The Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler #10

June 11th, 2010 by Dionna | 4 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 Deb, who has shared a story about one of her greatest joys in breastfeeding a toddler. Deb is a stay at home mother to two girls in a remote town in Australia. She writes a blog about fun science activities for babies and children, Science@home, in between playing with her kids and trying to convince them to sleep. Here is her breastfeeding guest post:

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My little girl, or rather big girl, is four and a half.  She was an absolute booby baby, and in fact unweaned during my second pregnancy.  She was very good about following the rules and went on to tandem feed with her little sister for well over a year.  As time went on it became less and less common, gradually dropping to once a week or even once a fortnight.  Then we went on a long holiday when she was a bit over 4 and that pretty much ended it happily and gently.

In Australia optional part-time preschool begins the January after kids turn four, and she was very excited about starting when we got back.  (The photo on the right is of her first day.)  By that time she hadn’t fed for more than 3 months. That afternoon, and every afternoon for the first week, she asked for and had a breastfeed. Even though she was having a ball, she obviously needed that little bit of comfort to support her through.  Then it stopped as gradually as before; once again she hasn’t nursed in a couple of months now.

I’m thrilled.  Thrilled she had something she could rely on when she needed it, thrilled I could support her, thrilled she knew she could ask and thrilled that she’s finished on her terms, when she no longer needed it.  Breastfeeding a school child does not mean going down to school at recess or any of the other crude, uncomfortable jokes.  It means letting them decide what comfort they need and allowing them to be confident in their place.

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Breastfeeding a toddler (or a preschooler!) 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.

4 Responses to:
"The Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler #10"

  1. It is lovely that she was able to get some extra comfort and support from you when she needed it….

    my 2 and a half year old was no longer interested in BF at around 18 months – i was pregnant with my secomd baby and i have been told pregnancy hormones can change the taste of the milk. i was told that he might become interested when he sees his baby brother feeding but it never happened!

    sometimes i wonder is i should have persisted with him more – but i also think he wouldn’t have given it up if he wasn’t ready?

    Im also wondering about peoples views on breastfeeding much older children? i watched a documentary (on foxtel – so was not a very balanced doco, quite sensationalist actually) but it did feature a story about a woman still breastfeeding her 9 year old daughter. i am very much of the opinion of each to their own (although feeding a child of this age would probably not work for me) but i am wondering what others opnions are on feeding older children?

  2. MomAgain@40   karentoittoit

    I enjoy reading these posts! To be made aware of how natural and how absolutely bonding/satisfying/nurturing this is towards the child. Great that you were able to provide a bit of security when your little girl needed it!

  3. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    That is a lovely story, made me a little weepy actually! My son is still breastfeeding, but I can always tell when he needs that bit of extra comfort because he’ll ask quite specifically and insistently, such as if I’m dropping him off at preschool and he’s feeling overwhelmed. Often, it’s not a true feed he wants, just a quick stop by to reconnect and feel reassured, and then he’s on his way.

  4. great story. my son is 28 months and shows no sign of stopping his naptime, bedtime and sometimes get up BF. what’s interesting to me is recently I got him a puppy and since then almost everyday he says “I need to be the baby now” and wants to cuddle more. after he BF or cuddling he says “Ok now I’m a big boy not a baby” funny how their minds work. I’ve been unemployed for several months and starting a PT job next week and think that will require extra cuddling too. its nice to have that time to exclusively focus on each other.

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