nursing a toddler
When I was struggling to breastfeed at the very beginning, I told myself I would aim for 6 months, and wean by then. I know some breastfeeding is better than none, and I felt like 6 months was an attainable goal. I didn’t particularly LIKE breastfeeding at first… I looked at friends like Beth and thought “wow I’m nothing like her. I’ll just be one of those moms who weans at 6 months.”
Then as the 6 month mark drew closer, I realized that breastfeeding wasn’t such a pain anymore (literally!). In fact, I was beginning to like it. And I found that I wasn’t wanting to stop as much as I did earlier. Since the AAP recommends breastfeeding for a full year, I decided to go ahead and adjust my goal – breastfeed for a year and then wean Savannah. We started solids, I breastfed much less frequently, but I still fed her whenever she asked for it.
Last August, the one year mark came, and then passed by. And I’m still breastfeeding. I don’t feel the need to make a new goal – I feel that I have given her a great start in life already. I feel comfortable with weaning whenever we want to. But you know what? I don’t really want to right now. I treasure those times with her – snuggling close together right after she wakes up from a nap, calming her when she’s fussy, being able to provide this extra boost of nourishment and comfort all in one. I love looking into her beautiful eyes and seeing them look back at me. It’s become a joy to me. And to be honest, all the things that annoyed me before about breastfeeding – they don’t seem to annoy me anymore.
I don’t know how long we’ll continue, but I don’t want to rush something because it’s “time” or because society is telling me that breastfeeding a toddler is weird. And though I’m not sure I’ll continue to breastfeed her after I’m pregnant and we have another baby, if that’s what happens then that’s cool too. And you know what? I love it.
Wow. So didn’t think I’d be saying this a year ago.
3 thoughts on “nursing a toddler”
I would have nursed Will much longer but the pregnancy hormones really kicked in around his 6th month — I was about 8 weeks pregnant with Lucy then — and I could no longer feed him and nourish my body/my pregnancy properly any longer, so I had to quit. I cried. I missed it so much. Will was an amazing nurser and we cuddled so well.
Lucy? Not so much. I’m already very close to weaning her. She has become a better nurser but she’s not great and we don’t seem to enjoy it as much. Plus, and I can’t understate this — it’s SO HARD to sit and nurse with a very active toddler. Nearly impossible. At least, for me. I’ve been toying with the idea of going ahead and weaning or amping it back up; thankfully I still have the option. But don’t be surprised if your experience next time around is different. My sister has 4 kids and had 4 completely different experiences!
I had planned on nuring Gwen as long as she wanted – though our nursing didn’t get off to stellar start, either. I forget how long we went – I’m sure it’s on her baby calendar – but she was over a year old. One morning, I saw down to nurse her, and she pulled my shirt down and shook her head. I was so sad!
Josiah will be 1 this month, and we’re still goin’ strong and I plan on going as long as he wants, too. I know some mommies want “freedom” or whatever, but I love the intimacy it provides, knowing I’m still giving them nurtrients they can’t get anywhere else and continuing that loving bond.
I wrote a post very similar to this just after Nathan turned a year old (14 mos maybe). I ended up nursing him for a year and a half. I got a lot of judgment, but I’m so glad I did it.
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