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Breastfeeding School Age Children..


Hope75

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Hi All,

 

Just curious what your thoughts are on this topic.

 

I post on another forum (I'd rather not say which one) and there are a few members who are breastfeeding their children who are 4,5 and 6 years of age. I find this a little odd... and I can't help but wonder if this is more about a psychological need from both the mother and the child vs. anything else.

 

When I was growing up my close friend's mom also nursed her daughters until they were 6 & 7. The girls were walking up to mom and clearly asking to nurse.

 

Some of the moms are 'tandem nursing', i.e. nursing an infant or toddler, and also nursing the school age child.

 

What are your thoughts on breastfeeding children of this age?

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well.. if it's not necessary for the child to be drinking breast milk, and the child can eat i dont see a reason to continue breastfeeding. it's a bit odd. i mean how do you whip out your breast and feed 7 yr old?

i saw it on a tv sitcom but i guess stuff like this happens in real life toowhere the mom has trouble letting go and accepting that the child isnt a baby anymore

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Also what happens when you try to stop breast feeding a 7yr old who has become accustomed to this for the past 7 yrs, it must be really hard.

 

i also wonder if it as psychological effects. i mean i still clearly remember a few moments from when i was 8 or 7. i wouldnt want being breastfed to be one.

 

I agree, I still have alot of memories even from the age of 3 and 4, I also wouldn't want this to be one of my childhood memories.

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I'd think this was a little creepy, personally, bordering on some sort of psychological disorder of the mother. Maybe a form of separation anxiety?

 

I agree with this too...REALLY creepy. Just picturing a 7 year old...going to her mom during recess at school and asking to "eat"..and her mom whipping out her boob....

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There is no nutritional benefit to giving someone breastmilk after 1 year.

 

But I think if I was breastfeeding and my older child wanted to try it I would let them. I think that older children revert to acting like a baby around a baby. If the child felt left out or like they were missing something I might let them so they could see that what they were eating was better than the milk. So I could see somebody doing it. Although me personally I don't think I would do it with a child over maybe 4 at the oldest and probably in a cup. I think an older child should be able to understand.

 

I was on a breastfeeding board when I was still bf my daughter and some of the moms were all about self lead weening. So they would breastfeed their child until the child wasn't interested anymore, no matter how old they were when they decided it. The theory was that the child had to be ready to end the bonding that comes with breastfeeding, and as long as they continued they weren't.

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I know I'll take flak for this, but I think a lot of moms nowadays are a little too obsessed for some reason. It's not healthy. My mom never breastfed at all and I grew up with a super high IQ, athletic talent, I'm attractive, healthy.... I mean, it's not a magic elixir?

 

Ok - attack me....

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GAH.!

 

An aunt of mine did this, supposedly, I don't remember as I was a child myself when she was still breastfeeding my cousin. And my mom simple could not breastfeed, so it wasn't even an option.

 

The way my family describes it, my cousin was 5-6 when he stopped. He had a stool - one of those kiddie stools, that he would push up to his mom's feet when he was ready for a drink.

 

I have actually asked my aunt about this as an adult, and she said, yes, I did that with P and let him decide when he didn't want to anymore.

 

Without going into too many of her personal details, she was going through some very rough times in her marriage when P was a child - even she herself brought up that link when talking about it.

 

Personally, I think it is along the lines of behaviors like keeping your child in the bed with you to a school age and the like. Where moms start to turn to their child for some of their own needs.

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I think that breastfeeding is a personal choice. And it is better than formula for babies. BF babies don't get sick as much, they are generally smarter (although it may be because smarter people breastfeed) and they don't have as many allergies as formula fed babies. But it's hard and there is also a lengthy list for not doing it.

 

But I also think it is a generational thing. My generation is told all of the above and my mom's generation was told to go to work. And the only people who breastfed were too poor to afford formula. Set a good example as a working mother. blah blah

 

I also don't think that there is anything wrong with letting a kid sleep in your bed with you. A lot of other cultures have a family bed. I think americans in general are all about self sufficiency and I don't know if that is the best thing for a baby or even a toddler to learn. Some people thing loving and bonding is better, and bf and co-sleeping go along with it. I don't think that it is supposed to have to do with the mothers needs

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IAG I could see that.... my mom used to always want to come in my room and sleep in my bed, or wash my hair (even when I was in 7th or 8th grade she would still ask). It used to make me angry with her and I'd go into the whole "stop treating me like a baby" tantrum thing. She was and is infant focused.... for whatever reason, she just LOVES babies and doesn't do so well when they get older. She also had a bad marriage and was afraid to leave it. ??

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Just to clarify - I was not speaking about babies nor toddlers, but school age (or close to) children.

 

To me, that makes a big difference. Especially when the child is at an age where they are individuating themselves, going to school, learning to be "big kids" and spend time away from family at school and making new friends, wanting to have friends over for sleep-overs and fun. All those things.

 

I think there is a difference too in a child that occasionally spends time in the family bed or with mom or dad - and one that has never been taught how to sleep in a bed or bedroom alone.

 

Years ago, I nannied a child with exactly this situation who was entering school. There were def problems surrounding his anxiety in being separated from his mother. He had never learned how to sleep away from her.

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IAG I could see that.... my mom used to always want to come in my room and sleep in my bed, or wash my hair (even when I was in 7th or 8th grade she would still ask). It used to make me angry with her and I'd go into the whole "stop treating me like a baby" tantrum thing. She was and is infant focused.... for whatever reason, she just LOVES babies and doesn't do so well when they get older. She also had a bad marriage and was afraid to leave it. ??

 

That's interesting. Wow, yeah, I can see little you getting upset with a mom trying to wash her hair at a "big kid" age. Even in junior high. Wild.

And you seem so independent a personality too (or is that just my perception of you? lol)

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Wow. Beyond the psychological stuff and the being treated radically different from other children their age, wouldn't it just be painful? I mean once a baby's teeth start coming in isn't that usually a sign that it's time to wean them?

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That's interesting. Wow, yeah, I can see little you getting upset with a mom trying to wash her hair at a "big kid" age. Even in junior high. Wild.

And you seem so independent a personality too (or is that just my perception of you? lol)

 

LOL My mom took me to a shrink when I was a kid because I kept "rejecting" her authority.... the shrink told both my parents I had decided I could raise myself and unfortunately for them, I was intelligent enough to try and make a go of it!

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I saw a videp of a woman breastfeeding her 8 year old daughter! I find it really strange and have an uneasy feeling about it.

 

The kids don't need the nutritiens from it anymore as they can eat, so I don't see the point. I too think its' more for the mother at this age than for the child.

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I think that breastfeeding is a personal choice. And it is better than formula for babies. BF babies don't get sick as much, they are generally smarter (although it may be because smarter people breastfeed) and they don't have as many allergies as formula fed babies. But it's hard and there is also a lengthy list for not doing it.

 

 

I don't want to turn it into a formula/breast debate but I didn't breastfeed my daughter and she has an excellent immunity,rarely even gets a cold and is a quite advanced child.

 

I myself wasn't breastfed and wasn't deprived of anything. Like somone already said,it's not a magical elixir

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I believe it more about the mother than the needs of the child. I would be concerned that this is abuse and neglect of the childs needs, especially at 8 years old. The child is only a few years from puberty and I find that alarming to say the least.

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hm - who needs to work out and go to the gym when you can just breastfeed! it burns over 500 calories a day. my cousin is breastfeeding her 10 month old and she is very slender. and burns calories chasing the kids around.

 

i dunno - i think it's a personal choice. i know in many cultures, it's common to nurse until 5-6 years or more....

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