Monday, May 13, 2013
It's been two and half years now. And yes, I'm still breastfeeding. Things have always gone fairly smoothly in that regard, and I'd hoped to reach the two year mark, but we've gone past that now. It still feels a natural and comforting thing to do, but I'm also aware, from the remarks and attitudes of people in general, that it is not really the done thing. I'm feeling that pressure, and some of it is quite close to home. There is a perception of weakness, of giving in and perhaps being unable to let go.
Granted, it is not the easiest thing to breastfeed a toddler, with comforting feeds required for sleeping, and in some ways it is quite demanding. I would gladly wean tomorrow if I knew the transition would be an easy one. But it is all that they know, and it is a difficult thing to take away the connection that is such a significant part of their little life.
But I look at her and I know that she is thriving, with new words daily, and I can't remember the last time she was sick. I cling onto the story of a close relative that breastfed until the day he turned three, and so the decision to stop was able to be discussed with him. It may be going against the grain with many people, but for now I am okay with the choice that yes, we are still feeding.
Labels: family life
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Good on you for still going. I breastfed my twins till they were two and a half (when we were down to just one lunchtime-ish feed and the boys just naturally stopped asking for it. I had all the same issues as you with people thinking it was wierd. But it was right for us, and now I'm extremely proud that I continued and encourage as many mums as possible to keep feeding. Interestingly, when I now tell people I fed them that long, I get congratulated, and no strange looks or comments.ReplyDelete
I think it's great your still breastfeeding. That being said, my 2.5 year old daughter has never been sick. Never. She walked at 9 months and can speak fluidly. I think the whole breastfeeding produces healthier babies thing is false.ReplyDelete
you just do whats right for the two of you, my first babe went to 4 !! my second 2.5 but I left it up to them, you are doing an amazing job don't ever let anyone make you feel bad x aroha nui xReplyDelete
Meant to add she has been a formula baby since 6 weeks!ReplyDelete
I firmly believe that whatever feels natural as a mum is the best thing to do. Good on you guys! What a great start to life... loved, nurtured and nourished, can't be anything but positives in that.ReplyDelete
It's been two years since I last breastfed and I can't wait to get started again in a few weeks, it's one of the most beautiful things I have ever shared with another person. Again, I will feed this bub until they decide that they are ready to move on.
Yay.....I love hearing stories like this Tania....I breastfed my third little girl, till she was four months off being three...I went against all I had been told with this one, and comfort fed, co slept (still do to put to sleep at night, theres nothing like it.. :)...) and I know that out of all my three children, she sleeps the best, is healthy, has a great love of all foods...and I am bonded closest to her.... I ended up with the night feed being the last to let go, and that was purely a comfort feed I know, to go to sleep...but I loved that she still did that...and we stopped over a few weeks by just limiting the time on the breast, and substituting a story etc and there wasnt any tears , it just went smoothly....breastfeeding is magic....you go for as long as your little one and you want to....xReplyDelete
( And dont give a hoot what 'they' say....who is 'they' anyway....?..)
It's wonderful that you are still breastfeeding Violet. I did so with Tom untill he was 2 and my youngest alot earlier due to my lack of milk and that he was'nt really into it. I was gutted both times when I finished. I used to get a lot of raised eyebrows but I just chose to ignore it. Do what is best for you and Violet. And the weaning process as they get older is always easier than you think it is going to be. There are so many mixed signals out there. You are looked down on if you don't breastfeed and the same seems to apply if you feed for what is deemed "too long" in Western Cultures. xoReplyDelete
You do whats best for you and Violet, I have 3 children and they all were breast feed, my first born was nearly 3 when she decided she didn't want it anymore and I was very gutted when both my younger ones, both boys gave it up at 18months and 13months respectively. But your Violets Mum and you and her will make the decision to give it up when its right. xoReplyDelete
It is your life and your child and you can only decide what's right for your family. Without sounding too harsh here...I like babies and boobs and toddlers and bottles. It could also be the comfort of your chest, cuddle etc. so a warm cuddle and story together in place of the boob so you don't loose that intimacy might be an option but it's not my life and you should decide. Me, I think sometimes it could be harder for the mothers letting go but a toddler going up and grabbing Mummy's boobs for a drink doesn't appeal to me. As I said before this is my person opinion for my personal situation. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, AustraliaReplyDelete
Hi there Tania, so glad to hear that your breastfeeding journey has gone on so well. My two little girls were bottle fed and my youngest still has a few bottles a day at almost 2, which i am in no hurry to drop.ReplyDelete
The other week at playgroup i was talking to one of the mums and her little boy ran up (turned 2 in Dec) lifted up her t-shirt, pulled down her bra, sat in her lap and latched on. He fed for about 20 seconds and then got up and ran off again to play. His mum said that she hardly has milk left and it's just for comfort, and it made me think that maybe a soft toy or special blanket might be substituted at that age? that said, i feed my daughter to sleep with a bottle, and it is so easy and lovely for both of us so i can understand not wanting to drop the feed before bed!
Such a gift your giving your child, the longer you feed the greater the gift according to science. I aimed for 6 months and reset my goals again and again. I fed claud until she was three and was fortunate to never hear a word of criticism!. I stopped as at 7 months of pregnancy nipple soreness i had enough! I offered to feed claud after fin was born but she said it tasted funny and she wanted the baby to have it! You and your young 'un will know when your done xReplyDelete
Hi I think it's wonderful that you are comfortable with it and I think good on you do what you think is right and when the time comes she will let you know xReplyDelete
Good on you!ReplyDelete
Good on you both!!
Out the window with what other people think! You do what's right for you and Violet. x
Good on you for doing what's right for you both, and for putting it out there. The only time I am tempted to put my two cents in is when a mother of a toddler is constantly complaining about lack of sleep and child who never sleeps through, when they are still offering the breast throughout the night. To them I want to say by all means do it but it's your choice, so be happy about it! But... I tend to mostly hold my tongue anyway. You seem content so to heck with anyone else's opinion :)ReplyDelete
Hi Tanya, I so adored breastfeeding and do miss it but I never did it as long as you, I'm of the opinion of Kathy who has put it nicely without being harsh or rude. We are all entitled to our own opinions and that is what you need to tell "those people". It is your choice and if it works for you and Violet, then good for you and Violet. What anyone else thinks is irrelevant! No one has the right to tell you what to do. It has always amazed me that your privacy/dignity/right to choose seems to end once you sport a bump let alone have the baby/toddler.ReplyDelete
Goodness me, you do what every feels like the right thing for you and your girl. My first was allergic to my breastmilk and had to be weaned at 4 months due to failure to thrive ( which was harsh for us both and devatstating for me) so you have no idea how excited was I too feed my little girl until she was 15 months when she decided she preferred books instead! She is your child, it is your body, everyone else is irrelevant. mel xReplyDelete
Do what works. So long as everyone is happy and safe, that's a pretty good start for any decision.ReplyDelete
Good on you, whatever you both feel right with. I've fed my eldest two until they didn't want it anymore. Which was 1 year and 15 months for the second. I cried, I loved the snuggle time. I'm feeding the third one now, he is only three months and people are already pressuring me to put him on the bottle. He has two hourly feeds, also through the night... But he is growing like a weed, happy and healthy, so no way. Let them talk, mummies know best.ReplyDelete
I love breast feeding but hated being just the human sucky when all they were looking for was a sucker and not nourishment. At 2.5 mine were hoping on and off at will and whim and wouldn't sleep unless....I found it tiring in the end and realised that it was just habit. I see a lot of my girlfriends delaying toilet training I guess for the same sort of reasons not so much bonding but waiting for their child to decide? Anyways you know your own reasons....each to their own I say xReplyDelete
Well done for posting this, it was very brave of you. I'm breast feeding my 27 month old and I could have written your post. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I have to say I'm a bit disappointed by some of the comments here. I guess I find it quite confronting that people could even slightly disapprove of something that feels like the most natural, normal thing in the world to me. Even if they do it nicely!ReplyDelete
I'm a grandmother and my advice to my DIL regarding her baby was 'Follow your instincts' for that is why you have them.ReplyDelete
You are doing so well x
What a good mum you are! You'll know when the time is right for both of you. Or she'll decide herself!ReplyDelete
When I was still breast feeding Lulu at 2 1/2 one of my mums friends commented to me ' oh your one of those mothers' I smirked at her ignorance and declared proudly, Yes I am! As my Mr would say...opinions are like bum holes. Everybody has one! Of course the only one-opinion- that matters is yours ;)ReplyDelete
Thankyou for your honesty in posting this. I'm not sure what lead you to write it, but I'm glad you did. My 14 month old is still feeding and I find myself in almost a limbo phase as I never expected to make it this far- I always wanted to make it to 12 months, but now we've gone passed that, I'm not sure what to expect. I also know no one that has feed past 10 months, so theres no one that quite understands us and our journey. I try not to overthink it, and let my little one lead the way, I'm sure there will come a time when one or both of us has had enough, and he will have his last feed. Enjoying every moment until then. XReplyDelete
I think it's fine, i say stuff what others think do what you feel is right for you and your child. I feed Circe till she was 3 and I never intended to go that long it just happened. I look back now and I am glad I did, she got very ill over christmas and earlier this year during those times where she was so ill I actually wished we were still feeding then. there is nothing like it and there is no way anyone could say differently.ReplyDelete
I loved it, and it ended quite naturally with my youngest at about the age of three. Why break what's working, it will all be over soon enough. Good on you, just raise your eyebrow right back attheeyebrow raisersReplyDelete
I still breastfeed my 2 and a half year old. For the most part I love it and think we should continue. Sometimes I even find it annoying, being groped when I don't feel up to it. But there's nothing wrong with saying no to her either. Overall I think the idea that it's soft or too clingy as ridiculous, it's what they're for and we're supposed to nurture our children. They're only babies! Plenty of time to grow up. Keep them close so they're confident enough to go far ;)ReplyDelete
Good on you! I fed my first for just over 2 years (then I was pregnant and the milk just disappeared), I fed my second for just over 3 years. At the end, I was getting sick of it, and it was summer. The catalyst was getting our kitchen floors polished, and we had to stay at my parents for a couple of days, it was enough distraction for her to not realise, and she only asked a couple times after that. It was easy to explain to her, and she was fine with it.ReplyDelete
I think it's great that you're still feeding. I always thought I'd feed my kids for an extended time but both were weaned well before I was ready. Minty stopped feeding when I was pregnant with Turi, when the milk started tasting different. I had to wean Turi in 24 hours when I got very sick and needed to take drugs that weren't ok with feeding. At the time I was too sick to feel sad about it but later was pretty upset that we didn't have a nice end to feeding.ReplyDelete
Well done! Breastfeeding is the greatest gift a mother can give a child. I enjoyed my time breastfeeding my babies! I weaned my youngest at 4, my second youngest at almost 3 and the others all at around 2 when I was pregnant with the next one. Keep going for as long as you both are still enjoying it!ReplyDelete
Good on you, Tania! It's the bet thing for them and definitely helps with security and immunity:) Lewi weaned at 4 and a half. I don't regret that decision, not one bit. He loved his moopey1 (cute name he had for it) xReplyDelete
Hooray! How wonderful! I'm still breastfeeding too, and I love it. Emerson is 15 months old and I intend to feed her until at least two, as the world health organisation suggests. It's up to her though.ReplyDelete
I had to wean Cohen on my specialists advice when he was about 18 months old, so as to go on my thyroid medication. I was given a week to wean him and I was so upset about it all. In the end it only took a couple of days. I kept explaining that Mama wouldn't have milk soon and gave him a special cup and he never looked back. (I was much more upset than he ever was!)
I feel so incredibly blessed to have had these two very different types of breastfeeding relationships, and I am in no hurry to end it now. It will happen with time.
What other people think worried me more with Cohen. I felt people were dismissive of my emotions and didn't understand why I would be upset about weaning when I had to, given that he could "talk and eat." But as we know, there is so much more to it than that.
I have found that having just one friend who thinks what you are doing is 'normal' can be enough to support your decisions! And make you pay less attention to those who aren't as supportive. Do you have Australian Breastfeeding Association meetings in or around your town? Chatting with a group of co-sleeping, baby wearing, extended breastfeeding, tandem breastfeeding Mama's is wonderful, and again, offers you the support you need to follow your convictions in the face of criticism. You can always call them too.
Enjoy this time, as it ends all too quickly doesn't it? xx
PS. Advantages of breastfeeding a toddler - http://www.llli.org/faq/advantagetoddler.htmlReplyDelete
and tips for dealing with the "still breastfeeding?" question -
Also still breastfeeding my nearly two year old, and I know exactly what you mean about that pressure to wean (most especially troubling when it's people close to you questioning your reasons). You are absolutely doing what's best for your babe, and that is something to be proud of and honored for. Good for you, and yay for everyone else who is doing the same. Most of the world sees extended breastfeeding as a necessary and natural thing to do, so you are in good company, Tania :)ReplyDelete
Definitely it's harder for the mother to wean than the child... both mine couldn't wait to get off the boob and self weaned by about 10 months... they were very independent children though... it was harder for me to accept than for them...ReplyDelete
I'll admit I do cringe when older toddlers at playgroup start pulling down their mum's tops to help themselves... it really doesn't seem to be about the milk and more about seeking comfort and displaying ownership(and quite clearly these children don't need it as they sit down and feed themselves a sandwich and a have cup of drink afterwards)...
I would never say anything to these mums though as I believe in personal choice... some mums never want to say no to their children full stop though
Ella was 4 and happily night feeding like a newborn still (we bed share also)... it was my decision to stop as I had had enough of sleeping poorly but she would have happily continued on and still seems my boobs as a comforting pillow. Nothing felt more natural than continuing our BF relationship beyond the first 12 months. Granted some people (ie my Nan) we chose to not tell, but we were involved in ABA also and it was "normal" in our circles. I would so it again in a heartbeat, so many benefits. Good on you for sharing your story and being open to the debate this topic (strangly) still causes.ReplyDelete
You should be proud of yourself that you are able to give your child the best nutritional start in life and bond is such a close way. I fed my first to 18 months and I was able to do this at home in privacy. However with my second baby I have to breastfeed publicly because I do the school run for my kindy child. I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb and I have been made to feel conscious about it especially after the 'Koshie comment' but fortunately a very nice cafe owner welcomed me to breastfeed my baby in his cafe every morning which I do, bless him! I also have family in-laws that have not been exposed to breastfeeding much so I am glad that I live so far away that I can choose how I want to live without any prying eyes.ReplyDelete