Saturday, June 20, 2009

When to call it quits...more on extended nursing.

I've previously discussed in my blog my feelings on "extended nursing" ... or nursing past 1 year. I haven't really thought much more about it until Lucy amped her sessions from twice a day up to 3 or 4 times a day. I'm not sure what prompted the change.. perhaps she is going through a growth spurt, needing more comforting... learning to ask by signing has certainly opened up our communication. If you're not familiar with my views... I believe that each family, circumstance, parenting, nursing relationship... yadayada is different... I don't judge any mother's desire (or lack there of) to have a nursing relationship. My first two children weaned at just past a year... and I believe personally about a year too soon. But really, when is the right time to draw the line? Like I said... I support every mother's good intentions... but it seems that there are a majority of judgemental mothers out there that shutter at the thought of nursing past a year. The general impression is that somehow the need or want to extended nurse... suddenly goes past feed and nurture... and right onto a path of malintented perversion. What?? What changes suddenly in a nursing mother child relationship that makes for a drastic need to change what was previously wonderful and comforting?? I just don't get it?? I asked a new friend recently... Do you have a cut off date?? As she is still nursing her almost 2 year old. She said that she did not... but couldn't imagine nursing someone as old as say... Max who has just turned 5. I in fact know several people who still have active healthy nursing relationships with their preschooler. I look at my son and cannot wrap my head around nursing him... BUT ...I believe that I don't have this vision... (not because I'm being judgemental) but because I haven't experienced this with him in 4 years. Now... if I had not ever stopped... and its a part of our day to day life... how could I possibly feel that nursing him was abnormal or perverted. Max recently asked to try nursing again... I had to decline him just for that reason... we've not been there in 4 years... and I was just not willing to back track just for curiosity's sake.

What is your take on this???


Danielle said...

i def. think it is a personal decisons for famileies to make. I tend to see 5 as being too old- maybe it is because I taught 5 year old in school.

Madeline said...

I'm all for nursing until you and your baby/toddler decide to stop. Levi is still nursing at 19 months. He sometimes nurses 6 or 7 times in a day, but then he'll have days when he just nurses 2 or 3 times. I think he'll stop when he's ready.

Cassie said...

I plan to let my son wean whenever he is ready. I'm hoping he'll go to at least 2 years old (per the WHO recommendations), but I don't know when he'll stop.

Mom said...

Like it or not, we are all influenced by societal norms.

Nudity, singing instead of talking, adult thumb sucking, people (even children) who “touch” themselves publicly (in a non sexual way)…are examples of behaviors that in a different culture, might be acceptable but in this one makes the observer feel uncomfortable.

Nursing a child until he is 5 makes MOST people squirm. Nursing until a child is 2 will raise a few eyebrows…

When you make a bold choice to do something outside the societal norm, it comes with the risk that you will offend, or invite stares and comments.

If it is important to you---then proceed with confidence. But as you are requesting acceptance, you must also be respectful of objections.

Just a thought