Breastfeeding a toddler : Balancing needs.

I’ve written a lot about breastfeeding. Looking back through this category (See here) you can see that its something I’m pretty blinkin passionate about. And even at 19 months I still love it. I love the way he comes up to me and requests ‘Booooob’ and even signs ‘Please’, melts your heart that you just cant refuse it! But recently we went through a stage where that was like every 5 minutes. And its one thing having a newborn baby that does feed properly snuggled up to your side peacefully and a toddler who wants to comfort suckle but isn’t actually getting any milk whilst climbing all over you and sticking his feet in your face etc. It begun to wear a bit thin with the frequency of it!

I spoke to some of my fellow breastfeeding mums that I know who had fed or were still feeding at 2/3/4yrs etc and they all reminded me that the needs of Mum are just as important as the needs of the little person and sometimes you get a bit touched out, and thats ok. They gave me some great suggestions about trying to read a book with him, or offering him a drink of water and a snack etc. Since doing that we’ve struck a much better balance! Its still at least once an hour when we are at home but its not the ten times an hour that it was which makes such a difference. Its just nicer for me and him as he then feeds properly and gets more snuggly with it.

Initially when I realised I was getting irritated with how frequently he was feeding I felt really guilty about it but then the more I spoke with other mums and realised it is a two way process I didn’t feel so bad then. Still sometimes he wont accept a story or a drink of water and will just sit and screech ‘BOOOOOOOB’ at the top of his lungs whilst pulling at my top until I give in but at least then I know he REALLY wants it.

I know so many mums of babies the same age who say oh we only feed at night now. And that kinda makes me sad really. I know he will reduce his feeds over time. He already tends not to feed anymore if we are out, or its becoming more of a rarity. And that always feels strange.

Looking back to those early days when I was pregnant and so determined that I would feed for 6 weeks and then see where it went I am so bloody glad that I’ve managed to keep on going. Determination gets you everywhere!

 

The early days!
The early days!
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2 thoughts on “Breastfeeding a toddler : Balancing needs.

  1. I love this. Whenever I read your blog I am so comforted by what i am doing with bella. We are 13 months now and she feeds at bedtime and in the morning, and thru the night if she wakes. She has never asked for it during the day but I know it would be an issue if she did. Like you ii wasn’t sure how long I would do it for but I’m in no rush to stop while its working so well for us both.
    xxxx

  2. I can relate to this! Still feeding my daughter who is now two. Decided this week I want to cut down a bit, I couldn’t get anything done! I did feel guilty but as you say it’s a two way process!

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