualy stoped a little earlier then that as I was PG at the time and got quit soure while nursing she was almost 3years old.

Notquitegrownup Thu 06-Oct-11 21:16:20

One of my favourite ever mn threads described a health visitor, visiting a family where an older child - about 3 - was nursing. The Health visitor, if I remember rightly, rather snootily asked the mother when she was planning on putting an end to that, to which the child reportedly came off the breast, told the HV to F off, and went back to feeding!!! It's the only time I've ever snorted tea onto my keyboard blush

Notquitegrownup Thu 06-Oct-11 21:18:12

By the way, a necklace with a twiddleable pendant on can be a good nipple substitute. DS2 (aged 8) still likes to hold onto my necklace if he's feeling unwell.

saskipoo Thu 06-Oct-11 21:43:24

love this!

Yummies Thu 06-Oct-11 22:05:45

thanks everyone, you're giving me hope for the future! but just to reiterate i really don't mind the nipple tweaking (am i in a minority there?!)

BaronessBomburst Fri 07-Oct-11 23:32:47

PML at the child telling the HV to eff off. grin

I told my mum that I was planning to feed until DS self-weaned. She looked at me with a look of horror and said did I realise that could mean I'd still be feeding him at age 5?

Er, yes.......

The HV was shocked to discover that I am still feeding at 19 months. Not that she thought it was wrong at all, just that she'd never actually met anyone who did. In view of all the years she's worked as an HV, and the area she covers, that's really, really sad.

BaronessBomburst Fri 07-Oct-11 23:35:19

Oh, I think you're in the minority. I hate the tweaking and remove his hand, so he just kneads the one he's on instead. I had no idea breasts were so malleable!

theboobmeister Sun 09-Oct-11 00:39:27

Are they church-goers? You could show them these pictures and say "Look, the BABY JESUS was always hanging off his mum's boobs too."

mawbroon Sun 09-Oct-11 00:47:58

Yummies, aaargh, the nipple tweaking. I got used to it with ds1 because it was very much part of the whole experience for him, he got very distressed if I tried to stop him. We finally came to an agreement when I was pg with ds2 (ds1 was 3.5yo) that he could put a flat hand on my other boob, but no twiddling was allowed.

With ds2, I decided just not to allow nipple twiddling EVER and although he likes to shove his hand down my bra on the other side, and would twiddle if he thought he would get away with, generally I seem to have managed to avoid it! smile

startail Sun 09-Oct-11 00:58:33

Not weird at all. My younger DD finally gave up BF well into primary school, how far up primary school I am forbidden to say. She seemed to sense that it wasn't the done thing to ask in public somewhere around 2 years old. I don't think I ever said anything. Absolute horror for climbing into my clothes at home and very clear on her opinion on underwired bras, too hard to get out the way. Worst still were dresses, which meant mean mummy wasn't going to provide milk till bed time.

Bunsouttheoven Sun 09-Oct-11 01:12:13

I bf my dd until she was 2.5 & am still bfing ds at 2.5.

Some people did ask me 'when do you think you'll stop?' I think some were a bit judgemental but some were just interested as it was not the norm.

With ds most people I know don't ask or comment now though I did have the following convo with my uncle in law the other day.

U: did you know some women bf babies over the age of 1?(yuk face)
Me: yes and? I am still bring ds 2.5
Me: did you know the who recommends 2& over? Also world wide average to wean is 4yrs?
U: have you not heard of cow & gate?
Me: why would I feed my child milk of another species when he can have milk perfect for him that is free?

He made no further comment grin. I was quite proud of myself for remaining calm, factual & not telling him he is a fat narrow minded fool who looks down his nose at everyone who is not him.

Enjoy feeding your child , rise saintly above those who do not understand.

Ps I can't abide to twiddlinggrin

mawbroon Sun 09-Oct-11 01:26:29

startail, go on, tell us. I need to know. I don't know anybody in rl who has fed as long as ds1 and think I have only come across one other on MN.

Ds1 is 6 in a fortnight and in p2

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