Breastfeeding, Parenting

What it’s really like to breastfeed a two year old

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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

There are affiliate links here, which means if you make a purchase I make a small portion at no extra cost to you.

Mayo Clinic 

Parents Magazine 

The Breastfeeding Book

The Nursing Mothers Companion 

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding 

How old is your nursling? Do you plan on natural weaning?

 

 

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11 Comments

  1. This totally for your benefit! Borderline abusive to your little girl who should be experiencing the world as a developing small child. Totally inappropriate and developmentally abusive! Sorry but get it together mom. Who’s the parent here

    1. becomingschultz says:

      I am sorry that you see it this way. Extended breastfeeding/natural weaning is a common practice in most countries. Our culture has made us feel that breastfeeding itself is not necessary and even more so past 6 months, but it is suggested by the World Health Organization to nurse to at least 2. I do not nurse for my own benefit, because trust me as much as I love it I don’t enjoy the finger poking, teeth, or demanding the 2 year old does. She experiences the world just as much as any other child, and she enjoys the comfort of her mom when she is tired or sad. There is nothing abusive nor inappropriate with extended breastfeeding. She is the one who chooses to nurse and as her mother I have decided to let her nurse for as long as she wants to. I would advise some research before making such harsh accusations to someone else. I am a mother confident in my choices, but one day you may say something to a mom who isn’t as confident and cause her to stop her breastfeeding relationship which is by no means okay to do. I wish you the best.

      1. THIS. 100% THIS!
        Thank you for speaking up for extended breastfeeding. My 4 year old still nurses for comfort, at night right before bed. He’s my 10th baby and extended nurser, and my kids (elementary ages, the teens, the adult kids) are all smart, successful, talented, awesome kids, so no one can ever convince me that extended nursing is abusive or bad in any way. I have ten children proving that accusation wrong. My third child just started her career as a labor/delivery nurse, and she’ll be the first to speak up about extended nursing 🙂

        1. becomingschultz says:

          10 babies! You are my hero!!!

  2. Jennifer Floyd says:

    You have to do what is best for you and your baby! My youngest nursed til she was almost 3 years old (shes now 4) and yes she could eat food and drink juices and cows milk. It was part of her routine for going to sleep for naps and bedtime as well as when she would wake up in the middle of the night (we also did bedsharing, gasp!). And yes she sleeps in her own bed in a room with her 5 yr old sister (our 8 yr old and 7 yr olds have their own rooms). You do what is best for your family because unless someone else is paying bills for you, no one else’s opinion matters! It’s not easy breastfeeding a toddler, power to you momma!

  3. Cori says:

    Tandem nursing an almost 3 yo and my newborn. I too started out very judgemental of nursing moms before I had kids… now I couldn’t imagine the heartbreak of weaning her before she’s ready. It is not easy though! And although sweet, I’ll be happy to have my body back when we are all through, in like 5 years lol.

    1. becomingschultz says:

      I was the same way a mom use to come in to the daycare I worked at to nurse her one year old I thought it was so weird, but that is because she was the only one who did this! I now feel bad for judging her and know better!

  4. Way to go, mama! My kids breastfeed until approximately college, lol. It is 100% developmentally appropriate, as most of the world knows. 🙂

    1. becomingschultz says:

      Thank you! It’s a shame how uneducated some are, but that’s what we’re here for!

  5. Melissa says:

    @becoming, 👍💓 I am 39 weeks and nursing my 19 month old right now. It is mos def not easy but I feel it is making her stronger and allows her to feel connected, safe and nurtured. I will allow both my girls to wean naturally… despite the haters and the side eyers. Thank you and nurse on!

    1. becomingschultz says:

      Way to go! I have been tandem nursing for 15 months this week! We have not had to deal with jealousy from our oldest and their bond is incredible!!

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