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Parenting myths I believed: Part 1 – extended breastfeeding

19th April 2013

Before having D, I thought I knew exactly how I’d parent him. I judged other people’s parenting and scoffed at silly ideas they had or at how unruly their children were. Pffft.

Every now and then, I find my views on a certain subject have changed; I’m going to attempt to document these in this series of blog posts so others don’t fall into the same traps I did.

What I believed: Breastfeeding after 6 months is unnecessary; breastfeeding after a year is just weird

I remember reading the blog of a mum who expressed sadness that her daughter had weaned at 9 months. I remember my thoughts at the time being very much of the “well, I should think so!” type of thing – I’d read that babies go onto solids at 6 months, so why should she still have milk? Pffft. The same mum had a son a few years later and breastfed him until he was well over a year old. My thoughts at this were along the lines of “he’s going to be so messed up for later life if he’s still having milk – and breastmilk, at that – at this age! What a selfish woman, she needs to get her son to eat properly”. I had visions of the Little Britain ‘bitty’ sketch (probably NSFW, if you want to look that one up…) and of a fussy child who would never eat.

My thoughts on this didn’t change too much when having D. I told him indoors that I would do the 6 months, maybe a year at most, but no more than that. When he can eat solids, he’ll have no need for milk… Right? Wrong! When he began eating solids, I was kind of upset. I liked feeding him myself, and I didn’t want to introduce things that weren’t perfect for him like breastmilk was. At the beginning, weaning went really well and I wondered if he would be off milk for good much sooner than I wanted – I needn’t have worried there though :P

Anyway, back to my point: it’s well known now that babies should have milk (breastmilk or formula) as their main source of food until they are a year old, and pretty much every piece of literature on the subject talks about it. The WHO (among others) also recommends carrying on breastfeeding until age 2 and beyond. I have no idea if we will continue onto age 2, but I certainly hope to continue for a while yet.