What’s the average age to stop breastfeeding?
Parents shouldn’t feel pressured to fit in with averages. Only you and your little one can decide when to finish breastfeeding, so try not to worry about what other parents are doing.
That said, it’s only natural to wonder about what is “normal” breastfeeding behaviour. But given the differences that exist in societies and cultures around the world, this is actually an extremely difficult question to answer!
What’s more, the concept of an “average” isn’t necessarily that helpful. Some parents choose not to breastfeed, while others do so for a short period, which significantly skews the data.
Throw in the fact that the term “weaning” only refers to moving your little one from a diet of just milk to solid food too, rather than the point at which breastfeeding stops completely, and the question becomes even more complex!
Despite this, some interesting studies have been carried out on the subject. For instance, in her book Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives, the anthropologist Katherine A Dettwyler calculates that parents should stick to an average weaning age of between 2.8 and 3.7 years old.