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(This page will be updated frequently, as we are experiencing this)
Silly enough to say, we are now in the extended breastfeeding class.
My son is 13.5 months old now and already I'm getting the "so is he weaned yet, when do you plan to wean, so how long are you actually going to breastfeed?" I usually say nothing at all (the hint is well taken). Those who are close to me know enough to not say a word because the understand why we continue to breastfeed. Most people are ignorant or a bit uncomfortable with the idea of nursing a toddler. Well, as with many things more people need to research things before actually speaking!
Breastfeed a toddler/Why on Earth?
A Natural Age of Weaning
Nursing Beyond 1 Year - 10 Reasons to just do it!
So, why have I chosen to breastfeed beyond one year? Easy, because my milk is the best nourishment for my child and because my son shows no signs of wanting to stop this wonderful breastfeeding relationship. Why should he anyway, he is still a baby in some ways, he still needs to connect with mom and what better way to do this. Why in western society is weaning a child promptly at one year of age socially acceptable anyway? Has it done well for our society as a whole thus far? I think not. I believe more children need to be MORE attached, thus growing into secure adults. We could use a few more of those now couldn't we? Well, point being, extended breastfeeding simply is not harming the child but helping. Extended breastfeeding children are independent, somewhat more so than others. When my son is ready to stop, he will and I trust him enough to know when this time will be. When he will no longer need the comfort or nourishment from my breasts he will wean. Until this time "we" will be available to him for this.
Our relationship is virtually the same except for something that happened this week. A couple of days ago my son nursed as usual around 6:30am, we had gone about our day like always when I had noticed he was not tugging at my shirt wanting milk. Around 11am I was wondering just what was going on. As the day progressed I couldn't help but offer milk yet to no avail. What was going on here? My son usually nurses every two to four hours so this was a surprise. I had remembered reading about nursing strikes and wondered if this was one. I assumed it was because weaning is a much longer process usually, resulting in a decreased amount of time at the breast. A Nursing strike can happen for no apparent reason, maybe something mom ate, separation from mom and baby, thrush, etc... So, I decided to wait it out and stop offering milk like I usually do. I allowed Noah to take the led so to speak. Close to bed time Noah was snuggling with me and wanted to nurse, hours after his morning feeding. This was the first time this had happened and I can relate somewhat to mom's who could take this as a time to wean. Yet, most of the time they do not wean this early. Following the babies/toddlers lead usually resolves this.
Nursing continues to foster a deep attachment with my son. We are nursing a few times (3-4) during the day and a couple at night. Although the night nursing's I'm barely awake for. I have to admit though that I actually like the night nursing's still. When it is just him and I in the quietness of the room, it's quite peaceful and tranquil I think for both of us. I hold him near and just thank the heavens for a my little blessing, knowing that this will not last forever I embrace this part of our relationship.
I know that some mothers have expressed concerns for nursing babies with teeth. Some may bite while nursing (usually during teething), some for the fun of it. Since my son has teeth, (lots of them) I thought I would add this. When my son first started getting teeth I remember him nursing a little different. It seemed that his teeth were dragging more so on my skin then usual and once he did bite me (although not intentionally). I did express to him that he was hurting mommy and I actually think he was simply getting used to his new teeth which will sometimes cause them to bite. Aside from the first teeth coming in we have not experienced any other harm to mom! They say to express your pain to the baby, yet in a kind way. This worked for us!
2 Year Birthday!! July 2, 2001
Wow, 2 already. this has really gone by much to fast I must say. I have to admit that I am thankful we are still breastfeeding. My toddler is now so absolutely active that when he comes to me to be nursed I enjoy it immensely. It's our time to reconnect, he calms down and we snuggle. As I realize this time may come to an end shortly I savor every moment of this breastfeeding relationship. more to come......
December 18, 2001 (2.5 years) Well, we've had a very full year. Honestly i wasn't thinking Noah would breastfeed this long, yet i'm not minding. He has been waking up quite a bit more often at night for some reason which i wasn't happy with. I've started to gently explain to him that mom's milk needs to rest also and as soon as we wake in the morning he may have milk. This has worked! it's wonderful, i'm much more rested now and we all are happier. We have relatives coming in this week and they do not know i am breastfeeding my son.... still!! He is still so little to me yet to others he looks so big. I feel i need to hide it at times because most people truly do not understand the breastfeeding relationship a mom and toddler can have yet i also feel it is so wonderful that i should express my self so others would understand. i would be curious as to how other extended breastfeeding mom's also think in regard to this.