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I have a confession: without really meaning to, I've become one of those women who still nurses an 18-month-old.

Generally speaking, few people care. But those few people, close friends and family members, are becoming vocal in criticisms.

So far, "it's none of your business" has been received with offense.

Any suggestions for other responses?

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You could point out that two and up is common in many, many parts of the world, and doing so in public with no cover at all is pretty common too.  You wouldn't believe how often I saw such on my mission.  Just because their culture has decided that such is inappropriate doesn't mean that it is.   You could also point out that the longer you breast feed, the better the child's immune system is likely to be, and the better the brain development is likely to be as the human fat in the milk goes to build parts of the brain (I forget which ones).  You can also point out that due to this brain development, children who are breastfed show on average about 15 points higher IQ than children who are not breastfed.

 

You can also point out that breastmilk is the safest food a child can eat.

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Your use of the word "confession" leads me to think that you're not totally okay with 18 months of nursing, even if nobody had criticized you.  If so, I would start dealing with this before I deal with the critics.

 

Can you ask your doctor about this?  If your doctor sees no reason to stop nursing, you can simply quote your doctor's approval when dealing with critics, which I think would shut down the debate pretty quickly.  I can't count the times I have silenced critics by directly quoting my attorney, or doctor, or some other authority figure.

 

If the criticism bothers you a lot, another approach would be to announce to your family and friends that you're starting to think about a good time to stop nursing and that you're gathering information to help you decide.  That might short-circuit a lot of the criticism.  Become an expert on the subject and counter criticisms with facts.  I spent five seconds on Google and saw that the World Health Organization recommends a mimimum of 2 years of (nonexclusive) nursing, which sort of shocked me.  The things I learn on lds.net!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Why do you ask?" or "Why do you want to know?"politely lets all but the most clueless know that they're overstepping. If they press more, "It's working well for us, so why fix what's not broken?" And/or bury them with WHO information.

What has usually shut my puahier in-laws up is, "Isnt it great that we all get stewardship and inspiration to make the best choices for our own families?" with a sweet smile.

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I agree with the advice given. LaLeche League was a wonderful source of information for me.

 

I don't remember anyone asking me why I still breastfed my babies at 18 months. But, then, beyond family members, I don't think anyone else even knew.

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Guest LiterateParakeet

LOL, I love "why do you ask?"  It really isn't any one's business.  I think it's great.  

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Guest LiterateParakeet

LOL.  I love Dravin's suggestion.  That would make them pause.  :)

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Just like anything else, if you value the relationship, you have to take things slow and word things carefully and try to foster understanding and mutual respect.

 

And if you don't, well, it's unfortunate that "love thy neighbor" gets in the way of just slapping them.

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I guess I belong to the old school that regards "It's none of your business" as simply waving the red cape before the bull, and I'd like to be a smart matador in conversations.  I generally take the Miss Manners approach of smiling graciously and simply pretending a different question was asked, which I gladly answer. 

 

But that doesn't always work.  I once met a German lady who made harmless small talk with me and then dropped a bombshell question: "I'm a virgin, are you a virgin, too?" 

 

I was shocked but regained my composure and replied something like, "My, what an interesting question.  Tell me why you are asking it, so that I may answer it more satisfactorily."

 

Turns out her English wasn't very good and she was trying to say, "I'm a Virgo, are you a Virgo, too?"  ("Virgin" and "Virgo" are the same word in German.)

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How about a simple "I just like bugging you" combined with a smile that is equal parts innocence, playfulness, and charm?

 

Or, you could tell them that you're hoping for a modeling gig on the cover of Time magazine (I won't link to the infamous cover I'm thinking of, but I daresay most here are aware of it).

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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Or, you could tell them that you're hoping for a modeling gig on the cover of Time magazine (I won't link to the infamous cover I'm thinking of, but I daresay most here are aware of it).

 

I was not aware of it and Googled it... my keyboard is now splattered with a mouthful of orange juice.

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We have a sister in our Branch who breastfed ALL of her children until they started school - yep till they were 5 a

AND in school.

 

They were potty trained shortly after they started walking - and they are THE HEALTHIEST kids around. 

 

My mother couldn't breast feed. BUT even back in the late 40's to early 60's - there was no one to teach or help her. Her own mother was clueless. 

 

Those mothers I have known who have continued to breastfeed up to 5 years old, or until the child was weaned totally - have healthier children than those who put their child on formula after only a few months of breastfeeding.

 

ALL formula is  gmo. Bad, bad, bad, bad. 

 

When my two aunts breastfed, they did so for nearly 2 years. My little sister breastfed her 4 children until they were nearly 3. She also went to the Hospital Neo-natal unit and breastfed preemies.

 

Edited to add: Because she was nursing children full time for five years after the birth of her last child, the family nicknamed her Dairy Queen!  :)

Edited by Iggy

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(From a woman who nursed until the babies weaned themselves off - 19 mos from one, 20 months on the other):

 

There's no answer that will get them off your back on this one.  Memorize this for any question - any at all - that you're tired of answering:  "I never did mind about the little things".

 

For example:

"Why are you still breastfeeding at 18 months?" "Oh, I never did mind about the little things."

"Why do you let Johnny play with matches?" "Oh, I never did mind about the little things."

"Why is she wearing that casual outfit to my dinner party?" "I never did mind about the little things."

"When is dinner ready?"  "I never did mind about the little things."

 

Don't forget to smile and tilt your chin up a bit when you say it.

Edited by anatess

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Edited to add: Because she was nursing children full time for five years after the birth of her last child, the family nicknamed her Dairy Queen!   :)

 

I could think of some other nicknames... don't children's upper central incisors emerge at 7 months?

 

I used to think that women had it easier in life than men, but I'm starting to change my mind.  And I think it's time for me to leave this topic... :)

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I could think of some other nicknames Really, and this coming from a LDS man!  :eek: ... don't children's upper central incisors emerge at 7 months?

 

I used to think that women had it easier in life than men, but I'm starting to change my mind.  And I think it's time for me to leave this topic...  Agreed  :huh: 

One does NOT use their teeth when they suck on something. Teeth are used for tearing off a bite and for chewing.

 

When one of her children accidently bit her while they were nursing, she would un-latch them and tell them No- be nice. 

 

Every single woman I have known who has nursed, never once felt it was an imposition, hardship or bother. 

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