Adventures of a Free-From Clothbum Mum!

Cloth nappies, dairy-free living, reviews and parental ramblings!

Breastfeeding a Toddler

on January 23, 2013

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.

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4 responses to “Breastfeeding a Toddler

  1. mummysallygg says:

    Wow! My Bear is 18 months a week tomorro.

    • mummysallygg says:

      That should read tomorrow. We’re still going strong but she’ll only feed in the traditional position! She’s been plagued with congestion since she was born and is now battling an awful cough and cold. It does seem unfair that she gets so many colds when she’s breastfed, but then perhaps they’d be worse if she wasn’t!
      Congratulations on feeding for so long- it really is wonderful. And well done for being able to laugh off some of the more stupid comments you get!

      • Oh poor little girl. It’s obviously something that she naturally gets (the congestion) but, yes – it could have been worse otherwise. It’s so hard to tell, isn’t it. We just have to trust our instincts and go with it. Well done for the 18 months – it’s nice to hear from someone else who’s at the same stage. Are you finding she nurses more when teething? Little Monkey can feed a lot when his teeth are coming through.

  2. mummysallygg says:

    Yes she nurses more often but for shorter periods or sometimes just refuses to nurse at all. I guess it depends where it hurts. And yes, it is nice to know someone else at the same stage; most of my peers have pretty much stopped now, although a couple are still going!
    She was so upset last night and refused to feed at all, so when she finally calmed down enough to have some, I felt very emotional – I guess it’s so much about being something to comfort her, I hated that it didn’t last night. And wonder what on earth I’ll try when she stops!

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