‘Boobs please, Mommy!’
How old is too old to breastfeed? Carrie Linder agonises.
(Getty Images)
Just before our little boy, Joseph, was born, I went to have my hair cut. The typical pre-baby hair cut. (Incidentally, I haven't had a haircut since; I am verging on slummy mummy. Anyway, I digress).

In the middle of a very juicy gossip session with my hairdresser, (his boyfriend's mother's second husband is sleeping with his secretary's sister's daughter. Or something like that) I lost concentration for a moment and watched totally gobsmacked as right next to me, a 6 or 7 year old climbed onto her mother's lap, nonchalantly lifted her mother's top and started suckling!

Now, I am 100% a lactivist. I will always promote breastfeeding; the benefits of breast milk are indisputable. But I was also horrified. I went home and informed my husband that I would be capping the breastfeeding fund at 6 months. I had shared my body for 9 long months of pregnancy, so tick tock, the day Joseph reached 6 months he was going to have to say "Adios Amigos" to the boobs.

That point was 6 months ago. And never mind Joseph, I am nowhere near ready to give it up. Considering the rocky start I had with feeding I really never thought I’d say this, but I really enjoy breastfeeding.

It is such special bonding time with Joseph, it makes me happy to see how healthy and well covered (ok, chubby) he is, and let’s be honest, breastfeeding is just so easy! Who wants to get up at 2am and make a bottle? Not me; I got milk. Perfect amount, perfect temperature, all the time.

Bliss! But when it comes to breastfeeding, how long is too long?

A touchy subject, with a lot of varied opinions. The woman who ran our antenatal class claimed anything less than 2 years is a crime (she also claimed that you can potty train your baby from birth and that babies get separation anxiety if they don't sleep in your bed with you until they're "old enough to tell you they're ready to sleep in their own bed." Just putting her opinion in perspective for you.)

Then, on the other side of the coin, many, many perfectly healthy babies don't ever so much as sniff breast milk and they turn out just fine.

Like so many aspects of parenting, I think this is an issue each individual needs to navigate for themselves. I'm going to take it one month at a time. But I am certainly at no risk of becoming that lady in the hairdresser.

My bottom line is: when they're old enough to ask for it, they shouldn’t be getting it!

Do you agree with Carrie? Or are your boobs always available to your child?

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