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How old is too old? - Page 7

Poll Results: How old is too old?

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 0% (1)
    Any age is too old, I am anti-breastfeeding
  • 0% (0)
    0-6 months
  • 0% (0)
    6-12 months
  • 1% (8)
    1-2 years
  • 6% (45)
    2-3 years
  • 12% (89)
    3-4 years
  • 21% (152)
    4-5 years
  • 57% (396)
    As long as the child desires, whatever age that may be
691 Total Votes  
post #121 of 172
I voted for whenever the child decides. I used to have strong opinions on these things, but my oldest son has taught me a lot . He will be three in a few months and is nowhere near weaning. Not even close. He literally nurses as much as a newborn, minus the night feedings, thank goodness . It is getting harder to face the dissenters, though. We will have to go further into the closet sometime soon, I believe. My dh is not too crazy about the prospect of me nursing a 4 or 5 yr old child, but has left the decision up to me and will support whatever I decide to do, including not "outing" us. Thank goodness for Mothering magazine and the people here! We need all the support we can get.
post #122 of 172
I voted for child-led.

I've seen examples where forcing a child to wean before they are ready can really change their personality, but encouraging a decrease in nursing or weaning when the child is amenable doesn't. I also agree that some mention of the mother should have been included in the poll, because if Mama is tired of it, then things need to change. I definitely don't think moms should martyr themselves for the sake of letting a child decide when to stop nursing.

Now, my son is VERY dependent on nursing, and that is fine by me. He's only 17 months, so I can't say how long until I think it is too much until I get there, you know? I have several mom friends who have weaning or are in the process (same age children), and the ones who have forced it before the child was obviously ready, are now acting out more during our playgroups and the moms are having a more difficult time with them. The ones that are encouraging a decrease leading to weaning have not had the same changes in behavior.
post #123 of 172
We're looking at local colleges so I can nurse her between classes :
post #124 of 172

I can't imagine stopping. DS is 15 and such a beautiful soul.
So, local college it may be!
post #125 of 172
post #126 of 172
The idea that a child who is nursing at age 8 is not having proper limits set on them is a CULTURAL attitude. The idea that a child of 8 or 4 or whatever should no longer nurse, because breasts are for the sexual pleasure of adults, is a CULTURAL idea not based on biological facts but on cultural biases and expectations. For instance in ancient India and also among 1950's Inuit ("Eskimos") it was not unusual to nurse until about age 7 or so. (Did I post the link to that article on this thread or another on this board? Can't remember. Will repost on request.)

Pediatrician Dr. Jack Newman said in Scientific American magazine that nursing for years, while unusual in the west, is a good idea because the human immune system is immature until about age 5. Hearing that makes 8 not seem so unusual, KWIM?
post #127 of 172
Thread Starter 
ITA Momtwice I think I got your link on another forum here at MDC. I pass it on to others whenever possible, it's the best article out there right now IMO. It also mentions that Hawaiians once breastfed until the average of age 5, so that will help me here in Hawaii if anyone ever challenges me on the issue.

ebaby, I thought you were a troll:LOL
post #128 of 172
I just know I am setting myself up to be flamed, but when a child is able to eat solids, and is in school, that is too much.
There are other ways to comfort a child than to breastfeed them.
I'm sorry, but I think it is disgusting to breastfeed an 8 year old. When it starts to be uncomfortable in public, then something is obviously not right.
post #129 of 172
When it starts to be uncomfortable in public, then something is obviously not right.
So moms not comfortable NIP with their newborns should what??? not nurse?

Then I read this a different way and agree. If a mom cannot be comfortable nursing in public then something indeed "is obviously not right." What's not right though is not with the mom and her nursling of whatever age. What's not right is this society's attitude that breasts belong to men instead of the women wearing them.

Of course there are other ways to comfort a child besides breastfeeding. DD, still nursing, is often happy to get or give a hug, or to have a book read, or to play a video game or other game with DH.... She even plays by herself! dresses herslf, feeds herself, goes to the baathroom--with a bit of help at the end...

Just because she nurses doesn't mean she doesn't do other things.

Breastfeeding is just One tool of many in this mom's toolbox. Over time it will be used less and less until it becomes obsolete. At that point it will no longer be a used tool, but a cherished memory--for both of us.
post #130 of 172
That is TOTALLY not what I meant. When women feel they need to HIDE it from the public, then it is wrong. Not when they are personally uncomfortable.
Hey, that is my view. I think it is disgusting to nurse an 8year old.
post #131 of 172

I'm not going to argue about 8 year olds. That's so vanishingly rare in this country as to be irrelevent IMO. I've gotten hassled by family for nursing a 3 year old in public. DH was uncomfortable with my NIP when DD was a new infant. I didn't NIP with DS until he was a toddler.

But, for the sake of discussion, let's explore this.

What is the source of any mom feeling she has to hide when nursing her baby/child?

Is it her feeling that she's doing something somehow sordid?

Or is it her knowledge that breastfeeding itself is not entirely approved of in this culture, let alone breastfeeding a non-infant?

I think it's the latter, and thus, IMO the problem is with society, not the act of BF or the mother. With DH it was the fear of what others might think or DO that had us heading home when DS might need to be fed.

Until that attitude changes there will continue to be babies not BF at all due to mothers' fears, or fathers', of societal disapproval.
post #132 of 172
I think women who won't breastfeed-WON'T, not cannot for whatever reason- should be ashamed, not women breastfeeding. That is what breasts are for. For babies. I still think a 3yr old is somewhat of a baby. That is just me.
post #133 of 172
I understand that extended nursing is disgusting IN YOUR OPINION Bladestar. I understand it is disgusting TO YOU. This is a cultural reaction. If you were in China or Japan in the early 1900's, or if you were a mom in Kenya in the 1950's, or Bolivia in the 1950's, five years or even seven years or more would seem completely normal to you because you would see it all around you.

(sorry if the link is a repeat, this is a long thread!)

I completely agree with Meiri's post before her last one...it's the culture that tells breastfeeding moms they should be ashamed and hide. This does NOT equate breastfeeding past the first year to sexual abuse the way Bladestar is implying in my opinion.
But our Western culture says that it IS a form of sexual abuse. Fortunately this is changing.

And it is all relative. Was it in Mothering Your Nursing Toddler or some other book?? that they talked to African adults who found our American idea (that breasts were for the enjoyment of adult men only) to be twisted, when their culture felt breasts are for children, and our American idea of breasts as sexual was the perverted view. I found that concept eye opening!

The arguments that breastfeeding is unecessary for nutrition after a few years, or that a child in school doesn't need to nurse, don't really impress me. When asked about a particular mom nursing a five year old, pediatrician William Sears said the question about nutritional value is less important than the emotional connection involved. "These days, you open up the paper and read about kids shooting up schools," Sears said in a 2001 New York Times article ("The Breast Offense", Sara Corbett, May 6 2001.) "In a nutshell, these are disconnected kids. But children who breastfeed a long time are, above all, connected. And our society could use a whole lot more connected kids."
post #134 of 172
I *NEVER* implied or said it was molestation.: It just isn't my thing. If other people want to do it, fine by me. I just would not feel comfortable. And I plan to do "extended" breastfeeding, whatever extended means. I would draw the line when I personally felt uncomfortable.
post #135 of 172
Oh, and I don't think it needs to discontinue at A YEAR! I was simply saying about 8 year olds. I also said that it is ok when they are 3!! So there!
post #136 of 172
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Meiri
What's not right though is not with the mom and her nursling of whatever age. What's not right is this society's attitude that breasts belong to men instead of the women wearing them.
I couldn't agree more. If I felt that society accepted and welcomed breastfeeding older children then I would have no problem nursing my 6yo in public if she ever needed to (which she hasn't, publicly, since she was 4). I have to admit that the Chicago case (R.M.'s) scared me way back into the closet but at the same time gave me more strength to carry on (just with a bit more caution). I knew people in general were ignorant about breastfeeding but I never knew the law could be just as ignorant and get away with intruding on a mother and child's life like that.
post #137 of 172

I didn't think you were meaning to say EN=molestation.

But it's an easy leap to make, since, when one of these cases hits the news/courts, that is indeed the usual accusation.

I even heard second hand of such an accusation towards me, back when DS was 2 or so. Fortunately my friend, also the creep's boss, told him in no uncertain terms that "it's Not an issue." She let me know on the qt and I never let DS be with that guy again, supervised or not. I was quietly furious because this guy had been friendly, making glove balloons for him, etc. I told my friend that if he really thought this, why wasn't he calling CYS?

I must say I'm glad he didn't.
post #138 of 172
I apologize Bladestar for assuming that when you said you found an 8 year old "disgusting" you meant in a sexual way, if that's not what you meant.

(You know what they say about people who assume )

I would guess that on most of the internet you would get Amens and Hallelujahs for that position. But Mothering is an oasis in an anti-breastfeeding world. Calling extended nursing disgusting made me feel I need to defend the courageous moms who let the child decide when they are done rather than our dairy-obsessed, breasts-are-for-adult-males-only-obsessed culture.

I saw a grandma on TV once say she thought nursing a toddler would "give people the wrong idea" and she was only talking about a two year old! These are the kinds of prejudices nursing moms are fighting against.
post #139 of 172
It's ok LOL. I guess disgusting really was the wrong word, anyways, so I deserved it

I feel for any family who is torn apart needlessly, and in that situation, I feel for the child. I guess since I am so new to nursing and the only one in my family and friend network that is currently nursing, this is just odd to me.
I nurse in public ! I didn't like to when my son was little, and I was saddened but almost relieved when my milk supply was too low to nurse exclusively. But, I did try VERY hard to bring it up, I tried so, so hard. With my daughter, I guess I have matured alot, to the point that I don't give a rat's a$$ who sees me nurse in public, and since I am very discreet, I haven't had any nasty comments yet.
I say yet, because I get some really uncomfortable looks, especially from teenagers and men. Funny, how men LOVE boobs, unless they are being used for their natural function, so I totally agree with you there.
As for any parent who is kicked out of a store or accused of molestation for nursing, that is just horrible. While I feel that it makes me uncomfortable to see an older child nursing, I don't see how that could be molestation, in its self.
I have heard of moms who were nursing being embarrassed to admit to still nursing their 13 month old, or people giving them a hard time for it. The sicko in this case, is the person deeming that wrong. This society is odd to think that a 13month old, or even a 2 year old is no longer a baby!
I was harassed for playing with dolls when I was only 12! The problem in this society is that we expect children to be little adults. I am still having a hard time getting out of that mindframe myself because of the way I was raised. My stepdad expected me to behave a certain way, or else. This same man who thought that child molesters were gross, turned out to be one himself, in one isolated incident that I believe would have turned worse if I hadn't kept my distance.
This country is one boiling pot of hypocrites, and I hope I never turn out to be that hypocrite.
post #140 of 172
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Bladestar5
I guess since I am so new to nursing and the only one in my family and friend network that is currently nursing, this is just odd to me.
Bladestar, I was there once too. When my dd was almost 2yrs, my friend (who was also nursing her 2yo) and I heard of a Mom nursing her child at 4yrs, we both said "NO WAY, THAT's CRAZY". My friend weaned her dd soon after and then I knew I was on my own. My opinion of EN changed year by year as I discovered that it wasn't so crazy after all. Funny how before I thought weaning at 1 or 2 was natural, but when dd got to that point, the thought of weaning was the most UN-natural feeling, so we went with what felt right instead of what I was conditioned to think.

I hope you find this forum as much of an oasis as we do. It really is a wonderful place. Even though it is cyberspace, it helps so much to know there are other Moms out there who are like us.
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