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Dear Poll: How Old Is Too Old to Breastfeed?

Breastfeeding is a personal decision. Some women swear by it, while other mothers prefer to bottle feed their babies. While there are many health benefits to breastfeeding, it's not right for everyone.

With that said, have you ever witnessed a mother breastfeeding a child who seemed a little too old to still be on the boob? I have, and I have to admit it was pretty uncomfortable. It's recommended that babies be breastfed for up to a year, though some mothers breastfeed for longer. But ladies, what I want to know is: How old is too old to breastfeed?


Join The Conversation
lalaoh9 lalaoh9 8 years
I say a year old. Or when they start teething. Personally i won't breast feed. I'm just not that comfortable with it, don't judge, its just me. i will use the pump though. But there is this one lady that was on Tyra Banks that is still breastfeeding her 8 year old. That is just unnatural and wrong. Who does that? how about your kid going to school saying something like, "mommie's titty milk tastes better than the school's milk!" Once they can talk thats definitely where the line should be drawn.
Jeng112 Jeng112 9 years
I say if they have teeth they are too old. Ouch!
ylatan ylatan 9 years
i feel like breastfeeding should go on as long as mutually desired. i'm a little put off by the ignorance and misogyny in the opinions expressed here. probably the majority are from people who haven't researched the topic fully or don't have kids. or both.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
when the kid can ask for it, its time to stop.
ck12k10 ck12k10 9 years
I'm all for breasting feeding until about 6 months, but after that I don't think soo...little kids start getting teeth and and start gnawing on anything they can get in their mouth, my breast will not be bitten...By the way lmao Julie
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I dunno, I'd say a year and over is pushing it...
koolbr33z3 koolbr33z3 9 years
I say about a year and a half to two years for me. I really can't imagine children much older being breastfed.
dragonbaby dragonbaby 9 years
I tend to think between 6 mos and 1 year. I loved breastfeeding my son though we stopped around 7 months when his teeth started to arrive. :)
schar schar 9 years
When I was in college I worked at a restaraunt and this woman, her child, and the grandmother used to come in for lunch all the time. The child was old enough (I'm guessing 4 or 5) to sit in a regular chair (no high chair/booster seat) & eat a children's meal. After he was done eating he would then climb into his mother's lap and start breast feeding. The mother did not try and cover herself at all, no receiving blanket or anything. She also always insisted on sitting in the front of the restaraunt which had big open windows that faced a busy downtown area that is a historic national park. There was one day when we didn't have any tables in the front so we sat her further in the back and she demanded to speak to a manager because she said that we were trying to "hide her". She waited a half hour for a table in the front instead of sitting right away at an empty table not by the window. Nut job.
mrsnarbonne mrsnarbonne 9 years
I agree with discocactus - it's a private matter, so why make it a poll? That said, for health benefits, when I have kids I'll try for at least a year and as long as my child wants to. I can't speak from my experience, but it seems like most children get...bored? or want to discover new things and wean themselves. My nephew lost interest at around 18 months (i.e. would feed less, and less demand = less supply), so it was a very natural gradual process for him and his mom.
Jessamyn Jessamyn 9 years
I fed my daughter with Mommy milk until she was 13 months old, then SHE stopped because I was pregnant again and the taste obviously changed, so she didn't like it anymore. My son now is almost 12 months old and I'm still breastfeeding him 2x a day, in the morning and in the evening. I don't think of stopping feeding him as long as he likes it. He has 8 teeth now, is working on 4 grinder teeth, so obviously I didn't stop when he got his first tooth ;P I voted for 3 years, because I love breastfeeding but even I do have a "stop", which means 2.5 years for me. That is what I think and feel right now. I probably won't feed him with Mommy milk that long, but who knows, right?
socialitebabe socialitebabe 9 years
If I ever had a kid,as soon as I see that first tooth cut, than no more breast feeding. I was watching Maury a few years back and this lady breast fed her son up until he was 6 because she claimed "he still had his milking teeth". I feel that if a kid can reach under shirt and pull for your boob to fed than that's pushing it.
Michelann Michelann 9 years
Oh my gosh, Higgy, when I saw the picture I thought the exact same thing! Weird.
higgydt4 higgydt4 9 years
The baby in the picture looks like a brown-haired Sean Preston. Or am I just crazy??
lms lms 9 years
I honestly believe that when breastfeeding goes on for too long (years)it is more for the mother's benefit and her having detachment issues than for the health of the child. If a child can ask for it they are clearly too old. I planned on doing 6 months or teeth...whichever came first. I ended having to stop at 2 months b/c I wasn't producing enough.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
Personally I would stop breastfeeding after six months. I think a good time to stop is when the kid has teeth.
Michelann Michelann 9 years
Haha, blingbling, that was such a disturbing story. Who taught the 3-year-old the term 'hot butter'. Yuck!
blingbling blingbling 9 years
The WHO recommends up to age two because it's considering countries that a) have very poor diets and b) have unsanitary conditions that make formula very dangerous. So yeah, maybe in underdeveloped countries breastmilk is best up to that age, but in countries like ours it's not necessary. I agree that you should breast feed if at all possible - but not until 2 (or beyond!) I was at my boyfriend's colleague's house, whom I was meeting for the first time. His wife was in the room, and in walks their son, probably 3, who walks up to mommy, lifts her shirt, and says "give me some of that hot butter." Um, yeah. GROSS. And she fed him right in front of us. I'm all for breastfeeding, but give me a break.
discocactus discocactus 9 years
So, if this is such a personal decision why do we need a poll on it? Maybe it would be best if women just let each other do what works best for them, bottle or breast instead of scolding each other for it. This is exactly the kind of crap that makes having children look so unappealing to me right now. Parenting shouldn't be a competitive sport.
PJ-PJ-PJ PJ-PJ-PJ 9 years
Well, I picked two years, but I forgot about the teeth coming in! Honestly, I think I would try for 6 months & then see how I feel about it then. I would also refuse to feel guilty about it, if I decided not to breastfeed. My sister always has some snide comment about mothers who don't breastfeed & my mom always has to remind her that she was never breastfed & that she turned out just fine! The oldest child I have ever actually seen breastfeeding looked to be about 3 or 4. He walked up to his mom & asked for it. The funny thing about it was that he was also holding a juice box the entire time! It was surreal!
Sofiababy Sofiababy 9 years
Veggies- i agree with you. i read that somewhere as well. I know its good for the child and its great and all but im totally uncomfortable with it- esp. situations in which they ask for it or get it themselves as DH described. i would ideally stop breast feeding around the first year, if not I'd just be using the pump istead. i think its beyond wrong to take it as far as four! some women didnt want boys past 3 in girls lockerrooms (bc they know too much?), but its appropriate to be breastfed at that age!!!!?? lickety split- a child chiming in on coversation while being breast is SO wrong! it would totally freak me out! she should at LEAST do that in private. i work at a day care (4-5 yr olds) and if any of my kids' mothers came on their lunch break to breast feed her child i would be traumatized. they eat full meals- and make themselves sandwiches- they do not need mommys milk. IMO you would be pyschologically stunting them.
EatYourVeggies EatYourVeggies 9 years
The main purpose of a mother's milk is the protection it provides in terms of the immune system as well as nutrients it contains. I've read that the protection only lasts 6 months, so I think 1-2 years of breastfeeding is okay if they find formula to be inconvenient. Longer than that is a little useless.
MamaD MamaD 9 years
I think until age 1. That's how long they keep them on formula. After that the majority of their nutrition comes from solid foods. I only breastfed for 6 months. My son was pretty big and had two teeth by then...ouch!!!!Back then the doctor didn't want him to be an obese adult so he was weened and put on 2% milk. he's a very lean 25 yr. old now so I must have done something right. I also couldn't handle the fact that at six months, when he was hungry, he would turn himself sideways in my arms, reach under my shirt,open my nursing bra and remove the breast pad so he could nurse!!!! That was too much for me so he had to get used to a sippy cup and a bottle!!!
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
A turn off? But, children on formula turn you on? What a weird thing to say.
DarkRayne DarkRayne 9 years
It's a turn off at any age.
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