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Thread: Breastfeeding and the older sibling . I have no idea where this would go.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    3

    Lightbulb Breastfeeding and the older sibling . I have no idea where this would go.

    We are planning our second child, which is glorious. However I am worried about our older son. He was put on the cup around his first birthday and he certainly can't remember getting fed before that. How will it effect him pyschologically to see me feeding a younger sibling from what, by then, he will know as a private part (he will be six if all goes well with the conception)?
    Any suggestions as to deal with this will be appreciated.


    Also my cousin who formula fed the first one is about to deal with the same situation (her older kid is 5 and the new one due in August). Should she tell the child the truth, that he was not breast fed and possibly cause him to feel inferior or less loved than his younger sibling? Or lie to him?

    We have both scoured the web for articles or books on the matter and so far absolutely no luck.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and the older sibling . I have no idea where this would go.

    First of all, try to have him see breasts as private parts..yes they are private persay but if he knows it's used to feed babies i doubt he will be psychologically scarred. I am nursing my 3 mo old and have a 4 yr old who doesn't remember he was bf but i talked to him about it before the baby was born and when he sees me nursing Elias i tell him, 'you got mommy milk too!'..he loves it..lol

    As far as the formula feeding child goes, my first two were formula fed. When i started bf'ing they asked me if they were bf'ed and i said no because i had no education on the subject. They don't feel inferior at all..they just say 'thanks mom' sarcastically and have learned that bf is the way to go. I'm hoping their children will be bf from what they have learned

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and the older sibling . I have no idea where this would go.

    I attempted to nurse my oldest, didn't work out so he was ff. Almost 8 yrs later his little brother was born and I bf him for 17 months. When the boys were 10 and 2 1/2 their little sister came along and is bf (8 months strong). My boys know the proper words (breast, nursing) and they are not embarrased or anything. It is totally normal. This is how to feed a child. I tell my oldest the truth about why I didn't bf him, and he has no issue with that (I was young and had lots of pressure to ff - 1st grandbaby and everyone wanted to give him a bottle )
    Many, many families have dealt with this issue, and will continue to. You won't be waving your breasts around for all to ogle, you'll be feeding your child.
    I hope I've helped in some way. Feel free to ask more!
    Best of luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and the older sibling . I have no idea where this would go.

    In my experience, children really have no trouble understanding the fundamentals of breastfeeding: Babies drink milk from their mothers' breasts. When they are hungry or unhappy, nursing helps them be happy again. This is one special way that mommies can take care of babies.

    The "breasts are private parts" thing shouldn't be hard to explain. Children understand that babies aren't held to the same rules as older children, as there is so much they can't do on their own and so much they can't understand yet.

    I nursed my now 4yo DS all the time in the presence of my stepson (who is 12 years older than my DS). My stepson, even at that awkward preteen age where everything is embarrassing, very quickly got used to it. Also, my stepson had been weaned to formula at the age of 6 weeks, but he's never expressed any opinion one way or the other about either that fact or about his brother's nursing. I think it doesn't have to be an issue, but if it does come up, then the more straightforward and informative your answer, the more readily the older child will accept the situation matter-of-factly.

    --Rebecca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and the older sibling . I have no idea where this would go.

    Thank you all very much for your replies. I feel a lot more secure with the situation now that I've heard from you. My husband and I really breathed a sigh of relief.

    Thanks also for the advice for my cousin. She's been really beating herself up for formula feeding her first boy and she felt it was something she couldn't rectify with the second without creating some feelings of inequality in him.


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