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Why I love nursing my toddler

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
This is a list to keep me motivated- I'm struggling not to get frustarted or feel overwhelmed with her ever increasing deisre to nurse. I know I'm just in a slump, and am trying to get over it.

1) It forces me to sit down a couple of times a day.

2) Nursing her down for naps and nighttime gives me a chance to catch up on my novels.

3) It makes a convenient excuse to get out of chores. (Oh, honey, I can't do the dishes right now, I have to sit down and nuse the baby.)

4) It calms her down immediately, and keeps her out of trouble. On Friday, I even nursed her while I was signing documents to close on a house!

5) It's cold and flu season, and she's very susceptible to ear infections. Knowing that I'm giving her that extra immunity is priceless!

6) I don't have to worry about what she is (or isn't eating) as much.

7) Every time she sees me unhook my bra, she gets this look of complete joy on her face and says "Oh, wow!" I don't even get that kind of reaction from my husband! :LOL

8)I love to tickle her and watch her try to laugh without loosing her latch- it's always good for laugh.
Anybody else?
post #2 of 24
Those are wonderful reasons

I will add the looking down at my little ones face and stroking his hair...

Both children still wait for me to undress, and make up songs about my breasts...dh never did that :LOL

Nursing is a way to reconnect during a sad or frustrated period.

Thanks for sharing.
post #3 of 24
Knowing that when I am close to a melt down, Zachary will want to nurse, and force me to sit down, shut up, and be still for several minutes....he always knows when I need to calm down....and it helps him calm down too!

Seeing Zachary pound on my chest, and knowing no one really knows why he is doing this but us...its our little nursing talk!

Having him 'rub' my arm or my chest/neck area why he is on the way to sleep!

Thanks for this, it made me really think!
post #4 of 24
Tyson loves to count my breasts, back and forth, I usually have about 5 total!

He loves to ask for the other one, if I say "no, we're nursing on this side" he says, "oh, that one is night-night?"

I second the one about knowing they are getting some good nutrition...especially for my carb-lovin' kid. At least I know he gets breastmilk!
post #5 of 24
I was just coming to post something along these lines! I'll add

When they are sick (like both dds are yesterday adn today, with nasty vomiting...yuck!) I don't have to worry about them not getting enough, getting dehydrated, etc....I know that Mommy Milk will pull through again!
post #6 of 24
It wards off melt-downs in public

It's a chance to cuddle an otherwise non-cuddly very active little girl

it's a great positive discipline time-in for calming down

it helps her not to be jealous of her little brother when he nurses

I love to see them snuggling together

and as Emily says "it will make my owie feel better!"

it's sweet to hear "Mommy, you have nuh-nuh IN your milks!"

and "Mommy, can I kiss it?" when she finishes

and "Thank you, God, for nuh-nuh!"
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChinaDoll
] "Thank you, God, for nuh-nuh!"
Don't we ALL thank God for "nuh-nuh?" I know I certainly do.

My current favorite thing about nursing my 2.5 yo DD is how verbally she thanks me for it. "Oh, thank you, Mommy, so much for num-nums. Pretty num-nums. I love num-nums SOOOOO much!"

The funniest thing lately is what she told my mom. Mom babysat her all day recently, and said that when my name came up, Marlena said, "My mommy gave me num-nums." Mom-ma said, "She did?" Marlena replied, "Yes. She gave me a big one, and it was SOOOO yum." Until now, it's been our little secret that she's named them "Big One" and "Other Side!" :LOL

I just feel that nursing a talking toddler is very rewarding - much more so than nursing a tiny baby was for me.

Best,
Nichole
mom to Marlena born 4/02
post #8 of 24
We're going through lots of horrible illness right now. So, I've been thankful over & over in the past few days that nursing my 2.5 yr old keeps her from dehydrating. She has been throwing up everything but breastmilk. Gotta love that liquid gold! It stays DOWN.

On a happier note, I have to agree with everyone who has said they love how appreciative their toddlers are of their breasts. DD loves to say, "Oh Mama, you have beautiful nipples!" when I undress.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightCafe
We're going through lots of horrible illness right now. So, I've been thankful over & over in the past few days that nursing my 2.5 yr old keeps her from dehydrating. She has been throwing up everything but breastmilk. Gotta love that liquid gold! It stays DOWN.

On a happier note, I have to agree with everyone who has said they love how appreciative their toddlers are of their breasts. DD loves to say, "Oh Mama, you have beautiful nipples!" when I undress.
Okay, now HOW does that not creep you out? I'm not at all saying it SHOULD -- I'm saying that it would personally creep ME out and I'm wondering if that was ever an issue for you, and if so, how you got past it.

I am firmly in the "if they can ask for it, they're too old" camp, but that's just for ME, and it's just because it's outside of MY comfort zone. For those of you who are nursing toddlers, was it just never something that crossed your mind as an issue, or is there something that helped you get past it?

Sincerely curious and wanting to grow up about this issue --- hoping not to get flamed.
post #10 of 24
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post #11 of 24
I am of the belief that if a baby/ toddler/ child asks for nursing, then they still need it. I don't understand what language development has to do with nursing? (not being sarcastic...just never understood this).

Children who talk about nursing and "beautiful boobies" are expressing their love and attachment for their mother. Personally, I think it is great when a childs attachment is to people, not things.
post #12 of 24
My 4 year old dd is sick, only the 3rd time in her life, plus I'm 36 weeks pregnant, and she wants to nurse. She said today "mama do your boobas hurt? Are you having contractions?". (sometimes her nursing brings on contractions so I ask her to stop). I told her she could nurse, and it was so sweet. She hugged each boob and said "I love your beautiful boobas, I want to give them a hug and a kiss". She did, layed down and started to nurse, and she looked so small and so young, and happy that she could escape being "big" and just relax and nurse. I am just so happy that she is still nursing and I really hope she remembers this time in her life.

And I can't wait to see her face after the baby is born and the real milk comes in
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneymoonBaby
I am firmly in the "if they can ask for it, they're too old" camp, but that's just for ME, and it's just because it's outside of MY comfort zone. For those of you who are nursing toddlers, was it just never something that crossed your mind as an issue, or is there something that helped you get past it?

Sincerely curious and wanting to grow up about this issue --- hoping not to get flamed.
Well, I'm not nursing a toddler yet, but think about how slow the transition is from a newborn to a walking/talking toddler. It probably would be akward for me to start nursing a toddler tomorrow, but if its over the course of a couple of years, watching my son grow... I know it won't bother me at all. I guess I don't understand the whole if-they-can-ask-for-it-they're-too-old. Babies "ask for it" when they cry. My son first made the ASL sign for "mommy-milk" when he was about three months old - are you saying I should have weaned him that day? Or that if I had a child with developmental disabilites that was never able to verbalize, then I wouldn't have to worry about weaning ever? Like Mom4tot, my point is that language and the need for breastmilk are basically two independent things and I don't see what they have to do with each other - especially since there is so much variation from child to child. I also think that weaning a child as soon as they learn to ask for breastmilk could possibly cause some pyschological damage, because it could very easily be seen by the child as punishment for expressing his/her needs. I've never seen that written anywhere or heard anyone else say it, but it just seems like an obvious connection to me...

Is it ouside of your comfort zone because you're not familiar with it? How many women in your family have bfed past one year? How many of your friends? The way to get past that is to make a point of being around moms nursing toddlers - is there an LLL group near you?
post #14 of 24
I guess I meant "if they can ask for it, they're too old" as kind of a figure of speech meaning that if they're old enough to clearly verbalize coherent, complex thoughts like "you have beautiful nipples, mommy," then I'd be too uncomfortable with the sexual connotations on MY end to continue nursing. Not that EVERYONE should stop at that point. I hope I made that clear. I'm not judging anyone here, I'm just expressing my personal discomfort with the idea of my child so specifically complimenting such a private part of my anatomy.

My mother didn't nurse more than a month, and I've never been around breastfeeding women much. I nursed Ian exclusively for three months, and he didn't gain weight, even with the help of multiple lactation consultants, tons of pumping, homeopathic treatment, etc. I had to start supplementing with formula so he wouldn't lose weight, and between feeding him bottles, pumping, cleaning up the mess, trying to nurse, keeping my house clean enough to not have CPS called on me, and working full-time from home, something had to give. Unfortunately, it was the nursing, since Ian started rejecting the breast and I just couldn't handle the struggle anymore. I'm FINALLY getting to the point where I don't cry every day or beat myself up everytime I make a bottle of formula, so please don't flame me about this. I understand that if I had "tried harder" I could have continued nursing. But I had nothing left to give. I was operating on two hours of sleep a night and never, ever getting a break from worrying about nursing. It was nursing or my sanity. I chose my sanity.

Anyway, I really, really want to do better by my next child, especially since my intentions were so good with this one and I still failed. So I'm looking to learn all I can. That includes learning more about extended nursing. It's not that I'm opposed to other people doing it -- it just freaks me out to think about doing it myself.

It helps to know it was just a natural progression for most of you. Perhaps if -- NO!!!! I mean WHEN!!!! -- I make it to my goal of one year with the next baby, it won't seem so weird to just keep going.

Thanks for answering my question. Sorry for the thread hijack.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneymoonBaby
I guess I meant "if they can ask for it, they're too old" as kind of a figure of speech meaning that if they're old enough to clearly verbalize coherent, complex thoughts like "you have beautiful nipples, mommy," then I'd be too uncomfortable with the sexual connotations on MY end to continue nursing.
Thanks for clarifying - I guess that the idea of sudden weaning is so far outside of my realm of comfort and so unfamiliar to me that I didn't catch the nuance. I've been really blessed, because my mom breastfed me and my sister each until around 18 months, I'm part of a local AP group and LLL where there are lots of nursing toddlers, several ladies at my church all nursed till 18 months or more, and it seems like EVERYONE encourages me to nurse for at least that long. Honestly, the thought of weaning my son is as far outside my comfort zone as the thought of nursing a todller is to you.

Just to comfort you, I've worked with kids since I graduated from college, and I can promise you that THEY don't have any sexual thoughts/feelings until they're 8-10 years old at least. Any sexual discomfort would be from your perception of the situation - maybe you can also work on questioning our society's view of breasts as purely sexual rather than nurturing. It makes me mad that society has tried my whole life to undermine breastfeeding for me and other women...
post #16 of 24

beautiful

I am currently nursing my soon-to-be toddler (on 11/09 she's one year!). I think the things your children said to you were really beautiful! I think it's great for kids to grow up with healthy attitudes about breasts. If a same aged child had the same response toward another item (bottle/paci/security blanket) everyone would think it's cute, but since it's breasts many people automatically think there's something sexual in it. I think it's beautiful that they're attached to a person more than an object. I know when I started out nursing a newborn the idea of nursing past 1 year seemed kind of strange and daunting to me, but now toddler nursing seems as natural as infant nursing. I guess you have to be around it or do it long enough to get used to the idea before it feels natural. I hope my Sophie says cute things like that about bf once she's talking - memories that I can look back on and laugh about!

-Becky
post #17 of 24
Well said Becky
post #18 of 24
I love nursing my 2 yr old!
Sometimes when shes nursing, she'll stop and rub the side while saying "nice boo mama, nice boo" and press her cheek up against it and give it a "hug". She has also named the right one "boo" and the left one "that boo". So, sometimes you may hear "okay, now that boo mama, that boo"
Another reason I love nursing my girl is the health reason. If she's sick, at least I know what I can always get into her!
And last week when she had to go under GA to fix some cavities she was having a hard time coming out of it. Would open her eyes; vomitting; etc. Gave her "boo" and she slept for 20 min and then was ready to come home.
I dont see my breasts as sexual objects when I'm nursing, so when dd tells me she loves them I feel its like her telling me she loves my hair or something. No biggie. Mind you, the only time I was ever "creeped" out was when I was undressing for bed one night and then I look over at dd staring at me(well, my breasts) with this big smile on her face and then looking up at dh doing the same thing. Ahhh! I can only drive in one gear! One of you stop! It was funny though.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneymoonBaby
I guess I meant "if they can ask for it, they're too old" as kind of a figure of speech meaning that if they're old enough to clearly verbalize coherent, complex thoughts like "you have beautiful nipples, mommy," then I'd be too uncomfortable with the sexual connotations on MY end to continue nursing. Not that EVERYONE should stop at that point. I hope I made that clear. I'm not judging anyone here, I'm just expressing my personal discomfort with the idea of my child so specifically complimenting such a private part of my anatomy.
Your discomfort is common and understandable, especially if you haven't been around women who nurse naturally. We've been culturally conditioned to believe that breasts are for sex and they are not - at all! They are for the sole purpose of nourishing our young. I think education and following your child's lead can help to unprogram that conditioning to a certain extent. I'd encourage you to read some of Kathryn Detwyler's work (sorry if I horribly mispelled that name : ). A really great book that *everyone* should read is Milk, Money, and Madness.

A phrase that I stand by and that I wish there was a bumper sticker of:

If they're old enough to ask for it, then they're old enough to still need it.

It is so true!

*ETA: Just put this in my sig!
post #20 of 24
I love nursing my children (one doesn't count as a toddler, as he's over 4 years old!) because they love to nurse. Because I'm nourishing their body, mind and spirit all at once. Because I'm getting them off to an awesome start nutritionally, emotionally, mentally and healthwise, as breastmilk lessens the chances of them getting certain diseases. I love nursing my children because I'm less at risk of developing certain cancers and other diseases. I love nursing my children because through nusing my older two gradually came to know of and to know thier little sibling(s). They bonded instantly with them as they nursed along with their newborn brother/sister. They instantly had something in common ... nursing (I triandem nursed until Alex self-weaned).

Honeymoonbaby ... I agree with many of the previous posters who responded to your question. I, too, was never around breastfeeding growing up (and my mom never nursed either of her children!). I thought nursing past a year was strange and in the beginning planned to nurse for 3-6 months, if I could last that long. I ended up nursing past 6 months, then got pg when Alex was 9 months old, nursed through that pregnancy, tandem nursed, tandem nursed through my next pregnancy, and then traindem nursed. My oldest self-weaned on his fifth birthday. I'm currently nursing a 4+ and a 2+ year old and loving it. I grew into being comfortable with nursing an older baby, then a toddler, then a preschooler, then a kindergarten aged child (we homeschool, but had he gone to school, he would have been in kdg. before he stopped nursing!). I now embrace the concept of natural weaning ... whether that be at age 3 or 4 or at age 7+. It's no longer wierd for me. I wish you luck WHEN you reach your goal of nursing your next child for a year. A person's views can change a lot in 12 months...you'd be surprised!
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