Note: I’ve not used the full word in an effort to try and eliminate people stumbling upon my blog when looking for certain mother and baby images.

These days Arlo doesn’t often have more than a morning and bedtime feed (I’ve stopped counting night feeds), but there are still times when he will want a feed during the day, and if he asks I oblige him. It’s also pretty handy if he has hurt himself, all is forgotten in seconds.

Recently, in what feels like a backstep to the very early days before I got used to whacking a boob out on demand, I’ve started to get a little uncomfortable about public displays. Is it my imagination that notices the palpable pause for thought when Arlo paws at me and I unclip my bra? ‘Oh, she’s still doing that…OK’.

It’s no coincidence that this paranoia has coincided with Arlo’s first birthday. I know that people think it’s about time. There were more than a few comments made at his party along the lines of ‘Oh, so you’ve not stopped that then?’, and ‘You know if you stopped, he would get used to it pretty quickly’.

I feel like the odd one out now. I know this is probably partly because feeds can decrease a lot at this age (there are many times when Arlo won’t ask for a feed during the day now), but I hardly ever see anyone with babies Arlo’s age or older feeding. Feeding talk amongst my friends has suddenly decreased to almost nothing. I haven’t seen anyone get a boob out at one of our NCT meet ups for at least four months (there is one other mum still feeding, but she’s also working full-time so we don’t get to see her a lot).

I have no plans to stop feeding Arlo yet. I’m hoping to plough through these uncomfortable feelings and keep on feeding Arlo in public when he asks. If I saw someone feeding their toddler in a public place it would make me feel a whole lot better, so maybe Arlo and I can do the same for another breastfeeding mother.

Meanwhile, I will try to remember that it is perfectly normal to be feeding a toddler. It’s good for him and it’s right for us.

14 comments

  1. I stopped just before ten months, and at time I was starting to feel uncomfortable. I didn’t stop for that reason tho.

    My friend fed her Lo till 15 months and only stopped because she’s pregnant and it was becoming painful. She felt exactly as you did and wouldn’t feed in public.

    I’m not sure how I’d feel, I know its normal and I have loads of respect for people who do feed toddlers still. Everyone I know finds it weird…I’m not sure why.

    Good luck to you hun, R doesn’t have daytime feeds and I’d happily fees himself if I still could. Xxx

    1. Hoping the awkward feelings are just because we are at the one year milestone. I’m sure we will ride it out and I won’t care about nursing in public in a month’s time.

  2. I think it’s the expectation of someone saying something that makes you paranoid, when in reality the chances are not that high. I fed Isabel (2yrs next week) about 2 months ago in a branch of Brantano and nobody said anything to me – in fact they were probably glad I’d managed to stop her running around trying to wear all the shoes.

    At the end of the day it’s nobody else’s business.

    1. Yes, I certainly have expectations that I’m likely to get more comments regarding feeding an over one year old then I would if Arlo were say six months old. So far, I’ve never had anyone make comments when I’ve nursed in public so hopefully this will remain the same as Arlo gets older.

  3. I completely understand where you are coming from on this one. Iyla was one last week and has started asking for milk which for me was the point at which I wanted to think about stopping. I haven’t breastfed her in public for months now, most of the people I know who breastfed stopped around 6 months at the latest. I still feed her once in the morning and once in the evening and if I am home then I feed her after lunch but I don’t do that if I’m out. I am ready to stop really, I have started to find it really uncomfortable, not because she bites me but because I can feel her teeth scrapping and am started to not enjoy it anymore. I don’t want to end on a negative note with it so will probably start to swap one of her feeds for cows milk. I know I shouldn’t care what other people think but I do, even my friends are starting to ask if I am ‘still’ feeding her. Sorry, not much help but I do understand why you don’t feel comfortable doing it in public anymore xx

    1. I also get the teeth scraping. The best is when he clamps down and pulls my nipple until it snaps back like an elastic band.

      Although there was a point about four months ago when I would have given stopping breastfeeding some serious consideration (had Arlo tolerated normal formula), I really don’t mind carrying on now. Now that he feeds less and less, It almost feels like less effort to keep going than to encourage weaning to other milk.

  4. I also I completely know where you are coming from (my feeding babies are 4 & 2 1/2 now. Although I don’t feed the 4 yr old in public I do occasionally brave saying that I do. No one has ever said anything to me, and I think that if anyone has a problem with it then that’s their problem.
    Congratulations to making it to a year.

  5. Keep nursing. All mine have nursed until 12 months. My youngest nursed until 15 months. It was usually only one or two feedings a day, but he was nursing. When he was ready to wean, he let me know.

    If people give you a hard time about it ask them what they thought boobs were for. If they still look at you funny, let them know that they’re a pervert – in the truest sense of the word. :o) Mammary glands are for nursing the young. Any other use gotten out of them is a secondary objective.

  6. I’m still feeding Amelia, and her pattern is much the same as Arlo. While I am still enjoying it and Amelia still requires it, I am more than happy at the moment to continue.

    But I got asked the same question at her party yesterday, when I wasn’t bothered about drinking wine. Then the next question of is she feeding real food yet then?

    I think some people will never understand, at the end of the day whats best for Amelia is best for me and everyone else needs to respect that.

  7. I hate to admit it because I am a lactation consultant. But as my daughter got older, I retreated to the car to nurse most times.

    I just hated the looks and did not want to explain to people why I was still nursing a toddler.

    I so wish our society could put the needs of a baby above their own needs but until that day…..

    1. Thanks for your comment. I actually fed him in public today (for the first time since writing this post). Reminding myself of the comments here made it a lot less awkward for me.

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