As those of you who read my blog a bit might know, I’ve mentioned our breastfeeding journey quite a bit. Actually – I just put ‘breastfeeding’ into the search function on my blog and found more posts than I realised I’d done! It made me smile to re-read them as the fact that we’re still going is something that still astounds me, considering what a tough start we had.
Well over 17 months on, and we don’t have any plans of giving up quite yet. Little Monkey is a very happy, confident and independent little chappy who is now down to just his morning and evening feeds (plus a little snack overnight, if he feels like it!). It’s working really well for us and there’s absolutely no faff at all with bottles (the idea of all that washing, etc, makes me shudder!)
I recently came across this fantastic picture in www.alphaparent.com which I found both informative and fascinating. There’s also a similar picture relating to a breastfed baby. Although my little Monkey has had a few small coughs/sneezes, he’s a pretty robust little chap. When he does get a cough/cold it disappears pretty quickly, which is brilliant and the only infection he’s had so far in his little life has been from a cut on his finger. No ear infections, no nasty chest infections – none of those nasties yet! It’s great and hopefully this trend will continue! Now, this could be just the way that he’s made. He could just be one of those babies who is naturally quite robust, but from what I’ve read it does seem as if the breastmilk is really benefitting him by adapting to his needs and giving him immunity when and where it’s needed. Bonus!
I’ve discovered that people have their own, very varied, opinions on the subject of how my little man is fed (which always amuses me when it’s not so positive as I’m sure they’d have nothing to say if he had a bottle of formula or cow’s milk in his mouth…) It ranges from some wonderfully supportive people down to people who are adamant (and sometimes fairly rude) that I should have stopped and that it’s just plain strange.
Hmmm…. Strange that a 17 month old is being breastfed? Really? I would argue that it’s most natural thing in the world and why would I move my baby onto milk that isn’t specifically tailored for him? Milk that doesn’t adapt to what his immune system needs. Milk that (for him) doesn’t give him the fat content necessary (his oat milk just isn’t calorific enough, according to his nutritionist, and he refuses to drink the prescription formula).
Breastfeeding a toddler is a very different experience from a teeny little one, but…and it’s a big BUT… for the Mummy who chooses to do it, it’s a very natural progression that isn’t really a big deal at all.
However, it’s one hell of a lot more athletic and I have to say it does try my patience at times when I’m being climbed all over and when he thinks that breastfeeding upside down or sideways is a good idea. That can hurt! But, it’s usually very comfortable and I know that when he does self-wean that I’ll miss those cuddles – but there will be so many others that it’ll only be a fleeting loss.