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How long is too long to breastfeed, Eight years?

I’ve been hoping that I can continue to breastfeed my 9-month old daughter until she is one year old—when I don’t have to buy formula anymore. (My son weaned himself somewhere between 9 and 10 months.) At that age, most pediatricians will say babies can go to cow’s milk. I know some people will nurse through the second year for various reasons. I don’t think I could do it. I’m not sure what my cut-off would be, but I told my husband that if one of them bit me with teeth, I was done. One thing I am sure of, eight years old is too old for me.

But not for Veronica Robinson! She believes that children should be able to decide for themselves when to wean, whether it’s 9 months, or 9 years, or even…19. She nursed her first daughter, Bethany, until she was 5. Her nearly-8 year old, Eliza, isn’t ready to quit. When she asked them when someone should stop breastfeeding, the girls replied, “Never!” Because, according to one of them, it’s better than a mango or a melon.

In the video clip above,  Veronica said, “They won’t breastfeed forever, it’s just that simple. They will not breastfeed when they go to college or get married.” Well, I should hope not. But when will they quit? Veronica says she’s giving them a small gift of comfort. But I’m not convinced. The girls have named her breasts, and draw pictures of them, like they were pets.

The family is from England, but I wonder if this might not be questioned by CYFD in the United States. I also wonder if this is really a gift for the girls, or does Mom have her identity wrapped up in these children?

How long is too long to breastfeed? Is extremely extended nursing a form of child abuse? How did you decide when to wean your own babies?


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