“What kind of woman breastfeeds a toddler?”: this question has been asked this week in a variety of tones, ranging from total disgust to mildly shocked curiosity. Much has been made of the fact that Jamie Lynne Grumet, the woman pictured nursing her three year old son on the cover of last week’s Time, is ‘young and pretty’. There’s apparently been some shock that a woman who looks like a trendily dressed model would behave in such a way. It seems like a lot of people associate extended breastfeeding with a very different kind of woman – stereotypically larger, rounder, hairier, hippier, older, uglier and weirder it would seem.
This got me thinking. What kind of woman actually nurses her child beyond one? This week I’ve put the word out and asked mothers who do to send me a picture and a few details about themselves, including their reasons for keeping on breastfeeding. The Time cover, for all its faults, has in many ways paved the way for other women to ‘admit’ to this choice, which many still view as weird or even unnatural. I hope this will help new moms!
My aim is that the images below will challenge such assumptions and even help normalise this parenting choice, allowing more mothers to nurse for longer if it feels right for them. I also hope this post serves as a way of women standing side by side, a show of solidarity, a ‘petition’ of sorts: Dear World, Please Consider This Normal! If you would like to ‘sign’ by adding your details, please find more info at the end. In the meantime, what kind of woman breastfeeds a toddler…let’s see…!
First child: girl now12, nursed til one (initiated weaning at one year: uninformed about extended benefits). Second child: boy now age 7; nursed (and formula fed) – micro preemie born at 29 weeks, lack of info and support, never developed a full supply and weaned at one year. Third child: boy now age 4, self weaned at 3.5 years old.
SAHM, before baby esthetician/ massage therapist.
So many reasons to extended breastfeed: he still seems so little to me (he’s 50-75 percentile on all measurements). He still wants to. He was born in Sept and each time he has a birthday we are so close to flu/cold season so we just kept going. He is old enough to say funny things about breastfeeding. For example, the other day he said “mommy’s heart is in her boobies”. When people ask when I am going to stop breastfeeding I tell them to ask him. They never do.
Son, 25 months old, still nursing.
Boy – self-weaned at 2 and a half years
Has always worked for government offices and still works part time. BA degree in Social Science.
Breastfeeding was never in question for me. It has no competition in my eyes. My son and I developed an incredibly close relationship as a result and I was happy for him to choose when the feeding aspect ended. I even breastfed him when he was 2, on our wedding day!
20 month old daughter, only child, still nursing
FT employee at a mortgage company; BSc in Criminal Justice
Nursing after work/daycare gives LO a sense of closeness. She is not happy until we nurse after we get home. We will continue until she self-weans.
SAHM, visual artist, activist, writer at mamatomamablog; Life Coach for mothers and other creative people. MA candidate, Counseling Psychology. Hons. B.A. Psychology, Diploma in Psychotherapy.
It seems like the most natural, normal thing in the world to me. My mother nursed me until I was 3.5 years and I didn’t turn out too badly It also helps me to calm and connect with my very active toddler. I honestly don’t know how people parent without it. We’ll wean when one or both of us gets tired of it.
Haven’t weaned yet because the health benefits outweigh any reason to.
Son now 14, fed until 3 weeks (lack of support meant I stopped because he wasn’t gaining weight and I had mastitis. Developed PND as a result.) Fed daughter now 11 until she stopped at 14 months (a different experience with much better support). Currently nursing 26 month old daughter (showing no sign of stopping.)
Full time family Physician
Why past one? Why not??? I adore my little girl and love our mummy milk time. I’m not taking that away from her.
Son, still happily breastfeeding at 19 months. Will self-wean when he is ready.
Bachelors Degree in Biology, Masters Degree in Genetics and PhD in Medical Genetics. ‘Equally sharing parenting joys and responsibilities’ and thus combining motherhood and working as a cutting-edge Cancer Researcher. Freelance Model.
“Extended” Breastfeeding is just the right thing to do, for so many reasons. Being a Cancer Researcher, I know that the easiest thing to do to decrease the risk of various cancers is simply to breastfeed. I would be stupid not to! The World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines are acknowledging the multiple benefits of breastfeeding, and recommend breastfeeding for at least 2 years. These guidelines have been in place since the 1970s, it’s just that too few people know about them.
Writer, currently studying for a degree in Creative Writing English with a specialty in Non-fiction, Mother of 4, former business/Account training and work background.
Breastfed youngest daughter until 20 months.
Full time mum to 3 children.
Formerly worked on a caravan park and now trying to start own business.
I was happy to continue nursing the whole time my daughter was benefiting from it and my breast was her source of comfort. I cannot begin to tell you how much I cherish our breastfeeding time and how close we are. I never nursed my two elder boys so feel eternally grateful to have been given the knowledge and support to have experienced a successful breastfeeding relationship.
Degree in Technical Theatre, former IMAX 3D projectionist, now a SAHM.
It never occurred to me not to breastfeed and it worked so well for us as a family, on so many levels that I just kept on going. There was never an ‘end date’ in mind, I just did what was natural.
First daughter self weaned at 3 years and 9 months, second daughter is one next month and ‘will wean when she is ready.’
I had NO clue about mothering. Loads of qualifications, science and research but no idea what to do. Luckily my baby (“high need” Matilda) taught me everything I needed to know. She attached, baracuda style, and didnt let go…for years. All I did was respond. Thank you Matilda, from me, and your baby sister.
Boy, still nursing, 43 months. Girl, still nursing, 16months
Current SAHM, former Sergeant in the U.S. Army
Breastfeeding is a natural part of our lives, none of us want to wean and it feels wrong to think of stopping so young.
Freelance Graphic Designer working from home.
Boy, weaned 3 years 9 months; boy, still nursing, 3 years 2 months; boy, still nursing, 19 months & 16 weeks pregnant.
Currently studying for degree in Social Sciences with OU, former Buyer, SAHM after birth of 3rd child.
Originally I intended to nurse for six months to a year, but it seemed so natural and normal to nurse, along with the huge benefits emotionally and physically, that I decided to allow self-weaning instead.
Twins 12, weaned at a few weeks old, Girl 3, nursed until she was 3 years and 4 months old.
Company Director. Joint owner of 3 companies.
The health benefits didn’t just stop when she turned 1. It seemed logical to continue nursing until we were both ready to stop.
Boy, 4.5, Female, 2.5, both still nursing
BS in Behavioral Science, Currently a freelance Voice Over Artist, Creator of OurMuddyBoots.com, and mostly a SAHM.
I nursed past one because the unplanned but intentional parenting choices that we made deeply connected me to my children. And with every part of me I knew it was the best thing for our family.
Girl, still nursing at 21 months
Former psychiatric nurse, now SAHM
I nursed past one because… my daughter and I have a wonderful relationship based on love and attachment, and nursing strengthens our bond.
Girl, 4 years, self weaned at 31 months to the day.
Qualified Tailor, SAHM, Volunteer LLL leader.
We nursed past one because it was right for us.
Boy 28 months old not weaned yet (plan to let him self wean)
Currently a SAHM but was a teacher (primary and secondary History, Geography and Japanese language teacher) Has worked in various positions outside of teaching. eg HR in the Finance sector in the City and Corporate and Ministerial Correspondence in the Railways.
I believe the natural weaning age is between 3 – 7 years. I keep nursing for the immunological and nutritional properties of breastmilk and to meet his sucking and emotional needs.
Girl, now 3.5 and weaned at 12 months and 2 days. Boy now 2 and still feeding regularly.
Currently SAHM, former bar assisant in local pub, prior to that gained a BA/Hon in Fine Art
I nurse past 1 because my son didn’t want to stop. I feel it’s unfair to remove his security blanket and something he finds comfort in. He enjoys it and it’s doing him loads of good. It’s free too, I don’t have to buy extra milk because I make my own. :)
Boy weaned the week before his 6th birthday, girl still bf 3 1/2, girl still bf 4 months
Graduate, qualified veterinary nurse, current SAHM
It felt right for me and my children.
I have chosen to nurse beyond 12 months with my third child because…when I look in her eyes, I see a baby who needs to be as close to me as she’s always been. There’s no age restriction on a mother’s bond with her child.
Teacher, doula, breastfeeding counsellor, ex-publisher, Mum of 2 and step-mum to 1.
I breastfed beyond one…cos I was lazy! Melt-downs? Plug ’em in! Grumpy and tired? Plug ’em in! Trying to work on the computer? Let ’em nurse!
Boy now 4 years, self weaned – aged 2, currently nursing 5 month old baby girl
I had planned to breastfeed my boy to six months, like the books said. Baby boy had other plans. We just kept going til he wanted to stop, when he was ready. I don’t have a plan for my daughter…..
Girl, aged 4 years, still nursing. Boy, aged 6 months, still nursing.
SAHM, blogger at http://neoparent.com, lover of fashion and philosophy
I love the closeness and bond that comes with extended nursing. My older one doesn’t nurse for more than a minute or two. It’s natural, loving, and calms us all down!
I nursed past one because: I just seems so natural to do and it feels right to do. It fits our family dynamic perfectly.
Currently nursing Boy 3.5yrs and Girl 20months and expecting baby number three.
I nursed past one because it felt normal and we both still enjoyed our time together. It also helped massively with bonding and inclusion issues that could have occured when our daughter arrived.
Graduate, now runs own business.
I nursed past one as I thought it was important to give my daughter the best (continued) possible start and wanted her to be happy; breastfeeding was a huge part of her life (even now she still has mummy’s milk at bedtime though she has weaned)
It wasn’t even a decision that was made – just was and we both loved the time together.
Girl, 3.5 – stopped feeding at 14 months due to maternal ill health. Girl 1.5 – self-weaned at 9 months. Girl 1 month – going strong!
Read Classics as undergrad, music as post grad, juggles a few thousand things, runs NapNap, wannabe eco and educational revolutionary.
It was always the obvious thing to do and there didn’t seem any reason to stop.
Boy currently 18, weaned at 18 months; Girl currently 16, weaned at 26 months; Girl currently 13, weaned at 3 years old; Boy currently 9, weaned at 4 years 1 month; Boy currently 7, weaned at 40 months (tandem nursed with older brother); Girl currently 34 months, still nursing.
College graduate, work at home, homeschooling mom to 6. Has small family farm raising animals & produce. Works at Midwest Knife & Axe Throwers as an instructor. Board Chair for Shakespeare on the Edge. Pursuing black belt in Karate, taking horseback riding lessons, and runs the occasional 5k.
I never started nursing as a political statement. It was free & easy. Just like a child walks when a child is ready and not before, we stopped nursing when we were ready, and not before.
Currently tandem feeding 2 girls aged 28 months and 5 months.
Was Branch manager of an Insurance broker, now self employed real nappy advisor and studying Diploma in Breastfeeding Counseling
When my oldest was born, I took each day at a time and that is exactly what I do now. I don’t know when we’ll stop but I do wish it was more accepted in society.
Former professional freelance orchestral clarinettist, now concentrating on family & running the breastfeeding support group/ blog at Dispelling Breastfeeding Myths
Why I kept nursing? I just didn’t wean 😉
Boy, 5yrs, self-weaned at 40 months; Girl, 27months, still nursing.
South African, self-employed “Attachment Parent”.
Nursing makes so much sense to me. It’s convenient, healthy, comforting and Breastmilk is super-powered brain-food! My kids have no sleep issues, they never get sick (if they do, they recover overnight) and they are calm and well-behaved!
Lactating for 11 years: 4 with daughter and 4 with her brother (2 of those years tandum nursing), and currently nursing her 3 year old son.
BA in Sociology from UCSC, Flower Essence Practitioner, but 99.9% of the time ‘solely devoted to being the SHAM that I am!’
We just did what was right for us, with no regard for uptight social judgment. It was no big deal in the communities I have lived in, and always such a rude awakening to hear people being offended by the most beautiful thing on earth. Let us enlighten our brothers and sisters with love.
Two girls, aged 3 years and 8 months old respectively – both still nursing.
Previously a buyer for a helicopter company, now a SAHM with a handmade bath products business.
Nursing past one (and two AND three!) ‘just happened and feels natural.
Currently tandem feeding youngest two children. (2 and 7 weeks). Will allow both to self wean.
I breastfed my eldest boy for 2 weeks, lack of support and little knowledge ended that experience. I am still breastfeeding my toddler as it gives him such pleasure, and would never consider stopping until HE is ready.
Girl, age 13, weaned at 6 months; Boy, age 10, weaned at 14 months; Girl, age 2, weaned at 18 months; Girl, age 10 months, currently nursing.
Former nurse, current SAHM.
Girl, age 4 – weaned at 10 months (didn’t know any better – looking back i was influenced by books, health visitors, popular parenting “methods” etc) boy, 16 months, will wait until he is ready to self wean.
I understand more about BF since being more involved in LLL and support groups this time around. Theres nothing better at calming down an upset/hurt toddler than breastmilk! I also express milk sometimes as my 4 year old, despite being weaned, enjoys a “boobie nesquick” now and then! I know my healthy, intelligent little ones benefit from mummys milk in so many ways.
One precious girl, currently nursing at 34 months.
College graduate. Full time learning disability carer/WAHM.
I never planned to breastfeed, but our little lady latched on herself during skin-to-skin time and showed me how beautiful it was. I never planned to start, it was her decision, so I never planned to stop, just to take it a day at a time. So I guess we will carry on taking it a day at a time until she doesn’t want to nurse any more.
Graduate trained mental health nurse, currently SAHM
I stopped nursing my first, mainly due to pressure from health professionals and family and was suffering from PND. I nursed my 2nd son till he self weaned the day his sister was born. I don’t see any reason to plan to wean, it’s such a fantastic source of nourishment and comfort and I don’t see any good reason to force weaning.
Twin boys nursing at 16 months, intends natural term nursing/child led weaning.
Qualified from Uni of Edinburgh with MBChB. “Retired” doctor, Married, Current SAHM.
I nurse my children because its instinctive, natural, normal (worldwide average weaning age 4.2years) we enjoy it, it’s calming, comforting, nourishing and a superfood!
Girl, self weaned at 2.5 years, girl 14 weeks still nursing.
I was 17 when I gave birth to my first daughter, and knew I wanted to breastfeed. It was hard at first, but once we got the hang of it, it worked well for us, we had a lovely bond and both enjoyed feeding times. Once she got to a year people started asking me when I was going to stop feeding. I hadn’t thought about it and the idea made me sad, I didnt want to stop as she enjoyed feeds and I enjoyed the bond it gave us. I chose to feed all the time she still wanted it,, and she self weaned at 2.5years. I’m now nursing my new daughter and I do not have a set time I will feed for, as long as she wants mummy milk I’m happy to give it to her 🙂
Girl, still nursing 27 months
Doula, writer, former senior NGO staff, holds an MA in War Studies
We are still nursing as it is right for both of us, has so many benefits and no downsides.
Currently tandem feeding two boys, 2.5 years old and 7 weeks old
BSc in Human Geography, MSc in Spatial Planning. Planning Officer, currently on mat leave. Also self employed and runs boobbaby.co.uk with husband.
Why I nurse past one – I was happy, he was happy, why stop? Breastfeeding has on-going benefits for both me and my sons.
Girl aged 14 weaned at 14mths; boy aged 12 weaned at 16 mths; girl aged 9 weaned at 17mths, boy aged 6 weaned at 18mths; girl aged 3 weaned at 2yrs; boy aged 11mths, ‘still going strong.’
Graduate in Childcare, SAHM, breastfeeding peer supporter.
My children still needed me to, they are happy, bright children and my husband supported me 100%.
Girl, 36 months. still nursing.
Mexican, B.A. Pedagogy, Master in Management of Cultural and Historical Heritage, current SAHM and Breastfeeding peer supporter.
I’m still breastfeeding because it feels right for us. I think if she is still asking for it’s because she still needs it. She will stop when she is ready.
Boy currently nursing at 17 months.
We put in a lot of hard work at the start and are just having way too much fun to stop. I will gladly open my arms and feed him until he is ready to wean himself …
Boy, 11, Autism Spectrum, weaned at 3 yrs 9 months, tandem nursed with sister from 17 months. Girl, 9, weaned at 4 1/2 yrs, tandem nursed with her brother, through a pregnancy and with her sister. Girl, 7, weaned at 4 yrs 2 months, tandem nursed with her sister until 2.
I practiced child-led weaning for the health and immune benefits as well as supporting my children’s quest for independence and confidence.
Boy 6yrs weaned at 6wks (preemie, latch, nipple shield, colic, not educated enough 🙁 ), Boy 19mo still nursing, expecting baby number 3, will tandem nurse ‘if middle son still wants to.’
Current SAHM, former preschool teacher.
Benefits my son and I, and feels right for my family. Very happy with my decision, I know it has helped us avoid a hospital stay in the past.
Son, 15months and still feeding, and 18weeks pregnant.
I am at college in the evenings and at home during the day. I am planning on doing the next year online during the summer so that I can spend 10 months at home with my new baby before going back to uni full time the following September. I was 21 having my son and breastfeeding felt like the natural thing to do at the time. I didn’t know that some people thought it was ‘weird’. As my son grew and carried on feeding it still felt natural and so I didn’t stop. When I looked into the benefits I realized there was no need to make him stop and he will wean himself when he is ready. He gets all the goodness and I get to cuddle up to him like he is a newborn again.
Girl, 21 months still nursing at night
Holds BFA degree in Fine Art, owns estate sale and appraisal business.
My daughter was not ready to wean at one, even after introducing solid foods between 6 and 8 months. I felt she was too small to go without something that perfectly nourished her growing brain.
9 year old girl nursed 2 weeks (‘I had severe high blood pressure and retinal edema, lost eye sight and was advised to quit’), 7 year old boy, nursed for 42 months and loved every minute of it, and 3 year old boy nursed for 6 months (‘Lost my milk supply when my dad passed away.’)
IBCLC, helping moms and babies achieve their breastfeeding goals!
I nursed my son for 42 months because it made him him happy! He had severe sensory integration disorder and he was comforted the most at the breast! He weaned at his own pace and was the best, well adjusted toddler I have had in this crazy world! We still have an amazing bond!
Boy – 5, still very occasionally nursing, Boy – 26 months, breastfeeding frequently, 4-5 times a day and night!
Studied to be a kindergarten teacher in Austria, then worked as a nanny until I fell pregnant with my first. SAHM ever since ‘and loving it’.
Watched “extraordinary breastfeeding” before Iwas pregnant. Thought it was a bit extreme! Got to 12 months and thought “why stop?” Very gradually I began to understand why those women nursed for so long. It was a natural progression, not something I consciously decided to do but rather something we quite literally grew into.
One son, aged 3 years 8 months – happy to confirm “still breastfeeding”.
Work part-time as a GP Surgery Practice Nurse, excited to be a SAHM in 6 weeks when they move to Australia. Planning to train to become a BF Counsellor and Postnatal Teacher Passionate about breastfeeding and general instinctive parenting and blogs at http://nurturingstanley.blogspot.co.uk/
I knew I would breastfeed. My mum breastfed my siblings so to me it was the normal thing to do when you have a baby. In terms of never having chosen to wean my son from nursing, I have yet to find a good reason to wean that is in ‘his’ best interests. He will at some point make that transition, and I will feel so proud of both of us when that day comes.
As of last week, I have nursed for 9 years straight, with just over 5 years of that tandem. My original plan was to wean my first at a year because I wanted to get pregnant and really didn’t see the need to nurse past a year. But you read how that went! I didn’t decide to nurse past one. My children did. I couldn’t argue with how good it was for them. It’s normal and natural and I can’t imagine not nursing past 2.
Boy 5 weaned at 5 months with tongue tie. Boy 2.5 (30 months) still nursing.
Former theatre school teaching assistant now SAHM and breastfeeding helper.
I believe that babies should wean when they are ready and youngest still loves it.
Two girls – eldest daughter weaned herself at 3 years 7 months, when Lucy was pregnant. Younger daughter weaned herself at 4 years 1 month.
Science graduate, ex-teacher, now paid breastfeeding peer supporter and GCSE exam marker, hoping eventually to work in public health.
I started off aiming at 12 months because that’s what my mother did, then read that the WHO recommended 2 years minimum breastfeeding. When we reached two years, I remember saying that now she could wean whenever she liked…took another year and a half before she did. With daughter two, I simply wanted to let her have the same good start that her sister had. Now 10 and 6, my girls are rarely ill and even when they do succumb, they don’t seem to get as sick as other kids and bounce back quickly. No regrets – breastfeeding my girls is a cherished memory.
Currently tandem nursing girl, 26 months, & girl, 4 months, with no sign of stopping.
SAHM with a Masters degree, extensive travelling and high level working experience.
I breastfeed because it’s the natural thing to do, and its best for me & my children. Plus the magic boob cures all, perfect for toddler traumas & tantrums!
Boy, 18 in December, weaned at 6 months (big regret), Girl, 15 in October, weaned around 3 years, Boy, 13 in July, weaned at 15 months and Boy 3 years, still nursing and showing no signs of stopping or slowing down!
Current SAHM, ‘my success is defined by those whom I love not a college degree.’ I have mostly always been a SAHM and a creative person.
I nursed past one because it felt like a natural and normal progression. It was never a decision to be made, it was what my children wanted or needed and what I was more than happy to do. I never looked at how I parented as a type of parenting. But when I would read that it was part of AP then it just confirmed that what felt right was common practice no matter how “common” to society it was.
Girl, self-weaned at 7 years 4 months; Boy, self-weaned at 4 years (tandem nursed with sister for two+ years); Boy, sadly weaned at 6 months due to hospitalization for epilepsy; Girl, still nursing, 35 months (assume for another couple of years!)
Studied Medieval Literature in graduate school, now a full-time homeschooling mom and owner of a craft-based business.
We do full-term nursing because it’s mutually beneficial to everyone in the family; it just feels right.
Boy, aged 4 (still feeding)
3rd Year Biomedical Sciences student
Why? We had no reason to stop! My son has Autism, and feeding helps the bond between us. Also, my mum died of breast cancer when I was 7, breastfeeding reduces my chances of developing it.
I always enjoyed breast feeding and knew it would do them both the world of good. It would have felt wrong to stop before we did, it fitted into our lives with ease and the benefits are reason enough to keep going. People were always amazed I was still bf, and I could tell they were shocked even at one, I had jokes about still feeding when they’re 18, or asking when I’d stop but I said I don’t know, we’re all happy to keep going for now!
Boy weaned at 8 months due to outside pressure to wean, Girl weaned at 1 year, Boy self-weaned at 2 years, Girl self-weaned at 6+ years, Girl self-weaned at 5 years, Boy still nursing strong at 4 1/2 years.
Nursed through two pregnancies and tandem nursed with the last three children.
Holistic midwife, aspiring herbalist, passion for holistic nutrition. Homeschooler, has a hobby farm and makes and sells jewelry, craft items, and herbals locally and online.
We do “extended” nursing with child led weaning because it is just the natural thing to do. It is simply part of the flow of life and what is best for our children and for myself.
I didn’t actually plan on breastfeeding at all, but after the birth of my son, thought I’d give it a go and see how it went. I have always just followed my children’s lead and gone with the flow, as it seems to be the easiest way to do things for us personally. I am happy to continue until my children no longer want or need it.
Currently tandem feeding two boys, aged 3 years 6 months and 1 year 8 months. No idea when they will wean!
I didn’t see any good reason why I had to force my child to stop breastfeeding at one year old, or any other arbitrary age. At the beginning of each day, the most natural thing for me to do was to nurse my child, just like I did the day before!
Previous career in accounts, currently SAHM/work from home/studying.
After a huge struggle to conceive & 1 loss to ectopic pg, so ecstatic my body could actually grow a baby and produce milk! Why stop at 1 when I can continue giving him nutrients and protection with milk made just for him. Plus he loves it – who am I to take that away until he is ready!
Boy: 18 mths, girl: 18 mths, boy: 18 mths, girl: 19 mths, girl: 22 mths, girl: 30 mths.
Self-employed business owner, author of, “Jungle Breezes”, SAHHomeschoolM
I bottle fed my first 2 (of 8)…and wish I could “go back” and do that over. Breastfeeding is just such an awesome part of the relationship with young children. It’s bonding. It’s convenient. It’s free. And, it just is so healthy for both! I think my lifestyle (busy) led my first children to wean earlier but it was never something I did or planned; they all self-weaned.
Boy, self-weaned at 30 months
Girl, still breastfeeding at 10 months, with no intention of stopping any time soon!
My son is sensory sensitive and couldn’t touch solid foods without gagging until he was 18 months old. I didn’t know that other mothers breastfed their babies past one and had no intention of doing so myself. I just did what worked -and it worked beautifully!
Nursing: Girl 13 months
Currently a SAHM although does work for partners business when she can. Degree in psychology, certificate in counselling. Has worked as Resettlement worker, support worker for LD, cook on sail training boats, PA and numerous other jobs!
It’s such a useful parenting tool! I don’t see what right I have to take away my daughters source of comfort until she decides.
Son 23,5 months old, happily nursing whenever he wants.
Used to work on a public governance-related project, but now a freelance translator and SAH parent. Has a BA, two MAs and currently doing PhD about discourses on breastfeeding.
When my son turned one he didn’t magically transform overnight – he was still my baby who liked to cuddle and nurse. It doesn’t look like it’s going to change much at 2 😉
Girl aged 4 weaned at 18 months. Boy still nursing at 20 months
Doula, antenatal teacher, hypnotherapist. BA(Hons) English. Current WAHM.
It seemed arbitrary to stop – does it really become “wrong” at any set age? The immune benefits were too good for both of us.
Boy still nursing at 34 months
Currently SAHM and 13 weeks pregnant
Never seemed any good reason to stop something my son enjoys so much and gets so much comfort from.
Nearly seven year old daughter is still nursing occasionally and fleetingly.
Elementary school teacher, works full-time, also her daughter’s teacher.
I had to visit several specialists to nurse successfully and give my daughter the myriad of benefits mother milk offers. When I was finally able to do it, I promised myself and my daughter to nurse her for as long as she liked. I have never regretted the promise. For us it is the only choice that has ever made any sense at all.
Boy 7 self weaned age 5, currently tandem nursing boy aged 3 years and 9 months and girl aged 20 months.
I nurse my children past one because they tell me and my instincts tell me they still need it then.
Firstborn for 9 months, 2nd for 42 months and currently nursing third at 32 months.
Math and physics teacher, with a background in astrophysics.
I love nursing my sons, well at least when I am not sore from hormones. My youngest, in particular, was quite sick since he was exposed to the older two and their friends. I remember making the comment to my Dr. about how I thought breastfeeding babies weren’t supposed to get sick. He replied that it was because of the breastfeeding that he had never been hospitalized. I am glad that I am doing what I can and I have to say I appreciate the savings in not needing to buy formula!
Breastfeeding 15mnth old girl and 16weeks pregnant with Baby B. Hoping to acheive tandem feeding.
I choose to breastfeed beyond 1 as its my parenting choice. She is my child and I am her mother. I know what she needs and I’m the one she trusts to deliver it. To take something away without her being ready for me would be breaching that trust and bond we have formed. Until she’s ready to wean I’m ready to breastfeed!
Girl weaned at 16 months, boy still nursing at 30 months. Girl did try again after seeing her brother nursing but she didnt like it.
Girl, aged 5, breastfed til 4 months, and another girl, now 2, breastfed to 14 months.
Student and salesperson.
I fed the youngest one for that long because, well, there was no reason to stop and I already had an older child to run about after – I certainly wasn’t keen to start having to remember bottles, dummies, formula, sterilisers and all the other boob replacement stuff when I had a perfectly good solution attached to my chest. I only gave up with both when medication made it unavoidable.
We’re still nursing as there’s no reason to stop, I thought self weaning would happen 12-18months, but I’m glad she hasn’t and hope she weans when she’s ready and isn’t put off by pregnancy.
Girl, 7, stopped at 10 months ‘during what I later learned was a nursing strike’, Boy, 3, weaned at 16 months.
HNC in Legal Services , runs small home business making chocolate treats.
I aimed to breastfeed for a year because I didn’t want to use any other milk. The more I learned the longer I wanted to feed for. I am now a firm believer in child led weaning.
Boy – 9 months – Not enough support, or knowledge on how to cope with a (large) baby who fed every half an hour causing complete exhaustion and pnd. Boy – 14mths – Couldn’t cope with feeding and morning sickness. Girl – 9 months – Included 3 months expressing was in scbu as 3 months prem. Supply eventually dwindled. Boy – 37 mths – Still feeding and going strong. He doesn’t show any indication of wanting to stop.
SAHM for the last 9+ years
I nursed past one because there was no reason not to. The good aspects outweigh the bad for both of us.
Boy, still nursing – 30 months
I am still happily nursing my son on demand because it is normal, natural, practical and beautiful. It fits with how I want to live my life. I let any pre-conceived notions, expected time limits and stringent ‘thou shalt’s’ just fall away and instead trusted my instincts. I stopped listening to those who were full of derision and instead listened to my baby, my body and those who lovingly supported me. There is nothing about this journey that I haven’t loved since then! I let go of the angst, refused to be shamed and instead let myself be awed, empowered and proud of the way my body works to nurture my child, and the beautiful bond I have with my son through it.
Boy, weaned at 6 months (had been told to breastfeed for first 6 months, so literally did that- hadn’t heard of extended breastfeeding.) Girl, self weaned at 24 months. Girl, still nursing at 21 months.
Nursery Nurse, currently childminding while my children are young.
Son ‘weaned’ 7 months (let down by health professional during illness), Son 13 months currently breastfeeding and NO plans to stop.
Was working in Financial Services until she realised her ‘true vocation was Boobies and Babies!’ Currently a Housewife, Peer Supporter and Blogger.
In addition to the health benefits of feeding past one, we love doing it and can’t see why we wouldn’t 🙂
SAHM and part time Humanities student. Formerly groundstaff for an airline.
I nursed past one because both my boys wanted to. Purely that reason, the boys chose to carry on and I was ok with it.
Girl, still nursing at 23 months
BSc Hons, previous IT systems engineer, currently SAH parent and loving it.
We nursed past one because it works for us in so many ways, its
healthy, we have a wonderful relationship and it makes no sense to stop because of pressure from other people.
Boy still nursing at just shy of 20 months.
Was science teacher in the UK and in West Africa for 12 years until she stopped work to have her son, and hopes to stay at home with him until he’s 3.
I continue to nurse past one because I believe that it’s normal & natural for a child to self-wean when they are ready. There may be a time in the future when I decide I am ready to gently wean him, but that time has not yet come and may never come. We love to travel, and nursing makes for smoother journeys. And when he’s under the weather I know that he will ensure he is well nourished by upping his feeds.
Girl, 4 years and three months – still nursing
Craniosacral Therapist, Hypnotherapist and Non-Denominational Celebrant
I hoped to get to two years with my daughter and she has really led the way from there. She nurses once or twice a day now, and tells me that when she nurses she “tastes G_d” … how could I take that away from her, or tell her it’s time to stop? I trust her to know when it’s time, and when she’s ready; and am so grateful for the depth of relationship that nursing has brought us.
Girl weaned at 14 months, Girl weaned at 47 months.
Full-time IT Manager, recently launched my own consultancybusiness, ‘your stereotypical hard-working high-flying jet-setting international IT manager.’
I nursed past one – well no special reason. It just felt normal and natural, and why buy processed food when my milk was good enough. Both daughters self-weaned when they were ready.
Girl, 14 months, will continue nursing till she self-weans.
Physics degree, has worked for non-profits and the local council, now a single SAHM.
Cows’ milk is for calves, my milk is for my daughter, who deserves no less than the biological norm that is full-term breastfeeding.
Girl 6 – weaned at 3.5 years, boy 4 – weaned at 2.5 years (tandem fed for 1.5 years) and boy 2 months still nursing and plans to continue for as long as he would like to.
Psychiatric nurse pre-children then retrained as a psychotherapist. Has a degree and MSc. Volunteer bf peer supporter.
I nursed past one because it was not the right time to stop, my children have all found it to be a great source of comfort and closeness. My 6 year old says she remembers nursing and how lovely it was.
We nurse past one for health…physical, mental, emotional (on both sides).
Girl 3 1/2 weaned recently during pregnancy
Graduate, Specialist Nurse
I started off wanting to do 6 months, but as I worked so hard at making it work for us why give up once it was easier? What a tool to have in your box! Comfort, pain relief, food, drink, love all on tap and free.
Boy, 6 who was ebf until 6 weeks. Boy 2.5 who is still feeding and will do so until he self-weans.
Educated to college level, worked as a work controller for a photocopier company before kids but now a SAHM and home educator.
It was the natural, thing to do and came with so many benefits for both of us, its a wonderful bonding experience just feels ‘right’.
Sisters, Trinia and Nakita!
On the left: Trinia, 28
Girl, 4 years old, weaned at 2 years old
Hairstylist and Full-time Mom that brings her daughter to work.
On the right: Nakita, 25
Boy, 14 months, still nursing
College graduate, Former chef and University student, currently SAHM
We nursed past one because it is what’s best for our children, both nutritionally and emotionally.
Two daughters 3 years apart, Eldest self weaned at about 7 years, fed in tandem with Youngest who’s not weaned yet, now nearly 6.
Part-time Radiographic Support Worker in NHS.
Because I couldn’t find a good reason not to.
Boy, 4y 3m still nursing
Nanny, has done papers towards nursing, midwifery and childbirth education.
There was no reason to stop.
Girl, self weaned at 16 months, Boy, still nursing 15 months
SAHM, previously a Special Education teacher with a Master’s in Education
It’s healthy for us both, all natural, and free! What could be better than that?!
Girl, now ten, self-weaned at 3 years 11 months, Girl, now eight, self-weaned at 2 years 6 months,
Boy, now 4 years 10 months, self-weaned at 4 years 9 months.
Oxford maths graduate, currently SAHM and (almost qualified) NCT breastfeeding counsellor.
Why stop just because they had a birthday? They didn’t want to stop, it would have been a painful and unpleasant process for them, for no reason.
Fed through my return to work full time when girl was 4 months (spent all my breaks pumping in a cupboard!). Both kids are/were bottle dodgers and nursing helps us retain the bond we could have lost with me working full time.
Girl, weaned at 13 months ‘as I was pregnant again and health professionals were gob smacked I was still feeding her whilst pregnant, so I thought it couldn’t be done’; Boy, weaned at 9 months, milk stopped; Boy, weaned at 3 years 5 months.
Benefits of breastfeeding don’t stop after 12 months. Nothing soothes and calms like it. We both gained from continuing past WHO guidelines.
Girl, 16 months still nursing.
Currently studying for an applied social science degree.
I nursed past one because…my mum breastfed, because it has so many health benefits to mother an baby and because it is the cure all for ANY problem with a child. Teething, tummy-ache, bumped head, tired etc. My motto is ‘if in doubt, get one out’.
Girl, still nursing, 29 months
2 masters degrees, currently: during the day SAHM, in the evenings/nights translator.
It’s not always “socially” easy, but I follow what my heart / mother instinct says.
Girl weaned at 15 months, due to pregnancy. Boy still nursing 18 months.
BSc in nutrition, currently a SAHM, Fair Trader, Farmers Wife and studying Diploma in Breastfeeding Counselling with NCT.
Why stop something when its going so well? Its instant relief for any cry!
Girl age 3 and a half (weaned at 2 and a half due to pregnancy ending supply) and Boy age 11-months (currently nursing, ‘will continue as long as he wants’)
Seamstress/crafter, unschooling SAHM
Why? – Why not? I’m a mammal.
Boy weaned at 3. Girl still nursing at 21 months.
Busy mum. Also manages a joinery business with her husband.
Criticism from others didn’t seem to be a good enough reason to stop doing something so beneficial to both of us.
Boy, weaned at 16 months.
Graduate, currently a SAHM and part time proof reader from home.
I originally planned to wean my son when he was around one, but wasn’t ready to stop just because he had reached that particular milestone. I found that feeding him beyond one provided a quiet time for us and continued to strengthen our bond as as we ventured into the hectic world of toddlerhood together.
2 boys: oldest now 11, weaned at 17 months. youngest is 12 months, still nursing.
Formerly in Human Resources, now SAHM.
I parent in a way that feels natural to me – and breastfeeding feels natural and normal. When I look down at my son while nursing and he lifts his little hand to wave at me, I can’t imagine having it any other way!
9 year old Girl weaned at 5 yrs 1 month
EMT, LPN, Homeschool Teacher, RN Student
She had an abusive past with her father, She needed the emotional connection, her therapist said weaning could have negative consequences. I Loved that I could give that to her.
Boy, 25mths, still nursing at bedtime. Girl, 4.5mths, still nursing.
Graphic Designer now working from home but with a background in glossy magazines. Lover of shoes and babywearing.
I survived breast cancer at 22 but had to have a left-side mastectomy and hardcore chemo. Fortunately breastfeeding has still come easily and I’m determined to make the most of the health benefits for both my children and myself, especially after my other breast tried to kill me!! It’s always felt like the most natural thing to do. Oh, and we all love the snuggles!
Girl weaned at 11 months, Girl weaned at 34 months
Teacher of the Deaf (MA Deaf Education), Babywearing Consultant and Chair of Gloucestershire Breastfeeding Supporters Network.
With DD1 stress/work brought an early end to breastfeeding. With DD2 I felt more relaxed and I worked closer to home so I could nurse at lunchtimes. I’m so glad I did, DD2 is high needs and breastfeeding helped us to stay connected when emotions were stormy.
Girl, now 7 years old, weaned at 27 months (and into third trimester of pregnancy with #2), and girl, now 5 years old, weaned at 5 months.
Former SAHM, now a Financial Coordinator at a dental office.
My first was a very high needs baby with a lot of anxiety. She needed a lot of comfort and security and I am so grateful I was able to provide that for her.
Son 1 – 17 months; Son 2 – 8 weeks so far…
Neonatal Nurse, peer supporter and a trustee of Gloucestershire Breastfeeding Supporters Network.
Started with no goals or prejudice, just took each day, week and month as they came. Was not prepared when son 1 self weaned, but was so pleased I’d made myself available to him for as long as he needed to nurse.
Boy, self-weaned at 3 years 5 months, Girl, still nursing at 12 months (tandem nursed for 8 months)
Canadian government executive with a science degree, currently on maternity leave, ‘will continue to nurse when I return to work full-time.’
My mother nursed me until I was three, and taught me that it is a normal and beautiful way to nourish and nurture our children. She died before I had my first baby, but I have carried her teaching with me throughout this crazy and incredible journey.
Daughter, 25 months old and ‘still very much a boobie monster. No signs of weaning.’
Mental health nurse, currently a SAHM. Just qualified as an Australian Breastfeeding Association Breastfeeding Counsellor and started the studies to be a Lactation Consultant.
THAT is how passionate about boobs I am 🙂 Why I nursed past one? Because my daughter tells me she still needs to. And I’m not going anywhere.
1 son age 6 (weaned due to pregnancy aged 2 1/2 and another son age 3 (still nursing)
Studied Midwifery at Uni and then went on to become a Fertility Specialist Nurse. Works a couple of days a week now youngest at preschool.
I am not entirely sure why I continued to nurse past 1 but I think the fact that my 1st son has a disability and his birth and babyhood were shadowed by this probably gave me a real need to feel a close bond with him and do something that could really optimise his health and development. That and the discovery of an amazing bunch of women from La Leche League who just normalised it!
One daughter, aged 1, currently still nursing.
SAHM & seamstress.
My daughter still thinks food is for fun, so “nursy” time is 90-95% of her nourishment. She loves her “boob juice”, as my hubby & I endearingly call it. Due to my home birth, turned c-section, breastfeeding was the one thing I HAD to do for myself, as well as knowing it was best for baby. She’ll wean when she’s ready.
Girl 32mo still nursing on demand (some days a lot!)
Graduate with a Bachelor Science Nursing. Former general RN & paediatric RN. Current SAHM & part time community cleaner.
It’s the biologically normal thing to continue to nurse for as long as both in the nursing diad are happy to.
Girl, weaned at 4.5 months ‘due to illness and pressure from family’. Boy, still nursing 3.5 years, Girl, still nursing 9 months.
SAHomeEdM before which was project manager for computer games company, BSc in Sports Science.
I love the special bond I have with my nurslings which wasn’t about to stop at 1 year.
Girl weaned 2 weeks ago aged 4.5yrs
Degree in Sociology with Economics. Previously managed a recruitment consultancy. After volunteering as a BF peer supporter in mat leave, applied for and currently works in the role of peer supporter/branch manager of a breastfeeding organisation.
No reason to stop. Despite being 9 weeks prem my daughter has always been healthy, never had antibiotics and is a happy confident 4.5yr old.
Son, 22 months old, ‘will nurse him until he decides he is finished.’
Was a C.N.A. before son was born, now SAHM and part time college student, studying to become an English/Social Studies teacher.
I decided to nurse my toddler because I know that it is the best thing for him because of the physical and emotional benefits he recieves, and because he loves to nurse.
I nursed until my child was no longer interested. We have always done baby led feeding and weaning. Age is not important when it comes to nursing!
After being met with hostility from family members for bfing, I researched and realised how right what I was doing was (and is). Originally planned to bf for 6 months, then it became one year and now not stopping until he’s ready. My son would be devastated to have his greatest source of comfort taken away from him and I don’t have it in me to do that to him. Besides, I love our time together and will be sad when it ends.
Daughter ‘still’ nursing at 30 months, ‘will be stopping when she’s ready.’
Currently a SAHM, a breastfeeding peer supporter, delivers antenatal classes on cloth nappies and helps at breastfeeding antenatal classes, attends breastfeeding training courses and conferences, organises various different breastfeeding/cloth nappy events. Chairperson of the Parents Forum.
I struggled horrifically to breastfeed up till 6 months, there seemed no point giving up when it become easy, and it remained so benificial to my daughter and myself (family history of breast cancer)
Daughter now age 6 self weaned at 11 months. Second daughter age 17 weeks, ‘will continue to breastfeed for as long as she wants.’
Current SAHM, previously studied anatomy and human biology. Also worked in a bank.
I loved breastfeeding my first daughter and found it easy and natural. I will continue to feed my second daughter as long as she wants because; I love it, she needs it and we are both happier, calmer people because of it!
Girl now 17 self weaned at 30 months, tandem fed with Girl, now 15, self weaned at 18 months, tandem fed with Girl, now 14, never came off nursing strike at 11 months. Girl aged 25 months, still nursing, Boy aged 20 weeks, non stop nursing, ttc no 6.
SAHP but have previously a nursery nurse, photographers assistant, studied landscape design and finally a manager of a retirement estate. Planning to home ed the youngest children.
It felt wrong to stop nursing. It offers so many benefits….comfort, security, bonding, it’s soporific. Then there’s the nutrition, the immunity for them, the decreasing risk of breast cancer for me.
Thanks for reading! As you have seen, there has been a huge response to this post!