When to stop

This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Sonya Myles Sonya Myles 2 years, 2 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Cori Cori 

    my baby is almost 17 months. And people are starting to have a lot to say. I don’t mind breasting. Well sometimes I do get embarrassed. My baby girl has never taken a bottle she just never liked it. She does like a sippy cup with only water in it.
    Thank you

    Profile photo of Sylvia Sylvia 

    There’s no “right” age to stop breastfeeding. The CDC, AAP, and WHO all recommend breastfeeding for at least one year and as long as mother and baby desire. In many cultures, it’s totally normal to breastfeed a child until 3 or 4 years of age. I’ll start an “extended breastfeeding” group so you can find other mothers like you!

    Profile photo of Cori Cori 

    Thank you so much. I think it’s also because my baby girl is so big she is already wearing 2t and 3T clothes. I always say if she wasn’t so big it would look as bad.

    Profile photo of Sonya Myles Sonya Myles 

    Actually, WHO and the Canadian Pediatric Associations recommend 2 years as a minimum, the AAP and CDC recommend 1 year.

    As for what age to stop, that is your own personal choice, as this is your journey with your child. I breastfed my children for 5 years each (I know, shudder, gasp, shock, horror) but the thing was, even though they were 5 years old, they were still MY babies. It is very hard to be true to your breastfeeding journey when other people seem to feel that you would benefit from their opinion. If you are brave, you can simply smile, and tell them that you appreciate their advice and then carry on doing your own thing. Or you can let them know the minimum 2 year recommendation from WHO, the dose effect benefits of breastfeeding, which means more breastfeeding = better benefits. Or, if you are feeling a little less brave (which is perfectly fine, it’s why I am not on social media really) and become a closet nurser.

    I probably breastfed my babies in public until they were about 3 years and then I only fed them in what I considered safe places. My home and the homes of supportive family and friends. If I ever did have to feed in public I would simply keep my eyes on my child and interact only with them so someone would have had to interrupted me to give me their opinion.

    And the last thing I did was not engage in the discussion. If people asked outright, I would change the topic, I would talk about how we just started eating broccoli and how much my child hated/loved it, or some other such nonsense. I never offered the information out to people and those who I knew were not supportive I simply wouldn’t discuss it with them.

    At the end of the day, this is your journey and your choice as a mother, and no one gets to tell you when to stop.

    Best of luck as you continue to navigate the breastfeeding an older baby waters.

    Profile photo of Sylvia Sylvia 

    Thanks for the correction about the WHO guidelines @kibbeth! That’s why you shouldn’t have a US pediatrician as the only one answering the question. 😉

    Profile photo of Cori Cori 

    Sonya thank you so much. You are so brave. I will try my best to stop feeding into the conversation and change the topic. I don’t mind feeding her. But I get embarrassed sometimes and I think if other where more accepting I wouldn’t be. Also my doctor told me stop when she goes to Kindergrten. My mother tried to help me last weekend to get her off the boob and she seen the exorcist come out of my baby. She goes crazy. I mean I swear her head spins around. And my mother now understands I have tried but it is ok to continue for a little longer in my moms eyes. But I am my baby’s mom and I am so tried of everyone think she is too long she is my baby. The other day a friend was telling me I need to stop. I told her I will breastfeed forever if she needs me I will go to college with her. Ok just kidding but I said that after 20 minutes of defending breastfeeding. I am so happy I found this group.

    Profile photo of Cori Cori 


    I found this a week ago
    To the mom still breastfeeding a toddler

    Profile photo of Sonya Myles Sonya Myles 

    I love that! Thanks for posting :)

    As for being brave, not really, I just did what I felt was right in my heart and chose to ignore everyone else, and those who weren’t supportive of my choice, well, they stopped being my friends. Friendship is about supporting me in my journey while I support you in yours, and if I need to defend my choices to you, it’s too much work and pressure for me. let’s just say my circle of friends got a lot smaller over those years, but also a lot more meaningful :)

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