When To Stop

89 Replies
suds - December 27

I recently was out with my cousin and her two year old daughter and was completely stunned that her daughter asked to have a suckle or as she calls it "t_t t_t", I was mortified and embarassed. I think that if your child can actually tell you that they would like to suckle is completely wrong. I spoke with a few doctors and they all said, that just b/f for a year was beneficial, anything over that was just for the mothers own persistance. I am currently starting to wean my son and he is 9 months old and I plan on him being off the breat by a year if not earlier. what do you all think?

 

Christy - December 27

I don't know. My goal is 6 months, but I may go longer if it gets easier. I know a few women who did it up to two years of age. I guess if that is one's preference, to reach her own. The only thing I do not "get" is the notion of letting the child wean him/herself. I know we aren't like other animals, but I still think about how our family cat weaned her kittens. It wasn't very nice- lol! She'd get up while they were suckling and kind of drag them along the floor hanging off her teets. Or she'd growl/hiss at them if they tried to nurse. I'm not suggesting that we human mommies do such a thing, but I tend to think that we may need to take the lead on weaning instead of our kids. I guess if one is okay with nursing until the child is two, that her choice. But what if that child wants to keep doing it until age three or four? Would someone keep doing it that long b/c it is what the child wants? How about wearing diapers? Do you not potty train your child or keep them in diapers until they are four b/c it is what they want? I personally would like my child potty trained at least by the time he is in preschool. What about bedtime? Do you let your child pick that? What if they don't want to go to bed until midnight? Probably not the best thing for them in the long run either. I mean that is why we are the parents. I feel we are here to teach and guide our kids so they can be independent, functional beings, not to be their buddies. It's just a thought.

 

April - December 27

BABIES/TODDLERS WILL WEAN THEMSELVES WHEN THEY ARE READY. CHILDREN WILL USE THE TOILET WHEN THEY ARE READY. A DAY OLD BABY CAN TELL YOU WHEN THEY WANT TO BE NURSED! SHOULD YOU PUNISH A CHILD FOR LEARNING TO COMMUNICATE?

 

Christy - December 27

April- Were you trying to yell at us or did you inadvertantly leave your caps lock on? It's okay to feel pa__sionately about something and disgree, but no need to get upset, okay? No one is making you wean your baby against your or his/her will, just like no one will make me bf longer than I want to. I was just expressing something I was thinking about recently. I am not of the belief that children raise themselves. I was formula fed and potty trained by 1 and 1/2. I do not feel emotionally scarred or resentful towards my mom about these things. She did what she considered was best for me at that time and I think she did a fine job. Also, demand feeding a newborn is very different from a child self weaning or pottying "when s/he is ready." I try to feed my child before he cries by recognizing his hunger cues, as crying is a late indicator for hunger. Do I manage to do it all the time? No, but I try. I do not think that you can compare a newborn's reflexive behaviors to get fed (and essentially survive) to being weaned from bf or being potty trained. Anyway, April, I am curious as why you think mom-directed weaning or potty-training is punishment for a child learning to communicate? Also, if your child stated a desire to eat seven candy bars at each meal, would you let him/her? Would not giving them seven candy bars for dinner be punishment for learning to communicate? Just some food for thought- no pun intended. :)

 

Brooke Mama Crow aka Brachah - December 28

CHRISTY : YOU MAKE ME SMILE.

 

Jenn... - December 28

I understand the point you are tryint to make Christy and to a certain degree I do agree with you. However, I feel it is best to let a baby decide when to wean unless it has gotten to a point that you are no longer comfortable nusing. The candy bar thing is silly though, because we all know that is not healthy. Breastfeeding however is, and the longer the better. Benefits for b___stfeeding go well beyond a year, but kudos to any who make it to that point. I admit b___stfeeding can be at times diificult and demanding

 

Christy - December 28

I thought the physical/nutritional benefits of bf start to considerably drop after the age of one, and that it becomes more of a bonding/comfort thing. Not to say that any psychological benefit derived is unimportant, but that nutritionally, b___stmilk is not as superior or necessary after the age of one as during infancy. Also, my point with the candy bars is that just because a child expresses a desire does not mean that we are punishing them for communicaing that desire if we do not fulfill it. Contrary to popular belief, I really have no issue with someone bf their child until two+ years of age. I don't think it is gross or weird or anything like that. I also have no problem with someone letting their child wean themself to a degree. I am not sure if that is how I want to do things, though. Who knows? I may surprise myself and go to a year, or even *gasp* let Ben decide when we quit. Sitting where I am now, I don't see it happening, but never say never. :)

 

April - December 28

In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of b___stmilk provides 29% of energy requirements, 43% of protein requirements, 36% of calcium requirements, 75% of vitamin A requirements, 76% of folate requirements, 94% of vitamin B12 requirements, 60% of vitamin C requirements. Nursing toddlers between the ages of 16 and 30 months have been found to have fewer illnesses and illnesses of shorter duration than their non-nursing peers. The immune factors in b___stmilk increase in concentration during the second year. Many studies have shown that one of the best ways to prevent allergies and asthma is to b___stfeed exclusively for at least 6 months and continue b___stfeeding long-term after that point. Extensive research on the relationship between cognitive achievement (IQ scores, grades in school) and b___stfeeding has shown the greatest gains for those children b___stfed the longest. Info from Kellymom.com.

 

April - December 28

Christy - Sometimes I feel like yelling when people give advice and make statements about things they have done no research on. Suds said, “ I think that if your child can actually tell you that they would like to suckle it is completely wrong.” So yes in that case by learning to communicate the child would be punished by being weaned. As for chocolate bars… don’t be ridiculous.

 

Jamie - December 28

Hey, April, calm down, it's MY job to be the b___h around here...I think you missed Christy's point with the chocolate bars cause you got hung up on the chocolate and not the thought. If your child can say "I don't want to go to bed at 8, I want to stay up til 9" and you make him/her go to bed at 8, are you punishing him/her for being able to communicate he/she wants to go to bed at 9? No, of course not, you're simply enforcing the rule you already had. If you decide to stop nursing when the child can ask for it, you're not punishing the child for making the request, you're simply enforcing the deadline that already existed. I personally intend to practice child-led weaning, because in my opinion it is more beneficial to the child's psyche - but if she wants to continue nursing past 3 or 4, I'll probably give her a nudge in the right direction. I dunno, it depends on how I feel in a few years. Right now, I can't imagine giving up my nursing relationship with my daughter - but I may grow impatient with it down the line. We'll see. One thing I WON"T do, and can't understand why anyone does, is wean from the b___st only to switch to formula. Why introduce the added expense??? Weaning from the b___st to solids makes sense to me, but going from the b___st to formula is just crazy, in my opinion.

 

Christy - December 28

Jamie- Thank you for understanding the point of my chocolate bar a___logy. April- See Jamie's explaination of the chocolate bar anaology. :) To quote myself again: ". . . nutritionally, b___stmilk is not as superior or necessary after the age of one AS DURING INFANCY. " I did not say that it had no nutritional benefit after age 1, as it clearly does. Sadly, our society makes women who bf their young after 1 year seem weird or abnormal. I think if someone can keep it up until the child is 2, more power to them. suds clearly feels differently about this topic than you- so be it. It is just one person's opinion. I understand why you become frustrated, April, but I found your second and third responses more educational and useful in aiding your defense than the first, which was just a diatribe. Believe me, I have read a lot of stuff that has annoyed or upset me on this site too, but I try to cool off before I respond. I have appreciated your responses in the past and have respected your opinion as well. All I ask is that you continue to extend the same courtesy to me as you did previously. :)

 

to suds - December 28

dumb reasoning, there, girl. just because a kid can tell you what they want means that you should deny them that? people like you make me p__sed. the WHO recommends b___stfeeding for at least two years. give your cuz a break.

 

Haley - December 28

Okay, Suds, I completely agree with you! Of course I do not think b___st feeding is a reason to be mortified or embara__sed. But yes, in my opinion, there is no reason to b___stfeed a child over 2 years of age! It is in my opinion that women who do this are lacking something else in life, like intimacy in a relationship, and are b___stfeeding to make up for it. Come on, b___stfeeding until the age of 3 or 4!! Ridiculous!

 

Ginny - December 28

I thought I would add just one more perspective to the chain: I have an aunt who was only able to have one child, due to some complications that occurred immediately after the birth of her first one. For that reason, she ended up b___stfeeding him into toddlerhood. Because she knew she was never having another, it was that much harder to wean. Now, personally, I don't plan to do that, and it was a little embarra__sing to be with her when she while she tried to juggle this large, wiggly child and feed him- but sometimes we don't always know the full story.

 

Jamie - December 28

Ginny, I think I like you! You seem to be one of the pleasanter (is that a word?) posters on this site.

 

Jenn... - December 28

There are significant health benefits to b___stfeeding beyond one year even beyond 2 and 3. Especially for families who are at risk for allergies, asthma, and for special needs children. You should not judge someone who decides to wean their child later than you would, they are simply trying to promote a healthy life for their baby. Because a woman wants what is best for her child and nurses beyond a timeframe that in your opinion is too long does not mean that she is "lacking intimacy" and a__suming that is jumping to a conclusion that is absurd!

 

Jenn... - December 28

I just want to clarify.... I would never criticize a woman for deciding to stop b___stfeeding when she feels the need to do so, that is her decision and right. I just don't think we should judge a woman who decides to nurse as long as she and her baby want to continue their b___stfeeding relationship, no matter how long that may be. I do not find it gross or inappropriate to nurse into toddlerhood and possibly even beyond.

 

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