Breastfeeding a toddler

breastfeeding a toddler

When I was pregnant with Rose I knew that I wanted to breastfeed her as I did Lewis and Holly. At the time my goal was to exclusively feed her until she was 6 months old when we would start the baby led weaning process.

Breastfeedinga

Rose is now 17 months old and still breastfeeding. I didn’t imagine that I would still be feeding her now but here I am. I actually know quite a few people in real life and other blogging mummys that have continued their breastfeeding journey and are now at the point of extended breastfeeding. It is hard work but very rewarding and Rose and I share such a special bond that I think I will find difficult to give up. Rose is my last baby so I suppose part of me is holding on and enjoying continuing to breastfeed because I’m not quite ready to let it go, but the other part of me is wants to stop but I don’t know how to.

That last statement might sound odd but it’s not a case of simply not breastfeeding Rose any longer. She is at an age where she wants her ‘mummy milk’ and will scream the place down if she doesn’t get it! Unless she’s poorly or hurt herself, I usually only feed her first thing in the morning and last thing at night after her bath but those morning feeds seem to be when she needs it most and she has a long feed cuddled up to me in bed before we begin our day.

I know some people think breastfeeding a toddler is a bit gross or weird even and I really can’t get my head around that. I know it’s been said before but I wish we lived in a society where it’s just normal. I must have been lucky as I’ve had a very positive experience, both my older children don’t bat an eye and Justin is very supportive of me breastfeeding and always has been. I also think he’s really grateful that he’s never had to do a single night feed! The last time I had to feed Rose in public was a couple of months ago on a train back from London, she was so over tired and wouldn’t stop crying and the only thing I could do to settle her was to feed her. I didn’t get any funny looks which I was very relieved about but I suppose really I shouldn’t have worried what any one thought and it’s nobody’s business how I decide to feed my baby anyway!

I don’t know when is the ‘right’ age to stop breastfeeding because all babies are so very different and I have friends who’s babies have self weaned at around 18 months. I’m hoping that Rose will give it up in her own time so that I don’t have to take it away from her but when that will be I don’t know. I’d love to hear your experiences on this so please do comment below if you have advice or anything to share.

A few thoughts on breastfeeding a toddler:

  • Be careful when you’re out in public, they might pull down your top and ask for ‘booby’ (embarassing!)
  • Watch out for cues that they are finished a feed or you might get bitten (this has happened to me once ouch)
  • The quickest and easiest way to soothe crying from a fall or tantrum is to whip out the boob
  • If your house hold comes down with an illness (recently Lewis and Holly had winter vomiting bug) chances are baby won’t get it because you pass on your immunity
  • Not having to get up in the morning and have an extra half hour snooze time while they feed
  • You will save a lot of money not having to buy formula!

Disclaimer
I have nothing against mums who formula feed one iota. I hate the whole breastfeeding versus formula argument. As long as you feed your baby some form of milk and keep them alive that’s all I care about! I also don’t believe that unless you breastfeed you have that ‘special bond’ what I mean by that is I love the way I feel when I’m feeding her and the closeness of it. Just wanted to put that out there!

Super Busy Mum

 

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Comments

  • Julie S.

    Written on 21st January 2015

    Reply

    I think it is awesome that you’re nursing this child for so long, much longer than your original plan. If things are still going well and neither of you want to stop, I say keep going. Though, it is awkward when they can ask for it. I would really have a hard time with my kid asking for booby lol.
    Julie S. recently posted…The Fourth Trimester is the HardestMy Profile

    • Amy

      Written on 21st January 2015

      Reply

      Haha I know Julie, it’s the tugging at my top I find the most embarrassing if we’re in public lol!

  • Age gap parenting

    Written on 12th March 2015

    Reply

    […] baby led weaning (did it even exist back then?!) All three children were breastfed but with Rose I breastfed the longest (20 months) but again I had the time, inclination and energy to dedicate and give up a little bit […]

  • Natalie / UEM

    Written on 20th March 2015

    Reply

    I fed Oliver til he self weaned and it was great, it just made life so easy and I’d definitely do it again whenever we decide to have another.

    I think it’s a shame we live in a world where we have to write a disclaimer saying just because we are pro one approach it doesn’t mean we are anti the other approach.
    Natalie / UEM recently posted…Frozen Cake TutorialMy Profile

    • Amy

      Written on 20th March 2015

      Reply

      I personally think it is the easier option but I guess that’s once you have the knack of it. I am far too lazy to get up in the night making bottles! It is a shame hun, but I hate controversy or the thought of upsetting anyone but I wish there was no debate and I know that will never be xx

  • Sabrina

    Written on 28th March 2015

    Reply

    Very much enjoyed reading this Amy. I’m currently breastfeeding a 19 month old and before him his brother was 2.5yrs before we stopped. I never ever thought I would have been an extended breast feeder but it was meant to be! Laughed at your point about simply whipping out a boob to soothe! It’s a regularly used term here too! Even my husband will something see reason to say “stick him on a boob quick”! x
    Sabrina recently posted…What a start to the day!!!My Profile

    • Amy

      Written on 30th March 2015

      Reply

      Thank you so much Sabrina I do love hearing from other mums who’ve carried on without planing to. Oh yes you’ve got to love the whole whip out the boob thing-much easier lol!! xx

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