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Breastfeeding till the age of 4 - what do you think?

(1387 Posts)
lisalisa Wed 20-Jul-05 14:20:25

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lunavix Wed 20-Jul-05 14:22:00

I find it repugnant personally.

I respect a mothers choice to breastfeed, but over about 16 months it makes me cringe.I don't want to start a war, that's how I see it in my eyes.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 20-Jul-05 14:22:29

I'm fine with people breastfeeding until they (or their kids) want to stop. You can't force a child to breastfeed.

Apparently the "natural" age to stop is 7. Only hunger-gatherers and anthropologists bf that long now.

How did the Daily Mail feel about lactivists?

emkana Wed 20-Jul-05 14:24:22

I think you are very brave to bring this topic up!

I breastfed dd1 until she was just over 2, dd2 is still b/feeding at 23 months. Looking at dd1 who is 4 now I think "I couldn't imagine still b/feeding her", but I firmly believe that yes, extended b/feeding is what nature intended, yes, b/feeding should carry on for as long as child and mother want it to, and yes, extended b/feeding has plenty of advantages but no real disadvantages!

kama Wed 20-Jul-05 14:25:04

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roosmum Wed 20-Jul-05 14:25:16

yeah, why not?!
if it suits those involved (ie mum & LO), then IMO nobody else has any right to comment negatively. it's personal choice tho, & obviously not for everyone.

geekgrrl Wed 20-Jul-05 14:28:05

I breastfed my eldest until she was 3.5 yrs old, my middle one weaned herself at 15 months and my youngest still has a bedtime feed at 20 months. I don't really care what other people think about it tbh - I know that I did/do what is best for my children, and it's nobody else's business.

By all means have strong opinions about smacking, junk food, violent TV etc - but to find breastfeeding a toddler disgusting??!! Puurlease!!!!

oliveoil Wed 20-Jul-05 14:29:44

Good god, 4???? 4 months maybe, couldn't wait to get them off my boobs tbh. Each to their own, but the thought of dd1 (2.9) grabbing my t-shirt when out and about and demanding thanks.

lisalisa Wed 20-Jul-05 14:32:45

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geekgrrl Wed 20-Jul-05 14:32:48

but oliveoil, it's not like that with toddlers - they don't have it as often as babies fgs. My dd1 had it as part of going to bed or if she'd hurt herself badly and we were somewhere private.

Twiglett Wed 20-Jul-05 14:34:00

I know there's at least one poster here who did that

personally I look at my 4 year old .. who is definitely a child and not a toddler and am somewhat revulsed at the thought of people breastfeeding a child of that age .. but admit that is MY problem and not theirs

Then again I thought I'd have problems bf DD past 4 months (which is where my revulsion used to set in) and made it to 10.5 months thanks to a discussion thread here

lisalisa Wed 20-Jul-05 14:35:21

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NotQuiteCockney Wed 20-Jul-05 14:38:04

Hmm, I find the idea of breastfeeding DS1 weird, but he's nearly four now, and I stopped bf at 18 months. But it's weird to me because it was so long ago that we stopped, I think. At the end, it was only once a day, first thing in the morning.

A friend's daughter is nearly two now, I think, and still breastfeeding, more or less on demand. Well, she demands, and her mum says "look, there's a badger with a gun!" and if that doesn't work, ok, she has a feed. It's a bit funny to see, as she wheedles for it, switches sides a lot, and hums her mum a song as she feeds.

nailpolish Wed 20-Jul-05 14:40:03

personally wouldnt bat an eyelid at someone doing it in public, but know others who would. horses for courses and all that.

nailpolish Wed 20-Jul-05 14:44:29

i have a friend who is bf her little girl who is 3, she has a tantrum if mum says no, she likes to have the breast more often than her mum would like her to, say, every mealtime and occasionally in between, and the tantrums she says get more horrified looks than the bf does in public, so she gives in.

Weatherwax Wed 20-Jul-05 14:46:26

I fed my dd2 until she was 3 when I think social pressures got to her. In the last year she only fed morning and night and very much in private. I must admit I miss it now as it was a good way of getting her to calm down and get some calcium into her. I met lots of people who didn't like it and I find it a shame that people find something so natural repugnant. I also find it a shame that so many people have been duped by the formlae companies into believing their product is better than the natural stuff, I wouldn't trust most of them as far as I could throw them!

jenkel Wed 20-Jul-05 14:50:57

Not for me, I breastfed both dd's until they were 1 year old and I'm quite proud of myself that I got them to 1. But, each to there own, if I seen somebody feed a 4 year old I would probably be a bit surprised. But there are a lot worse things that 4 year olds could do. And as long as Mum and child are OK about it then thats fine.

edam Wed 20-Jul-05 15:06:31

If I noticed someone b/f a toddler or 4 year old I'd be surprised, because I've never actually seen it before. But I wouldn't be against it in any way – none of my business, really.
In Romeo and Juliet, the nurse mentions that she suckled Juliet until the age of three...

MumtoLaura Wed 20-Jul-05 15:31:17

I'm still bf my DD who is 3.5. Just once a day, she is starting to ask less often. I never intended to bf for so long, but there has never been a good reason to stop. My DP thinks she is too old now, and if he is in the room when she asks to bf he will joke with her that she is too old - I think this may have some effect and she may stop soon. Which would be welcome, but I don't feel that I have a reason to stop it myself.
It doesn't feel strange but we've always done it, we don't do it in public however, because I am nervous of other's opinions, and I don't want DD to hear any negative comments.

Ruth21 Wed 20-Jul-05 15:42:17

I still sometimes breastfeed dd2, who is 19 months, although I thought we were giving it up when she was 13 months when I went away for 5 days. I assumed my milk would disappear but she was just as happy sucking when I came back, though I wonder how much milk she is actually getting. Lisalisa, I read an identical sounding article in the Guardian or Observer a while ago--are you sure it was the DM?

Anyway, in our case it is dd who is the lactivist, not me. I'm not that thrilled when she asks, mainly because her favourite time to feed is the morning and it makes it hard to get out of the house. But I would have to fight to get her to stop completely, and I can't see a good reason to do that. Though I hope she isn't still asking for feeds on trains at age 4.

chipmonkey Wed 20-Jul-05 16:05:26

My brother was bf till he was 3 and as an incentive to stop my mum bought him 2 toy cars as a 'reward'. After 2 days he brought the cars bact to my Mum and said she could have them back cos he'd rather bf! I think she did resist though! Personally I think its fine, no-one has a problem with a 4 year old drinking cow's milk, so whats wrong with them drinking milk from their own mum?

Blondeinlondon Wed 20-Jul-05 16:13:46

Maybe it only seems strange as you don't see people doing extended bf much. Noone bats an eyelid at 3/4 year olds with bottles.

bundle Wed 20-Jul-05 16:16:58

Daily Mail balanced article?

Ruth21 Wed 20-Jul-05 16:22:49

Was it this article ?

Not DM at all

Or maybe the DM have been copying?

hunkermunker Wed 20-Jul-05 16:39:45


Why is it OK to say that about breastfeeding but would be totally lambasted if I said that about bottlefeeding? FFS!

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