Nursing a 18 month old in public? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 07-29-2002, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I went to a cookout yesterday and my dd just got her hair yanked by my neice (spelling). She was so sad an upset I immediatly went to dd to comfort her and she wanted to nurse. She was saying "I want boob I want boob". My SIL says" your not going to do that here are you? you can't do that here "(mother of daughter who yanked my dd hair)
I never thought that it would be a big deal I always go somwhere where there are not that many people and I am very discreet about it. Is it time for me and my dd to be closet nurses?
I am so hurt and upset with my SIL remark she just made feel so foolish and embaressed (spelling).
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#2 of 27 Old 07-29-2002, 10:10 AM
 
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I was nursing Grace in public when she asked when she was that age. She didnt ask often, just when she was scared or hurt... because she was nursing mostly first thing in the morning, before nap, after nap, and before bed by that time... so when we were out was not usually those 4 times.

Dont closet nurse unless you really want to, and shame on your SIL!
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#3 of 27 Old 07-29-2002, 10:30 AM
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(((HUUGS TO YOU))) Poor thing. Bummer your SIL was such a brat about your nursing your daughter.

Kailey is 17 months old and nurses frequently, so of course we nurse in public all the time. Stick to your guns woman, and tell anyone who bothers you that it just isn't any of their business!
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#4 of 27 Old 07-29-2002, 02:22 PM
 
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I agree. No need to closet nurse at such a young age. There is nothing to be ashamed of. You are giving your child everything she needs!! You can maybe tell her next time, yes I am going to nurse me dd, her needs come first. That was definatly a need. The more people see nursing, the more they will see it as a normal occurance.
1 and 1/2 is not even to the WHO recommendations yet, jeez.
Keep up the good work momma!!

Single mama to Alex(13), Maddy(12), Sam(8), Violet(6), and Ruby(3). fly-by-nursing1.gif
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#5 of 27 Old 07-29-2002, 03:25 PM
 
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I nurse my 22 month old anywhere. I try to be discreet about it, not with a cover-up or anything (just keeping my shirt on ). There is nothing wrong with nursing your 18-month old in public when she needs to. But there might be something wrong with not doing it.

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#6 of 27 Old 07-29-2002, 04:50 PM
 
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My little dd will be 24 months old in about a week. If she needs to nurse, then she gets to nurse. Period. It actually doesn't come up very often while we are out and about, but when it does, I don't do anything differently as a result of her age. She nursed at the San Diego Zoo when she was 22 months, and I was so busy looking at her, and the animals, that I didn't notice if anyone was giving us funny looks. Just yesterday, she nursed at a restaurant, and if we hadn't had that option, we would have had to leave.

I like to be discreet, but I won't go out of my way just so some one else won't be "offended." I don't do blankets (dd won't let me anyway), but if someone other than dh is right next to me, then I'll turn my body away just long enough to get her latched on.
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#7 of 27 Old 07-29-2002, 07:38 PM
 
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My dd is 18 months and we nurse anywhere. I give up if she's distracted, but if she needs/wants to then it's nobody's business but ours. It sounds to me like your SIL is the one who should have been embarrassed b/c she was putting your wonderful mothering down when she should have been exlaining to her own child that hair-pulling is unacceptable behavior.

Keep following your instincts and do what your baby needs. If the criticism keeps up find a polite but firm way to tell SIL to mind her own business!

Carol
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#8 of 27 Old 07-29-2002, 11:56 PM
 
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Definitely don't stop nursing her in public unless you want to.

You might though, want to think about teaching your daughter a code word for nursing. Then everyone else around won't know what is being discussed--unless you choose to tell them.
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#9 of 27 Old 07-30-2002, 12:31 AM
 
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I'm sorry to hear that your sister in law gave you such a hard time. That would make me feel terrible too! For me, 18 months was about the time that we started restricting nursing to non-public places.

Our families never gave me a hard time, but I knew that they thought it was a bit weird, so I would make sure that we went in another room to nurse if we were at a family function (like the living room if a family gathering was going on in the dining room, or outside if everyone was BBQing outside). I felt that it gave us some quiet time AWAY from everyone, so I was okay with it. But if someone TOLD me to "do that someplace else" I think they would have gotten an earful from me.
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#10 of 27 Old 07-30-2002, 01:15 AM
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But if someone TOLD me to "do that someplace else" I think they would have gotten an earful from me.
They would have gotten a face full of booby juicee from me LOL!
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#11 of 27 Old 07-30-2002, 01:33 AM
 
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My ds is 19 months and we nurse anywhere and everywhere. He is not a discrete nurser. Our current "social lesson" is: Mamas have to wear their clothes when they are not at home. Plenty of people have gotten an eyeful of my beautiful, functional, mammaries. No comments yet and I feel free to ignore any stares or wierd looks. You should not feel wierd for nursing your dd in public-discrete or not, your SIL should feel wierd for thinking it's not ok to nurture your child. Yay to you for listening to your child!
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#12 of 27 Old 07-30-2002, 02:15 AM
 
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i nurse my 20mnth old anywhere he wants to.
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#13 of 27 Old 07-30-2002, 11:23 AM
 
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I nurse my almost 15 month old wherever...she's just a baby (and so is an 18 month old!)...I can't imagine not nursing her when she asks to nurse (I've taught her 'nurse' - so she'll come up to me and say 'nurse - please?' How can you say 'no' to that?!).

My almost 3 year old is slightly different...I don't nurse her in public any longer. Mainly because I live in Scotland, and people pretty much think you are weird for nursing a 4 month old...seeing an almost 3 year old nurse would turn more people off than encourage to nurse, I'm afraid.

But at a family gathering - I would nurse either of my children at a family gathering without going somewhere private. That's ridiculous. If you can't nurture your child in what shoudl be one of the most nurturing environments, there is really something wrong...

Carolyn
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#14 of 27 Old 07-30-2002, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I talked to my SIL after I calmed down and she said she will not mention my bf again. I consider my SIL to be a friend and I think that is why it hurt and upset me so much.

I also agree that 18 months is still baby so I am going to continue to nurse her whenever she wants it , even in public.

I do not tell people not to bottlefeed there babies in public even if it is a 18month old baby, people should not tell me where to feed my baby. I hope someday there will me much more accepetance of bf it just seems to be the only natural choice. I just do not get it. Go figure:
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#15 of 27 Old 07-31-2002, 10:53 PM
 
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That is great that you followed up with your SIL and worked things out. You are absolutely right - I don't give unsolicited "advice" to anyone I see in public, so nobody should be telling us how to raise our babes either. Good for you!
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#16 of 27 Old 07-31-2002, 11:52 PM
 
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Good for you for making peace with your SIL.

For the record, I nursed my 3yo DS#1 in public (he weaned at 3 ) and still nurse my 2.5yo DD in public, and we just have the "outside rules," as we call 'em: No pulling my shirt or playing with my shirt (I'm a big believer in body-covering). If they do any shirt-adjusting, end of nursing.

Don't ever feel you have to closet-nurse. After the first time or two you do it in public, trust me, it'll feel like normal.

Though I've only tandem nursed in public once. A few weeks back I tried it, and had the baby in the sling for that one. And that was in a playground. Got a lot of looks. Didn't feel comfortable with that, and won't do it again. So now taking turns is also part of the "outside rules."

- Amy
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#17 of 27 Old 08-06-2002, 01:44 PM
 
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I just found this thread. Sorry if I am late.


I nurse my 2 /12 year old son pretty much anywhere. The only rule we have is that he can't nurse at his friend's house. His friend is VERY interested and it makes for a strange situation.

I think that if you are fine with it, don't worry about it. Most of the comments I hear are from women who didn't breastfeed their children so I pay no attention to them.

You do what is best for you and your child.
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#18 of 27 Old 11-26-2003, 07:10 AM
 
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I still nurse my 18 month old in public, and will continue to nurse in public until she is ready to wean. I am doing what is best for my daughter, and others less enlightened should refrain from commenting on my parenting practices. I don't tell them that they are wrong, because they aren't still nursing or nursing in public. Despite the fact that I think they are, that is my opinion and unless asked I keep it to myself. But ask, and I could talk for days....
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#19 of 27 Old 12-28-2003, 08:22 PM
 
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I agree. I nursed my dd in public till my ds was born, she was almost 4 by the time he came. Now I will not nurse her in public, only at home or with family or close freinds, but it has nothing to do with what others might think. I just feel that at 4 she is big enough to understand that I can olny nurse the baby if we are out and she can as soon as we get home.
Never let anyone make you feel ashamed or embarrassed for doing what you know is best for your child.
I am so happy to have found this site. I was starting to think I was the only one who practiced bedsharing, ap, bf passed 4 mths.
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#20 of 27 Old 12-28-2003, 08:33 PM
 
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I nurse Alec (28 months) whenever and wherever he needs to nurse. He doesn't usually want to nurse when we're out, either because he's happily occupied playing or because he'd rather hang out in dh's arms. If he needs it, though, he gets it. I do sometimes have problems with him wanting to push my shirt all the way up; he gets upset when I try to keep it down. I like having the outside and inside rules. One other thing that we've done is taught him from an early age to sign when he wants to nurse instead of using a word for it. He doesn't talk much at all anyway, so I guess it's good we do that! He'll pat my chest when he wants to nurse so I know I have a few minutes to excuse myself if I feel I need to or (usually) just find a place to sit down. Last week I nursed him at Office Depot, Whole Foods, my in-laws house while all the extended family was there, the library, and the mall. AFAIK I didn't get a single dirty look. And he's big for his age!

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#21 of 27 Old 12-28-2003, 08:50 PM
 
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Shame on your sil.

No don't go closet unless you feel uncomfortable. At that age I did not nurse in public because my kids thought my nipples were taffy.

But I did nurse my middle child in public at 4. I knew she would not yank off or expose more of me than I wanted.
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#22 of 27 Old 02-08-2004, 04:36 AM
 
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I don't nurse my 29 month old in public because he just isn't interested when we're out and about. However, if he did want to, I'd do it. Usually he only wants to nurse at bedtime now. Once the new baby comes, he may want do do so more often.

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#23 of 27 Old 03-19-2004, 07:18 PM
 
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I'm glad to see that you and she talked about it.

I was going to say "don't let the closed minds win." but now I don't have to.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#24 of 27 Old 08-03-2004, 10:07 PM
 
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I still nurse my 28 month old in public.. but it's not very often..since he's pretty busy when we're out..even though I'm not as comfortable nursing him in public as I used to be..but I like the fact that I'm promoting extended breastfeeding..and that nursing a toddler is still normal..I won't nurse both my newborn and toddler at the same time though..that would be kind of awkard.. I think..:2tandem Dear Hubby is starting to feel a bit unconfortable about it..and often tells me not to nurse him in public..but still do anyways..
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#25 of 27 Old 09-26-2004, 09:57 PM
 
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I still nurse my 30 month old (2 1/2 yr old) in public..if he really needs it or even just for a snack..as long as he asks nicely..(no crying, yanking, pulling, or yelling)
It's not every day you see a toddler nursing at a mother's breast..and I think it's more uncomfortable for them seeing it then us doing it "in public"..
Now..If you are the one feeling unconfortable then maybe you should think about closet nursing..but other than that I say keep on NIP! and Enjoy it! WE DO!
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#26 of 27 Old 09-26-2004, 10:03 PM
 
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Sorry for the double post.
I posted twice without realizing it..
hey still NIP two months later!
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#27 of 27 Old 12-09-2004, 03:05 PM
 
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Thanks for your post. I am planning on doing child-led weaning with dd and I can only imagine my relatives reacting similarly to yours. It helps to know other moms are out there dealing with the same stuff. And I agree with everyone - esp the person who pointed out it would have been wrong for you NOT to nurse her. I think your feelings of being hurt make a lot of sense. You SIL has the issue,though, not you.
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