I have a question for all mammas...at what age is a child too old to be breastfead? There is a new law in metro atlanta that says you cant breastfeed anyone in public older than 2. They said its public nudity. What do you all think?
I've always joked that is a child if old enough to make his own lunch, he should stop breastfeeding. I did breastfeed my babies for over a year, so I am pro breastfeeding. As long as child and mother both want to breastfeed, keep going. But, if either wants to stop (including mother, though some look down on this), then it is time to stop.
i stopped when my kids bit me.
People get all emotional about the right to breastfeed, but just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD. What's the point in brestfeeding longer than you would bottle feed? When a child is old enough to ween from a bottle - they can be weened from the breast. When they are able to get thier nourishment from solid food, they no longer need to rely on breast or bottle. Longer than that is filling the moms needs not the childs.
Mama's need to quit getting their panties in a wad! They are not saying you CAN'T breastfeed past two, just not in PUBLIC past two, and I don't think that's unreasonable.
They came up with 2 as a number because WHO states that a child should recieve breastmilk AT LEAST until the age of 2. So they said, "Fine, moms can breastfeed their children until 2 in public." It sounds like they are being accomadating to most breastfeeding moms and it makes sense to me.
I'm a breastfeeding mom, no problem with seeing an INFANT (nutritional needs that can't wait) being fed in public. But a child over two, a toddler, is not nursing for nutrition and can wait an hour until mom leaves the park or store. Should a mom want to continue (which is OKAY) it needs to be in a more private setting. If mom will be out past 'lunch time' bring a sippie cup and then nurse in the car, a dressing room or at home.
I don't feel there is a set age for approprietness for stopping breastfeeding, per se. I think that it is what ever is comfortable to mom and child, and to each their own, but that the public shouldn't have to be subjected to it past 2.
The real question here is how they will enforce it.
I believe a mom should breastfeed as long as it's appropriate for her and her child. That doesn't mean be ridiculous and nurse when the kid is school age.
Though the mother/child nursing bond is beautiful, that doesn't mean that a toddler walking up to mom and pulling up her shirt is well received in public in America. It grosses a lot of people out, because a child that can walk and talk and reason is not the same as an infant. The regular public would rather not have to see that, and only the most militant breastfeeding mothers push that on people. By the time children are older, they are eating real food, and breastfeeding is mostly for the relationship between the mom and child, not needed on demand.
You're kidding, right?
How can a State/City, make a LAW to dictate how/when a woman breastfeeds????
**So are babies/kids/toddlers supposed to carry an "I.D." on them to prove their age??? Like, when you go to a store and buy Alcohol?
My daughter, self-weaned and did so at about 2.5 years old.
My son, self-weaned, and did so at about 1 year old.
I will not have, some entity dictate to me... how I breastfeed my kids or until what age.
What are they going to do next? Make it a Law, that "Mommies" can't wear thong underwear if they are older than 30?
So is someone going to card women? Are they going to have to prove that their big 18 mo. old is only 18 mo? When their 2.5 yr old has a meltdown, is it any different to nurse that child than a 2.5 month old? Many toddlers only nurse at home/night, but my friend's daughter is still a NIP kid and over 2. I don't think it makes any more sense to regulate it by child's age. It's still NURSING in PUBLIC, regardless of toddler or infant. It's not suddenly nudity if the kid is doing the same thing. It's finding an excuse to regulate nursing in public vs enlightening people about nursing.
When I nursed my child past 2, it wasn't that I was forcing her to be infantile. It was a need, if not necessarily a nutritive one. She could ask with sign language well before she could talk, so I don't consider that a factor, either. If someone's toddler is pulling up their shirt, then the kid just needs manners.
I know this isnt a real answer but i started laughing at the comparison of cows nursing to humans...no we dont turn away when a cow nurses (but cows also dotn have clothes) but did you know a mama cow we kick her baby away if it trys to nurse when its old enough now to.
In our culture I think people get nervous when they see an actual walking, talking toddler nurse. Seems like as soon as they get old enought to "ask" for it they are too old to have it. America is weird like that.
I nursed mine till he was about two, but I'm pretty sure I didnt nurse him in public when he got big enough to use a straw while we were out.
Women should breastfeed as long as it is mutually desirable by her and her child. No one should tell a woman when to stop. Only in America is it weird seeing an older child nurse, other countries this is the norm. Shame on us America, we should learn to be more accepting.
I just stopped nursing my almost 14month old. However I stopped doing it in public when he was about 10 months old. He was too big and I felt wierd considering he could eat food. I think there is no reason to nurse a 2yo in public. I am all for breastfeeding but personally feel 2yo is too old period. I wanted to be done by 8 months but my son never took a bottle and refused a sippy cut so we strectched it out until 13.5 months. I know some people like to breastfeed their elementry school kids but I am not one of them.
Wow! I'm just shocked. Maybe it's cause I live in California or have a European family but this is outrageous.
How did they come to this arbitrary number? While it seems reasonable to stop nursing after 2 years, my approach is much more child led. When the child needs to stop nursing, they will stop nursing. According to studies, animals are designed to sustain themselves on mother's milk until they have a full set of teeth... that could mean up to 5 years for some children.
At 2, there is no reason the child can't wait till they are at home or in private. At that age, the need to eat from the breast for hunger's sake (like a baby) isn't there. But, having said that, I don't agree w/ a law about making it illegal.
I think a mom and child should stop when one of them is ready to be weaned. I nursed till my daughter was 22 months.
It reminds me of something I saw where the father says, "Well, excuse me if I'm uncomfortable with the kid using my wife's breasts to wash down his meatloaf."
There does come a time.....
Obviously it's a personal decision as to how long someone breastfeeds. But, there's a big difference between an infant and a 2 year old "needing" to be breastfed in public.
thats not exactly true. the law isnt in metro atlanta, but a small city outside of metro atlanta, called Forest park. the law began with prohibiting public nudity, due to trying to curb strip clubs, and gave an exemption for nursing, but then put a limit on "up to 2 years old" ....
i think that should be up to a mother and her child and no government should be allowed to say anything either which way.
I like to answer this type of question with a joke
A man asks his doctor, "doctor, how long should my legs be?" the doctor replies "long enough to reach the ground"
My answer to how long should a woman breastfeed?....well until she and her baby are done. Taking no other opinions into account, no naysayers,no yes men, not anything. That law in atlanta is preposterous, i personally would not have publically breastfed my two year old, but i did breastfeed my two year old at home! The people that shake their fingers at this can go and jump off a cliff for all i care.
to each their own
****im laughing my butt off about the moms saying "will be baby have to have an i.d., thats frikken funny!, I got a very cute image of a baby i.d. with weight/height/ and percentile !....yeah my baby looked like she was 2 at a year old or sooner
seriously? That is silly. I don't agree with breastfeeding past age two, but a law?? I think that is crazy. I would hate to be the cop that has to go over to a breastfeeding mom and ask, excuse me, mam, how old is your baby? or please move it along, mam! Don't mess with moms and their babies in public. And what if there was a medical problem with the two-year-old and the child's mental state was still at one year?? Then what do you do?
I've nursed one until 12 months and still nursing this one. But I've never been a public nurser. I'm just uncomfortable with myself - I don't have problems with other mother's nursing in public. How will they monitor this? Will mother's have to carry around their child's birth certificate to prove it? And so my 20 month old that is smaller than most 6 months olds I know I could maybe get by with until she's 4?
I don't agree with the comment that a child on the breast past 2 is because the mother doesn't want to let go. I've been trying to wean on and off since 12 months. She's 20 months now. For example last night I refused her and she screamed from 1230am-630am with me laying on my tummy wrapped in a blanket so she couldn't get to me. The night before it was 330a.m.-530 am then I locked myself in the bathroom to get ready for work. The day before 430 a.m.-530 a.m. then I lcoked myself in the bathroom. A few more nights and I will quit trying for another month or two. Sometimes there is something to be said for sleep and a mother's sanity. IMO
The time to wean is when it's right for both mother and baby. It might be 3 weeks, 3 months 3 years. And just because one of the nursing parties is ready doesn't mean that both will be. Again just my opinion and experience.
Just my opinion but a child older than 2 does not NEED to be nursing. It is a WANT, and mostly on the mom's part. Of course, most women (in my experience) that are publicly breastfeeding past that age tend to whip the breasts out in public without any discretion whatsoever. I'm not saying you have to be completely covered up or throw a blanket over the head - I'm talking you see the entire breast. If it were a NECESSITY because there were no other FOOD sources, then no problem (as in, for a baby under the age of 12 months or so). But, since it isn't a necessity and food can be gained from other sources then I'm fine with it. If it is used to calm the kid down or soothe the kid, well, just like many others do - you find a private and quiet place to calm your kid down.
As the mother of a 13 month old child who has physical problems taking any liquids other than milk DIRECTLY from the breast, I am just plain mad. My child can't drink from a bottle, cup, straw, etc. We have been working diligently on this for almost a year with no significant improvement. If this continues, I am bound to be nursing past 2 yo.
While I always try to be discreet, should I always be forced into a dressing room, car, back room away from the rest of my family?
For god's sake it's a breast. A mound of fat with some dark colored skin designed by nature for feeding the young!!! Last I checked two was still young.
When she gets damn good and ready to. Seriously, I think that this is a very personal decision and there is no place for legislation on this topic. I breastfed my children while I was on maternity leave, but ended up stopping when I returned to work for lots of reasons. I personally think that it is a bit odd to see a 2-3 year old still breastfeeding, but that is my personal opinion. I figure that if you do me the honor of letting me raise my children the way I see fit, then I can extend the same courtesy to you...
The American Academy of Pediatrics says nursing is beneficial as long as mother and child want to nurse. I think the city council in Forest Park, GA need some real problems to worry about- are they really overrun with women nursing toddlers?
Wow really? Thats crazy to have a law like that! I think that as long as mommy and baby are both happy breastfeeding they should continue. When one or both of them wants to stop, then its time. I don't think that anyone should be able to determine the right time to stop breastfeeding. Its up to the mom and baby-----NOT our GOVERNMENT! I am a huge fan of breastfeeding and this law is just wrong! Everyone knows that breastfeeding moms aren't trying to flaunt their breasts or be nude and offensive to others. Most moms I know are so respectful and careful around others so they don't show anything----Are they going to outlaw bottlefeeding in public too at age 2????? Not fair. Thank goodness I am in California where we are a little bit more progressive and laid back.
That ticks me off. Do we are turn away in anger when a mama cow is nursing her calf?? No, most dont. In fact...most would think that was pretty cool to watch.
Not comparing us mamas to cows..just making a point. I think it is absurd how people look at breastfeeding moms with any age kid. I think we should embrace and make them feel more comfortable..Not set more rules up and horrible structure...making women feel silly or ''gross'' for choosing the best way to feed baby.
I nursed up until march of this year. I let my three year old decide when we were done. I would not have had it any other way.
I think there is a time where, if you are nursing a toddler, you dont HAVE to do it in public. There are those moments though, if toddler is super worked up, scared or whatever...you gotta do what you gotta do!
No one..not even our Dear old gov'ment should tell us where, when how..and how old we should nurse our kids til. I am a believer we need government...but this is a misuse of power and rule making privilege.
I would like to see them slap a nudity clause on teenagers dressed like hooches or the guys with their under roo's and butts hanging out their britches...then maybe they can slap nudity clause on my boobies hanging out feeding my kiddo! Most women do cover up now days too! we have come along way from the 60's and 70's...hooter hiders are amazing!
Wow - that's just wrong. I BF'd my son till he was 2.5 years old. Granted, he was mostly nursing at nap times at that point, so public feeding wasn't an issue. Pretty sure that law isn't actually legal.
For one, you have to be NUDE for public nudity, so unless mama's whippin her breasts completely out of her shirt, there's no nudity. Most mamas of toddler breastfeeders can do it without showing skin hardly at all. If you really want to see it hit the fan, you could let the local LeLeche League know about this - I'm sure they'd be able to get some attention brought to this rediculousness.
Honestly, the prurient "oh, a breast" crowd pisses me off cause 99% of BFing moms have modesty, and you don't HAVE to watch someone BF their child - you can look in another direction.
i would say by 15 months. the child does not need the breastmilk past a few weeks. it needs nutrition. i am pro breastfeeding, pro formula, pro everything, but some moms just don't know when enough is enough.
Really!? And how exactly do they intend to enforce this law? Good luck with that... Last I checked, my 2 year old doesn't carry ID on her. Are we supposed to start carrying birth certificates on us to prove they're of the "right" age? This law is ludicrous. I got LOTS of glares and even some comments nursing my daughter when she was 14 and 15 months old. She was tall and could talk quite well, so I'm sure people thought she was older. So, you can't really tell how old a child is - there's no way they'll be able to actually enforce this.
I really think you should look into that law - because most states have a blanket law to enable breastfeeders (Mother to child ONLY) to nurse anywhere in public without an age limit.
My daughter self weaned at 4.5 y/o and most children I know - when given the choice and opportunity to wean without parental shame, coercion or encouragement - will weans between 2.5-5 y/o. 3-4 y/o is the global average age.
I do not ever think a woman nursing her child is ever obscene or public nudity.
I breast until age 3, after 12months, I pumped it into bottles and then sippy cups...no one would ever know, unless you decided they needed to know. It has great nutritional benefits. You can do it, until you decide it is time 2 stop! Good luck!
i weaned my oldest at 5 months and second at 1 year. i am not comfortable with breastfeeding over a year. i can see the logic of maybe doing it till 2 or 3. but after that, you are the parent. you can see that the child gets his/her nutrition from food and liquid from other sources. you are enabling the child to demand wants rather than mature. so be the parent. and for my sake, if you are still breastfeeding a 4 or 5 year old, i certainly don't want to see that in public. there are other ways to comfort a child!
This law is absolutely absurd! It is also illegal and they can't enforce it worth anything. It is misguided and damaging.
In cultures where child led weaning is the norm children nurse in upwards of 7 years old, 4 or 5 is around the average age.
I have 3 children. #1 nursed until he was 3, through my pregnancy with #2 and for 2 months I nursed both. #2 nursed until 3 months before he turned 5. I found out I was pregnant with #3 a few days after the last time he nursed. #3 will be 2 in a couple weeks. I can guarantee she's not going to wean any time soon. Never once, not ever did I force my kids to keep nursing. It's not because I can't let go or I'm getting my jollies off of it or any other asinine comments I hear people say repeatedly. It was their choice and need. I am happy to meet their needs. Breast milk does not loose any nutritional value just because they are older. It changes constantly to fit the needs of the child. Why is giving the milk of another animal after the age of 1 better than human milk for a human baby. It is still *required* to give them milk for the nutrition.
I have always nursed them whenever and where ever we are. We were just at Disneyland yesterday and I nursed my daughter several times while we were there at whatever place we stopped to sit. Never flashed skin, didn't have huge blankets or shower curtain covers draped over us. People never even realized or cared that I was nursing. It didn't look like I was. In over 10 years of nursing I have never once had a pump touch my breast, I never needed it or wanted it. How insane that people EXPECT you to pump to feed your child! Children must have starved before they existed, seriously.
Yes, I can sometimes say can you wait while I finish something up (my daughter really wants to nurse and I asked her to wait until I finished typing this as a matter of fact) but in no way can I expect "Until we get home" and I'm not sitting in a car when it's 120 outside, car running and A/C on still does not make that comfortable. I need to do things and my kids have to come with me and they need to eat.
I think that as long as the mother and child and both happy with the arrangement, then they should breastfeed for as long as they want.
HOWEVER, I think that once a child is old enough to eat solids and drink water or juice from a cup, then nursing for comfort (as it often is past age 2) should be done in the comfort of your own home. Not because it's wrong, but unnecessary to be doing so while shopping or at the park.
While a baby still needs breastmilk for nutrition during the first 2 years, a mother should be able to nurse whenever, wherever, however her baby needs. I know some people are uncomfortable around a breastfeeding mama, but to them I say "suck it up, buttercup!"
The fact that a woman's right to breastfeeding even NEEDS to be protected by law is sad. The fact that some places are trying to get around those laws are even sadder.
Well, that's just silly.
BF should continue as long as it's mutually desired by and beneficial for both mom and baby. For some that's a long time, others it's shorter. My first daughter self-weaned at 19 months, my second nursed until 15 months, but I have friends who have 3 years old who still nurse and they both are still enjoying it!
really- gee whiz! I think that is way overboard! the world health organization reccomends you breastfeed (if possible) till about 2.5 if I remember correctly!
My daughter was just under 2 when we weaned her... but I think breastfeeding is a far cry from "public nudity"...
That said, I understand that some people are uncomfortable with breastfeeding, so I always had some sort of nursing cover, either a sling or blanket... covering me and my daughter when she nurseed and we were in puplic. At home- I nursed without a cover. But I wasn't going to NOT nurse "in public" just because a few people are uncomfortable with any baby over (insert age here) being nursed.
As far as "when old is too old"- well, when the baby or toddler and the mother are ready to be done... that is when... oh, and before college- I hated all those breastfed college kids (hehe...) What was just as bad was all those college kids still on the bottle or using pacifiers... Goodness sakes! - snicker -
For ME the right age to stop is around 2-3 years old. It IS a little weird to see school age kids nursing... but really, who am i to judge? What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular, after all!
Are you serious? That is ridiculous! I'm generally a no after 2 but thatdiesnt mean I wouldn't support friends who did it after that. Is this just in public or all the time? How are they going to enforce it if it is all the time an not in public
*just saw you said public. Silly me. That is spook ridiculos! How is it public nuditly with a two year old but not a newborn?????
I guess it really depends on your child and if mom wants to continue. I breastfed my 1st until 14 mos. My 2nd for just under 20 months. The longest I would have gone was 2 years. I was never real comfortable breastfeeding in public anyway, and even less comfortable the older they got. That's just me. My youngest is a little over 2 now and I can't imagine still nursing him. He's a very tall boy and looks older. It would make me uncomfortable because he really looks and acts like a little boy now, not a baby. When he was under 2 it didn't seem weird to me, but now it would. I have a sister in law who breastfeeds until they are like 4. I admit, when I see her son running around, eating, talking long sentences, then jumps on mom for milk, I think it looks strange. I know in her case if she lets it go, then that part of her life will be over, it is not about nutrition now, more for her at this point. It is a comfort thing for him too. I comfort my child with hugs and kisses, no need to have mama's milk at 4, but I know not everyone feels that way. As long as mom and child are happy that's all that matters. I keep my opinions to myself when it comes to stuff like that.
That's silly. I think it should be up to the mother/child to decide when to stop nursing. I know some women who nurse up to five years! Seems pretty old to me (as in, I don't think I'd be comfortable with that) BUT apparently if you look around the world, it's not that abnormal. So, while it's really bizarre here socially, I don't think that is something that needs to be made into law to prevent in public. And two is certainly too young IF they must create a law. It's not public nudity. It's nursing a young child.
I find the people who insist extended bf is not a need by the child but a want by mom completely ridiculous. Do you really think I want to be the go-to person to calm my child? Or I want to be the one to get up every morning at 6am when she wakes? Or I want to be the one who always does the bedtime routine? Come on...
I just weaned my 21 mo old. It's been a great relationship, but it'll be nice to share the childcare duties more equally.
A law on breastfeeding? Ridiculous, how will that be enforced? "Ma'am, you are under arrest for feeding that child". I do think, past the age of 2 or so, that a little discretion is warranted while nursing in public. I know it seems wrong to expect that, but many people arent comfortable seeing a preschooler nursing.
This is absurd. The World Health Organization recognizes that the median age of weaning is 4. The American Academy of Pediatrics says '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.' (emphasis added :)
I have nursed for the better part of 14 years with six children. I allow my children to self-wean when THEY are ready. The latest I've had a child wean is 5 3/4 years old. And you know what? HE'S FINE. The youngest I had a child self-wean was 28 months.
Equating breastfeeding (or even comfort nursing) between a mother and her child to nudity is ridiculous. First off, when a toddler nurses, you tend to be LESS exposed, because they are bigger and can cover more of you, and are better able to understand "No, Mommy's shirt needs to stay down".
I just got yelled at in our local park by two mothers for letting my 4 year old nurse to calm down after hitting her head.
You should nurse as long as both mama and child want to. A child knows when it's the right time to nurse; be that 12 months, 24 months or 6 years. A child will not nurse forever.
I have friends in Atlanta. They'll be writing and calling about this.
I breastfed my first for two years (last six months were more for comforting her than nutrition)
My second baby one year, she self-weaned and told me to shove it LOL
My third baby I'm hoping to breastfeed for at least a year but I'm not sure if it will be possible with two other kids around.
My take on this is that it should stop between two and three years old, after 4 years it honestly makes me feel icky BUT I'm all for breastfeeding so to each its own. Oh and I have never seen a woman breastfeeding a child older than two anyways so I don't where are they finding this women who breastfeed a 7 year old.
I think its totally nuts that there is a law like this. Its completely unenforceable and its not the government's business to protect people from the "horror" of a breast. That being said, anyone older than 2 should not be breastfed in public unless they are a special-needs child. I am pro-attachment parenting and breastfed my son until he was almost 3. His birthday was coming up in a few months and over several nights we did gradually less time nursing. Then I didn't say anything and he didn't ask. It was very natural for both of us. I don't believe in self-weaning because he would still be on there because it was just a habit before bed. After a certain age, you should be using other methods to help soothe your child. While its true that in our culture, breastfeeding past age one is often ridiculed (I hate it when people say things like there are signs to stop like a child being able to speak her needs) people should certain things private.
Breastfeeding is not some kind of sexual experience unless the mother has a mental problem. Its really no ones business how long a mother decides to nurse. I have nursed each one of my children and sometimes ones that have been weaned still want to nurse and I did not turn them down and they might have even been 3 or 4 at the time. Its not like they will be wanting to nurse at 10, 12 etc. Breastfeeding is a wonderful bonding experience that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world but it is not an easy task. It can be very draining at times expecially when you have two or three other little ones all needing you at the same time but I just suck it up and do what is best for my child and I do not care what others think. The average age children are weaned worldwide is age 4 which is something that I have not been able to do but I think its fine if that is what the mother and child need and or want to do.
Oh and breastfeeding and bottlefeeding are not the same at all not putting bottle feeding down. When children nurse they do not use the same muscles as they do when sucking from a bottle. So one reason why children are encouraged to be weaned from a bottle at one is due to teeth if they suck from a bottle it causes their teeth to protrude outward unlike breastfeeding. Their are a million other reasons to breastfeed for long periods of time like the fact that all mammals do this etc. Oh well just hope the law doesn't last long its just not right in my opinion. I have always covered up as well as best as I could my babies hated being covered up they wanted to see what was going on. I am not a person who was comfortable with nursing in public but I did because its what my mommy heart told me to do.
In most cultures around the globe where breast feeding is the norm, 2 years is the cut off point. However, in this country where we are backward on the whole idea of breast feeding past 1 year, you will get glares. I say, if you are breastfeeding a toddler, do it at home or in a dressing room if you are out.