Ending breastfeeding

I nursed my son until he was 4 years and 8 months old. A lot of people told me that I should have weaned him a lot sooner, but I just couldn’t say no to him. Now that it’s over, I want to know if I did any lasting damage and if I can do anything about it.

Have you done lasting damage? Probably not; children are remarkably resilient.

The end of breast-feeding represents a loss, but at the same time represents a new phase in the life of a child. A parent often experiences some ambivalence at seeing a child grow and achieve independence, as when a child heads off to kindergarten for the first time.

So I would pose one question: Does your lengthy period of breast-feeding indicate your own discomfort or difficulty with transitions in your child’s development? If so, you and your pediatrician may want to further discuss your son, his development and your role in maximizing his potential. After all, your pediatrician is the professional person who knows him best!

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