Sigh. Comments on breastfeeding a toddler. . .

2 December 2009 at 10:54 pm 3 comments

And so it begins!

On Thanksgiving evening—after dinner, but before the supper of leftovers—my fifteen-month-old baby took time out from his busy day of knocking over block towers built by my cousins to toddle over to me, where I sat at a desk in the living room, and indicate that he wanted to nurse. I lifted him up into my lap and latched him on, and he nursed seriously for about five minutes before pulling off with a drip of milk and a huge grin on his face. I readjusted my shirt, and he toddled off to go back to the towers.

“How long are you planning to—you know—for?” my older cousin (herself a mother and an RN) asked.

I looked blankly at her as though I didn’t understand.

“How long are you planning to nurse him for?” she asked again.

I shrugged. “As long as he wants,” I said.

There was a short pause. Then my cousin asked if I’d heard of the new Adam Sandler and Kevin James movie (“Adam Sandler and who?” I asked. “You know, Kevin James, from Mall Cop?” “Uh, no. . . .”). She said she’d just seen a preview for it. I was surprised at this change of subject, but tried to roll with it.

“Did it look good?” I asked.

“Eh, so-so, it looked okay, but there was this one scene with this guy and his trophy wife, you know, and their son walks up to her and asks to nurse, and she does, and everyone’s staring, and someone asks, ‘How old is your son?’ and they say, ‘Forty-eight months,’ and they’re like, ‘That’s four years!’” My cousin stopped. Apparently the moral was too evident to state, and apparently there wasn’t, really, any change of subject at all. 

When my cousin had gone home I looked up this dreadful-sounding movie and discovered that while the Internet consensus seems to be that it won’t be very good, the word is that it does manage to feature “hippie cougars and inappropriate breastfeeding.” Really? Inappropriate? I’m finding that phrase tough to digest. I can only imagine how much I’d love the actual movie.

Currently, I don’t plan on nursing my little one until he’s four, but then again, I don’t plan on cutting him off arbitrarily one day because he’s hit any certain age. I love the closeness that nursing brings us: I know that this is a fleeting phase, though, and I know that there will be closeness and cuddles and affection even when he’s done, and I certainly am not forcing my baby to nurse beyond when he wants to. But he does want to—he seeks it out, and it comforts him and nourishes him even on days when he only eats five cheerios, half an orange segment, a lick of applesauce, and a couple bites of meat.

And, for the record, while I don’t plan on stopping nursing because of either pointed comments from family and friends or a bad movie, I also don’t plan on seeing the movie.



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Midwives on Monk! Milk sharing

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Liz  |  3 December 2009 at 9:54 am

    I wonder when I will get them (my son is also 15 months). I preemptively mentioned to several people that we would definitely be nursing through cold/flu season. I also find that I have begun to avoid nursing in certain social situations.

  • 2. Johanna S  |  3 December 2009 at 1:53 pm

    My daughter is 26 months and we are still breastfeeding. I am right there with you. I have gotten the comments and the questions many times. So frustrating. To be honest, no, I never thought she would be breastfeeding at 26 months, but, no, I won’t wean her because people think I should do so. No, I never thought my child might be nursing at three, but, now, I can picture her nursing at three. And, you know what, I am fine with that. Every now and then, you run into a sweet woman who complements you on it and it makes your day. It happened to me a few weeks back at a restaurant. I could not stop smiling. For a second, I felt like I could cry. That is how many negative comments we have gotten! But, go on forward, mommy! You are doing an awesome, beautiful, and healthy thing for your son!

  • […] on comments from family, friends, and strangers on nursing my toddler: at fifteen months, at seventeen months, at eighteen months, at twenty-three months, and at thirty-one months (whoa, […]


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