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How old is too old? - Page 2

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 #21 of 172
Nurse as long as you and your child want to!

The very first LLL meeting I went to I was shocked to see such "big" kids nursing (maybe 14-18 mos.). 5 years later, I was still nursing the baby I was pregnant with at that meeting.

I have 2 "graduates" of extended and tandem nursing, both weaned at about age 5 and are 9.5 and 6 now. I also have a 2.5 year old who is still a very enthusiatic nurser (maybe a little *too* enthusiatic) and although I'd like him to quit nursing at night, I really don't even think about weaning age anymore, although I won't be able to send the nuh-nuh's along with him to college.
post #22 of 172

I've been going to LLL meeting in the Chicago area for 9 years now. I too saw the first older baby nursing at a meeting and thought it a little odd and now I'm nursing a 5 year old.

I've been to meetings in 'Chicago, Buffalo Grove, vernon Hills and Park Ridge and Des Plaines. Have you ever been to any of these?
post #23 of 172
Hi Firemom,

It would be funny if we had been staring at the same toddlers, but alas, I have only been to Crystal Lake meetings. My oldest son was born 4/25/92 so these 1st meetings were probably the Feb/Mar. '92 meetings. It never ceases to amaze me how much my perceptions have changed since then, I had every intention of nursing for a year, but if anyone would have told me I would be nursing a 5 yo. simultaneously with a 1.5 yo. I probably would have fainted. I will never forget the wonderful support and dedication of those LLL leaders that helped me through those first difficult months. They've all retired now, but they were absolute gems!

Do you live in the city or are you in the 'burbs? Do you still attend LLL meetings? I know lots of leaders, mostly McHenry County but I also have met some from Lake.

post #24 of 172

I'm in the city on the border of

ParkRidge and Niles.

I started out at the Buffalo Grove meetings in Feb 93. I went out there, because my best friend was nursing a baby and it gave us a chance to get together at meetings and go to dinner and stuff.

I would never beleive that Iwould be nursing a 5 year old either, I thought it was ok for other people but not for me. How times change
post #25 of 172
We spent lots of long days and nights at Lutheran General when my youngest had a valvuloplasy to correct pulmonary valve stenosis. They are not my fondest memories of Park Ridge, but probably the most time I've spent there. I was really glad for that Portillos across the street. Really helped me survive that week.

I also had a good friend in BG, but she would not have been at any LLL meetings. I think she has nearly passed out any time she'd seen me nurse one of mine past a year!

post #26 of 172
Both of my kids were born at Lutheran General. The Yacktman Pediatric Center is one of the best.

My kids ped is in that building
post #27 of 172
I pcked the last one, but wish there had been mention of "for as long as both mother/child want too." I want him to be done when he's about three and am very very very gently prodding him in that direction. That said, I think it's fine when kids nurse for a very long time! I would never "wean" ds but am no longer bringing it up in convo with him, either!
post #28 of 172
Cindy and Tigeresse,
You just reminded me of how shocked I was at my first (lame, hospital) birth class to hear the instructor proudly announce that she had nursed her child for 18 months! LOL
I am happy to see a child of any age nursing.
My personal limit was 3.5 years, I encouraged weaning at that time.
Can't imagine doing that again.
As long as everyone's happy!!!
Happy nursing,
post #29 of 172
I voted for child-led, and its so wonderful to hear from all you moms nursing past age 4-5. I was wondering if any of you would mind sharing how you resond when someone asks about it, especially if you suspect they might disapprove, because wouldn't it be awful if your nursling heard their weird vibes and felt self-conscious about it? I'm curious because the grandmother of my 5 month old made a comment along the lines of 'too old to nurse after she can ask for it .' maybe I'll start a thread about it sometime...I plan to nurse super long term, would like to protect dd against other's bad attitudes about it...
post #30 of 172
I too, was so happy to see all the women here that support child led weaning

Then again Mothering naturally is an AP, breastfeeding, cosleeping site, so that's probably why we all gravitated to this site in the first place, to meet like minds

Any way, Wildflower, in answer to your question, I stopped announcing I was still nursing my dd when she was around 3 years old, for the reason you stated. It made her feel bad, and like it was wrong for her to nurse. I always had to reassure her, that it was ok and that those people didn't know any better.

I have no problem, even now that I.m nursing her at 5 + years talking about it without my dd around. I rattle off all then benefits and let them know that I understand their feelings about EN because of the fact that in the US we tend to thing of bottles and formula and if someone does nurse many many people think that babies should be weaned around 6 months. The formula companies with all their advertising imbed this into the american mind. Some people really listen to me others just think I.'m weird. But, I figure if I can get a few of those people to nurse their babies I did a good job!
post #31 of 172
Thread Starter 
I haven't had any problems with anyone voicing their opinion in front of dd. The topic of Extended Nursing usually doesn't come up but if it does I usually just say that it works for us, that I don't offer and I don't refuse so she wouldn't be nursing if she didn't need it. Nobody has challenged me on that so far. There is always a little worry in me regarding somebody misunderstanding enough to report it to child-protective-services (such as in the Chicago case) so I don't talk about EN as much as I would like to. I think if somebody said something negative about it in front of dd I would take the opportunity to talk with her about it just as I have about prejudism and ignorance.
post #32 of 172
I also think that ideally, mention should have been made of the mother's wishes in that poll! (Which is why I usually refuse to respond to polls; cut and paste answers which don't fully express/reflect my views
I know that after 2 yrs or so, I am getting ready to be done with it (and not just bf, but with the "24/7", always in top demand stuff Of course, older kids are 24/7 as well, but in different ways. I just get ready to have a wee bit more time and space to myself after those early yrs of AP(which I love and wouldn't change, btw
And that factor is very important in the process, imo; it is NOT just about "letting" the child bf "as long as they want",(as if we are doormats or martyrs to our children!) but about the evolution from infancy/new motherhood to toddler/getting antsy motherhood and beyond. I mean, even a mother dog or cat will start to stand up and walk away when the "kids" want to/are nursing; but only as they get older/she gets near to being done with it.
JMO/Exp. Kimberly, mom to Forest, 9 and Lily, 2
post #33 of 172
Well, I voted for 4-5 years, but mainly because of the issue that Wildflower mentioned. While I don't personally believe that there is anything wrong with nursing as long as mother/child are both comfortable with it, I would worry about cultural "backlash". ..About the child hearing things that would make him/her think nursing at that age is "wrong". Know what I mean?

That being said, I think it's pretty cool that so many of you have nursed your children that long. I'm not sure how long I'll nurse DD...I imagine it will be until she 3ish (that's when I picture her "outgrowing it"), or until the next baby comes along. But who knows, maybe I'll end up nursing much longer!
post #34 of 172
It's nice to hear when a mainstream organization backs it up also....if you go to the American Academy of Pediatrics web site (www.aap.org ????Not sure) and read an article called "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk" the AAP recommends nursing for at least one year and as long afterward as is mutually desired by mother and child.
post #35 of 172


I have read all the above comments and am apparently the only one here who thinks nursing until 2 (which is what I did) is a good thing. I have not been in any other situation, and as stated, won't know until I've been there. I hope that you all could celebrate the little increases that the general populus (like the above mentioned child birth instructor nursing until 18 months) goes through. Just think what would happen in our society if all hospitals encouraged nursing until 18 months! Not long by child-lead-weaning standards, but a definite improvement!

I have no opinion at the moment, and am open still, but am curious about husbands...mine said the other night after I read him a post about a nursing 3 yr old, "not THAT'S going JUST TOO FAR!"

What if this baby (due July 4) wants to nurse till 3?

He then asked "when do child protective services intervene???" I was shocked to hear that from him, but then I probably shouldn't have been. He expected me to quit bf at age 1 if I even nursed past 6 months! I educated him and at age 1 he began pressuring me terribly until I nursed in secret and cried buckets at night when he questioned me...Finally I told him since we thought we would never have any more kids that he just COULDN'T demand the severing of this precious bond which we felt. I
Finally he "gave in" and said if I really felt that strongly, it was ok with him as long as I didn't announce it to his family...easy enough since we live in Germany!

Anyway, that's my story and I'd love to hear others' stories about husbands...

lilwill@canineworld.com is my email if you would rather privacy.

thanks in advance for sharing...
post #36 of 172
Thread Starter 
mcaww, what a difficult situation you are in. I won't say how I feel about your dh, but I will post a bunch of links below (hope I can do this w/Mothering's OK) in hopes that you can convince dh to sit down and read them. If he can't learn by trusting your maternal instincts and your child's instinctive needs, maybe he can learn from the info provided in the links...

http://www.mothering.com/ (Click "Article" on left side, under Breastfeeding click "Weaning", then click article "To Wean or Not to Wean: Who Says When is Enough?") This is worth the treasure hunt!









I agree that society is slowly progressing toward pro-breastfeeding (at least for the first year) and to encourage breastfeeding even until 18 months would be a positive step in the right direction. I think nursing until 2 is a very good thing, but nursing an indefinite length of time until the child is ready to self-wean is even better IMO.
post #37 of 172
I think a lot of women nursing older children had those same feelings, of I will never do that. I was one of them. I thought 18-24 months was a good goal and had no intention of going past that age. My dh is not so supportive of me nursing my dd at 5 years, but doesn't really say to much. After all she only nurses about 5 minutes or less a day now.

its hard to imagine something you've never done. I can't imagine nursing my son as long as I've nursed my dd./ He weaned earlier.
post #38 of 172
My dd is not allowed to wean until she has evened me up again! I was perfectly symmetrical before her, but she favours one side. I don't care if it takes until she's adult - I will be level again. lol!!!
post #39 of 172
LOL Irishmommy! BTW, I wonder who thought on to two years was too old? Not that I am flaming anyone, just wanted to know the reasoning behind that lone vote...
post #40 of 172
Well, I'm one of those 3 who voted 2-3 years. My daughter is 2 tomorrow and I was planning on that being her last day. We are an AP, BFing, Co-sleeping family. I was extremely surprised how many women are BF at 5 years (nothing wrong with it, just not for me). I have allowed myself (not blaming anyone) to feel bad about my decision of stopping tomorrow. I will continue with that decision because I know it is right for me, I know my daughter would like me to continue but it has to be mutally acceptable, and although I enjoy the closeness, my nipples simply do not want to be stimulated anymore, they are not sore or irritated, just antsy.

I really feel that a child should be nursed until one at least but two is even better but when a friend of mine said she was probably going to stop at 18 months it never entered my mine to talk her into going until 2. I told her whatever she decided, she has already done an excellent job going this far.

Breastfeeding has come such a long way and according to the popular vote on this web still has a way to go in socially accepted the "5 year old" being nursed.

In the meantime, please encorage anyone who breastfeeds at all! no matter what the length. I know a few people who said they had no intention of BF at all. I'm saddened that, that kind of thinking still exists.

I just wanted to clarify that nobody on this thread "Flamed" anyone regarding stopping before the child wants to, but maybe try to encourage the baby steps (no pun intended) of BF for 1 or 2 years because those steps will undoubtedly lead to BF at 4 and 5 years being more socially accepted.

My original question that I came to this site to seek help with was "How much damage am I doing to my child by parent weaning her" I get the feeling though the concensus from the majority would be "Alot".

I hope I haven't come across "hostile" that was absolutely not my intention.
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