Appropriateness of breastfeeding a three year old in public - FamilyEducation
Appropriateness of breastfeeding a three year old in public
04/27/2008 at 10:37 AM

Is it appropriate to breastfeed a 3 year old in public. My son's girlfriend's mother breastfeeds her three year old son who can talk, walk and it makes my 17 year old son very uncomfortable. Is this normal to breastfeed a child of this age as well as delay potty training - the little boy is still in diapers. My son would like to say something to his girlfriend's mother, but doesn't want to be disrespectful.

My opinion is that it is inappropriate to breastfeed a child of any age in front of anyone who is not a family member and only after asking to make sure the family member does not mind. I breastfed my daughter until she was 4 and almost no one outside my very immediate family and closest female friends knew I did. The toilet training is a different issue. It may seem to be "delayed" but all children do eventually get there. Your son's girlfriend should be the one to say something to her mother about being more circumspect. It would be disrespectful of your son to do so.

1. A child does not need to be breast fed past one year old. 2.I think women should discretely breast feed anywhere it is necessary. 3. I don't think it is your son's place to tell his gf mother when or how she should nurse her kid;It's not his business

The age of the child is not his business. As far as the exposed breast, he should politely excuse himself as soon as he can predict that any female breast is about to appear. It is his business to direct his own behavior so that he is comfortable. This may lead him to walk out of movies, leave the room while the family is watching television, and turn off the computer in the midst of an internet search. In the 21st century, exposed female breasts are nearly as common as shirtless male torsos. It is great to hear of a man who has not been desensitized by modern media and culture.

Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world and if done discreetly, can be done anywhere. It should not offend anyone. What do you think women were given breasts for? As for being three years old? It is a bit older than usual, but nobody else's business but the mothers, and not all children are potty trained at three either. If your son is embarrassed, then he can leave the room. It is certainly not up to him or you to pass any judgements on it.

It's not his place to say anything but maybe his girlfriend could mention to her mother that it makes him uncomfortable. She may make a point to alert him when she's about to breast feed or not do it in front of him. But if she chooses not to then it's his place to remove himself from the room if he's uncomfortable. Mom has every right to breast feed her child. Also as far as him being 3.....that does seem a bit old but all children are different and as long as mom is still comfortable doing it then more power to her. The potty training thing sometimes takes time. My daughter wasn't completely potty trained till after 3. She would pee in the potty but we had some issues with going number 2. She eventually got through it and she is 7 years old now. All kids will eventually use the potty. I think boys in general take a little longer than girls do on average. I work in daycare with 4's and side by side with the 3yr old teacher. Many boys move up to her room and are not completely potty trained.

I find it very ironic that we have all these images around us in the media etc. of female breasts and it does not outrage people as much as the sight of a baby being breast fed. I don't know what newspapers are like over there, but here, some of our nastier tabloids have pictures of Page 3 girls exposing their breasts every day. Some men specifically buy the papers for this cheap titilation then have the nerve to get all uptight and righteous about women breastfeeding babies in public, even when they are being discreet and not showing much. That is the ultimate use for breasts. It is a private time for mother and child and part of the bonding experience. If you don't want to see, then don't look.

BRAVO Juni!!!!!! How many people have watched "Wedding Crashers"??? I bet this guy, in the post, has seen the movie and others just like it ... I see boobs constantly in the media and I see them on the beaches and at the pool ... It is SOOOO completely ridiculous for ignorant people to be offended by a breastfeeding mother. If they are embarressed about anything it should be about their own ignorance!!

I personally have no problem w/ women breatfeeding their babies in public, as long as they are covered. We all have busy schedules, and it's hard to just stop what you're doing and find a private place to feed your baby. I breastfed my children for the first few months, but I was a little uncomfortable doing it in public, so during those times, I used bottles. It should really be the mother's choice and no one else's concern. As far as breastfeeding a 3 yr old in general, I think that's unusual, and it wld probably stir up gossip if done in public, but again it's the mother's decision, and no one else has a right to object to it. I agree that your son should speak to his girlfriend, and she shld talk to her mom, not your son. His girlfriend's mother can then choose to handle the situation the best way she sees fit. After all, it's her child. I admire women who breast feed their children b/c I had such difficulty doing it. Therefore, I wldn't object to it, as I wldn't want others to object to any personal decisions I make for myself or my family.