Family Bonding & Nursing a Toddler

Attachment parenting, confidence, Family, Marriage, Mother

I’m not certain when I decided I’d practice attachment parenting –practice being the important word…. But, I must say there are ups & downs.

This morning, my sweet husband says to me, “Now, don’t take this the wrong way….”

Sidebar- a communication scholar would say anyone that positions a conversation with that statement will know that you most likely will take “this” the wrong way.

He continued, “This attachment parenting & breastfeeding thing, I mean it’s cool and all…. But is there an exit plan?”

Man, isn’t that a good question? I mean, I never imagined I would nurse a two year old boy.

In fact, years ago, when I lost 55 pounds, I went to a breast reduction consultation to get my boobs back… You know… And the doctor said, “There may be a great chance you will not be able to breastfeed.” My response, “I don’t care; I don’t want kids.” Then he looked at me like an evil bitch.

Well, obviously things changed and not only did I want a sweet baby but I wanted to now nurse this baby. After my c-section I really struggled even keeping myself awake as the lactation consultant came in an assisted with nursing. I have to tell you, those moments, those first days, weeks and even months were super challenging. I felt as if I couldn’t nurse this kid I would be a failure. I would have failed at one more thing I was supposed to do. So, I did everything in my power to make it work. I would NOT fail at this.

There were nights he cried and so did I. There were moments that I questioned if I was doing the right thing or if he was “getting enough.” My son has always been thin. 6 pounds at birth, 5th percentile for weight his whole life. People around me would say, “maybe you should supplement… or pump to make sure he’s getting enough…” I just ignored them. I knew he was fine. I also have an amazing pediatrician who supported me.

So, here we are almost to his second birthday and I just nursed him to sleep. Maybe some of you are thinking, wow he’s too old for that. Or, he has teeth! He can eat food. Yes. Maybe you’re right. But try denying your child comfort and security. I bet you wouldn’t.

I read this mom’s story about her weaning her son. And I cried. I really do not plan to nurse too much longer but I also didn’t plan to nurse until two.

So, back to my husband’s question: this attachment parenting weaning method… Well, we’re going to get there. How? I don’t know. All I know is I fought to get this nursing thing right and I freaking NAILED it! I couldn’t be more proud of myself. Not one ounce of formula*. I dedicated hours to pumping oz upon oz at work and even had to boil, ice, deliver when my milk started to sour (I was producing some extra enzyme or something that was turning my milk and he refused it. I had to dump 50 oz of stored milk after we discovered the problem!)

When Z is ready, I’ll be ready. To me, nursing an infant is needed for survival; nursing a toddler is needed for comfort and confidence.

I also have to say, I’m proud of my husband for understanding his child’s needs. Not all husbands would be supportive of this. He is. Now, I’m sure he’d love the boobs to himself… But sharing is caring.

How long did you nurse your baby? How did you/they wean?

*I do not judge formula feeding moms! You do what you have to do and each mom has their own reasons for nursing or not. Be confident in your choices because they are yours!

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9 thoughts on “Family Bonding & Nursing a Toddler

  1. LOVE this post. It’s awesome you were able to over come the obstacles and continue to nurse and be able to nurse this long. I weaned Broox at 1 year and afterwards I regretted it and always thought about it. I feel as if I let everyone’s opinion decide when I should wean and not my motherly instinct. This time I plan on nursing hopefully until he self weans. The longest I feel I’d go without weaning Berran myself is 3 years. I guess not all breastfeeding moms want to nurse that long but i do believe you don’t understand that it’s not weird until you do breastfeed or until your infant gets around 1. To me it just seems so natural and you are amazing for doing so yourself πŸ™‚

    1. I absolutely agree that one you nurse your child your understanding of breastfeeding changes. I hope to wean this year but when he is ready.
      We will see how that goes!! πŸ’šπŸ’š

  2. Great post Amber! I have a question – what’s your method for scalding and cooling the milk? I also have extra lipase in my milk that causes it to smell funny after freezing. Thanks πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Kristina! It was a process but that’s exactly what happened to me!
      After I pumped I would put the bottle in the boiler (I used a cuisinart baby food/bottle heater from Buy Buy Baby) I would use a meat thermometer and make sure the milk got to 140 degrees and then quickly put it in a bowl of ice water. I would then do the process with the next bottle and let them both cool. Once cooled, I put them in the fridge and they were just fine! It took an extra 5 minutes once I became a pro!

      You need:

      Bottle warmer or a pot/stove
      Ice water
      Big bowl
      Meat thermometer

      Let me know how it goes!

  3. Thanks for the help Amber! I discovered this issue when Charlotte was a baby after freezing 5 months worth of milk :/ Surprisingly, she didn’t make a fuss about the flavor and the only reason I discovered it was because I actually tasted the milk when we were traveling one time. I thought maybe the second time around I may not have the same issue, but I still do. Penny has yet to try any milk that’s been frozen so I don’t know if she’d take it like Charlotte did, but better to be safe than sorry. I appreciate the help! I scalded 12 oz. this morning πŸ™‚

  4. I’m in a similar position. My little guy is 20 months and I told my husband I’d stop nursing at a year (haha!). Funny how that all works. It’s so hard to give up after going through all the trials of initiating breastfeeding, then dealing with pumping if you work, and then, like you say, it gives our little ones so much comfort – how can you stop after all that?!

    1. I completely agree!!! There is so much societal pressure to stop as well so it’s a hard thing to manage! I’m hoping he self weans this year 😊😊😊

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