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when should BF stop?

(133 Posts)
nicky111 Sat 05-Mar-05 20:21:04

My DD is now nearly 8 months and is still breastfeeding happily a 3 to 4 times a day alongside three solid meals. She is happy and healthy but MIL says I should think about stopping BF at around 9 months as it will become more difficult to stop BF after this and it may put her off cow's milk. My mum says me and my sister just stopped naturally at 12 months and I would like to continue until then. What is your experience? Did your babies stop naturally?

Mud Sat 05-Mar-05 20:25:28

I think she could stop naturally. Towards the end of their first year they get more interested in other things and less interested in the boob .. sometimes

Alternatively she could keep being interested in bf and you will have to wean her when you feel ready

the question really is, how long do you want to bf for, do not be swayed by MIL or mother's experience, you are they mum and it is totally up to you.

Taking the baby to a year will mean you can go straight on to cow's milk

Continuing past the year will be totally up to you as would be stopping now

Good luck

I truly think the hardest part of being a mum is asserting your right to be the mum and not allowing your mum (or MIL) to do it for you

pupuce Sat 05-Mar-05 20:29:06

mine both chose to stp at 8 and 19 months... both hate cow's milk (but i have always liked it) and I don'think that's an issue..... I mean cow's milk is for baby cows {grin]

emkana Sat 05-Mar-05 20:37:02

Well according to the World Health Organisation it's a good idea to keep breastfeeding until two years and beyond, if you want to...

Reasons you can find here

I agree with others that it should be up to you to make the decision. It is true, however, that babies are often less interested in feeding between nine and 12 months, whereas as a walking toddler up to about 18 months they may get quite passionate about it again.

HappyMumof2 Sat 05-Mar-05 20:50:04

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Pidge Sat 05-Mar-05 21:20:20

It's really up to you and your dd. I fed my dd till she stopped naturally at age 2, she was down to one feed a day for the last few months, two feeds a day from around 15 months. Culturally a lot of people in this country have a problem with extended feeding - my MIL put me under pressure to stop at 9 months too, because that's when she stopped. And my antenatal group who all fed till 6-9 months were also 'weird' about my extended feeding. But I felt really strongly that I wanted to carry on, and indeed the WHO does recommend feeding for at least 2 years.

The most important thing is that you and your dd are happy. I did find that my dd lost interest a little bit in some feeds between 8-10 months, but then got much keener again when she was older. But she stopped very easily, and totally of her own accord.

It's true she's not a great fan of cows milk - but she eats a fantastic and varied diet, loves milk in the form of cheese and yogurt and on her cereal, just not as a drink. Definitely not a problem. And breastmilk is totally well suited to the needs of an older baby / young toddler.

Good luck whatever you decide.

ionesmum Sat 05-Mar-05 21:43:09

Ignore your mil and do whatever suits you and dd. BF last such a short time of a baby's life, make the most of it! BTW for a discussion on BF beyond 12 I had a lot of help on the 'benefits of breastfeeding beyond twelve months' thread.

moondog Sat 05-Mar-05 21:46:53

Did a bit of a doubletake on the 'beyond 12' bit!
(My grandfather reckoned that when he was about 5, a mother used to come to school at break to feed one of his classmates!!)
I fed until 30 months, although returned to work at 8 mths so feeding was reduced. Never gave formula and to my knowledge, dd has never drunk cows' milk. She is 4 now.
What's it to your mil anyway??!

ionesmum Sat 05-Mar-05 21:48:36

moondog I did realise after I'd posted!

Cod Sat 05-Mar-05 21:50:12

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pixiefish Sat 05-Mar-05 21:52:46

You should stop when you and your dd want to and stuff your MIL. Your baby, your decisions

Cod Sat 05-Mar-05 21:53:13

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moondog Sat 05-Mar-05 22:01:16

Don't WHO say that 7 (or is it 5?) is natural weaning age in developing world (and yes, I completely accept that the Namibian desert say, is a little different to a Birmingham surburb!!)?

pupuce Sat 05-Mar-05 22:04:10

Moondog, maybe be this is what you are looking for A Natural Age of Weaning

yoyo Sat 05-Mar-05 22:04:58

Feed for as long as you are comfortable doing so. I am glad I am continuing to feed DS as his first story (he's 26 mths) was "one day, nice sleep, outy bed. Dark.., milky booby, night night, bed". Well it makes me smile .

moondog Sat 05-Mar-05 22:09:27

Thanks pupuce
That is interesting.
(BTW, just got my new ABM magazine today. Interesting article in it about how the influence of friends/family affects b/feeding decisions.
My lovely lovely community m/wife is on the back cover!! Caernarfon gang. Last on the right in the front row. Sharon, you are wonderful!!!)

ionesmum Sat 05-Mar-05 22:12:00

Fab link, pupuce.

yoyo - made me smile too!

Mind you, dd2 has got a cold, and she is really biting me because of he rblocked nose ATM...

mummylonglegs Sat 05-Mar-05 22:28:50

I fed dd very happily about 3 times a day at your dd's age. By 1 she was down to just 2 feeds a day and by 18 months it was just a bedtime feed which I thought would be difficult to give up. My mum and especially MIL thought it was 'weird' if not even a bit 'sick' that I was still feeding her but I wasn't bothered about that. In the end we were all quite ill around the 18 month mark and she didn't want to feed and I was too tired to do it so just didn't do it for a few nights. When she was well again she kind of angled for a feed but I just said no and within a couple of days it was as though she'd never done it EVER. That did make me rather sad but personally I wouldn't have wanted to go on any longer as she was happily drinking milk from any kind of cup or bottle so it was really just a comfort / loving thing at the end of the day.

My PhD supervisor's wife b/f their daughter until she was 6. It might be totally normal in the developing world but to me it's just a strange thought that a child as opposed to a baby or even a toddler would still have their mouth around your breast.

My friend is still b/f her 3 year old dd but has been keeping it 'secret' from the dd's father (don't ask me how!!) because he's not keen on it going on. On the dd's 3rd birthday party she had a huge tantrum just before it was cake / candle-blowing moment. She eventually appeared in the kitchen with her dad, looking very soggy faced and fed up and pointed at her mum and yelled 'I want my booby milk NOW!!!' You can imagine how flat the party went after that ...

HunkerMunker Sat 05-Mar-05 22:32:30

Cod, breastfeeding past one is more to do with the mum and less to do with the kid?! Eh?

ionesmum Sat 05-Mar-05 22:39:30

I think GF said something along those lines.

FWIW dd2 is nearly one and I've got about as much chance of getting her to stop as I have of flying.

HunkerMunker Sat 05-Mar-05 22:43:03

I've heard it before and do wonder how people think you can make a toddler breastfeed. I couldn't make DS breastfeed now (not that I try!) and he's 11 months (if he wants to stop, we stop, but I'm certainly not doing it for me - can't see this changing in the less than a month till his birthday!).

milward Sat 05-Mar-05 22:45:33

who & unicef say bf until 2yrs - so definately to do with the kid. Also helps mum as can delay return of periods. All my dds happy to bf. Dd stopped herself at around 20 months from one day to the next!!, dd2 stopped herself at same age when I was preg, had to stop dd 3 just last month as preg & didn't feel that preg & bf went together for me - but some mums get on fine with this.

suzywong Sat 05-Mar-05 22:46:07

what do you mean "more to do with the mum rather than the kid" coddy?

Please explain

hercules Sat 05-Mar-05 22:46:31

No, they say minimum 2 years and beyond.

milward Sat 05-Mar-05 22:54:13

Thanks hercules - found what I was thinking of & you correctly pointed out - from the unicef website -
"UNICEF's Goal is the empowerment of all women to breastfeed their children exclusively for six months and to continue breastfeeding, with complementary food,well into the second year and beyond."

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