Mayim Bialik On Toddler Son: “I See No Reason To Wean Him”

Mother of two Mayim Bialik has some interesting ideas about parenting. She is still breastfeeding her younger son Frederick, 2 1/2, and sees no reason to discontinue doing so. The actress best known for her role in Blossom also breastfed her firstborn son Miles, 5, until he was a toddler of 26 months.

In an article she wrote for Kveller she says that her son “nurses every 3-5 hours during the day and 4-7 times a night.” This would reduce most of us to weepy self-pity and an appointment with a family therapist, but Mayim is not daunted.

I have not slept more than 4 hours in almost 6 years. My son, however, is healthy, happy, and independent, and I see no reason to wean him. I believe that children outgrow the need to nurse just as they outgrow the need to crawl, poop in a diaper, or the need for holding and cuddling when they are scared or lonely.”

She firmly believes that breastfeeding is “normal, healthy, nutritionally, immunologically, and psychologically beneficial, and in all primates, nursing continues well into ‘toddlerhood.'”

Her opinions are well based in fact and research and with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience as well as a recent certification as a Lactation Educator/Counselor she knows what she is talking about. However, it takes all of her knowledge and commitment to help her stand against popular opinion.

Most everyone in my family thinks this party should have been shut down yesterday,” she says, “I have a lot of research, support, and education on my side, and most of what they have – with all due respect- is uninformed hunches, personal uncomfortableness with nursing, and just plan old “I didn’t do that, so why are you?” reasoning. Most of my close friends in our community nursed their kids into the toddler years.”

On the question of when it is time to stop breastfeeding Frederick she is not sure, “I don’t know. Hopefully by the time he’s 3. I can’t imagine myself nursing a 3 year old, and I myself see 4 and 5 year olds nursing and I cannot imagine it for me.”

Mayim can see why some people might think it is a little odd to have an older child nursing and goes on to say,

I will admit that nursing a newborn or even a 1 year old is very different from nursing a child in boots and a raincoat. But I struggle to understand why it’s not accepted. Besides the fact that it’s not “typical,” I don’t see that there is anything inherently wrong with it, other than people thinking it’s wrong.”

Filed under: Mayim Bialik

Photo credit: Fame Pictures


Post a Comment

  1. Angi

    She is doing what works for her family. So..good for her.

  2. yogi william

    Does she really believe what she is feeding this grown child is milk, it is just water. Girlfriend needs therapy, there is some sort of emotional dependency that she is passing on to that child. Shame on you Blossom, milking that your child like that!

  3. mackenzie

    there is a story of a mom who Brest-feed her Six year old son .

  4. Anonymous

    To the person who stated “it’s just water” you clearly need to be educated on the facts of breast milk. It’s people like you who discourage women from nursing. Shame on you!

  5. Anonymous

    Can someone explain to me how a woman can produce breast milk for 3 years? And I coulda sworn I saw something saying women who breastfeed dont have periods until they stop? Is that possible to not have a period for years?

    • Blair

      you keep making milk as long as the baby keeps sucking, it’s supply and demand. you body doesnt know the kid is 3.
      and no the period isnt postponed until you stop, usually just for a few months. my baby is almost 5 months old and i just got mine back :/

    • Annie123

      It’s exactly the same thing for milk cows: since they’re milked every day, they just never stop producing. In Europe, it used to be a full-time job for women to nurse other people’s kids. They would produce milk for years and years!
      And you’re right, nursing regularly and exclusively does stop ovulation therefore your period. But as soon as the baby eats other foods (around 6 months), your period usually comes back.

    • Anonymous

      it depends on yur body. with my boys my period was back to normal in one month, my daughter is 4months and i still haven’t started cycling again. it just depends

    • Anonymous

      Yes, it is possible not to have a period for years. It is likely to take longer to return when the child does all suckling at the breast (no pacifiers, no bottles), and continues to nurse at night. It took between 2-2.5 YEARS after each of my children’s births for my periods to return. In one ten-year span of time, I had only a total of 10 menstrual periods (between pregnancies and extended lactational amenorrhea). That’s the normal physiological state for women and can be commonly observed in many “primitive” cultures around the world.

  6. Anonymous2

    I nursed both my children for 27 months each. It was the most wonderfull thing! I would do it allover again.

  7. Anonymous

    I think we forget the breastfeeding is a stage, necessity that a child has. After a certain period of time, it’s then the mother wanting her child to breast feed. Just like solid foods, diapers etc, they are all stages. It’s like giving your toddler, growing, full mouth of teeth child mashed up baby food. Parents have to allow themselves to grow with their child. A mother’s milk is more potent in the beginning stages of her childs’ birth after a few years, the nutrients are not that rich so they might as well get them from regular food. Breast milk is there as food for a baby who hasn’t adapted yet or fully be able to digest other foods. If a child can talk and walk then there’s no need for breast milk.

    • Anonymous

      That is patently untrue. Breastfeeding still provides antibodies and, more importantly, COMFORT until weaning. The natural age of weaning for children is eighteen months to seven years. If a child wants to breastfeed at two, that’s developmentally appropriate and most likely not the mother’s wishes over the child’s. Do some research before saying such ridiculous things.

      • Grace

        If you’re using breastfeeding to comfort your child then you’re just training them to be an emotional eater. That’s bad parenting. There are plenty of other – healthier – ways to cmofort a child.

        • Anonymous

          breastmilk loses it’s “good stuff”- for instance, the mother’s body runs out of its iron supply after 6 months and that is why it is recommended for breastfed infants to be on iron supplement. do most mothers do this? no. but they think that they are doing a good thing for their kids by breastfeeding- not always the case. breastmilk can only be as good as what is inthe mother’s body- if there is not enough intake (by the mother) of all the vitamins and minerals needed, breastmilk will not be that great. period. this is only logical. and lets face it, most moms want to start looking thin/ner after birth, so we tend to diet and get back in shape–thus eating less, or perhaps not eating as much and as nutritiously.
          i think breastfeeding is good to a point..maybe 6 months…max a year…but after that? give me break!

          • Anonymous

            You and grace are both morons. Do some damn research before running your mouths.

          • blair

            you ‘think’ its good for 6 months? do us a favor and dont think. why dont you look it up- read a book, google it. you sounds like a moron. no wonder you posted anonymously.
            if the mother doesnt eat right the baby still gets what it needs. if she doesnt eat enough calcium, it comes out of her bones, if she doesnt eat enough protein, comes out of her muscles. the mom suffers, NOT the baby.
            i bet you were too selfish to breast feed and feel guilty about it, so you’re saying whatever helps you feel better inside.

          • Anonymous

            Ask any doctor and they’ll tell you that a mother who smokes cigarettes and breastfeeds is still giving their child something better to eat than formula. Is this recommended? Obviously not. But my point is the breastmilk laced with nicotine is still healthier than formula. Now that’s food for thought. And I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say you formula fed your baby. That would explain why you’re down-playing the benefits of breastmilk. So typical!

          • Anne

            Just as there should be no criticism of breastfeeding, there should also not be any criticism of women who formula feed their babies. A lot of women just cannot breastfeed for long. And there are plenty of extremely healthy children who were formula fed. I wanted, badly, to breastfeed at least until my daughter is a year old. Unfortunately it just wasn’t in the cards for us. I was only able to do it for six weeks (she is now nine weeks). In order to breastfeed, the mother must be catered to as well. You have to eat at least around 3,000 calories a day and get adequate rest (sleep when your baby sleeps). As someone mentioned, if you are not getting appropriate nutrition, the breast milk will start taking nutrients from your bones, muscles, etc. What good is that? A baby must have a healthy mother in order to survive. If you can’t even eat, how is that taking care of yourself? My husband is out of town quite a bit for work, and with him not here to prepare meals for me and take care of what needs to be taken care of around the house, it’s just completely unrealistic for me to breastfeed. My daughter was feeding almost every hour! Pumping even drained me, and it caused my nipples to bleed. It was a difficult decision for me to make, but I really didn’t have much of a choice. My daughter has been on formula for almost a month, and she is insanely healthy and above where shes needs to be for her age. You shouldn’t pass judgement on women who are formula feeding their babies. A lot of us are doing much of this on our own, and it doesn’t mean we love our babies any less than a mother who breastfeeds.

        • Amy

          No, they learn to suckle without getting milk. They have a natural need to suck for comfort and can suck for milk OR for comfort. Sometimes, it is both. This is not teaching them to eat for comfort. It is teaching them to trust and be secure that their mother will be there when they need her.

    • Blair

      i agree that a 2 or 3 year old needs real food, but i dont see a problem with them nursing also. but as often as her kid nurses its hard to believe he’s also eating food well. im sure if he wasnt getting what he needed he would ask for it at that age, a kid wont starve himself. i think if i nursed past 1 year it would just be a couple times a day, not full time. it really is more of a comfort thing at that age.
      i also think it would be hard to tell a toddler ‘no, you cant have it’ after doing it for so long. it’s a tricky subject and every family is different.

      • Cat

        My Daughter nurses the same amount as her son AND eats a ton of food. I mean, a lot of food. She’s 37inches tall and 29lbs at 2 years old. She never stops moving and the few nights we tried to night wean I ended up getting out of bed with her in the middle of the night to feed her because she was hungry at one am. I’d much rather breastfeed and get more sleep than get up with a hungry toddler, make her food, watch her eat it, clean up and try and get her back to sleep.

  8. rachel s

    I think BF is great, but 4-7 times a night when he’s 2 1/2! If my 14 month old son wakes up in the middle of the night he doesn’t get a bottle. Seems like she’s encouraging nighttime eating when its not necessary.

  9. Christy

    My daughter will be 2 in two weeks and she nurses about like Mayim’s son. Breastfeeding is one of the best things I’ve ever done. Even as much as my daughter nurses she eats three full healthy meals a day. I don’t know about Mayim’s son but my daughter sleeps with me so it makes it easy to nurse her at night. I don’t have to get up with her so I get more sleep then most of my friends. I would love it if she slept through the night but that isn’t in the cards for us right now.

    Good for you Mayim!

  10. Tazina

    Look on u-tube. There’s a video of a woman in England whose two daughters, age 7 and 9 are still breast-feeding. Seriously. They interviewed the daughters and they rave about how much they love breast feeding. The woman’s husband has no problem with it.

  11. Anonymous

    All mammals but humans breastfeed until about age 4, well not our 4 but their 4 if you know what I mean.
    So it would be beneficial for children, but I would think a bottle would have to be involved here or a sippy cup or a real cup when they are older.
    I would assume the only reason why she is doing it so often is so she still has milk supply coming in.

  12. Anonymous

    I just grew to love Mayim a little bit more. All you fools that are bashing breastfeeding need to educate yourselves. Most of your comments sound like nonsense and your not even making proper sentences. You do not suddenly start producing water and you hope he bite them off.. REALLY PEOPLE?!?! We’re talking about a TODDLER not a 1st grader for christs sake. Theres no ‘pleasure’ like yogi is talking about with breastfeeding. You are continuing to give your child antibodies. So why don’t you bashers stick to propping bottles of bug and BPA infested formula in your babies mouths and butt out if you don’t like it.

  13. anon

    i still don’t understand it when people say the child doesn’t need it anymore once they are 1 or 2…. then why does everybody let their children drink cow’s milk at 1 or 2? i mean, the kid needs cow milk, but not his mother’s milk? do you really think cow’s milk is more nutritious than human milk? a big fat no should be the answer. breastmilk is super healthy when the child is 2 or even older. american academy of pediatrics and WHO recommend breastfeeding until 2 or beyond as long as the mother and child both desire it. as a mom who nursed her first child until 28 months and is currently nursing a 20 month old – i can say unequivocally that both my daughters wanted to nurse – i am not continuing because i just want to – it is not like it’s being pushed on the child – she literally asks for it 🙂 and ya, i know that grosses some of you out too. to each her own, but don’t spread total lies about breastmilk eh?

    • sj

      I will never give my child cow’s milk. I think the stuff is disgusting. As my son’s doctor says “cow’s milk is good for baby cow’s”. The whole dairy campaign is propaganda. Consuming the ‘recommended’ amount of milk etc really isn’t that good for an individual, be it a child or adult. Look it up.

    • Anonymous

      actually a child doesn’t need cows milk. The most milk provides is Vitamin D. And children can get that from cheese, yogurt, ice cream etc. My nephews refused cows milk and the pediatrician said not to worry about it as milk isn’t a big deal like people think it is.
      And people who think milk is great should also be warned to not give it to a child pre-bed time w/out brushing teeth as milk contains a lot of sugar that can rot your childs teeth.

  14. sarit

    I believe that she know what good for her and she will stop whenever she will decide.
    I, myself have the same problem , I am breastfeeding my 14 months baby 3 times a day and 4-6 times at night.
    whenever I talk about it with my friends or my family they tell me I should stop.
    Should i listen to them ? I know that most of them want the best for me but I decided I will stop whenever I will be prepare for that.
    what do you think about it ?

  15. Anonymous

    I am still BFing my 3 1/2 yr old AND my 14 month old. My 14 month old is almost exclusively BFing still and although he gets other food, he doesn’t eat much of them. He is still BFing more than 8 times in 24 hours. My 3 1/2 yr old stopped nighttime nursing at 18 months on her own with no encouragement from me and will stop nursing all together when she no longer has a need for it. For the moment, I am thrilled to give her the precious antibodies and healthy fats that my milk contains. While I DO give my daughter cow’s milk and we eat other dairy products, those things are in NO way necessary to life for a HUMAN! We can get the nutrients they provide much more easily from other sources… they taste good though so we eat them as well!

  16. Anonymous

    I don’t understand why she thinks it’s okay to feed him when he’s almost three but feels it would be weird when he’s three or four or five. Isn’t she just projecting the same issues on women who breastfeed four year olds that she get projected on her right now? I think she feels awkward breastfeeding him when he’s so old but she doesn’t want to stop so she’s throwing out these arbitrary ages like 4 or 5 because she doesn’t want people to judge her. Still either way she’s judging women who breastfeed their preschoolers, isn’t she? I find her comments confusing and I think she should stop talking because she’s making herself seem either judgmental or insecure.

    • LorrieK

      You need to read what she said again. She said FOR HER it would be weird. I get the impression that SHE does not want to be breastfeeding when he’s older.

      She never said anything about anyone else.

    • Anonymous

      I just don’t get how 2.5 and 3 is any different. They’re not babies they are children.

      • Anonymous

        When my daughter was a baby, I said “I am going to nurse her until she is a year old.” Then a year rolled around, and as she sat in my lap nursing… she still felt like my little baby. I said “I am going to stop soon.” Then I said “I am going to stop at two.” Now she is 28 months old and still nursing. I never in a million years would have thought i’d still be nursing her- but I am. When I really think about it- yeah… it’s feels different than it was in the beginning, but as part of a routine, she hasn’t grown up. She feels the same curled up in my lap at 18 months, as she did at 1 month.

        Breastfeeding is a day by day trial. She doesn’t know how long she’ll continue. It is entirely possible that she DOES think she’ll be done by 3. Maybe 3 seems too old right now… but maybe, she will get to three and look at her child and say “meh… i’ll stop at 4.”

        I think it’s amazing that she is offering this nutrition to her child still. There are so many social taboos associated with such a natural part of life. Breasts are for feeding your child. That is the intended purpose and the reson a woman makes milk. If she wasn’t supposed to nurse her baby until 3 years old- nature would have cut off her milk supply before she got that far, or her child would have lost interest. I find all of these uneducated comments and ill-informed “guesses” about breastfeeding INSANELY hilarious. It’s just too bad…

  17. Cobi

    First off let me say how great it is to read so many pro breastfeeding moms. That’s fantastic and Mayim just earned herself another fan. I’m also still nursing my 2 1/2 year old daughter and will continue until she’s ready to stop. I’m leaving that as her choice and no I’m not forcing her to nurse like some idiot said. For the individual that claims for milk to turn into water….you’re an idiot who needs to either educate yourself or keep your mouth shut. If breastfeeding is not your cup of tea then ok for you. Not everyone has to agree with how we raise our children. But it doesn’t entitle you to bash or throw your stupid comments around. You obviously have no idea how the body works. But according to your logic, are you saying if you cry for hours eventually you start producing , what? Sand? Vapors? Air? No! You continue producing tears. Same for milk. FYI, they’re called milk ducts not temporary milk ducts.
    People, please Inform yourself before you start saying stupid things.

  18. JD

    Why not just pump if you want you child to have the benefits of breastmilk, but not the social stigma of breastfeeding a walking/talking child?

  19. SRF

    So glad to know there are still sane women giving birth! I, too, nursed my son past what is commonly accepted. He was 32 months old & the only reason we weaned was due to hand, foot & mouth infection that prevented him from nursing. (too painful for him) He is a grown man of 25 now, married, with absolutely no ‘weird’ dependencies on me at any time in his entire life! To the contrary, we have received many compliments thru the years as to what a fine, mature, responsible, independent, empathetic, kind, caring human he is. Much of that was due to the fact he felt the love & security of a close bond with me through nursing. Yes, my husband supported it & stills gets in a snit when he sees people propping what I call ‘poison despensers’ in their child’s mouth rather than nursing. (Yes, there is occasionally an acceptable real reason for not nursing & I give my emotional support & love to such ones) Our Creator made us perfectly suited to nurturing our children this way. See the clear results when we leave the Creator’s ways for the ways of ‘modern man’!!

    • Lise

      You are worse than the individuals bashing breastfeeding. You refer to bottles as “poison dispensers” (spelling correction my own) but then say that there is occasionally an acceptable reason. How incredibly gracious of you to give your “emotional support and love” to individuals seeking to poison their children. Talk about propaganda.

  20. Anonymous

    I’m sorry but I’m a mom (I breastfed as well) but I think it is disgusting when I see kids over about a year breastfeeding. At some point it seems like it goes from a mother doing what’s best for her baby to her getting some type of sick pleasure having a toddler suck on her breast. Blossom needs to spend more time with her husband if she’s not getting enough special attention in the bedroom, and let that child move on to solid foods. GROSS!!!!

    • Amy

      What makes you think that her son is not eating solid foods? My three year old nurses just as much as her son and he eats a TON of solid foods. It just fills the nutritional gaps of picky toddler diets and also gives comfort, security and antibodies to help their still undeveloped immune systems.

    • Anonymous

      It seems like some type of sick pleasure to you because our society says that breasts are for sexual pleasure only. They were designed to nourish our children. What is so magical about the age of one year?

    • Lioness

      That’s your own impression, Anonymous@1:45, and we all know that our impressions are almost always not reality. The fact is there are many, MANY places all over the world where it is VERY normal to breastfeed kids until about 4 or 5 years old. It’s not to say the kids don’t eat solids- the moms just give their children breastmilk until the child doesn’t need/want it anymore. And it has nothing to do with sick pleasures or emotional attachments- which is very much a Western idea because all of our “progress” has caused us to distrust nature. There’s a reason why our bodies can produce milk for as long as the breast is being suckled- be it months or years. If it works for Mayim, I say have at it 🙂

  21. Anonymous

    I am not bashing breastfeeding…. But I think when they are that old maybe they should be drinking it from a sippy cup not their mothers boob. In my opinion I would not breastfeed past the age of one. I kind of agree that at some point it becomes more of a pleasure for mom… because otherwise she would be putting it in a sippy. And a 2 1/2 year old doesn’t need to be waking up at all hours of the night and being fed. I think this will just lead to something bigger. But this is just my opinion!

  22. Erika

    Go Mayim! I love her 🙂 I am currently breastfeeding a 10 month old, and have been told by numerous family members that I should just give it up, but I am NOT going to stop breastfeeding him, because he LIKES IT. He loves being close to me, and I know that it’s the best thing I can do for him. 🙂 And for all you nay-sayers, go do some actual research before posting ignorance!

    I’m a 20 year old, and have gotten a lot of flack for not wanting to go out and party while I’m young, but I have a CHILD, his needs are far more important than my peers desires to have ‘fun.’ I do have fun, by playing games, bath time, teaching my son new things, AND breastfeeding!

  23. Anonymous

    I only have one thing to say to anyone who is anti-breastfeeding. Commercial formula has only been around about 150 years. Perhaps you should take a minute to thank your ancestors for breastfeeding, because without YOU WOULD NOT BE HERE!

  24. Anonymous

    I don’t really care about how old the child is but seriously he’s 2 1/2 and wakes up that many times a night?! ugh not normal whether breastfeeding or not a chidl at that age should not need to nurse at night. And all it is is his way of soothing himself to sleep which is something she should be trying to get him to do w/ out nursing! I think nursing is great but I’m sorry there has to be a time when it is no longer beneficial despite all these so called researches. If formulat fed babies are told to wean to cows milk at 10-12 months of age then obviously I guess weaning from the breast isn’t a big deal either!
    Of course this will always be a heated debate to nurse to not to nurse…as I believe nursing is best for child it’s not the most important thing in the world. But what works for one family may not work for another. So if Mayim is still nursing and she and child are okay with it then that is her business but there would be no way in HELL that I’d be still nursing my child who at this point can self feed himself 3-4 hours a day and 4-7x a night!! yeah right!

  25. angel

    i’m a mom and my daughter stopped breastfeeding at 8 months, i didnt determine a set time but just when she wanted to stop (i.e. i’d feed her and she was still hungry after, or i wasnt making the large amounts i was before, or she would feed for 30 secs and not want anymore) i’ve spoken with 3 different doctors and all said that to 3 months or to 6 months was good enough any time after that wasnt really necessary. in my own unexpert observation i saw that she needed breastfeeding the first 3 months for that comfort and also to help digest and get the guck out of her body. after 3 months she was “regular” and sought comfort in other ways like cuddles. i personally dont feel comfortable about the notion of breastfeeding older toddlers, but its up to the individual mom and baby and their own mutual agreement with each other. some babies only care for the boob for 6 weeks and some 2 years.

  26. Anonymous

    It doesn’t matter to me what mayim or other mothers do, but I find it really uncalled for when mothers/women are bashing other women for their choices–whether to bf or bottle feed (formula or not).

  27. Sara

    I commend Mayim for being so well informed! It is great to see women that are in the public eye breastfeed. It needs to be normalized. It is completely normal for children to need to breastfeed how many times the child chooses. It is a mother/child relationship. After 2, they can choose how long they want to nurse, respecting each other. It is a two-way street. If the mother wants to set boundaries, then she can.

    I nursed all three of my children til 2.5 years, 5 years, and 3.5 years. The first two chose all on their own, and the last one we mutually agreed. It was becoming a chore, and I was done after nursing for 7 years and 3 months straight. It is highly beneficial for mother and child. I now have a lot going for me, and have a less chance of having breast cancer and so much more! 🙂

  28. JMO

    I think when a child can come up to you and say, “I want boob” or whatever they end up calling it – it’s time to call it quits! 3, 4 and 5 years old?! yikes!

    I think breastfeeding is great. But after a year or two it’s time to let go mothers! Yes, it may be beneficial but I remember hearing a report not long ago on my local news that said after 6 months the child doesn’t need the nutrients that the breast provides that regular good food (ie. fruits and veggies) can provide. At this point children can start eating fresh cut up puree fruits and veggies and get the same kind of nutrients. When a child wants to nurse out of comfort that’s another thing. Just like weaning a child from a pacifier it has to be done! I don’t find the act disgusting like others believe but I do believe the mothers grow some sort of attachment that they can’t let go. Even my cousin has a 16 mos old son and admits she doesn’t want to give it up bc she says she’s afraid her son wont’ cuddle w/ her as much! Cut the cord ladies cut the cord!! 🙂

  29. Anonymous

    Do what you want with your children. I really don’t care but when you start with your judgemental anti-formula comments then I have a problem. I will say this and leave it at that : you are all fooling yourselves if you seriously think your children will really turn out better; intellectually, physically, emotionally, etc than formula fed children. In REAL life, not flawed studies, this is not the case. Just one of many is one person VERY close to me, breastfeed as a baby for over a year is now over 40 yrs old. Has to be the most idiotic, emotionally distant person with countless health problems. All his sibling, all BF for more than a year, all over 40 and none are in any way exceptional. Sorry but BM is not the magical answer to having exceptional children.

  30. Catherine

    My twins boys were mostly formula fed (and are happy, healthy 3 year olds) and my daughter has been breastfeeding — never a drop of formula — for 18 months with no sign of stopping anytime soon. Some of the previous posters show just how much misinformation and ignorance there is surrounding how we feed babies and toddlers. I see no problem with extended nursing so long as mother and child are happy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *