I'm new at nursing beyond infancy. My baby is a toddler now (still can't believe it lol). He is 16mo and we're still nursing strong. The problem is he has always been on the smaller side of the curve, as far as his height and weight goes. In fact both of my kids are, anyway, people often comment on how small he is to be walking, specially close friends and family. When they find out that I'm still nursing him I get bombarded with "that's why!" That drives me nuts. Forget that both dh and I are small and skinny. Everyone has told me to wean him, our ped included (I am switching ped since then). So I guess I'm looking for some advice and encouragement. I mean I know there's benefit in nursing beyond infancy and I love nursing him. Besides, he also LOVES food, always has since the time he was introduced to it. I love nursing him and I really don't think my bm is the reason he's still small. I've already cried over this trying to defend it in front of my family and friends.
I apologize if my post is all over the place. Any advice is very welcomed and what exactly happens to bm after infancy? I imagine it changes to suit the child's need but I could be wrong. Anyway thanks for reading and I guess I'm off to research as well.
I am pretty sure I saw a chart on fb last week, let me see if I can find it.
skinny, bf till 4, still skilly at 11
skinny, bf till 2, stillskinny at 9
roly poly, bf till 4, now skinny at 7
stocky, bf till 4, still stocky at 5
called a peanut by her doctor at age 2 with no demand to wean or really any issue with her size, just weaned at 3,has multiple food intolerances but eats plenty
okay, the chart is on the lakeshore medical breastfeeding medicine clinics fb page on feb 7 in their photos. will try to post a direct link later. fat content goes up as you continue.
and the abstract... http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/116/3/e432.abstract
Nobody bothered me about it, but I have a child who is quite small, too, and I secretly wondered whether I was hurting her, despite that she was thriving and healthy. Now that she is 2.5, though, she has gone from being in the 1% percentile as an older infant to being in the 30-40th percentiles. There's really no doubt in my mind that breastfeeding until at least age 2 is established as very good for the child, and there is plenty of scientific evidence to prove it. Beyond that, it also makes sense that there would be a real benefit. There will never again be so easily an absorbed food for our children, one so agreeable to their immune and digestives systems. I recently was at a wedding and saw a sleeping 3 year old being held by her mother, sucking her thumb and twiddling her blankie. I realized, "she would naturally be breastfeeding now!" and it strengthened my understanding of the whole process. I plan to breastfeed for the duration!
I read somewhere recently that stated perhaps breastfeeding evolved first as a way to transfer immunity from mother to child, and this made sense to me. This benefit remains as long as one is breastfeeding, and is very important!
Wishing you all the best!
Mama to a bilingual (Arabic/English) and cuddly 3 year old, and planning another peaceful homebirth in June.
Sky_and_lavender thank you for your post. I also wondered sometimes if I was doing the right thing since my ds is also very small, but I know deep down I am, and I love nursing him. I hope that he'll just take a stretch and grow sometime in the future though. Thanks again.
I just don't understand how people can think that providing an additional source of nutrition to a skinny toddler could possibly be causing them to be skinny. Is it just me, or is that logic totally flawed? Unless they assume that breastmilk is somehow REPLACING other foods, but that's just not how it works.
My DD just turned 2, and she's not skinny, but sometimes she gets going so much that she doesn't want to stop playing long enough to really sit down and eat a meal. So we provide her with lots of small snacks (banana chunks, apple slices, strawberries, string cheese, cups of dry cereal, etc) and that seems to help, but no matter how busy she is she will always find time to nurse at nap time or bed time, and it reassures me that at least she is getting good nutrition from me. Also, when she is sick and not interested in food she is usually still interested in nursing. In fact, she tends to nurse more when she is not feeling well, and that gives me peace of mind.
Married 12/08 to Chilean DH and mama to DD 2/2/10. We're a bilingual home and we and
Expecting #2 in late June!
Yeah I don't get it either. A friend of mine told me that her ped said that toddlers shouldn't be forced to three huge meals a day like adults eat but rather smaller portions of it at about six times per day because their stomachs are still small. I guess that makes sense, coupled with genetics since both ds1 and ds2 are skinny like me,and the fact that they're always playing and running makes them have a high mmetabolism. I'm just tired of the comments regarding me nursing my skinny toddler. I mean it's not like he doesn't eat. This kid LOVES food, and will eat anything plus the box it came in along with some other non-nutritive items if I allowed which obviously I don't. He also never refuses to nurse especially before nap/nnighttimes. Also he's very healthy and has always met his milestones within the apropiate times, still some ppl can't help themselves with the rude comments. I live in a very conservative place. Oh well, I guess I'll be educating them. Thanks for posting.
This type of comment has not made sense to me either! My DS is just over 12 months old, and has been in the 2-3% range for both height and weight since about 3-4 months old. But, he is walking and saying at least 8 words. I am not worried about him! He mostly eats solids during the day except maybe before nap, and nurses quite a bit at night. How is he supposed to be bigger with just eating and no nursing?!
The average curve is just that - average. Which means that being on the small side is not a bad thing (assuming development is otherwise normal), it is just that some are smaller and some are larger. I think it depends mostly on genetics and activity level (my son is soooooo active! To the point that he often doesn't "have time" to nurse OR eat a lot during the day). I've always thought it strange that many parents seem to think of the growth percentile as something like a "grade". (as in, 95% and up is an A, below 60% is failing??!)
Kendra (30), mum to ds (2/14/11), and one . Pregnant with my due 6/10/13, it's a GIRL!!!
The breastmilk from mothers nursing older children has a MUCH higher level of antibodies than the breastmilk of mothers of infants. This makes sense because once children are up and walking, they are exposed to many more germs.
I'm all for being nice & respectful to family. Until they start making you feel terrible or doubt your parenting.
sent from my phone using tapatalk, please forgive typos
Loving mama to Aden (8/5/2010) and DSD (15).
Osuvet, you just described my ds. (Sorry for the late reply). He is small (on 7th percentile), but until the comments rolled I wasn't very worried either. Our doctor is also not worried because ds2 has met all of his milestones. I'm finding out that ds2 is just as high spirited as ds1 and a very active busy little boy. He definitely knows how to defend himself from his big brother and has a huge personality. Okay I know I'm rambling, but here's the interesting part. My nephew who was ff when he was a baby (sil could not nurse him) was on the 95th percentile and yet was late on meeting a lot of his milestones, yet my family comments are directed at how small my son is. The point isn't that my ds2 is better than my nephew but there's a lot of different variables and genetics. Sil is tall and weighs more than I do, I'm small and so is dh, so I weigh less than her. Anyway thanks for the reply, I feel better knowing I'm not alone.
3girls1boy thanks for that comment. That's good to know. We don't vaccinate, so another good reason to keep nursing :)
Neonalee, that's a great idea! I like it, thanks! It's so true though, why they would think that I don't know. It doesn't make sense. My dh didn't really care that I was nursing ds2 but until these comments came he's been a lot more supportive towards me nursing ds2.
I just want to stay - stick with breastfeeding! It offers so many benefits - beyond nutritional - for your little one. One in particular is how comforting it is to toddlers as they explore the world and experience the many insecurities this brings about for them.. Personally I think the idea that BF'ing makes kids small or skinny is ridiculous. Every kid is different and as long as he's healthy otherwise there's really nothing to worry about. There is in the majority if cases - nothing wrong with a kid who is small. Sometimes insufficient supply can be an issue but since he's eating food too it shouldn't be a problem. Also alot of the data on size and percentiles is based on formula fed and cow's milk fed babies and toddlers and may be normal for toddlers fed cow's milk but is not what you would see if there was sufficient data on breastfeeding toddlers. I have had the reverse happen. My son - who is 23 months and still breastfeeding ( never has had formula or cow milk) has been at the top of the charts, even off the charts for weight since about 2 months old - he was 29 1/2 lbs at a year and about 23lbs at 6 months. I would have people ask me and even talk about behind my back that he must be formula fed. Even had someone say to me that he looked like an overfed formula baby and my grandma (well she is 90) would tell me that if I didn't stop bf'ing he would get too fat. Geez. Anyways guess it just goes to show that size probably doesn't have to do as much with breastfeeding as it does with that child's genetics. I think in this society people get overly concerned with size when really its not that important.
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