The Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler #7

May 21st, 2010 by Dionna | 5 Comments
Posted in Breastfeeding/Lactivism, Carnival and Special Series, Compassionate Advocacy, Feed with Love and Respect, Guest Posts, Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting

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I am so happy to welcome Sarah, who has shared a story about one of her greatest joys in breastfeeding a toddler. Sarah is Mommy to two girls, Ella 3, and Agatha 21 mos, and she tries to practice attachment parenting to the best of her ability. She also enjoys reading, writing, gardening, and is currently sewing a new wardrobe for her amazing growing girls. Here is her breastfeeding guest post:

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Nursing a toddler has many moments – good ones and not so good ones – as I’m sure every mother can relate.

The Not So Good: Twiddling and fiddling drive me nuts! It’s also disconcerting when a toddler voice can be so much louder than a baby’s. My little girl calls my breasts “boobs,” so there is no mistaking what she wants. Then there’s the three AM wake up that I could live without. That’s the biggest low right now. I like my sleep. Then again, if I ever open my eyes when my little girl tugs on my jammie top, I see her sweet smile as she smacks her lips and latches on. But opening my eyes to her smile is more difficult than it should be.

The Good: But the wonderful moments are so much more plentiful, even when they are born out of conflict. For example, I find that nursing is like a giant kiss and band-aid for our relationship. Recently a fight erupted between my toddler and her big sister. After one or both had hit, pinched, bitten, kicked and/or spit on the other a couple dozen times and nothing was helping them settle their differences, I screamed and picked one up and put her there and the other over there and, well, it wasn’t pretty – both girls glared at me and each other. Then my older daughter came over for a cuddle and hug before bed. I watched her sadly as she drifted off to sleep. After all, she still wasn’t over the upset from moments before. The sad look in her eyes made me feel like the world’s worst mom.

But as her big sister drifted off to sleep, my sweet little toddler’s lip quivered, her eyes welled up and she looked at me and softly asked “Boob?” I pulled her into my lap and she nuzzled and nursed. She petted and let her eyes close. She gulped in a huge lung of air, cried and said “Love OO mommy”. Then she latched back on and with her big green eyes twinkling she smiled and proceeded to blow milk bubbles against my breast. I couldn’t help but laugh and hug her closer to me, content to know that for that moment everything had been mended.

I’ve always found that no matter what happens, a little cuddle and some mom juice (her sister’s term) makes everything better and smooths away those less than stellar parenting moments.

Now if only I could find something that would work equally as well as her and her sister grow.

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Breastfeeding a toddler is full of laughter, joys, and heartbreaking tenderness. I am publishing a series of posts dedicated to the beauty of nursing toddlers in an effort to normalize this healthy and beneficial nursing relationship.

But this isn’t just about me – I want to hear YOUR joys. If you are nursing a toddler (or have in the past), please contact me and tell me about your favorite moments. I will include them in the series and credit you, your site, or post it anonymously if you so desire.

5 Responses to:
"The Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler #7"

  1. I got little tears from that story! So sweet. there is nothing so heart softening as watching your happy baby or toddler nursing.

  2. Sara   smola04

    I totally agree – I’m nursing my 2 year old (I cannot believe he’s that old already!), and I tell people that I have no idea how I’d parent such a high-needs kid without my “trump card.”

    The benefits totally outweigh any of the bad times – for both of us. Of course, now that we have a brand-new baby, my toddler is bonding with her as he reminds me to nurse her and then not forget to nurse him too! :)

  3. Karen   Kezzy67

    The twiddling and fiddling god yep that and the boob swapping drive me nuts too. Despite being constantly asked if I am still feeding her and the snorts when I say “well yes why not” I love it she loves it and we will stop when she decided it is time.

    I do have a couple of friends who have fed for this length of time but it is just so good to read other peoples experiences.

  4. Jen   diplomom08

    My son is 27 months as of Thursday and still loves his “na-na”. He is a very resilient child, but when he does get that occasional bump or boo-boo, 5 minutes of na-na is the miracle cure. And when hs is sick (rare, but happens), it’s the one thing he can keep down and is nourishing!

  5. What a beautiful story! It made me all emotional. I love breastfeeding my daughter and although she’s only 8 months (almost) intend to keep doing so for a long while yet.

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