How old is too old to be breastfed?

A mum has ignited a debate online about whether she should stop breastfeeding her three-year-old [Photo: Getty]
A mum has ignited a debate online about whether she should stop breastfeeding her three-year-old [Photo: Getty]

A mum has ignited a parenting debate online after asking if her three year old is too old to be breastfed.

Taking to parenting site Mumsnet, the mum explained that her husband believes she should think about stopping breastfeeding their daughter because he fears people might judge her now that their little one is older.

“My dh [dear husband] mentioned that I shouldn’t tell anyone that I still breast feed as they will judge now that our child is three and that I should think about stopping,” she wrote.

“I only feed her once a day but she loves it and doesn’t want to stop. Last time I said ‘you’re getting a bit big for milkies now’, she said that she loved it and didn’t want to get any bigger or grow up and more.”

The mum went on to ask what other parents thought about the subject and whether her daughter was too old to still nurse.

Other parents were quick to offer up their views about the thorny topic, and opinions seemed to be pretty split.

Some parents took the view that it was up to the mum when she stopped nursing her little one.

“Each to their own, it’s no one else’s business,” one mum wrote.

“Do what YOU feel is right, it’s your body,” added another.

“Do it til it’s no longer working well for both of you,” a third added.

Others shared their own experiences of breastfeeding their children into toddlerhood and beyond.

“I BF my DS until 4 1/2, only at home one or two times a day. It was way easier to stop than I thought it would be, though he still says he misses it and he’s 6!” one mother shared.

“If you’re both happy then feed as long as you want!” another mum added. “I fed my youngest son until he self-weaned at 3.5yrs and will let current baby do the same. I don’t force it in anyone’s face and am very discreet. To each their own, well done!”

Extended breastfeeding is a controversial topic [Photo: Getty]
Extended breastfeeding is a controversial topic [Photo: Getty]

However, some parents thought the mum may want to consider thinking about stopping.

“I think if your child is six and pawing at your t** for milk in public that’s not on, too many formed memories and ingrained behaviours that are gonna be inappropriate as they age,” one user commented.

Before adding: “That’s just me though.”

Another wrote that the thought of breastfeeding an older child made her feel “a little queasy for some reason.”

“It’s far too old and I suspect is more for the mother than the child,” another mother added.

The debate comes as Gap was praised for highlighting extended breastfeeding in it’s latest ad campaign on Instagram.

For some reason extended breastfeedingis a controversial subject.

Last year Tamara Ecclestone was forced to defend the fact that she is still breastfeeding her now three-year-old daughter.

And now that she’s approaching her fourth birthday it seems the Internet is still divided about the subject.

Tamara isn’t the only one who has had to defend her decision to continue breastfeeding past infancy.

Last summer a mum who shares videos of herself breastfeeding her children was forced to defend her right to continue nursing her four-year-old daughter despite being criticised by online trolls.

And last July another mum penned a powerful blog defending her right to breastfeed her son for as long as she chooses.

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