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Sunday, 12 December 2010

When should a mother stop nursing her child?  Is 6 years old beyond the appropriate age limit? Amanda Hurst in the UK doesn't see a problem with her 6 year old breast feeding.  As a matter of fact, she's breast feeding both her 6 year old and her 5 five month old. Amanda said, she nurses both of the children in the morning because it's cold and she doesn't want to get up.  I find that to be a rather odd reason for nursing a six year old.  Most people would find that statement to be an indication of laziness.  Does it warm up as the day goes on inside her home or does she have to get up eventually and turn up the heat?  If she has to eventually get up to turn up the heat, why doesn't she do it and feed the child a bowl of cereal, oatmeal or pancakes?  Better yet, why doesn't she have her husband turn up the heat before he leaves for work.  The house would be warm by the time she gets up with the children. 

We all know that breastfeeding has been proved to be better for babies, but this post is about a 6 year old.  In addition to still nursing her 6 year old because it's cold, Amanda said she just couldn't turn her son away when she tried to wean him at 3 years old.  When her second son, William, was born and she decided to nurse him too, Jonathan wanted to continue as well. It's rare that she nurses both of them at once because of the difficulty, but yes on occasion she does.

Now Jonathan has a 7 year old girlfriend.  He goes to school, tap dances, swims and attends Beaver Scouts.  He's your typical 6 year old.  If so, than why in the hell isn't he drinking milk at the table in the morning?  I never breast feed my daughter.  I developed a relationship with Similac, and my daughter turned out just fine.  I don't buy breast feed children are more intelligent.  She's highly educated.  She graduated with honors from both high school and college.  As a matter of fact, I will be hosting a party for her next month to celebrate her new Masters Degree.  She will be moving on to her Ph.D after the new year.  She was quite healthy as well.  Typical colds, ear infections that most kids experience growing up.  Now my grandson was breast feed, and he has had more colds than I care to count.  I don't knock breastfeeding, I believe it's a mother's choice and neither is better or the worst for their decision.  

Amanda says, "I do question the decisions I make and wonder whether I’m right or wrong. But it’s parenting, there is no manual, I don’t think there is a “right way”.  I beg to differ on this decision.  From one mother to another, parenting is difficult.  There is no manual, but at times common sense comes into play.  Amanda admits she's lazy, "I think I’m quite lazy,’ she says. ‘I’d have gone crazy having to sterilise all those bottles. Breast milk is always the right temperature, right consistency and it’s always there, on tap".

Laziness is not an option in my house.  At 5 months, an infant is still dependent on their mother for nourishment, but a 6 year old is old enough to get nutrients and vitamins from appropriate table foods.  Get with it mom, remove your 6 year old from your breast.  "Lellow", Jonathan's made up word for breast milk, is no longer cute. 
  
Do you think it's appropriate to nurse a 6 year old?  Please leave us a comment, we would love to hear from you. 

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