Is it inappropriate to nurse an older child everywhere? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 11-28-2010, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ds is 16 months.  My ds was always a bad nurser due to health issues.  I tried to get him to nurse all the time, but we struggled.  And now that he is older, things are getting better for him and he can nurse no problem.  And now more than ever he wants to nurse all the time in addition to eating all the time.  Finally he is gaining weight as he was very underweight before.  And now with his crazy desire to nurse all the time, he wants to nurse everywhere in public.  We use a sling and I can nurse him without showing any of my skin, but it is so obvious that he is nursing. 

 

He will nurse in the shopping cart, at church, while friends are over, etc, the list goes on, all in front of others.  Is this inapropriate now that he is older?  He also says "MILK" really clear and screams it if he doesn't get any.

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#2 of 35 Old 11-28-2010, 05:16 AM
 
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The only place I think it is inappropriate to nurse is in the hospital in front of other children who are fasting for surgery.  There I would (and have) step away and nurse somewhere else.

 

Otherwise it's anytime, anywhere.  thumb.gif

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#3 of 35 Old 11-28-2010, 06:11 AM
 
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I don't know about 'inappropriate' per se but I'd probably try to teach some nursing manners/limits.  I don't really see a need for a child to nurse in the shopping cart.  I think its important for everyone (young and old) to understand that they can't have what they want immediately all the time.  By that age I was also encouraging my kids to snack in public, nurse in private just like their friends. 

 

But at the end of the day it's whatever works for you!  If you don't find it tiring/irritating then carry on!


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#4 of 35 Old 11-28-2010, 06:14 AM
 
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I think you can teach "wait a minute" at this age to learn to delay wants... if he's underweight and struggling to gain weight then I don't think I'd wait until we got home, but until we had a nice place to sit and relax. 

 

That said, starting at 12 months I pretty much stopped NIP by teaching "wait" and reminding him where we do it at home "Let's wait so we can nurse on the couch when we get home."  That worked really well and he accepted those limits pretty easily once I taught him waiting in other areas and by teaching it for only a few minutes at first.  i.e. "wait a minute, Mommy's cooking, when I finish cooking we can sit on the couch and nurse." 

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#5 of 35 Old 11-28-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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I still occasionally nurse my 2 1/2 yo in public. It depends on the situation. In my home I don't not nurse because of company. My house, my rules. I do however begin limiting nursing in public between 12 and 18 months. For me, no nursing in the cart, or at the store, unless we find a quiet place to sit. We always nurse before we go out, and we try to be home before they're hungry again. There are exceptions (like all day outings mean nursing as requested) but otherwise I do begin teaching wait at that age. Any place we're at for more than an hour (church, weddings, zoo, etc.) is a reasonable place to nurse.

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#6 of 35 Old 11-28-2010, 03:16 PM
 
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At 16mo?  Whenever/whereever is fine as long as both of you are comfortable.  I started limiting NIP'ing in public around 19-20mo, but my ds isn't a very good NIP'er - he always gets distracted.

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#7 of 35 Old 11-28-2010, 06:19 PM
 
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Ds2 is also just shy of 16 months and still nursing anywhere and everywhere. I think w/ ds1 sometime between 18-24 months I started making him wait a bit and trying to avoid NIP. But by then it wasn't hard, and if he really wanted to nurse (was hurt, super tired, etc), I still did so an didn't really care. :shrug

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#8 of 35 Old 11-28-2010, 06:26 PM
 
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I only nurse my 17 month old in private. Modesty aside, which for me is important and impossible at this stage, I hate nursing in front of people because DD pops on and off constantly because everything distracts her and I find it very uncomfortable physically. So instead I encourage snacks and water.   


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#9 of 35 Old 11-28-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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I don't consider a 16m an older child. Eh, once they are 2.5y or so then I start to set some limits about nursing everywhere. But for an under 2y old? Nope. 


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#10 of 35 Old 11-28-2010, 07:06 PM
 
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I would nurse DD1 anywhere until she was about 2 years old (I was 7 months pregnant at the time).  I nurse her now only in private.


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#11 of 35 Old 11-28-2010, 07:38 PM
 
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16 mo. is pretty young to me. I started to set limit  around their 2 yo.


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#12 of 35 Old 11-28-2010, 09:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D_McG View Post

I don't know about 'inappropriate' per se but I'd probably try to teach some nursing manners/limits.  I don't really see a need for a child to nurse in the shopping cart.  I think its important for everyone (young and old) to understand that they can't have what they want immediately all the time.   

 

I agree about setting some limits.  I would certainly make DD wait if she was in the shopping cart....that's not even comfortable, is it?!  Regardless, she really should learn to wait 'til you're finished shopping IMHO, at least 'til you get to the car!  However, if you're stuck somewhere for several hours and can do it discretely then I don't see why not. 

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#13 of 35 Old 11-29-2010, 12:58 AM
 
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I stopped NIPing when DD made the switch from nursing for nutrition to nursing for comfort (between 14 and 15 months). now we only nurse in public if there is another baby nursing, or she's really overwhelmed. but if it's still a primary source of nutrition (and it sounds like it is), then I don't think it's good to completely avoid it, though waiting for a few minutes so you can find a place to nurse is absolutely fine. 


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#14 of 35 Old 11-29-2010, 03:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies!  I guess 16 months is a bit young to set limits.  Ok the whle shopping cart thing doesn't happen all the time but it was an example of how he will nirse anywhere, and throw a fit if he can't.  I wished he would he a good nurser since birth, but I never thought he would be a nursing ctazy boy.  I guess I think about when I was at church the other sunday, and he was in the sling (hanging out of course since he is way big) and nursing.  I had 2 ladies comment, "he is nursing isn't he".  I just said yes.  They both went EWWW, and commented saying "he has to do tht right here right now.  We were in line for a special church potluck.  It is then that it occured to me that he is getting older, and not that tiny baby snuggled down in the sling. 

 

Still I need some limits for me.  For maybe the last month, I have been feeling weird feelings to push my babt away from nursing.  At night especially, I in my sleep turn ds away from milk.  It is only when dh says something or I wake up more concionsly that I realize what I do.  I am feling like I need my boob space back, and still havent got my cycle back.  (yeah I must be crazy wanting my cycle, but I enjoy it) 

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#15 of 35 Old 11-29-2010, 03:51 AM
 
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A lot of kids at that age want to nurse a lot.  Sometimes just to see if they can :)  It was at that age that I started nursing both of mine way, way less because I wanted them to eat more regular food and stop using me as their main nutrition.  But not everyone takes that route.


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#16 of 35 Old 11-29-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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My daughter nursed for 6 years and I never once told her to wait or said no simply because we were in public. At around 2-3yo, she gradually started to understand that she sometimes had to wait a bit ("We are about to get off the bus, I don't want to miss our stop" or "I will nurse you after I finish this food to avoid dripping spaghetti sauce over you"). Grocery shopping is long and makes people hungry. I don't think that nursing while riding in a shopping cart is much more difficult than nursing in a sling and have done it on several occasions.


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#17 of 35 Old 11-29-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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16 months is still really young.  He probably really depends on the mama milk. He's still a baby, I don't think there is any reason to worry about where you are when he needs to nurse.  Personally, I don't think there is any problem nursing in public at any age, but especially when they are young enough that they still NEED the calories and nutrition I wouldn't even give it a second thought.

 

I am just now, at 20 months, limiting DD2 and that's just for my own sanity (she wants to nurse literally every minute I am around).  But if I feel like she really does need to nurse, I don't really care where we are at the time.

 

And, I have never even thought about nursing in the shopping cart, just imagining is cracking me up!!! LOL  How creative! 


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#18 of 35 Old 11-29-2010, 07:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

I don't consider a 16m an older child. Eh, once they are 2.5y or so then I start to set some limits about nursing everywhere. But for an under 2y old? Nope. 



that - I didn't really start limiting in public until around age 3. It  is a great time to start thinking about your personal limits, though, and to start introducing some gentle nursing manners for your little one.


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#19 of 35 Old 11-29-2010, 07:31 PM
 
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For me PERSONALLY, I wasn't interested in NIP by around 13-14 months and also preferred to distract kiddo for awhile at friends homes so we could only nurse at home instead.  Now at 20 months kiddo doesn't even ask to nurse in public or at a friend's house (or even when people are at our house!) even if she gets hurt.  She is perfectly fine now with just her blankie and a mommy cuddle.  Getting hurt and I'd nurse her so that was her choice.

 

HOWEVER, I do not think 16 months is too young to NIP.  Granted, I'd be happy to see even a 5 year old NIP because I'm such a supporter of nursing, but 16 months still feels pretty babyish.  its right there between baby and toddler and toddler really isn't a KID yet anyway.

 

I definitely did teach her 'wait one moment/minute please' though.  It is a lifesaver for everything haha.  She always holds up one finger when I say it and usually is fine to do something else happily (unless my one minute is taking longer than she think it should or she is already less than happy haha) Even if I still felt great nursing in public, I think it would be helpful to have a child understand that sometimes they need to wait to nurse because sometimes you just can't.  Carrying things, need to finish something quick... its a useful tool for a child to be able to understand that when mom says 'one moment please' they will still get what they want very soon or need so they don't need to scream or throw a fit.  Not just for nursing but for anything.  I use it most days at this point because kiddo ALWAYS seems to want something right when I'm in the middle of something else haha.  plus sometimes I just don't want to jump up.... :P

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#20 of 35 Old 11-29-2010, 07:36 PM
 
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I think 16 months is young enough to nurse on demand if you don't plan on weaning soon. And that includes in public. Since DS is not at all interested in solids, we may be nursing all the time when he's that age as well!


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#21 of 35 Old 11-29-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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I nurse my 18mo dd in public all the time because she wants to nurse ALL THE TIME!! I hadn't thought about limiting NIP until this moment, reading this post. My dd is a nursaholic and I think not NIP would be impossible. I hope people don't mind because I have never even thought about it being inappropriate at a certain age. It sucks when she starts shouting I WANNA BOOP, I WANNA BOOP ...gets pretty embarassing, especially because people think she is saying boob!!! I usually try to nurse her before we get to that point. As long as your comfortable with it, then go for it!

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#22 of 35 Old 11-30-2010, 11:38 AM
 
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I'm pretty conservative (on this board) where NIP and age limits are concerned and I wouldn't limit nursing at 16 MO for the comfort of other people.  If I wanted to, for my own comfort, that's different.

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#23 of 35 Old 12-05-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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DD 17mo signs for milk instead of yelling, and I set boundaries on her nursing when we are out for my own comfort.  But if we are out all day, she is tired, etc... heck yeah, I will nurse her where ever.  I do use a scarf now, also for my own comfort, and she likes it too.  But if she or I didn't want it, I wouldn't use it either. 

 

Honestly, many people probably can't even tell how old a baby is.  Pre-baby, I sure couldn't.  I had no idea how tiny newborns were, and probably would have assumed a 2 year old was a baby if I didn't see him or her talking.

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#24 of 35 Old 12-05-2010, 08:08 PM
 
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16 months is still a baby! :-) Go for it! 


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#25 of 35 Old 12-06-2010, 01:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for the comments.  This all really helped me to be more confident nursing my baby out!

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#26 of 35 Old 12-10-2010, 09:29 PM
 
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I never limited NIP with DS1. If he asked to nurse, it didn't matter where we were. Of course there were times where I told him he had to wait a few minutes or until we got to a certain location, etc. But if I could find a place to sit, I'd nurse him. He weaned at 34 months because I was pregnant and there was no more milk. 

 

I do not plan to avoid NIP with DS2, no matter how long he nurses.

 

I have never felt like I needed to hide or keep it at home. shrug.gif

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#27 of 35 Old 12-10-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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I don't necessarily think 16 months is "really young" to set limits on nursing.  I started setting limits with my boys starting at about a year and that was the right choice for myself and my family.  I needed to be able to set limits for my own comfort/ sanity and I also felt my sons were ready at that age to briefly postpone nursing until we had some privacy.  This was something my sons accepted easily.  I might have felt differently if their needs had been different.  

 

That said, it wouldn't bother me one bit to see a 16 month old NIP.  In fact, it would probably make me smile.  


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#28 of 35 Old 12-10-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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nm


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#29 of 35 Old 12-17-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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My DS started solids late and was still almost exclusively breastfed at that age, so I nursed whenever and wherever just like an older infant.  He was always huge, so I am sure people thought I was nursing a preschooler.  (He also nursed in shopping carts)  Now,at 3.5, he only nurses at home.

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#30 of 35 Old 12-17-2010, 06:51 PM
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i stopped NIP when DD1 turned 2. she had reached the point where she didn't need to nurse all the time, and we restricted it to before/after sleep times. it seemed the natural thing to do, especially since she was able to drink water on the go and was eating everything else a 2 year old would. i'm sure she would have liked to nurse everywhere at that point, but i didn't like it, personally.


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