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Nursing In Public ~ When It's Time to Stop... - Page 3

post #41 of 71
1) I stopped NIP around 3 years.
2) Usually I tell him "we can nurse in the car" or "we'll nurse when we get home"

My DS is 3.5 and still nursing. Sometimes he will try to NIP if he;s bored but usually I can distract him with an activity or book, or other children.
post #42 of 71
What are you and your child comfortable with? I honestly don't remember when we stopped nursing in public, it just naturally happened. I did stop nursing them (twins) simultaneously in public at some point, probably around 2 1/2 or so. . . it's pretty much impossible to be "discreet" while nursing toddler twins

What I found as they got older (and they nursed for 5 1/2 & 6 years) is that they became more willing to accept something other than nursing, and it became more natural to offer something else first. I didn't simply decide that we couldn't or wouldn't nurse in public any more.

I do have sort of mixed feelings about it. I think that the more people see older nurslings, the more awareness there will be about what is a normal length of breastfeeding. So I do feel some responsibility to future nursing moms (maybe my daughters) to help raise that awareness. And, personally, I'm tough-skinned and don't particularly care what is said to me. However, if someone says something to ME, my nurslings will hear it, too. So part of the decision is protecting my children from inappropriate comments. No answer there, just something I thought about a lot.
post #43 of 71
I occasionally nursed my then-five year old DD in public. Like in church or at a movie or a friend's house if we were out late. I wouldn't in a restaurant or other very public setting with strangers. And then, only if she really needed comfort or to settle down.

Above DD, now 6, actually asked this evening, at church and I said 'no'. She's just so big now, and a lot of her friends were there plus I was participating in the service, so it could have been awkward to transition. She wasn't happy but worked through it.
post #44 of 71
I've been wondering about this too. My daughter is 17-months-old now and she still nurses a LOT. This usually comes up while I'm pushing a car around shopping. It's no big deal for me to pop a boobie out and let her munch while I continue shopping. But recently I've started to get nervous about people watching. This is a REALLY close-minded area. I got enough stares and nasty comments back when she was little, but she's much bigger now. I think the main part of my concern is that someone will call CPS or something, claiming that I'm abusing her. (I know it sounds silly, but that's really the way many Tennesseans think ) I usually just pull my coat around either side of her face. It doesn't always work because she's not one for being covered, but I feel like I have to make some attempt to be discreet. The fact that I feel that way bothers me, though. I feel like I'm betraying myself and my stance on breastfeeding. It is NOT wrong... so why do I feel wrong sometimes? When she was younger things just seemed way clearer. Now it's hard when it shouldn't be. *sigh*

My DH could care less either way. He finds the shocked expressions and dirty looks amusing. He'll loudly make comments about how he thinks most of the issue is the fact that my breasts are bigger and prettier than whoever was staring rudely. It's super embarrassing... but it's nice to know he has my back. I just wish I could have my own back with confidence.
post #45 of 71
Once DD was about 2 I started to feel self-conscious about nursing in public. It wasn't only that, though. I was ready to cut back on frequency of nursing and nursing only at home was one way of doing that. She's 32 months now and of course I would nurse her in a second in public if she was really hurt. I admire you mamas who are so committed to nursing unabashedly until your nursing relationship naturally comes to an end, but for myself I have felt a need to very gradually cut back until now we only nurse twice a day, for nap and bedtime.
post #46 of 71
It depends where we are. DD is a little over 2. I don't feel comfortable at the gym and most restaurants anymore. No problem in front of friends or family for the most part.
post #47 of 71
I had to NIP at a trendy restaurant the other day. I tried my best to avoid it but DD (27 months) had just woken up from a nap after a LOOOOOONG day of travel the day before. She wouldn't settle for anything but "MiMi" so it either at the table or on the toilet. I would have gone to the car but it was acrosss the street. I was with my aunt and cousin.. and I didn't want to do it but I didn't feel like I had a choice.

Fortunately my back was to the rest of the diners and I could be discreet,, I don't think anyone saw me. Still, it was a little past my comfort level.

I try to avoid NIP when I can but at the end of the day her needs outweigh my comfort or anyone elses.
post #48 of 71
My dd is 23 months and I have recently started telling her that I'm happy to nurse her as long as there is somewhere comfortable and quiet for us to sit, but that she is big enough now that I'm not going to nurse her somewhere very busy or where I have to perch somewhere uncomfortable.

She has been very receptive to that.
post #49 of 71
When DS was about 3 I started to pick and choose where we could NIP. He used to always demand to nurse on the bus, tram, metro, but as he got bigger it just got physically awkward nursing him on crowded public transportation, especially in winter with all the layers of clothing, so I would only nurse him there if he was really tired/cranky.

Also, as he got bigger and understood that I wasn't always comfortable to nurse him in certain situations I also stopped nursing in front of relatives unsupportive of CLW (thankfully don't see them too often!)

He's still nursing everyday at 4 and a half, especially to go to sleep and if we're home all day, he'll usually want to nurse at least one. He hasn't asked to nurse outside of the house in a long time, he's just too busy and distracted. And lately I've been offering more than he's been accepting. Never thought that would happen.
post #50 of 71
I have no issues NIP my BIG 22.5 mon old, yet he usually dosn't wan to NIP as he is too busy. However now that he is older and he can wait (well in theory) or he can have a other type of snack or beverage I am less likely to nurse well being uncomfortable. I was never very good at walking and nursing, even with a sling, when he was a little baby and now that he is 32 lbs and 35 inches in is pretty much impossible. I will give a little nurse in uncomfortable positions if he is hurt or really needs it. A few weeks ago it was nursing well squatting in the middle of a really busy Children's Place that was having crazy sales well DS stood and nursed. Did people look? Probably, I don't really notice people so much as I have anxiety disorder and am prone to panic attacks so it is a coping strategy, it isn't very often you see toddlers and older kids NIP. It doesn't mean that they are all making critical judgments. I feel that the more people get used to seeing bigger kids NIP the more it will be accepted in our society. So I almost feel a duty to nurse my toddler in public, since I don't feel self conscious about it, to help pave the way for the future generation.

The only reason I would not NIP is if DS was being negatively affected by other's actions/words (so far no one has ever said anything negative to me for NIP in 22.5 mons but I do live in Canada) Oh well my mom told me that my grandma told her that "Peter (gma's BF) didn't like IT (me nursing DS)" and it made him uncomfortable. My mom told her that he can not watch or leave the room if he is uncomfortable.
post #51 of 71
I have just recently started feeling uncomfortable nursing my 26 month old in public, but only in certain places. A couple of months ago I set a 'not on the bus' limit and he was only upset the first two times, then was fine about it and stopped asking for 'milk' on the bus. WHich was much easier than I thought. I live in a BF -friendly area but even so, children older than 1 are rare to see nursing. The other day I felt really aware of it (but not embarrassed as such) at a coffee shop when it was obvious the people at the next table were staring and discussing my son's nursing amongst themselves. So I would like to try some of the tips mentioned on here, such as 'Wait till we get to 'x' place', etc. However when DS is tired he doesn't accept anything else but nursing and will just have a meltdown, much more 'attention-grabbing' (in a negative way) than the nursing in my opinion (i.e. I find it more excruciating in public, b/c he reallly lets rip!)

I also feel a responsibility to society and other moms to show that this is normal, (especially as a breastfeeding counsellor trainee) and Im more than happy to answer anyone's questions about it, but the problem is most people don't ask, they just stare and come to their own conclusions. I wish that I could convey to them that I'm not doing this for my own personal amusement and that he really does need it. One woman asked me recently: "But why do you persist with it?" as if I was forcing him to feed!
post #52 of 71
I think I can fairly say now that our twins (who just turned 3) have pretty much concluded child-led weaning. This discussion came up (pretty mildly) over the last few months. My husband is very pro-natural and pro-breastfeeding, but started feeling a tiny bit squeamish about the occasional toddler pawing and NIP. But he wasn't demanding in his squeamishness at all.

Frankly, I never cared much. With all the years of nursing (and my overall disposition) I'm well past caring what other people might think about babes nursing - even if they are a bit older. The twins didn't nurse all that frequently in public in the last year anyway and it was usually very short sessions.

Most people wouldn't have noticed what was going on since they are so used to assuming that toddlers don't nurse. For anyone who did notice, whoopee, they got an expanded perspective of "normal".
post #53 of 71
I stopped nursing DS in public about 6 months ago when he was around 27 months. I just felt really uncomfortable, mostly because he is so tall, and could easily be mistaken for 4 or older. I wouldn't bat an eyelash if I saw a mama nursing a child his size, but it made me personally feel uncomfortable.

If he were to get hurt, or feel really afraid for some reason, I would still nurse him, but that would be about the only time I would do it, and even then, I would probably try to find some place a bit more out of the way than I used to.

I fully intend to let him nurse for as long as he wants though. Really, I think he will go to at least 4, if not longer at this point.
post #54 of 71
My decision is definitely influenced by the fact that if I tell her "not right now," she will usually say (with varying degrees of loudness and/or whining) "BUT I WANT BOOOOOOBBIIIIIIEEE." Which is often way less discreet than just nursing....


Keeps me committed to being a good NIP'er though
post #55 of 71
i was willing to go as far as my dd wanted to. however it was she who stopped. because she only nursed at night and in the morning. so i would say the last time she asked in public was 3 1/2.

however at 7 she is still nursing and doesnt try to hide it.

there were times though she chose really bad moments of when to nurse and i had to divert her attention and do it later.

what is interesting is that by the age of 3 she was so curious in public that she wouldnt nurse in public. she nursed much more if we were home than when we were outside.
post #56 of 71
I've already started putting some limits on NIP, but they're the same limits I have on nursing at home and are based on the physical logistics of nursing her now that she's longer and heavier. And stuff like "do I need to open a door?" "is she likely to nurse for long enough that I'd better get a book so I don't resent the time?"
post #57 of 71
After my son turned 2 I started limiting NIP. My biggest motivation was that we had a newborn in the family and it was logistically stressful to get the baby comfortably settled, particularly since I usually wear him in a sling. I didn't want him to resent his new brother, so I tried to turn it around.

We went through our house and picked a few special nursing spots and called them "our spots." I told him that we would always nurse in our special spots. So now when he asks to nurse I say, "Okay! As soon as we get home you can nurse in your chair/on the green couch/etc." As long as the first word he hears is "Okay!" then he's happy to wait. He seems to really enjoy that he and his mommy have special places just for them to nurse.

I admire all you mamas who make a point of publicly nursing your toddlers. Thanks for blazing a trail!
post #58 of 71
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 am on my third child. My oldest only nursed 28 months and I never refused public nursing, but she never really asked in public after 20 months or so. We always brought water and she loved drinking that. She was MLW because I had extreme pain while nursing when pregnant that I couldn't resolve, and she only nursed in the mornings at that point.

My second child LOVED to nurse, she weaned just before her third birthday. While, I didn't "end" it, I was pregnant and my supply was low. At that point, I did sometimes ask her to wait or offer her something else, so it wasn't truly CLW, but it was VERY GENTLE. I had resolved to tandem when the baby came and then I realized that she hadn't asked to nurse in over two weeks. But, with her, I stopped public nursing around 2. I would nurse her if she hurt herself or something, but otherwise I just said we would nurse at home so we could get cozy. For her, it really was all about the snuggles.

My youngest will be four next week. I wasn't intending on CLW, but rather a real gentle approach kinda like my second child. Someone asked her once when someone was too old for boobies and she said 4. She still says that. . .I wonder what she will say next week. I won't be forcing her to give it up, but she is down to nursing at night most nights but rarely any other times. With her, I had some moments that I thought I would need to wean. When she was nearly 30 months, I really started feeling irritated by it. So, I did try to divert her attention from nursing so much and offered her snacks more often, etc. That took the edge off and I was able to enjoy it again. However, once she was 3 I said no to the public nursing. I would nurse her in public though if she was sick or hurt or something. She has asked though (she only asks when she is tired). I tell her we will nurse at home, that she is big enough to wait. She is ok with that. She knows that none of her friends nurse--not even the younger ones. Also, she is BIG for her age. . . and we have a hard time getting comfy now at home. I can't imagine trying to be graceful in public with it.

post #59 of 71
For us, it wasn't a particular age, and we didn't stop nursing in public suddenly, but sort of transitioned to nursing primarily at home. And it was never a plan to *start* that transition--I just found myself more and more saying, "You know what, I can't nurse you right now, but I can nurse you as soon as we get home." Eventually, it sort of became our "policy," I guess.

As for ages, by the time my oldest was about 3.5, he was only nursing at home. My daughter, now 3.25, generally only nurses at home or at friends/family's homes (but not, generally, in public).

The 5-month old nurses wherever she pleases.
post #60 of 71
Personally, I think it is personal comfort first, but for me, i had NO concerns (reading Mothering your Nursing Toddler, helped) But I thought that We Should nurse in Public so that it becomes NORMAL for an older baby/child to Nurse...How will it ever be seen as NORMAL unless people SEE it done?? Older nurslings nurse Less anyway, but if you are in a good spot (we were often at a coffee shop, chatting with a friend) then hey, why not???
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