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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........

OhdearIquit Mon 25-Mar-13 20:10:20

Wanted to breastfeed DD for 1 year. We had loads of problems for the first 2 months but battled through, one feed at a time. We are still going strong at 14 months now and DD has never had a bottle in her life. Am very proud and am now aiming for 18 months but the ultimate goal is 2. After that, I hope she'll be done though.

Emphaticmaybe Mon 25-Mar-13 20:13:52

I fed for 3 years with my last DC - it was a year too long in retrospect. DD didn't want to stop, (although I don't think she needed it nutritionally by that stage), I didn't have the energy to wean so we continued with neither of us really benefitting. I think two years is often a natural cut-off point.

Op your LO won't suffer if you stop - good luck whatever you do.

equiliteral Mon 25-Mar-13 20:20:26

With DS1 I think I was aiming for 6 months. Despite a very shaky start (DS1 is SCBU, was given formula top-ups for the first 10 days of his life, then we managed to get back to EBF once home - I am very proud of this because it really was a struggle), I went on to feed him until he was 15 months. I was sad when I stopped though - it was completely enforced by me, and just because I thought I should - I didn't know anyone else who had fed for longer than a year, my family were starting to make comments, and I was a little embarrassed about it.

DS2 is 23 months and still feeding. I am not in a huge hurry to stop (I wish I'd fed DS1 for longer), although he only feeds at bedtime and during the night (only once usually) now. It's odd though, although I do feel proud of feeding him for so long, I would probably not tell my friends and family (well, obviously DH knows and is completely supportive -but extended family) that I'm still feeding him, I think they'd be a bit shocked.

MostlyLovingLurchers Mon 25-Mar-13 20:26:33

We had a difficult start but am still feeding ds at 2.4, and see no signs of stopping. Still feed 3 times a day, more if he wants it. I don't feel the need to hide it, but do feel more conspicuous feeding a toddler when out and about than i did when he was tiny. If i ever get round to having dc2 i would try to tandem feed.

neontetra Mon 25-Mar-13 20:39:06

Still feeding at almost a year, though i hated the thought of it pre-dd, and intended to stop after about two days! Can't imagine we'll stop soon - dd is still a boob-monster, and as I work full time I find it a great way to reconnect with her after time apart. I am starting to feel a bit of pressure from family though, so sadly may go "underground" some time soon. Though that is bloody ridiculous, isnt it?

Twattybollocks Mon 25-Mar-13 21:31:50

I want to get to 6 months, did this with dd and I was ready to stop then. I'll see how I feel this time, and take it from there.

TeWiSavesTheDay Mon 25-Mar-13 21:44:20

I did both of mine for a year, DC1 slightly less, and DC2 slightly more.

I think I am very likely to bf DC3 when they arrive for less than a year. Maybe only 6mths, for practical/physical reasons. I feel a bit guilty about that, but it is definitely the right choice for me not to exclusively breast feed another baby.

VisualiseAHorse Tue 26-Mar-13 11:04:44

I wanted to feed for 1 year. I stopped at 8 months - because LO just didn't seem interested any more. Really wish that I had kept trying because I really miss it! Which is a big surprise, what with PND/psychosis, D-MER, reflux, colic AND an undiagnosed lip-tie made those first few months very hard.

We struggled for 10 weeks before getting BF established. It was such hard work, but we did it. LO was mix-fed for 12 weeks, EBF for another 12, and then mix fed until 8 months. Now, at 11 months, he is EFF and a food-monster.

My intital reaction when asked by the MW if I wanted to BF was "I will try for 6 weeks, and if it's still not working I'll move to formula."

rubyslippers Tue 26-Mar-13 11:10:50

I thought I would feed for 6 months

I made it to three years

Weaning was a slow build up to cold turkey the day before her third birthday

HeadFairy Tue 26-Mar-13 11:44:43

I didn't really plan how long, I had no idea, just thought I'd wing it. Both children self weaned a few weeks after their first birthdays.

sleepyhead Tue 26-Mar-13 11:57:21

I'm aiming for 6 months and then we'll see. I bf ds for 14/15 months, returning to work when he was 11 months.

This time I'm back at work when dc2 will be around 6 months so not quite as straightforward but I might express if all goes well and feed directly when I can, or use formula and feed directly when I can. I can't remember what feeding was like at that stage with ds, and of course they could be completely different anyway, so I'm playing it by ear.

TheYamiOfYolk Tue 26-Mar-13 14:50:58

When I was pregnant, I wanted to feed for at least 6 months, probably a year or so. My 6 year old has almost weaned and my three year old still has a couple of feeds a day. They changed me more than I expected.

duchesse Tue 26-Mar-13 15:04:25

DS- I wanted to go for about 12 months. Stopped at 14 because I was pregnant again.

DD1- wanted to feed for about 18 months tops. Fed her for 17 months.

DD2- wanted to feed her for 18 months. Ended up feeding her for 2 years.

DD3- wanted to feed her for 18 months. Fed her for 2.5 years.

The problems with DDs 2 and 3 is that they both had eczema that seemed to get way worse every time I tried to introduce any other kind of milk. DD2 grew out of it (at 15 she only occasionally gets a bit behind her ears). DD3 is still prone to massive flare-ups so we are very careful with her milk intake as that appears to be the trigger.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Tue 26-Mar-13 16:04:05

Thanks for all the replies, I got on with tea etc. after posting this and fell asleep with DD at bedtime, so haven't got around to checking the thread till now!

It's good to see so many natural term feeders there are, as aufaniae says, it's rare to hear people openly discussing it in rl.

I was mainly worried about DD stopping atm as we are currently going through a turbulent period of our lives as my marriage is ending. I felt that bf would be a good way to reassure her through comfort and consistency so I was a bit alarmed when she was appearing to stop. Luckily she seems to be over this now and is back to her normal milk loving self.

It's funny to hear vinegar and others saying they never felt emotional about bf as I have found it very emotional and I suspect I will be heartbroken when it's over.

I'm also sorry to hear of those who didn't manage to reach their goals, I have to admit I hadn't really considered that when I posted, and I do hope it hasn't upset anybody.

MadameJosephine Tue 26-Mar-13 18:31:32

Forever! DD is only 19 weeks, I fed her brother until he self weaned at 21 months and plan to let her decide for herself when to stop but she will be my last baby and i feel a bit sad that once she does I'll never bf again sad

badguider Tue 26-Mar-13 18:53:58

I will need to use a bottle one afternoon a week at 3mnths for work reasons. I really hope that it can be bm and we can bf at all other times but I am not convinced. Has anybody used a bottle of ebm like this and been able to continue for a year or more?

Kveta Tue 26-Mar-13 19:03:16

I planned to feed for a year, to avoid having to buy formula. Finally weaned him a week before his 3rd birthday, although he would still nurse now if I let him.

I only weaned him because I was tandem feeding from when he was 2.8, and I HATED it, feeding him was making my skin crawl. So I just gradually wound down his feeds until he stopped.

I will probably feed DD until she is 2, then play it by ear.

The worst bit about weaning DS was that he got several nasty colds, and then chicken pox, since he stopped nursing - but he would have weaned at some point anyway, so I think I'd have felt guilty about him being I'll after weaning even if he had been 7.

Kveta Tue 26-Mar-13 19:04:55

Oh, and I went back to work when DS was 7 months old and everyone said that would be the end of bfing - ha! I even went away with work for a week when he was 18 months old, and he went back to feeding within an hour of my return grin

He did have the odd bottle of formula when I went back to work, but didn't like it much.

marthabear Tue 26-Mar-13 19:15:05

I aimed to feed my first born for about a year. I ended up stopping at 15 months after winding down slowly and really feeling the social pressure to stop.
Older and wiser, I aimed to feed my second until he wanted to stop which I thought would be between 1 and 2 years. He loved breastfeeding and showed no signs of wanting to stop after 2 years and into the pregnancy of baby number 3. So, ended up tandem feeding until he was 3. He actually had a couple of ear infections in the winter after stopping when all i could do to help his night pain was to offer the breast again so the last time he actually fed was at about 3.5 years.
Baby number 3 is now 15 months. I guess i'll get completely sick of it by age 2 or 3 if ahe hasn't already stopped, but who knows.

IShallCallYouSquishy Tue 26-Mar-13 19:19:51

I want to feed for 12 months, DD is 10 months so I'm nearly there. I don't actually know what I'm going to do at 12 months and will probably end up carrying on a bit longer.

I know I don't want to wait until self weaning but as I get closer to that year she still seems so little!

pickledparsnip Tue 26-Mar-13 19:30:32

My son weaned in January at 3.3 years. We had a real rocky start, but kept at it, and it just seemed natural to continue. To be honest I had truly had enough by the time he stopped. I had incredibly sore breasts (period related) 2 weeks before he stopped, so his feed before bedtime was very short. He ended up falling asleep on his own a few nights after, then his dad put him to bed, and then that was it. He didn't ask again until 2 weeks later, then I explained that my milk had all gone. He has mentioned it a few times since, but is fine when I say it is all gone.

I feel a bit bittersweet about it, have lovely memories though. I am now no longer the only person who can put him to bed & I feel pretty liberated. He has become much more cuddly and affectionate too.

I am proud of us both, it was a bumpy journey but worth every minute.

JollyYellowGiant Tue 26-Mar-13 19:39:14

I wanted to get to at least 6months. But at the same time, I was clear that I had no desire to tandem feed, so natural term weaning was not on the cards for DC1.

We stopped when DS was 20mo. Actually, the day I found out I was pregnant. But that was more because it was a convenient time to stop rather than because of being pregnant.

We were only feeding morning and night by then. Stopping was very easy. We switched BF for cows milk in a cup and he has only asked once in the 3 months since we stopped.

ChocolateCoins Tue 26-Mar-13 19:50:47

I wanted bf DD til she was at least two but since becoming pregnant with DC2 my milk has dried up and she stopped a few weeks ago at 18 months. Feel so guilty that I couldn't reach 2 years.

MadameJosephine Tue 26-Mar-13 20:17:58

badguider I went back to work 2 days a week when DS was 6 months old and used to leave ebm for the childminder and express at work so yes it can be done. I'll be doing the same this time, I've already started to freeze some milk in advance

badguider Tue 26-Mar-13 22:07:40

thanks madame - good to know it can work.

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