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Explaining breastfeeding to older children?

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I think I'm doing a pretty good job explaining breastfeeding to my 6-year old; he understands what I am doing, and why. He's even gotten a bit defensive when my fiancee will ...show more
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I think you will enjoy this article about How Breastfeeding Affects Older Children.
It answers your question.

As adults, we’ve all heard the adages “children learn by example” and “children learn what they live.” That holds true for breastfeeding, too.


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5 out of 5
Awesome link, thanks so much
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  • NY_Attitude answered 7 years ago
    Our son was 10 when our baby was born and is now 11. I have never been discreet and I nurse in front of him all the time.

    I explained breastfeeding by doing something much like what other animals and mammals do to feed their young. He has autism and is a science buff so he really understood it as that. He also watched our kittens being nursed by their feral mom before I became pregnant- to him it is just second nature to see it.

    It's worked really well. I always say I am hopefully raising someone else's husband and daddy...so we don't hide things like this and we always explain.

    Good luck and good job!
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  • Betsy answered 7 years ago
    I don't hide what I'm doing anywhere. It becomes far more obvious that a baby is being nursed when blankets are used. I have sat directly in front of people speaking to them and they have no idea my children are being fed.
    My oldest is 13 so knows without me having to explain what I'm doing and my second (22 months) was not weaned until the 3rd (now 3 months) was 6 or 7 weeks old so remembers quite well what it is.

    When there are other children in my home that ask, I just use factual statements without embellishing. What are you doing? I'm feeding the baby.
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  • d_n_b818 answered 7 years ago
    I dont know that this will help at all, but its just an experience I have had lately.
    My mother in law has an almost 2 yr old. He only stop bf a few months ago. He now sometimes wants "milk" again. She tells him her "milk" is gone.
    Well I have a 6wks old son. The uncle has seen me feed him, and remembers his bf days. When my mother in law holds my baby the 2 yr old goes nuts. "My milk, My milk". It is kinda comical, And she explains to him that he drinks my milk, and hers is all gone.

    She has 3 other children at home. She bf in front of all of them. And so do I. Of course Im pretty discreet. For me it is good practice for bf in public. I helps me feel more comfortable.
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  • Mommyof2 answered 7 years ago
    I tell him that Mommy feeds baby from her breasts ( He said ohh that's why men don't have them ) I told him that's how he used to eat ( he said ewww ) I don't hide, in fact with the way her schedule is right now I'm usually nursing during me and my sons story time at night. He knows it's natural, he actually asks why I cover up when we are out. I don't walk around topless or anything but I don't have a blanket over her either. He knows that's what they are for and it's natural. He's also 6.
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  • Holy Macaroni! answered 7 years ago
    Although this isn't my current situation, I have actually thought about what I will say to my son when I have another child in a few years. I just figure I will tell him that just like calves, kittens, puppies, etc. eat their mother's milk, so do baby humans. I certainly don't plan to cover myself in front of my family and didn't when I was trying to nurse my son.. I just didn't do it in front of my brother, because he is SO shy and embarrassed by things like that. He would leave the room, oh well.. he's still young.


    By the way.. that's too cute what your 6 year old said. I love when kids say things that sound so grown up. LOL
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  • Squirrel answered 7 years ago
    I have a 4 1/2 year old that I breastfed and I pregnant with another baby that I will breastfeed too. My daughter just thinks it's the normal way to feed babies. She's got dolls that have bottles, but she knows that baby's really "drink from mommy's boobies". Sorry, we don't use very PC words around this house. Boobs are boobs, not "breasts". We are generally very open about everything with our daughter, so there really won't be a whole lot of explaining with her. Just explain to your son that that's how babies are fed. Period. If they don't know any different, they won't be confused. Good luck!
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  • essentiallyprincess answered 7 years ago
    LMAO at your son saying you are feeding.

    Well it is booby milk, I was so glad I was breastfeeding at first because my cousins kids would have never let me have any peace if it was bottle they would pester and pester if they could do it. I don't know why but the family has always just said breasfeeding or booby milk and that it is good for little babies to feed from their mummies because they get their food and drink in one and all the good things from their mummy to fight illnesses - obviously that is quite simple and for younger children.

    I tend to give basic information to children and allow them to ask more when they want to know. They only ask what they need/want to know at that particular time so they are not getting overwhelmed with information.
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  • XO answered 7 years ago
    nope....never discreet

    my 5 year old knows more about breasts and breastfeeding than the average American adult......seriously

    when her little sis gets cranky she's all like "mom just give her la chiche" (we speak spanish at home, that's the english version i guess)

    i really think that if children grow up seeing breastfeeding then it would just weave it's way into society very naturally.....children don't have a sense of sexuality or culture until WE instill it them

    it makes me sooooo angry when i see moms going on about not wanting to explain boobs or breastfeeding to their children if they were to see it out in public....wtf??...it's only sexual if YOU teach them that
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  • wawawebis answered 7 years ago
    Sounds like you are doing it well! Honest and straight talk. Discretion is nice but in your own home you can be a bit more relaxed, just do what makes you comfortable at home.
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  • Explaining breastfeeding to older children?
    I think I'm doing a pretty good job explaining breastfeeding to my 6-year old; he understands what I am doing, and why. He's even gotten a bit defensive when my fiancee will yell for me from a different part of the house, and holler back "She's trying to feed the baby; you'll have to wait!".

    Just wondering how other moms of older kids go about this...what language do you use? Do you make an effort to be discreet when nursing at home in front of an older kid? How's it work for you, in an overall sense?

    Thanks to all who share experience and input
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