1.25.2012

On Nursing Toddlers and Other Terrifying Acts

With Cruz's 2nd birthday right around the corner, I thought I would answer one of the questions I get asked most online as well as in real life "are you still nursing" and "when do you plan to stop?"

Both answers are pretty simple. Yes, I'm still nursing. And I dont really have a game plan around stopping. My thought has always been that we will just continue doing what we do until it feels like the right time to stop. To that answer, I usually always get the same response "hmmmm..." People never really seem to know what to say. Which doesn't really bother me much.

 I don't know many people who breastfeed their babies past 12-18 months but it doesnt really make much difference to me. I also dont know anyone who climbs into the bath fully clothed just to make their toddler laugh, but that didnt stop me from doing it. I dont know anyone who has had a sheet fort up around their bed for 3 weeks, but thats where you will find Cruz and I sleeping as of late. I don't know one single person who has the same sweater that I am wearing right now, however that would never stop me from wearing it...I like it. And thats pretty much my view on breastfeeding; I very rarely do things in my life simply because others approve or disapprove of it so why wouldn't the same be true of breastfeeding. Cruz likes it, I like it, simple stuff.

That being said, nursing a toddler is much different then nursing a newborn. At times it feels more like a defensive sport then a bonding experience or nutritional encounter. Sometimes Cruz is sweet as pie and lays still, looking up at me and smiling and making me the happiest mama in the world. Other times he bounces all over, whips his head around to look at something in the opposite direction or thinks that it might be a really good idea if he nurses with his feet on my shoulder. To be blunt, at times, its painful. But so much more than worth it in my opinion.

A little nursling in big boy undies

Just to clarify, as much as I dont appreciate judgement, I also dont judge others. I have zero thoughts or opinions about how it works for others mamas and babies. If you do breastfeed, if you dont, if you try, if you never want to think about it, its all the same to me. I think you should at least give it a try, but if you dont, that doesnt change my opinion at all. And I respect that choice just the same as well. I don't like people who breastfeed more then people who dont. I dont hold them in higher regard. If there is one thing I believe in this world, its to live and let live. To each their own. Everyone deserves that respect, so please be respectful.

24 comments:

  1. I'm not against breastfeeding although it wasn't for me and my child. To be honest I find it gross when women choose to nurse past a year. To me even that's a stretch. I think once a child can point and ask about body parts that's too much. Especially if your child is potty trained, I'm pretty sure they are too big to be sucking on your boobs! Lol! But again, that's my opinion. I guess to each their own!

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  2. That's awesome! Good for you! I nursed my son until 15months, would've done it longer but he wasn't interested! It think it depends on where you live, here (in colorado) it's pretty normal to nurse at least until 2, if not to 2 1/2. Other places it's unheard of to nurse past a year. Breastfeeding a beautiful, and a special bond! I miss it so much!

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    1. I agree that location plays a huge part! Thats great that you nursed until your son lost interest! Its funny how different kids are! My sons doctor has 4 kids and she said pretty much all of them lost interest around one year even though she would have been more then willing to continue breastfeeding. Amazing little creatures we have!

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  3. Hi Cass - you might like this: http://naptimewriting.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/open-letter-to-my-toddler/ I just read it today and got a good laugh out "you may nurse or you may do yoga. not together." Kale is a big fan of trying both at the same time (me? not so much). I have the same attitude as you - we'll do it until it doesn't feel right for one of us.

    It's unfortunate when I hear/see people say things like "anonymous." I don't listen to those opinions because they are so ridiculous and it sounds like you're confident enough in your parenting choices not to take it to heart either, so I won't even bother with the "don't let it bother you" speech.

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    1. Bahaha, Cruz is totally a yoga nurser! These boys of ours are crazy.

      I dont really ever take the mean comments to heart. As a matter of fact I can often appreciate an opposing point of view, but only when it is represented by someone and not hiding behind "anonymous." Unfortunately, standing up and speaking out about what you believe in can be really intimidating which is why I leave anon comments enabled, for my more cowardice readers!

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  4. You are awesome!! I get the are you still nursing questions every week and my daughter is only 15 months old. I often wonder why people feel so obliged to ask such personal questions? Keep up your beautiful work, it is a soulful, adventurous journey for sure!

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    1. Isn't funny how entitled people feel to ask about your life/decisions on such a personal level. I had no idea the outrageous measures of unsolicited advice that where out there until I had a baby!

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  5. i nursed for exactly a year. i think however long you need to nurse is up to you and Cruz. i think people that have never experienced or tried nursing should keep negative thoughts and comments to themselves. to call nourishing your child with love,bonding and milk gross.....hmmm. I think bottle feeding your child with a rubber nipple and synthetic bio engineered formula is gross. and non human.Get down with your bad self and your super Mama tittays!

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    1. Haha, "gross" was definitely an interesting choice of words to me! You can push a baby out your hoo-ha just fine but nourishing with your breasts is gross? That just never quite adds up to me! Very interesting take on child rearing indeed!

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  6. This is an amazing article about breastfeeding, if you are interested: http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/02/breastfeeding-land-genghis-khan/

    So many different attitudes out there and definitely, live and let live, but good for you for staying with it!

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    1. Read this article and it was so interesting! Is so incredible the affect that culture has on us. Truly mind blowing! thanks so much for sharing!

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  7. I think it's wonderful that you do things that you feel are right. Breastfeeding is better for babies. That's a fact that formula companies spend millions trying to convince the public that it isn't true. The current recommendations by the World Health Organization is for exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months and breastfeeding along with foods until at least two years. What you're doing is great & more women need to understand the importance of breastfeeding. People often say "I wasn't..." breastfeed, didn't co-sleep, was "sleep trained", sub in whatever parenting method that's not so good and finish the sentence with "...and I turned out fine." Did they? I had a pretty good childhood and I've got issues. How much better could each of us be if somethings had been different? Parents do the best they can with the tools they have available. But today, it seems like an awful lot of parents are too quick to write something off that really is important. I think you're doing a great job! And thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. I totally agree about the slander from formula companies. While I hold no judgement about people who use formula, and I think its an amazing advancement for babies who dont have breastmilk available to them, it makes me so sad that our culture is pumped full of propaganda about formula being better then (or even equivalent to) breastmilk. I loved the "I turned out fine" comment! Fine and/normal are oh so relative words to be used at great discretion!

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  8. Anonymous, you shush your mouth you. I breastfed my first son until around 22 months, my second son is just starting to lose interest now at 22 months also. And breastfeeding, as someone else here mentions is beneficial to our kids bodies until the age of two or more. If you're able to, why argue with Ma Nature I say. I'm in such agreement of so much of this post, keep following your path.

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    1. I agree, why argue with mother nature!!

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  10. Myla still nurses & she's two and a half. :) I'd be happy if she would wean soon, only because she's a kicker when she feeds & I swear she's going to break my nose one day, but I'm not really pushing it.

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    1. Oh my, do I feel you with the kicking, moving, wiggling! I'm glad to know there are other local mama's with older nurslings!

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  11. I love this post. I just started following from Bekah's blog. I wanted to nurse so bad, but my son had terrible nipple confusion from the hospital and even using a nipple shield I dried up. I was devastated.

    I say however long nursing is right for you and your son, is exactly how long you should be nursing.

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  12. I am so glad to hear that you're still nursing since I remember you said awhile back that there was pressure from the outside for you to stop.

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  13. i feel the same way you do... you should try it, doesn't work oh well. i never thought i was going to breastfeed but i nursed my first til she was 6 months she lost interest once she got a whiff of formula and my second i nursed until he was past 24 months then i weaned him... i had no intention of going that long but we found out he was allergic to cows milk. long story short who gives a darn what everyone else thinks do what right for mama and babe :)

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  14. so glad to stumble across your blog, and this post!

    my daughter turned two last july and i was struggling with the same thing. breastfeeding has been a comfort thing for nora since she was born, and i never felt like it was time to take that away from her. up until about a week ago, she is about 31 months and i woke up one day and just knew. it was time, she was ready, and i was ready to have my body back. i think, as mamas, the best thing we can do for our child is follow our motherly instinct. each child is different, and who knows them better than their mamas? :)

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  15. *Tear*
    My baby just weaned herself right before her 2nd birthday. Apparently I was more attached than she was to it...although I think it had more to do with my breastmilk changing due to pregnancy.

    But anyways, GO YOU! Seriously, everyone can go eff themselves. Anyone who thinks that breastfeeding toddlers is gross or wrong is just ignorant and obviously doesn't have babies. Judgy? Yeah. Don't care though.

    You are an awesome mama.

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  16. I know that this post was written a long time ago, but I came across your blog on top baby blogs which I recently signed up with and I love what you are saying in this post! Its always nice to read words from other mamas who breastfeed since I breastfed my first son until he was 3 and am currently still breastfeeding my second son at 20 months :) Thanks for sharing.

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