How old is too old? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: How old is too old?
Any age is too old, I am anti-breastfeeding 1 12.50%
0-6 months 0 0%
6-12 months 0 0%
1-2 years 7 87.50%
2-3 years 44 100.00%
3-4 years 89 100.00%
4-5 years 150 100.00%
As long as the child desires, whatever age that may be 389 100.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Breastfeeding > How old is too old?
Firemom's Avatar Firemom 06:47 PM 02-24-2002
Now that she is not nursing, will she be independent? As far as I can see nursing has nothing to do with her independence. She's been a very opinated and independent girl for along time now. She stopped nursing last week. She is now 5.4 years old. the only thing different about her right now is that she no longer nurses before bed.

As far as diapers. She has been dry during the day since she was 2 1/2 years old, but continues to wear pull-ups at night. She's soaked in the morning, and everything I've read about bedwetting and what my doctor has said, tells me that this is just as normal as kids who are dry at night.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but now that I've nursed so long I'm very tolerant of others who nurse much longer than I did.

DebAdams's Avatar DebAdams 04:31 PM 03-06-2002
While I plan to let my 20 month lead the way on when to stop... I would honestly like to stop after he is 2 yrs. I love to breatfeed but it does have it inconvience sometimes... Standing in the checkout line trying to get your wallet out of your purse while your little one is tuging on your shirt yelling Ba, Ba! :

We joke that we will telling our 3rd grader... Now Jaden the other mommies dont come in and feed their kids do they?

Precious's Avatar Precious 01:19 AM 03-07-2002
Well, guess who's back to full time nursing (except through the night). My daughter kept asking me for it, and she would ask so sweetly - Doo Doo? When I first stopped, she started to use a pacifier we had hanging around the house, she NEVER used them since the day she was born (although we tried to get her to). So that made me start to think that she really needs the BF and I really do believe that she knows what's best for herself, most of the time. (Obviously, not when it comes to safety).

I'm going to let her lead the weaning now, (just hope it's before she starts school)

I don't know if this should be in another thread elsewhere but I'll ask anyhow.

Does the calcium issue play a part in anybody's decision to wean or not to wean?

That was also a factor in my deciding in continue with the nursing.

We are not big on cow's milk, I eat some feta, yogurt, but nothing in excess. It doesn't make sense to me to stop giving her my milk just to turn around and give her a cow's milk.
Firemom's Avatar Firemom 07:31 PM 03-08-2002

My daugter nursed for almost 51/2 years and has never drank cows milk. She will still get the calcium from your milk and you can over cheese and yogurt and leafy greens
Precious's Avatar Precious 01:17 AM 03-09-2002

I'm curious, if I may ask, does your daughter drink cow's milk now that she is weaned?

To clarify, I wasn't afraid that my daughter would not get enough calcium from my milk, I'm confident that she will. I was worried that if I stopped nursing, would she THEN get enough from the foods that she ate.

But it's not really an issure now, because I am continuing to nurse but it will be an issue in the future, hence, my reason for asking the above question.

Firemom's Avatar Firemom 01:33 AM 03-09-2002
No, she still won't drink cows milk. She will have it in her cereal or in any dishes I may prepare with milk. My son doesn't drink much either. Only in school with his school lunches.

I do offer both of them chocolate soy milk once a day. They like cheese, mac and cheese, ice cream and yogurt. My son will also drink calcium fortified OJ. My daugther also loves leafy greens which have calcium.

Their ped knows they don't drink milk, but is satisfied with their diets that get enough calcium
Precious's Avatar Precious 11:02 AM 03-09-2002
That sounds good, thanks for the reply.

sanna's Avatar sanna 12:03 AM 03-12-2002
Not quite as die-hard as you all are, although it's quite an accomplishment what you all are doing!

For me, I nursed my ds until 2 1/2, my milk dried up (pregnant), and he self-weaned. I wish that it could have been longer for us. With dd now, she is 27 months and weaned at night. But she is lusty for it during the day! And she is a BIG girl, easily 3 year size.

I have to admit.. after 5 years of combined nursing, I am ready for some peace. I find my nipples not being so thrilled. Yu know that feeling when you are pregnant and trying to nurse.. Not so great. But, I am not pregnant, it is just that I feel done.

Well, convince my dd of that.. I am trying to work with it all though. Don't put to much negative emotion out for it. But, you know how Mama cat starts to bite and claw her kittens when enough is enough? That's kind of how I feel, minus the claws!
pie's Avatar pie 02:03 AM 03-17-2002
sanna, I feel like that sometimes, the cat thing. I am getting nowhere weaning ds though. He is 32 months now. I guess it's for the better.
Greaseball's Avatar Greaseball 10:02 PM 03-31-2002
I voted for as long as the child desires, although I suppose if dd were still nursing by first grade, I would take steps toward weaning.
Ruth's Avatar Ruth 04:31 AM 04-13-2002
"Alaskan Natives will nurse for quite awhile....some even into puberty!!"

No way, Abimommy? Really? I think then that that is going to be me and my dd. I am nursing my 4.2-year-old (4.2 is the worldwide average for weaning) and she doesn't even know that one day she won't nurse.

I read that in the non-human animal world animals nurse their young between 4 to 7 human years.

Power to all of you who believe in baby-, uh, child-led weaning.
Threefold's Avatar Threefold 04:42 AM 04-13-2002
My heart wanted me to vote, as long as the child desires, but I decided to be honest, so I voted 4-5 years. 4 feels fine, but after having taught kindergarten for 4 years before ds, I just can't see bf'ing a 5 year old. Who knows, I may change my mind by the time ds gets there! I know I'm in no rush to stop and neither is he
pie's Avatar pie 04:54 AM 04-13-2002
Well my mind is changing since my first post in this thread. Spanky is getting nearer and nearer to three, and the idea of forcing him to wean is getting harder to fathom. He is healthy and happy and turning into such a sweet little boy. Why would I do anything like wean him? We will see how I feel in a few months, but you ladies need to know you are a very good influence on the world....
Ruth's Avatar Ruth 05:13 AM 04-13-2002
Mamapie, I changed my mind several times in the last years too.

First when I was pregnant I read that women should nurse at three months (yes I was reading the WRONG things.) Then I learned that the American Pediatric Society recommended one year and I said OK I will do that. Then I read that the World Health Organization recommended 2 years and that the American Pediatric Society changed their recommendation to 2 years. I can do that. Then La Leche League told me that that the average age was 4.2 and that non-human animals nurse 4-7 years.

Now I changed my mind again, thanks to Abimommy and to the rest of you who say that prom is a good time to stop.
mother_sunshine's Avatar mother_sunshine 09:38 PM 04-13-2002
I remember when my daughter was nursing at 2yrs I had only one friend who was nursing her dd at 2 also, everyone else either didn't BF or weaned early, so we felt like our dd's were "so old"! My friend and I had talked about how long we would nurse and we both had planned on our dd's weaning at 2yrs...well, she weaned her dd at 2 like she had planned, but dd and I kept going (I actually believed she would magically wean herself at the age of 2!). I remember being heartbroken when my friend told me she weaned dd, I felt so alone! She told me about someone she knew who nursed until 4yrs and we both thought that was crazy. we are nursing at 5yrs! :LOL

I am just SO GLAD I let dd (and my heart & instincts) lead the way. I recently talked with her about one day not wanting to nurse anymore...a gentle hint hint (but definitely not a push, I just wanted to throw the idea out there to see what she would say) and her response was "No way Mama!" and she got tears in her eyes. She loves nursing and I am absolutely 100% okay and supportive with that. I am a teacher (though I have put my career on hold for the past 5 yrs) and I never would have fathomed the idea of any of the students breastfeeding, but I also wasn't a mother at that time. Situations (and opinions) adapt. It's one day (or year) at a time...
Firemom's Avatar Firemom 09:43 PM 04-13-2002
It's funny how we think the same mother sunshine. I figured I nurse until my dd was 18-24 months. I just thought at 2 she'd be done just like that. Mine has been weaning. I thought she weaned, but she's nursed already a few times this month and is 51/2 years old
Threefold's Avatar Threefold 12:12 AM 04-14-2002
I've been thinking about this since I posted last night and I think I've changed my mind too. . .
ds will know when it's time to stop, I feel like we're gonna have to go underground when he's 3 though .
mother_sunshine's Avatar mother_sunshine 12:33 AM 04-14-2002
Now if only we all lived in the same town
Greaseball's Avatar Greaseball 02:41 AM 04-14-2002
I know that NIP is legal anywhere for an infant, but what about a toddler? A preschooler? A grade school child? Does anyone know what the laws are there?
pie's Avatar pie 04:10 PM 04-14-2002
Oh oh oh I know how you feel about going underground dalai mama. I can take the heat from people about how I am nursing too long, all the criticism, but the baby is starting to understand what people say, and I don't want his self esteem damaged by the 'well meaning' mainstream.
TupeloHoney's Avatar TupeloHoney 06:13 PM 04-14-2002
I voted 4-5 years

However, I have no problem with nursing longer if that is what both the mother and child would like. I would just like dd to be done nursing by the time she goes to school, but the whole "school" thing is still up in the air, so who knows.

Side note: It is funny how much being a parent has changed my opinions on these things. When I first found out I was pg, my goal was to nurse for 6 months. I also went shopping for a beautiful crib and dresser set, which my mother and brother generously purchased for us. I had many ideas about parenting, then dd was born. She has never once slept in that lovely crib. Once she reached 6 months, I had read enough about nursing (and formula) to know that since I was lucky enough to have an adequate milk supply, why not nurse until a year. Now that my nursling is 1, I continue to reserve the right to banish any preconceived notions common society has drilled into my head and change my mind yet again. I have been able to AP parent while working full-time and dd hasn't had to go to daycare yet, but that day may be coming.

Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder where that woman came from.

Sorry if this got long and way off topic.
Threefold's Avatar Threefold 02:52 AM 04-15-2002
yea, mamapie, I hear you. When people suggest that we should stop nursing, I whisper in his ear that that is just not true and he should nurse for as long as he likes (he is 15 months now and I am sure understands much more than we think), sometimes I say it out loud to him in front of that person. We haven't gotten many comments yet, but I am sure they will increase as he gets older. Most of the comments we've gotten come from extended family .
Ruth's Avatar Ruth 03:22 AM 04-15-2002
Good for you the_dalai_mama for changing your mind.

Greaseball, I looked up Texas law and it says "infant" and "baby." There is a U.S. Supreme Court case (that would trump any state law) but I haven't read it yet. However, today I purchased a children's book called For Every Child by UNICEF and it has the entire United Natios Convention on the Rights of the Child at the back. Article 24: Health and Health Services says that countries shall ... take appropriate measures ... to ensure that all segments of society, in particular parents and children, are informed, have access to educationa nd are supported in the use of basic knowledge of child health and nutrition, the advantages of breast-feeding, ... Of course, Treaties to which the U.S. is a party trump U.S. Supreme Court law. (The question is is U.S. a party?)

P.S. I believe there is a god-given (or nature-given) right to nurse your offspring past infancy or babyhood. If I am right, this trumps ANY LAW ANYWHERE.

P.P.S. Most of the negative comments come from family members even those that claim to be supportive. Last time my mom saw me nursing my 4-year-old she said, "She is bigger than you are." I laughed and said, "She isn't bigger than me and even if she was ten times bigger, I would still nurse her." My dd giggled imagining me nursing a 1,500 pound 4 year old.
Shulammite's Avatar Shulammite 09:34 PM 04-16-2002
I voted for 5 years, I think because I have relatively mainstream ideas about what "5 year olds" are and do in this society.

In this society, children do a lot of separating around 5. Yes, in lots of houses (like, ahem, mine) there is an enormous degree of attachment (like my 9 y.o. occasional co-sleeper, for example) and I realize that a lot of you are probably homeschool/unschool families. But for the most part, children in this society go off to school and start a separate little life around age five. And their peers become important to them, modelling their peers becomes paramount. In this society, a 5 y.o. 's peers are very concerned with "not being a baby." Not because their horrible parents have made them think babies are bad. Because in all societies there are rites of passage from stage to stage, and all people have the right to revel in whatever milestone they've achieved. 5 year olds are no longer babies, by thier own estimation . We may believe (and I do, just to clarify!) that nursing is good for older children as well , but I think we can all concur that nursing is definitely for babies.

But to be completely honest, I really wanted to vote for "as long as both Mama and child want to." It's important that a 2 person nursing relationship never becomes a 1 person dictatorship. If either person, Mama OR baby, really doesn't want to continue, they need to work that out for both of them. I nursed my first son for 2 years, until I was pg; my second son I weaned at 3 because I had really reached that scratching-cat stage, and I didn't like how nursing made us feel adversarial.
Greaseball's Avatar Greaseball 03:57 PM 04-17-2002
What I don't understand is all those people who say "It's not nutritionally necessary!" Well, soda isn't nutritionally necessary for me, but I'll sure have one whenever I want! Even in the middle of the night!
ni nity's Avatar ni nity 01:12 PM 04-21-2002
I am very much for child led weaning,when my son is done thats totally up to him
sarenka's Avatar sarenka 06:17 PM 04-21-2002
I voted for child-led, but I think in my heart I agree with what Shulamite says....which leaves my daughter 6 months to go!!
I was quite decided to stop a year or so ago, feeling burnt out, but as some wise woman said here, that moment is when it all clears up. Now nursing doesn't bother me in the slightest. I hardly notice it, for me the cuddling and sleeping are what matters. Having said that, my dd is so much healthier than the other kids in playgroup, and I think it's to do with the milk.
I have a friend (well ex friend actually) who was a flag waver for AP (in France!!) and nursed her child for 4 years, then had a complete turnaround, felt that she had ignored her own needs for all that time and "for nothing" as her child kept getting infections, wasn't perfectly emotionally balanced, etc (no wonder, with all that frustration and repression picked up from her mother) and her second baby was on formula at six months! Bizarre isn't it.....
not making any points, this just made me think.
nanikisses's Avatar nanikisses 12:54 AM 04-22-2002

I voted for child led weaning.

I too would bf until 5+ yrs. old,
although my kids only averaged 1.5-2 yrs, mostly because
we didn't get so far as tandem nursing, I was usually pregnant
by 1 yr old or so, even with all the AP, they would wean on their own~~ I just got my periods right away also, call me a fertile mama!

My oldest was the most avid nurser but I think she finally just
stopped on her own and decided she was done at 2.

My youngest now is almost 8 mos. and right now she nurses as much as a newborn! So I plunk her on & get to surf while she's
nipping and napping....
I think she may nurse for longer since she's our last, I certainly hope so.

I still get weird looks and inquries, heck even my midwife who is a ND (she is great, bless her heart) had the notion that they need the iron that will come w/solid's amazing, I think we are so conditioned socially to this idea.....I just shake my head in pity quietly to myself, what they can miss ..
but I've made such a proclomation in all my family, ext. family & friends about how BF is best! No question no doubt, and it's sad, because mostly the attitude is ' that's great, it's good' but I choose to do something else'. Even with my grandparents who are from a 3rd world country!
I don't care, bf moms 'do it anywhere'.

I used to make it into a joke & it even made people see the long-term of it, they'd ask how long I would bf & I'd say , "yeah, well, you know when she goes off to college......".

Take heart, I have friends I've turned into converts, my kids are so well adjusted because of BF mainly, I think, more than anything.
A dear retired LLL leader friend I have nursed until her only daughter was 6, and they both remembered it fondly, she was around 7 or 8 when I met her. And she homeschooled, she was the most well-adjusted, bright little girls I ever knew, w/a kind & gentle heart for babies My friend was a bit older when she had her, but she apparently did not want to rush anything, I think she unschooled and did not rush her into reading either.

~*~*"Somewhere deep within you is a song that plays softly, always...
A song you can hear only if you're very quiet, and very still
A song of life, and dreams, and wisdom
A call to adventure on a path that is uniquely yours.
Take time to listen to the song of your soul
And see where it leads you. "*~*~
Greaseball's Avatar Greaseball 06:33 PM 04-22-2002
I also think 1st grade is the "ideal" age to stop, if the child has not already wanted to stop sooner. That is the age when the child spends more time in school than with the parents, and hopefully after school is either doing homework or playing with friends, developing some independence.

But, that's just what I think, and I don't think badly of anyone who chooses to nurse during 1st grade or beyond, as long as that's what the kid wants and not just the mom.
saige's Avatar saige 10:13 PM 04-22-2002
When I was pregnant I decided 4 months was long enough to nurse.When Saige was 4 months,I decided 9 months is long enough to nurse.When Saige was 9 months I decided 12 months was long enough to nurse.When Saige was 12 months,I decided 18 months was long enough to nurse.When Saige was 18 months I decided 24 months was long enough to nurse.At 2 and a half,Saige decided that was long enough to nurse.Who knows what Willow will decide!!!!
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