Welcome to the April Carnival of Breastfeeding!! This month’s topic is ”extended breastfeeding.” Please be sure to visit the other blogs who are participating in this month’s carnival (links at the end of this post).
When I heard about this months topic, I was thrilled. Extended breastfeeding is something that I feel like I know a LOT about. My son nursed until he was nearly four after all. But when I was trying to come up with something to write about, I couldn’t come up with anything. I have already told you about my own breastfeeding journey. I have written about how it felt after it was over. I have written about extended breastfeeding and why some people don’t understand it. I have written about TV specials that highlighted moms who nursed beyond that magical age of 1. And I have even written about how my breastfeeding goals have changed with time – and how I started out with one goal and changed it again and again as we continued to nurse longer and longer. I even reviewed a great little book on weaning! So what is left??
I guess the only thing that I haven’t written about yet is what my favorite breastfeeding moments were. And as I think back on my nearly four years of breastfeeding, almost all of my favorite moments are of times in the toddler years. My absolute favorite breastfeeding session was the early morning one. This was something we did from day one – but it became even more special when my son was old enough to get out of his bed all on his own and come over and crawl into bed with me. We would snuggle, nurse and fall asleep together. It would mean that I always got a little morning snuggle time and I always got a little extra sleep. It was my favorite time of the day. And when I thought about my son weaning and how he was getting older, I always thought this would be the last one to go – since it seemed like it was his favorite time of the day too. But then one day – he just stopped coming into our bed. He would go downstairs and play all by himself or he would come get me and say he wanted me to come downstairs and play with him. No more sleeping in – no more snuggles – the world has far too many things to do and see for that mom! It was actually one of the first to go!
Some of my other favorite moments include my son nursing his own dolls – or having them nurse each other! I even remember one time when we were shopping in the dollar store and my son had a skeleton that he wanted to buy. He was pretending the skeleton was our baby and he told me “wife, our baby needs to eat” and he stuck the skeleton right up to my breast! At the time, I was quite embarrassed! But looking back on it, I see how sweet and innocent it really was.
I also did sign language with my son when he was an infant. We started signing the basics (nursing, eating, water, book, sleep, etc) when he was very young. As he got older and got more verbal (my son was a very early speaker – actually said his first words at 9 months and had 35 words under his belt at age 13 months), he signed less and less. But one of the last signs that he gave up and one of the last words that he spoke was “nurse.” He signed for nursing long after he stop using all of his other signs – and I can’t remember when it was that he started speaking the words, but it was well beyond 18-24 months. I loved that he would sign for this! And when he did start speaking the words, he would call my breasts “nursies” – which he did even after he weaned. That’s just what they were to him.
I went away on a business trip once when he was about 3 years old and I was worried that he would wean while I was gone because I was away for five days. My parents actually came out to help my husband out while I was away since it was my first time away from them. When I got back I asked him if he had a good time. He said he did and told me about some of the things that they did. And then out-of-the-blue he said “I had fun, but Grammy didn’t nurse me!” I asked my mother if he asked her to nurse him and she said that he didn’t mention it once. In fact, she thought we had already weaned because he didn’t seem to miss it or inquire about it at all. The way in which their little minds work in the toddler years is so fascinating!!
What were your favorite breastfeeding moments? Please leave a comment and share them! And please visit the links below to read all of the other great stories in this months Breastfeeding Carnival!!
Diana Cassar-Uhl, IBCLC: Old enough to ask for it
Karianna @ Caffeinated Catholic Mama: A Song for Mama’s Milk
Tamara Reese @ Kveller: Extended Breastfeeding
Jenny @ Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: The Highs and Lows of Nursing a Toddler
Christina @ MFOM: Natural-Term Breastfeeding
Rebekah @ Momma’s Angel: My Sleep Breakthrough
Suzi @ Attachedattheboob: Why I love nursing a toddler
Claire @ The Adventures of Lactating Girl: My Hopes for Tandem Nursing
Elisa @ blissfulE: counter cultural: extended breastfeeding
Momma Jorje: Extended Breastfeeding, So Far!
Stephanie Precourt from Adventures in Babywearing: “Continued Breastfeeding”: straight from the mouths of babes
The Accidental Natural Mama: Nurse on, Mama
Sarah @ Reproductive Rites: Gratitude for extended breastfeeding
Nikki @ On Becoming Mommy: The Little Things
Dr. Sarah @ Good Enough Mum: Breastfeeding for longer than a year: myths, facts and what the research really shows
Amy @ WIC City: (Extended) Breastfeeding as Mothering
The Artsy Mama: Why Nurse a Toddler?
Christina @ The Milk Mama: The best thing about breastfeeding
TopHot @ the bee in your bonnet: From the Mouths of Babes
Beth @ Bethstedman.com: Extended Breastfeeding: To Wean Or Not To Wean
Callista @ Callista’s Ramblings: Pressure To Stop Breastfeeding
Amanda @ Postilius: Nursing My Toddler Keeps My Baby Close
Sheryl @ Little Snowflakes: Tandem Nursing- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Zoie @ Touchstone Z: Breastfeeding Flavors
Lauren @ Hobo Mama: Same old, same old: Extended breastfeeding
Tanya @ Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Six misconceptions about extended breastfeeding
Jona (Breastfeedingtwins.org): Breastfeeding older twins
Motherlove Herbal Company: Five reasons to love nursing a toddler
Mama Alvina of Ahava & Amara Life Foundation: Breastfeeding Journey Continues