Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Breastfeeding a toddler

Quinn turned 18 months old a few days ago.  Which means I am now breastfeeding an 18 month old.  It's not something I ever set out to do-- my goal with both kids was one year, and then we'd see how things went.  By the time Donovan was a year I was feeling kinda ready to cut back on breastfeeding, and we weaned by about 15 months.  It was initiated by me, but he was pretty easy to wean-- as long as I didn't offer, he didn't really ask.  I think since he had this thumb (and my chin) for comfort, breastfeeding was simply about food for him and it was easy enough to transition from breastmilk to table foods, with extra snuggles thrown in.  I figured it'd be about the same with Quinn...

Except that for Quinn breastfeeding has been about much more than just nutrition-- it's also been a source of comfort and security.  I'd say nursing is one of his favorite things, ever.  It helps him fall asleep, it calms him down when he's upset, and I give it at least partial credit for Quinn hardly ever being sick despite all the bugs and fevers Donovan has brought home from school.

A couple months ago I was feeling a bit annoyed with him constantly being on me so I tried to distract him away from nursing during the day....and quickly realized that was way more effort than it was worth.  I wondered if the trips I took (4-5 days each in February and April) would be the beginning of us weaning, but no-- he did fine while I was gone, but he was very much wanting to nurse again as soon as I got back (I pumped while away to keep up my supply).
#Gymnursetics #breastfeeding
So, here we are.  If you'd asked me at his first birthday how much longer we'd be breastfeeding, I'd have guessed maybe just another couple months.  Now? I honestly have no idea when we might stop.  If he were less into it I might try to wean sooner, but as it is nursing makes a lot of things much easier and still provides many benefits to us both, so I'm ok sticking with it.  It also feels kind of amazing that we are still nursing today, since 8 months ago he went on that 12 day nursing strike and I was really afraid that we were done for good (gotta give a shout-out to Jaye Simpson, local Sacramento IBCLC who gave me the encouragement and advice I needed to keep trying when everyone thought he was self-weaning).
Silly bunny. #gymnurstics #breastfeeding
And so now I'm learning all about the joys of nursing a toddler...it turns out they're way more wiggly and active than babies, lol.  He likes to flail his legs and arms around sometimes.  And stick his fingers in my mouth.  And do a "downward dog" pose while still latched on.  The other day he was nursing and he laid himself flat on his back on my lap and started clapping his hands.  Sure, the "gymnurstics" can be pretty annoying at times.  They're also kinda hilarious.  And I guess from here on out we'll just take things as they come, week by week, month by month.

One reason for not having more kids: no more room on mom's lap.


  1. Congratualations! Nursing a toddler is also something I never saw myself doing, and I'm still kind of flabbergasted that I have an almost two-year-old who is nursing. The acrobatics are definitely funny!

  2. Congrats!! I definitely didn't think I'd be carrying on this far as well. Cam is definitely about security and cuddles and need for me just like you described about Quinn. Cute photos by the way, so silly! P.S. Cam seems to be a lot less active but we talk and she laughs and hums along too...

  3. love it!!! i love the downward dog. hysterical !!!! this post made my day. what happiness. also my mom must've read it because she just texted me "tell marcy she cracks me up"
    i'd say Quinn cracks me up :)



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