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Extended BFing Q's

858 Views 18 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  allgirls
Hello all. This is my first time posting so I hope I'm doing it right

My MIL was up this weekend and asked me how long I plan on BFing (my dd is almost 8 mos old and is pretty much still EBF, she will eat a bit of solids every other dayish). I gave her the "I don't have a specific time, when we are no longer comfortable etc" but truley I am CLW, whether that is 3, 4, 5....altho I am not sure about 5..but we'll see if we make it there how we feel at the time. Anyway, she goes on to tell me how disgusting it is when a child can talk and lift up your shirt etc. She commented on how she needs more than just MM and I should be offering her more solids. (But dd does not like them! She gags on it everytime! Am I doing something wrong? Or is she still not ready? I figured we'll just skip the purees and go to table foods when she is ready but I am so worried about choking since she gags and pukes up anything that isnt the consistency of MM) Anyway, I just smiled and nodded and gritted my teeth. So later I am talking to my mom and she tells me that "In psychology books it says that mothers who BFed that long are doing it for themselves. That it is only comforting for the mother." Which is a bit better than her saying it is sexual, which is what she said when my cousin BFed her DD until she was 3.

So I guess my question is, how would you respond to this? It drives me crazy, she keeps telling me this and I don't think its true at all! Would you just not tell your MIL that you will be BFing for longer and just surprise her with it? Did I post this in the right place? lol
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whoa!! In both cases, they are misinformed, and more importantly stepping across a boundary!! Thanks mom for implying that you will think I'M a pervert if I nurse my child much longer. Thanks, MIL for implying that I must be starving my kid.
Mental note to self: do NOT be this kind of grandmom!!

I'm rather links-impaired LOL, but I know that the newest AAP statement actually addresses your mom's concern, that it is NOT emotionally damaging and is instead beneficial to nurse past 3.
Hoping that someone can post some links (breastfeeding advocacy usually is a good source for this kind of info, btw).

Sometimes FACTS and science can help people come around. Sometimes its just so far outside of their sphere of comfort that they can't hear it. That was my mom, but she for the most part shut up about it...tho' I'm sure she blames clw on every behavior of my dd's she doesn't like.
Whenever anyone suggests that extended BFing is for the mom's pleasure, I roll my eyes and say, "Oh yeah, nursing a 30+ lb. kid who has 20 teeth and won't sit still is SO MUCH FUN! You wouldn't believe how comforting/arousing/etc. it is!" People almost always realize how stupid that idea is.
Hi Dana- As for what your MIL says- she is just plain wrong and wrude too!

But as for your concern about starting solids- there kind of is a window around 6 months that is a good time for babies to start learning about different tastes and textures. I don't think that suddenly at 6 months a baby should have other foods take over as a major part of their diet- but I do think that it's good to let a baby start experimenting and learning about this stuff... and I don't mean to put them in a reclining high chair and using a funnel into their face either... I mean- cut a banana *slice* into four pieces and put them on a highchair top for baby to play with- or let her play with cheerios, pop some peas out of their skin let her just make a mess of them and put them in her mouth if she wants, lick her fingers etc. let her experiment with different colors and flavors. When she starts showing the finger dexterity and the desire to get these flavors into her mouth- well then I think you can start with a spoon and a puree (smashing cooked carrots with a fork should do- I'm not saying go invest in Gerber). If she is very gaggy- she could probably use some help bridging this gap- and about now is a pretty good window to help her with that. It's OK for her to gag a little- if she is showing other readiness signs (6 months, sitting up, putting things in her mouth) - it's like a baby who falls while they learn to walk- the fact that they are falling does not mean they are not ready to learn how to means they are leraning.

Love Sarah
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Sarah, I know your heart's in the right place but having a reluctant eater like I do (my 8 month-old DS) has made me rethink solid food introduction as being a very, very individual process. I am taking things easy (don't offer, don't deny soilds), and even though DS only tastes solids (doesn't want to eat anything but likes sucking on it) I am not concerned about his development. Mamas milk will do him well till he is ready (though I admit I am stepping up my iron and zinc levels just in case). Dana's DD too eats ever other dayish so I think she too has all grounds covered

Anyway, there is some great information on this topic at

Is my baby ready for solid foods?

I particularly like this little bit...

Signs that indicate baby is developmentally ready for solids include:

* Baby can sit up well without support.
* Baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex and does not automatically push solids out of his mouth with his tongue.
* Baby is ready and willing to chew.
* Baby is developing a "pincer" grasp, where he picks up food or other objects between thumb and forefinger. Using the fingers and scraping the food into the palm of the hand (palmar grasp) does not substitute for pincer grasp development.
* Baby is eager to participate in mealtime and may try to grab food and put it in his mouth.
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how often do you have to see her, and how likely do you think she is to read evidence showing she is wrong in her ASSumptions about natural term nursing? has some great information on extended breastfeeding. Also, is another great site. I'm sorry to hear that both your Mom and MIL are so ill-informed on breastfeeding, but I hope that some education will get them off your back. As for the solids, I'd say that you are doing everything exactly right. Just follow your DC's cues and your own instincts and things will work out. I've heard that babies who delay starting solids and who aren't interested in solid food tend to have a propensity toward food allergies. BM should make up 95% of babies food for the entire first year of life, so I'd say you're doing great!
I have to say that when/if I go through it again, we will skip purees and go to table food at maybe 9-10 months. Before that, it was me "playing" at feeding my baby who could have taken or left it. When he could start picking up foood with fingers more, he liked solids (though his fav foods now are breast milk and FRENCH FRIES
: so why listen to me?). I decided that babies are ment to eat what they can eat-- if I baby was meant to eat purees, he'd have been born with a spoon? Since the AAP now says exclusive bm till at least 6 months, you sound right on track.

I am not even sure I could begin to talk to your mil and mom. I might just ignore them and they'd eventually figure out how long I'd be bfing. Seriously check out the AAP new recommendations, though. Supports bfing into the 3rd year of baby's life. My dad was anti-bf till he realized how healthy and happy my ds is (and my mom kept slipping him articles) now he is always telling people how ds never had a bottle and never gets sick.
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And here's the aap link on breastfeeding: http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...full/115/2/496

By the way, I committed to nursing my ds for one year because I thought that was how long I was "supposed to do it". But at one year he needed to nurse just as much as he did at 11 months! So our breastfeeding relationship continued. It took us through the terrific twos and threes. It slowed way down during the fours. Now at 5.5, he is almost weaned (CLW).

I think following baby's lead on introducing solids is a good idea too.
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My dd wasnt interested in puree either and didnt start to take an interest until she could hold food and do it herself, but she was predominantly bf'd until she was around 14 months when she just started to eat everything we offered.
My MIL freaked when i wasnt giving dd solids at 4 months so you can imagine what she was like when she was 1.
Some people wont change even if you give them all the right info (my MIL) so its a topic we dont talk about anymore.
to you! It sounds like you are following your mothering instincts and doing what is right for your child. Good for you!!!

If you child is gagging, your child is not ready for solids. The gag reflex is there for a reason

It can do more harm than good to introduce solids when your child isn't ready. Babies know when they are ready for solids and some babes who refuse solids have potential allergy issues, in which case delaying is best (I'm not saying that your child does - it's just good, medically based ammo to use to "inform" family members!

As far as nutrition goes, your breastmilk is providing everything your babe needs. During the first year, solids are just "practice" and provide little to no nutritional value. Also, look up the serving size for a 9 month can be as little as a teaspoon or two!

Look into the AAP statement on breastfeeding as well as the World Health Organization's!!! THe WHO states that 2+ years is best.

Some responses,
"Thanks for your concern. I'll take what you said into consideration. Would you like some tea?" (Acknowledge what the person said and change the subject.)

"Oh, really? I've been doing research and that's not what I've found. Would you mind printing out or copying the info you've found for me so I can investigate further?"

My personal experience...
We gave our first child solids at 6 months. He gagged/spit most of it out, but he was "supposed" to be eating solids so we continued. He now has many food aversions and is a very picky eater.
Our second had allergy issues, so we delayed solids until about a year. He now eats anything and everything and has only a dairy intolerance (compared to his wheat, nut, and dairy issues!).
Our third was also never given pureed foods, just table foods when she started grabbing them off my plate and eating them (10-11 months). She eats anything and everything.

My first child nursed through his little brother's pregnancy, tandem nursed, tandem nursed through his little sister's pregnancy, and then self-weaned after over 18 months of triandem nursing at age 5.
My second child (now almost 5) nursed through his little sister's pregnancy, triandem / tandem nursed....and continues to tandem nurse with his little sister and I'm 25 weeks pregnant. My second and third children will most likely be nursing when baby is born, so I'll be triandem nursing once again.

My family wasn't sure about the whole nursing through pregnancy, tandem nursing, EBF thing, but as the years have gone by and with the info I've sent them, they've realized that I truly am doing what is best for my children. They still think I'm nuts for nursing three children at one time, but they're now proud of my insanity! :LOL
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Thank you ladies for all your great advice! I frequent the kellymom website, it is so full of great info! I wasn't going to even do purees with her, but she started seeming interested in food etc so I started giving her tastes here and there. I'm not worried about it nutritionally since I know she is well and thriving off of mommas milk (20 lbs 27 inches at her 6 mos checkup and she's almost 8 mos now) It just that I start questioning myself when I hear that babies her age are eating stage whatevers 3+ times a day etc etc. And whenever I try to sit down and give her a meal of solids she's like ya whatever mom! Give me the good stuff!
mom2threenurslings - what is the chance of a baby weaning during pregnancy? I would be totally up for tandem nursing but everyone keeps scaring me that most babies wean during pregnancy and I would hate for that to happen until dd was at least 2. Thanks!
Following your mommy instinct will never steer you wrong. As the others have said, when they aren't accepting of solids, it's for a reason. Her reason may be her digestive system isn't ready for them, or a food allergy or anything really. Just let her take the lead and she'll eat when she's ready for it. Until then... mama's milk is all she needs (and all she needs for quite some time as well).

As for your MIL and Mom..... I had the same conversations a million times over with my family. They kept asking when I was going to wean .... my response was "sometime before college, and if not... I don't mind dorm food all that much". They finally stopped asking.

Originally Posted by Dajemadger
mom2threenurslings - what is the chance of a baby weaning during pregnancy? I would be totally up for tandem nursing but everyone keeps scaring me that most babies wean during pregnancy and I would hate for that to happen until dd was at least 2. Thanks!
It's different for every nursling. Some wean during pregnancy and some don't ... you can't really tell what will happen. Some wean because the milk dries up...but not all moms' milk dries up. Some dry nurse even if the milk dries up. Some wean when the colostrum comes in. Some nurse more when the colostrum comes in. You never can tell, unfortunately.

I've never had a child wean during pregnancy, but it seems that I have very avid nurslings!

Originally Posted by mom2threenurslings
"Thanks for your concern. I'll take what you said into consideration. Would you like some tea?" (Acknowledge what the person said and change the subject.)

This reminds me of an excellent article about setting boundaries. This is written about homeschooling, but was originally intended for attachment parenting. It is a great article. I learned alot about assertively setting boundaries with my relatives about choices we made.

Pass the Bean Dip

Hope this helps,

Happy homeschooling, ap mom to 5 yod, 9yos, and 11yos, all bf past 2!
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Hi Dana,

If you'd like more reassurance on the whole solids thing, check out the Nutrition & Good Eating, Toddlers and Life With A Babe forums here. I've seen several threads recently about "late" solid starters, parents/babies who never spoon-fed, and other kinds of solids introduction that don't necessarily fit the "sludge from a jar at 6 months on the dot" model.

My own Dd is 15 months and eats maybe a tablespoon of solid foods a day. We offer every time any of us are eating, but usually she only wants to nibble and experiment with her stubby silverware. She still nurses a LOT. She's very big for her age, strong and tall. She just started cutting her first molar, and she still has a bit of a tickly gag reflex, which to me is a powerful sign that she knows what her body's ready for in terms of chewing and swallowing.

Welcome to MDC and congrats on a well-nourished baby!
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My ds is almost 10 months old and he barely eats anything other than breastmilk. :infant:

He might take a bite or two of something every couple days but that's it. He doesn't want solids and my doc told me that he is fine up to a year without anything extra. Your breastmilk is perfect food for now. Solids in the first year are just practice anyway.

Don't worry, when your baby is ready to eat solids you'll know it. Your baby will readily eat and not gag and not turn away. Your milk is good food for your baby right rush. Keep doing what your doing, momma.
Follow your instincts and you'll do great. My dd didn't eat solids regularly until almost 1.5 years, before that she would only eat finger foods, and only when she felt like it, which on many days was none. LLL's Breastfeeding Answer Book says that the majority of babies wean during pg, but doesn't break down how many is because mother led weaning or child led. I felt the same way you do, I didn't want to do anything that would make dd wean before age 2. Well, she turned 2 in Jan, and now we're waiting...
I highly doubt that she will wean when I become pg, she has always been a very avid nurser, I also didn't think I could handle another child before then, dd is not an easy child, but that's another thread! Good luck.
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Your instincts are good Mama...3 children here and not one of them really ate solids much until they were a year old...none liked to be fed so basically didn't eat much solid except finger foods and when they could feed themselves.

I would love to see the Psychology books that are mentioned as well since most of the psychology I am familiar with promotes extending bfing as beneficial for both mother and child...maybe ask for a list of the phych. books from your mom that she is referring to. Tell her all they psych books you are familiar with say the absolute opposite.

I think not bfing leads to all sorts of psychological hang-ups about breastfeedind and sexuality...and that those who do breastfeed have a better and more normal attitude. Your MIL and MOm are examples of this.

and I do bfeed for me...I am at least partially doing it for myself...there are so many benefits for a woman to bf I have to agree with that part...but if she is implying that it is sexually gratifying you might want to point out that bfing actually lowers a woman's libido making her want sex less.
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