WELCOME to the April 2011 Carnival of Breastfeeding! Links to other participants’ posts follow my post!
Some musings, before you get to the post itself:
Wait, there’s a Carnival of Breastfeeding on “extended breastfeeding”? Whoa, sign me up! It’s what I do, what I think about, and what I often post about anyway. . . But wait–why is it called “extended” breastfeeding? Like there’s normal or standard breastfeeding and then extended, as opposed to normal, natural-term breasteeding? Uh-uh, I can’t call it “extended”–I’m a writer and a linguist, and to me, words matter. . . . Okay, I’ll just use the term I want–I’m in!
Some previous posts on this subject:
- Thoughts 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, that’s a lot of months).
- Reflections on how breastfeeding a toddler makes a lot of things easier: international travel, dinners out, etc.
- Thoughts about how my private experience of breastfeeding has changed over the years and how my level of self-awareness in public has as well.
- Reflections on the humor and joy of nursing a talking, laughing, moving, and joking toddler.
- Thoughts about vaguely, tentatively, maybe starting to wean.
Some current thoughts:
My son is two years and almost eight months old. I could not have told you, before he was born, that I would still be nursing now. I didn’t know–I didn’t plan this specific part anymore than I planned the exact position I would push in when I delivered him. In both cases, I listened to my body, trusted myself, and figured that my baby and I would, well, figure it out together.
My son isn’t just a morning-and-bedtime nurser–if we’re home together during the day, he nurses a lot, almost every 2-3 hours. If we’re out and about, he asks less often, but at least twice in between morning and bedtime. We co-sleep, and I never set about trying to alter his night sleep or nursing patterns, so he also nurses a lot at night. Lately, he’s become very particular about which breast, at which point, in the middle of the night–I sometimes wake up to a dark room, a clock reading 3:00 A.M., and a toddler yelling, “WA WA OTHER SIDE!” as he paws at my chest. This is rare–usually night-nursing is a much calmer experience, and actually results in all of us getting more sleep than we would otherwise–but has happened, on occasion.
We live in Boston, and we nurse wherever we go–at his daycare/preschool, while standing on the corner waiting for a bus, while on the bus, on the subway, in church, in restaurants, everywhere. But where are all the other nursing toddlers? I don’t see any. Ever. I went to a toddler La Leche League meeting once, in a neighboring town. My son was 17 months, the oldest child in the room. There were two other babies in the 13-month range, but I was expecting more.
I don’t know how much longer I’ll nurse, but it will be as long as my son wants. That’s the only answer I can give. And though yeah, it’s weird to be the only person ever nursing in public without a ridiculous flowered cover or a giant blanket, or to be the only person nursing a baby visibly older than 3-6 months, I don’t plan to stop, at home or in public, as long as my son asks.
So, mamas of nursing toddlers, come out of the woodwork! Stop hiding at home with your nursing two-year-olds! Join me around town!
Read the other contributors to the April 2011 Carnival of Breastfeeding here:
- Mama Alvina of Ahava & Amara Life Foundation: Breastfeeding Journey Continues
- Elita @ Blacktating: The Last Time That Never Was
- Diana Cassar-Uhl, IBCLC: Old enough to ask for it
- Karianna @ Caffeinated Catholic Mama: A Song for Mama’s Milk
- Judy @ Mommy News Blog:My Favorite Moments
- Tamara @ Please Send Parenting Books: Extended Breastfeeding
- Jenny @ Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: The Highs and Lows of Nursing a Toddler
- Rebekah @ Momma’s Angel: My Sleep Breakthrough
- Suzi @ Attachedattheboob: Why I love nursing a toddler
- Claire @ The Adventures of Lactating Girl: My Hopes for Tandem Nursing
- Elisa @ blissfulE: counter cultural: extended breastfeeding
- Momma Jorje: Extended Breastfeeding, So Far!
- Stephanie Precourt from Adventures in Babywearing: “Continued Breastfeeding”: straight from the mouths of babes
- The Accidental Natural Mama: Nurse on, Mama
- Sarah @ Reproductive Rites: Gratitude for extended breastfeeding
- Nikki @ On Becoming Mommy: The Little Things
- Dr. Sarah @ Good Enough Mum: Breastfeeding for longer than a year: myths, facts and what the research really shows
- Amy @ WIC City: (Extended) Breastfeeding as Mothering
- The Artsy Mama: Why Nurse a Toddler?
- Christina @ The Milk Mama: The best thing about breastfeeding
- TopHat @ the bee in your bonnet: From the Mouths of Babes
- Beth @ Bethstedman.com: Extended Breastfeeding: To Wean Or Not To Wean
- Callista @ Callista’s Ramblings: Pressure To Stop Breastfeeding
- Amanda @ Postilius: Nursing My Toddler Keeps My Baby Close
- Sheryl @ Little Snowflakes: Tandem Nursing- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
- Zoie @ Touchstone Z: Breastfeeding Flavors
- Lauren @ Hobo Mama: Same old, same old: Extended breastfeeding
- Tanya @ Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Six misconceptions about extended breastfeeding
- Jona @ Breastfeedingtwins.org: Breastfeeding older twins
- Motherlove Herbal Company: Five reasons to love nursing a toddler
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