Mom Speak : Poornima on nursing her two-year old
Nursing your 2-year old? There are high chances that you would have heard eloquent (but ill-informed) lectures on why you should immediately wean your child. "He will never leave your breast", said one. "He is so thin because he feeds too much and does not eat" said another. I am sure those who nurse their toddlers would have heard this and so much more. Also, suddenly you have those days and nights when the 2 year old feeds almost like a new born and you begin to doubt yourself.
While there is some support to moms who feed their infants, the focus shifts to weaning when they cross 1 year. The WHO recommends breastfeeding until a minimum of 2 years, and does not set any upper limits. My kidlet was nearing the 2 year mark and there were absolutely no signs of weaning from him. One common suggestion included applying some bitter stuff to put him off the breast milk and this seemed pretty horrifying to me. Another suggestion was to just vanish and disappear and make him sleep with someone else. Again, a horrifying thought because it is so unfair to take away the comfort of the breast as well as the comfort of your presence away from them just like that. Apart from the initial glitches of latching, we had a beautiful breastfeeding journey and we did not want to end it in an abrupt and traumatic way. We culminated our breastfeeding journey about a couple of months ago, when the tot was 2 years and 4 months. Around 2 years and 3 months, the child began to show a lil less interest in nursing and was kind of okay with being patted to sleep. We took it as a cue and began the process of weaning which lasted a month. Slight distractions, feeding purely based on demand etc were some tricks we used and these worked really well only because of one reason - the child was ready for it.
Nursing a toddler is an event - they learn tricks of 'self-service', they begin to have conversations with the breast, there would be some biting and so on. Regardless of these, there are those tiny moments of connect with your kid that you yearn for, when you sit down to nurse. For me, that made it so worthwhile. I have only one small tip for breastfeeding moms, as with everything related to parenting, follow your instinct and follow the cues of your child!
P.S - The most important thing for a baby is to be 'fed' - regardless of the way. All of us do the best that we can.
Thank you, Poornima for sharing your breastfeeding journey with us! We wish you and your son a lifetime of cuddles and happiness. If you would like to share your breastfeeding journey with us, the struggles and joys, the challenges and milestones, please get in touch with us here or via the Times Of Amma Facebook page.