Mom Who Breastfeeds Her 5-Year-Old Son Wants Him To Stop Nursing Only When He Himself Chooses So
Most breastfeeding moms stop nursing when their children turn 12-18 months. It may be difficult to decide when exactly to stop breastfeeding, but one woman, who still breastfeeds her 5-year-old son, has a clue for other moms: It should be up to the child.
Hardcastle, a 27-year-old mom from Lancashire, England, knew she would breastfeed her son Max from the time when she was pregnant. What Amy didn’t know was how long it’s OK to breastfeed children.
Amy decided to do some research online and found 'natural parenting' groups, where other moms shared their experience of nursing children well past infancy.
Having talked to moms who promote 'natural weaning' (letting the child decide when to stop nursing), Amy chose to let her son nurse until he himself wants to stop. Speaking to CaféMom, Amy said:
That can happen at lots of different ages. And so I thought, 'OK, I'm alright with that'.
Amy has friends whose children stopped nursing early, but her own son still nurses. Amy told CaféMom:
It just depends on the child, really. My son is just like me, [he] is very sensitive and emotional. He's a very soft little boy, you know, he's not very boisterous. I think it just makes sense with his disposition that he would just happen to be a child who fed for longer than other children who were also left to wean when they want.
Amy added that now, at the age of 5, her son nurses mostly for comfort, not food. She said:
From being a tiny baby, that's what he's done. When he's hungry, when he's sick, when he's upset. It can help him calm down after a tantrum.
To conclude, Amy added that she wants other moms to know it’s OK to breastfeed for as long or as little as the child wants it.
There are many other moms out there who share Amy’s opinion. One of these moms is Lisa Bridger, a 46-year-old mom from Adelaide, Australia, who breastfeeds her 7-year-old and 4-year-old sons. Both boys have autism and they need to nurse for comfort, according to Lisa.
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It should be up to moms to decide how to breastfeed their kids. Do you think there are any upsides or downsides of nursing older children? Share your opinion in the comments!