January 20, 2011

breastfeeding, toddler style

extended breastfeeding


Again I don't really see it as "extended" but still it's there, continuing, whatever you want to call it. I breastfeed my baby, and she's two years four months and counting. 

A couple months ago I was so ready to be done, for whatever reasons. Wanting to claw at my skin, have my body to myself but these days I am really glad it isn't. She nurses to sleep most nights, and early mornings. And on the occasional (or not so occasional) boo-boo or nap-wake-up-tantrum. It's a gentle ease into the rest of the day. For both of us.

We can talk about it. How wonderful she has feelings about breastfeeding, in her own words, and unprompted she said it tastes like chocolate. But then she went on to name every other food she knows.

And of course it's comfort, but I am so happy for that. I am mother. I comfort. 

For some it's a pacifier, a favorite stuffed animal, and others a sippy cup or TV show or pack of fruit snacks. 

We comfort. We make do.

36 comments:

  1. i love it. my son is almost 18 months & i still breastfeed. i almost gave up when he was 5 wks old because i thought he wasn't receiving enough milk. but he was. and i've tried to wean him when he was 13 months old.. but he would not have it. i work full time & he goes to school. so we nurse in the morning, naps, & bedtime. he doesn't nurse for long anymore.. and i think it's more for comfort. and it really doesn't bother or inconvenience me. the only time i get frustrated is when i'm sooooo sleepy & he's taking too long. heehee! but otherwise, i love it!

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  2. You know I love it. Zane nursed until he was three. (Too bad no one thought it was lovely or beautiful back then.) But I did it anyway and loved it and wouldn't change it for anything.

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    1. I know what you mean. I have 2 teens and a toddler and there were sometimes I felt a little alone on the breastfeeding passed 3 (with the first two children)...so happy to see you wouldn't change it for anything. Neither would I!

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  3. People look down on me because I have a 25 month old who still uses a binky. I don't really care that they do, but perhaps if they knew the struggle behind the binky they wouldn't be so judgmental. My Isaac and I had horrible breastfeeding struggles, and when he refused to continue breastfeeding at three months, I allowed him to use a binky to give him comfort. I would still be nursing him now if that were possible, so I don't see a problem with him using a binky for a little comfort in his unsure toddler world.

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  4. Well shoot, I'd be back all the time too if it tastes like chocolate - ha ha! ;-) Seriously, this is so precious and sweet. Continue to cherish it as you are...

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  5. I'm there with you. sometimes I want to be done... but mostly I love it and I know they do! {grin} We just "weaned" them in the middle of the night. It was way overdue. But they still nurse 5-6 times a day.

    love the picture!

    britt

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  6. You know, I'd never thought of that... The child being able to talk about it, describe it in a whole different way than a younger child. Even so much more than my third who was close to 18 months when weaned. That's so neat to have a two-year-old's perspective and feelings... :)

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  7. their ability to talk about it is one of my favorite parts of "extendo" whatever you want to call it nursing. i'm at 46 months and it's super minimal these days but just yesterday we had an owie and after tears and kisses, he told me "i could really use some milk." in his case, it reportedly tastes like honey, which coming from the biggest winnie the pooh fan on the planet, is the utmost praise.
    rock on, mama!

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  8. CHOCOLATE! Who knew? Precious.

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  9. i just love this! my son is 13 months and i plan on giving him "nummies" for a long time. it's so sweet that she talks about it with you. she might event remember nursing when she is older. you're a good momma!

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  10. So beautiful!

    My youngest is 2yrs 3 1/2months now and we're still nursing too. Always right before bed ... rarely during the day.

    She's taken to call it "Momma Milk" ... which always makes me smile.

    I, too, was SO READY to be DONE with it just a couple months ago ... but now, I'm kinda glad I didn't force the issue. Like with your Ivy, it's a comfort thing for Hannah. She can fall asleep without nursing ... she did it once last week ... but I don't mind the snuggle time. It'll end soon enough ...

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  11. yes, breastfeeding is so awesome. except when it's not. and it's such a blessing. except when it's not. and i love it. except when i don't.... :)
    (the back and forth of motherhood!)

    either way, that picture is absolutely beautiful. i love the messy toddler hair. just so precious.

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  12. Oooh, I'm there, too! I was so fed up when Halia was around 16 months, but I felt guilty weaning because I'd let Jade nurse until 25 months.

    Now Halia is 2 years and 2 months and she nurses just once or twice a day and it's totally manageable. In fact, I was furious a couple of days ago when my hubs told me the nanny said she thought I should wean!

    Also, another friend of mine breastfed her toddler until she was 3 or so, and that little girl also said the milk tasted like chocolate! :)

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  13. So sweet. I totally get wanting to have your body to yourself (I'm right there with you some days). I'm nursing my little 15mo boy and have been either pregnant or nursing or both since April 2006. But while I'm ready to have my own space I'm not ready for my little guy to not need to nurse. I'm hoping we'll go for a while longer still. Thank you for sharing these sweet moments with us.

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  14. Oh, be still my heart!

    Nell

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  15. Luke is 2 years, 4 months (9/8/08) and we are still nursing too. He calls my right breast the "chocolate milk nighty-nights". I have done extendend nursing for all three boys, which adds up to like 9 years of nursing or something. Would I change it? Not one bit. : )

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  16. We're still nursing too. While I hate how frequent we do nurse (sometimes I'm up every hour!), I do love that special bond we share.

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  17. All my kids nurse for quite a while... a fair while!!! And years later they all remember nursing and talk about nursing as if it was quite the best thing in the entire world!!!

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  18. comfort is precious and worth being cherish

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  19. this is so pretty. i am loving breastfeeding and thought for sure i would stop at six months (before I started that is...) and now I am absolutely not sure of that. And stuff like this makes me think there's so much ahead by letting this relationship wax and wane more naturally than my "end" date.

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  20. Awww!!! I wish my baby was still breastfeeding.

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  21. We're very nearly at 2 years with Elliott, and I really believe that he will never, ever stop.

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  22. It's such a beautiful relationship. Having two boys who quite likely will remember the nursing relationship we've had, I wonder how it will affect their own wives and children.
    I often marvel about the kind of support they will give because of their memories, my oldest still remembing his nursing and my younger one fast-approaching an age where he will remember, too.
    And I muse about how strong an example {and bond} is formed when a mother nurses a daughter well into an age where the daughter can remember. The legacy makes not having my body to myself seem so worth it.

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  23. You're in my head with this one again... everything you wrote.. is everything we're feeling.

    <3

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  24. I'm still nursing too. 22 months and counting...(actually not counting at all).

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  25. mine stopped 3 wks short of his 2nd birthday. biut last week had our new baby girl and started again...i admit felt glad he did

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  26. I sooo LOVE you! lol.... yes its weird but I do!
    Reading your blog is an inspiration to me (especially the nursing blogs.... and the babywearing ones too)
    I nurse my 14 month old and my family think he is too big. But no one can understand the bond... the comfort he and I get from it. So thank you for sharing and giving moms all over some back-up on the situation. We are not alone... we are moms!!!

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  27. I love visiting here, especially when I happen upon a blog like today :)!I give you two thumbs up for being such a wonderful mom! The longest I nursed was my third babygirl for 22 months then she stopped...I was sad. I am now nursing baby #5 and we are 6 months and going strong...I think we are in it for the long haul and it doesn't bother me one bit :)

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  28. Love this pic. Mine has told me it tastes like popsicles. :) She loves mommy's milk! I've noticed in the past few weeks how we are down to wake, nap, after dinner, and bedtime, which is not much AT ALL compared to a few months ago. And it makes me sad.

    I know when she is finished, I will miss it for the rest of my life.

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  29. Hallelujah! I love to read stories like this. Nursing my 14 month old I can't imagine stopping now. So yes, "extended" seems like an inappropriate term. I like "full-term" better. And I've started to get the "You're still nursing?" too. My reply: mind your own beeswax. My only concern is that we want to try for a second in a year but no periods in sight! Oh well...one day at a time ;)

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  30. I appreciate hearing this. I'm nursing my 19 mo old son and would like to allow him to wean in his own time. I'm gently nudging him along otherwise he would only nurse if he had it his way. He prefers "Ninny" to solids.

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