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How old is too old??

I know a girl who still breastfeeds her 2 year old son... Now, I'm all for breastfeeding. I breastfed my daughter until she weaned herself at 10 months. She was strickly breast, no formula unless I was dead tired. But my question is this; how old is too old to breastfeed your child? I mean, a 2 year old has a mouth full of teeth! I got bit once when my daughter was 9 months with only one tooth and I wanted to cry!! Shouldn't there be a time the mother says let's cut the (metaphorical) cord?

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Bella0308

Asked by Bella0308 at 6:21 PM on Jun. 4, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 2 (3 Credits)
Answers (22)
  • Too old is between YOU and your baby. It's a personal line.

    Teeth? Nothin'. Never got bit ONCE. And mine got his teeth at four months. Nursed to 26 months. Which actually was at the outside of my personal line...but parent led weaning is a pain in the butt and I chose to give up my attempt at it.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 6:25 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • I agree that its between mother and child..kinda makes me uncomfy when the child can ASK for it...but...its whatever. it is good for the child, but i would think that pumping would be best route...
    sweetstkissez22

    Answer by sweetstkissez22 at 6:30 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • Human bodies are designed to consume human milk until the milk teeth begin to fall out. Most kids wean somewhere between 18 months and 3 though. Any earlier is normally either a nursing strike, or mom got pregnant again.
    ColleenF30

    Answer by ColleenF30 at 6:33 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • They are called milk teeth for a reason.

    Children usually self wean between 4-7 years old - that is the world average.

    keyaziz

    Answer by keyaziz at 6:40 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • Actually the world average for weaning really varies by what souce you look at. I've seen anywhere from 2 years to 4.5 years - the main difference I've seen between the ages is that if the source of the info is a very militant breastfeeding group, the older the "world average" age given.

    What's the best age? Whatever works for that mom and that child.

    And baby teeth are not called milk teeth because you are supposed to breastfeed until they fall out. Most mammals are weaned long before the "milk teeth" fall out. They are called milk teeth simply because they come in when the baby is drinking mother's milk.
    kaycee14

    Answer by kaycee14 at 7:26 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • So where is this info on why they're called milk teeth? The anthropology teacher at my college said it was because most mammals nursed until around the time the teeth came out. Perhaps she doesn't have kaycee's resources.
    apexmommy

    Answer by apexmommy at 7:34 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • Whatever is comfortable for mother and child. I weaned my son at 10 months, then deeply regretted it, next time I will nurse until my child self-weans. But that's not for everyone, so I'm not saying that everyone HAS to, but for me, I think that is what is right. But I may change my tune when I have a 4 year old wanting to nurse!
    Harrisonsmommie

    Answer by Harrisonsmommie at 7:54 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • I google the whole teeth thing and found3 different reasons: 1)They are the color of milk baby teeth are whiter than adult teeth 2) they arrive during the time of nursing 3)Milk teeth is the term for the teeth that on a very rare occasion a baby is born with.

    Back to the question. As a person preference I wouldn't want my child asking for breast milk. For ME 2 would have been to old. My goal was 12-18 months. I had to stop BF at 9 months when DD was not gaining weight and the Ped suspected I was not producing well.
    But_Mommie

    Answer by But_Mommie at 7:57 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • Huh. Cool. I just remembered it from class. It's one of the only things I remember from that class!
    apexmommy

    Answer by apexmommy at 8:08 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • For chimpanzees and gorillas, the two primates closest in size to humans and also the most closely genetically related, the relationship of gestation to weaning is 6 to 1. That is to say, they nurse their offspring for SIX times the length of gestation (actually 6.1 for chimps and 6.4 for gorillas, with humans mid-way in size between these two). In humans, that would be: 4.5 years of nursing (six times the 9 months of gestation). And these are our closest primate relatives who we share more than 98% of the same DNA.

    Studies have shown that a child's immune system doesn't completely mature until about 6 years of age, and it is well established that breast milk helps develop the immune system and augment it with maternal antibodies as long as breast milk is produced.
    keyaziz

    Answer by keyaziz at 8:18 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

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