Monday 18 June 2018

5 things I have learned about breastfeeding a toddler

Many of us don't set out to breastfeed into toddlerhood, it is just something that seems to happen to us.  We start off with a newborn, who quickly becomes a baby and before we know it, that baby is walking, talking and well and truly a toddler.  The World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding until at least 2 years old and I think most people that reach that milestone will recognise these things . . .

When you attend a breastfeeding workshop during pregnancy and they told you there is no 'right way up' for a baby to breastfeed,  you didn't really understand.  Now as you sit with your toddler's bum in your face you finally get it.  The cradle and the rugby ball position are things of the past, you now have the spinning wheel, the stand and lean and the tornado. It is clearly the best time to practice toddler yoga though and you are secretly a bit impressed that she can feed balanced with only one leg on the floor and one finger up your nose.

breastfeeding a toddler, boob gymnastics

Toddler tantrums reach a new level as your little nursling starts ripping at your t-shirt and clawing at your breasts because you aren't offering them milk whilst queueing at the post office.  You realise it is never to early to start teaching them manners!  Some mother's choose to impose boundaries like only feeding at home, only feeding at night and others continue to nurse on demand (I have done it both ways) but you know how urgently a toddler can suddenly need milk.

You have defended your decision publically and you have a speech all worked up in your head ready for anyone who questions you.  Breastfeeding is protected by law and you have the right to feed wherever you like - something that you are well versed in by this point.

The dilemma over what to call it seems to begin once your toddler utters his or her first word.  Every toddler seems to call it something different (and I don't think we always get to choose it).  Mummy milk, boobies or something else? (My toddler just says molk at the moment).  Which one are you most comfortable with them yelling across Tesco?

That at the end of the day when you are utterly exhausted, there is nothing better than feeling their little body calm and warm against yours.  You watch their eyes fighting sleep as the milk flows and they slowly drift off in your arms just as they did as a tiny baby.  It is enough to get you through another day of boob gymnastics.

breastfeeding a toddler, boob gymnastics

breastfeeding a toddler, boob gymnastics


  1. You have hit the nail on the head. Fed my last son until 12 months and he just stopped but this time we are 15 months and still going strong. It's hard sometimes and I wonder 'should I try and stop?' but then like you said when they are tired and snuggling against you and you know how warm and safe they feel I carry on another day xx thanks for sharing xx


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