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Thread: Extended Breastfeeding Question - please help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    928

    Unhappy Extended Breastfeeding Question - please help

    My baby is nearly 11 months old and I nurse him 6 times a day. I also nurse him to sleep for his naps and at night. I'm getting a lot of criticism for this from all angles - the pediatrician and my mother-in-law amongst others. It has even been suggested to me that nursing such an 'old' baby so frequently could cause him to think of himself as the 'center of the universe' and cause him to become very 'demanding and difficult'. This past week I've been trying to cut down on daytime nursing and get him to sleep without nursing and it has been extremely distressing for both of us. I've decided that for now we're not ready to make any big changes, and I'm going to continue as I was before, but I'm feeling guilty and worried that my nursing style is bad for him. I'd love to have some other opinions on this. Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,551

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding Question - please help

    Hi purplemonkey,
    Welcome to the forums! I've moved your post to the Extended Breastfeeding forum. There are many mothers here who have nursed their little ones well into toddlerhood.
    It sounds like nursing is going really well for you and your son. It is wonderful nutrition as well as comfort and can be a relaxing way to fall alseep. How unfortunate you have been receiving so much criticism from all sides, causing you to doubt something that feels right to you.
    Here are some links to the LLL website with articles about nursing past one year.
    http://www.llli.org/NB/NBextended.html
    And some other information from Kellymom (a non-LLL site).
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/index.html
    A book that might help is Mothering Your Nursing Toddler, by Norma Jane Bumgarner.
    Additionally, the policy statment by the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk" states that, "There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer."
    It sounds like you are doing a great job!
    Hope this helps,
    Mary

    ETA:
    By the way, LLL doesn't recommend any particular number of months or years to continue nursing. It simply states that, "Ideally, the breastfeeding relationship will continue until the baby outgrows the need."
    Last edited by @llli*LLLMaryP; July 8th, 2007 at 01:26 PM. Reason: add further info

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    83

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding Question - please help

    Hello purple monkey, it is a real shame that you are getting criticism from so many people for doing what is working for you and your little one. There are lots of great resources explaining why extended breastfeeding is good for toddlers but the best reason to continue is that it still feels right to you!

    PS Every one year old should still feel like the "center of the universe"
    Last edited by mamaliz; July 8th, 2007 at 01:49 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    1,987

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding Question - please help

    If what you're doing has been working for the two of you, then it's exactly what you need to be doing. Keep up the great work! Nursing is actually a great way to begin to teach a toddler about limits and waiting to get what he wants. As he gets older, you will probably naturally begin doing these things and negotiating here and there at a pace that is right for the two of you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    5

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding Question - please help

    I think that nursing your baby as long as he needs it will help avoid having him feeling like "the center of the universe" because you will have met his needs and he will appreciate that. He will see that people work together to make each other feel good, and he won't feel gypped and need to grab for what he's missing. 11 months is still a baby to me and a totally natural time to be nursing! Feel good about what your providing him - he will feel good about it too! Hang in there !

  6. #6
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding Question - please help

    You're doing everything right! As long as your baby is happy then rest assured your nursing style is perfect for him.

    Since I'm the mom, I never listen to other peoples negative comments. HTH

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    855

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding Question - please help

    I agree, my lo will be 1 in less than 2 weeks and she still nurses 6-8 times a day. I have support from my husband and family. I don't know how my ped feels about nursing after a year, but she hasn't said anything thus far. Personally, I couldn't see stopping nursing now. We nurse to sleep at night and for naps. I want my lo to feel comfortable and loved. I am not planning on stopping anytime soon, until WE are BOTH ready.

    Just stand strong and keep your ground. You are doing what is best for your lo. Who cares what others say, they are not nursing your lo

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    139

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding Question - please help

    I'm currently nursing my dd who is 19mos old. The original plan was to wean at 12mos because that's what I'd been taught (before meeting all of the wonderful people at LLL). My dd was not at all ready to wean at 12mos. She currently nurses 3 times a day during the week and much more on weekends when I don't have to work. We've received criticism from a pediatrician (that we were referred to for lack of weight gain), from my mom (who says she's going to have issues when she gets into school because she's still nursing), and my sister (who says I'm spoiling her). I go by what the AAP says and as long as it is ok with both mother and child to continue nursing beyond a year then that's fine. I don't worry about what others say. I'm raising my baby and I'm doing what I know is best. I'd just shake it off adn go with your gut!

    Cathy
    Wife for 11 yrs and counting
    Mom to ds (12/96) bf 11mos
    dd (9/98) bf 6mos
    dd (11/05) bf 27mos and counting!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    928

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding Question - please help

    Thank you for your support. It's such a relief to know I'm not doing anything wrong. I always planned to breastfeed for a year or two, but I was concerned about how often my baby nurses and also about nursing him to sleep because my doctor told me that I was preventing him developing independence.

    My other big fear was that nursing him for comfort was kind of cheating because it's so easy, like if he's teething or if he bangs his head or something. Some people have suggested that I should let him learn to comfort himself, which seems to mean basically letting him cry until he gets bored with crying, and I find it hard to live with that when I know nursing would stop the tears immediately. I feel reassured that it's ok to comfort him with the breast, so no more guilt!

    I tried to tell my MIL about some of the new info I got (esp from the links) but she still seems to think I'm nursing him too much. I think the intimacy of breastfeeding disturbs her and she thinks it makes him too dependent, which could actually be a touch of jealousy since she can't comfort him like I can. But I'm going to keep on nursing my way because I now have evidence that nursing frequently, on demand and even nursing to sleep isn't damaging him and even has benefits. At least she accepts that it's my decision and I can cope with sighs and disgruntled looks as long as I know I'm doing the right thing for my baby.

    Telling me my nursing style is wrong attacked me at the very core of my motherhood. I've never been very assertive, but I'm learning to stand up for my baby's rights!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    10

    Default Re: Extended Breastfeeding Question - please help

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris H. View Post
    You're doing everything right! As long as your baby is happy then rest assured your nursing style is perfect for him.

    Since I'm the mom, I never listen to other peoples negative comments. HTH

    I agree!!

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