I never got to write a breastfeeding post for National Breastfeeding Month back in August, due to birthdays and out-of-town visitors, but really want to do my part to normalize breastfeeding (something I feel very passionately about). So I thought, I’d tell you about my adventures nursing a two-year old today.(In case, you were interested, here is my nursing post from last year. Nursing a toddler is a whole other ball park. Our nursing relationship is quite different from those sleepy beginning days. The quiet, relaxed morning, noon and nights with her little baby body curled up against mine, taking in all the nourishment she needed from her Mama’s breast. Nowadays, it’s not quite as relaxing but it has become a sort of cool down zone for Ellie. A place to reconnect. A place to get that kick-start needed to continue on with that important learning through play. Sometimes it’s nice and relaxed and I am able to kiss her head and talk about our day. Other times she kicks and squirms and hops all over me and I wonder why she bothers for Mama’s milk at all. Some people have asked me how long I plan to continue. Some, flat-out ask me why on earth would I want to still be nursing at this age anyway?
There are certainly days and nights that I wouldn’t mind throwing in the towel. Long nights where I struggle with, if nursing this long is even the right thing to do. But, then I realize that there really is no “right” thing. Women all over the world nurse their one year olds, two-year olds, four-year olds and even seven-year olds. And for Ellie and I, it’s something very special we share. I love the closeness breastfeeding brings. I’ve seen the almost magical powers it has to calm an upset child, to recharge a tired toddler, or to help a tired toddler fall asleep. It makes me feel better on those days where she barely eats anything because molars are breaking though; I know she’s getting nutrients from my milk if nothing else. For those reasons and so many more, I want to continue on. And my hope is, that ever so gently and ever so slowly, she will need Mama’s milk less and less and it will become just another thing that’s helped form her identity and her attachment. Something to help her understand the connection we will always have.
Just beautiful. Reece nursed until this spring, at 5.5 years, and I always wondered along our breastfeeding journey how it would end. I thought I would know the exact day, that I would know when the last feeding was, but I don’t. It was a slow and gradual process, one lead by him, and I didn’t really know when the last feeding would be. In the end, it was somewhere around mid May, as he started the 6/7 transformation. And I feel now like that was the perfect timing for both of us, in so many ways.
From a mama who had a very active nurser, and loved to night feed, it is worth it. Looking back I wouldn’t change a thing.
Love the pic. xo
Oh Kim, thank you for sharing a bit of your story. I love hearing about nursing stories. They really such a special part of motherhood. And I love hearing about that natural weaning process. Thank you Mama.
Thank you for sharing your story friend! There is so much good that can come from your relationship and don’t let anyone tell you different. Besides — you know best 🙂 Sending love.
Thank you Isabel. I know you have my back Mama!
i love that photo 🙂 so precious. i feel very strongly about breastfeeding as well! so important for baby and mama (and toddler). i never had to decide when to stop nursing… my body always just started slowing down around 10 months and by the time they were one the milk was always gone. in some ways the natural weening was a relief because it happened so slowly and easily it worked very well for my littles… but sometimes i really wish it could’ve gone on longer… it is so very special! many of my mama friends have nursed their little’s through toddlerhood… and for each and every one of them when the time came for it to end they knew it was time…. because it is different for everyone 🙂 so good for you mama!
It is amazing the different stories of nursing from mother to mother. It’s like hearing birth stories I think. I love hearing that your littles all weaned naturally. It truly is something very unique and very special between mother and child.
Beautiful Summer and that is a great photo. I nursed until my babies were just over three and then they basically weaned themselves. I loved nursing and am so happy to have those memories to look back on.
If you enjoy these close times together in this beautiful way and Ellie does too,there is no reason why there’s a time to stop. Ellie will choose the time. That’s usually the way it works. Good for you. Give no explanation to others. You know how you feel and Ellie mostly knows how she does too. Love the silly picture especially. 🙂
i know how you feel, we’re still breastfeeding (3.5years old) and loving it, but that’s true that when she was about 2 it became too hard for me because of looooong nights. BUT that’s over 🙂 and now we just enjoy those special moments for the both of us…
I actually weaned at around 3 years old, my mom tells me. 🙂 It really is a special thing. And I’m glad to hear you are still going strong at 3.5! That’s fantastic! And btw, when did your little one get to be 3.5?! Wow! Time truly does fly by!!
What a beautiful post and I’m smitten with the picture 🙂
As a toddler nursing mama I love the way you explained it’s calming benefits. Our girl is so busy and active that often nursing it MY break time as she’s often (but not always) calmer for it. I feel differently about the night nursing as she’s now ingrained to nurse every couple of hours, but then I know I will look back and appreciate the extra closeness and time we spent together at night.
I love that you took the time to write about toddler nursing! x
Thank you Isis! It’s so nice to hear of Mama’s who are going through something so similar. The night nursing is very tough sometimes, but yes, I’m sure we will look back on these nights with sleepy fondness.. one day. 😉 You rock Mama! xoxo!
You are doing a great thing! I miss breastfeeding my little ones, but in total I breastfed them all for over 4 years. Next time I want to nurse as long as I can. 🙂 Enjoy your time with your daughter, it does pass by fast.
I would have liked to BF a little longer- but both times I had complications at around the 18 month mark. It’s a very individual journey. Soon you’ll be looking back on it. Enjoy.
Cute photo. : )
Wonderful post and beautiful image, Summer! Bea nursed until five days before she turned two. She stopped, just like that! She knew when to stop, and I am sure Ellie will too 🙂 But we both grieved it, you know? Enjoy every moment – all part of the beautiful journey that is motherhood 🙂