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Nursing and what to tell older kids

 
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Sep 26 2019, 11:54 pm
I’m expecting and I’m hoping to nurse ( it didn’t work out last time). What do you tell your older kids regarding this (I have 2 curious 4 year olds). Do you nurse in front of them? It’s not like I can just lock myself in a room when I’m the only one home with them. How do I explain to them what I’m doing. I’m not sure how to navigate this. I want to remain tznius in front of them. How can I nurse and be with them at the same time?
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amother




Ginger


Post  Fri, Sep 27 2019, 12:01 am
I don't tell them anything. They sort of just know it the way they know all the other millions of details that happen in their lives. Its just a given. If they ever asked, I must've said s/t like, this is special food for baby, bec. tiny babies are so sensitive to food.
I remain tznius by using blankies, towels, or just wearing a top that covers generously. This is harder to do first few weeks, when baby needs more support. At that point, I usually try to nurse in bed, where I can sort of lay on my side, and cover with a blanket. The rest of the kids sit on the bed next to me.
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amother




Mustard


Post  Fri, Sep 27 2019, 2:16 am
If they ask. (Which any just take it as a given)

"These are my breasts, they are a private place. Hashem made them for women so they can feed their little babies. Small babies cannot eat regular food, so Hashem gave them special food that comes from Mommy. When they will get bigger they will eat regular food!"

Your kids have NEVER seen anyone nursing before?
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amother




Beige


Post  Fri, Sep 27 2019, 4:59 am
When my 4yo saw me feeding the baby, she asked what I was doing, I said I was feeding the baby milk because she's too little to have real food. dd was fine with that. The next day randomly she tells me, 'mommy, you drink milk. It goes into your tummy and then baby drinks it.'
None of my kids have found it strange. I try and keep as covered as I can, but I'm also matter-of-fact about it-I also try and give the others something to do when I want to feed-a toy or snacks so I might get a bit of peace.
If I'm feeling stressed and baby isn't feeding properly, I go in my room and lock the door so they aren't all jumping on me.
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Raisin




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 27 2019, 5:03 am
Just be as tznius as you can but certainly nurse in front of them. I grew up seeing my mother nurse. And my sisters.
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amother




Khaki


Post  Fri, Sep 27 2019, 5:44 am
I totally nurse in front of my almost 6 year old and almost 5 year old boys! All the kids including younger ones all know that the baby only eats from mommy. It's helpful when they want to share their treats with the baby...
My 4 year old calls it eating from mommy's belly. And sometimes they'll even hold their dolls like their nursing. They all understand only mommies can nurse but think it's funny when they play and pretend to do it too.
I see nothing wrong with it and nothing wrong with a short age appropriate explanation.
Obviously try to stay as covered as possible.
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Aylat




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 27 2019, 6:33 am
There's nothing not tzanua about nursing! Tell your children that little babies need special food and it's so amazing how Hashem makes the mother's own body produce exactly the special milk the baby needs. Try and stay covered, but I wouldn't freak out if my 4 yo caught a glimpse. It's healthy for them to grow up seeing that nursing is a natural body function of a mother's breasts.

On another note - getting nursing established can take a few weeks and may not be easy with the distraction of a pair of lively 4 year olds! If there's anyone who can look after them while you nurse, that is ideal. Or if there's a special toy or game they can play with without you that is 'baby-feeding-time toy', that might help as well.
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Ruchel




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 27 2019, 7:34 am
Hashem makes milk so the mom can feed the baby in any situation, and leave it at that until they're older and you can tell them more
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amother




Scarlet


Post  Fri, Sep 27 2019, 7:35 am
I nurse in front of my kids way older than 4. 4 year olds are babies themselves. 1st don't say anything and if they ask, simply say that hashem made that mommies feed babies like this. It's special milk only for babies. Keep it simple and non complicated.
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Rappel




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 27 2019, 7:36 am
I wear a cotton poncho when I nurse, but they certainly find out what's going on, whether on purpose or by accident. Best to answer the questions head on.
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mommy3b2c




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 27 2019, 7:44 am
I don’t understand the question. You nurse. if they ask you why, you say that’s how baby eats. It really bothers me that people turn nursing into something shameful. Ftr, I nursed my 4 year old until 6 months ago. I don’t have to explain to him what nursing is, he remembers. And there’s nothing wrong with that. And if he sees someone else nursing he tells me that nursing is for babies and small boys, but now he’s big. Let’s not make a big deal out of Simething beautiful and natural.
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amother




Blue


Post  Fri, Sep 27 2019, 9:06 am
OP, I was just wondering the same!

Mine are 7 and have never seen mothers breastfeeding before. I don’t hide it, but I don’t have family around or had any babies since having them, before now. I didn’t breastfeed them either. So they just don’t know.

Yes I want it to be natural for them. My mother never had to explain anything because as the oldest, I saw it with all my younger siblings, from when I was a toddler. At 7, though, it’s quite a shock. I don’t want them to make a big deal out of it.
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amother




Scarlet


Post  Fri, Sep 27 2019, 9:19 am
Amother mustard, there's absolutely no reason to tell kids "these are breasts and hashem gave them to women." That's too much info for little kids. Just keep it simple and non complicated. They're 4 years old, they'll be happy with a simple answer.
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amother




Salmon


Post  Fri, Sep 27 2019, 9:39 am
Nursing is not like using the bathroom or performing a s-xual act. It's totally normal to nurse in front of people, provided you don't reveal more skin than you normally would. So use a nursing cover, or a receiving blanket, if you need to. Women have been nursing since the first baby was born in the world. They didn't lock themselves in rooms to do so.
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amother




Lemon


Post  Fri, Sep 27 2019, 10:19 am
Just nurse and say this is how babies eat. They get milk from their mother.
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amother




Seafoam


Post  Sat, Sep 28 2019, 1:21 pm
I also find it kind of awkward, because for me, nursing is always a struggle in the beginning and really hard to stay tzanua when trying to get the baby to latch on for the 6th time in a 20 minute nursing session and also just that it hurts me so pain is also difficult when my kids are chatting to me, attempting to climb on me, wanting my attention.
It's fine when we're established to use a nursing cover and read them stories when nursing. But honestly, a really difficult thing to do for the first 6-8 newborn weeks. My kids were younger when I had my last baby, but now I'm expecting again and I'd rather remain tzanua in front of my (now older) boys, but they're still not at an age where I can go off and nurse in the bedroom for an extended period and leave them to their own devices with their younger siblings.
If this is where OP's post is coming from, I share her quest for advice!
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amother




Fuchsia


Post  Thu, Oct 03 2019, 2:25 pm
Before a baby is born we give the next-youngest "the talk."
You eat regular food, you drink milk from a carton/ bag, that milk is cow milk made for baby cows but people drink it also.
Teeny tiny babies can't eat regular food or drink milk from a cows or other animals, they need special milk from their mothers because their bodies are still learning how to digest food. We never give teeny tiny babies any food or drink without asking Ima or Abba. When the baby is ready andbig enough we will add foods one at a time.
But for now the baby needs to drink Ima's milk and only Ima's milk. I know you're a nice boy/girl and will want to share your favorite foods with the baby, but don't until the baby is big enough to eat them. (This is the point of the talk...)

Then they ask where the milk is. I point to my chest. How does the baby get the milk? The baby sucks. Babies know how to suck but they need to be taught how to suck in a way that gets milk out, so at the beginning I have to teach the baby, and because the baby is so tiny it takes a long time for the baby to get enough milk. As the baby grows and gets better at nursing and gets stronger, it takes less and less time. You also took a long time when you were teeny tiny and then you got bigger and took shorter and shorter. And we didn't give you any food until your tummy was ready for it. I want to see the milk. You can't see the milk right now, my body will make it after the baby comes out, so that the baby has food. I'm not going to show it to you because it's not tzanua to show it stam, it's private. When the baby nurses you can watch the baby nurse. If I pump/ take out milk with a machine you can see the milk then.

I don't let them stare at my chest. There is a difference between watching the baby/ watching me latch the baby (which I don't love), and simple staring. I don't love letting them watch me latch newborns but if I want them to nurse/ support a nursing wife then especially for boys this is the only time and place they're going to be able to really learn about it. But I see a difference between them watching the baby nurse, and staring at my breast without a baby attached.
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amother




Fuchsia


Post  Thu, Oct 03 2019, 2:30 pm
amother [ Seafoam ] wrote:
I also find it kind of awkward, because for me, nursing is always a struggle in the beginning and really hard to stay tzanua when trying to get the baby to latch on for the 6th time in a 20 minute nursing session and also just that it hurts me so pain is also difficult when my kids are chatting to me, attempting to climb on me, wanting my attention.
It's fine when we're established to use a nursing cover and read them stories when nursing. But honestly, a really difficult thing to do for the first 6-8 newborn weeks. My kids were younger when I had my last baby, but now I'm expecting again and I'd rather remain tzanua in front of my (now older) boys, but they're still not at an age where I can go off and nurse in the bedroom for an extended period and leave them to their own devices with their younger siblings.
If this is where OP's post is coming from, I share her quest for advice!

This is an excellent time to teach them to take responsibility for their eyes and actions.
You can ask them to turn away when they see the baby unlatch/ hear the baby scream and you try to relatch him/her.
You can tell them to play and not mind you, just be busy with their own stuff.
You can tell them that you are working to stay as tznius as possible but you are asking them to do their part and not stare.
(I do all of these. Regardless of gender. Part of normalizing nursing is making it normal and not noteworthy.)
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amother




Fuchsia


Post  Thu, Oct 03 2019, 2:33 pm
amother [ Blue ] wrote:
OP, I was just wondering the same!

Mine are 7 and have never seen mothers breastfeeding before. I don’t hide it, but I don’t have family around or had any babies since having them, before now. I didn’t breastfeed them either. So they just don’t know.

Yes I want it to be natural for them. My mother never had to explain anything because as the oldest, I saw it with all my younger siblings, from when I was a toddler. At 7, though, it’s quite a shock. I don’t want them to make a big deal out of it.

"Babies are supposed to drink milk from their mothers. That's the best food for them, mother's milk helps keep babies healthy, helps teach their bodies how to handle food and drink, and gives the baby everything s/he needs and exactly what s/he needs. It changes as the baby gets bigger. I tried to nurse you but I didn't manage, hopefully this time I will manage, because this is the best way to feed a baby."

I think that if you don't see it as a big deal, neither will they.
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