Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Benefits of The Breastfed Toddler

When I envisioned myself breastfeeding before I became a mother, I don't think I realized the possibility of me breastfeeding an almost two year old. And yet, here I am... With a 20 month old. It all came about so naturally, there was never a moment where I thought , "OK... He's x old, today he's too old."
Now with all the reading and new friends that are also nursing toddlers, I found out that the reason it came so naturally, was because it Was natural. Now, don't get me wrong.... There has been a few times that I got frustrated and wished that we could be done... But knowing that this was indeed normal to feel that way helped me get thru the more trying times.
I went to Le Leche League meetings just to be around other moms...I never usually have any questions, but I just need to be around other people like me. One of the leaders has a daughter a month older than N and it was always comforting to hear her talk about something her toddler was doing and be able to relate. I highly recommend any breastfeeding mom ( first kid or not) go to a few meetings... Especially if you don't have a strong support system around. I have my mom, who is always the first person I go to about....everything. But I don't have any peers locally, other than the women I have met at the LLL meetings.
So, if you have a toddler you know just how ridiculously  finicky the can be about food. Some days, N will eat like a grown man ...others, particularly when he is teething (which seems like always these days) , N won't eat a dang thing. He has been surviving off of greek yogurt and breastmilk this week. Lol Its just another reason why I am so glad we are still breastfeeding.
And on that note, here's my list:

●Always ready to go, no meal prep.

●One food toddler cannot throw on the floor. Though he can spit it. :-[

●Can never be lost behind the couch for weeks on end (#missingsippycup)

●Perfect for soothing an over tired,  teething grumpotomus to sleep.

● The pressure of "making enough milk" is gone since he's supposed to be eating more dependent on solid food.

●Not sure on the number, but toddler nursing still burns calories.

●Since breastmilk is designed to change with the needs of your baby/toddler, its peace of mind. Toddler is always getting the best. ♥

Are you nursing a toddler? How has it been compared to your first year?
For us, it has been easier...much easier! I was always so worried I wouldn't make enough or suddenly stop producing any milk at all. But now that he is eating real food now, I have noticed I have relaxed considerably.  Also, if you have doing something for a whole year you should have it down pretty good by the second year. *lol*
My advice to moms thinking of breastfeeding beyond a year is to give it a try, but go with what works best for your baby and you.  Know that there are plenty of women behind you and lots of research saying its great for toddlers too!  But don't beat yourself up if you don't always love it. Seriously, it can be tough sometimes... find someone you can talk to. It helps!

Check out these great links:

Happy breastfeeding!