How long are you going to BF/How long do you think is ok?

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KittyRN's picture
Joined: 02/03/09
Posts: 1260
How long are you going to BF/How long do you think is ok?

Hey ladies

This is sort of a followup thread to the one I started about extended breastfeeding.

For those of you who are still breastfeeding or those that have met your breastfeeding goal, how long did you want to/how long do you want to breastfeed for?

For everyone formula/bf at what age do you think it's icky? Alot of people I know seem to think that magically at the year mark it's gross. Not sure how one day makes a difference but that seems to be a common opinion.

I told a story about bfing that I thought was cute the other day to my friends (about how Simon now is more aware of what he is doing and will pop off and sort of play with my nipple and squeeze it a bit, which I think is funny and cute) and they sort of reacted like they were disturbed. Like it's gross that I am still bfing a baby that is aware of it more. Not like he would remember it though, so I dont see the problem.

Anyways, just wondering what everyone's opinion is. I dont want this to become an argument type thread and I respect everyone's opinion on the matter.

I'm starting to be more into extended breastfeeding and think that even up to 2-3 years is ok, as long as it stays at home and maybe only occasional (like am and pm).

rubber_da_glove's picture
Joined: 12/31/07
Posts: 1527

I have no goal. I didn't with DS1 either. I just wanted to do it as long as I could. DS1 went on strike at 7 months and hated bottles and formula so he stopped having any milk at 8 months. I was told by my doc it was fine because he was eating a varied diet.

Tobey is now down to BF 3 times a day because he's doing the same thing DS1 did and totally thinks food is better than milk. If I try and BF him more he just has two sucks and he's bored. He also likes to play with my nip and boob. I don't even notice he's doing it Lol sometimes he squirts himself...:)

I said to myself I would stop when he's 1 but I think I might make it to 15-18 months. Not that I think it's weird to BF a 2 year old more that I kinda want my body back and wear nice bras again Smile But I like BFing.....

I will NOT be BFing an 8 year old though Wink

Joined: 06/22/10
Posts: 5602

i might be the odd one out, but remember i have come a long way;) i used to think breastfeeding in general was gross and refused to even think about doing it.

i ended up stopping around 6 months due to many reasons. bfing never really went well for us unfortunately. if it had, i would have at least gone to 6 months and just taken it from there. i was pretty sure once he got teeth i would stop but i stopped before that happened.

after 1 year i start to feel kinda weird about it. not that as soon as he turns 1 year and 1 day i would be like ew! lol but i think as soon as they start asking for it or lifting your shirt up that would just weird me out. who knows, when i have my next one i may continue after 1 year but at this point, i don't think so.

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

We're going to BF until Teagan is ready to stop. I plan to stop pumping at work after she's a year. She's never been fond of bottles so I feel like this won't be a big deal for her and it'll free me up to do things at work that I've been unable to do (like attend all day seminars). I'll continue to offer when we're together until 18 months - 2 years. After that it's up to her. I probably will only offer when she needs comforting, like after a booboo. She's already pretty good at asking when she wants to nurse (tugging on my shirt) so she'll still get to nurse when she wants to. Nursing and co-sleeping go hand in hand in our house. So long as she continues to be a decent co-sleeping partner for the most part (we have our bad nights, trust me), I'm not going to try very hard to get her to sleep in her crib any time soon. She's keeping AF at bay and IMO co-sleeping is worth it just for that reason. She'll be 2 when we TTC next year. That's when I might be more forceful about kicking her out of my bed. We'll need the space and she'll have to get used to sleeping in her own room before the new baby comes because I cannot fathom co-sleeping with her and a newborn. By then we'll most likely be down to just morning and bed time nursing. I'm OK with her continuing with that beyond age 2. My next pregnancy might ultimately be what ends it. My milk will probably dry up and she'll probably lose interest. Or nursing will become very uncomfortable and I'll have to have a discussion with her about stopping. Honestly, I don't think there's any age that I'll find it disturbing but I've never BF'd a 4 year old so who knows how I'll actually feel about it.

The age to which another Mom BFs is none of my business. I'll give support to anyone who needs it but I would never ever ever give a Mom a hard time about BFing or not BFing. If anyone EVER gives me a hard time they had better watch out because the fur is gonna fly. She's MY kid and they are MY boobs. I'm lucky in that no one in my family would ever make comments to me about BFing. Most of my IRL friends are either hardcore about BFing or completely clueless kidless folks who know me well enough not to bring it up. The only people I have to watch out for are strangers and I don't give a flying frack what strangers say to me. I was born and raised in a loud NJ Italian family and we like to get feisty. Bring it on!

Sorry, I got a little feisty there Wink

HorseMomma's picture
Joined: 06/29/04
Posts: 858

We just stopped:0)
I use formula until they are like 18 months...
I decided to BF 1 week before she was born...lol...I had no goal...:0)

KittyRN's picture
Joined: 02/03/09
Posts: 1260

I dont necessarily care what other people think, but I just think it's nice to have support! (you ladies are wonderful of course!). It's odd that the one person who is the most supportive of me breastfeeding and continuing past a year if we want to is a friend who chose not to breastfeed her 2 kids. She had her own reasons, but is definitely supportive of me! Which is nice.

My husband is very supportive right now, but is in the mind set that at a year he should stop, and so is my family. It's weird because they are all so judgemental of people who do not breastfeeding a newborn and up to 6 months, then at a year, they are judgemental of people who are still breastfeeding!!

I'm trying to get DH on board with continuing past a year. I think once we get there he will be ok with it since it's not like something magical happens at 1 year that makes it weird. And I've mentioned to him bringing DS to my work at lunch to BF and he said ok....and I dont go back until DS is a year. So maybe the idea is growing on him.

No, I wont BF until 8 either! Lol

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

I'm with Erin, bf'ing is a personal decision. You bf for as long or as short as you want and I'll fight for your right to do so. I have no personal issues at all with anyone's choice so I just mind my own business and offer my support.

I started out wanting to bf both my little ones for as long as they wanted or whenever I decided I wanted my body back, whichever came first. I had a goal of 12 months minimum with both and didn't make it with either. DS weaned just like Sarah's oldest and ya all know the story with Clara. Oh well, it is what it is.

I tried to bf DD1 but gave up after 2 weeks and no support. Before I had DS I would've told you that I thought a year was plenty long enough and maybe gross after that. At this point, now that I've seen the miracle that is breast milk and have seen the wonderful benefits and really understand it more, I think we (in America, specifically) have such a hypocritical view of bf'ing. Like you said Kitty, people can be so judgmental of whether you bf or not and then start judging you about how long you're going to bf. It's crazy. Everyone has a different idea and they think their's is the right one. I'm of the opinion, in my old cranky age, screw off and mind your own business Biggrin :D

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

My goal for BFing this time was at least a year. I had so many problems nursing DS1 and was so sad when he self weaned at 6 months, I promised myself it would go differently this time. I have no clue as to when we will stop. As long as Odin wants to nurse I'm ok with it, though there are days I just want to wear a pretty non-nursing bra and any type of clothing I'd like. He is pretty intense about nursing so I'm sure we will go well past his 1st year. I am looking foward to the next few months though, as he takes off with eating, so that nursing is more just surrounded by relaxing for sleep and waking in the morning.

I really have no opinion on how long a mom nurses her LO. To each their own. Since we plan to TTC very soon I'm sure I will be nursing through pregnancy and, if Odin is understanding and hangs on, maybe even tandum nurse. I'm sure I'll get more than a few stares and unwelcomed comments at that point but I don't care. I love the nursing relationship I have with Odin and it would totally break my heart even more (than with DS1) for it to end before we are ready.

ETA: Sometimes I feel that others (IRL) are more judgemental when I mention extended nursing with my LO being a boy. Not sure if I'd get a different reaction if my LO was a girl or not. It makes me wonder sometimes.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

A minmum of a year is my goal and after that Ronin can choose. I will offer as long as he is interested until at least 2. I will stop pumping at work when he is 1. Ronin loves his booby juice so much I would feel cruel taking it away from him now. When I have seen child health they have asked if I'm still bfing and I have told them I would be for a year and then he can self wean beyond that they seem pleased about it.
How long someone bfs is their own decsionit's their baby and their boobs. If someone asks me for support in any capacity I will try to help if I can. I think because our local hospital pushes it so much as well more people at least start and give it a go which is good.

Joined: 10/17/09
Posts: 631

I didn't really have a set goal... I sorta went w the flow. I made it to 3, so I thought "let's try for 6m" ... and then I made it there, so again I was like, "let's try for 7, 8 and maybe 9m"

Here we are sitting 8.5 months and she's weaning herself. I thought I'd be estatic when this happened; especially seeing as how a month or so ago I was ready to have my body back; but now that it's really happening I'm kinda sad. She only wants to nurse at night; and even that is fleeting... The last three days have been completely breastless and she isn't showing signs of it being an issue and my boobs are not even the slightest bit engorged!!

I'm really proud of myself for getting as far as I did Smile

Cherrychip's picture
Joined: 01/31/09
Posts: 1134

My goal is 1 year, at which point I will wean off of pumping at work, really starting to look forward to that! I still will offer when I am with dd and will either let her wean or else when I get preggo again I will probably encourage her to wean if she is still nursing as I am not crazy about the idea of breastfeeding while pregnant. I have no problem with occasional at home nursing up to 2-3 years old except I don't want to wait that long to start TTC baby 2. I do not think it is weird at all to nurse past 1, not sure what the magic age would be, I think for me it would be between 3-4 years old.

jperry5683's picture
Joined: 02/13/10
Posts: 525

I believe every child is different so every situation or circumstance will be different. I am going to stop offering at about 15 to 18 months and then it will be up to him. I love the bond and the experience and am truly greatful i have made it this far. He is very into food and is a good eater so who knows how long we will go.

He is very aware of them. Talks to them and grabs. Dh thought it was weird initially but now sees that he'll talk to his foot and other body parts so he is in no way aware.

Its a personal choice and people should do what they feel fits their life.

BuckeyeK's picture
Joined: 10/23/06
Posts: 3087

For me personally, I will absolutely BF to a year. After a year and up to at least 18 months I will continue to encourage BFing. After 18 months, how long we go is up to her. If we make it to age 2 yrs, we'll see where it goes from there. I may want my body to myself by then, but I'd be completely comfortable BFing to age 2+, maybe even up to 3 years. (I don't want weaning to be traumatic, and I think babies get to an age/point where it becomes too routine, and becomes traumatic if you try to force it, so that is why I would probably pick somewhere around 18 months to about 2 1/2 to be a good time to wean. I prefer it to happen gradually and naturally.)

I am of the opinion that every woman needs to decide for herself how long she will nurse. It is between you and your baby, and no one else's opinion matters. We have such a weird view of BFing in this country. Boobs exist to feel babies.

laurensmitty1982's picture
Joined: 07/30/06
Posts: 1117

For those of you who are still breastfeeding or those that have met your breastfeeding goal, how long did you want to/how long do you want to breastfeed for?

I want to breastfeed for at least a year. My goal is a year but just because of my own selfish reasons I will probably wean around 13 months. I will want my boobs back.

For everyone formula/bf at what age do you think it's icky? Alot of people I know seem to think that magically at the year mark it's gross. Not sure how one day makes a difference but that seems to be a common opinion

I can say that I would think that breastfeeding a child who can remember is icky to me. So probably around 4-5. I dont think I would say it would be icky at 2-3years old, but I think it would be strange to have a conversation with my child about nursing at that age.. Its totally all about me and my thoughts, nothing that anyone else decides to do would I feel like I have the right to judge nor would I ever make anyone feel upset that they were doing it.

As to your friend.. Dont let it bother you because not only does Natalie grab my nipples, she also grabs my dh nipples, so its not like she is knowing that she is playing with "food" She is playing with what is right in front of her..Plus I heard babies first sight are circles, or that circles appear darker and that is how they know where the nipple is..

ambie719's picture
Joined: 10/03/07
Posts: 811

:lurk:

DS1 was exclusively BF'd until he was 8 months when my morning sickness kicked in. At that point we started supplementing, but we did the transition very slowly and I still nursed at least once a day (usually before bed) until he was 11 months and he got too antsy/distracted/bitey so we stopped, and he never even seemed to miss it. I am still BFing my youngest and he will be 11 months old this weekend. My goal was a year this time, after that I had hoped to wean, not because its icky but for the same reason as Lauren, I want my body back, I have been pregnant, nursing or both for almost 3 years straight now! I would be ready to wean next month but I really don't think DS2 will be ready, so I will probably give him to around 15-18 months. He's been very slow with foods, he wouldn't start solids until 8 months and even now he's still only on purees, he won't eat anything with texture. He has never taken bottles and he pretty much just chews on his sippy, so without my boobs I feel like he'd be missing out on quite a bit of food. Once he eats a bit better I will start the weaning process.

As for other people, I don't know that there is any magic age that it becomes weird. For me personally I wouldn't want to nurse to 2, and definitely not beyond that, but I'm not going to judge or look down on people who do, just like I don't judge people who don't breastfeed at all.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

My goal has always been 1 year. After that I've been very unsure about what I want to do.

As far as the ick factor goes, school age! I will never forget watching that TV segment about the 8 year old. If you're in regular school all day then you obviously don't need BM. After BFing though, I can easily see why some people have no issues with continuing on for as long as the child wants. I really enjoy BFing right now and want to continue it for as long as Aiden wants, but another big part of me wants the freedom of not being tied to him. I want to be able to go on an adult vacation once DH finishes pilot training and be able to do simple things like have DH babysit. lol. I feel really selfish for wanting to cut way back on nursing at a year, so I'm not sure yet what I will do.

PeanutGirl's picture
Joined: 10/26/08
Posts: 345

With DD1 my goals were in steps, 3 months, 6 months, afte that: ok, let's do it a year. It became dicey around 5-6 months for my supply and pumping at work, so it became a challenge that I wanted to win. We got down to bedtime nursing toward the end of her first year and she self-weaned at 15 months.

For DD2, my goal is a year. I knew what to expect this time and felt I had the experience to easily get to a year, if DD2 doesn't self-wean. So far, so good!

For me, anything past toddler age would be odd. That said, if DD2 starts going past 18 months, I might push weaning. I'll want my body back. However, I talk big now, but it in the end, it will be me that hangs on as long as I can, because I'll be sad that I'll never nurse a baby again. Sad

Regarding your friends that were all eww, about the nipple grabbing thing, etc. Have they ever nursed? When I was reading up on nursing when I was pregnant with DD1 I was kind of squirmy reading/hearing about it.