Breastfeeding an 8 month old

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This is my littlest guy at just about to turn 8 months old. He’s just mastered crawling and there is no stopping him now. He is insanely interested in just about everything and is a complete PITA to breastfeed.

I never imagined that i would still be breastfeeding at this point – to be fair i didn’t imagine i would last more than a few weeks after my last experience. But we are still going, although i feel the days are drawing to a close.

My first son Little F was mainly formula fed and living in an area with high breastfeeding rates i often felt judged by other mums. I was the only one in my NCT group to formula feed. When i whipped out a bottle, instead of a boob, there were the inevitable glances of disapproval.

So now I’m on the flip side and I’m starting to get a few strange glances again. I have received a number of comments that have made me feel slightly uneasy. They are along the lines of ‘wow, STILL breastfeeding – are you going to stop soon?’

Maybe I’m paranoid and people are just trying to make conversation but I’m pretty sure there is a passive aggressive tone to what could otherwise be a harmless, but nosy, question.

Apparently the first time round i didn’t do it for long enough and this time round I’ve been doing if for too long. It seems it is much more socially acceptable to breastfeed for 6 months and then move onto formula.

For totally unrelated reasons I’ve decided we are going to stop soon. Feeding has become stressful when we are out as his nosiness causes awkward boob flashes/milk spurting and there is also a part of me that wants my body and a bit more freedom back. Oh and to be able to wear dresses again!

I’ve always said I’ve kept going this long for the convenience and so that I could eat more cake but deep down I think I’ve enjoyed it so much more than I let on. After the initial hurdles its been a great experience and learning curve and IF we were to have another baby I would definitely try to breastfeed again.

So little S is currently having one bottle of formula in the afternoon and is very happy with it as long as its nice and warm. The plan is to phase out another feed shortly and end up with just one at bedtime – I think I will find that one very difficult to give up.

Oh and before you ask – no formula hasn’t helped with his sleep, he is still waking up to feed most nights!

What do you think? Have you have any negative reactions from people for formula feeding a young baby or breastfeeding an older baby/child?

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32 thoughts on “Breastfeeding an 8 month old

  1. mylittledreamworld1

    I’m breastfeeding my 6 month old still, with no idea about when to stop! Right now it’s working for us, although I am starting to think about having smaller boobs again (in a good way!) and not having to plan any time away from my baby in time frames of no more than 3 hours. However – she’s so healthy and happy that I don’t want to change things while it’s working.
    There’s no ‘right’ way to feed your child – if your child is healthy and happy, you are doing well.
    xx

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Thanks for your comment :) that’s exactly how i feel, you just need to do what’s right for you. Well done for making it to 6 months though, it does seem quite an achievement doesn’t it! x

      Reply
  2. suzanne3childrenandit

    It still amazes me that anyone feels they have the right to comment on people’s choice to breastfeed….or not….I have had a similar conversation with a friend this week, who felt she had to switch to bottle feeding for everyone’s sanity. She now feels guilty (mainly due to other people’s comments). It sounds like your little man is ready to stop feeding, given the fact that he’s pulling off and looking around the room – always awkward when you’re in a public place! That used to happen to me and it was then i knew it was time ;)

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Thanks Suzanne – that’s exactly the point, i just don’t get why anyone cares. It’s not affecting anyone but you so they should just keep their noses out.

      Reply
  3. Dean B

    I didn’t have a very good experience when I was attempting to breast-feed T, either I was doing it wrong or I didn’t have enough milk (most likely the former). The first few days, she was starting to lose weight, so the mid-wife advised on mix-feeding. It worked for us, but when T turned 3 months, she absolutely refused to drink from my breasts. I just left it at that, but yes, I too felt I was being “judged” by other mums who seemed to be doing just fine with breastfeeding their babies.

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      That’s brilliant to get to 3 months though, especially when you had so many problems with it! To some people breastfeeding comes so easily and i think they don’t understand how others find it really hard x

      Reply
  4. nedwol

    Well done for trying again despite a bad experience last time. My daughter is now 17 months and we still have a feed at night and first thing. We’re not in any hurry to stop although I think after Christmas we may start thinking about sloping off the feeds. I get ‘You’re STILL feeding?’ ALL the time. Yes I am. So what? The WHO suggests feeding until baby is 2. If you feed until they’re 2 or 2 months it’s your own choice. Hate this debate/debacle constantly. 50 years ago formula didn’t exist. However did babies survive?!

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Wow 17 months that’s amazing. I may continue the bedtime feed a bit longer i think, it’s much more relaxing and snuggly ;) also not keen on doing bottles in the night if he keeps waking up!

      Reply
  5. 3yearsandhome

    I breastfed CK until he was 15 months but he was an absolute milk monster who spat formula out and refused to take a bottle. BB, at nine months, is almost self weaning. We’re down to a morning and night feed and during the day he wants water or fennel tea. I think I’ll keep going to one and then switch to cow’s milk. Oddly enough, the only person that has ever offered me opinions (unwanted) on breastfeeding has been my mother and her and I have completely contrary views … but equally sharp tongues when we both believe we’re right :-) You just go with what your comfortable with. Bugger everyone else.

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      I love that BB drinks fennel tea – how refined! i think S is sort of self weaning too, he takes a bottle in the day so much better as i can keep it in his mouth while he moves his head about :)

      Reply
  6. Gude @HodgePodgeCraft

    I can’t bear the judgey-pants brigade! As a mother you can only do what works for you and your baby (we are all different) – boob-feeding until they decide to stop or bottle-feeding from the start, it’s your choice and no-one else should make you feel guilty or ashamed of that choice.
    x

    Reply
  7. cariemay

    Out of our NCT group there were three babies on bottles from early on and five who breastfed – when we all met up when they were tiny it was the bottle babies who got the dirty looks and six months later they were all coming in my direction! Kitty self weaned a few weeks before her second birthday and Elma is 10 months and going strong. But it works for us, every mother and every child is different, you just have to do what’s best for your own baby!

    Reply
  8. franglaisemummy

    I know what you mean, C will be 11 months old tomorrow and people are shocked that I’m still breastfeeding her, although not that many know as it’s just the morning feed now. I always said I’d do it for 1 year, the same as for L, then she can go onto cows’ milk, I’ll have done my best for her and can wear nice clothes again, and give up junk food…not looking forward to that part! Enjoy it while it lasts and do what suits you, after all, your baby, your decision.

    Reply
  9. Claudine

    I am so glad you asked the questions…
    I’ve been a lactating Mama for almost ten years — straight. I’ve tandem nursed my four kids and have nursed my kids into their fours. Currently I am nursing my toddler and four year old. It was probably around 2 years of age that I would stop nursing in public…at that point most breastfeeding would be at naptime/bedtime. I am sure I’ve gotten looks in public, but I would usually not see them because I would do one of two things: 1) look so intently at my child and how I was nourishing them, or 2) flash a big smile to whomever was around, and completely disarm them. Though for every “look” I may have gotten, I had many more women (and men) comment how great it was that I could do so.

    I’ve felt it important — at least in my part of the world — to openly and without hesitation (or fanfare either) to breastfeed in public just as someone else might sip a coffee or soda. After all, that is what my child is doing. Drinking.

    These past ten years have helped me understand and learn how to have integrity in supporting all mothers as they take their own journey of nourishing her child. I’ve learned that just as a stranger can’t know my whole story by looking at me, that I can’t know theirs either…

    Well wishes to you as you make the decisions that will be best for you and your baby!

    Peace,
    Claudine

    Reply
  10. mamaundone

    I think you’ve done bloody amazing getting to eight months! Ignore any negativity from others. It’s born of ignorance.

    I’m still breastfeeding my 3.5 yr old…. now that’s a sentence I never never thought I’d say.

    Reply
  11. Kate

    I planned on bf-ing both my kids until they were at least 6 months as we have bad cases of asthma in the family, as it goes it didn’t work at all.first time I hated it and got mastitis, second time (oh, hang on, that’s now) my daughter just didnt feed and lost loads of weight. The difference for me though is that the first time I felt loads of pressure to justify myself where as now I don’t, in a way that I don’t expect to have to justify if my son has just had a mini-roll either. Having said that it is really getting on my nerves at the moment when people ask me if I’m feeding her myself, yes, I am feeding her, it’s just not from my boobs and since when did we have to avoid calling it breast feeding??!! Argh!!!

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Thanks for your comment Kate – i felt loads less pressure after the first time round too, maybe that’s why it worked out a bit better?! who knows.

      I actually meant to put something in the post about about people saying ‘feeding yourself’ – it always winds me up and i feel like saying ‘no bob next door is doing it’ argh!

      Reply
  12. a field somewhere

    Stuff what other people think. Do what ever feels right for you.
    On the plus side. You can drink Gin guilt free without having to disguise it as soda water!
    I was lucky enough to be able to feed both my kids till 14 months and 10 months. I felt sad to give up but I was desperate for a weekend away without having to milk myself.

    Reply
  13. Debra

    It doesn’t matter what you do there is always someone to judge. I breastfed for 18 months and certainly had my share of people asking when I was going to put him on a bottle. I even had a panic when he was around a year old that if I didn’t stop he would still be feeding at school age. I stressed us both out for 2 days before I realised I was being stupid. His feeds gradually got less and less till he was only having a night feed and one night he simply forgot and got straight into bed and that was it. I’m so fed up of all the judging and contradictory advice. Surely what matters is that your baby is being fed, is healthy and is growing.

    Reply
  14. genuineplacebo

    With my Daughter I breastfed for just over a year. I’d always intended to aim for a year and phased it out after her Birthday. I had the same as you from about 6 months – people looking in public, family members asking when I was going to stop etc. It was grating to say the least.
    Things got a lot easier when LP started dropping most day feeds at 9-10 months. AT this point we were only really doing first feed in the morning, bedtime feed and if she woke up in the night and so no-one really knew that I was still breastfeeding. Because I didn’t need to feed during the day it was no longer talked about – it was only really something that Hubby and I spoke about.
    With Little Man I’m aiming for a year again. It was a natural time for me to stop last time and I can’t imagine going any longer than that. I’m sure at 6 months I will get those looks and comments again and will try to shrug it off like last time!
    Great post.

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Thanks for reading and your comment Donna. Glad i’m not the only one, to be honest i just ignore the glances and comments but have stopped the daytime feeds now more just because it’s almost impossible to feed him with anything else going on around us! I am thinking of cutting the others out too but i actually think it will be a lot harder than i though. Never thought i would get this far and the thought of feeding him for the last time makes me want to cry! x

      Reply
  15. mummydaddyme

    I fed Mads until she was 11 months, but from about eight months I didn’t feed her in public as to me she felt quite big and I was worried about attracting attention. Luckily she only really needed feeding in the morning and the evening by about nine months. With LL she still feels really little, I don’t know perhaps second baby syndrome and I want to continue feeding her until at least a year. However because of the way her feeds work (she feeds four times a day) again I don’t really need to feed her in public as we have a morning feed, a before nap feed about 1.30pm (so only if we are out do we need to feed her), an after nap feed if we are at home (but if we are out she doesn’t have this) and a night time feed. It works well for us and I am so not ready to give up yet. x

    Reply
  16. tobygoesbananas

    I find it really interesting to read other people’s breast-feeding stories. I breastfed my son (I’m trying to stop myself saying ‘I /only/ breastfed my son…’) for 5 weeks but also topped up with formula after each feed. We had quite a lot of problems – most of which I think were related to reflux which wasn’t diagnosed until later. Like you though, what really winds me up is how everyone thinks it’s OK to ask ‘are you feeding him yourself?’ – yes I am, I’m feeding him myself, from a bottle, or sometimes my husband does it! It’s no one else’s business how your child is fed. My son is happy and healthy and that’s all that matters.

    I wrote more about my story on my blog if you’d like to read it. tobygoesbananas.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/a-breast-feeding-story/

    Reply
  17. jripatti

    I can completely relate to this as I breastfed my son for a year. Like you I never thought I would get past a few weeks but it was easy, convenient and I really enjoyed it. I got every look, glare, and judgmental eye states you can imagine. My son was extremely tall for his age too so by 1 yr he looked two so it made it much worse.

    Now I am breastfeeding my daughter and would like to do a year again but I have been struggling with mastitis (twice) block duct she bites pulls and is so nosy I can hardly handle it in public. She is only 5 months and I don’t want to stop but feeling I am coming to the end of it if it doesn’t stop hurting me. I completely understand you wanting to stop get ur body back and wear a dress for sure!!

    Reply
  18. activities4kidz

    I never got on with breastfeeding my eldest so he was formulafed, he’s 2.5now and healthy and happy. Youngest took to breastfeeding too well…only intended to feed for 6 weeks, he’s now 15m and a boob monster still!! I get the odd look for feeding a walking talking toddler and now we have made the decision to let him self wean (no idea how to stop!!) I’ve resigned myself to funny looks and comments for at least another year!! No wrong or right way to feed, just which ever way makes baby and mum happy!

    Reply
  19. Alex

    I breastfeed my 9 month old because I love it and it’s convenient and she won’t take a bottle anyway. Thankfully I can still fit it around working part-time. No-one has ever commented on me breastfeeding, except positively. I would be upset if they criticised me: it’s a very personal decision.

    Reply

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