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Thread: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

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    Default Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    This was posted on another Non vegan message board. I'm the only one who thought it was ok. Everyone else was saying how horrible. Even saying it was 'emotionally damaging'. Even though they drink milk from baby cows themselves and their kids too even when they are really too young for it. So what do other vegans think?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxv6R9fUO74
    (I couldn't see the video myself but that is what they were discussing. I also found a few articles:

    http://bliss-breastfeeding.blogspot....-year-old.html

  2. #2
    cherished emmapresley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    is it chuff emotionally damaging.

    if the kid is eating a balanced diet then breast milk wouldn't be needed for nutrition, but breastfeeding an older child would be for comfort on either mum/kid or boths part. why would it be wrong to be bonded and give comfort to your kids?
    i don't see anything wrong with it..noone's getting hurt. gah..people are weird.
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    CATWOMAN sandra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Breastfeeding is fine for young babies but I think when a child gets to the stage when it is eating solid food it no longer needs to be breastfed.
    I think there are better ways to bond with your children...........it just looks odd seeing such a 'grown up' child lying feeding from it's mother............I actually find it a bit strange!
    I like Sandra, she keeps making me giggle. Daft little lady - Frosty

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    cobweb
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    yeah, i'm with you there, sandra, there aren't many animals that feed from their mums once they have enough teeth for solids.
    i can't help but think that it's the mums getting comfort from it.

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    kriz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    I also thinks it's more the mom who can't give up snuggle time and didn't bother too wean the child off. I think one can find many other ways to have comfort and spend special time together once a child is older. What happens when someone else babysits for a weekend or so, and mom's breast is not available for comfort? Maybe it's wrong to compare it with potty training, but there is an appropriate age (give or take a year or so) when you start thinking about encouraging more independence.

    The only reason I would personally ever consider breastfeeding for that long would be if there was a shortage of food (like in many third world countries). I think most women would in that situation.
    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

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    cobweb
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    ^ i agree, Kriz.

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote sandra View Post
    Breastfeeding is fine for young babies but I think when a child gets to the stage when it is eating solid food it no longer needs to be breastfed.
    I think there are better ways to bond with your children...........it just looks odd seeing such a 'grown up' child lying feeding from it's mother............I actually find it a bit strange!

    I agree. It gives me the heebie jeebies to see a 3 or 4 year old child still being breast fed.

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    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote kriz View Post
    The only reason I would personally ever consider breastfeeding for that long would be if there was a shortage of food (like in many third world countries). I think most women would in that situation.
    Breast milk isn't magic, it comes from the food that a mother has eaten, to use breast milk as a food source would be much less efficient than using the food itself.

    Bitty...
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    kriz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Risker, I just meant as a supplement, not as an only food source for a 4 year old as this would starve the child whatever the mom was malnourished or not.

    Anyway, in any other circumstances, I would compare it more with older children using baby bottles or pacifiers. It's something you at least TRY to wean them off as they get older, even if it's not an everyday habit at a certain stage (although with a pacifier it's harder because they can hide it away from you! he, he).
    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

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    fortified twinkle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    dreama, that's an interesting article (the second link) - the writer believes that the natural age for completely weaning is when molars come in at around 6 years old. I wish she said more about whether breast milk is the only sustenance her child is getting.

    I personally don't think there's anything wrong with breastfeeding an older child, provided both mother and child are happy with it.
    "If you don't have a song to sing you're okay, you know how to get along humming" Waltz (better than fine) - Fiona Apple

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote twinkle View Post
    I personally don't think there's anything wrong with breastfeeding an older child, provided both mother and child are happy with it.
    I figure, to each their own.

    I think that it is a lot more damaging to hit children or to feed children McDonalds, or to babysit kids with TV or movies, or too etc. etc. etc.

    I don't know if breastfeeding a 10 year old is going to do the kid any favors, but it sure as heck can't be nearly as "bad" as the other stuff which passes off as normal.

    I (try) not to get in a huff when parents feed their kids crap and have them watch endless TV and video games, so why get myself all in other people's business when it's about breastfeeding an older child.

    Not my deal. Not a big deal.
    context is everything

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    Can't cook. Sarah_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Frankly, seeing older children being breastfed sickens me.
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Depends how old they are. A mother's breastmilk has great amounts of crucial vitamins, minerals, etc., and kids who are breast fed until they're 3-5 usually do better than those who are weaned at younger ages. Just as a supplement. Many strong and very smart kids have been breast fed longer than other kids usually are. They're still toddlers then, so it's not really damaging.
    "None so blind as those who do not see, none so deaf as those who do not hear."

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    cobweb
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote tsunami View Post
    Depends how old they are. A mother's breastmilk has great amounts of crucial vitamins, minerals, etc., and kids who are breast fed until they're 3-5 usually do better than those who are weaned at younger ages. Just as a supplement. Many strong and very smart kids have been breast fed longer than other kids usually are. They're still toddlers then, so it's not really damaging.

    where do you get those facts please?

    i totally agree that breastfeeding is very important in infancy (which i call the first year of a child's life), but after that a child should be able to get their nutrients from solid food, surely?

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    Pearl
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    I dont really see the point in it. Why would you want to? My kids wanted to be independent fairly early in life. They were wandering around with bottles, beakers etc pretty early. I cant imagine having a gigantic kid latched onto my breast. Its warm, snuggly, natural and wonderful when theyre tiny, but older ones? Nope. Dont think so. *shudders*

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    cobweb
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    i think once they are old enough to tell you in words what they want they are definitely too old for the breast

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    kriz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    I still think it's more the mother who wants to be needed, and can't let go of the ''baby''... It's probably not harmful (at least there's no evidence that it is as far as I know), but lot's of things are not and we still don't encourage them beyond a certain age...
    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote cobweb View Post
    where do you get those facts please?

    i totally agree that breastfeeding is very important in infancy (which i call the first year of a child's life), but after that a child should be able to get their nutrients from solid food, surely?
    http://www.breastfeedingmums.com/art...astfeeding.htm

    http://archives.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/...tsc/index.html

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Emmapaisley, tsunami, Xrodalfox, and Twinkle: you raise some good points.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one to think breast feeding older children is ok here.

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    Can't cook. Sarah_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Methinks it goes like this: When a baby is a baby, it's perfectly okay to have baby be naked in front of people. Oppositely, if baby catches a glimpse of a naked person it's still okay because baby has no idea what it's looking at and wouldn't remember it anyway. At the point where having the child naked in public and/or where you'd find it wrong to have a naked person in the presence of the child, it is time to relinquish the boobie. This is the point where you are teaching the child that certain things on a person's body are to be covered and a sense of privacy respected, etc.
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    I don't think it's ever wrong for a child to be naked, or have people naked in front of a child. There's nothing INHERENTLY wrong in these acts, society just thinks differently. I definitely think it's fine to breastfeed until the age of 3 or even 4 (but not exclusively) but after that I do believe that there is a psychological issue of separation that is important for development. Animals forcibly ween their children to teach them independence.

    P.S. - I likely nakedy...I wish everyone were the nakeds!

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?


    but those links don't provide proof of greater extended health or intelligence through prolonged breastfeeding. I am very sad to say that i wasn't breastfed and yet i have a very high I.Q and a robust constitution .

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote Sarah_ View Post
    Oppositely, if baby catches a glimpse of a naked person it's still okay because baby has no idea what it's looking at and wouldn't remember it anyway. At the point where having the child naked in public and/or where you'd find it wrong to have a naked person in the presence of the child, it is time to relinquish the boobie. This is the point where you are teaching the child that certain things on a person's body are to be covered and a sense of privacy respected, etc.
    So are you opposed to breastfeeding in public Sarah?

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    actually, i saw the programme from which that clip is taken. the children were not completely ok, actually. they were highly depended on their mother, extremely demanding for her attention and particularly her breast and the mother also had somewhat a strange attitude towards her children. something in the way of extreme possessiveness and not really wanting them to grow up.

    i didn't think it was healthy for the girls - and there was also a lot of jealousy between them as one had lost the ability to 'latch on', while the other hadn't, and thus was still being breast fed. i didn't think it looked like a (mentally) healthy household at all...

    amanda

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote Pearl View Post
    I dont really see the point in it. Why would you want to? My kids wanted to be independent fairly early in life. They were wandering around with bottles, beakers etc pretty early. I cant imagine having a gigantic kid latched onto my breast. Its warm, snuggly, natural and wonderful when theyre tiny, but older ones? Nope. Dont think so. *shudders*
    I'm with you Pearl; I've never had kids, but I'm sure most mothers would want to encourage independence in their kids from an early age, and as amanda points out, breastfeeding older ones has the potential of setting some unwanted dynamics in motion. Surely you risk separation anxiety if you breastfeed older kids?

    To go back to the OP - dreama why are you in favour of breastfeeding older children?

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    i saw the programme, too, Flying Plum (you reminded me).

    i don't wish to offend people but i'm really not into this whole breastfeeding til they're teenagers/home-schooling and not mixing with people who don't kind of world (*shudder*)

    my mother had a traumatic birth with me and i had to be incubated, she also chose to not breastfeed either me or my brother as she is uncomfortable with it (which i also find odd btw). I learnt to be independant pretty early on and i'm really glad i did.

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    The decision of when to stop breastfeeding is between mom and child. It is not damaging, it is not harmful. I am breastfeeding my 20 month old. Yes, she can ask for it. Yes, she has been eating solids since she was 6 months. But it is also providing her with a very complete source of nutrition, she is protected against illnesses, and it is a wonderful source of safety and comfort for her. I don't know at this point how long we'll go, but that's for us to decide. Why other people care, I will never understand.

    ~Lux

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote cobweb View Post
    but those links don't provide proof of greater extended health or intelligence through prolonged breastfeeding. I am very sad to say that i wasn't breastfed and yet i have a very high I.Q and a robust constitution .
    There's no proof that breastfeeding until the age of 8-9 years old will create Einsteins. I would argue that encouraging independence early (within reason, of course - I'm not talking about weaning and potty train few months olds babies here) adds to a child's over all intelligence. Don't we think it's great seeing a 6 year being able to self-soothe once away from mommy?...

    I just hope we will never come to a point where moms who doesn't breast feed until at least first grade will feel guilty for not giving those extra points of IQ that some claim they will for sure get. Women today have enough pressure and to be a mom is harder than ever when it comes to societal pressure.
    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    UNICEF recommends breastfeeding up to 2 years if possible.
    http://www.unicef.org/nutrition/inde...stfeeding.html
    I think that's probably quite a good age for all childen to be breastfed to, not just those in non western countries.
    It gives the baby the best nutrition, and bonding with the mother, but doesn't pose problems in terms of the child's socialization. Unfortunately its hard work for the mother!
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote kriz View Post
    ... Women today have enough pressure and to be a mom is harder than ever when it comes to societal pressure.
    Yes, I agree. Which is why I wonder why people are being so judgemental about when a mother chooses to breastfeed until? What business is it of anyone else?
    "If you don't have a song to sing you're okay, you know how to get along humming" Waltz (better than fine) - Fiona Apple

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Here are a couple sites:
    http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/so...ler-foods.html
    This next site has the percentages on how much of vitamins and nutrients a mother's breastmilk contains;
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-benefits.html
    More;
    http://www.mothersover40.com/extendedbreastfeeding.html
    http://naturalchild.com/guest/norma_jane_bumgarner.html
    This link has info on how breastfed toddlers become more independent than those who are weaned while still a baby:
    http://www.kellymom.com/newman/21bf_toddler.html

    I know for my own daughter, if I tried to wean her, she would make my life miserable. She is very attached to the booby. She is also very independent. She is almost 20 months old. When we are together she will ask about every 3 to 4 hours, sometimes she will go 8 hours. Yes, I am one of those women who nurses her toddler in public!

    I am so thankful that she still enjoys breastfeeding for so many reasons, here are a few:
    1. She had diarrhea the other day, didn't feel like eating, but she nursed all day.
    2. When she doesn't want to eat, she will nurse.
    3. Comfort, when she gets hurt.
    4. It gets her to sleep/nap.
    5. When she is wound up it gets her settled down.
    6. It gives me a moment to talk to her, and she has to listen. We read books, talk about our day, talk about things she loves.
    7. It's vegan!
    8. It's easier than getting up, getting a cup, filling it with soy milk, then cleaning up afterwards.
    9. Cheap, cheap, cheap. I consume a few extra calories a day, to make up for what she uses, but not many. She would go through at least a gallon of soy milk a week more if she didn't nurse.
    10. Healthy, hubby(only nursed for 6 months) is asthmatic and so is my son (who only nursed until he was 13 months). Cancer runs in the family. Has fat, calories, vitamins, and nutrients.

    Breasts were designed for this purpose, not for other reasons, but for nurishing our children.

    I plan on nursing my daughter until she is done, and I am sure that she will let me know when that is. I guess if she sends me a letter from college telling me she doesn't think she needs it anymore, than so be it. Although I have never heard of anyone nursing into the teen years.

    Seeing other women in public breastfeeding makes me so proud of her and her baby/toddler. It is so hard to take even a little critisizing from family and friends for doing something that is so amazing.
    Cows milk for baby cows, Human milk for baby humans.

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    flying plum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote twinkle View Post
    Yes, I agree. Which is why I wonder why people are being so judgemental about when a mother chooses to breastfeed until? What business is it of anyone else?
    there are a lot of things we don't let parents do because they are harmful for the child. and with regards to the particular clip that dreama posted, I felt that the situation was harmful to the children involved. they were (or at least appeared to be) growing up with some real issues with regards to dependancy and also maturity. at some point, every child needs to learn a certain amount of independance, and while i think breastfeeding certainly up to 2 years, or even 3 or 4 has many, many benefits, i think there comes a time when it must be withdrawn and the child must learn a little bit of independance. perhaps once they start schooling would be a good time to do this, as there are many lessons to be learnt with regards to self-sufficiency with the beginning of one's schooling...

    amanda

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Humans are physiologically ready to wean somewhere between 2.5-7 years old. So IMO older than 7 is "odd" but certainly not DAMAGING.
    Breastmilk actually becomes more concentrated as a child ages; just a tsp. for a toddler contains far more antibodies than it did for a newborn. The human body is amazing this way.
    My oldest weaned at age 3. This is totally NORMAL. Sadly many babies/children in the westernized world are weaned very prematurely. Globally children breastfeed for YEARS on average. There is nothing wrong with doing what is biologically normal for our species.
    mama to Ryan (7), AJ (6), Nate (3), Maia (1), all born at home.

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote Risker View Post
    Bitty...
    thats exactly what i thought
    I dont get crunchy people?

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote twinkle View Post
    Yes, I agree. Which is why I wonder why people are being so judgemental about when a mother chooses to breastfeed until? What business is it of anyone else?
    It's not really my business. If my friend would chose to breastfeed her 7 year old, I would not make any judgement, unless I was asked to express my honest opinion about it as I was asked in the beginning of this thread. I just don't see any point in nursing a 7 year old kid as the nutrition from the mothers milk is not that beneficial at that stage. I would definitely wonder if there was someone who just can't let go.
    Anyway, think we are discussing apples and oranges in this thread because I'm talking about big kids, not babies and toddlers. Huge difference IMO.
    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote twinkle View Post
    Yes, I agree. Which is why I wonder why people are being so judgemental about when a mother chooses to breastfeed until? What business is it of anyone else?
    Yes quite. If it hurts none. Do as though wilt.

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote veganf View Post
    Humans are physiologically ready to wean somewhere between 2.5-7 years old. So IMO older than 7 is "odd" but certainly not DAMAGING.
    of course the individual child may vary, but i still maintain that the children in the particular clip that dreama posted were not growing up in a healthy fashion, and i got the impression their mother would still be breast feeding the older child until she simply could no longer latch on. in fact, it goes on to show the child having several rather large tantrums and being quite violent towards her mother, i recall, because she was slowly losing the ability at 8 years old.

    My oldest weaned at age 3. This is totally NORMAL. Sadly many babies/children in the westernized world are weaned very prematurely.
    although i personally will breastfeed my child, i'm not convinced that not doing so has any lasting (psychological - i'm aware of the health benefits of breast feedings, a lot of which are masked by our modern health systems e.g. infant mortality rates etc etc) effect on a uniform basis. just as some children are probably fine and develop none of the insecurity and dependancy issues that the children in the clip seem to display, I don't feel that my relationship or development suffered as a result of not really being breastfed (my mother had to go back to work very soon after I was born).

    perhaps it's all just a personal choice. but when a girl is 8, she could well be reaching physical maturity in just a few small years. it seems strange to still be treating her as an infant when soon she could (theoretically - and outside of the western world, may well) have a child of her own in a short time. do you know any statistics of how long mothers breastfeed for in the developing world? i'd be curious to know

    amanda

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    The way you describe the child who was breast feeding at 8, it could be that she had special needs. Which could be why she still needed the milk at that age. I can't imagine a normal 8 year old being interested in that sort of thing.

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    I would be interested in any evidence that you have that a child with special needs needed breast milk at age 8. Why would a child's nutritional needs be different if she had learning difficulties, and even if they were, why would this only/best be available through breast feeding?

    I'm thinking that in earlier times in our history, women had many more pregnancies and nursed many more children than they do now. It seems unlikely that a woman would be physiologically able to breast feed 8 or more children at the same time.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote dreama View Post
    The way you describe the child who was breast feeding at 8, it could be that she had special needs. Which could be why she still needed the milk at that age. I can't imagine a normal 8 year old being interested in that sort of thing.

    i find that statement offensive actually.
    i think it was the mother who had special needs.

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote kriz View Post
    It's not really my business. If my friend would chose to breastfeed her 7 year old, I would not make any judgement, unless I was asked to express my honest opinion about it as I was asked in the beginning of this thread. I just don't see any point in nursing a 7 year old kid as the nutrition from the mothers milk is not that beneficial at that stage. And I would definitely wonder if there was someone who just can't let go....
    I think we are discussing apples and oranges in this thread because I'm talking about big kids, not babies and toddlers. Huge difference IMO.

    i agree with all of the above. Most of the topics here are none of our business but it's a discussion forum.

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote dreama View Post
    The way you describe the child who was breast feeding at 8, it could be that she had special needs. Which could be why she still needed the milk at that age. I can't imagine a normal 8 year old being interested in that sort of thing.
    she was only interested because she was encouraged to do so. honestly, i did feel that it was the mother who couldnt' quite bear to give up her little girls. they didn't mention anything about a father in the film, i don't think, so i go the impression that this was a single mother for whom her little girls were everything and she didn't want them to grow up. that might have been just how the film was directed, of course. and interestingly, you have now effectively called the situation 'abnormal', whereas before you were stressing the normality and okness of the situation...

    rubyduby - your point about breastfeeding multiple children was my immediate thought as well about the 'developing world'. actually, i just did some research, and parts of africa have the lowest rates of breast feeding, at something around 20% (i think we know the history behind that. ahemnestleahem). but the highest was pacific and eastern asia at 43% (based on 2007 figures. i've closed the window now, but i'll try to find the link again).

    what was interesting is that there doesn't seem to be too much information on how long the breastfeeding is done for. i did find an anthropologist who suggests that 7 years old is the absolute maximum.

    amanda

  43. #43

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    My neighbour is middle eastern and breast fed her 5 children until they were between 2 and 3. Apparently its the middle eastern cultural norm, all her middle eastern and north african family and friends do the same.
    It seems the main disadvantage is being woken up during the night for feeds and having to carry all that milk around.
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    cherished emmapresley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote twinkle View Post
    Yes, I agree. Which is why I wonder why people are being so judgemental about when a mother chooses to breastfeed until? What business is it of anyone else?
    ha ha..damn right twinkle!

    as an aside cobweb..my mum had me and due to complications i was in a seperate room and she didn't see me for four days..i wasn't breastfed and i'm sure it's contributed to us not having as strong a bond as could be. i've talked to her recently about it, and she's conceeded that that might be the case.
    i'm not saying you're the same..but i am saying that i feel strongly there's a total link between breastfeeding bonding closeness and that there stuff
    ahronli sed ah dunit so thid tek thuh cheyus graytuh offa mi nihbles

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote emmapresley View Post
    ha ha..damn right twinkle!

    as an aside cobweb..my mum had me and due to complications i was in a seperate room and she didn't see me for four days..i wasn't breastfed and i'm sure it's contributed to us not having as strong a bond as could be. i've talked to her recently about it, and she's conceeded that that might be the case.
    i'm not saying you're the same..but i am saying that i feel strongly there's a total link between breastfeeding bonding closeness and that there stuff

    totally agree 100% emmap - my mum and i never bonded. I was totally determined that wouldn't happen when i was a mum, and i do feel breastfeeding is a part of that. I am hugely in favour of breastfeeding during the first 2 years of a child's life (though i only managed 1 year with my son, i needed some freedom back after that ). I just feel that breastfeeding past that kind of stage is unnecessary and may cause dependancy problems on either side.

    It is up to the individuals concerned though, of course, i am only offering comment here because it's up for debate now. I think there are many more damaging things that a mother can do to her child but i won't list them..........

    I also don't really buy into the link between intelligence and breastfeeding, just going by anecdotal evidence.

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    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote emmapresley View Post
    ... i am saying that i feel strongly there's a total link between breastfeeding bonding closeness and that there stuff
    it doesn't always follow though, i was breastfed and i'm not close to my mum really.
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Quote herbwormwood View Post
    My neighbour is middle eastern and breast fed her 5 children until they were between 2 and 3. Apparently its the middle eastern cultural norm, all her middle eastern and north african family and friends do the same.
    It seems the main disadvantage is being woken up during the night for feeds and having to carry all that milk around.
    i don't think breastfeeding up to 2 or 3 is a problem. i think up to 8 years old is a problem. from what i've read today, 7 years old is suggested as the MAX upper limit. i would suggest that it varies from child to child what is appropriate, and any child that was developing over-dependant tendancies would be better of being weaned nearer the 2 year-old-mark, and those that were still benefitting, and whose mother felt comfortable doing it, would be fine being weaned at an older stage.

    i, personally, would probably stop as soon as they were able to walk up to me themselves and put their head up my top (which i have seen...). there would come a point for me, personally, where i would feel like too great an advantage was being placed on me as a person, not just a milk machine!!!

    as well as that, the average age gap between children (in the west) is roughly 2 to 3 years, and i don't think i could cope with breast feeding more than one child at a time.

    that said, the thought of at least 4 years constant breastfeeding is somewhat daunting - my boobs are losing the fight with gravity as it is!!!!

    amanda

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    Default Re: Breast feeding an older child? What do you think?

    Emmapresely, don't you think the biggest trauma of all might have been that you were actually taken away from your mom for four whole days when you were a newborn? A mother's well being after birth might also affect a mother/child relationship.... Whatever any of this have a lasting impact on a relationship I have no idea...

    Back in the sixties sick kids could be in hospitals for weeks and the parents were discouraged or not even allowed to visit. I personally know people who were subjected to this and it was a really sad situation.

    I don't think anyone here denied that breast feeding is healthy. I think people just disagree about what age to wean.

    I'm not a mom, so it might seem strange that I'm so interested in this thread, but I have friends who are. A couple of them could not for medical reasons nurse at all or had to wean early and they're wonderful mothers with normal kids.

    Most of my friends actually nursed their kids until the age of 2, and one of them until 5... It's great that it worked out so well for them!:smile:
    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

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