I can remember when I was pregnant with Adella, 3 years ago now, and thinking I know I want to breastfeed but we will be done when she is one. I’m sure most of you had this same thought or do currently. I mean they can eat food then and they don’t need to be breastfeeding, right!?
Why continue after 1?
Well, as her first birthday arrived I was pregnant and doing research on nursing while pregnant because she wasn’t one yet and I stumbled on “extended breastfeeding.” I seriously couldn’t imagine stopping her at one because she was still a baby and after some reading I decided I was going to continue past one. This meant I would more than likely be tandem nursing, you can find some of that story here.
The more I read the more I wanted to keep nursing her and then I thought about the mom that would come in and nurse her 1 year old when I worked in a daycare and I felt so bad for the amount of judging I did. I felt so bad for how weird I thought she was and for talking about it with others. I was humbled and was ready to educate others who feel the way I felt.
What is it like breastfeeding a toddler?
So on to what you’re here for! Nursing Adella who is now 2.5 years old brings me both joy, and trials. She can becoming very demanding and upset when I limit her time nursing or don’t allow her to nurse the moment she wants to. But then she says “thank you, for the meme mommy” and my heart melts, or she will say “meme is delicious and I love meme” and I just can’t imagine taking it away from her until she is ready.
Most days she will nurse in the morning, because she is not a morning person and loves to just lay around and snuggle for an hour or so before really starting her day. She will then nurse before her nap and again at bedtime. More days than not that is all she nurses, but some days she wants to snuggle more if she is sick, or she gets hurt she will ask for meme.
I have a feeling with the nice weather and getting to be outside playing all day the wanting to nurse during the day will fully stop and hopefully she will be so tired that she won’t nurse much before bed too. Either way I’ll continue to let her nurse until she is ready to be done, and just ignore the side eyeing!
All too often when I tell people she still nurses the looks I get are like you’re kidding right! Or they say “but she can eat” and yes they are right, she can eat and guess what she does eat! She eats 3 meals and snacks all day, she also drinks cows milk, GASP! But she is still a baby and needs comfort, and meme and snuggles brings her comfort. It also provides her with nutrients and added health benefits for myself.
“she also drinks cows milk, GASP”
How did I deal with the comments from those who can’t be supportive? I tend to feel out the person, because I can usually tell if they are open to new research or if they are close minded and set in their ways before I put in my two cents. I do make sure to tell them it is a healthy choice and they are of course entitled to their opinion but that I am not going to hide because they don’t approve. I’m beyond willing to share links to a person if they feel they want to read to determine there own educated opinion but I know most won’t read it because they really don’t care.
I have added some links below to some great reading resources on extended breastfeeding
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How old is your nursling? Do you plan on natural weaning?