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Breastfeeding older babies in public, at what age have people stopped?

(36 Posts)
Frecklefacedgirls Thu 28-May-15 23:49:01

Just curious to get an idea from those continuing to breast feed over the age of one if it gradually became something they were less likely to do in public? I'm currently bf DC4 who's 13 months old and find that peoples' attitudes can be slightly less approving than when she was a smaller baby. Even some friends have shown surprise I'm still feeding and not planning to stop any time soon. It's not put me off and I'm still continuing to feed DD when she needs it where ever we happen to be (albeit discreetly). I bf my older DC up to the age of 2ish but towards the end it tended to be at night anyway. I was wondering what other people's experience was.

blueshoes Fri 29-May-15 00:02:20

Once my dcs hit 1 year, I stopped bf-ing them in public and only did it at home. I was back at work by then and so the chances of my going out and about with them less.

My dcs are pretty clingy but they were able to understand and accept the distinction.

ishallnamehimsquishy Sat 30-May-15 06:41:28

My DS1 very rarely 'asked' after about age one.

DS2 was a bit more keen and probably fed occasionally up to almost two. Not very often though and mostly if overtired or if he'd fallen and hurt himself and was all upset it was handy!

I didn't have a particular cut off age, it's fairly infrequent for my older toddlers anyway. smile

ishallnamehimsquishy Sat 30-May-15 06:43:51

It was fairly infrequent.

DC3 on way soon, it'll be funny to be back to bf again. Both mine weaned during pregnancy so I've only really had a few months off, but it seems like a while!

ZenNudist Sat 30-May-15 06:56:20

Definitely by the time both ds were 1, I stopped feeding out and about. My focus was that by the time they're fully weaned it just becomes easier to give a snack in public. Who needs the faff of bf when they can chomp on a babybel or some raisins etc. Or even give a cup of cows milk.

I think there are some public/private situations like at home with friends and family where you just have to steel yourself for some comments and do it anyway.

Ds2 is 16mo now and still bf morning and night, been known to have the odd feed one in a blue moon once a day. MIL doesn't approve, neither does df. I explain that some babies are still on morning and night bottles up to 18m-2years so I will bf up to when he indicates he's not bothered (19-20mo for ds1).

clarinsgirl Sat 30-May-15 07:04:43

I b/f DS2 until he was about 2.5. I think I stopped b/f in public soon after a year. This wasn't a conscious decision or related to what other people thought. It was just a natural evolution as by that stage he only b/f when he woke up and before he went to bed so there was just no need to feed during the day

Mehitabel6 Sat 30-May-15 07:08:37

Once you can go to a cafe and give them a drink and biscuit.

lilyfire Sat 30-May-15 07:13:27

I b/f mine upto 3/4 years old but not in public after about 18 months, except in places like the cinema, where it was very useful to keep them quiet. I think I b/f anywhere upto bout 18 months. Was feeding my older baby in park once when a woman (non English heritage) came up and said 'are you English?' I said I was and she explained that she thought I couldn't be as she had never seen an English woman feeding an older child.

perfectlybroken Sat 30-May-15 07:27:51

I bf to age 2 and fed in public if necessary, though I always use a cover. So that obviously makes a difference. Had anyone said anything negative it wouldn't have bothered me.

Singsongsung Sat 30-May-15 08:44:25

I don't understand why you'd need to really? Surely beyond 1 they're having enough solid food that the need for bfs is seriously reduced?
I do worry a bit about the message you're giving with older children (3/4- ie those that understand) when you tell them it's only something you do at home/in private.

weebairn Sat 30-May-15 09:40:44

I mostly only bf in the early morning past about 14 months. So I never really was out and about.

I did once when she was about 16 months I think. Massive tantrum. We were both wearing winter coats and I wasn't in a bf-friendly top at all so it was a right faff. This young guy walking past made eye contact with me accidentally, then gave me a big thumbs up (this restored my faith in humanity).

I did a bedtime bf at a kids party (we were driving home for a few hours and I was hoping to get her to sleep in the car). I can't remember exactly what age, maybe about 15 months. It was a room full of parents and mostly older kids - 5 and 6. I felt super -self conscious. The two mums on either side of me started telling me their bf stories afterwards though, which was nice.

I never thought I'd bf so long (I did till 20 months in the end, but only stopped as was heavily pregnant) - but once I was , I never thought I'd be self conscious in public either! It does seem different once they're walking about and chatting , though.

caitlinohara Sat 30-May-15 21:31:09

I started to feel 'awkward' about bf ds2 at around 18 months and I would distract in public, but carried on in private for some time until he just stopped naturally. With hindsight I wish I had been more thick skinned about it and just fed him publicly anyway, especially as feeding ds3 was a nightmare from start to finish and I loved it with ds1 and 2. I also think that it's important to to normalise extended bf - no one bats an eyelid when it's a little baby, but lots of people are grossed out by a toddler still bf. It's sad

TheBookofRuth Sat 30-May-15 21:39:44

I think DD was around 2. She still feeds now at three and a half, but only in the morning when she gets into bed with us. It's pretty sweet actually - she's on one side, DS (10 months) is on the other, and they sometimes hold hands across me. smile

Actually when DS was born and she visited us in hospital she fed then, which I guess was sort of public. It was a godsend - I was so engorged, and tiny DS could not keep up with the supply!

I've never had a negative response since she got past one, though people are clearly surprised. Pre-one, I would get comments like "are you STILL feeding that baby?!" or "better stop soon, it's getting weird". Post-one, I guess they figured I clearly wasn't listening and gave up! grin

glenthebattleostrich Sat 30-May-15 21:43:00

About 2. We were very good at descrete feeding by then!

Only time anyone noticed was in a cafe when a woman asked for a lady who was feeding her tiny baby to be removed as she was feeding. She told the staff it was because children don't need to see that kind of thing then looked at me to get support as I stuck DD on boob with a smile!

caitlinohara Sat 30-May-15 21:58:23

I don't like living in a society where bf has to be 'discreet' though. I wish I had been brave enough to bf ds at 18 months as publicly and proudly as I did when he was tiny. wine to all the blatant bf-ers out there!

glenthebattleostrich Sat 30-May-15 22:03:24

I know what you mean but if it was up to DD I'd have been naked from the waist up for 2 years!!

And I refused to use covers, consider them totally unnecessary

RhinestoneCowgirl Sat 30-May-15 22:07:58

DS bf until 2 yrs but didn't feed in the day much beyond 1 yr (I think because I was back at work part time and he got used to not having bf during the day)

DD stopped the day before her 4th birthday and I can't really remember when we stopped bf in public. I remember her bf around 18m at toddler group, and I would bf at friends houses. As she got older I would discourage her from bf when we were out if it wasn't convenient for me (usually clothing related).

I clearly remember sitting in the front window of a cafe with another MNer who was bfing her newborn and feeding DD (over 2 yrs). I think she gave me the boldness to do it mind grin

neverevernorever Sat 30-May-15 22:14:09

I do worry a bit about the message you're giving with older children (3/4- ie those that understand) when you tell them it's only something you do at home/in private.

I don't understand this point??

In answer to the OP, like others on this thread, I still feed my toddler morning and night, but not in the day. It means I can easily have whole days away, but still BF, which works well for us!

caitlinohara Sat 30-May-15 22:15:29

That's true actually glen - I had forgotten the whole clothes issue. It's a PITA shopping for clothes and having to ask yourself "can I bf in that?" for years on end.

Sapat Sat 30-May-15 22:18:00

Just finished (away from home) with my one year old, but mostly because he can't concentrate and he keeps pinching/biting my nipples for the fun of it (and I am back at work). If necessary I would though (if he was tired, hurt, hungry), but if we are out & about I skip his afternoon feed, though to be fair the only feed he seems to want is the morning one. My sister BF her boy until 3 and she got all sorts of looks. I BF all 3 of mine 9 months, 18 month and 1+ year and I must say it felt a bit odd seeing a 3 year old feed. I felt it was more for her benefit than his. But anyway, each to its own!

Hypotenuse Sat 30-May-15 22:22:36

I can't really remember when I told my dd1 we would only breastfeed at home but she was old enough to understand so I'm thinking she was pretty close to 2 years old.

Glen your story made me laugh. Good on you. I like to think I'd have started to nurse both of my girls too in solidarity.

To the OP, you know what your child needs. If they need milk when you're out, it's nobody else's business if you give it to them. The WHO recommends nursing to two years and beyond. Loads of people feed their toddlers, they're usually just too scared to admit it in case Katie Hopkins or the Daily Mail shows up.

susannahmoodie Sat 30-May-15 22:32:16

I fed ds1 til 18 mo but didn't do it in public after about a year, as then was just doing am and pm feeds anyway. One night when he was 17mo he bumped his head and we ended up at a&e at bedtime. I fed him then and felt really self conscious, then a nurse came over and chatted about it and was so lovely about it that I felt silly for feeling self conscious.

cunchofbunts Sat 30-May-15 22:36:40

Those that are breastfeeding older babies and children, there's a really good Facebook group called Breastfeeding older babies.

There's also a new group called: Can I breastfeed in it? People post their high street finds so you don't have to!

JasperDamerel Sat 30-May-15 22:39:44

I mostly stopped feeding in proper public at 3, but I remember feeding DD in the library when she was 4 for some reason and feeling a bit uncomfortable.

TheOriginalWinkly Sat 30-May-15 22:40:29

sapat what a ludicrous thing to say. A 3 year old isn't going to latch on if they don't want to, and what possible benefit does bf'ing an older child bring (other than comforting and soothing the child?)

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