Many say that when your baby turns a year old, they are no longer a baby- they are now a toddler. A toddler?! That tiny helpless infant that depended upon you for their every waking (and sometimes sleeping) need- now is his own person. The independent toddler.
My little Jack is not so little anymore… he has several teeth, can eat anything that we eat, sleeps in his own bed now and is walking (most often running) everywhere. His birthday is October 14th and he will be turning 1- turning a toddler. A breastfeeding toddler…. a few months back I wrote an article about his growing independence, and at that time, I thought he was starting to wean due to his drastic drop in nursing sessions. I was wrong. He has developed a whole new nursing pattern and schedule with no signs of quitting any time soon.
I never thought I would nurse a toddler. I really did not think that I would make it 6 months let alone an entire year (without a single drop of formula, I might add). The beginning of our nursing relationship was dark and gloomy with little to no hope of success. With the support of my husband, La Leche League and many others, WE MADE IT! As hard as it all was to get through, I am thankful for the process because it has brought me to a place of real understanding and empathy for others struggling too. Before I had Jack, I thought nursing would be so easy and just could not understand why everyone didn’t breastfeed. I was quite judgmental in fact. This experience and life lesson has been so worthwhile and precious to me.
I took Jack to a sleep specialist the other week, this was when I became informed that his sleeping problems were all due to me nursing him at night. The doctor gave the advice to immediately stop feeding at night, and to shut the door of his room and not go back in until morning. While I appreciate his concern and respect his opinion, I let him know that I was unwilling to follow his directions. Then he asked, “How long are you planning on nursing him anyway, he’s almost 1?” To which I replied, WHENEVER HE DECIDES TO STOP. The look on his face was sheer horror. I was not offended by him at all though, my priority is my nursing toddler, not his crawling skin…
If you are having a hard time starting your breastfeeding journey, be encouraged. It may take a lot of work and tears, but it is so worth it and so worthwhile.
To read My Breastfeeding Experience: A Difficult Journey click here.
To visit the La Leche League webpage for more information, resources and support click here.