Saturday, 30 August 2014

6 Things a Mother Who Breastfeeds Her Toddler Will Recognise

OK, that last post was a bit heavy, so to distract myself and lighten the tone I've been pondering about the things that make breastfeeding a toddler different to breastfeeding in the early months. It's one thing nursing a little baby who can barely support it's own head and who can only coo or cry – when you've got a little person who is fully mobile and almost talking like an (albeit, fairly drunk) adult it's a whole different ball game! How many of these do you recognise?

1: The naming – OK, I've covered this one before, but I still think hearing Eleanor ask for 'mummy milk' is immensely cute ... most of the time. However, when we're going through the supermarket and she yells, "WANT SOME MUMMY MILK," I kind of miss the days when her only means of requesting said mummy milk was gnawing at her own fist.

2: The shape throwing – I've heard it called gymnurstics, I've heard it called lactobatics. Whatever you call it, it's ... umm ... interesting. Eleanor's piece de resistance is balancing with one foot on my leg, the other in the air, bottom above her head and arms outstretched. It's quite something to behold.

3: The multitasking – Eleanor will regularly leaf through a book while feeding. Often a big hardback with nice pointy corners to jab me with. And then there's the attempts to continue talking/singing through a feed: "Old MacDonald had a mmm, mm-mm mm-mm O!"

4: The need for an object – Linked in with the last one, anyone else have a toddler who just has to have something to hold onto whilst feeding? This started a few months back when Eleanor was getting in a pickle because I asked her if she wanted to play with her trains or have mummy milk. Turned out the answer was both!

5: The 'subtle' comments – OK, this one isn't Eleanor's doing. And it's probably quite universal. Seems that however you feed your child, other people will have an opinion, and some will feel the need to 'hint' at that opinion. And feeding beyond infancy seems to attract a lot of 'hints'. From the person who tells you how they once heard someone say breastfeeding a toddler is weird, to the person who suggests to your child that she's too old now, other people will find a way of indirectly expressing their view on the matter. Well-meaning, I'm sure. And at least it's not outright condemnation. Sigh.

6: The snuggles – Everything above considered, the best bit by far, the absolute icing on the cake, of breastfeeding a toddler is the cuddles. A newborn wants cuddling ALL THE TIME. A toddler has far too busy a schedule, thank you very much. What with re-imagining her bedroom furniture as an assault course and acting out episodes of 'Charlie and Lola' with a range of farm animal finger puppets, sometimes the only chance I get for a cuddle with Eleanor is when she's feeding. And for just a few minutes, I can sit back and relax, my lovely bundle in my arms, and remember how sweet it was to hold that much smaller bundle all those months and years ago. And then she's off again.


4 comments:

  1. Loved this post, especially the lactobatics! What a cute name. The list is great and I'm sure a lot of mums will recognise these points. I hope I go on to feed my daughter as long as you have. Thanks for linking up with #BFingDiaries

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    1. Wow you read that and you still want to breastfeed for this long? Haha, no seriously, the cuddles do make it all worthwhile!

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  2. All so very true! My son firmly grips my breast with both hands while eating from it. When he's not doing that, he grabs my throat. But it's all worth it because of the cuddles. Because you are so right, a toddler has no time for that.

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    1. Eleanor's latest trick is trying to put her foot in my mouth while feeding. Nice. But yes, there's nothing quite like a milky cuddle!

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