I am not weaning my toddler anytime soon
My daughter turned two in late December and still asks for “boobs, please” often. And I am not planning on weaning her anytime soon. There are a lot of detrimental misconceptions about extended breastfeeding: tooth decay, spoiled children, biting. I’ve even seen people on the internet saying that extended breastfeeding is perverted or sexual. It’s tragic that so many people are so wrong about something so fundamental. These are some of the real challenges with extended breastfeeding why I refuse to wean my toddler.
- Toddlers wiggle, a LOT. Breastfeeding is not the peaceful cuddle time that it once was. She puts her fingers up my nose, she puts her toes in my ear. Her nursing-gymnastics are truly magnificent feats of tot flexibility and it can be frustrating when I’m trying to pay bills on my phone and she kicks it out of my hands.
- TEETH. Mostly, her teeth are not an issue, she went through a brief biting phase but she outgrew it. However, there are nights when I’m nursing her to sleep and she begins to dream about something crunchy and, ouch!
- Fashion? I gave up on nursing bras after a couple months and have just been ruining normal bras ever since. And for the past two years, everything I’ve worn had to be nursing compatible, which mostly just means a lot of stretched out necklines.
- Ever heard toddlers throwing endless tantrums on a plane or train? Mine doesn’t. Mostly because she is typically latched the whole time. We’ve gotten off flights and had strangers compliment that they didn’t even know there was a baby behind them. And I smile smugly because they don’t know it’s just basic boob magic.
- There are few things more heartbreaking than seeing your little one hurt or scared, I am so glad that I am still able to offer her immediate comfort simply by snuggling her and nursing.
I often wonder how many tantrums could be avoided if more women were able to breastfeed their toddlers. I also feel like it is a privilege to have maintained this bond with my little one, many mothers aren’t as lucky. Either because their job and lifestyle doesn’t permit extended breastfeeding, because they weren’t able to breastfeed or simply because they or their child got tired of it (which is obviously fine.)