Breast Feeding – How Old is Too Old? [POLL]
The latest cover of Time Magazine is stirring up controversial conversations all over the country. It features Jamie Lynne Grumet, a mother, with her 3-year-old son suckling at her breast.
Is 3 too old for a kid to be breast feeding? Or do our self-created societal ”norms’ just make it seem that way?
She is the subject of a story written by TIME staff writer Kate Pickert about ‘Attachment parenting. A book called ‘The Baby Book‘ came out in 1992 and its three main topics are extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping and baby wearing (Where infants are physically attached to their parents by slings).
Now, breast feeding can be a hot button issue on many fronts. But, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nursing for at least the first year of life. Now, some moms can’t breast feed, some can’t do it that long, and some just don’t want to. Then there are mom’s that breast feed well beyond the first year, like the woman on the cover of the magazine. (Breast Feeding Child says that 6-months is the optimal time to start weaning kids from breast milk.)
But there are plenty of other people with opinions and research that claim ‘the longer the better’. Others argue that kids that breast feed well into their toddler years, may get health benefits but might become maladjusted or emotionally scarred.
According to an article in TIME about extended breast feeding,
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breast-feeding up to a child’s second birthday “or beyond.” Most U.S. mothers don’t even meet the recommendation made by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Surgeon General…75% of U.S. mothers start out nursing their babies, but only 44% have stuck with it by the time their child is 6 months old — and just 15% are breast-feeding exclusively by that point. By baby’s first birthday, less than a quarter of mothers are breast-feeding at all.
I don’t know what the ‘right’ answer is for how long moms should breast feed. There probably isn’t one answer for everyone, but what do you think?