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.