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How long did you/do you want to bf for?

(82 Posts)
HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Mon 25-Mar-13 16:19:48

DD (2) recently had a bit of a strike and I panicked because I hadn't expected it. Up until then I didn't really think I would be that bothered when she stopped as we've reached my (WHO recommended) goal of 2 and beyond, but I was absolutely gutted.

Luckily, she's stopped striking now and we're back to normal, but it's got me thinking about how long I would like to feed for. It is obviously down to DD when she wants to stop, I'm not going to try and influence her either way but I think I will be really emotional when the time comes. Especially as I am unlikely to have any more babies.

My mum remembers the last time she fed me (self weaned), she said it was if we both knew it was the last time so it was bittersweet and when I thought DD had stopped, I was so sad I hadn't had that final feed for closure.

I suppose I'm just wondering what it was like when your DC weaned and how I'm going to feel when it does happen. At the moment I'm thinking that I wouldn't mind another year or so, but I might want another year after that, and another, and another........

wibblyjelly Mon 25-Mar-13 17:08:51

I really wanted to bf until at least 6 months. DS had other ideas, and rejected me at 12 weeks....

EauRouge Mon 25-Mar-13 17:11:22

My original goal with DD1 was 6 months- I've no idea why, I'd just heard it mentioned and thought that that was how long people breastfed for. Lots of reading (and joining MN) later, she's still BF and is 4.6yo- also BF DD2 who just turned 2yo. At the moment our plan is to let them self-wean but I'd not be averse to giving DD1 a gentle push in the right direction if I decide I've had enough.

I was visited by some HVs a year ago (two of them! They ganged up on me grin ) who got all pissy because I refused to rule out breastfeeding an 8 year old. Sure, it's not my long term plan and I certainly don't see myself doing it but who knows how I'll feel then? If someone had told me when DD1 was born that I'd be BF her at 4.6yo I'd have told them to fuck right off, and yet here I am.

Never say never, play it by ear and all that. Nothing wrong with moving the goalposts in either direction if you change your mind.

HappyAsASandboy Mon 25-Mar-13 17:30:24

I aimed for 6 months, as like you I thought that's what you should do. That point sailed right by, and my DTs are 2yrs5mo and still feeding all night. I have no idea when we'll stop, though it can sometimes do several nights with DS not feeding, then suddenly he wants a feed in the night and nothing else will do! So I suspect he is gradually self weaning sad

I suspect my DD will continue for a while yet as she asks most times she wakes in the night (cosleeping, so just minor wakes) and seems quite interested in the fact I have boobs! She can often be found breastfeeding her dolls and teddies too, so just seems more into it somehow.

I will be sad when this phase is over too. I am conscious that I don't want to encourage/discourage breastfeeding so that my babies can decide, so I only ever offer verbally (rather than physically presenting a boob) and only then as one of several options ('cold milk' or 'warm milk', which are cows milk, cuddle, teddy cuddle, mummy milk etc).

Like EauRouge, I would never have dreamed I'd feed this long. I really thought 6 months would be it, then thought it'd just be until cows milk at 12 months, then thought maybe we'd stop at the WHO guide of 2 years ..... I've no idea what the actual trigger for stopping will be smile

TryDrawing Mon 25-Mar-13 17:36:38

Before dd was born, I wanted to bf for 6 months. Then we had trouble getting bf established and by the time we'd got it sorted out, I couldn't imagine why I would want to stop at 6 months. Now dd is just shy of 18 months and I plan to just bf natural term. It's no hassle for me and would upset dd if I forced her to stop. Apart from dh, everyone who finds out I'm "still" feeding her reacts as though I'm either a masochist or a hippy. I'm actually neither, I just value dd's opinion over theirs.

By the time dd stops I will hopefully have another child so it'll be interesting to see if I miss nursing her or if it just gives me a bit more room on the sofa!

hufflepup Mon 25-Mar-13 17:38:39

I was aiming for 6 months and now we're here changing to formula just seems like an almighty pain in the arse so I'll keep going until 12 months I think...

CelticPromise Mon 25-Mar-13 17:42:11

I hadn't really considered how long, just knew I wanted to bf. Then DS arrived extremely premature and it became my mission, and a bit of a battle, to ebf. Then I thought right, I'll get him to six months corrected, then we just kept going. He was losing interest and down to one feed a day so we stopped at 18 months. I am a peer supporter now and know much more about bfing than I did and know many bfing toddlers. Wish I hadn't stopped in some ways.

birdofthenorth Mon 25-Mar-13 17:42:57

I was aiming for 6-12 months. Two and a half years later I can't get the little addict to stop!

noblegiraffe Mon 25-Mar-13 19:29:38

I thought I'd stop feeding at 13 months when I went back to work, but I wasn't ready to give up then so carried on till 17 months then it was right for both of us to stop.

marzipananimal Mon 25-Mar-13 19:36:37

I was vaguely aiming for 1 year, but when we got there I had no reason to stop. DS has recently stopped at about 2.4, with a bit of gentle encouragement from me because I'm pregnant, was a bit sore and not keen to tandem feed.
I think I might be keen to feed this baby for longer and it'll probably be my last but we'll see how it goes, I think 1 year will be my minimum target again

stargirl1701 Mon 25-Mar-13 19:37:20

I wanted to bf for 2 years. I made it 3 weeks.

ilovepicnmix Mon 25-Mar-13 19:42:13

I wanted to do 6 months but started mix feeding at 6 weeks. Kept this till 8 months when lo decided he wasn't interested! Im sad as ended up wanting to breastfeed much longer than my original 6 months.

mawbroon Mon 25-Mar-13 19:47:43

I never found any reason to stop with ds1 and he kept going til he was 7!! I had always imagined I would be sad to stop, but actually I was bloody well over the moon!!

DS2 still going strong at 3yo, no idea when he will give up....

I had originally planned to feed for 6 months and then see what happened shock

Bakingtins Mon 25-Mar-13 19:49:34

I was aiming at 6 months with DS1 and did 16m, aimed at a year with DS2 and did 2 yrs.

aufaniae Mon 25-Mar-13 19:50:15

I hadn't given it much thought, I guess I thought I'd feed until about a year.

Then I learnt about the WHO guidelines so aimed for 2 years. But DS didn't seem keen to stop so we carried on.

I was planning to stop before having DC2. I'm pregnant, and DS seemed to be winding down before Christmas, we'd dropped to once every few days. But then he got a nasty cold, and was back to feeding daily. Since then life's been pretty chaotic (e.g. moving house) and he's asked for a feed more often, we're back to daily again, I guess he needs the comfort. And now he's ill again.

So, DS is 4.3 and DC2 is due in 3 weeks! So I guess we are going to do tandem feeding after all grin

Great to see some other people feeding 4+ DCs here, I don't know any others openly feeding in RL. I must admit I let people assume DS has weaned these days <coward emoticon>

Although I did tell the other parents at my NCT class (all first timers except me) that I was still BFing DS, as I hoped it might give them courage later when feeling the pressure of well-meaning but misinformed idiots people asking "isn't it time to give up now?" (I got this from when DS was 10mo. We went "underground", feeding only in private, and not mentioning it unless asked when he has about 16 months IIRC as I was fed up with the comments.)

Posterofapombear Mon 25-Mar-13 19:51:11

Wanted to feed until 12 months, still feeding now at nearly 2.

I am weak when she does her little 'mommy pwease' grin

VinegarDrinker Mon 25-Mar-13 19:52:19

I imagined feeding to around a year, which is what we did (15months).

Although I was lucky to pretty much sail through with no thrush, mastitis etc, BFing was never anything emotional for me, which seems unusual reading MN. I didn't even shed a tear after our last feed.

littlestressy Mon 25-Mar-13 19:54:19

I wanted to do 6 months then when I got there 12 months. When we got to a year I couldn't be bothered to wean him and my DS likes it too much so we're still going at 15 months. Until I'm fed up with it or he wants to stop.

ShoeJunkie Mon 25-Mar-13 19:54:31

I thought I would bf for a year but DS has just turned 13 months and would be very upset if we tried to stop anytime soon!

mistressploppy Mon 25-Mar-13 19:55:07

Same as Vinegar. Wanted to do a year, and that's what I did with both DSs. Purely so I could avoid formula <lazy> and go straight from boob to cow's milk.

Also the same as Vinegar, it was a purely practical thing for me, and neither DS was particularly bothered when we stopped either

BertieBotts Mon 25-Mar-13 19:58:54

I only really wanted to breastfeed for about a year but then ended up letting DS self wean, which he did recently. He's 4.

VinegarDrinker Mon 25-Mar-13 20:00:15

Yup DS didn't even seem to notice mistress ! My plan was "don't offer, don't refuse" ... And he just never asked again! Tbf he had cow's milk half the time anyway when I was at work but still... he could've at least pretended to care! Ungrateful pest!

BertieBotts Mon 25-Mar-13 20:01:22

I didn't really feel anything much. He wound down so slowly I didn't actually notice blush until I explicitly offered and he said no, as if I'd just offered him a drink of engine oil or something.

His immune system seemed to take a big hit when he stopped - he got a stomach bug and then two colds in quick succession. That was the biggest thing for me.

mistressploppy Mon 25-Mar-13 20:02:50

Totally agree Vinegar! After all the horrible flappy clothes we wore for them did for them! (btw, I drink it too. Vinegar, that is, not breastmilk grin )

LaCucina Mon 25-Mar-13 20:07:47

With dd1 I wanted to get to a year as wanted to avoid formula/bottles/sterilising if we could - she self weaned at about 17 months after I followed 'don't offer, don't refuse'. I was heavily pg and found feeding sore so was more glad than sad. However, in hindsight I wish I'd got through it and tandem fed, I think it would have helped with the sibling shock and my feeling of losing time with dd1.

Dd2 is 21 mo and addicted to bf. I can't imagine her wanting to stop anytime soon, and that is fine with me. I definitely want to get to 2.

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