14 Sweet Months . . . So Far!
Today I am happy to host a guest post by Amy. Amy writes about the things she holds close to her heart: family, delicious food, and many aspects of natural parenting. She is passionate about natural childbirth, breastfeeding, gentle, intuitive parenting, and respecting all people, no matter how small. She’s figuring it all out as she goes, following her instincts with her son as her guide. Amy writes at Anktangle. Here is her breastfeeding guest post, number 37 in our “Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy” series:
I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my nursing relationship this week, particularly on the ways it has changed throughout the fourteen months it has lasted so far. Ever since Daniel night weaned himself (at around eleven months old) I’ve been keenly aware that this part of my mothering journey is gradually coming to a close. I have a sadness about this transition that I can’t even really put into words. I just know I’m not ready for it to be over yet, and I’m glad that Daniel is not quite ready yet, either.
I like some of the ways that our nursing relationship has changed, like:
- the way Daniel signs “nurse” by patting me (sometimes quite vigorously) on the chest
- the way he gets distracted while nursing and pops off the breast, and then when I ask if he still wants to nurse, he eagerly attacks me with his open mouth as if I was the one who unlatched him in the first place
- the way he smiles up at me while still latched on when I talk, sing, smile, or laugh while we’re nursing
- the way he latches on and then flops his head down to one side, trusting that I’ll be there to catch it and support it
- the way he sometimes wants to nurse sitting up and looking away from me, so he won’t miss any of the action
- the way he can latch on perfectly while sleeping as I lie there dozing, too.
I also appreciate the ways it has stayed the same:
- Daniel’s searching mouth when he’s half-asleep
- the sleepy, blissed-out post-milk daze
- the cuddles, hugs, and little yummy noises
- the way he still looks up at me like I’m the most important person in his world.
I guess that’s the thing about it: the weaning process is yet another reminder that he’s growing up, and he won’t be my baby forever. It’s hard, but it’s wonderful.
I’m finding that that’s the bittersweet thing about parenting—we spend all our time helping our kids to grow up . . . and then they do.
Breastfeeding past infancy is full of laughter, joys, and heartbreaking tenderness. I am publishing a series of posts dedicated to the beauty of nursing children past infancy 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 child who is older than one year, 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. (This series was formerly called “The Joys of Breastfeeding a Toddler.” I changed the name to reflect the fact that we are celebrating women who breastfeed past infancy, regardless of the age of the nursling.)
I’m celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with Natural Parents Network!
You can, too — link up your breastfeeding posts from August 1-7 in the linky below, and enjoy reading, commenting on, and sharing the posts collected here and on Natural Parents Network.
(Visit NPN for the code to place on your blog.)
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"14 Sweet Months . . . So Far!"
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