Re: Handling requests to nurse in public
Too bad- if your DH was susceptible to what the Talmud says, you'd be golden; the Talmud actually treats nursing until age 5 as unremarkable. (See Niddah 9.)
I doubt stuff from the Talmud would make that much difference as DH is Catholic (I'm Jewish, and we're raising DS Jewish). Plus I've already told him the Talmud supports nursing until age 2-3 and it didn't make a dent.
Since he's Catholic, maybe Pope Francis will make more of an impact: http://www.salon.com/2014/01/14/pope...e_its_alright/
The snippet from the AAP's policy statement actually references Katherine Dettwyler's research; she is pretty much the authority on extended breastfeeding.
Does anyone have evidence about the psychological effects of extended nursing on children? That seems to be DH's main concern. He is CONVINCED I am raising a "dependent child" by continuing to nurse. I think DS has been unusually clingy because a)he just started preschool, which is asking a lot of him at only 2 years old and b)he's been sick. I am sure DH's mom and dad are feeding him the idea that I am making DS "dependent" by nursing. I have googled and googled and can't find any research one way or the other on the psychological effects of extended breastfeeding. I see a number of assertions from Jack Newman, Dr. Sears, etc. that extended nursing results in more secure children in the long run, but no evidence to back those assertions (though it makes sense to me). I also found the sentence in the AAP statement on breastfeeding about "no evidence of psychological or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the 3rd year of life or beyond" but I would like more evidence to back me up. I think all the anthropological stuff about how prolonged nursing is actually the biologic norm is interesting, but not particularly compelling to DH.
It sounds like your DH is pretty much impervious to research. Katherine Detwyler's not good enough, the AAP isn't good enough, Sears and Newman aren't good enough... I really have to wonder what would be good enough for him to accept that breastfeeding into early childhood is a) normal and b) not detrimental. It might help to reverse the dynamic- instead of you trying to prove your point, ask your DH to prove his, and find some research that supports the idea that breastfeeding is weird or will make your child too dependent. I think I can guarantee that he will not find any resources that are near as authoritative as what you have backing up your viewpoint.
Disagreements about parenting are the hardest ones in a marriage. My DH and I see eye to eye on most things, but not everything, and we have had some pretty significant arguments as a result. It might help if you can both acknowledge that you both feel strongly about this because you both want to be good parents. That might defuse some of the animosity.
Fundamentally I think this is just a disagreement between me and DH on parenting philosophy. He is more traditional (cry-it-out, make kids eat, etc.) and I am much more attachment-parenting-oriented. The disagreement wasn't really that evident until DS became a toddler. When he was a young baby, we agreed on most things. The differences have become more pronounced as he's gotten older.
If this were me, I'd try to get my DH to go to a child psychologist, one who was carefully pre-screened by me for knowledge about and support of breastfeeding. If the child psychologist can hold his hand a bit and gently explain to your DH that he's being a doofus, it might make an impact...
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"