'I told my sister she needs to stop breastfeeding her six-year-old'


'I told my sister she needs to stop breastfeeding her six-year-old'

A woman has divided the internet after slamming her sister for continuing to breastfeed her six-year-old and two-year-old sons.

Every parent knows that it’s not uncommon to be given unsolicited opinions and advice from family, friends and even strangers when you have a baby.

And one of the topics that seems to divide opinions more than others is breastfeeding and, more specifically, how long women should be doing it for.

Many women who choose to breastfeed their child past the age of 12 months say they regularly encounter judgment and criticism from people who think they know best.

Now a woman has taken to an online forum to ask whether she was out of line for telling her sister it’s time to stop breastfeeding her six-year-old and two-year-old sons.

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The woman revealed that her sister still breastfeeds her six-year-old and two-year-old. Source: iStock. 

"She needs to stop breastfeeding them" 

Taking to Reddit, Jenny* explained that her sister Amanda* is big on attachment parenting and that both her sons still co-sleep and have breast milk.

“Her oldest has it pumped and in a bottle during the day with breastfeeding at night and the youngest still breastfeeds through both,” she wrote in a lengthy post this week.

“It makes family get togethers difficult. There's nothing quite like seeing a two-year-old breastfeed. Because they're older she's been asked to feed them away from family which she gets pissed about, and I just think they're both grossly attached to her.”

Jenny also explained that the eldest child has autism so is naturally close to Amanda, and that she has rarely left him for longer than six hours maximum.

Meanwhile the youngest boy “won't even sit with us for two minutes while she goes to the bathroom.”

RELATED: ‘I was accused of shaming a breastfeeding mum’

The boys still both receive breast milk. Source: iStock. 

“She’s babying them”

Jenny noted that the children were both happy, amazing kids, but she felt they were being coddled unnecessarily.

“I don't see why a six year old still needs to breastfeed,” she wrote.

“They still both use pacifiers and actual bottles, not sippy cups, and I think she should start transitioning them. Even though he is autistic the oldest doesn't need to be infantilised to this extent. While he can't use cups he could use sippy cups, and he seriously doesn't need a pacifier. If he doesn't have it he generally isn't bothered.

“She always gets really angry when I mention transitioning them over to anything, but I just want the best for my nephews.”

RELATED: 5 reasons why I chose to extend breastfeeding

“Someone needed to tell her the truth”

Things came to a head when Jenny and her extended family spent New Year’s together and Amanda’s son started breastfeeding during dinner.

“My mum told them to wait until after, she said no, and I said she needs to start letting them grow up,” Jenny explained.

“Even if they need breast milk, there’s no reason they can’t both use a sippy cup.

“She left pretty soon after and hasn't been talking with any of us. My sisters think I should've just left her alone, but I think someone seriously had to tell her.”

Is it time to stop breastfeeding? 

So Jenny had turned to Reddit to ask people whether she was out of line for choosing to share her opinion with her sister.

Many agreed that the six-year-old, in particular, was too old to be breastfed.

“Two, I can understand because even WHO recommends breastfeeding until "two and beyond", but I personally think 6 is a bit old to be drinking anything out of a bottle,” one wrote. “Autistic or not, she should still at least try to find an alternative to a bottle because it's not good for their teeth.”

“[Dummies] at that age affect speech and are bad for the teeth. The six-year-old should definitely not be drinking from a bottle,” added another.

Meanwhile, others agreed that she was right to be honest, but ultimately it was her sister's decision on how she raises her children.

“I think you had a right to say what you did. It seems you have legitimate concerns for your nephews in terms of unhealthy attachments,” one wrote. “However, your sister also had a right to react the way she did. Ultimately, no matter what you and your family think, at the end of the day she’s their parent and what she says goes in terms of her children.”

*Names have been changed.

Little Edward Maher was fed donated breast milk in his first week of life. Since then, his mum Haylee
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