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October 9, 2009
mama and son

mama and son

I am at the point now where I am practically the only one left nursing, of the mamas with kids Lukie’s age, I  mean.

Lukas is almost two and by now many mamas have stopped for various reasons, including wanting or having another baby, wanting their body back to themselves, needing a night out once in a while, and hosts of others. I know one woman who nursed her daughter until she was four. The daughter is now in high school and is a very happy, self-confident adventurous girl with a good connection with her parents. This bodes well, but I would like more examples too.

I remind myself that the international average duration for breastfeeding is over age three and that includes western countries that often stop before age one. Even so, there is not a lot of info about nursing at this stage. It is actually quite amazing that nothing is said, since there is a whole host of new things that you experience when your toddler is nursing as opposed to a baby.

For one, they are totally conscious beings by now, walking around and saying things and they are appreciative of the nursing. Also, they can come over and practically do it themselves, then run off when they are done. Also, as toddlers, they get frustrated with things, and this is such an easy way to soothe and comfort them. If he is sick, I nurse Lukas a lot and he gets his fluids and his comfort all in one. No Pedialyte needed. When we were at the bluegrass festival, at the first sign of overwhelm, he knew he could retreat to the comfort of nursing. I didn’t have to monitor that for him. I think it prevented  any meltdown and allowed him to enjoy the festival more—and it certainly allowed me to enjoy the festival more. A friend pointed out that you can worry less about picky toddler nutrition if you are nursing, since you are still providing all needed nutrients. If there is a gap in the diet, it is filled. One less worry is fine with me. Even though I do my best with his food I sometimes wonder if the main staples of soup, applesauce, yogurt, crackers, O’s and milk are balanced…

I’ve ordered these two books Attachment Parenting: Instinctive Care for Your Baby and Young Child and Mothering Your Nursing Toddler to find out more about the toddler nursing stage. They were actually the only books I could find on the subject. I’ll report back if they were useful and if I find out anything else.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Kimberly Bell permalink
    October 10, 2009 2:26 am

    Breast feeding is such a wonderful connection between mothers and their children. (Not that bottle nursing isn’t!) I nursed my daughter for 15 months before she gave it up herself and my last son for exactly a year. I wish I had nursed Andrew longer, but the demands of all my kids made it so difficult.

    Nurse as long as you can and as long as Lukas wants. Such a wonderful thing to do for you and for him.

  2. November 6, 2010 8:26 am

    Hi there,
    I hopped over from Soule Mama’s blog.

    I love your post!

    I am the 42yr old momma of 6 kiddos age 16-3 and am still breatstfeeding my tot (I guess she is a pre-schooler) lol
    We attachment parent too…the books you mentioned sound wonderful!
    We would love to have another baby (been trying over a year) though we have never used birthcontrol.

    I would NEVER dream of ending our nursing relationship to get pregnant again! It is very sad that folks do that 😦

    If you want to come say hi my main blog is The Garden Gate.

    Peace,Love and Happy Nursing,

    • karenhess permalink
      January 17, 2011 8:42 am

      I’m very sorry for the late reply to your beautiful comments, Kimberly and Georgiann! Thank you for the supportive words, we are still nursing and he is now three. I don’t think he’s going to give up “mop”, as he calls it, very soon, but I do see a tapering off and it is bittersweet even at this late date! Good luck on the next baby Georgiann! Love, K

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