When Should I Stop Breastfeeding?


Breastfeeding mom at restaurant

I am fortunate to be able to breastfeed my baby. However, everything has an end. When should I stop breastfeeding?


As a first time mom, I didn’t know that I would be challenged by this question. When, I have first started my journey in the motherhood, my thought was clear on the breastfeeding subject. For me, the straightforward answer to the question was the first 6 months of life of the baby.
How naïve I was!
I don’t know if it is really naivety or something else but most of the health professionals recommend to breastfeed until 6 months. Maybe, they think it is a challenge to a mum to get until there. But, I would rather guess it is at this time that solid is introduced to a baby.
Although I did experience soreness, and burning feeling at my nipples for weeks when my son was a few weeks old, I did not give up. I could have stopped at this point because the pain was excruciating but I chose to carry on for the health of my baby.
Eventually, the pain went away thanks to some drugs recommended by my doctor.
When I was pregnant, I remember that my husband and I talked about breastfeeding; we made plans about feeding baby etc.
For instance, my intention was to extract my milk so that my husband could feed baby as well and me I could get a rest. Well, the truth is this happened only twice. (yeah, I know, the reality is always different)
Then, I thought, after 6 months, I will be able to switch to a good formula, etc… etc
It is always good to have a plan, but as you know most of the time things never really happened as planned. We didn’t have a plan B. We have to adapt.
Guess, what?
My son never likes to be fed in bottle. Even with my own milk in it. He wants the milk from the source!
So no chance to even do the transition to any other milk.
Then, I thought, I will stop breastfeeding at one year old. One more time, I was unable to stop, he was definitely too dependent. However, as he likes his foods, he was filled very quickly. Therefore, he would request the breast less often.
I won’t keep the suspense any longer. My son is 20 months old and I still breastfeed him only to help him to sleep. So, sometimes at nap-time but mostly for the night, he cannot go to bed at night without latching on.
Actually, I know now quite a few parents who face the same challenge.
Imagine, there was even a time my son would wake up at night for the breast but I have managed to stop that and give him just water. So far, I have this under control but I clearly have no proper solution to make him stop altogether.

You might argue that, me the mom should stop breastfeeding my baby and not the child to decide.
I met last year a mom at the library who told me that her daughter eventually stopped having the breast at five years old. Actually, the little one had no choice to stop because her mom had a second baby.
I don’t think I will have this patience…

I read an article where the author, Miriam Stoppard, judged irresponsible mothers who let their child to decide when they want to stop breastfeeding. You can read the full article here.
To be honest with you, I don’t understand why people get so adamant on this kind of subject. Why being so judgmental? It is up to the mum who decides how she wants to raise her own child.

Anyway, I will see how it goes with my little one.
In fact, I am willing to stop breastfeeding when he will be two years old. As you might know, the first two years of a child’s life are crucial to determine its wellness into adult development. Also, it will be easier for me to speak to him, as he understands more and more. Hopefully, I won’t encounter too much resistance from him.
To be continued…

And you, what do you think? Please, leave your comments below.


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