Child aged five who is still breastfed

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AB Asks | 15:55 Wed 11th Jun 2008 | Body & Soul
16 Answers
The debate over whether is breast is best is a common one between mothers, however whether a child should still be breastfed at five may throw a different kind of spanner into the works. A 45-year-old mother breastfeeds her children, aged five and three. She sees this as the most natural thing to do, after all it is what the female body was built for. She says her childrens' friends come over and have seen them breast feed and do not seem to bother. What do you think?


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THINK IT'S SICK. Personally kids should be weaned off ASAP, I think it's all very well for the parents to gloat and go on and on about "bonding" and such like (weirdos), and act as though the kids don't mind - WHAT ELSE DO THEY KNOW FOR GODS SAKE? If that's all they have been taught. Horrendous if you ask me...

What a sure fire way to get your kid bullied at school AND throughout life. We went to school with a girl who merely pee'd herself outside at break time and guess what.........10-15 yrs later, she still gets called it.
Bitty... Bitty...

what more can I say.. they should stop as soon as the child has teeth!!!!!

If 5 is acceptable.. where will she draw the line???? 8... 9 ..... 12..... when the child realises - whoops - I'm a bit different as my friends dont do this with their mummies....

Thats just not right, 5 is far too old to be getting breast fed, what is the mother thinking of!!!
This question has come up time and time again on AB and has caused a lot of debate. Personally, I don't think that it's necessary or appropriate for older children to be breastfed. They don't need mother's milk at this age and should be eating a mixed diet and learning to become little independent people.

I think mothers who feed older children do it for their own sake rather than the sake of their kids. They can't let go of their babies. They are doing their kids no favours whatsoever.

this is referring to the story in the Daily Mail I assume? I agree with what the comments on the website say - she home schools her children and still breastfeeds them at that age - sounds like she has attachment issues and is afraid to let them grow up. Seems to be doing more for her needs than the childrens. Children do not need breastmilk at that age, they should be getting all they need from a healthy balanced diet. She looks the 'sort' though!
Its is simply every sense.

The mother is overly (understatement of the year) attached to her child.
Snap bananie!!
personally i think this is often a selfish thing by the mother to keep a child close.
Its true that children may not take much notice of what shes doing but at what agewill she stop? is she planning on continuing until the chilkd is 6? 10? 13? at what point will she tell the child enough is enough? would she stop if a friend of that child did ask awkward questions? Im not sure Id want my child asking me to breast feed him at 5 because his friends mummys do with their children
The child may not even be drinking anymore, the eldest may just be suckling for comfort just as other children use dummies.
i think that even at 3 the youngest should be starting to be weaned off the breast too.
Most babies self wean at 12-24 so to me anything beyond 3 is for comfort
I have to agree with all the posts thus far.

It is the same sort of skewed thinking as women who insist on breastfeeding in public - which is absolutely fine with me - except they make such a big deal of flopping out their breast and making sure everyone can see what they are doing, which is pure exhibitionism, and inappropriate behaviour.

Breastfeeding older children certainly seems to say more about the mother's n eds that those of the children - "... it's what the female body is built for ..." oh dear, what kind of addled 'earth mother' thinking is that.

The potential for problems for these children in later life should outweigh the mother's apparent need to defnine herself in this way. I mean, stirring his tea and handing it to him when he's forty-five and still living at home is the kind of behaviour she is commencing here.
I think it's disgusting. If I'm honest even the thought of breastfeeding my own daughter when she was born made me feel 'funny'. I am sure plenty of people won't agree with me but I personally did not want to breast feed as I feel my boobs are a sexual thing and the thought of a baby sucking on them was not for me let alone a 5yr old!
tigwig, breastfeeding is not for everyone. A lot of people try to lecture people on breastfeeding but I always feel that it's up to the individual. I have very healthy children who were not breastfed.

I don't have a problem with babies being breastfed, but a friend of mine breastfed her son until he started school and she fed him in front of others. I actually felt quite sick., it seemed almost peverted.
I am surprised to find someone who agrees Lofty, I expected to be slated for my views! I too don't like to see breastfeeding even if it is done discreetly I know it is what boobs are for and everything but it makes me cringe! I mean before you get pregnant or maybe even during pregnancy in some cases you have a bloke playing with your boobs then when the baby arrives it is attached instead! I also think that breastfeeding really makes life extra hard for mums because you can't share the load and breastfed babies need feeding much more and from what I have heard don't sleep very well at night.
Whilst I think it is a little odd, it is strange in a survivalist ironic opinion, that those who oppose this are happy to give their children the produce of a fat, fairly unchecked stinking cow.

Yes I drink plenty of cow juice as it is very good for you, but can anybody see the irony here??

Yes we are clearly higher than any animal being but surely cow milk is far more unnatural, no??

I don't think anyone has questioned that mother's milk is not natural Abdul, but even baby animals are weaned offtheir mothers milk at a fairly young age naturally.

Domestic cats give their kittens a good swipe when they persist in trying to feed from them after a few months old! ;o)
you wouldn't give a child of that age formula milk if the mother didn't breast feed so whats the point? and just because there friends don't mind doesn't mean it's the best thing for the child, but I suppose it's up to the mother really.
I think there are two strands to this argument -

one is the physical benefits to the child of drinking breast milk well past the mormal eaning time

the other is the pereceived 'unaturalness' of the mother's behaviour.

I do not think that any physcail benefit enjoyed by the child is outweighed by the apparent need of the mother to still 'bond' with her child in this way.

To me, it goes under the same bracket as people who are naturists or celibates - it's not that they choose this lifestyle, which is fine, it's that they feel they have to make sure everyone else knows about it, which is not fine at all.

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