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Still BF at 2yrs. Will I know when it's time to stop?

(38 Posts)
Salamanger Fri 14-Dec-12 21:18:05

DD has just turned 2 and cmp/soya allergic, but not 'official' (seen by pead allergy specialist who said carry on with no dairy but probably not an 'allergy' as skin prick negative- seemed completely oblivious to non-ige) She is bf morning and bedtime. She eats only chips and mayonnaise reasonably well and drinks a couple of cups of oat milk a day.

I'd planned to stop at 2 but now I'm not sure. Her behaviour can be difficult to deal with and I find myself planning to stop feeding, I think just to feel I have some control or to have my body back after she's run me ragged all day. When we have a good day, I'm pretty happy with the feeding.

If she stopped asking, or fed less each time, I'd just go with it but she's always been a complete boob monster. Also a part of me feels guilty that she's had no dairy even though we see very real symptoms when we try to reintroduce it.

How do I know when it's time to stop?

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 14-Dec-12 23:07:39

Personally I think it's time to stop when one of you has had enough, and only you will know when that is.

BertieBotts Fri 14-Dec-12 23:12:07

It's totally up to you. No need to stop yet if you don't want to. I found that after 2ish DS didn't really feed outside of home so it wasn't as much of an issue as I thought it would be. All children will stop at some point by themselves, so you could just keep going until that happens. Most children tend to self wean some time between 2 and 4, I am told. DS is just over 4 and he's tailing off now, he's lost his latch but still asks sometimes, out of habit I think.

If at any point you get fed up with it you could always limit it to certain situations or there are various dissuasion techniques if you wanted to stop for good.

Why do you feel guilty about the lack of dairy? Human milk is so much better for her then bovine milk anyway. Lots of people have an intolerance if not a full blown allergy to dairy and they manage just fine smile

Salamanger Fri 14-Dec-12 23:34:19

Thanks. It's been a difficult time in terms of behaviour recently, as well as fussy eating and she's not sleeping as well as she was. I do start to doubt every decision I make.

She only has these 2 feeds and I like to think there's some good nutrition there, so shall carry on for now. smile

nannyof3 Fri 14-Dec-12 23:51:43

At 2 !!!! Really, i think this is nasty

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Fri 14-Dec-12 23:56:10

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LauraPashley Fri 14-Dec-12 23:56:44

Helpful comment above! hmm

I wonder about this too as dd1 weaned when I was pg, she was between 2/3yrs, closer to 3 I suppose. Definitely the pregnancy that stopped her. Dd2 now only 20mths but I do wonder how things will go! (Def not planning a 3rd pregnancy!)

I went with "never offer never refuse", doing so now with dd2 but she still asks a lot!

Startail Sat 15-Dec-12 00:04:20

nannyof3
DD2 BF for long enough to be able to log on here herself, type Fuck off and know what it means.

She is not helpful to the OP as I assumed she'd give up when she was ready. She did, but in her own sweet time grin

aufaniae Sat 15-Dec-12 00:05:28

She's undoubtably getting good nutrition from feeding. Breastmilk had been designed by evolution over millions of years to be exactly what your DD needs.

When to give up? I have no idea! DS is still feeding, just in the mornings, and then not every morning. It seems to be tailing off now. I don't offer, and he asks for it less. He'll be 4 in a couple of weeks.

I had planned to stop at 2 )as WHO guidance is for DCs to feed till at least 2) but DS wasn't ready. I think he's about ready now. (That doesn't mean your DD will be the same! My friend's DD self-weaned at 18mo.)

Do you feed her every night? Do you have a partner who could do some bedtimes to give you a break? I was surprised how easily DS took to DP putting him to bed after a such a long time fo me feeding him to sleep.

aufaniae Sat 15-Dec-12 00:08:44

nannyof3 that kind of view comes across as particularly ignorant IMO.

The World Health Organisation recommends that all children should be breastfed to at least 2 years old where possible.

I do hope you're not really a nanny of 3. If you are, I suggest you read up on child health and breastfeeding, as you seem woefully out of touch.

swampster Sat 15-Dec-12 00:20:10

I've BF three. They kind of sacked me themselves between 13 months and 2 1/2.

I was pretty sad when it happened but I was already doing 'don't offer, don't refuse' and feeding just mornings and night-time because I was ready too.

I'm willing to bet that she will stop feeding herself, probably sooner than you expect. You will be a bit sad too.

Don't mind nannyof3, she's giving nannies a bad name.

nannyof3 Sat 15-Dec-12 02:11:58

Giving nannies a bad name!!!!???? Oh come on , really !!!!!

nannyof3 Sat 15-Dec-12 02:12:38

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nannyof3 Sat 15-Dec-12 02:14:13

Swearing is awfully terrible dear!

mathanxiety Sat 15-Dec-12 02:46:11

Stay off the dairy and stick with the bfing. My youngest lasted to almost age 4. I never planned to bfeed anyone that long but after feeding DC1 to a year and DC2 to 16 months, DC3 to 2 and DC4 to 3ish, it just seemed the thing to do with DC5 and I was never worried about her keeping going much longer than the start of school. They all bfed on demand. Sometimes they 'demanded' more and sometimes less.

I believe bfing had a beneficial effect on their personalities though that may be impossible to prove. They were generally calm children who seemed secure.

My DCs had real symptoms with dairy too and dairy problems run in my family as well as severe asthma. It didn't do them any harm at all to drink only rice milk or soy milk, apart from breastmilk. I made sure I bought vitamin and calcium enriched brands. They managed to eat yogurt though.

As a side note, I hate that term 'on demand' as I feel it conjures up an image of a spoiled brat screeching for something and being unreasonably demanding in many people's minds whereas 'breastfeeding on demand' has nothing to do with being obnoxious and something that will never spoil a baby (or a child), unless you think that providing for the needs of your child when those needs arise = spoiling. Bfing fills both a nutritional and an emotional need.

Salamanger Sat 15-Dec-12 07:16:25

aufanaie I've left her at bedtime a couple of times with dp (yes,*nanny*, born out of wedlock too-is there any hope for the poor child! shock).

swampster That sounds reasonably stress free.

mathanxiety, I agree about the language.

HappyAsASandboy Sat 15-Dec-12 07:59:48

I think we'll know when to stop smile

I am feeding my 2 year old twins, though I am back at work so it's only overnight and at the weekends. My DH or DM can put them to bed without Breastfeeding (obviously!), but if I put them to bed then they want to be fed and then they feed all night. They occasionally ask in the day, usually if cold, tired or upset.

I have been away overnight without them three or four times in the last year, and they managed with DH or DM overnight. By the last time I went away they were a bit more verbal, and DS did ask for mummy for a while in the night, but apparently coped and wasn't really stressed. So they can cope without, but they'll ask if I'm here.

So, not much advice, more a sharing of stories smile But yes, I think we'll know when it's the right time smile

Eosinophilicstrawberry Sat 15-Dec-12 08:11:32

I fed both of mine until they turned two. I stopped first time as I was pregnant and hormonal and got incredibly angry every time DS wanted to feed and then with DD I went on a course for a week and when I came back I never offered a feed and she never asked. BF was so important to me I thought I would be devestated to stop but it was actually a huge relief. So, yes you do know when it's time. There are still health benefits whatever their age though.

Wallace Sat 15-Dec-12 08:12:15

I thought nannyof3 was saying it would be nasty to STOP bf at age 2 if the child wanted to carry on! grin

aufaniae Sat 15-Dec-12 08:50:42

Salamanger for me, DP doing more of the bedtimes really helped me get a bit of a rest. I did all bedtimes for ages, - until that I cottoned on that DS and DP did just fine with bedtime when I wasn't there! Since then, DP and I have taken turns to do bedtime.

I find this made a big difference, I didn't feel so overwhelmed. It meant not only did I get a regular bit of time in the evening to myself, but also that on those days when I was feeling really shattered, DP could easily take over bedtime.

I'm not suggesting you should do the same necessarily, but maybe something to consider for the future - perhaps as least on those days when you feel run ragged.

Salamanger Sat 15-Dec-12 08:55:08

Eosinophilic, I've had that angry feeling on occasion, thought it was just me.

I'm thinking as long as she fits in my arms I'll carry on with the feeding. Nice to have the support on here- my mum is in favour of carrying on, as is hv, but society in general seems to be geared towards getting babies to be independent as soon as they are born. I get the odd raised eyebrow at work if I mention DD still bfs.

BertieBotts Sat 15-Dec-12 09:01:57

The angry feeling is nursing aversion, it's fairly normal with older ones from time to time.

Fitting in your arms becomes a non issue the older they get, surprisingly. I only ever feed DS in bed now so he's lying down anyway.

I don't ever mention it at work and people just assume you stopped years months ago!

BertieBotts Sat 15-Dec-12 09:02:17

https://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvaugsep03p90.html

surelythisoneisnttaken Sat 15-Dec-12 09:14:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EauRougelyNight Sat 15-Dec-12 10:07:05

Yes, you will know when it's right for you to stop, or you can choose to let your child self-wean if you are happy to carry on. Nursing aversions are normal with toddlers, as is changing your mind constantly grin But one bad day doesn't have to mean it's the end, if you want to carry on.

There is support for mothers of breastfed toddlers, see if there's an LLL meeting near you or look for sling meets and attachment parenting groups- you'll be sure to find someone, we are everywhere wink

2 years old is a tough time because it's a period of transition- they are suddenly, definitely not babies any more. People misquote the WHO guidelines to infer that you should be wrapping up breastfeeding. You become one of 'those' mothers hmm

But take heart, OP, if you do want to carry on then it does actually get easier from this point. They older they get, the less they want feeding in public so you don't have to talk about it if you don't want to. You might find that breastfeeding comes into its own as a parenting tool (instant tantrum cure!). You might also find that illnesses are few and far between, and are over much more quickly.

And you do become more confident, to the point where you read comments like the one above and just laugh.

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