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Nursing In Public ~ When It's Time to Stop...

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
My DD is two years and four months and I plan to let her wean herself. However, I do still nurse her in public on demand, but am starting to have thoughts that maybe I want to start only nursing in private. I was hoping some folks could answer a few questions for me....

1) At what age ( if any) did you stop public nursing..
2) HOW do I go about breaking this to my child who I know will be heartbroken ?

Thanks for any and all advice..
post #2 of 71
I think it's a matter of personal comfort and preferences between you and your child. My daughter nursed until she was 4yo and didn't really ask to nurse in public past the age of 3.5yo as she mostly nursed in the mornings and at night. My ds is 3yo and nurses quite a bit still -- probably 6-9 times a day -- and nurses on demand which is often in public and it doesn't concern me at all. Of course, I've been nursing for over 7.5years at this point so that could have something to do with it.
post #3 of 71
My little one is about 34 months old and is still nursing all.the.time. He asks in public often and I have started telling him we need privacy to nurse. So, I'll say do you want to nurse now or wait until we can have some privacy (usually I'll take him to another room or find a quiet corner).
post #4 of 71
1) At what age ( if any) did you stop public nursing..

We stopped around 2, with the odd exception when he really needed it (like he fell and hurt himself).


2) HOW do I go about breaking this to my child who I know will be heartbroken ?

You don't have to make a big deal about it or make an official announcement. You can just try to distract him, offer him some water instead... Also, you don't have to stop all of a sudden if he's used to it; you can refuse a couple of nursing sessions until he gets used to it.
I think it's very important how you feel about NIP; if it's something you enjoy doing and would feel sad giving up, your child can pick up on your feelings.
post #5 of 71
With both my girls, I started wearing dresses out now and then, especially if I knew we were going to be in a place that I'd rather not nurse!
post #6 of 71
Totally up to you. It is fine as long as you want to. My ds is 2 and sometimes nurses in public but I don't have any milk due to being 9 months pregnant so it's not really a frequent thing. I don't have any plans to only allow him to nurse at home but I won't let him sit and nurse all day, home or away from home, because it bothers me.
post #7 of 71
DD is 2 yrs old and I still nurse in public, too...sometimes I tell her to "be patient" and she understands if I'm too busy to drop everything and whip out her "boop", but I say do it as long as you are comfortable. I tend to get heated when I get strange looks from people, so we try and keep it at a minimum. It's pretty funny when DH is with me and catches someone staring cause he'll "mean-mug" 'em right back till they look away
post #8 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enchanted Gypsy View Post
My DD is two years and four months and I plan to let her wean herself. However, I do still nurse her in public on demand, but am starting to have thoughts that maybe I want to start only nursing in private. I was hoping some folks could answer a few questions for me....

1) At what age ( if any) did you stop public nursing..
2) HOW do I go about breaking this to my child who I know will be heartbroken ?

Thanks for any and all advice..
I continue to nurse in public. I think I'm just really laid back about it, since I'm nursing my fourth child. I do occasionally say that they'll have to wait a minute, but that's simply because the logistics won't work, like I'm bagging our groceries, or we're walking across a parking lot, you know, things like that.
post #9 of 71
i think its personal preference.
dd is 17 months and i still nurse in public.
post #10 of 71
Ds is 3 1/2 and nurses 2 (rare) - 6 times a day usually, sometimes more on a day when he's ornery. Over the last 6 months or so I've been cutting down on NIP - say we are in town, instead of nursing him anywhere, I started asking ds to wait until we got to one of the 6 or so places in town where I'm comfortable NIPing (quiet places). Now I will only usually NIP in 2 locations in town. I give ds a choice of those places, and often he will prefer to wait until we get home (and usually if he requests this, we will just do what is essential and go straight home rather than dawdling).

In a mall, I will choose to use a parenting room to nurse now, rather than using whatever seat is available wherever I am.

It is mostly for my comfort - it is hard work to nurse a 15kg young child on your lap. And I get irked having to stay in one place for a while where it's busy and noisy and I just want to get out of there (those places make me feel stressed at the best of times). Plus, I dislike baring my nipples to the cold, so I don't nurse outside if I can help it - well, not in winter anyway!

I don't really feel qualified to give advice, but what worked for us was to set some small limits - like, we can't nurse here, but if you wait a few minutes, we can nurse in this other place, and gradually make changes that way. We have also been ready (and have done several times) to drop things and head straight home/to the nearest private spot when ds really needed nursing.

Good luck :-)
post #11 of 71
I used the "lets find a comfy place to nurse" rule. Since he was no longer an infant that needed sustenance immediately I was no longer willing to nurse in oncomfortable positions or places. So we would find a semi private place where we could sit down and get comfy If we were almost done shopping I'd say...."I'm almost done...give me a minute to pay for the groceries and we'll nurse in the car or at home."
post #12 of 71
:

27 month old twins here, who want to nurse all the time. I've stopped letting them nurse during story (half-)hour but they still want to nurse at the library. (and the park and the concert and the playdates and pretty much any time I sit down.) I'm starting to feel more and more uncomfortable because 1.) there are two of them so it is impossible to be discreet, 2.) I have a flabby belly that I never had before them: and 3.) they are so damn nosy and talkative that they are on and off, on and off, on and off and they need to make sure my shirt doesn't cover my nipple while they are checking out whatever or telling a long story. I'm ready to start setting more limits simply because there are two of them which makes me feel like that is the wrong reason.
post #13 of 71
My DD still nurses at home at almost 3 1/2. I don't really remember the last time she nursed in public other than when we go to the chiropractor and she has just been worked on. She used to nurse in public if she got hurt or scared, but now that she is only nursing in the morning and night (I'm pregnant and also nursing her younger brother) it doesn't really come up.
MY DS is 20 months and still nurses whenever at home and in public.

The only time I have really ever had any funny looks or could tell someone was talking to someone else about me nursing an older child in public was when I was still nursing my walking/talking DD when I was obviously pregnant with DS. Otherwise I found that most people thought she was resting when she was nursing. I've even had people ask me if she was taking a nap. I usually said, "No, she's just having a snack."
post #14 of 71
I say if they need to nurse in public, then they need to. My 3 1/2 yr. old still does. No issues thus far!
post #15 of 71
I NIP'd until DD was around 3+ years old. She is big for her age and looks a year older. No one ever said anything or bugged me, but we're in a pretty BF friendly area.

Eventually, I started feeling uncomfortable. I didn't refuse completely, but I would ask DD to wait until we got to the car or something. We nursed in the car a lot. If she had a knock-down drag-out fit, I probably would've NIP'd but otherwise, I'd ask her to wait and then we'd leave to go nurse.

In her preschool class of 4-5 year olds, (she was 4) I nursed pretty much every day after class in a chair at the back of the class while the other kids waited for their parents to pick them up. All had been nursed but no one remembered. The kids liked to watch and ask questions. No one ever bugged me or DD really - it was just something we did.

DD is pretty much done now (she is 6 years old) but once in a while may ask for a comfort nursing at bedtime. But it's rare.
post #16 of 71
I have never really had to decide this as my kids got really nosy and distractable around a year old or just before and they don't usually nurse in public after that. Their choice. My 20month old nurses REALLY infrequently in public. And it's usually only in quiet, low-key places like the library that she asks and we still nurse in public if she wants. I think maybe after age 2 I would stop nursing in public if at all possible. I mean, if she fell and got hurt and was really upset, I would drop everything and sit in the middle of the grocery store aisle and nurse if she asked but if at all reasonable, I would wait until the car.
post #17 of 71
Just chiming in to say that I love this thread.

It is SO nice to hear other mamas with babies so much older than mine who still want to NIP all the time! My DD is 18 months and wants to nurse all. the. time. I swear she nurses more than the average newborn. (Not more than SHE did as a newborn...just, you know, at least every two hours during the day and every three or four hours at night.) So we NIP all the time. I've just recently started limiting it a little, just for my own convenience as previous posters said. But I really feel for the poster who's nursing two year old twins who are always popping on and off! You're my hero, mama!
post #18 of 71
I'll happily NIP with my son (almost 29mo). I will not, however, nurse in parking lots or someplace hot and sunny. I don't mind parks, playgrounds, malls, supermarkets. But the car is not a comfy spot for me. (And when he demands to nurse in the car these days, it's mostly a ploy to escape the car seat.)

Granted, I did nurse him around 9:30pm in a Target parking lot last week. But I sat on the grassy curbside area near the sidewalk to do it. Not gonna happen when it's hot, crowded, or smoggy, though.

I do still ask him if he wants to nurse while we're inside a store or near a bench. If he refuses, then we offer distractions a minute later when he tries to delay the carseat by requesting boobs.
post #19 of 71
My daughter is 3.5 and I have just this summer started to introduce her to the idea that "I don't nurse in public" which is the exact phrase that I use. Until a day or two ago (well officially july, but it's fluid) I was also nursing 5 yo ds, so she's heard my stand on nursing 3 year olds in public before. I say things like "nursing is private" "my nipples are private, they're just for me and for the people that I decide get to see them and I don't want to show them to all of these people here". The kids really really seem to get this last bit. Me not wanting to share my nipples, and it being a private thing that I choose only to share with my family.

I also tell them that "I only ever nurse in public if it's an emergency". It's been going pretty well. There are some semi public places where I am willing to nurse dd - well, her home daycare is I think about it, or our potluck group etc, places where I feel safe and not judged to be doing something weird or innapropriate.

I wondered when I was first telling ds at age 3/4 about not nursing in public if I would feel differently with dd because of any possibly influence on me by public perceptions/pressures allowing girls to be "babied" longer than boys, but I've been watching out for this and it hasn't felt to be too much of a factor.

Good luck!
post #20 of 71
I stopped when I started feeling uncomfortable, which was around 20 months or so. As PP's have mentioned, this really had more to do with revealing my slightly flabby stomach than anything else.
My DD responded really well to deferment-- I tried to keep snacks/ice water with me and offered them instead. It sounds like your child is a more frequent nurser than DD was, though-- she very seldom asked out in public unless she was tired, so I tried to plan trips so that she would not be tired. Otherwise, if she really needed to nurse, we went to the car.

Good luck!
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