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“Wow! You’re STILL breastfeeding?!” Yep. Here’s Why

By Lauren Hartmann |

When I first started breastfeeding my daughter, my goal was to stick with it for a year. Then I had a super difficult time with it and the goal changed to 6 months. But, then somehow the clouds lifted and Fern and I finally figured it out four months in. Still, I never thought I’d be into extended breastfeeding.

If I’m completely honest about it, breastfeeding always kind of weirded me out a little. I knew I would do it because of the benefits of the health benefits, but I was never one of those women who was super excited about it and I always thought it was awkward when I saw someone nursing a toddler and I was certain I would never join their ranks.

But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about being a parent, it is “never say never”. So here we are, nearly 15 months later, and Fern is still nursing. I don’t nurse her very often anymore – usually only in the mornings while we snuggle in bed and when I rock her to sleep at bed time. I haven’t really nursed much in public now that she’s bigger, but there have been a couple of times. There have also been a couple of times that people have commented in surprise about this fact: “Wow! You’re still breastfeeding?!”.

To that I say, “Yep. Here’s why…”

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5 Reasons I'm Still Breastfeeding My Toddler

"Yep. I'm still breastfed. What's up."

 

Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on TwitterFacebookPinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble. More from Lauren:

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About Lauren Hartmann

laurenhartmann

Lauren Hartmann

Lauren Hartmann is a wife, wardrobe stylist, and mama living in Portland, Oregon. She writes about her adventures in motherhood on Babble's Baby Channel. You can also find her blogging at The Little Things We Do or obsessively partaking in social media. Read bio and latest posts → Read Lauren's latest posts →

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14 thoughts on ““Wow! You’re STILL breastfeeding?!” Yep. Here’s Why

  1. Marsha says:

    Love the article! I’m still breast feeding at 11 months and thinking, why stop now? Never thought I’d want to keep going past a year (of course I thought this before I became a mom), but its so easy and for all of the reasons you listed – its hard to think about ending this special thing with my daughter. I’m glad to hear you still have a supply just nursing in the morning and night, I wondered about that.

  2. Dana says:

    Bravo! I am on 21 months and counting. Like you, I nurse in the morning before work and at bedtime but my son likes to nurse when I return from work. The weekends are basically the same with the addition of naptime and for his comfort needs – there is nothing like the breast to comfort a grumpy toddler!

    I have gotten looks in public since he is a toddler but I don’t care. When asked by some family members when we will stop, I say two but it all depends on my son’s needs.

  3. Allan Marshall says:

    The reasons you give for continuing to breastfeed are nice, but they’re not sufficient.
    For instance, the nutritional content of breast milk is not adequate for an 8month old, let alone a 15 month old, so when she isn’t eating, you should take it upon yourself to find a better solution rather than take the easy way out.
    Same with using it to stop unwanted behaviour and putting your child to sleep. You’re using it as a crutch, rather than working diligently to create better solutions for your child through caring discipline and bedtime routines.
    The bonding is pleasant, of course, but if you’re approachable as a parent and show you care, your child will want to cuddle even without breastfeeding. My own daughter is a perfect example of this: she’s 7 and still loves to cuddle with me (her Dad, sans breasts) because I’ve always made sure she knows I love her unconditionally.
    Finally, and maybe worst of all, is that you’re using it as an excuse to avoid vaccinations. When you don’t vaccinate, you put people around you at risk as well as your child. This is irresponsible and borderline negligent.

    1. Kadi says:

      I agree with Allan. Almost all of your “benefits” for breastfeeding are inaccurate and misleading. If you want to educate your public and write truly informative posts or blogs do a little research. It is very saddening that you clearly have not taken into consideration the harm you may cause other families. Also, there are so many other ways to help soothe your child (how about googling a few examples?) I can only hope you didnt intend for your writing to come across as obnoxious but after reading this it really just sounds like you’re still breast feeding because it makes your life easier and you are using ridiculous claims to support your actions. What will your next blog be about? Not vaccinating your child because its linked to Autism? I’ve heard the environment has been linked to causing Autism too perhaps you can recommend that children never be let outdoors. Your ignorance is scary!

  4. Meg says:

    My son nursed until he was 19 months (and I was 4 months pregnant). He self-weaned one evening after gradually nursing for shorter and shorter periods at night. It was a natural and beautiful end to our nursing relationship, and I am so happy I stuck it out until he was ready. Good for you for continuing to support your little one’s needs!

  5. Tiffany says:

    You go woman! I was the same. Never thought I would nurse past a year, and here we are, my daughter will be 3 next week and we still nurse to sleep. And you are right: it is terribly convenient when they get bigger and awesomely beneficial, so why care about what others think!! Although, I do hope she self-weans soon, I’ve got another on the way!

  6. Josie says:

    I love this and I agree with all the reasons. I nursed my daughter until she was 3 1/2 she is now 6 and all I can say the bond between her and I is awesome and I really think it’s because of the extended nursing.

  7. Cyn says:

    Another big benefit for anyone who travels by plane– nursing at takeoff and landing takes away ear pressure so the baby doesn’t feel pain. That is a main reason I kept nursing (just at bedtime) till after age 2. The WHO recommends at least partial breastfeeding until age 2 1/2 or so.

  8. Cat says:

    I had to supplement b/c I did not have enough breast milk so I was feeling all depressed the first couple of weeks thinking “I can’t even feed my own child.” It took a good friend to tell me not to give up. I went back to work when my son was 10 weeks old. I nursed him before I left work. I pumped on the half hour drive to and from work. I pumped 3 times during work. I nursed him when I got back from work. I pumped before I went to bed and I nursed him in the middle of the night. All this pumping for only 6 ounces of milk. I DID THIS FOR 18 MONTHS! Why? I figured ANY amount of breast milk is better than none. My goal was to breast feed for 12 months. Then it was 18 months. In the end, I breast fed for 25 months. It was bittersweet when that time came, but looking back, I’m glad I did it regardless of people saying, “You’re STILL breast feeding?!”

  9. Alicia says:

    I love this! I still breastfeed my 16 month old for the same reasons. My goal was a year but we just keep going. :)

  10. JoAnn says:

    I learned early on in my breastfeeding days that a child who weans herself when ready is healthier mentally and physically. So, what was I to do but let my child decide. And, it was a lot longer than 2+ years. I am glad that I had that information, and my two daughters are very vibrant, healthy mothers in their own right. Of course, this could be the same if they were never breastfed. God knows.

  11. carine says:

    At almost 34 and still expecting my baby i am getting so excited about the whole experience. will cross the bridge when i get there.

  12. Christina says:

    Stopped reading right after I read that you still have not started vaccinations.

  13. Nicole says:

    Trying to understand how you can get vaccinations done due to breastfeeding??? I breastfed and still had to do vaccinations. Most or all pediatricians or daycare facilities will not accept children that are not vaccinated. Unless your child is NEVER sick (which is rare) how can you get away with not getting your child vaccinated nowadays?

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