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#1 of 19 Old 03-03-2005, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering....

A while ago I told a very good friend of mine (who has a 3 1/2 yo son) that I was not planning on weaning my DS (now 7 months) for a certain age and that we co-sleep and that it's wonderful.

She BF her lil guy for 6 months and then weaned him because she HAD to go back to work. (CLW is practically unheard of in my circle of friends, co-sleeping is kinda taboo.)
She expressed doubts about co-sleeping and BF for "so long" because of the sexual connotation the whole sitaution could get.

Personally I do not (yet) see it that way. I love my son and what we do comes naturally to me and feels good.
The sexual connotation it seems to me comes from the mother, not from the nursling.

How did/do you percieve nursing your little boy through his 2nd and 3rd year and beyond?

Looking foreward to hearing your experiences on that one.
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#2 of 19 Old 03-03-2005, 10:42 AM
 
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Hi! Well, my preconceived notions of bf'ing are not at all what they've turned out to be. Before the fact I had no idea that I would even be able to bf.. silly me. My son turns two on 3/7. And he's still an active nurser. I also thought that I would NEVER nurse a child "who could ask for it". But now he DOES ask for it and he verbalizes how much he likes mama's milk and says "thank you" sometimes when he's done and says "it's niiiiice". And how wonderful that is to hear.

co-sleeping and sexual connotations? That's totally her issue! I've never even thought that in any way shape or form.

I look forward to nursing my son into his second year...
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#3 of 19 Old 03-03-2005, 07:20 PM
 
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One of my boys nursed until his 6th birthday and there was nothing sexual about it. You might enjoy reading some of the things Katherine Dettwyler has written about breasts, breastfeeding, and sexuality. In most cultures breasts are seen as being for nurturing babies/toddlers/children and not as sex objects.

Shame on your friend for weaning at 6 months.

: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons

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#4 of 19 Old 03-03-2005, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Shame on your friend for weaning at 6 months.
Easier said than done.... Every day of BF is worth gold.

Unfortunately where I live there really is no BF culture. Many believe that a child must be weaned by 12 months at the very latest.
At the child's health consultation office (Kind & Gezin) the pediatric said my DS should be nightweaned at 9 months. (Which I am NOT doing, but when she'll ask me again I will tell her what she wants to hear: that DS sleeps 7 hours straight.) Toddler nursing/CLW is something they do NOT encourage at Kind & Gezin...

The fact that we co-sleep, part-time EC, BF with no babyfood-industry imposed weaning age, babysling... has more to do with my attitude.
I try to educate myself as much as I can. I always look into alternative, different ways to do things. I often get off the beaten path. I found a LLL group in the city I live in. None of my friends have never heard of LLL!

And I don't care much of what people think of me when I chose to "do it my way". I give my choices a lot of thought and they don't harm anyone. But if you don't go with the flow, well meaning people can be very destructive to you. KWIM?
I have learned to bite my tongue, though. Speech is worth silver, but silence is worth gold and smiling is the best way of showing your teeth.

I have read some essays of Katherine Dettwyler on the www.
There is also a reference to her work in the LLL book Mothering Your Nursing Toddler.


I would find it awsome if my DS had memories of nursing. Your boy must remember nursing. That's wonderful!

:
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#5 of 19 Old 03-04-2005, 12:10 AM
 
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She expressed doubts about co-sleeping and BF for "so long" because of the sexual connotation the whole sitaution could get.
Are you addressing this specifically in regards to boys or to girls as well. I mean, if co-sleeping and bfeeding out of toddlerhood is sexual it is just as sexual with a girl as with a boy, swim?

That said, it is just not sexual. DS is currently 3.5. Just so not an issue. *Anything* can be sexual, but almost nothing *has* to be sexual. Sleeping with DS (3.5) & DD (6) is no more sexual to me than sleeping with a stuffed animal. Warmer though

It's just a completely foreign concept to me.

 

 

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#6 of 19 Old 03-04-2005, 01:50 AM
 
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Nah, nothing sexual about it. Nursing my 5 year old is both sweet and bittersweet. He's growing up and weaning at his own pace - days and sometimes weeks go by between nursings. I hope he does remember breastfeeding. I feel sorry for (and often angry at) the people that have fallen victim to society's sick, twisted views. Why is it ok to "practically" have sex on tv (we don't watch tv anymore) and to dress little kids up in sexy clothes, etc. etc. but its taboo to do something so natural, so nurturing, so healthy as breastfeeding?
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#7 of 19 Old 03-04-2005, 03:58 AM
 
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It's all complicated for me because I weaned DS#1 at 3yo, when neither he nor I were ready, and (have posted before about this extensively, years ago) I handled it *very* badly. I was working out all sorts of issues within the framework of this nursing relationship/weaning, including his being a high-need child with a certain tactile/sensory issue involving constantly touching and my just being 'touched out," including dealing with my relationship with DH, including dealing with tandem nursing him with baby/DD#1 and having no support for it and not knowing anyone who was actually tandem nursing ... and with my as-yet-unMDC'd self unaware of GD and its application, lost my temper with the poor little guy a few too many times ... oy. Can only beat myself up for this so much, have already been doing it for several years now ...





With that opening ... DS#2 is turning 3 b'H this week and am handling it quite differently, to say the least ... and part of that is CLW. And the only thing that's for certain about it is that his continued nursing ensures that he gets some good solid time sitting or cuddling with me that, with our chaotic days, probably wouldn't happen if he'd stopped nursing.

It's interesting that when DS#1 (now 7yo b'H) occasionally discusses nursing ... like remembering it, or when he and DD#1 talk to DS#2 about weaning (*they* bring it up, not me ) ... he is always wistful about it. And he said just a few weeks ago that he misses nursing because he always got to sit on my lap when he was nursing, and now we can go days without a few moments of peace and quiet together (read: without the other children involved/interrupting).



Nuthin' sexual there, you know?



Interesting, too, how the question of sexualizing nursing doesn't come up as much with girl children. Or does it?



Anyway, so we all still have the family bed, and DS#1 and I don't get to cuddle much anymore (the babies are in between) but there's the issue of DH not getting to cuddle with me much anymore (the babies are in between) so DH actually gets annoyed (jealous ) if I cuddle DS#1.

So there's the *only* issue involving sexualization ... that it deprives me & DH of part of our relationship: going to sleep holding each other. So usually if I'm in a situation to get into bed and choose who to go to sleep holding, I'll choose DH ... and sometimes just to avoid him growsing at me about us "never cuddling anymore" in the morning.




Folks who "don't get it" often never will. Preconceived notions of what is and isn't sexual are hard to get past, you know?
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#8 of 19 Old 03-04-2005, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel sorry for (and often angry at) the people that have fallen victim to society's sick, twisted views.
I don't feel angry at these people. As you say, they have fallen victim to mainstream pressure.
Looking back, things are always clearer and one sees where one could have left the beaten path. But then it's often too late.
Quote:
Can only beat myself up for this so much, have already been doing it for several years now ...
don't! It's a learning process. You did your best with the knowlege you had at the time.... think of all the people who don't hear around and go on parenting in a way that neither fits themselves, nor their children.

Quote:
Are you addressing this specifically in regards to boys or to girls as well. I mean, if co-sleeping and bfeeding out of toddlerhood is sexual it is just as sexual with a girl as with a boy, swim?
That is someting that struck me, too.
I feel that the avarage person (who is not really into AP, GD etc...) is more tolerant with co-sleeping and CLW for a little girl but not for a boy (poor lil boys ).
Personally, it makes no difference to me. My child is my child, regardless of it's gender.

Also the whole sexual connotation thing is not my view on it. After having found this forum and having read Mothering Your Nursing Toddler and Good Nights, I am very much convinced of extended BF/CLW, co-sleeping etc.
You guys are backing me up if you like
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#9 of 19 Old 03-04-2005, 04:02 PM
 
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well, i hope that i am properly understood when i say that i think nursing is a sensual experience, but no, it has never been sexual for me. by sensual, i mean it is pleasureable (oxytocin) and relaxing (prolactin). humans need to be touched, adults as much as kids. i am in love with my kids, but in an appropriate way. as a single mom, i hear all the time how i EFB b/c i dont have a man around for sexual gratification, so i nurse my kids into elementary school instead. #1, i have never nursed a school-aged dc (not that i wouldnt, just havent), #2, who says you need a man for gratification? :LOL i nurse them forever b/c they need it, and i just happen to like the peaceful sensation of it, too. as for feeling sexy whilst nursing...well, i'm usually in flannel pj's with my hair in a messy ponytail, needing a shower or in the middle of cleaning something. oh, yeah dont forget the huge milk splotchces on the shirt in the early days, and not even having time to put the db down long enough to change into a clean top, so you walk around all day smelling like week old yogurt. :LOL oh, yeah, nursing is soooooo sexy! :LOL

Bring back the old MDC
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#10 of 19 Old 03-04-2005, 04:53 PM
 
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Breastfeeding felt just as normal and natural (and non-sexual!) at 7yrs as it did when she was 1yr. I have a girl, but I don't understand why anyone would think breastfeeding a boy would be any different.


I have heard of too many mothers having their breastfeeding relationship ruined because of society's ignorance of it as a sexual act. It makes me so sad. Good thing there are many of us who don't give a dang what others think about it. We think for ourselves and trust our children's needs.
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#11 of 19 Old 03-04-2005, 05:21 PM
 
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I once laughed when an aquantaince said something to me about sleeping with a toddler/child to be sexual. My response, "What's sexual about getting a foot in your ribs or being used as a pillow/footrest?" :LOL I don't see anything sexual about cosleeping (including w/dh because kids are in the bed ) or nursing.

My oldest ds was 4 years, 364 days old when he weaned. I'm currently nursing my 4.5 year old ds and my 2.5 year old dd. I see nothing sexual about nursing them, as I'm not using sexual organs to nurse them. I'm using breasts, which were designed to nourish my children. (Yes, when dh plays with them it's a pleasurable experience, but his playing and their suckling are two completely different feelings!) Kissing and hugging can be sexual, too...but we still kiss and hug our children in a non-sexual way.

It seems strange to me how people can see some things as having a sexual and a non-sexual side: hugging, kissing, cuddling, dancing, etc... but can't see other things as *not* being sexual: cosleeping and nursing. My dh came up with a great example, having to do with a sexual/non-sexual organ: the penis. It has two uses...urination and procreation/pleasure. It becomes erect not only during sexual arousal, but also during sleep. Little boys "play" with their penis from infanthood, they have erections from infanthood, but this doesn't mean that it's sexual during infant/childhood.

blessedwithboys...I agree with you about breastfeeding being sensual, not sexual. I love your description of the non-sexiness of nursing. I remember one day shortly after my 3rd child was born (I was triandem nursing a 3.5 year old, a 2 year old, and a newborn) I made the comment to my dh, "It's hard to feel sexy when I'm hot, tried, and mostly feeling like a cow." This said while melting in August heat with two nurslings on me (and one waiting!) and "grazing" on a salad. :LOL And as far as night-nursing while co-sleeping...I mostly just want to roll over and go back to sleep!

Mama to A (12), Z (11), H (9), C (5), A (3) and 4 angels. 

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#12 of 19 Old 03-04-2005, 05:58 PM
 
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I see my 3yo as being my baby. Even as he's growing and learning and doing more "child" things and fewer "baby" things, I still see him as my baby. Co-sleeping is no less appropriate now than it was when he was a newborn.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#13 of 19 Old 03-04-2005, 05:59 PM
 
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My son is 2 yars old, and still nursing nonstop. There's nothing sexual about it because he's a *baby*. Okay, so he's a walking, talking baby who can take himself to the bathroom and get clean in the shower, but he's still a baby. I just don't have that wire tripped, you know? I love to snuggle with him, and hold him, and play with him and tickle him, and most of the time I love nursing him but there's no sexual feeling for me. It's just not there.

Something about the smell of my son's hair and skin turns the "mamma" switch on, and turns off all the others. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy and fiercely protective; I could probably list dozens of descriptors and never get to "sexual."

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#14 of 19 Old 03-04-2005, 08:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy
Something about the smell of my son's hair and skin turns the "mamma" switch on, and turns off all the others. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy and fiercely protective; I could probably list dozens of descriptors and never get to "sexual."
Yes! I was just telling dd the other day that she still smells the same as she did when she was a baby. I love her smell.
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#15 of 19 Old 03-09-2005, 11:12 AM
 
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Body parts have lots of uses- the same parts that got me ds and make my relationship with dp so fun also help me pee- to be really blunt. Nothing weird about that. Personally I don't buy into the whole "breasts are only for babes" thing- my breasts ARE sexual, for me and my partner, but NOT for my son. Maybe for some women they're only for their babe, or only for a partner, but the notion that they can be sexual for a child is, IMHO, very *dangerous and misguided*.

The notion of breasts as sexual is a very recent phenomena in US/Western culture....legs used to be the "breasts" of many cultures.

Our children view the world through the lenses we provide them with (like culture). Providing your child with a breast for food and comfort teaches them that breasts can be for food and comfort- it doesn't teach them that breasts are sexual, KYIM? I truly believe breastfeeding my son helps him NOT see women as purely sex objects.

In fact, a few weeks ago we were in Victoria's Secret (no flames please). They have models in pretty scanty lingerie which my son immediately ran over to screaming, "sides mama, sides" (his word for bfing) and trying to have his dinosaurs nurse on them. Clearly this freaked out the other shopper because *they* saw those models' breasts as sexual. My son saw them as food. I think I know who has the problem in that situation

You could also point out to your friend that WOH has *NOTHING* to do with stopping bfing. There are tons of bfing working mamas at MDC and elsewhere. My son went to daycare pt for a little bit and he is still nursing strong. Although he never had to have a bottle, plenty of kids at his school did and are still bfing at 2, 3 and beyond. Let's not perpetuate those stereotypes.
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#16 of 19 Old 03-09-2005, 05:24 PM
 
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Sick, twisted culture.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#17 of 19 Old 03-09-2005, 10:01 PM
 
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Nothng sexual when DS was nursing, nothing sexual was DD nurses.

Lady Godiva, this struck me:
Quote:
At the child's health consultation office (Kind & Gezin) the pediatric said my DS should be nightweaned at 9 months. (Which I am NOT doing, but when she'll ask me again I will tell her what she wants to hear: that DS sleeps 7 hours straight.)
Honestly if I were getting that kind of flack from the ped, I'd have to flat out say "I haven't asked for parenting advice, we are here only for medical advice." If the ped persisted, I'd say that I am comfortable with my decisions and know that they are healthy. Now you can toss the AAP's own statment into the ped's lap and suggest that they keep up with developments in their field.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#18 of 19 Old 03-11-2005, 04:38 PM
 
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my son is only 3 months but i could nver even think in 3 years that feeding my son is sexual
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#19 of 19 Old 03-11-2005, 04:49 PM
 
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Nursing slakes a toddlers need for love, comfort, closeness and nutrition the same as it does a baby's.
To me, the only difference in nursing a toddler rather then a baby is the world's view of it. Mostly, American's views of it.
Quite honestly, how does one say that a child needs it right up to his/her 364th day of life at midnight, but not 1 minute later? What difference is there in nursing your 11 month, 3 week old and nursing your 12 month old? Or your 15 month old? Or 24 month old? Or... you get my point.
Society has sexuallized breasts, not our children.
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