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Joined: Jun 2006
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Parakeet
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Parakeet
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I CAN RELATE. I also was one of the first ones to breastfeed in my family. I formula fed my first and breastfed my second. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> It's been amazing!!! <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> GOOD LUCK!! The breastfeeding editor here has some great articles and links. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

No one in my familiy breastfed, so I'll be the "odd" one, but I can hold them off too. [/quote]

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Amoeba
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Amoeba
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Why do I think what?

I feel that there's a practical age at which to stop breastfeeding and too me when a kid can stroll up to you, climb into your lap, and say "mommy, I want some milk" they're too old to be still breastfeeding. Don't get me wrong, though, my philosophy in life is "live and let live". If someone wants to breastfeed until their kid is 18 year old, I won't be the one to tell them they're weird or anything (even though I'd think it! LOL).


Michele

We journey now into the unknown. Does anyone have a map?
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Parakeet
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Parakeet
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I was just wondering why you said that because I have found that most who think toddlers shouldn't nurse are basing that on cultural norms and what their familiar with rather than on what's best for the child.

Research supports "extended" nursing which in this country is called extended when it's actually not. I'm certainly not trying to convince you but wanted to make sure accurate info was out there in case anyone has a baby nearing the age of one who is still an avid nurser. My little one is 17 months and I'm delighted she's still nursing for health reasons. Also, weaning her (not doing child-led weaning) would be traumatic for her. If she's still nursing, then it's still a need for her emotionally in addition to being nutritious. Did you know the milk your body produces for your toddler is different from the milk a new baby gets? It's amazing how the body adjusts and produces milk that's perfect for a baby over the age of 1.

Why Nurse Past a Year?
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/index.html

I didn't nurse my first and my goal with my second was one year. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I had no idea I'd make it this far!! I hope to make it to 2 years as the World Health Organization recommends. We'll see how it goes.

Just sharing info. I know everyone has their own feelings about the issue. I just hate to see babes weaned because of tradition (few American babes are nursed even to 12 months).

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Shark
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Shark
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Posts: 311
Cultural norms are important and based on the world we live in. I, too, think that when a child can ask for milk it is time to wean. Most toddlers get more pacifier benefit from nursing once they are on a full diet than nutritional benefit.

But, I strongly feel that there is room for variations and if longer breastfeeding is working for a child and parent, I don't intervene. Most kids end up weaning themselve once they start preschool.

Most toddlers become so headstrong they eventually wean themselves. Our role as moms is to respect that and let them move on.

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Koala
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Koala
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I'm not the "odd man out" in my family. Everyone for generations has breast fed--poorer families breast fed, wealthier families bottle fed in generations past. No biggie.

I would have taken it to a full year, but not past. I don't believe in either bottle or breast past a year. BUt that's my preference and I don't push it on anyone.

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Chipmunk
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Chipmunk
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Kid #1 nursed weeks before I gave up
Kid #2 nursed for 5 months, supplemented/nursed until 2
Kid #3 weaned for good just after her 3rd birthday this past spring (I encouraged her to stop, I admit it!)
Kid #4 nursed exclusively for 9 months, supplemented until 13 months

Kid #5 on the way

I was pregnant and nursing 2 kids at one point, that was a bit much on me.

I say let the kid wean, if you are lucky enough to be in a position as I am where the kid can be with you 24/7.

If a kid walks up to you and asks to nurse, be happy, you know what they want and aren't crying <img src="/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

I dont know why people get so upset when they see a toddler or preschooler nursing. 1, it's not their kid. 2, the kid can't cry/shout/tantrum when they are nursing. 3, it's not their boob. 4, it's not their life.

Meg


Meg
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Parakeet
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Parakeet
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I'm surprised to see an MD saying there are no nutritional benefits to a toddler nursing. Wow. Also, children are verbal at different ages. My baby could sign for milk at 8 months. I certainly wouldn't have weaned her for that reason. I have a friend who's baby could say it at 8 months. Based on the rule of being able to ask for it, he should have weaned too.

It's obvious that I'll be the minority on this thread too so I'd better just stop responding and stick with the natural parenting boards.

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J
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J
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Cultural norms are important if you care what others think about you and if you are afraid of being labeled �odd�. However cultural norms are based on and developed by people who may be unenlightened. Cultural norms, thankfully, are continuously challenged by the smart and savvy. In the Victorian era for example, it was the �norm� to view an infant�s crawling as beast-like so consequently children where made to stand at a very young age with the support of a contraption made of whalebone. It was also a culturally held belief that sperm curdled breast milk, so in order for the elite to keep their husbands satisfied they hired either a wet nurse or fed their young infants cow�s milk. Both arguably contributed to the high infant mortality rate of the time. These practices, to me seem cruel and I am glad that they are no longer cultural norms. More recently, breastfeeding for any amount of time was against the cultural norm.

It is utter arrogance to think that our present day cultural norms are �right� and should not be challenged. The human race still has a long way to go before we reach perfection.

Weaning a child before he or she is ready due to societal pressures and norms seems unfair and cruel as well. I admit that I may feel slightly awkward seeing a four, five or six year old nursing in public, however, I am not saying that I am completely free from the influence of our norms. Regardless, I nursed my nearly three year old in public occasionally, despite the views of others. Early weaning in this culture as a norm may some day be viewed as equally appalling as putting corsets on infants-as it already is in other cultures.

It is my opinion that we have to attribute all of the progress of the human race to those throughout the centuries who weren�t afraid to breach the cultural norms of their time.

No one should have to breastfeed any longer than they feel comfortable with. But weaning because someone else says its time is ridiculous. Mother and child are the only ones who know when it is the right time to wean.


Jessica Gunsch
<a href="bellaonline.com/site/breastfeeding" target="_blank">Breastfeeding</a>
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Parakeet
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Parakeet
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<standing up and applauding>

Joined: May 2006
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Shark
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Shark
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Thought I'd get my 2 cents in on this...

My first child was weaned at 2. My second still has a little nip (as she calls it) at almost 3, and my newborn...well, as long as possible. It's the most natural, comforting thing in the world, and about so MUCH more than nutrition.

Hugs.

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