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still bf at 8..... - Page 2

post #21 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by aileen View Post
there is a huge difference between a continuous nursing relationship that goes to term and offering a weaned child a chance to nurse again. i'm not trying to be snarky, but it seems a little bit like you are insinuating that the 8 year old is not having her needs met in other ways. wonder away. the piece was edited up the ying-yang, no doubt to make the girls look odd, and so much so that the mother has posted online separately the entirety of the interview so it seems less biased. i am so tired - like i feel literally physically tired - of coming here to the CLW forum and the discussion centers around someone's conjecture of another mama/child pair's reasons for nursing past 4 or 5 which seem to be the "acceptable" limit. i'm nursing MY 5 year old and MY 1 year old and i, personally, have no interest in delineating any age limits or speculating about anyone else's reasons for nursing "too" long. it has been suggested to me at various times that i am still nursing because i am too permissive, because i have a high-needs child, because i didn't graduate from college, because she has food allergies, because i have no limits, because i can't let go of it, because all weaning even CLW is dependent on parental encouragement that i am not giving, because of the age spacing between my children, because i am lazy.
i am currently so frustrated by a lack of support that i don't even want to spell out here, or in real life, the multitude of reasons that i still nurse my daughter. i want to keep it a secret so that it doesn't get picked apart and wondered over.
this sounds so angry; i don't mean it to. but i am frustrated. i want to trust that all mamas are doing their best. i don't always, but i want to so i am starting to practice it. so wonder away - but, mama, you will never know. i have turned inward, away from my friends, away from this forum, even, to quietly wonder about my own children and relish in my own journey and do what works for me. and my child is not lacking in some element that "drives" her to nurse. in fact, in my home, i would say that she is so supported that she feels comfortable nursing even though it is not the "cultural norm" (her words).
motherhood is becoming isolating for me all over again.
where you are at in your journey an 8 year old nursing needs an explanation.
i honor that.
but be aware that your fellow travelers are all over the freaking map. they are joyfully formula feeding a newborn baby that they never even knew they wanted and they are nursing developmentally disabled 11 year olds and weeping at what they want for them but cannot have. and they are quiet, not talking about how effortless and normal it is to allow nursing to continue as long as both parties delight in it regardless of the wagging fingers looking on from the outside.

and honor them.

post #22 of 74
There's nothing wrong with "wondering".

Maybe if more people "wondered" instead of "judged", Aileen, you wouldn't feel so ganged up on. You should thank her for wondering instead of taking out what you have had to put up with (unjustifiably, yes) on her. :
post #23 of 74
I think that's wonderful, although the comments are very very sad. My son stopped bf just after he turned 3yo (I would have bf him forever if he wanted!). I am bf my 6mo and am loving every minute of it.
post #24 of 74
maria,
let me try this again.
most importantly, i never meant to imply that you were callous - not for a second. and i apologize if i unwittingly did. i really was just trying to explain how your questions, in particular the question "Like when kids get older does it become the only way to get mom to slow down and focus only on them? hmmm....just thinking "outloud" here..." may imply that nursing is a push and a pull or a struggle or that uber-complex nursing relationships can be whittled or explained away in some sort of formulaic way. i guess i was just trying to point out that we can't know. i wasn't saying it's wrong to wonder - just that you can never really know how nursing is going to play out between any duo (or trio, or quadruplet [with a slow and noble nod to mamaABCD]). you just have to do it if you want to. you just have to go there and nurse for as long as it fits. i was not offended by your post. i am just exhausted by having to explain why i continue to nurse a five year old; why i have to justify it, and why i have to justify it here. (lord help me when she's eight! i'll never tell a soul.) i was responding to the tone of this forum lately, and was not meaning my post to be a personal attack. (did it really seem attack-ish?) i'm so sorry if i hurt you.
i was just trying to say that from another vantage it's not a puzzle to be deciphered. older children nurse because even if it's not the norm it's normal. it's totally biologically normal. if the brain keeps growing at that rapid clip and the milk teeth are still in the mouth and our shorter-lived ape-y cousins are nursing their five year olds then there's nothing to explain.


you might like reading some of katherine dettwyler's writings. she's smarter and nicer than me.
and sheepnumber97254, i'll take you up on your oh-so-kind suggestion.
thank you maria, for wondering.
and if i can ever figure out what it is that makes my child unique in her nursing needs or anything else for that matter, i'll let you know. until then i think i'll just shut up.
(zips mouth)
post #25 of 74
Thread Starter 
Aileen,

Thank you for clarifying your feelings a bit, and I must admit I was pretty hurt by your post, when really I am just exploring the topic so I appreciate you responding. Perhaps I should try to clarify that I was not asking you, or anyone, to "justify" your older child nursing. I was actually asking if someone could share with me some of the details of what it might "look like" so to speak.

In some ways I agree that with nursing you just "do it" but I am an analytical person, and so its hard for me not to wonder and ask lots of questions when I am thinking something through. I nursed both of mine until 2ish and when I had to stop and in my own circles that was considered absolutely bonkers. And to be quite honest there were days I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by my body not being "mine" so to speak. So then as I am thinking about clw I see the video and hear the woman talking about her breasts as though they are sort of apart from her and how the girls don't want them covered and I wasn't so sure I wanted to go there, so I wondered, is that video typical? And the girls seem a little obsessed with bf and I thought about my own 5 year olds social "issues" b/c of our "gentle" family approach and healthy eating and co-sleeping and wondered, how does it effect them socially? Would I be adding one more oddity? And on and on and on...so I decided to visit this forum and ask for help.

Thinking about going beyond two years when we have our "last" child (and theoretically should avoid the health issues I have had when combined with pregnancy) I want to try and be prepared for what taking this journey might have in store. Sure it won't be exactly like any other, but like many parenting situations, for me its comforting to hear tales of those that have traveled the road before me. For example, while I will nurse my 10 week old at the slightest nuzzle no matter where I am what I am doing, who I am with, I would ask my 2 year old to wait a minute if I was in the middle of cooking dinner or paying for groceries and felt like that was ok. So I am curious how does that balance continue at 3 and 4 and, like in this video, beyond.

So I guess what I am trying to explain, is that I was not asking you to explain "your daughters nursing needs" or "justify" you decision, I was just hoping for someone to share their story and give me a preview of what going down this road might look like so I can figure out if I am ready to try it someday.

And please don't "shut up" -the great thing about this forum is the sharing....

that is how we all grow.

best
post #26 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by SheepNumber97245 View Post
There's nothing wrong with "wondering".

Maybe if more people "wondered" instead of "judged", Aileen, you wouldn't feel so ganged up on. You should thank her for wondering instead of taking out what you have had to put up with (unjustifiably, yes) on her. :
I don't really have much to say because I've never nursed very long. We'll see what happens this time, but I just didn't have the support with the other 2 kids. And I am very curious too about all this AP stuff - CLW, Co-Sleeping etc...and I wonder a lot and I'm a bit scared to ask the questions because I don't want to get attacked. I do wonder how it "works" nursing older children though...so I would love to hear people's experiences.

Haven't watched the video yet...going to watch it....now.
post #27 of 74
Aileen,
Thank you for the link to Kathleen D's writings I don't know that I've read anything by her before. I love her!!
Thanks again!
Chelsie
post #28 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by aileen View Post
maria,
let me try this again.
most importantly, i never meant to imply that you were callous - not for a second. and i apologize if i unwittingly did. i really was just trying to explain how your questions, in particular the question "Like when kids get older does it become the only way to get mom to slow down and focus only on them? hmmm....just thinking "outloud" here..." may imply that nursing is a push and a pull or a struggle or that uber-complex nursing relationships can be whittled or explained away in some sort of formulaic way. i guess i was just trying to point out that we can't know. i wasn't saying it's wrong to wonder - just that you can never really know how nursing is going to play out between any duo (or trio, or quadruplet [with a slow and noble nod to mamaABCD]). you just have to do it if you want to. you just have to go there and nurse for as long as it fits. i was not offended by your post. i am just exhausted by having to explain why i continue to nurse a five year old; why i have to justify it, and why i have to justify it here. (lord help me when she's eight! i'll never tell a soul.) i was responding to the tone of this forum lately, and was not meaning my post to be a personal attack. (did it really seem attack-ish?) i'm so sorry if i hurt you.
i was just trying to say that from another vantage it's not a puzzle to be deciphered. older children nurse because even if it's not the norm it's normal. it's totally biologically normal. if the brain keeps growing at that rapid clip and the milk teeth are still in the mouth and our shorter-lived ape-y cousins are nursing their five year olds then there's nothing to explain.


you might like reading some of katherine dettwyler's writings. she's smarter and nicer than me.
and sheepnumber97254, i'll take you up on your oh-so-kind suggestion.
thank you maria, for wondering.
and if i can ever figure out what it is that makes my child unique in her nursing needs or anything else for that matter, i'll let you know. until then i think i'll just shut up.
(zips mouth)
I'm sure you have to put up with a lot of shit nursing older children. I mean, people look at me funny and my son's only 8 months old. But even when he was an infant I would sometimes get dirty looks. It's sad that our culture isn't okay with doing something that is truly the healthiest thing for the child, but would rather see a bottle of formula stuck in their mouth. Because here, nipples are for sexual purposes! How DARE we use them to feed our children.

On one hand, i want to say, that's why we need to talk about it. If we all talk about it and aren't afraid of the questions we might get to the point where it's more acceptable, if not the norm. But on the other hand, I've heard of two cases now (one was one of the ladies on here) where a mother lost custody of her toddler because of extended breastfeeding.
post #29 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariag View Post
So then as I am thinking about clw I see the video and hear the woman talking about her breasts as though they are sort of apart from her and how the girls don't want them covered and I wasn't so sure I wanted to go there, so I wondered, is that video typical? And the girls seem a little obsessed with bf

My nurslings are just about 4 1/2, and they are obsessed with my breasts.... sometimes. They like to come up and pat them and bounce them (this just started in the last 6 months). A little embarrassing in public. It isn't like that goes on all day though. It is almost like an unexpected kiss or hug. It is like they think there are those wonderful tasty nurses, and I sure do love them so I am going to grab them for just a minute. Then they go on about what they are doing.

What is weird is there is the definite love for my breasts, but there has been a huge decrease in nursing also of late. Mostly down to first thing in the morning & bedtime.
post #30 of 74
I am new to this oard and was wondering if I could ask you a few questions, My son is 6.5 and only at bedtime,, were getting hell for it and I want to know ifyou know if it can be held against a mom in the courts eyes?? Thanks
post #31 of 74

I would love to hear back fromj you

I am new to this oard and was wondering if I could ask you a few questions, My son is 6.5 and only at bedtime,, were getting hell for it and I want to know ifyou know if it can be held against a mom in the courts eyes?? Thanks
post #32 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by txmom08 View Post
I am new to this oard and was wondering if I could ask you a few questions, My son is 6.5 and only at bedtime,, were getting hell for it and I want to know ifyou know if it can be held against a mom in the courts eyes?? Thanks
Yeah, as i said I've heard of two cases where mothers lost full custody for nursing their older children (older as in not infants). One of them was here in my city. The other was on mothering.com. Sad, ridiculous, but possible.
post #33 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by txmom08 View Post
I am new to this oard and was wondering if I could ask you a few questions, My son is 6.5 and only at bedtime,, were getting hell for it and I want to know ifyou know if it can be held against a mom in the courts eyes?? Thanks
I don't know for sure, but I have heard that Le Leche League can point you in the direction of lawyers that are familiar with this scenario.
post #34 of 74
From my understanding, the cases of losing custody (including the one I read about here) were cases where a couple divorced and the dad used extended-breastfeeding against the mom in a custody battle. Awful, yeah -- but I've been relieved to learn that there doesn't seem to be much risk of CPS coming in and snatching kids for breastfeeding past a certain age. Plus, most cases of children nursing beyond 4 or 5, aren't likely to be public knowledge anyway.

In the MDC-case I read about, it was a divorce-case, and the mom retained physical custody (it seemed like the couple kind of got joint-custody, though she got to have the children slightly more of the time), but she lost the ability to make educational and medical decisions. Which was crappy, I agree, but not exactly the same as having her children totally whisked away.

So, to my way of thinking, the main risk of losing custody (due to extended breastfeeding or any other AP-practice) is in situations where you think your marriage might not last. I've heard that even when the dad seems supportive of AP at the time, some men can make a total about-face and use it all against the mom, if they separate.

aileen, I understand how it is when you feel you're in a safe place, only to hear the same comments you're likely to hear in an unsafe place. Not to fault any other posters, because I agree that people need to ask questions, and where else would you ask those kinds of questions but here?

I remember being at an LLL meeting where a mother commented that when children nursed past a certain age (can't remember what age she mentioned), that meant it was the only connection the child was able to get with the mother. I disagreed, and one of the leaders also spoke up in behalf of extended breastfeeding, which made me glad (though kind of sad that such a criticism would be expressed at the place where I'd got turned on to child-led weaning in the first place).

At another LLL meeting, people started discussing child-led weaning -- and one of the leaders made a point of saying that some of them didn't child-led wean, and it wasn't the only way to do things. It almost sounded like they weren't supportive! I mentioned this to someone later, and was told that LLL prefers to save these issues for "nursing toddler" meetings, to avoid turning off any new and expectant mamas who may be new to the idea of breastfeeding beyond one year.

On the one hand, I understand. On the other, I'm saddened about this reality of our society -- which makes even an LLL-meeting a place where you have to be concerned about turning folks off of breastfeeding!
post #35 of 74
Quote:
seems completely normal to me, given the right child and family.
I agree.

I feel like people (particularly in some other online communities) think I am crazy or sick for feeling that way. But I honestly don't see anything disturbing or wrong in that video. My son is very high-needs and has a difficult time falling and staying asleep. He's 18 months and showing no signs of weaning, especially as breastfeeding is related to sleep. I can easily imagine us still nursing at 5. I'm not sure about 8 but I'm not there so I really can't say.
post #36 of 74
Many of us have seen the U-tube video about nursing up to the of 8 years and have mixed reactions as in the comments there. I may share an interesting dialogue with my DH who too used to nurse up to the age of 8years. He confirmed that he did and my MIL (may God grant peace to her soul) never refused his demand. He mostly used to indicate his desire after returning from school when his two younger siblings would sleep in the afternoon. My MIl would take him to the enclosure to the room where she would feed him. There was no problem with milk supply as the youngest brother was a regular nurser and MIL made sufficient milk. They would sometime talk - she enquiring about his matters at the school and he replying in mono-syllables. The session would last 15-20 minutes.
I asked whether he remebered the experience vividly. He said that he did remebered the taste of milk as also the shape, smell and texture of her breasts and nipples. I asked him whether he can be termed as a breast-man. He replied by asking in turn, 'Do I ever ask to suckle yours and ever tasted your milk?'
His was a happy experience.
Uzra
post #37 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by uzra_hashmi@rediff View Post
...I asked whether he remebered the experience vividly. He said that he did remebered the taste of milk as also the shape, smell and texture of her breasts and nipples. I asked him whether he can be termed as a breast-man. He replied by asking in turn, 'Do I ever ask to suckle yours and ever tasted your milk?'
His was a happy experience.
Uzra
Thank you so much for sharing your husband's experience. It reaffirms my belief in the sad fact that the reason westernized cultures are so infatuated w/breasts is because we didn't get BF'd long enough or get a say in when we were ready to be done BFing.
It's a really beautiful thing to be able to trust your child enough to let them tell you when they're ready for something-whether it's walking, talking, weaning, reading... Whatever it is. They don't need us to tell them. They just need us to keep them safe so they can learn what they need to learn when they're ready.
post #38 of 74

i was CLW and nursed till 4.5

everyone in my family nursed between 4-5 years. my mom nursed for 16 continuasly. our close family friends all nursed their kids followign CLW. i knew a kid who nursed till he was 7. he is also incredibly smart, but he was number 4 out of 5 kids and he was the last to wean.
aileen,
i don't think you should shut up at all. it is hard online to know when someone is obnoxiously asking a question and when they are actually seriously curious. i am planning on CLW with my DD, and i am expecting my second in about 2 months. nights are a little hard, because some nights she has trouble sleepign and i have to nurse her. i am a little confused about how ti will work when i am nursing 2 at night, but we'll figure it out.
i am lucky that i haven't had any sensitivity or pain while nursing, some women do when they are pregnant. my dd is 2.5 and loves my "nursers' she always wants to play with them and hold them when she is nursing. it used to not bother me, but as she gets older it does and i had to get her to stop. which wasn't fun, but it drove me NUTS. she is very excited to nurse with the baby and honestly, i would feel horrible if i weaned her durign my pregnancy because she is so looking forward to it. she talks all the time about how there will be lots and lots of milk once the baby comes (cause i am pretty much dry now).
also, if we weaned, i wouldn't know how to put her to sleep or calm her during tantrums. if she gets hurt or has a tantrum, it IMEDDIATELY fixes it. i think that a lot of parenting issues wouldn't exist for people if they CLW and using the connection with nursing to calm their toddlers.
i have asked my mom and she says that the nursing changes as they get older, they ask less and less until they are down to their one nursing of the day and eventually that tapers off.
anyway, i could talk about this all day, but i am just trying to answer some of the questions out there and hopefully provide some thoughts for further discussion.
rachel
post #39 of 74
Wow! Again, thank you for sharing your experience! I think it's so cool that you grew up around CLW! Hurray!
post #40 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
At another LLL meeting, people started discussing child-led weaning -- and one of the leaders made a point of saying that some of them didn't child-led wean, and it wasn't the only way to do things. It almost sounded like they weren't supportive! I mentioned this to someone later, and was told that LLL prefers to save these issues for "nursing toddler" meetings, to avoid turning off any new and expectant mamas who may be new to the idea of breastfeeding beyond one year.

On the one hand, I understand. On the other, I'm saddened about this reality of our society -- which makes even an LLL-meeting a place where you have to be concerned about turning folks off of breastfeeding!
LLL doesn't really advocate for child-led weaning specifically, they're more concerned with a healthy nursing relationship for both the mama and the child. If the mama is happy with child-led weaning, great, but if she's not able to do that, for whatever reason, LLL is supportive of gentle weaning. they're obviously all for nursing as long as you can, but they don't *specifically* advocate CLW, but rather recognize the complex relationship of a nursing pair, and honor the gift a mother has given her child in nursing at all, whether it's for 8 days or 8 years.

I think it's awesome when mamas can be so giving -- I topped out between 4 and 4.5 with both my kids, but weaning at that point was really for the best for us, as a resentful mama is no good for anyone! I sometimes wish I could have found the patience within myself to continue for as long as they needed, but we just transferred that nursey lovin' to cuddles and other affection, and we all survived. I feel good about the years of nursing I gave my kids, and weaning was what was right for all of us -- I guess my official position is that I don't think it's *necessary* to nurse for 8 years, but I also don't think there is anything wrong with it.
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