Saturday, April 20, 2013

Limit Setting

In my years as a La Leche League Leader, a mother, and writer, I have found that as parents, we have many, many different approaches to limit setting in different situations.

There are parents who strictly regulate their children's days, setting limits for most activities, so that children know exactly what is expected of them and what is allowed and okay.

On the other end of the spectrum are parents who feel that children should find their own limits, be allowed to explore the world more freely, and discover on their own where their limits should be.

In all actuality, most parents probably fall somewhere along the curve between the two.

When it comes to breastfeeding a child after they've turned three, the story is no different. Some may assume that because you've allowed your child to nurse until they have turned three that there couldn't possibly be any limit setting in your household, but I have found that this is not always the case. In fact, some mothers have found that limit setting was exactly what they or their child needed. Some families, however, have found the freedom of no limits on nursing to fit their lifestyle better.

What have you found to work best for you and your child?


  1. I only tell my daughter "no", as far as breastfeeding, when it is not a good time. For instance, if she asked while we were shopping, I'd tell her she has to wait. If we're at home, and I'm not busy with one of the other kids (I run a daycare), or I'm sitting down somewhere, she's welcome to nurse.

  2. I do exactly what the previous commenter said. It is a mutual relationship and I have a say also. There is definitely a misunderstanding and false correlation that nursing an older kid means we can't ever tell them "no."

    The latest thing has been that he will ask to nurse if he does something wrong (say, throws a toy at the cat or says something rude to Dad). I deal with the issue first before he can nurse.

  3. Thank you for your input, both of you. I found that limits kept me sane when I was feeling touched out or when my preschoolers were going through the "I wanna nurse" every five minutes stage :)