Breastfeeding just seemed so disgusting to me before I became a mother. Friends would ask me if I planned to nurse my child, to which I would typically respond, “Yuck! That’s gross!” and then change the subject to something more pleasant. As my pregnancy drew to a close and the birth of my daughter became more inevitable – and thus, more real in my mind – I started reading up on the benefits and mechanics of breastfeeding.
Granted, all the talk of engorgement, drippage, and intimacy with child scared the bejeezus out of me – but it was the comparisons between breast milk and formula that really made me decide to give my daughter the best start in life. I have never, and will never, regret the decision to nurse my child, even when I can tuck my boobs into the waist of my pants and my spine becomes so twisted up that I need corrective surgery to sit up in a chair.
The only thing I have to consider now is: when do I wean?
At what point does a child become too old to nurse? Is it when she can use a complete, complex sentence to ask for milk or when I simply cannot take the rude comments from family/friends any longer? How long do kids actually “need” milk in their diets?
As my girl turns two years old this weekend, this question and others are floating around in my mind. For the record, I am not planning on weaning her right now. I don’t personally believe that I should wean simply because she has been alive outside of my body for a certain amount of time. I am planning on letting her self-wean when she’s ready. Many of my friends and family have differing views than mine, and I have learned a lot from the personal experiences and convictions of other parents while on this journey of parenting my firstborn.
I am very curious as to what your thoughts are on when to wean. 6 months? 1 year? 4 years? Why?