I am currently still feeding my 1.5 year old mother's milk. In other cultures (particularly India and indigenous regions) it is normal for a toddler or child to nurse well into their 3rd year of life! In America and many western cultures nearly 80% of babies who haven't even received enough nutrition and proper bonding from momma and poppa are weaned before 6 months of age! That is very sad. Although it is possible for the child to survive physically, we may never know what problems early weaning causes to the child's spiritual growth and bond to the parent until it is to late.
I recently read an article that stated that there are actually amino compounds that are relaxing to the baby and toddler. Thus, when the child has temper tantrums, the milk produced by the mother will naturally calm the child. Although our country has laws in place that protect a nursing mother, it is too obvious that there are too many inconspicuous onlookers who do not view nursing a child or infant as a natural part of life but only view it as sexual or unnecessary for survival (especially in a "modern" society). Thus, it is particularly embarrassing for mothers with toddlers or young children to nurse in public. It is sad to know that there are folks like that in our society today. They would rather see a mother feeding the children man-made formula from a bottle rather than subjecting to the fact that it is in fact cheaper and naturally necessary to feed a baby directly from the mother. Not only for the purposes of nutrition but also for the purposes of bonding and discipline of the child. The child must come to the realization that he or she was not put on this earth with out the necessary bond of both parents.
Speaking of the churches.....we should be ashamed of ourselves. Often mothers leave their children in the nurseries and run away to go listen to a "good" sermon. In fact, they are doing more damage to the child's spiritual growth than may be realized. Mothers who drop their babies or even toddlers off at nurseries and let strange nursery workers feed them, are setting them selves up for judgment. The best way for a child to grow spiritually starts at a young age. The child is subject to the PARENT for spiritual guidance and NOT someone else. Giving our children over to others is building the stage for rebellion later in life.
An ideal church would be accommodating to mothers who actually wish to nurse their toddlers or young children. I know this statement is highly rejected by many so-called Christians who don't actually study the word. Although I know that toddlers can be trained to drink from a sippy cup at that age.....it isn't possible to keep a child perfectly calm in a church setting unless he or she actually has physical access to mothers milk. The milk that has the natual calming sedatives. Rambunctious children are a cause for many church problems to begin with.
How could the issue be solved on nursing a toddler in the church until he or she is actually ready to be weaned?....separation of man and women in the church! Yes it is good and neccesary. The feminists would hate the idea that all the women must sit in the back of the church or be seated on a separate side of the church simply because the children are naturally rambunxious without mother's calming effect. Long before feminism crept into our church men and women WERE separated! This was good and neccesary to keep families in tact and focused on the word of God and none else.....No focus on roudy children, if you may. Don't even ask my opinion on women pastors or nun's for that matter......that is an issue of religion.....and NOT pure religion.
For us personally, I have only been feeding my 1.5 year old son before sleeping (night and naps) and if he awakes at night (usually once or twice) Thus the total number of feedings he may get in a 24 hour period is anywhere from 2 to 4 feedings. We recently went away for the weekend and little to my surprise, my son did not take well to being weaned abruptly. It was painful for me and for my son. I thought I could "survive" with simply cutting off the milk supply immediately and he would instantly forget that he needed mother's milk to fall asleep.....boy was I mistaken. Advice from "worldly" people who were able to switch over to bottles or other sources for comfort (reliance on idolatry) did not take into consideration mothers who co-sleep with their babies or toddlers and who do not agree with letting babies or toddlers "cry-it-out." Feminism and western thinking does a lot of damage to our children's spirits. More than many people actually realize.
Here are some bible verses on weaning (notice how none of the verses state the actual age of weaning. It could be anywhere from toddler age to school age.....we do not know)
And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.
But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever.
(1 Samuel 1:22)
And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him.
(1 Samuel 1:23)
And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.
(1 Samuel 1:24)
And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house: and Genubath was in Pharaoh's household among the sons of Pharaoh.
(1 Kings 11:20)
Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.
And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son.
Also we must take into consideration verses reguarding milk and meat of the word:
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
(1 Corinthians 3:2)
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
(1 Peter 2:2)