I Still Occasionally Breastfeed My ToddlerStephanie Precourt
Technically, my two-and-a-half year old daughter stopped breastfeeding two months ago, and it was mostly because I was ready to be done and she wasn’t asking to nurse as often. But, there have been a couple occasions since then (one being yesterday) that she did ask, and I gave in.
I don’t know what I feel about it, really. On one hand, it felt like the right and gentle thing to do- it was a quiet, pleasant moment for both of us. But on the other hand… I just feel like I gave in, and it feels a little bit like failing. Which is so ironic, because many people would view not breastfeeding as failing but that’s a whole other can of formula worms.
When you are nursing a toddler, there are the big supporters and then there are also the people that are uncomfortable with it. I don’t really care what others think about breastfeeding kids at any age, in public or in private or on a bus. It’s not that I want to hide the fact that we still sometimes have a nursing relationship, it’s just that I feel like that ship has sailed. We’re really done. So it’s not up for discussion. I guess I’m trying to make sense of what I feel right now.
I try to shrug off the guilt that maybe she wasn’t ready to be done, even though she’ll be three in September. I think what I’m facing is the reality of extended breastfeeding. Sometimes it’s just that: extended. It doesn’t end one day for good- it is often drawn out and tapers off over time. She’ll go weeks without asking to nurse and then she’ll have a hard time waking up from a nap or will need comfort after getting hurt, and nursing is just what she needs at that time.
Ultimately, I have a feeling yesterday was “it”- the last time. But I guess, like the roller coaster motherhood tends to be, I don’t really know what will happen next for us. I do know that I have really enjoyed the ride.
Getting something off my chest: I still breastfeed my toddler, and it even freaks me out.