Lactivists protest Applebee’s

Women in 30 different states held demonstrations outside their local Applebee’s recently to protest the restaurant’s policy on breastfeeding.

Plans got started shortly after news about Brooke Ryan hit the Internet last week. Ryan went public after the manager of the Applebee’s asked her to cover herself with a blanket while she breastfed her 7-month-old son in a booth in the back of the restaurant in June. According to officials, this request was in violation of a 2006 state law which prohibits any interference with a woman breast-feeding in public.
Applebee’s responded by saying it would keep blankets so breast-feeding mothers can cover themselves.

You know, so no one would be offended by the oh-so-vile sight of a baby eating its lunch. But luckily, breastfeeding moms and their supporters organized online, and created nationwide action. Nice.

Join the Conversation

  • Tibbi

    I have never had a problem with women nursing, simply the hypocrisy of have a naked breast is bad but having a naked breast with a baby near it is good.
    I just do not understand what you are not getting. The breast is not naked. The top of the breast is covered by your shirt, the nipple and areola are covered by the child. The portion of the breast left is covered by the baby’s head. Why are you still using the word naked?

  • erinairout

    I did not say one word about being “discreet”. Please do not accuse me of that.
    What the woman in Applebee’s did was legal, and “discreet”. She had every right to do it. I agree with that.
    At this point people need to realize, and respect, that every single person is going to agree with their views on this issue.
    I wouldn’t attack you personally, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t attack me.

  • SarahMC

    Ouyangdan, I’ve heard that ish before.
    A friend of mine got married a little over a year ago. She’s really eager to have a baby. We got to talking about baby stuff and breastfeeding came up. She said she probably wouldn’t do it because J (her husband) doesn’t think it’s “fair.”
    I was like, “WHAT?” Apparently he thinks it’s too much mom-baby bonding and will leave him out. :jaw drops:
    I gave her an earfull and told her she better not even HAVE a baby with him if he’s more concerned about himself than the baby’s health. The mom GIVES BIRTH to the damn baby; she deserves to feed it naturally if she wishes. Fuck the dad if he’s got tit-envy. There are millions of ways for dad and baby to bond. It’s incredibly selfish for a man to deny his baby and baby mama that time together.

  • AngryYoungFemme

    Not to mention, SarahMC, that that father is being incredibly selfish based on the fact that breastfeeding is overwhelmingly the most nutrious way to feed a human baby.
    For more on human male lactation, visit this link:
    And for info on why breastfeeding is best for babies, visit this link:
    And, last but not least, for info on why formula is not equal to nor better than breastfeeding, check out:

  • starknut

    “Has anyone else ever had to deal w/ the “breast feeding is anti father” argument?”
    Surprisingly, my husband is adamant about the fact that he wants me to breastfeed if we have children. It was kind of shocking: I’ve heard so much about men being squicked that their wife/girlfriend’s breasts are being put to a non-sexual use that I had half expected him to be the same way.

  • PrincessPajamas

    Hey, RCM, if you had bothered to read ALL of my posts, and not just knee-jerk react to one or two of them, you’d see that I’d already come to that conclusion. You’d also see that combatative attitudes like yours did not help me reach it.
    Thanks, Roni, for trying desperately to get people to chill out and rationally discuss what I agree is a pretty typical (if patriarchally-conditioned) response to this issue.
    Akeeyu Buttmansion and others who have leaped on Roni’s use of the word “aggressive”: she doesn’t appear to be saying anyone is performing the act of breastfeeding in an aggressive manner. Instead, what she seems to be saying is that public-breastfeeding advocates are being unnecessarily aggressive in their responses to anyone who doesn’t agree with their views right off the bat. From what I’ve seen in this thread, I’d have to agree. If you really want to win people to your side of a debate, maybe acting like someone’s an asshole just for posing the question is not a good tactic.
    For those of you who just want to heap bile on anyone who disagrees with you, I hope to God there is a topic discussed on Feministing some day that you don’t agree with lock-step so you can see how great it feels to be attacked by other feminists just for questioning the status quo around here.
    Honestly, are you perfect and totally free from any patriarchal baggage? If so, then I guess feel free to get out the pitchforks. Still doesn’t seem like an effective way to do anything except make people defensive about the views you’d like them to change, rather than make anyone consider your point of view.
    I mean, what the hell are we here for, anyway? To help each other and learn, or to tear each other down and congratulate ourselves?

  • ouyangdan

    thanx! uthlvr, sarahmc, starknut…anyone who answered my question…
    my daughter’s father (needless to say we are not together) is VERY anti-breast feeding. i later figured out it is b/c his MOTHER thinks it’s disgusting.
    the fact that the mother carries and delivers the baby is exactly his point…he says that she gets all this “time” to bond w/ the baby and that women just want all the control. he told me once that if we had another child together, he would “let” me feed for two weeks tops…HA!
    his next point was that he is a “boob man” and that he doesn’t like the idea of “someone else” playing w/ his boobs…which leads me to believe that there are some serious issues here…
    but i was just curious if anyone else has encountered anything like this…as i am suddenly interested in researching this particular aspect of this topic.
    thanx again!

  • sgzax

    I’m actually not trying to win anyone over to my point of view on this issue. I’m pretty adamant that this is an issue of personal choice and have enjoyed letting people know that their dissenting opinions will not make the slightest difference.

  • PrincessPajamas

    I think that’s apparent, sgzax, and you’re basically proving my point. Isn’t the idea behind activism, lactation-centric or otherwise, that the world would be a better place if more people thought a certain way? By acting in a way that is alienating to others, you are doing a disservice to your beliefs, your cause, and anyone who is trying to better herself by asking questions. Your attitude speaks of a deep disinterest in improving anything, and a deep interest in self-congratulatory behavior and arguing for arguing’s sake. Is that why we’re here?

  • Chiasatan

    PrincessPJs –
    Your most recent comment is just too disingenuous for me to not respond. You began your posting on this thread by saying essentially that you couldn’t understand why a woman shouldn’t be forced to cover up when breastfeeding. You have followed up by comparing breastfeeding in public to taking a shit on the table in public, and either you or Roni also equated breastfeeding a baby in public to public sex.
    Finally, you follow up by berating everyone else for not being nice enough and arguing for argument’s sake. Pots and kettles all over the world laughed and laughed and laughed.
    Let’s be realistic about this. Public breastfeeding goes on every day, almost everywhere. People rarely notice because it is almost always completely discreet. Yes, there are an obnoxious few who are in-your-face about it for the sake of being in-your-face. However, I’m almost 40 and I’ve only run into that once in my life.
    However, in THIS PARTICULAR CASE, a woman who was being completely discreet, and who had made an effort to not attract attention got called out and humiliated for breastfeeding her baby in public. This happened very likely because, as someone else very astutely pointed out, people aren’t really offended by the tiny amount of skin showing. The supposed “nudity” is a red herring. People are complaining because breasts are sexualized by our patriarchal culture, and the idea that a baby has its mouth on a woman’s nipple and is sucking on it makes people uncomfortable. That is, in fact, a feminist issue.
    Your claim that you don’t understand how this is a feminist issue is disingenuous, especially since you also claim to be a feminist. This is so obviously a feminist issue that your posts seem designed to elicit exactly the sort of reaction about which you are now complaining.

  • greenmorgaine

    People aren’t offended by breastfeeding because of the nudity. They think its gross. An insufficiently sexay woman breastfeeding? Double gross, of course. A woman breastfeeding exposes less boob than young women commonly expose out in public. Anyone arguing that breastfeeding is a nudity issue is likely lying to themselves about the real reason they object.

  • greenmorgaine

    haha, i just basically said what Chiasatan said…in the post right before me…oops, lol.

  • sgzax

    “Your attitude speaks of a deep disinterest in improving anything, and a deep interest in self-congratulatory behavior and arguing for arguing’s sake. Is that why we’re here?”
    My attitude speaks of a deep and unshakable belief in the right of women to control their own bodies and the sense of empowerment that comes from knowing that I will whether people are offended or not. I’m not responsible for other people’s hang-ups. Feminism taught me that.

  • shfree

    When I first started breast-feeding my daughter, I did do the whole thing of removing myself from public space and nursing her in private. I got over that, since I should not have to isolate myself from society just because I have a hungry baby, and opted to feed her the food that is best for her. It got to the point where she would do what I referred to as drive-bys, where she would toddle up, lift my shirt, have a drink, then move on. This didn’t happen in fully public places, but in my home, no matter who was present. And ultimately the only time I removed myself from a public place to feed her was when I would have to pull my breast over the top of my dress, and even then I didn’t run off to the bathroom, just on a bench, away from the festivities of the wedding where I was the maid of honor.
    And to feed her from a bottle in public when I would feed her from my breast in private, well, the milk would start flowing because that is what happens when a hungry baby cries. And having big old wet spots on the breasts is far, far less discreet than actually nursing. Also, having breasts filled with milk because of an inability to nurse is EXTREMELY uncomfortable, and can lead to clogged ducts and then mastisis.
    I was never a part of La Leche League because I was fortunate to not get shit for breast-feeding my baby in public. But enough women are that there is a real need for an organization that works very hard to champion the right of women to feed their babies when they need to be fed.
    Oh, and last thing, to refer to lactivists as Nazis is EXTREMELY offensive. Call them hard-liners, but to compare them to a hate-filled group that practiced genocide is beyond the pale.

  • Jovan1984

    Must be the Ernie Effect. That governor was one of the worst in the history of the Bluegrass State.
    Anyways, lactivists should NOT have been the ONLY ones protesting. Nudists should have JOINED the lactivists, because nudists are also being denied services. I am practicing to be a nudist one day, and if I am ever discriminiated against, I will fight and I will sue.
    Just for the record, the lactivists should be going to federal and state governments and ordering them to get rid of all laws dealing with public indecency. That will solve all problems by removing bans on public nudity and breastfeeding to swearing on television.
    As I mentioned in the post “Take that, Southwest!”, we legislate morality instead of doing the right thing. The lactivists and the nudists want to government to do the right thing.

  • Jane Minty

    Nothing new to add, but I’m just as blown away how some people are so passionate about their “panties-in-a-bunchedness.” Luckily I grew up among people for whom this was a completely normal act, so it shocks me when people think otherwise.
    To me, this is a no-brainer not even requiring an activist group. What the fuck is a Crapplebees manager going to do, have you hauled away in handcuffs? Oh wait, I forgot, IT’S LEGAL! What I sadly never hear is the mom in question smiling and replying, “what are you gonna do about it?” Maybe the press chooses not to cover incidents with this conclusion?
    I get panic attacks when in a confined space with kids (though I like my friends’ kids), and loathe an unnessecarily behemonth of a stroller taking up vaulable city space. Basically, I have the same feelings for kids as I do dogs – on a one by one basis. Needless to say, I probably won’t have one of my own, but if I do, you’d better believe I’ll be breast feeding any place I please if the baby demands it. You have a choice in picking a reasonably sized stroller, but not feeding time. No one should ever question a mom feeding her kid anywhere, period.

  • Tasha-Rose

    I read feministing on a daily basis. I consider myself a loud and active feminist.
    I am also a breastfeeding mother…my picture is on the front page on the feministing on flickr! My daughter is 22…yes I said 22 months old!! EGADS!
    I organized a demonstration at Applebees this weekend and we had success AND support from Applebees.
    The issue is that NOT ALL BABES want to be covered and further, it is not safe to cover a baby’s face when they eat. There have been a number of cases where babies who have been presumed to have fallen asleep while nursing, have in fact died because of suffocation while nursing under a blanket.
    The other issue is that we are an over sexed culture. Any feminist knows that. Breasts are first and foremost a tool to feed and nurture our children. The same people barking about mom “whipping it out” (BTW no nursing mom I know, including myself, just ‘whips it out’) would have no issue with a pussy cat doll looking woman walking through the door baring a hell of a lot more than I and most nursing mothers do while nursing. EVEN FEMINISTS HAVE DOUBLE STANDARDS FROM TIME TO TIME.
    ALSO, for those ignorant about the benefits of breastfeeding (a few mentioned not breastfeeding past 5 months) The AAP the WHO and the CDC all recommend EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING for the first 6 months of life, then the AAP states that it should continue after the introduction of solids for at least one year and as long as the mother and child feel the need. THE WHO states that at least TWO YEARS or MORE of nursing.
    There was a recent article in MOTHERING magazine by Peggy O’Mara that you might be interested to read regarding how breastmilk works. It is ever changing to fit the needs of a growing child and as such after one year the calorie count and nutrient count only INCREASES!! IT gets better the longer you nurse.
    In a lot of cultures nursing until 3-4-5 isn’t unheard of because that is how natural child spacing is maintained. It is not abnormal for a woman to nurse until 3-4-5, it is our collective mindset that is abnormal and oversexed.
    The law tends to state that no one may interfere with a breastfeeding mother in any way…let’s keep it that way and realize that we don’t have a right to NOT be offended. We tuirn the channel when something comes on that we don’t care for, or we don’t click on pop ups or webpages that piss us off…how about being a grown up and simply looking away. You aren’t seeing anything anyway and most of the time, nursing a baby isn’t really that noticeable. The blanket draws more attention than anything and is not safe for the child.
    As for taking kids out to a restaurant, sure if your kids are evil hellians, they shouldn’t be taken out, but I have never had that experience with my children and we clean up after our own kids and leave a generous tip…it comes down to being respectful where respect is due…and it goes both ways. I expect that my child’s right to eat is respected when we go out as a family to a family restaurant. If you don’t want to deal with kids when you go to a restaurant, go to one without a kid menu.

  • Leah Esker

    One article on why breastfeeding is a feminist issue:
    To be fair, I probably would not have viewed it this way before I had children of my own. I have faith, though, that other women are much smarter than I used to be and will take the opportunity to educate themselves.

  • elderberryjam

    If I wanted to “whip my boob out,” or “wave my boobs,” you’d know it, and now that WOULD be offensive. Breastfeeding a baby is not “whipping your boob out.”
    And did I miss something? I never read anywhere that La Leche League had anything to do with this protest. I belong to numerous breastfeeding groups and forums, and most breastfeeding women who organize don’t belong to La Leche League. This is the 21st century. I mean, I appreciate La Leche League, but they aren’t the mainline support these days.
    I’m 43 and have breastfed 4 children. The current one is 15 months, and teeth are totally NOT an issue. I personally feel that teeth are an EXCUSE to quit for women who don’t want to sit and hold their babies the time it takes to nurse them. I personally know women, in person, who PUMP past a year so their child can have breastmilk.
    The older I get, the more ignorant people sound when they talk about breastfeeding. Have some guts.
    Lastly, if we are kicking people out of resteraunts (which by the way, did NOT happen in this case), can I request that young teenagers necking be asked to leave? How about an old man picking his nose?
    I have breastfed at my teenage daughter’s spring musical and my son’s HS graduation. Nobody noticed, and I was complimented on how GOOD the baby was. I have breastfed in the movie theater, and many a resteraunt. And guess what – I’ve decided to carry a card with me. And if someone asks me to leave, I’m calling the police and filing a report, and sueing. Because at 43 and after 4 babies, this is fricking getting OLD. Nobody has complained to me yet, but just let them try.

  • janaki

    Greg and Princess Pajamas- First off, it is not “unusual” to breastfeed past 6 months. AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends breastfeeding for AT LEAST one year and beyond that, however long both mother and child are willing. World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend a child be breastfed for at least 2 years.
    I’m not saying women should “whip it out” for all to see, but it IS possible to be descreet without using a blanket. It has nothing to do with a woman’s right to bare her chest, it’s about the baby’s right to eat.
    Also, the woman was in Kentucky, which has legislation protecting breastfeeding mothers, so Applebee’s WAS in the wrong for disturbing her. What they SHOULD HAVE done is move the person who was offended. The woman also cited the law several times and they still kept on her. If it were me, I would have just said, “No, I don’t have to cover up, my baby hates it.” End of discussion, I would not have responded to them after that.
    Here are the various laws PROTECTING breastfeeding mothers:
    MI, NH, NV, RI, SD, WA, WI:
    Breastfeeding is exempted from criminal
    statutes: It is not considered public nudity,
    and a nursing mother cannot be prosecuted
    for refusing to stop.
    AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI,
    IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, ME, MN,
    MO, MS, MT, NC, NJ, NM, NY,
    OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WY:
    Even stronger legislation explicitly allows
    breastfeeding at any location where the
    mother and child are authorized to be present.
    In some states, uncooperative business
    owners may be penalized.
    ID, MA, ND, NE, WV,
    Washington, D.C.:
    No law prohibits women from
    breastfeeding in public

  • norbizness

    Only 270 comments. I’m afraid that, having failed to meet the over (350) in the required amount of time, my hamster Fluffy has been repossessed by the Ukrainian Mob and is being forced to work by running in a wheel to power a Prius.

  • janaki

    :( So sorry to hear about your hamster, norbiz

  • justlindsay

    Frankly, regardless of your opinion of breastfeeding, whether or not you approve of it, would like to view it or not, in the end, it just doesnt matter!!! Breastfeeding mothers have the right to breastfeed however, whenever and whereever we need to, the law stands by us.
    Also, stop being so selfish people, did you ever stop for a second when ur disgusted or annoyed at a nursing baby and think “Omg its not about ME!” Its about my baby and my right to nourish my babies the natural and right way! Its just not about you at all! SO get over it!

  • Trufff

    To Lucretia, Frog Queen and everyone else who thought the mother was odd for nusring a 7 month old, Are you kidding me???
    Nursing for a 7 month old is not only really normal, even in our amazingly squeemish BF country, but its also reccomended by, like, I dunno, every medical organization known to man.

  • Sailorman

    Just one more “you’d never know unless…” comment:
    If my wife was breastfeeding, I’d challenge you to actually try to see more than 0.5 square inches of her breast. Really–unless you’re going to be all creepy and stick your face right up to her, there’s nothing to see.
    You’ll see our baby’s head, a happily waving arm (the baby), some shirt, some of my wife’s arm… but no breast.
    I’ll admit that you might see something for the 0.5 seconds between when it comes out of her shirt and when it goes into the baby’s mouth. But that’s about it.
    And she would, for reasons of politeness, not do the “whip it out” part in front of anyone, waitresses included. (I agree that this is a bit rude.)
    So I don’t really see how she’d offend anyone.
    [shrug] That said, both she and I find the La Leche folks to be insufferably self righteous. They’re often spoiling for a fight*, and when they do I think they deserve part of the blame for the results.
    *knowing, and defending, your rights =/ spoiling for a fight. But people who carry cards are, I think, going to deliberately bias their own actions so that they get to use their cards.

  • annie

    I am amazed at the closed mindedness and just plain ignorance of many of the people posting comments on this issue. I thought this was a feminist site? Did I miss something? If you believe breast feeding and childcare and children in general are not women’s issues, go back to school and sign up for some women’s studies classes because you missed out on a major part of your education. And when did it become okay to say you hate children? Would you say you hated old people or gay people or black people or white people or on and on?
    This is my first introduction to this site and I must say as a long-time dedicated feminist, I am appalled. I do not care if you would breastfeed in public or not or if you “like” children or not. Your personal feelings on it are of no concern. We are talking about human rights here, which is ultimately what feminism is about. It’s not just about the freedom to wear what you want and have sex with whomever you want. It is much more, much bigger, and way more essential than that. If you believe otherwise, please stop calling yourself a feminist; you’re hurting the cause.

  • Feminester

    Wow, this site is new to me and my hair’s a bit blown back by all the barking back and forth. My first urge was to bark too but I felt, in fairness, I had to read what everyone else wrote to the end of the thread in case someone else had already said what I was going to say. Then it became clear that the thread was really long. I have two kids and not that much time, but I felt strongly enough about the topic that I managed over several days of spare minutes to finally get to the end. It was hard. I wanted more than once to just get away from all the sniping and negativity but remembering how mad I was, I certainly understood it. I guess what I’m left with now that I went through joining up and signing in, is the thought that all of you people that think of yourself as feminist, might consider this idea: Everyone thinks they are right until they change their mind. The only way people can change their mind about something is if they are educated differently than they had been. If I want to have access to a person’s mind to change it, I may need to use any number of methods depending on the mind I’m attempting to change. There are many occasions where a polite, simply stated opinion, backed by information, and sometimes outside validation (a card that has state law printed on it), can cause a person’s long standing beliefs to be reexamined. Other times breaking through deeply seated beliefs require more vigorous attempts, such as writing to companies, and or staging protests. It’s understandable that the woman this happened to was so upset by the manager’s behavior, especially after she showed him the state law card, that she ended up nursing in her car. She was there with her other children and sometimes a good mother’s choice is to save her family the humiliation of further escalation, but continue the fight on adult terms, through the chain of command or even lawyers and or protest if need be. That appears to be exactly what this woman did. If I had just my infant, who was young enough to not comprehend the conversation, I might have just continued to breastfeed and politely told the manager that I would not not be able to accomodate his squeamish patron. I might even have been willing to educate the them if they wanted to join us for conversation at the table. I would have particularly enjoyed inviting the squeamish patron who complained to come over and discuss it over dinner. Sometimes a smile and a pleasant dose of politeness does wonders to diffuse a situation and force people to deal with you directly. People judge and see others in stereotypes all the time. We all do it. When you talk with them, you have the possibility of becoming a real person to them and educating them. That’s not always easy. It takes guts and the ability to control your temper. It takes having the kind of support you need to believe in yourself and your cause. Some people have that support at home, a few have it at work, some get it at church, some on line. I stumbled on to this site from reading about the protest on line but I’m glad to have found it. It’s thought provoking. I think it could offer amazing support if you can learn to be kinder to one another, even when the other person is over the line. When you’re teaching a kid something, I think we’ve all figured out by now, it works better to keep your temper and correct them gently than to smack them in the head, right? Well, we’re all just like big kids. Grown ups are just a little slower learners, that’s all. Sometimes it takes more gentle repetition and a little faith that they’ll get it eventually.
    Don’t you just love the line, “Well I was smacked and I turned out just fine….”

  • Pheather

    I have sat on this thread all weekend, and have something to say.
    I see where people have felt attacked especailly when expressing opinions in the vein of I don’t want to see public breastfeeding. But I also see how they acted defensively and resorted to to namecalling and making statements that tied breastfeeding to bathroom acts. Even when those who were trying to educate them as to the benefits of breastfeeding as well as the reality of breastfeeding and discretion.
    Ultimately I really think the attacks turned so vicious because some of statement made by the dissenters really sounded like they were professing hatred and prejudice toward women with children. I believe one fo the posters even stated that they hate children. I think that is why this thread was so contested.
    In reality, those who were dissenting may not hate or be prejudiced towards women and children. Yet, the policies they support towards women are backward and really regressive. Ultimately the reality is that they live in a world with mothers and children, and at one point they were a child. The beast they can do is to turn their head and look away if they notice a woman breastfeeding in public.
    Please know that if you are childfree by choice, us mom’s aren’t trying to pop out children to make your life worse or harder, just that we made a different choice than you.
    I also want to state that they type of feminism that excludes anyone from their rightful place in society and to participate in every day life based on their status, gender, race or choice to parent or not (as well as any other “qualifiers”) is not one that I wish to be part of, and I refuse to not point it out to others on topic threads when I see that type of language be presented by posters.

  • Feminester

    Ah, my favorite educator strikes again! Great comeback at this link:

  • Feminester

    Here’s a great comeback from my favorite educator:

  • Feminester

    Double post, sorry!

  • Roxie

    apparently bill Maher doesn’t like lactivists either…
    at 4:40
    He’s with the “they’re mothers who think they deserve a medal b/c they gave birth and secretly want the spotlight” crowd.

  • Roxie

    apparently bill Maher doesn’t like lactivists either…
    at 4:40
    He’s down with the “they’re mothers who think they deserve a medal b/c they gave birth and secretly want the spotlight” idea

  • dana

    I am coming in really late on this but I’m gonna share my thoughts anyway, dammit, because there is so much antifeminist sentiment going on in the comments it ain’t funny.
    First off, if you’ve been nursing three months and your boobs are still hurting, you are doing something wrong. Either the baby is not latching on correctly or you have problems with your breasts which have gone undiagnosed. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of misinformation going on about breastfeeding, even amongst doctors.
    Secondly, I’m about past sick and tired of the “put a blanket over your baby” bullshit. YOU put a blanket over YOUR head when YOU eat. YOU go to the bathroom, YOU hide YOURself. Or, y’know, grow the hell up and learn to cope with other people being different from yourself.
    Blankets are too hot for young babies. I TRIED it. It doesn’t work. They don’t work for older babies and toddlers, either, because the kid just yanks it off anyway.
    Nursing past five months has nothing to do with boundary issues. Human milk continues to have health benefits for toddlers as long as they continue nursing. Also, the age at which they are ready to wean varies greatly from child to child. My daughter is just getting to the point where she can communicate more than two-word phrases, and we’re still working on her tendency to shut down and start protesting when we won’t let her do something she wants to do. I do set boundaries for her nursing in public because I just don’t want the hassle from complete strangers. But she will be three on November 2 and hasn’t weaned yet. Most of her nursing is to get to sleep at night and wake up in the morning, and lay down for the occasional nap. When she’s ready to give it up, it will be given up. I don’t think it’ll take another six months, frankly.
    And I’m not a creep, thank you very fucking much, and I’m not trying to do anything inappropriate. But one thing you have to learn when you become a parent, if you want to retain any semblance of sanity and avoid unduly traumatizing your children, is to pick your battles. Some things are just not worth fighting about. Your child’s sense of security and safety is one of those.
    And I totally do not get these women who have the resources, get on the Internet but don’t bother researching what their babies will need before they have them. An infant’s gut is not sufficiently matured before six months to let it consume anything but mother’s milk. The lining of the GI tract is still porous and lets larger food particles through and this has been connected with a higher rate of allergies in older kids. It doesn’t take much to find this information, people.