Breastfeeding A Toddler {Past 2 years}

Help normalize breastfeeding by sharing your story. <3
I am amazed to even be titling and writing this post. I think the best place to start is to say that I never dreamed of making it this far in my breastfeeding journey, and I don't know that many moms do...it just sort of happens that way. For my daughter and I, we have found that it works well and we are happy with arrangement, although it continues to evolve.

Allow me to say one thing, so that it's clear: FED IS BEST. This is not meant to tell anyone how they should feed (or not feed) their baby or toddler. But what I found was that there really wasn't a ton of information available to moms like me, so I wanted to share my own experience, and this post is simply that: my experience.

When I brought my daughter home, my goal was to make it ten months with breastfeeding. In some of my darker breastfeeding moments, I would say, "I just want to make it to ten months." The reason behind that was simple--it was when I self weaned as a baby. Let's face it, the beginning is hard. Breastfeeding in the beginning is hard. But once we had the hang of it, well, it was a breeze!

I wrote about my experience breastfeeding past 1 year, which you can read here.  Breastfeeding a nearly two year old has it's own special circumstances and challenges. Here's what I have found so far....

The questions/judgments never stop
"When will you stop breastfeeding?" It's the most frequently asked question I get with regard to my breastfeeding. The simple answer is I don't know. On the heels of this I have also gotten some judgment about how she's "too attached" (which is just a facet of her personality, not breastfeeding), and yet others who will say that "if they can ask for it, they are too old." People speak from their own experiences, what can I say?

There was a brief period where I felt less comfortable breastfeeding in public, and at this point, I do generally like to wait until we get home. No one likes to feel judged, not even bossy old me! But I also decided to buck up, and not let anyone make me feel odd for doing what comes quite naturally. I'll say it again: the worldwide average for weaning is 4 years old. So everyone can just get over it.

We are learning our manners
At a year old, I was willing to deal with a little bit of nipple twiddling, but at almost two, that shizz has got to stop. Along with anything else I don't like, including if I am "not in the mood" to breastfeed. I will admit, this takes practice and a steel resolve because my kid is about as stubborn as they come. But it's MY body and I am sharing MY milk, so she's got to have respect and understanding.

I have found that being persistent helps. But I also offer alternatives. For example, she can "pat mommy nice" instead of twisting the hell out of my nipple. She can hold my hand. Or, if she doesn't want to follow my rules, she can be put down and try again when she's ready to play by the rules. Not that this always works out. But I'm trying my best!

I do get "touched out." 
Some days I just need space. When you are nursing a newborn, it's kind of the same, but they NEED the milk to survive, so.... not so with a toddler. When I'm "touched out" it's great to use distraction such as activities, a snack, or Daddy who can take her on a ride or outing to help me get a break. She's beginning to understand more and more, but she does love her "milks" so it's game of give and take on both our parts.

I find that I go through periods where I am more touched out than other times. Sometimes it's very challenging to hang in there when you experience a couple of weeks where you are at the end of the your touched out rope. But those periods seem to always resolve and we get back in the groove. I have learned it is normal to feel this way.

Still the best for boo boos and sickness 
One week my poor Ruby had a fever so high I was a little scared. I was so happy I was able to nurse her. Through teething, some pretty crazy falls, and other colds and bumps, nursing is the perfect way to soothe my child.

Also, last week when we went camping, she unexpectedly got sick. She didn't want to eat ANYTHING (which is very unlike her), so my mind was eased knowing that she could have breastmilk and gain the nourishment she needed. Breastfeeding is handy like that--even at two years old!

Nap times/Bedtimes
She still nurses to sleep nearly every time it's nap time or bedtime. The downside? I am STILL doing every bedtime and nap. I tell myself that this is temporary and I actually enjoy that time to connect with her and see her fall asleep. Someday in the all too soon future, she won't need me quite as much, and I know I'll miss that. (Even though it is somewhat overwhelming at times.)

Support is KEY 
I have an incredible village around me. Both my mom and my mother-in-law support my extended breastfeeding, and our community is also very pro-breastfeeding. I even have a couple of friends who are breastfeeding their two year olds, so I am able to reach out to them with questions. When I do reach out, it REALLY helps. I also joined La Leche league on Facebook, and I get good support there as well. I can't stress enough how important it is to know you are not alone in your journey.

I was recently sobbing over the sink after a particularly trying few days. I exclaimed to my husband, "If I have to breastfeed one more day I am going to lose it!" He gave me a hug and assured me that it was going to be okay. And it was...just because I have been at this for two years doesn't mean that I don't have hard moments still. Learning to set limits and boundaries is what parenting is all about, and this is a facet of it.

Have you entered a stage of extended breastfeeding? What has it been like for you? Share your experience in the comments section below!! 

4 comments:

  1. Hello! I breastfed my daughter until she was 2.5. I stopped bc I was pregnant with my second daughter and for some reason just couldn't stand the feeling. I felt terrible stopping for those reasons but it also showed me that it was ok to stop and that I could have done so a lot sooner, without harm to anyone! My eldest daughter is well bonded to me and I wouldn't change a thing about breastfeeding her for so long. She's a beautiful girl with a kind soul. Well done to you for giving so much of yourself. The time will come when you stop and no matter what, that will be something special only you and she shared.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment. Yea, sometimes that "creepy crawly" feeling is overwhelming, but it IS a special bond, and I'm super thankful for it!

      Delete
  2. PROPHET EFE Saved My Marriage"Contact: efepowerfultemple@gmail.com for Urgent Love Spell To Get Your Ex Lover Back Fast, VERY POWERFUL:100% GUARANTEED RESULTS!

    My Wife left me in February and wasn't coming back. No need for anonymity, I am a firm believer in your spell and it saved my marriage. I'm so excited to share this testimony about how i got my wife back(Michelle)after she left me and our 2 kids for another Man. I am Anderson from United States). After 6 years of marriage, me and my wife(Michelle) has been into one quarrel or the other until she finally left me and moved to California to be with another man. I felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their mother again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my wife-Michelle). Every day and night i think of her and always wish she would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Prophet Efe of ( efepowerfultemple@gmail.com) can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it, Then he did a (Love spell) for me. 28 hours later, my Wife really called me and told me that she miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy, and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before,
    Thanks to Prophet efe for bringing back my wife and brought great joy to me and my family today!. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your wife moved to another man, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact: Email him at: efepowerfultemple@gmail.com , you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2347081602438.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fantastic work guys I’m a die-heart fan of your web site best infant toddler bike helmet.

    ReplyDelete