It’s my baby, I’ll wean when I want to. Wean when I want to…

by renegademama

That was hands down the stupidest title I’ve ever come up with.

In.My.Life.

So let’s move on, hopefully to better things…

I would like to clear something up, publicly, on the internet. So there’s no confusion…and maybe, just MAYBE, people will stop asking me the following question, which is of course nobody’s business and shouldn’t be asked anyway, but somehow keeps getting fired in my direction…

“Are you STILL nursing your baby? When ARE you going to WEAN her? “

Let me answer this question with all kinds of clarity: I plan on weaning my baby…NEVER.

Or TOMORROW.

Or, when I freaking feel like it.

Alright. Real answer: I will wean my baby when I no longer feel like nursing her or she no longer feels like nursing.

How is that complicated?

Why don’t I worry about this issue? Because I’m lazy.

Also because I don’t know a single adult who still nurses. Therefore, I’m pretty sure this particular relationship will end AT SOME POINT.

Now don’t start giving me that bullshit 1950s Dr. Spock “your kid will end up too dependent” theory. That’s such a load of crap.

“Okay, Sally, to help you become independent, I’m going to withhold from you that which you need to feel safe and secure and confident, which in turn makes you clingy, needy and more dependent.”

HUH?

Independence is a byproduct of feeling safe. Dependence is a byproduct of feeling fear. Meeting my kids needs as best as I can helps them feel safe.

Now leave me alone.

But don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that weaning your child is “not meeting their needs” or causing “fear.” Come ON…would I do that? Nah.

What I’m saying is that I don’t buy the theory that not weaning a baby impedes her independence (based on that old-school kids-shall-not-cosleep-or-nurse-past-6-months-because-they’ll-never-grow-up-to-be-good, strong, strapping-Americans theory).

In my opinion.

Does this mean I think a mother should nurse her baby as long as the baby wants even if she’s miserable and “over it” and wants her damn nipples back?

HELL TO THE NO. That is some irrational crazy mama bullshit. If the nursing relationship ceases to work either way, then it should end. Don’t ya think?

I mean why nurse your baby in resentment? That ain’t cool.

And maybe, the reason the mother no longer feels “into it” is because the relationship is ready to evolve – maybe it IS time for the baby/toddler to move on – maybe the mother feels that intuitively and therefore the nursing no longer feels natural and good and right…and SO…she weans the kid. Right?

But for now, for me and for Georgia, we have a pretty nice thing going and she enjoys it and I enjoy it and we reconnect and play and cuddle. So what’s the freaking problem? Why would I end something that is cruising along just fine for both of us? Because I’m making her dependent?

Yes, I can really see her stifling dependency in the way she runs away from me fifty times a day to explore new territory, meet new people, tackle new obstacles…or walks into new places and says “bye!” and forgets my existence entirely unless she falls, gets tired, gets pissed…or wants a drive-by nursing (you know exactly what I mean, right?)…to reconnect, to reassure. To maintain that independence.

I guess I’m just getting pretty sick of hearing that Dr. Spock throw-back crap because I still nurse my baby girl who is 18 months old. Eighteen months!! A baby! Even if I nurse her til she’s four. Even then. WHO CARES?

Oh holy crap there’s no way. I wouldn’t like it that long.

But I nursed until I was four.

And look what a winner I turned out to be.

Damnit. Perhaps not the best example.

Okay but seriously, can we all just agree that nursing a baby past one year doesn’t cause mental and bodily harm? And neither does weaning?

Although… nobody ever sees Georgia with a bottle and says “She still takes a BOTTLE?” They only ask about the nursing…which leads me to believe the issue is still based on that “A CHILD MUST SEPARATE FROM HIS MOTHER AND BE STRONG!!!!” crap.

What’s weird is that it isn’t that I’m NOT weaning, it’s that I don’t have a PLAN for weaning. Maybe I’ll wean. Maybe I won’t. And somehow, in that, I’m guilty of some crime. I guess it’s the crime of trusting my gut. The crime of trusting the radical notion that I know what’s best for my baby and myself,  that I know how to nurture and raise the baby I birthed. And trusting that if the time comes when nursing feels wrong, I will know that too and will act accordingly.

Screw the books.

Screw the theories.

You know what’s real? This:

HEAVEN

 

  • kate

    Amen.

  • Janine Kloss

    I’m not weaning either… love the post, but hate that you’re getting bugged. People must think I’m off my rocker because they don’t even ask anymore. I really couldn’t give a damn about what I’m supposed to do… Clearly since I’m doing alternative/natural parenting. The nursing relationship is so personal… why, oh why do people insist on giving their opinion about it?? 😀

  • Jess @ Dude and Sweets

    Here’s my take on the whole damned thing.

    Your boobs, your business. People start asking the whole boob/bottle question when the kid is still marinating in the womb, and I don’t get where anyone gets off asking about someone else’s boobs.

    I don’t go around asking people about their other lady parts. Like, “Oh, hey, when are you going to give your husband a blow job?” “OOH! Nice vag!”. Wtf.

    Enjoy your baby. That’s all that matters. The boob askers can go screw.

  • Elle

    Loved your post and especially the title! I love how you worded your argument – especially the lazy part. That’s been me too. My step-mil was always asking me if I was still nursing when my son wasn’t even a year old. Yep – why give it up? It’s so easy and a no-brainer.

    It’s been a few days since I’ve nursed my 13 month old and I’m missing it. He’s not very interested anymore and not going for it. I still have a supply in the freezer, but I treasure that special time with him. He’s my last… but on the upside no more nursing bras!

  • Jenn

    Go you!!! I had the same attitude when my daughter hit one year. Everyone expected me to suddenly have a plan for weaning because my daughter was now allowed to have cow’s milk. I would just shrug my shoulders and say “I dunno.” But then I’d toss in some disclaimer about how I was sure the nursing wouldn’t last much longer, since I would probably be tired of it sooner rather than later. That usually satisfied people.

    I ended up stopping at sixteen months, because my daughter got really sick and refused to nurse for days, then went into the hospital and had no interest in nursing there either. When she got home from the hospital she magically started sleeping through the night (as opposed to waking every two hours and yelling for me to nurse her), so I thought… okay, I guess we’re done.

    You’ll find your groove. The next time someone asks you a tactless question, I recommend making some humorous comment that answers nothing. Usually people will take the hint and won’t continue to pester you about it.

    Beautiful photo, by the way. It made me smile! Have a great weekend!
    Smiles, Jenn @Misadventures in Motherhood

  • eringirl

    Grace quit nursing at 9 months. I was devastated. Ana quit at 13.5 months. And I was devastated again. I obviously don’t know why either of them decided they were finished, but I would still nurse them if they wanted it. I never knew I would love it so much.

    Yo go mama.

    • eringirl

      I meant GO YOU, MAMA. Because that statement was super confusing.

  • Leslie

    Amen and thank you!

  • Shan

    I could have written this, but I’m not so good with the English. And nobody really hassles me about it. I have an 18 year old niece type who talks about the fact that I still nurse, but I figure it’s a chance to give her a different perspective; no one in her family ever breastfed.

    Regarding my Fynnie, my new favorite thing about her is that “booby love” has become “boo boo.” Tonight after her bath, she ran down the hall toward her room, where I sat waiting for her. She called out, “Boo boo! Booboobooboobooboo!” leapt into my arms, flopped over and started nursing, waving off her story and Daddy’s goodnight kisses. When she was done, she sat up and snuggled before silently asking to be put to bed (uh, “asking” is actually nose-diving into the crib). It was a sweet, loving way to end her day.

  • Teresa

    Anna and I are right there with you and Georgia!

  • Megan

    Soooo…when are you going to wean her?

    Jk!! I could care less about your boobs. You do what feels right and that’s all that matters. I didn’t breastfeed either of my kids and I regret it terribly. It just isn’t my thing. It hurts and wasn’t comfortable for me.

    No I can’t get my youngest off the bottle. Oh fuck. Either way we are screwed.

  • Quiet Monsters

    “Independence is a byproduct of feeling safe. Dependence is a byproduct of feeling fear. Meeting my kids needs as best as I can helps them feel safe.”
    You. Are. My. Freakin. Hero.

  • Quiet Monsters

    oops-I forgot to mention that your picture captures pure and innocent love…ya, ya-sappy, I know-but man, look at that! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!! xoox

  • Marie

    So I thought I loved your blog before but now I might be IN love with your blog and perhaps you. Just saying. Your post is awesome and rocks my world. Well put.

    (Side note: My oldest nursed until 22 months. Hoping my second goes just as long if not longer. We’ll see how he rolls. 🙂

  • Rachel

    So excited to find a like mind. My kids were nursed longer than I would ever care to admit & we eventually stopped without a weaning plan. Things just ended of their own volition. And you are right – no one is nursing now, everyone is capable of toileting themselves, can walk, dress & self-sooth when mommy and daddy are not around and everyone knows to look both ways before crossing the street. Now, if YOU wrote a parenting book, it would actually be one I could get behind & promote. Everything else I’ve read is ridiculous fiction, including Dr. Spock. Keep being you!

  • Lisa

    DAMN STRAIGHT.

    What I don’t get is, in many other countries, it is considered normal, TYPICAL – to nurse a baby until they are about 2.5-3 years, sometimes more. In a few cases these are developing countries where the argument could be made that nutrition is a very real reason for this, but not in all cases. I did a lot of reading on this when I was considering the decision of when to wean my little one. And I learned that there is a bias in Western cultures. . . . a bias that is in some ways AGAINST the very deep connection between a mother and a baby that occurs with nursing. It’s the Dr Spock bullshit as you said. It’s the shit that comes from the same people that push “Ferberizing” even when the mother and father do not feel it is the best for their baby. I think you touched on this – it is the supposed “wisdom” of those who claim they know better than you what will make your baby strong and self-sufficient. It is the by-product of a highly industrial society where in many cases (because of jobs, wars, etc) a generation or two back we saw the splintering of the extended family unit. And when that happened, the “experts” stepped in. Instead of grandmotherly wisdom guiding young parents, or teaching them to trust their instincts for their children, what was pushed on every mother was this “feeding schedules” BS and “sleep training” at 5-6 months old and making the baby have to be as self-sufficient as possible from a very very young age. I’ve caught some flak myself for being pro-attachment parenting but those who know me well, know well enough not to push their ideals on me when it comes to what is good for my baby and my family. And mounds of research on attachment theory have shown that a secure attachment, early in life. . . THAT is what makes strong independent people later on (or early on, in Georgia’s case!!). And I have to wonder too . . . in so many cultures throughout history, the reproductive, nurturing power of women was feared, reviled in some ways, covered up. Now don’t get me wrong there are cultures where the opposite is true, and in those, I think women’s breastfeeding habits are not called into question. But in places like the modern US where certain types fear any self-assured woman, whether she be a parent,a professional, an educator, a midwife. . . . I think that might really contribute to what we are seeing here.

    But because our culture is what it is, so male-dominated, so full of myths about our bodies and our babies and what is “really” good for us, we get hit with the questions time and again. As a matter of fact, my own husband (we are both first-time parents in his defense) just naturally assumed I would wean her at about one year if it hadn’t happened by then. I don’t know where he got the idea. I guess maybe early on, before I had thought about it fully, I may have said something in agreement with timelines and such. But as the date approached, I knew WE were not ready. No, sir. And nobody was going to force either of us. I brought it up to my lactation consultant, a warm lady who is very pro-attachment parenting and whom I trust very much. I was worried (at the time)- especially since my little one liked a LOT of boob time – often more than even I wanted, although I did love breastfeeding her so much. I asked her – was there an age after which nursing her would actually be harmful? Should I just set a date and “work” towards that, dropping feedings steadily? And she laughed and said exactly what you said – “Unless you still think she will be breastfeeding when she goes off to college, I wouldn’t worry about dates. So many people worry so much about this, needlessly. You will know and she will know when it is time to move on, and how to do it. Trust yourself, listen to her. Don’t be bothered that some people will never understand. She is not THEIR baby.” Wise woman. And I wish I had listened a little more. We gave it up at 15.5 months, and although we were getting there, neither of us was really fully truly ready. If I had it to do over again, I would wait until we were.

  • Eddie - The Usual Mayhem

    You nailed it! It’s nobody’s business but yours.

    My mother-in-law, a wonderful woman in all other respects, is a breast-feeding psycho and drove me nuts with each of the three kids essentially ordering me to continue, insisting that I should “just sneak away” from my desk multiple times daily to pump, etc. I just nodded and did what I wanted, when the baby and I wanted to do it.

  • Solon

    My daughter quit nursing at 8 months. She transitioned from the bottle to strictly sippy cup at 13 months. She is now 15 months old and more independent than I am at 34. Her B/G Twin siblings are due in 22 days & I am grateful that Indy,(short for India),is as independent as she is. She made all her transitions of her own volition and although I would have gladly continued to nurse for as long as she wanted, I rather like knowing that she did whatever she did when “she” was ready. I plan on doing the same things with the Twins. If one chooses to quit nursing at 6-8-10 months and the other continues until their first day of primary school, so be it.

  • Marisa

    You worded everything so perfectly! I feel the same way. My daughter and I are going on year 3. Now we’re just down to night and nap nursing, unless she gets sick. I love our nursing relationship. I also love the convenience of having a healing super power. My daughter was just sick the other week, throwing up. We quickly got her over this by nursing all day long. She couldn’t eat a thing, but could nurse no problem.

    I think many people in this country have the attitude that nursing should be stopped at a year because that is what the FDA recommends. But you know what!? The World Health Organization recommends nursing your child until at LEAST 2. Above all it is no ones business.

  • luella

    aw, you totally made me cry this morning with that pic! We weaned, kind of mutually, about a month ago although I was open nursing all the way through pregnancy and tandem if that was needed…my boobs had other plans, and frankly so did my daughter. but when she is sad, or tired, or i miss her after an extra long day, i wish we could nurse again.
    i don’t know why people think planning anything is a good idea…it never works around here!

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As the Wife

    Right on, sweet sista!

    I loathe the idea that nursing causes co-dependency in children. I can’t even wrap my mind around the thought that children shouldn’t be or aren’t co-dependent naturally. They’re children! of course they’re going to be co-dependent they can’t do anything for themselves yet!

    My daughter went through a phase of separation anxiety over Christmas and into January. The first things out of everyone’s mouth is “the boob causes it” “you should give her more bottles” “you’re not going to feed her until she’s 5 are you?”. Because it had nothing to do with a development milestone or anything. :::headtodesk:::

    I tell people all the time how surprised I was to find out I love to nurse. I really thought it was going to be a means to an end: free food for her and thinner thighs for me. I also thought I’d be counting down the days until 1 year old when I could wean…we have 4.5 months left and I’m in no rush to even think about weaning yet.

  • Deb

    Amen! There needs to be more women like you in the world.

  • Straw/Jen/Berry

    I nursed 3 children, 5 years collectively. My only regret? The one child I only nursed 13 months. We co-slept, attachment parented and I nursed on demand until they were through toddlerhood (for the most part). Best thing I ever did for them and me. It goes fast, don’t regret a single moment. Nursing is the most bonding act ever!

  • Lisa

    An open mind can see more than open eyes, but sometimes you have to have open your eyes to see the way to an open mind.

  • Jennifer

    Is it weird that I’m just jealous of your boobs? Great post, too. I didn’t have the best luck nursing but know plenty of mamas that nurse their kiddos well into the third year…

  • Ginny

    I love your blog! I read it fanatically and recommend it to all my friends–even though our kids are now “young adults”!! I can tell you, my kids are better adjusted and more independent than any other kids I know, and I strongly believe it’s because I did it my way, threw out the books, and listened to my intuition. Just like you said, I made sure they felt safe so they could leave when they were ready, when that sense of safety and wellbeing was internalized so they carry it with them everywhere they go. Oh and yes, both my kids weaned when they/I were ready, it was a gradual and natural process, one weaned at 3.5 years and the other at 1. No trauma, no drama, and nobody’s business but mine and theirs. You go girl!
    PS Say hi to mac for me ;>)

  • kim

    That picture of you and Georgia makes me melt. I SO wish I had pics of me nursing my babies.

  • Sara

    Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  • Sean Marie

    This is a little disturbing but I still remember nursing. I was about two when my mom decided to wean me and I stayed with my dad at my grandma’s until I just forgot about the tit. His method was to just wear me out by going all around town and to the park non stop and I was too tired to even care. I agree though and they’re your boobs, your baby and you can do what you’d like and what your baby likes. Hey, if you want her to still suck on your tit at age 15 then so be it.

  • Heather

    You go girl. I nursed my first one til she was 16 months. And the only reason I quit was because I was in the hospital and couldn’t. To everyone who cares about your breast with the exception of your husband but the heck out!!

  • Kimmi

    Amen! I nursed my first until he was about 2 years old. I had hoped to nurse him for the first year at a minimum. Hubby thought I should have a plan to wean, and at first I thought it’d be at 18 months, then at 2 years, but in actuality I never made any plan to do so. I came to the realization that there was no reason why I had to wean him. I would let him self-wean as I felt it was something he still needed — and why in the world would I deny something that he needed??

    Our nursing relationship was wonderful. It was such a comfort (and not to mention quick fix!) for him when he got hurt or sick. I loved that he told me one day, “Mommy’s milk make me feel better.”

  • Chris

    Love. Love. Love. Love.

    signed,
    a regular old mom, and now grandma, who listened to no one and had three children who weaned at age 4, 3 1/2, and 4 1/2 (years, not months).

  • mcdonnellism

    So timely. This week, my husband called me out, asking how much longer I was going to be nursing our 10 month old. Yeah, 10 months. I’ve only ever made it to 9 months with previous babes, so I’ve actually considered my ‘longetivity’ impressive, while he was confused as to why this stage is lasting so long. All I could site was that both parties were happy…and I wasn’t ready to let go of this stage yet (nor does Shay seem to be in any way).
    I really just posted to tell you how beautiful that picture is of you & Georgia. That’s really what it’s all about – those moments keep me nursing. Aw, bless.

    • Amanda

      Probably he just wants to be able to get at those boobs himself without their nutritional function getting in the way…
      …can’t really blame him on that one.

  • Beth

    I nursed until my son until he was 22 months, when a severely herniated disc put me out of commission. I wish I would have said some of the things you listed in this blog to my detractors. Especially my father-in-law, who seemed so bothered that I was nursing past one year. Asshole….

  • Cara

    So inspiring! My little guy is 8 months and I’m not planning on weaning until he is done with the boobs- I love breastfeeding and am so blessed that I never had any problems with it. Way to go!!

  • andrea

    like the post, but this is the kicker (if it had been missing the post wouldn’t have resonated with me as much):

    Does this mean I think a mother should nurse her baby as long as the baby wants even if she’s miserable and “over it” and wants her damn nipples back?

    HELL TO THE NO. That is some Nazi crunchy mama bullshit. If the nursing relationship ceases to work either way, then it should end. Don’t ya think?

    That Nazi crunchy mama B.S. has really wreaked some havoc on one of my friends. She lets her kids and her man use, use her to the last drop. There’s little “her” left, and most of it’s been to please some self-inflicted Nazi crunchy mama dogma. At least as far as I can tell. Wouldn’t want to get all judgy on my friend when I’m criticizing some judgy Nazi crunchy mama establishment.

  • Sierra

    Thank you for writing this post. My son is 20 months and I have been thinking a lot about weaning. We’re in that place where I go back and forth on it–which is normal.

    I’m known as sassy in some circles (or maybe all of them), so it sort of surprises me that I have a very weak backbone when it comes to standing up for myself. I’ve gotten “are you really still nursing???” comments before and I’ve been all, “umm…yeah, that is, yes…er…” instead “YES I AM AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASS, WE’LL FINISH WHEN WE’RE DAMN GOOD AND READ.” Followed by a lion roar.

    So I loved this post. I have come to believe that we’ll keep nursing for a while yet. We love it and he’s my last baby. One of the things that really helped on this was the book The Nursing Mother’s Guide to Weaning, which is pro-nursing for as long as you want to. It noted right off the bat that the World Health Organization recommends nursing until 2. The Unites States is very VERY pro quick-weaning culturally, so posts like yours do a service to moms who want to nurse longer.

  • Pam

    AMEN. Thank you. I also have no idea when I will wean my 10 month old. It’s working for us right now. That’s all I know. None of anyone’s business, anyway.

  • Mel

    LOL I love this! My daughter only fed until 14 months but it was bc she was done. And when i tried to keep nursing, she bit me. Not just an accidental nip like when they first get teeth, they were good bites! That was my cue to stop. And she is totally fine. When i drop her off some where she might say “bye” or she might just run off without a look back. LOL My 6 month old son may be a different story… he seems a little more needy. So if he is 18 months and stopping by for a top up, then cool. LOL I will prolly need to re-read this at the time tho because I am sure I will get the same comments! Thanks for the post.

  • Melanie

    I was introduced to your blog a few weeks back, and you made me laugh when i REALLY needed a laugh. So thank you for that.

    This particular post: my daughter turned 3 a week ago and we JUST weaned. Never in a MILLION YEARS did I think I’d be a hippie, co sleeping, baby wearing, nursing beyond teeth Mama, but sure as shit, that’s what I am. Who knew? And it was my choice to wean now only because things suddenly crossed into the weird zone about a month ago when she came up, gave my boobs a kiss and said, “I love your milkie, Mom”. Yea…OK….ummmm….we’re done. So I came up with a 5 week plan and told her that 3 year olds don’t drink “milkie”, complete with Dinosaur Train rewards each week as we cut out daytime, middle of the night, then less and less before bed. I knew she wouldn’t be nursing when she was in high school, but I also knew she was going to be an only child, and I wasn’t eager to stop if she wasn’t. Til it got weird. Then I knew. And she’s gonna be fine. And so am I.

    All this to say that I TOTALLY GET the drive-by nursing, and it made me laugh. And I’m going to miss our comfort sessions, even if I’ll be happy to have my boobs back. Though not quite as perky as they used to be. And SO MANY PEOPLE thought (think) or have said I’m basically a freak for doing what I know is right for my kid and me. Seriously, dudes, back off! People are so weird!

    Thanks for your blog, your humour, your honesty.
    Mel (Ottawa, ON)

    • renegademama

      Thank YOU. I laughed more than once reading this comment. I’m heading over to check out your blog. Welcome, and thanks again. Also, good job with the nursing, trusting your gut to let her keep on and then call it quits. We are the mothers, after all, you’d think we’d get a little more credit for knowing how to raise our kids. (Or mostly knowing, in my case.) 🙂

  • Dorothy Steinbeck

    Bravo. My older daughter nursed until she was 4 1/2, my younger daughter was done before she was 2 1/2 (she was a much more restless sort), and I miss it to this day…they are now 27 and 21 years of age. Ain’t nobody’s business but your own, yours and your baby’s. As for nursing in public, never stopped me. Just tuck ’em up under your shirt. Never covered their heads either, felt it was stifling and stupid. My older daughter’s father said to me when she was born, “I suppose you are the kind of mother who will nurse anywhere.” Well, said I, “I suppose it depends whether she is the kind of baby who will get hungry anywhere.” And of course she was, and of course I did nurse her whenever and wherever I wanted. Love the photo, love the blog. Feeling safe is the way to independence, no doubt about it. Boob, sling, family bed. Perfect. Don’t ever stop assuring mothers that all those things build secure, independent people. My oldest daughter nursed my grandson until he was 2 1/2. She never hesitated to pick him up and tuck him under her shirt, even if she was standing in line somewhere. When she was a babe she used to say to me, “I want to nurse”. But it all ran together and always sounded like: “na na nurse”. Message received.

  • Jo Ntawuyama-Marshall

    Thankyou, I really needed to read this today. You are angry, strong and articulate when I needed to be and didn’t quite have it in me. Thankyou. Distrust of the mother-child bond lurks behind many ‘innocent’ comments, and as the type of person who ponders things and maybe lacks confidence, especially as a first time mother, I’ve found that some of the nicest moments, which I should cherish, are instead tinged with guilt. I’m hoping to stop that now!

  • Kerri

    Just saw this. Good for you. I recently completed a survey on nursing toddlers hoping to shut people up! I nursed my first to 2.5. Second baby is 10 months and going strong. We’ll stop when we stop. Good for you!

  • Laurel

    God I loved this post. Thank you. Thank you so much!!! My daughter is well into her fourth year of life, and there seems to be little end in sight for here nursing. She’s vivacious, extroverted, assertive, clear, and very healthy. She’ll let me know when she’s done. Period. And I’ve given up on people who think they’re more of an expert on how to parent my children. The very notion that someone can write a book and become an expert on all children is absurd to me. Children, like adults, are unique individuals. None of which comes with an owner’s manual, so you, as the parent, get to write it as you go. It’s a book you write collaboratively with your child. It’s completely humbling and beautiful.

  • Frances

    I’ve probably read this article 5 times over the last few months. My son is almost 20 months old and we “still” nurse ALL. THE. TIME. I recently had a LC tell me he’s only doing it for comfort so….. To me, his comfort is pretty dang important, so….. There!
    I love your perspective on independence. I’m sure I’ll read this again. Thanks!

  • Nancy

    I’m new to your site. I’m also straight and married and all that. But I also might be in love with you! Haha. Thanks for this. I’m expecting my first in around 5 weeks and feel so grateful for empowering posts like these as I embark on this whole motherhood journey thing. Again, thank you!

  • Emily P

    Thank you for re-posting this. I needed to read this. I love nursing my 8 month old and she loves to nurse. My grandmother said to me the other day “So, what does the pediatrician perfer? Formula or cow’s milk now?” I told her the pediatrician prefers that I nurse for a minimum of a year if I am able. I was so hurt and not at all because my hormones are still a little off, my hormones are obviously fine. My mother, mother in law, and even my husband (along with my g-ma) are the only people that have ever made me feel like I am doing something wrong by nursing, made me feel like I am inconveniencing them or others by nursing. Surprisingly my dad, grandfather and father-in-law are the ones that seem to get the, “I birthed her, my business” theory. You would think the 4 people that care the most about her would be thrilled that she and I are both able to happily nurse for this long. Love you blog, sorry for the emo-sappy comment. There is a huge Thank You in all of this 🙂

  • Sarah D

    Great post. That picture is intoxicating 🙂

    I barely made it to 6 months with my son no matter how hard I tried. Production problems, pumping problems, etc. He completely lost interest when got pregnant again. Heartbreaking, but that was the right time for us.

    Nursed my daughter 15 months. Going back to work and pumping just didn’t make sense for us at that point. NEVER thought I would be comfortable nursing anyone at all, certainly not past a year, but it was such a beautiful, easy, cheap, lovely thing for us. So glad I had the opportunity.

  • Hazel Hardie

    “Drive-by nursing!” – totally get what you mean! We have those all the time! I can’t imagine weaning my 19 month old yet, so thanks for sharing your thoughts and letting me know I’m not alone 🙂

    And what an adorable picture 🙂

  • Mothership

    I nursed my first daughter until weeks after her 3rd birthday… 4 years later, pregnant and near due with my second daughter, my mother asks, “you aren’t going to nurse this one as long as you did the last are you?” with a strange uncomfortable laugh thing that only slightly touched off to how deep down she knew how amazingly inappropriate it was to comment on what I planned to do with my breasts and my baby.

    Which, btw, with neither did I ever have a plan that included, “how long I would nurse” just that I would.

    Outsiders need to back the fuck off what works for and is between baby and mama. Be supportive, or Be quiet, or just Be somewhere else entirely… not all up in MY mothering.

  • Rachel

    ::Applause:: 😀

  • Amanda

    I nursed my son til he was 2. Exclusively til 6 months (but supplemented with formula because I was just not making quite as much as that ravenous lil bugger needed), then until about 10 months there were a bit of purees and things just for fun but mostly nursing, then after that the cheerio habit took hold but I felt okay because he was still drinking tons of the healthiest damn stuff there is. After 14 months or so it was more and more occasional until it was kind of a soothing bedtime thing or supplement for when there was a bad tummy involved. After he stopped nursing I still had a stash in the freezer I’d slip into his oatmeal, cereal, etc., because I was a ninja mama, and basically the day after I ran out of that he got THE FIRST AND WORST COLD OF HIS TINY LIFE. I tried to get him to nurse knowing it would help but it was of no use, it had been several weeks and he had forgotten how.

    I felt guilty about exactly zero of the things I have stated above.

    In short, it might be a bit weird if your kid is nursing at nine,
    It’s probably better for your kid if you let her nurse for at least the first month or two, or at least the first week or two, okay, but other than that,
    well,
    I’m Really Sorry People Are Bugging You.
    No one bugged me once about anything and that should be every woman’s experience.

  • Brittany

    Love this!!!! My daughter will be 3 in March and she is still night/nap nursing. I work full time and I do love that she always wants to have our special mommy/her time when I get home, before bed. I wouldn’t change it for the world. Anyone who feels I should do anything otherwise,can fuck right on off.

  • Lisa

    I hated nursing, but did it 10 months. I wish I had stopped sooner. Your boobs, your baby, your decision!

  • hersheys

    My baby girl was 25 weeker premature baby who stayed in the nicu for almost 4 months. She is now 2 years by birth and 20 months adjusted. I am still feeding her and I always gets questions like how long will u continue? Or U don’t give her top feed I.e. formula?..when I started to feed her my in initial target was at least 6 months adjusted age and when I reached that I continued till 12 months and it is still going on without any time frame anymore..I do get a lot of supportive Mums who tell me that’s it’s soo good for my baby but I have also come across one mum who called me crazy.. I dint know how to react when she did but it is none of her business. Thankyou for this article. I do know that my baby will wean whenever she is ready or when I am ready but I love our bond when I feed her. I definitely will miss it whenever it happens.

  • Laurie Allen

    I had my first child at 42 and nursed for two years. We co-slept until she was ready for her own room, (around 10)

    I heard it all..and all the time.

    My reply that I was one of the lucky approximately 2% of woman my age with my own damn eggs and I would do as I damn well pleased.

    And I did.

  • Sarah H

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been internally obsessing about this since starting daycare. The daycare can’t feed her breast milk once she moves into the toddler room (In about a month), so she’ll start getting cow’s milk. For some reason, my neurotic brain decided that meant I needed to wean her. Thank you for giving me the permission to tell my brain to shut up and to do whatever I feel is right for me and baby, which is to do BOTH for as long as she and I both want to 🙂

  • Dazzle

    My husband called me a sick freak for continuing to breastfeed our 15 month old baby boy who is our 4th breastfeed child. I have nursed each one of my children up until age 2 which out of 4 kids only 2 of them have made it there so far. My 8 year old quit at 9months he wanted his food hot and straight out the pantry but I think because my mother in law had started giving him sweet foods whenever he would visit without me being there. I am the only person on both sides who has ever breast feed and for this long. They call it disgusting and said something is wrong with me for even wanting to consider it. Going against the grain I guess.
    Not having any support what so ever I feel the same way as to why should there be a time limit? My husband really hurt my feelings it cut me very deeply that he would even say such horrible remarks. I really don’t understand it because I have always nursed all of our children. It’s free, convenient, and what is best for them. Our baby was born 25 days early before his due date so I consider him a month behind his normal developmental stage. He is growing perfectly but is the smallest of all four of our kids. He was born with a genetic disorder (G6PD) that I felt so guilty about and that it was my fault because it came from Gene’s in which I didn’t even know was there. He is a sweet heart and nursing is important our bonding time. He loves it and I do too…I think everyone is totally jealous that he just wants his mommy. He prefers his breastmilk over the cow’s milk any day. Anyways how is a cow suppose to provide any more nutrition than the very body that created him…makes no sense at all if you ask me. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy cow’s milk with my oreos before having to run to toilet because my system is now in melt down mode and ready to explode. My kids have drank formula on emergency cases as to when no more stored breastmilk was available until I returned home from running an errand or some crazy scenario in the life of a stay at home mom. I just recently transitioned back into the work force and but my baby into daycare for the 1st time ever of 4 kids and it’s been extremely hard to deal for me. I barely get anytime to pump ppl or nurse just like once or twice within 8hrs. And all night in demand when we are home or out and about. Anyways….that’s another days story!

    But the real question on the table is why is my husband acting like this towards me after 4 breastfed children. I would expect this from anyone else including in ng his mother wh ok is jealous of everything about me but him no never like this. He is such a jerk to me anyways I don’t even know why I’m shocked I am just very hurt right now I guess…hormones out of wack…but I feel like I don’t have an outlet to Express as a mother as to how I feel. It’s my body and I’m their mother….I don’t need your negative support around me. Even after going thru PPD and still recovering he doesn’t care what he says to me anymore. I WISH I had some support. I feel like everyone around me has just given up on me and doesn’t care what I’m going through and nursing baby is my only outlet of peace and comfort. It’s as if life has stopped and the world just evolves around me and him. I don’t feel loved in my marriage anymore as for a long time coming. So at times I just sit and smile at my baby and tell him how much I love him and he means the world to me. All my children know how much mommy sacrifices for them and will go above and beyond to show it…but that idiotic, disrespectful, selfish beast of a man doesn’t care. I know I need a divorce and deserve to be treated so much better but I don’t know how or what to do anymore. I don’t want to let my kids down because I know what it is like growing up without a father. So I figured I will just sacrifice my happiness for their’s and co parent with this ass hole until they are ready and prepared to leave the nest and then I’m out…and I know that will be and even worse situation to bare but what other options due I have? Everyone thinks he is Mr. PERFECT…Mr. Do no Wrong…especially his parents raised with a silver spoon in his mouth and then bashes me for loving my children and giving them everything I never had or even knew existed. I mean we 13yrs in deep and know you want to argue about how discipline is done…wtf are you kidding you want to be little me in front of my children oh really…the truth of my life just went viral….to be continued! Breast is Best and I will stop when my baby and I Damn well please!!!!

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