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Boobie for One, Non-Smoking. Something With a View Perhaps?

6.04.2007

in Uncategorized

This week a long lost friend paid a visit, one whom I hadn’t seen since we picked out nursing bras together two years ago.

I met her son for the first time, a sweet little boy with gorgeously curly hair, bright chubby cheeks, and a complexion the color of coffee milk. He spent the afternoon being a toddler – building blocks and knocking them down, taking Thalia’s little ride-on train for a spin, climbing on the coffee table, hurling golf balls that Nate brilliantly leaves around the living room, and then crawling into my friend’s lap with a simple request:

MOMMY, BOOBIE!

At which point she hoisted up her shirt and stuck one in his mouth.

“Oh…” I stammered. “Um, wow. I mean…forgive me. I just don’t really know anyone who’s still nursing a two year old.”

“Oh sure,” she replied proudly. “In fact he’s still 95% breast fed!”

I wasn’t sure what the other 5% could have been. Cow’s milk? Formula? Hi-C? And so I asked.

“Food,” she answered matter-of-factly. “Yep. He’s not too interested in food. He’s my little boobie baby. Aren’t you, Sweetie…”

[suck suck suck]

I’m not sure how I responded at this point. For I was entirely freaked out.

When I hear about extended breastfeeding, it sounds reasonable. Beautiful even. But to witness it first hand…

freaked out. Entirely.

Now before you go and flame my comments, calling me Barbara Walters and suggesting I go take a flying leap off a Delta Airline 727 mid-flight, save it. I’m writing a good deal of this post with one hand as I nurse my baby (so please forgive any typos). And to do so, I just survived 10 days of fierce pain, the likes of which would have had even POW survivors pleading for mercy and switching to Enfamil. Think a slow, anesthetic-free nipple piercing performed by a crackhead with a rusty needle and you’ve pretty much got a sense of what I went through in order to give my daughter the first hundred and fifty or so meals of her life.

In other words, I’m all for breastfeeding. Or at least for those who care to do so. And I’m all for not breastfeeding for those who, for whatever reason, can’t. This is not a breast versus formula debate; and may I add that anyone who tries to make it one is an ass. This is just me, trying to figure out why I was so freaked out (entirely) by a two year-old running up to his mom at snack time and ordering a boobie with a side of absolutely nothing.

Thalia, if you’re curious, just had the Pirate’s Booty. She was okay with that.

Maybe my issues stem from the degree to which my friend was dedicated (dedicated? devoted? insane?) to it – 95% breastfed isn’t the same as oh he still nurses to sleep at night while we share a quiet moment. I mean, I watched as that boy flung himself onto her breasts in the broad daylight of my living room. That’s pretty darn committed.

Or maybe it’s just some 21st century American notion that’s inextricably bored into my being, that says that nursing is something we do for babies. You know…because they can’t eat food yet.

In any case, it shouldn’t matter. My friend’s son is healthy, strong and smart. He’s bilingual. He’s musical. He’s athletic. And he’s clearly doted on by both parents. In other words, her choices don’t seem to be hurting him. Isn’t that really what’s important? Yes, says my head. But ew, still says my gut.

I didn’t engage her on the vaccination question, but something tells me we differ there too. Especially when she waved off an aside I made about going the pediatrician’s office.

“Oh no no no,” she said. “Pediatricians…we don’t do that.”

Mea culpa, my old friend. I know we’re different kinds of parents. Really different. So I’m working through this. Because I want that to be okay.

105 shards of brilliance… read them below or add one

Jaelithe June 4, 2007 at 3:28 am

I nursed my son until his second birthday. When he was born, I didn’t intend to nurse him past one year, AT ALL. My though was, “Well, it’s great that some women do that extended nursing thing, and I’m sure it’s very healthy for the kids, good for the environment, crunchy and lovey and grand, etcetera, but, it’s just not for me. Cuz I think I’d feel weird.” But, when my son didn’t transition well to solid food, lost interest in food almost altogether after a “minor” surgery, and wound up being extremely underweight, I just kept nursing. Every month I would say, I’ll stop next month. But I kept nursing. Because I felt like it was the only thing I could do to help him with his eating problem as I took him to medical specialist after medical specialist, with no success in diagnosing or treating the cause of his food aversion for several months.And now I don’t think extended nursing is weird at all. After all, it may well have saved my son from being put on a feeding tube.Every thing in the universe is weird, until you get used to it.

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Christie June 4, 2007 at 3:55 am

I’m with you – my gut says BIG EW. I nursed all three of my kids to between the ages of 7-10 months (with one going to a full 12 months). Who wants to be tied to a baby that long? If your kid won’t eat anything but breast milk, when do you get to go out alone?

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Anonymous June 4, 2007 at 4:10 am

5% food—that doesn’t seem like enough food for a growing 2 year old. What about protein, fruits, vegetables and dare I say treats??? Plus I would think at 2 he would start to notice that not everyone pulls up a bar stool to the boob bar. His friends may not notice they are too busy with thier happy meals.

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shauna June 4, 2007 at 4:13 am

Two things:1) I would have weirded out myself. When I was home for maturnity leave with my first, I caught the episode on Dr.Phil with the lady who was nursing her 5-year old and her 2-year old on a booby-on-demand basis. Now I don’t care who you are, that has a definite Ew Factor (well, except, I guess, for this woman who thought it was natural, beautiful, healthy, etc.). 2) I would cry in pain and curl my toes for the first six weeks I nursed my kids (I seemed to be an odd-duck on this one–none of my friends endured so much pain at the onset of breastfeeding). So I’m completely there on the whole sacrifice-your-body-for-your-offspring idea. But as soon as my kids lost interest, I was happy to accomodate them (and get my boobies back). Generally that was around 7-10 months.I love your blog, by the way, Mom 101!

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www.nolanotes.com June 4, 2007 at 4:17 am

I am with you too. I’ve seen it happen with two separate children/mothers–where the child is running around just like any kid, gets hungry and goes to mom and said, “Boobie, Mommie.” My feeling? If you are old enough to verbally demand it, you are old enough to be weaned from it.At what point do kids remember things? I’d be mortified to remember asking my mom for–and getting–milk from the tap.

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Tracy June 4, 2007 at 5:30 am

If it’s any consolation, at least you were diplomatic enough, despite the “ew factor,” to roll with it. I would have probably had to leave the room. I’m just squeamish like that when it comes to breastfeeding…especially extended breastfeeding. I’m sure your friend appreciated that. At least I hope she did.I think that, regardless of how one feels about breastfeeding or when to wean, people should understand that different people have different comfort levels about seeing someone nurse, and that these comfort levels are not a personal attack on the nurser or the act itself. I see it as akin to different boundaries when it comes to personal space. Some people need their space; others don’t. It doesn’t make one person wrong or right–it just means that we should be sensitive to the boundaries of others–especially when we are guests in their home.

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Elizabeth June 4, 2007 at 5:55 am

I agree with the verbalizing. That just ups the “ew”-factor right there. Nursing a 2 year old isn’t bad, but it’s that 95% that gets me. A child that age should certainly be eating lots of other things. (Maybe because they “don’t do pediatricians” she doesn’t know this?) I nursed for 13 months and then 17 months. But for the 17 month old, he was eating food too. Just nursing in the mornings, nights and sometimes around nap time.I hear you about the pain. I had it, especially on the one side. And sometimes I’d pinch my husband really hard to try and convey just how much it hurt. I thought it would be gone with the second one, but no! still painful. Should I be worried this time around? Yikes!

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Shiri June 4, 2007 at 6:26 am

I know what you mean. I just weaned my young one at 17 months (his brother was weaned at 15 months), and about two days after he was finally completely weaned, the thought about breastfeeding him seemed.. um.. bizarre. (It’s not nice to say EW about your own baby, right?)

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margalit June 4, 2007 at 6:57 am

I have a Dutch friend, the mother of seven, who BF each of her kids, and most of the time tandem nursed up to 3 kids, each until they were between 4 and 5 years old and self-weaned. I can remember being in a toy store with her eldest 2 boys, who were about 5 and 3 and the time, and her scooping up the 5 year old and carrying him around the store while he was nursing. The looks, OY the looks! But she was completely oblivious. She was just a mom that believed strongly in extended nursing (and home births in the family wading pool, but that’s another story). I was all EWWW, too. But then I extended BFing my twins until they were about 2 because it’s what they wanted. By the time they were 2 I was DONE, but a friend who also has twins EBF until hers were almost 4. I’m sorry, but THAT is EWWWW. Two preschoolers hanging off my boobs. No way. She had to nurse them sitting in a chair with them standing up. It was weird. Really weird.

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Emma in Amsterdam June 4, 2007 at 6:59 am

I don’t like children demanding anything anyway, but this just sounds, uhm… ew!Your story reminds me of a British tv show I saw last year, about an adult who still nurses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8orUaCJ0GY It’s only 1,5 minutes, but I remembered it vividly :-)

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Jennifer June 4, 2007 at 7:36 am

If he weren’t bilingual, musical and athletic would you have condemned her?Honestly? I don’t see the issue. And I don’t see why it keeps being brought up time and time again. Can’t we please leave extended nursing mothers alone?

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Mahlers On Safari June 4, 2007 at 9:58 am

I have zero street credentials to comment on this one – other than to say I share your initial reaction. (And I’m wondering who this old friend is.)

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Amy June 4, 2007 at 10:44 am

Um, yeah. 95% seems like a little too much boobie juice and not enough of the other stuff. That can’t be right. I could never nurse, although I wish I could have, and I totally support it, even up to 2 years for some families that want to do that. But 95%? Yeah, weird.

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slouchy June 4, 2007 at 11:24 am

Sigh.This is a tough one.It would make me squeamish, too.And I’d worry that he might have a hard time transitioning to the textures of solids. That’s because I have a texture-averse kid, and I know firsthand what a struggle it can be.But through the squeamishness I’d be berating myself, because I try to be nonjudgmental.If it works for them…

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Kyran June 4, 2007 at 11:43 am

ew?wish you’d have just thought that, not typed it. :( ouch, liz.

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Fairly Odd Mother June 4, 2007 at 11:48 am

How could you not know I nursed my 1st til she was almost 3 (yes, it was the ‘cuddle to sleep’ type of nursing, but still. . .3!!!) My last guy was nursed til 2 1/2. . .anytime of the day, indoors and out. And we LOVE our pediatrician! : )

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Fairly Odd Mother June 4, 2007 at 11:55 am

OK, these comments are bumming me out (had to comment again). So judgmental! I never felt “tied down” to my kids b/c of nursing===I’m tied down to them b/c I’m their freakin’ mother! And, when they are older, you can still get out for several hours at night without any problems. Also, the comment about the trauma (my word) a child would suffer from remembering nursing??? Really?? My neighbor nursed her daughter til she was 4; the daughter is an awesome 16 year old now and told me she just really liked the taste of it. Maybe kids who remember nursing will think of breasts as something other than sex objects and will respect their mothers for letting them continue to do something they loved until they were ready to wean.

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Mom101 June 4, 2007 at 12:23 pm

Jennifer, Kyran, Christina, et al – I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it. In fact I’m hard pressed to say that anything is. I’m just trying to soul search a bit and figure out my discomfort in an honest way. Not trying to offend but I can see where feathers get ruffled when we question other people’s choices. If you were an extended bfer, I would hope you’re confident enough with that decision that my opinion doesn’t matter.And Jaelithe, hell YEAH I understand what you did. Thanks for lending me that perspective.

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divrchk June 4, 2007 at 12:35 pm

I don’t have anything against extended nursing. I nursed my son until 15 months and would have nursed my daughter longer had she not weaned herself. What gets me is that he’s only getting 5% food. What about watermelon, chicken, fried, ice cream, Oreos or a gummy bear? My kids don’t eat a lot of junk, but I think it’s part of life and if they get a little here and there, they won’t purge on it later. Growing up, my mom had a candy drawer in the kitchen. My sister and I hardly touched it but my friends attacked it.

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Her Bad Mother June 4, 2007 at 12:43 pm

When I was 19 I taught English to some kids whose Mom was the co-ordinator or head something or other for La Leche League in Spain. She was still bf-ing the three year old, who participated in the lessons and for whom BAH-BAHs was part of a universal language. At the time, I was pretty weirded out by it, but then again, I was 19.Still, now, as a thirty-something (ahem) former milk pump, the idea of *95%* breastfeeding a toddler is somewhat discomfiting. Not the size of the child so much as the extent of the nursing. 95%? Can the child feed himself yet? CHEW? A 95% liquid diet can’t be truly good. Can we imagine a two-year old on a 95% FORMULA diet?FWIW, friend, you worried this topic beautifully and sensitively.

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S.T. June 4, 2007 at 1:05 pm

I think extended nursing is fine. I don’t have a problem with it at all.Personally, I was ready to wean both my kids at 12 and 14 months respectively, and thankfully they were ready then as well. I just wanted my boobs back. But a two-year-old getting 95% of his nutrition from breast milk just sounds — wrong. I have a hard time believing that is actually true.

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clickmom June 4, 2007 at 1:08 pm

The first time I saw a nursing toddler I almost fainted. Then I went to nurse my own kids forever, not because I planned it but because they just needed it so damned much. My oldest wasn’t interested at all in eating baby food, grown up food or anything, so I kept right on nursing him because I didn’t see how he wasn’t going to starve if we stopped. Then it turns out that babies with food allergies ( which he has many, as does my second child too) are reluctant to eat solid food. It’s a self protective reaction. Maybe her kid has allergies. Typically by two they nurse a few times a day, mostly waking up and going to sleep. Or maybe if they get hurt. But you know, as long as mother and child are on the same page, it can’t hurt anyone. I would have liked some of those extra IQ points myself.

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the new girl June 4, 2007 at 1:11 pm

I appreciate the openness and honesty in your response and thoughtful post, Liz.I have had experience with several families who have extended nursing well into toddler-hood (3yo and 6yo) and I had similar uncomfortable feelings. But, I think it’s worth it to say that I am also uncomfortable with my discomfort, if that makes sense. The last thing I would want to do is to judge another person’s choices to parent in a way that he/she sees fit.I appreciate that sensitivity in your post and follow-up comment as well.

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MamaChristy June 4, 2007 at 1:14 pm

At least she is getting good use out of those nursing bra you bought together, eh?

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Girl con Queso June 4, 2007 at 1:17 pm

Fantastic post. And I love all the open discussion. I’m with you. It kinda weirds me out, but I feel a bit weirded out that I’m weirded out.

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Mom101 June 4, 2007 at 1:23 pm

New Girl and SM – you nailed it. I’m uncomfortable being uncomfortable. I want to support my friend’s decisions, whatever they may be. I guess I’m only okay judging 50-something pregnant women, huh.

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Sarah June 4, 2007 at 1:51 pm

I ran into a friend lately who is still nursing her 2 year old and her 4 month old, sometimes tandem. I could understand extended nursing to a certain extent, as I probably will nurse my son past his first birthday. But I’ve seen kids running up to their mothers (and non-mothers!) and trying to lift up their shirts for a gulp. Ew. It should feel natural, but I still feel ew.

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Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog June 4, 2007 at 1:57 pm

I can understand the ew factor of situations like that. Unfortunately, talking about it sooo much in sooo many places just perpetuates the problem that Americans have with breastfeeding in general. Would you be so offended at a 2 year old who still took the bottle? Would it gross you out? Would he be SO old as to generate a huge discussion over how he was manipulating his mother and if he was old enough to ask for the bottle, he’s too old to need it?No. That wouldn’t even be a discussion. You might, in passing, wonder when he was going to drop that habit, or the habit of sucking his thumb or pacifier, but you wouldn’t go on about how weird and unnormal it felt.I understand. You aren’t used to seeing a 2 year old almost exclusively breastfeeding. But this is pretty standard in a lot of the world, and in most species. It’s unfortunate that so many people are so vehement about it being wrong and gross. Because they’re WRONG. And they need to get over it.

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Mom101 June 4, 2007 at 2:04 pm

Tracey, here’s where I respectfully have to disagree. Your points are excellent. And you are entitled to mention all the reasons that extended nursing is a good thing. But it’s not fair to tell anyone that her feelings are wrong, especially in capital letters. It’s not black and white issue where one side is right and one side is wrong. This is about comfort, and I think a lot of us are thoughtfully trying to explore our own conflicted feelings here.

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binkytown June 4, 2007 at 2:11 pm

For the record, I am wierded out by that and am not sure why. I do know I can’t imagine a 95% boob diet is healthy or serving his interests? Even if you overlook the nutritional aspect, what about gradually introducing him to textures and flavors?It’s my own personal opinion that if you can ask for it, you’re too old to be having it.

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a happier girl June 4, 2007 at 2:16 pm

5% seems pretty crazy at 2 years old. Doesn’t the kid need more protein than that? And if nothing else, I can’t believe the kid watches other people eat and doesn’t ever want to join in. My two kids both love to join in on pretty much any activity.

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mothergoosemouse June 4, 2007 at 2:26 pm

I’m just having the greatest time imagining my mother’s reaction. I think her head would literally explode.A two year old who drinks almost all of his/her calories (from a breast, bottle or sippy) concerns me. And a two year old who apparently hasn’t seen the doctor for any sort of well-baby checkup concerns me. Plain and simple.

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dana June 4, 2007 at 2:30 pm

I miss nursing Dawson. He refused my breasts after four months of nursing. I think it had a lot to do with me going back to work and he preferred the bottle instead. I sometimes wish I could have nursed him until he was at least a year-and-a-half.But I get a little freaked out at first, too — about older toddlers nursing. I’m happy and somewhat jealous that other moms have been able to stick to it when I couldn’t.It’s just not something you see every day so that might be why it’s strange to us, initially.

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Cheryl June 4, 2007 at 2:34 pm

The pediatrician comment weirded me out more, actually. It’s not that I didn’t make ANY decisions without consulting our ped, but it was nice to have some guidelines for what is expected.My issue with extended breastfeeding deals more with infantilizing toddlers and preschoolers. My nephew wasn’t feeling independent enough to wipe his own butt until he was five. His parents didn’t insist that he feed himself until his sixth birthday. He could do it, as proven by the extended visits at nana’s house where she expects kids to be kids, not babies, but as soon as his parents were around, he was back to “forgetting.”Because of that experience, I would only become sanctimommy about other people’s decisions to breastfeed on an extended basis if the kids weren’t meeting the appropriate social milestones. From what I gather, most kids who are self-weaned as toddlers are quite intelligent, independent creatures. There are so many other ways that parents hold their little ones back, and I don’t think breastfeeding is really one of them.That all being said, I’m kind of with you on the “ew” factor. I think every mommy is different and every mommy gets to make those decisions for herself and her kids. While *this* mommy loves attachment parenting and all of those joys, my body is still my own, and I don’t even share my bed with my kid. I don’t think it makes me a bad mommy, it just makes me different from those who have made other decisions.

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Moments Of Mom June 4, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Mom 101- I feel like I am the only one who took something completely different from your post. It sounds to me that you are concerned about your friendship with this woman being strained, due to parenting style differences. Yes, feeling uncomfortable is hard, but so long as your friend doesn’t judge you, and you are clearly trying not to judge her, keep at it. Hopefully you and she can continue on your happy friendship. It can be hard, but it can be over come. You may also find that her son does eat more than 5% table food. Oh, and not for nothing, but about 80% of my youngest diet was formula untils he was 20 months old. Not because it was what she wanted, but what she needed. Long story there, but she’s doing just fine now, and eats us out of house and home. You know making up for lost time.Good luck to you and your friend trying to find a middle ground in which to meet, without judgement.

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Cool Mama June 4, 2007 at 2:44 pm

Yeah, yeah…everybody says to follow the baby’s lead…but I tell you that much…I wouldn’t want to have a little man still attached to my bob!I have a 7 and a half monthis old and by 6 months he was much more inetersted in food then my boob….and I had absolutely no problem with it.I don’t know though, because at the end of the day you want the best for your baby and if that means more McMama juice…

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Mom101 June 4, 2007 at 3:02 pm

mamacheryl – I’m with you entirely. and anothermomcreation – YES! In the end, that’s really all it’s about.

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Sundry June 4, 2007 at 3:33 pm

I’m with you on the feelings of discomfort and the discomfort over being, uh, uncomfortable. The topic of Parenting Choices I Would Not Personally Choose For Myself, Personally is very often on my mind; I want to be the accepting type of person who realizes all choices are right if they’re right for the family in question, but it takes work, you know?That said, the idea of my nearly-2-year-old hitting up my boobs for a midday snack is kind of frightening. I’ve SEEN what he does to his food. Plus, I swear to god he’s got a double row of teeth, like a shark.

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Magpie June 4, 2007 at 3:38 pm

I think never taking the kid to the pediatrician is weird and potentially damaging. And a two year old should be getting more food than 5% of his intake. I think that your squeamishness may be more rooted in those two things than the extended nursing. And the two year old might well not be nursing in public if he were getting an appropriate amount of food. I nursed my kid ’til she was nearly three…but it wasn’t providing much at all in the way of food – it was all about comfort.

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wesleyjeanne June 4, 2007 at 3:58 pm

As someone here said, I think I understand your concern with your friendship due to different parenting choices. I sometimes feel I need to apologize or explain or defend my parenting choices to my friends and I hate that awful feeling. I hate being judged for stopping breastfeeding so early (my own varied and complex reasons); for my 3 year-old using a pacifier and not yet being potty-trained; and for so much more.We can’t really stop these battles between moms until we stop judging each other, but then we can’t help our own feelings and thoughts can we?

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organic fairy mom June 4, 2007 at 4:05 pm

When my daughter was little, I planned to nurse her until she was three or so. But around 13 months, it really seemed like everyone was ready to quit, so we did. She’s three now, and I can’t imagine nursing her — she’s big, and she’d no doubt be telling me if my milk had an off flavor from all the garlic I ate last night. But, whatever, if it works. I’m sure a lot of people don’t agree with the infrequency of our doctors’ office visits, either. We’ve had lots of well baby visits to make sure they’re fine, but after a while, I think, you know if they’re fine or not — and if they’re not, by all means, pay the doc a visit.

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TGI June 4, 2007 at 4:20 pm

It’s crazy to think that a child who can ask for it is too old to have it: what is crying in a newborn? My son was nine months when he signed ‘milk’ to me. (He weaned himself at 22 months.)EBF is not wrong, nor is being wierded out by it. Just don’t judge. We’ve all done things we thought we would never do. The view is a lot different from this side.Mom101: thanks for talking about it. Thanks for being freaked. And thanks for not saying anything to your friend. She deserves to make her own decisions.

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Susan Getgood June 4, 2007 at 4:41 pm

My son was bottle fed from the beginning, in large part because if the demands of my job at the time. So, I don’t feel qualified to have any opinion about when a woman should stop breast feeding her children. I do however want to comment on the “other species” comment above — that other species nurse their offspring for a long time. In fact, there is just as much diversity in the rest of the animal world as there is in the choices made by women reflected in the comments of this post. And just as much diversity even within a mammal species. An example from my own personal experience — I breed dogs. Generally speaking, the dam starts to pull away from the pups as soon as they start to get <> teeth. <> In the wild, she’d be weaning them. In the house, she’s telling her owner — start introducing these pups to solid food because I don’t want to be bitten. It can happen as early as 3 weeks with some mothers, while others put up with it until 5-6 weeks. Average, at least in my house, with my Scotties is about 4 weeks. Puppies weaned between 3-6 weeks is somewhere between 4-8 months in human terms. Other mammal species are different, and nurse for a far longer time. Bottom line: everyone makes different choices and like Liz was trying to do with her post, we just have to deal with our own discomfort with other people’s choices as best we can, without judging.

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Sara June 4, 2007 at 4:52 pm

I don’t really believe that her son is “95%” breastfed. It is very hard to guage how much solids any baby gets in their mouth and actually swallows. Plus, I think many moms forget how small baby tummies are and how little solids they actually need. Finally, how does she know exactly how much milk her child is actually consuming? I think she was going for the shock value with that statement and, possibly, patting herself on the back a little too enthusiastically.I nursed my oldest until she was almost 4, my second until she was 3 and my third is still going strong at 22 months.My youngest is not much of a talker and has no verbal way of expressing that he wants to nurse. He pats me on the chest. Ergo, it is ok with all of you that he is still nursing, right? :) OK, I know that sounds kind of b****y, but I think it makes about as much sense as claiming, as I hear so often, that they are too old to nurse when they are too old to ask for it. When is a baby not “asking” for it in some way or another? At 6 months they use little grunts, at 12 months the grunts may have become distinct, at 16 months they might say “nah nah” and they may or may not come up with their own word at 18 months. Heck, at 24 months they might be able to say “nurse” (though mine stuck with nah nah.) But, fellow mothers, when, exactly, is nursing this baby inappropriate? Where should I have drawn the line? Grunting was ok? But when I heard my oldest sat that first “nah” I should have ripped her off my chest???I understand people being uncomfortable. Heck, at 22 months I’m uncomfortable feeding my baby in front of other people because I’m sensative to the whole debate. But enough with passing judgement or being grossed out about it. I promise, when I look down at him nursing, I see the same sweet face I did 12 months ago. I feel the same surge of love I did 21 months ago. He is still my child and I am his mother, whether he can talk or not.To put it bluntly, I am not sexually excited by his nursing and whether people like to admit it or not, that thought is what makes them uncomfortable about extended breastfeeding. Because as someone said above, we don’t really care if a 2 year old uses their binky or bottle to comfort themselves.

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Heather June 4, 2007 at 4:59 pm

I have to agree with you, its a little weird when they can tell you they want the ‘boob’. I say they need to be weaned when they start to tell you they want to nurse.

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Phoenix June 4, 2007 at 5:25 pm

I’ll just say that a two year old who passes up Pirates Booty for the boob would make me a little uncomfortable too. It’s all about choices and we’re all entitled to make them, but I think it’s great that you didn’t say anything while weirded out. Most people would have. I am a bit weirded out myself, but I’m weirded out by a lot of things people do with their kids. The Pediatrician comment scared me a bit. Either way, I think it’s great that you bring up these topics.

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Gurukarm June 4, 2007 at 5:47 pm

I was convinced that weaning my DD at age 1 was the “right” thing to do, but at the same time I’d been fighting her since 2 months about thumb-sucking (which I’m adamantly opposed to – for MY kids – yours can do what you let them, haha!) – 2 things happened at more or less at the same time. She was pretty much finally giving up the thumb altogether, but when I started trying to wean, back went the thumb, about 15 hours a day. And, I came across several old copies of Mothering Magazine, which strongly advocates baby-lead weaning. It became quickly very clear to me that she just wasn’t ready, and really, neither was I.DD ended up gradually giving it up on her own at about age 3; DS also gave it up at age 3. All that said, however, my big issue with women breastfeeding in front of others is those who “flaunt” it, rather than being as discreet as possible about what’s happening. Kind of hard to do, I guess, when the kid’s running up to Mom and saying he’s hungry! But, not really – she could still have him on her lap and raise a shirt from the waist and cover them both with a blanket/shawl/towel/something! In my not at all humble opinion.Oh, and yeah – 95%?? That’s crazy! Wonder what height/weight percentile he’s in – but, she’ll never know, will she? if she’s not doing well-baby visits. Interesting…

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Amy June 4, 2007 at 6:02 pm

I understand what you mean when you say you are uncomfortable by EBF, and that you’re uncomfortable with BEING uncomfortable. I think I would feel the same way. I also think it’s more of seeing a woman hiking her shirt up infront of me and having a toddler sucking away on her breast that would put me on edge (same feeling I think I would have even if it was an infant and she just ripped off her shirt and shoved the boob in). Discreet, discreet, discreet.I’m all for nursing, I wish I had stuck out through the pain to continue feeding my kids (where were these people that had the immense pain when *I* was going through it?!?! Instead of hearing “It shouldn’t hurt!” GRR!!). But, personally, I felt like I wanted my boobs back after one week of hellish bf’ing and I don’t think that *I* would have lasted longer than a few months before I felt like I was going insane. But that’s ME.Bf’ing or NOT shouldn’t be a competition. But, our feelings are our own. You can’t tell us to feel a certain way about any issue, as long as we don’t tell you you’re wrong. Mom101 didn’t do that, at all.

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Fraulein June 4, 2007 at 6:04 pm

As many others here have said, it’s ultimately up to each mom to decide when and how to stop breastfeeding, based on what’s best for the child and for her. But I find that “no doctors” comment to be extremely troubling. Unless this family’s excuse is that they simply don’t have health insurance (and even then, there are some free clinic resources available, particularly in NYC I would imagine) I personally find it very hard to justify never taking this child to see a pediatrician.

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Leslie Ann June 4, 2007 at 6:09 pm

I too would be weirded out by seeing a toddler nurse. However, I also recognize that this is a culturally influenced reaction. And it’s our culture that’s strange. The average age of weaning world-wide is something like 2 1/2 years. And that’s with easily grossed out Americans bringing down the average. Not only is there nothing wrong with extended breastfeeding, but when you look beyond our own society, it’s completely normal.

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