How to answer the question: “Still nursing?”

Situation:

“I am nursing my one-year-old. We usually nurse at home (in the morning and in the evening because I work during the day), but we do have occasions when we nurse in public, especially the weekends, or in the presence of extended family members. Although I know for myself the health and emotional benefits of extended nursing, I have trouble communicating it to others. What can I say to those who ask about my little one who is “still nursing”?”

You may get that question when your baby is one month old, six months old, 9 months, one year or 2 and a half years old. Answering it without lengthy explanations or getting defensive and snappy is a challenge. Most people are curious and uneducated about breastfeeding. They simply do not know that you can breastfeed past infant age. The trick is to keep it short and not to take it personal. Every nursing mom gets that question.

“How long are you going to nurse him?”

– use humour
1. “Oh, about five more minutes!”
2. “Well, before he leaves for college.”

– be sincere:
1. Smile and say “We’re both really happy with nursing, we’ll stop when one of us will want to”.
2. “As long as we are both comfortable with it” (answer provided by Sonia on Facebook, thanks:))

– cite facts
1. “The average age of weaning worldwide is between two and four years, he is only one”.
2. “The World Health Organization recommends nursing until age two or beyond, he is only one”.

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Do you have other answers that work well for you?

4 thoughts on “How to answer the question: “Still nursing?””

  1. Great info! I have been getting this question a lot lately because I am nursing my 15mo old daughter. I don’t plan to stop until she is ready – so that is what i say. I have heard everything from “are you crazy” to “that’s great” to “can you do that?”

  2. i always answer, “up until he wants to.”

    if the delivery of the question offended me, they’d pretty much hear a really witty mark. haha!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Carol. A lot of it does stand in the delivery of the question. If only we knew how our comments and questions come across! We are sometimes unwillingly offending. The question “how long” is definitely a tricky one.

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