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Starting to feel self consious feeding DS in public :(

(26 Posts)
CherryChoc Mon 13-Jul-09 19:13:52

Firstly sorry if I misspell things, my C key is a bit broken and I don't always notice to correct it. Also this may be long, sorry!

I always intended to breastfeed DS until he was one, I thought that feeding after that was a bit weird. But sine I was pregnant, I have been hanging out on various forums and the idea of natural term breastfeeding began to seem more normal to me than just stopping at one. However I was still a bit squeamish at the thought of breastfeeding a toddler. I mentioned this to someone when DS was probably about a month old and she said to me "You know, it's not like feeding a young baby. You feed them when they're this age and then they grow so quikly you hardly notie that they've turned into a toddler, beause it doesn't just happen overnight. And then when they climb into bed in the morning and ask for milky cuddles you an hardly resist!" and it was like it suddenly swithed off the squeamish thoughts I'd had about it and I felt that if DS wanted to, I might arry on past age one. Now he is 9 months I have been on forums (mostly MN atually) even more and it just doesn't make sense to me to wean him, I'd rather let him self-wean.

But now our babies are 9-10 months, most of my friends from antenatal who are breastfeeding are talking about dropping the feeds and beginning the weaning proess, and where they are doing 2 or 3 feeds a day, DS still sometimes has 5 or 6 and I have started to get surprised comments that I seem to be feeding him a lot, at groups etc.

I think part of the reason he nurses a lot still is that we are doing BLW and I am not very good at remembering to eat much myself and quite often forget to offer him food consistently 3 times a day. On the days when he has more solid food he does want to feed less from me. I would say most days he has 2 solid meals and every day he gets at least 1. He has snacks as well.

Anyway, what the main problem is is that I can easily see him continuing to want to nurse fairly often during the day past the age of 1, and I am worried about nursing him in public. I don't want what other people think to bother me, but it does. I would be upset to think that I would be denying DS something I think he should be able to have just because of what some people think, though, so I need to know whether I can either be strong and ignore them or encourage DS only to feed when we are at home.

Does anyone have any advice?

SOLOisMeredithGrey Mon 13-Jul-09 19:29:23

I always thought I'd do the same with Dd as I did with Ds and stop at 18 months. I confess to being very closed minded about mums bfing past the age of 2 years ~ they weren't doing it for the child, just for themselves etc blush I was wrong, I admit it. Dd had different idea's to me and at more than 2.6, she still wants to feed from me and I'm happy to do it ~ even in public. She's very tall for her age and yes, maybe people do think it's not right, but too bad! let them start on me ~ I'm ready for them. No one ever has though.

If you and your Ds want to continue, then don't give a thought to what other's think about it. It's unlikely that anyone will ever comment on what you are doing and you can sometimes reason with your Dc or use distraction to get them to wait until you are home or in a more private place to feed.

Good luck!

madmummies Mon 13-Jul-09 19:30:35

All i can say is that if you are comfortable feeding past one then you go ahead. it is your personal choice. You might get a few looks from some people. but be strong in the knowledge that you are doing what is best for you and yourr little one.

hunkermunker Mon 13-Jul-09 19:32:23

Great that you want to let him self-wean.

Bit worried that you forget to eat yourself, so don't remember to feed him - easy enough at this age, but I'd be trying to think of ways to remind myself to feed him three times a day if I was you.

thisisyesterday Mon 13-Jul-09 19:34:13

cherrychoc, I breastfed ds2 until he was 16 months, and he was a real boob-monster.
please try not to compare your son to others. some babies just want more milk than others, and that's fine, remember it's the best thing for him so the more he gets the better

ds2 fed lots while we were out, and I can honestly say that I LOVED feeding him in public.
no-one ever commented on it, in fact, if you just get on and do it I think people really don't take that much notice.

but I do think that if you can breastfed in public then you should because every person who breastfeeds in public helps to normalise it and make it "ok".
because you might just be seen by that pregnant woman who is thinking of how to feed her baby.
because you might be seen by that other woman who is worried about feeding her toddler in public.
you might be able to have a real positive impact on those people, and that's no small thing IMO.

be strong. give you baby what he needs!

SOLOisMeredithGrey Mon 13-Jul-09 19:40:16

I like that way of thinking thisisyesterday! I'd never thought about all those pg mums to be seeing other mums bfing in public and it makes perfect sense! No one really bats an eyelid when they see topless models these days, but going back a few decades and it was a shock moment for most, if not all people. De sensitise the many and it wont be seen as unusual or different, just normal!

MrsBadger Mon 13-Jul-09 19:40:39

set the kitchen timer or the alarm on your phone to remind you to eat

I fed dd till she was 18m but after 14 or 15m realised that she didn't want boob specifically when she asked for it at odd unscheduled times (ie not first thing in the morning, before naps or at night), but was perfectly happy with a cuddle, milk in a cup and/or a snack.
This meant I did a lot less feeding in public and [selfish mother emoticon] could wear normal bras again, which had an inestimable effect on my morale and self-esteem.

I will confess that I chose to stop feeding dd rather than letting her wean naturally as I was ttc and the night feeds meant it wasn't going to happen.

belgo Mon 13-Jul-09 19:44:11

cherrychoc - my third child ds is the same age, and he still wants to bf loads during the day despite eating solids as well. I pretty much let him do what he wants but I admit it is very easy to forget to feed him solids when he is happy just to drink milk. The older he gets, the easier it becomes because he can eat more and more of what I eat, but he also eats jarred baby food which I hate, but he seems to like. When I go out today, I give him sandwiches and also always have a jar of baby food in my bag because it's just so convenient. My second child was so hard to wean that I've learnt to relax and just be happy that he eats at all!

It is annoying that it's at this time everyone else expects him to be drinking less milk but the way I see it, he is still a baby and as long as he is offered a variety of solids regularly, then there is nothing wrong with letting him breastfeed when he wants.

MoChan Mon 13-Jul-09 19:59:59

My nearly-two year old still feeds relatively regularly, no more than three times a day though. Wasn't ever squeamish about feeding in public, but it sort of didn't come up much in the end, because by the time she got to just over a year, she never really wanted to feed much when we were out anyway, despite the fact that she was still feeding lots when we were at home. It's only happened a couple of times in the last year, always when we were out for a very long, full days.

SOLOisMeredithGrey Mon 13-Jul-09 20:09:51

I often get a very loud and insistant 'booby mummy! I want booby' and if she's close enough, booby gets a loud mmwah! kiss too! I find it lovely!

Sunflower100 Mon 13-Jul-09 20:15:40

Breast feed for as long as you and your ds feel you want to but I would try to ensure he begins to have 3 meals a day as once he is a toddler keeping his energy levels up is important to keep him going - my toodler tantrums far more readily if she is hungry. And you need to eat yourself too - I seem to remeber you had a thread about being too skinny from bf or I might be confused!!But the bf thing is up to you. Do whats right for you and ds and sod anyone else!!

Babieseverywhere Mon 13-Jul-09 20:29:45

Some babies simply nurse more than others and this is not always related to solid intake.

My children eat three meals a day and have several snacks, yet they both have milk several times a day. TBH I reckon the toddler (nearly 3 year old) has more milk some days than the baby !!!

I have got use to nursing in public and can honestly say that I have not had any bad comments or looks off strangers (just family)

Having a nursing older baby/toddler has so many benefits...from less illness to less tandrums.

Plus children get so much comfort from nursing. Yesterday my toddler ran up to me, flung her arms around me and announced joyfully 'I love milk, mummy' grin <BE's heart melts>

Try not to worry and take each day as it comes.

CherryChoc Mon 13-Jul-09 22:22:41

Thanks for all your comments Yes it was me who posted about being too skinny while bf - I didn't start the thread though. I am trying to get a bit more struture into my day, hopefully that will help - and eat at regular times. I am eating breakfast every day now which is much better.

It's not really the idea of comments from strangers that bother me - I don't mind so muh if I'm not going to see them again. It is more the reations of friends and family I am dreading - sorry, I meant to put that in my original post but got carried away talking about the solids! I am already feeling slightly self-conscious about it because of the comments that he seems to be feeding a lot, and there was also a discussion the other day between some of the others which I overheard and one of them was saying she didn't want to breastfeed past a year beause it was too "bitty" - I just don't want to be the odd one out all the time.

alex7715 Mon 13-Jul-09 22:32:17

do it for you and your son they are the odd ones for talking about you xxxx

hunkermunker Mon 13-Jul-09 22:33:27

It's her lookout if she wants to stop feeding based upon a ridiculous Little Britain sketch about a man in his 30s - if she really thinks bfing a 1yo is the same as that, she has problems!

Babieseverywhere Mon 13-Jul-09 22:35:51

{{{CherryChoc}}}

I wish I had an answer to that one.

Sigh...my mother has fallen out with me, as I told her politely with a smile that I was not asking her for advice, as she critised my nursing 2.11 year old and my parenting skills.

I feel like my heart is breaking but what can I do. I won't change my parenting ideals, no matter how much I (or the child in me) desire parental approval.

It does hurt when your family don't support you I guess all we can do is make sure our children feel supported whatever choices they make in their lifes.

<Sorry for the hijack, just feeling down this evening>

alex7715 Mon 13-Jul-09 22:43:02

i agree my hubby and friends have used the bitty thing as a joke since i began bf ds is 7 months now i lauagh and i carry on he is the only imprtant one and me lolxxxx

jabberwocky Mon 13-Jul-09 22:50:22

My family were a bit hmm when I continued to bf ds2 until he was two but he wanted to and I wanted to so we did! I just ignored everyone else and they got the message fairly quickly that it was none of their business grin

alex7715 Mon 13-Jul-09 22:58:34

i agree lol xxxx

alex7715 Mon 13-Jul-09 22:59:28

i agree lolxxxx

DitaVonCheese Mon 13-Jul-09 23:06:37

No advice really, just wanted to say that I am in almost exactly the same position (except that I now do sit down and eat three meals a day, usually at reasonable times too - took me a month or two though!).

I have already had some chat from two well-educated middle class (childless) friends who wanted to know when I was going to stop and seemed to think that I was a freak for bfing a 9 mo hmm I'm still livid that I was so surprised (I expected it after 12 mo, though not really from them, and definitely not when DD is still such a baby!) that I didn't really argue back and spent the whole next week having furious conversations with them in my head. They may still get an arsy email.

Anyway, digressing slightly blush ... I know I'm going to get this from my mum because she has mentioned it a couple of times and was very hmm about her neighbour bfing until 2 or 3. It is hard.

DD will still feed a lot during the day if it's offered but I've noticed that she will go longer without actually asking now that she's eating a fair amount, unless she's tired or upset. Perhaps you should work on three meals a day (for both of you ) so that you can avoid feeding in public too much, if you don't want to.

I totally agree with the feeding in public to normalise it thing, but only if you want to do so

Wonderstuff Mon 13-Jul-09 23:08:10

I felt the same and since dd turned one I have become more selfconcious of bfing in public. However - all my family have now come round to the idea that bfing to two is benefical and if they don't approve they certainly haven't voiced this (if we go beyond 2 it may be a different story). DD is 20 mo and really doesn't feed when we are out too often and is normally happy to accept a snack instead. I was out all day the other week and so had to feed her on the tube, and I thought fuck it whats the worse that can happen and it really was fine, no one batted and eyelid.

TBH it is at friends houses that I worry the most, I never know what the ettiquete is, do I ask? find somewhere private? just get on with it?

It is knowing that some people have strong views on toddlers feeding but not knowing who gets upset or why that bothers me.

Wonderstuff Mon 13-Jul-09 23:13:17

Its those anecdotes - x's child demanded and made such a fuss she had to give in and it was so embarressing, you don't want to be in that position - embarressing for who exactly? why?

So and so fed until 4!
'good for them'
Oh no, its just not nice when they are older!
WHY??

SOLOisMeredithGrey Mon 13-Jul-09 23:44:35

My mum got me to stop feeding Ds at 18 months by saying; 'it's time you gave yourself a rest' (I was exhausted, but from the initial symptoms of ME, not bfing). She's said it many times with Dd, she says 'oh, it's time you stopped that' aiming it at Dd, not me, but I've put her firmly in her place by telling her that we'll stop when we are ready. She's stopped commenting! grin

DitaVonCheese Mon 13-Jul-09 23:56:52

Yep, apparently I should give up now while I can because my mum's neighbour's DD used to really embarrass her and it was very difficult to wean her hmm

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