Extended bfding advice please(14 Posts)
DD was 3yo in June and still feeds on waking and at bedtime. She has been feeding like this for a year. Prior to this she would feed as and when throughout the day.
I thought she would gradually stop of her own accord like my son did but she shows no sign. Most of the time I'm quite happy and would like her to stop on her timescale but I'm aware in just over a year she will start school. I'd like to stop before that. I also have my SIL coming to stay in a few weeks and don't know what she'll think. No one outside of me, DH, DS and obviously DD, know she still feeds.
Any thoughts / advice?
It sounds like you have two concerns - school, which is still a long way off (a lot could change between now and then), and your SIL's stay. Does it matter if your SIL finds out? Are you worried she'll judge you?
If you're on FB, there's a really good group 'Breastfeeding older babies and beyond'. Lots of mothers who have experience of feeding 3+ year olds. You can wean your daughter whenever you want; breastfeeding is a two way relationship (particularly by age 3); but please don't feel pressured to do so by anyone other than yourself or your daughter.
I am worried she will judge. She didn't BF any of her 4 DC and was surprised when I was still BF past 6mo. What's the worst that can happen though? She judges and disapproves. I don't think she'd tell me not to or enforce her view.
Yes, school is my other worry. It is a whole off yet but I really can't imagine still feeding a child who is of school age. I guess I can give it a few months.
I am on FB and follow Ann Sinnot's BF older children page. Is that the one you mean?
As you say - what's the worst that can happen? She has no right to judge you. I often use judgement as an opportunity to educate - barely anyone realises that extended bf is the biological norm, carries health benefits for you both, etc.
I think that's a different FB page - the one I:m thinking of is just called 'breastfeeding older babies and beyond'.
But if you really do want to wean, this blog post has some good tips:
That blog post is a big help. I have saved it for when I do decide to wean. That could be next week, next month or in 6 months. We will see...
I weaned dc1 at just over 4, as, like you, I didn't want to be feeding a school aged child but also because I felt we were both ready, which wasn't the case a 3 at all. I did however make sure I always referred to it as 'having milk' so that if my little one ever talked about bedtime, which wasn't often, whoever she talked to just assumed she meant a cup of milk. Didn't want them to ever be aware that anyone might consider them unusual.
As for your, sil, if your dd only feeds morning and night, will your sil really be aware? I had no problem with anyone knowing but we had plenty of visitors and I'd just go and 'do bedtime' and 'get the children up' and I don't think the details of what we were doing really interested them.
OP my toddler is the same age as yours and still feeding - more than twice a day in our case. I keep assuming he'll stop, but it never happens. I don't feed him when out and he seems to accept this - if he had a fall or something it might be a different matter. I'm sure you will shock your sil (though she might surprise you!) but you are doing nothing wrong.
Hello PaulineFossil and Iggi999. Good to hear from others with similar experiences.
Interesting to hear of a difference between 3yo and 4yo. I think one of my concerns is that I've not seen much of a change between 2yo and 3yo. I guess as with everything, they all just change and develop at their own pace.
I wouldn't have said we had much change between two and three really. Being ready to stop was quite a sudden thing. I needed to do some gentle nudging but that's all it was. Very glad it worked like that for us after it had been so special for us both.don't let anyone else pressure you. If it works for you both, that's all that matters.
I noticed a big change between 3yo and 4yo with ds1. As a Dec baby he wasn't at school until nearly 5 anyway but he stopped be at 4.5yo at his own decision. However by 4 he was down to a feed in the morning every second day, so it wasn't a sudden reduction, just a gradual self-weaning as he had better things to do with his time. As they get older they get involved in other things that they'd prefer to do. Ds2 is 3.5 and still feeds most mornings but only some evenings - it's noticeable that unlike 6 months ago he only asks to bf on nights when he is tired and he nurses to sleep, so sometimes a whole week will go by without his bedtime fed. So I'd be surprised if dd is feeding the same way in 9m time.
As for SIL, tough titty on her. Not her business, and she really doesn't need to know unless you whip your boob out at the table
I dont have any advise on the being judged - do they really need to know? Just remember why you do it and project a confident attitude. i didn't like admitting about tandem feeding but pretended I didn't care, just laughed at it in a confident way IYKWIM and didn't labour on the point.
i just posted about my son who was 3 at the time stopping here: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/breast_and_bottle_feeding/2429290-Tandem-breastfeeding
There is a chance SIL won't notice but there's also a big chance she will. DD will often pull at my top and ask for milky when she is tired and won't accept milk in a cup as a substitute. (Fair enough because it's not the intimate secure time she is asking for)
I guess I'm an ideal world, I want DD to choose to wean; to gradually lose interest, and to do that within the next 6 months!
I can empathise and I'm waiting for a magical weaning moment naturally! Mine is 3.5 and still very attached to boob morning and night. He goes to nursery school as they start younger here but honestly lots of them still have sleep aids even at 5 and 6 and know it is a bit of a baby thing so would never talk about it. A grandad confided in park the other day his GS still has a dummy and a blanket at night. They never bring it up to each other!
My DS2 was still feeding when he started school. Only bedtimes. I decided to stop on his fifth birthday and it was actually completely fine. I teed it up in advance (don't underestimate the cognitive capacities of a 4/5yo OP - it's quite a big leap from 3), we talked about it. I said 'other children at school will have stopped a long time ago' and he said 'what's it got to do with them?' . There's no chance he would have talked about it at school I think, not because he thought it was 'weird' but because for him it was so completely unremarkable.
I think with older kids you can just decide when you want to stop (if they don't stop themselves) and it can all be quite painless.
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