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Breastfeeding an almost two year old

June 18, 2010

I’ve been nursing Michael for almost two years now. He’s already made the developmental leap that makes a two-year-old, well, a two-year-old. And it’s making my head spin. He’s suddenly not my little baby anymore. He’s still so young, so little, so immature, and far from being a big kid, but he’s definitely lost a good portion of his babyness.

It used to be that at least when I nursed him, he would turn back into a little baby. When he was nursing at six months old, he seemed like a newborn again. When he was nursing at a year, he seemed like  a six month old again. Through much of his second year, nursing turned him back into a little baby. Now, as he fiddles, yanks on my garments, and sticks his foot into my shirt and stretches it out, he doesn’t seem to be reverting into that little baby anymore. In fact, just last week there was one night where he woke from sleep, my breast was full and he guzzled it down, and I realized he hadn’t nursed so sweetly in so long. I miss that.

Recently, I sometimes feel like I might want to wean him. Nursing just isn’t as enjoyable as it used to be, and two years was my goal, after all. But I know I would regret it. What would I do to soothe him the next time he got sick? What would protect him from illness in the first place? What about those days he doesn’t feel like eating anything…will he just get cranky because he isn’t getting the nourishment he needs? What about the comfort he gets from it? So much benefit for him…but what do I get? Just another tool in my mommy box? I want to enjoy the breastfeeding, too!

And I still do some of the time. Maybe this is just a rough patch. I hope so. I know I would regret weaning him. At the same time, I don’t want to resent breastfeeding him.

On a happier note, just yesterday while Michael was playing with a toy airplane and a toy helicopter, he stuck the nose of the airplane into a screw on the belly of the helicopter, and said “Meek!” I had heard of little ones nursing their dolls, teddy bears, and even toy dinosaurs, or having their mothers pretend to breastfeed their toys, but never had I heard of a child nursing his toy airplane with his toy helicopter!

A moment before I snapped this shot, he had put a airplane puzzle piece to the other screw, so that they were "tandem" nursing!

That seriously made my day. I’m not ready to give this up yet.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Cassie permalink
    June 19, 2010 9:17 am

    Yes! I was waiting to see that picture. That’s so funny, I actually did LOL when I read this.

    I’m glad you are nursing an almost 2 year old. It’s inspiring to me. And it makes me feel normal.

  2. June 19, 2010 8:26 pm

    Every nursing couple has their needs, and i’m sure you will do what is right for both of you. I know I stopped nursing at the right time for me. I was really really not liking nursing anymore. I thought it would be hard for Arora but after 2 days she was fine and we found other ways to have cuddles and soothing time.
    I went to my first LLL meeting the other day and there was a mom who was still nursing her 6 year old! I was taken aback, but that is their families choice not mine. Have you ever gone to a LLL meeting? The east Portland group meets every 3rd tuesday. You could go with me next month if you want.

  3. June 20, 2010 7:04 pm

    I hear ya!!! I often think about weaning Gwen, but at the same time, i know I would regret it – she’s still so little! It is getting harder and harder to enjoy – especially with nursing the baby so much – but thankfully she nurses only 2 or 3 times a day most days. What I’ve found helpful is for those times I *really* don’t want to nurse but she’s very insistent, we have “Alphabet Mup” – I’ll sing the alphabet song while she nurses and at the end, we’re all done – I use it for teeth brushing too :)

    • June 20, 2010 9:27 pm

      lol…I love the alphabet idea. I’ve already started setting limits, and I think I will have to do a little bit more. He is starting to nurse less, most days. And really, most of the time it’s okay…I just feel like I need to nip some behaviors before they become bad habits.

  4. June 21, 2010 5:45 pm

    Love the nursing airplane and helicopter!!

  5. June 29, 2010 3:36 am

    (Hello again! Can you tell I’m catching up on my reading? Hee hee.)

    I love hearing your thoughts on nursing a 2-year-old, since I’m still nursing a now 3-year-old. And oh, my, that airplane story is excellent!

    I’m definitely at the stage where I could maybe kind of sort of if I try think about weaning without dissolving into sentimental tears, but … but … Mikko still needs it so much. Like, I’m setting more limits now, and he will often have complete meltdowns about them. So we’re not (mutually) there yet.

    But, you know, each mama and baby needs to find what works. You done good, kid. Two years is awesome.

    That thing you mentioned where a night feeding is pure feeding and you can feel the milk pouring out and he’s silent and gulping it down? Yes. I love that, too. Very rare nowadays, isn’t it?

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