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How to handle unwanted "advice" to stop BF 15 mth old - bit long

(8 Posts)
Tangle Fri 22-Aug-08 14:32:46

To start off with, I'm happy that I'm doing the best thing by my DD by carrying on BF her. DH is supportive - even both lots of GPs aren't overtly anti. I'm relatively prosaic about the fact I still have to feed her to sleep and that she is a moderately poor sleeper - in the grand scheme of things it IS such a small amount of time.

I have a couple of friends with DC s little younger than DD. They wanted to BF and started out doing so, but ran into problems and stopped <6mths. Both their children have slept well (>10hours straight) since 9 months or younger. One in particular keeps bringing up the issue of how DD sleeps and when will I stop BF. I get lots of comments about how she "should be sleeping through by now", she "doesn't need BF anymore", "cow's milk is just as good" and "I need to let her grow up and become independent".

I know these are all a load of bull** and are more about her issues than me, and with most other people I'm more than happy to spout off WHO guidelines, etc, but that just feels very mean when my friend had such problems BF her own child - almost feels like rubbing in the fact that I found it easy.

So what would you do? I really don't want to allienate her as she's a good friend in many ways, it's just this issue is getting me down.

tiktok Fri 22-Aug-08 14:46:57


If she's a good friend, then it's best to be honest with her, without being hurtful. I think it is utterly out of order for good friends to make judgemental comments about their friends' parenting (eg the comments about 'letting her grow up') - and while you have cut her a lot of slack because of her problems and your sensitivity to her feelings, this cuts both ways...she needs to show sensitivity to you, too.

Next time, how about saying, 'I know you care about me and DD, but I have to say I find it uncomfortable when you comment on my choice to continue breastfeeding - it's not really up for discussion, sorry....can we talk about something else? I'd hate these comments to affect us, as I value you as a friend.'

Say it gently, with a smile, but not timidly or apologetically.

What do you think?

lulumama Fri 22-Aug-08 14:49:29

there might be unresolved issues in there re her own breastfeeding problems.. compounded by lack of knowledge about breastfeeding.. i think what tiktok hsa said would do the trick.. it is such a sensitive area, but she seems to have no qualms about hurting your feelings..

15 months is still a baby IMO!

BoysAreLikeDogs Fri 22-Aug-08 14:51:06

Also remember that a lot of people LIE about their babies' sleeping.

Chin up, you are doing marvellously

crokky Fri 22-Aug-08 14:53:36

OK now my DS was a terribly poor sleeper (bf excl to 6 months, then still bf with solids until 12.5 months). Stopped bf at 12.5 months. DS now is 2.5. He is a terrible sleeper still. It really makes no difference to sleeping. My DD is totally bf and she (5months) sleeps far better than DS.

ShowOfHands Fri 22-Aug-08 14:56:56

I am still feeding my 15 month old and am luck that most people (apart from HCPs oddly enough) are supportive.

The situation you describe is sensitive but you need to state firmly yet kindly that you will be continuing to breastfeed your baby and you are happy with this decision. Sadly, discussing sleep may have to stop. I know you need to vent when you've had yet another bad night but your friend may feel that as a friend she should offer advice/a solution.

My dd feeds to sleep still and doesn't seem to need a lot of sleep at all. I firmly believe that sleep is developmental and personal to each child. You find ways of accommodating sleep within your family unit.

Well done to you btw. You're doing fabulously.

BabiesEverywhere Fri 22-Aug-08 19:17:29

What about trying the 'broken record' with your friend ?

i.e. Pick a phrase and repeat everytime she brings up this subject.

Something like 'This works for our family' or 'Thanks for your advice but we are happy as we are' Eventually she should take the hint. I agree with PP about avoiding off loading about lack of sleep with this particular friend.

Tangle Mon 25-Aug-08 21:09:49

You lot are too lovely - I cried the first time I read the replies blush

I think you're right - I "just" (ha!) need to not be drawn in. I've got quite good at not raising the issue, but my friend tends to ask very direct questions and I haven't found a way to answer politely and truthfully without opening the door to more questions (and suggestions ).

Anyway, DD is just taking after both me and DH - apparently I gave up on naps at all at about 6 months and was up wanting to play for a couple of hours in the middle of the night, and DH didn't sleep through till he was 5. I really hope she improves before then, though

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