Breastfeeding When Your Baby Is No Longer A Baby

So this is my third and final breastfeeding post of the 2013 Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt.

I hope I haven’t alienated any of my readers who didn’t choose to breastfeed. I know it is a topic that evokes a lot of emotions in women and I still stick by what I said earlier in the week in that a happy mum equals a happy baby regardless of how she chooses to feed. I find it really sad that instead of respecting each other’s choices we seem to end up in a war of who is the better mother. I have been writing about my experiences this week to try and help anyone who is undecided about breastfeeding or to anyone who is lacking in confidence about giving it a go. I am not a member of any ‘mafia’ and I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty!

So what does breastfeeding beyond a year mean to me?

Well before I gave birth to Iyla it was something that I never dreamt of doing.

I always knew I was going to breastfeed but I did share the view of Dad2BabyInsomniac (and many others) that doing it when your baby was walking and talking was just ‘weird’.

Iyla took to the boob like a duck to water. The boob fixed everything and there was never any substitute. We tried dummies and bottles thinking that it wasn’t normal for her to want to feed all the time but when she would spit them out like they were poison I quickly realised that actually for her it was normal to feed so often. My boob was more than food, it was her comfort and after being pulled into the world with a big metal pair of salad tossers, maybe she needed that comfort, and I became fine / started to love the fact that I was the only one she wanted.

As we approached her first birthday we were still going strong with the breastfeeding and I couldn’t imagine a time when she would ever stop. I started getting lots of people asking me whether I was ‘STILL breastfeeding’ and Dad2BabyInsomniac told me that he thought I should stop.

I started questioning whether I should carry on, I didn’t want to do it without his support and I didn’t want people to think we were ‘weird’ but I knew deep down that we weren’t ready to stop. It didn’t feel weird to me, it didn’t feel any different to how it did when she was a newborn. As I usually do with these things, I wrote a blog post about it and the responses I got made me really determined to carry on, the WHO actually recommend doing it for two years anyway and that was what spurred me on to continue regardless of what anyone thought. I started to read Dad2BabyInsomniac lots of information about extended breastfeeding and how it wasn’t that abnormal, it was just that you didn’t see it much as most people did it indoors.

Around this time Iyla caught her first stomach bug and was really ill. She couldn’t eat and wouldn’t accept anything except my boob. It was at this point Dad2BabyInsomniac accepted that me still breastfeeding her was actually a good thing.

We carried on then for the next few months and I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t always plain sailing. We had days where if we were at home she would ask for it ALL DAY and I did start to worry that she would NEVER stop but I needn’t have worried because when she was 18 months old, I had been in London for a day and didn’t get back till she was in bed. The next day I had been doing college work all day and before we knew it there had been two days since her last feed. We had stopped without either of us realising it.

If you would like to read more about it then you can do so here  - A New Chapter.

So that was my experience of breastfeeding when your baby is no longer a baby. We didn’t even reach the age of two in the end but it was the right time for us to stop.

I know a lot of people have very strong opinions about breastfeeding full stop, let alone doing it when the baby is walking and talking but I do have a point that I would like to make. No-one thinks anything of three year olds still drinking milk out of bottles when really what they are doing is no different to drinking milk out of the boob. You only have to look at bottle advertising and it is full of quotes about it being ‘just like the breast’. Young children like sucking, dummies and bottles have been made as alternatives to the boob, it’s fine if people choose to use them but don’t view the original model as being ‘weird’!

I will tell you something I find weird though, lots of people land on this blog from typing ‘women breastfeeding their men’ and other similar things into Google. THAT IS WEIRD!!

And now I am breastfeeding again, Jobey is three months old and I have been so much more relaxed about everything. I am not even going to question when we will stop because I know at some point we will!

Here he is having his first breastfeed…

first breastfeed

And here he is now…

Breastfeeding

Here are five other bloggers taking part this week:

Smiling Like Sunshine

Pea Musings

The Brick Castle

Me, The Man and The Baby

Hex Mum

And if you want to check out a company who something really original and unique then have a look here – Breast Milk Keepsakes!

Here is the Rafflecopter Form for the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comments

  1. says

    It must be really interesting breastfeeding a second child having been through the journey in it’s entirety with the first. I love that you share it and thanks for sharing it again. To be honest, I think that when people say that talking about breastfeeding makes others guilty, they’re projecting their own unnecessary guilt.

    As for us, we’re still going but I’m really open-minded about it all. There may come a time when mother-led weaning feels right but I’d like to ideally continue until she shows me she’s outgrown the need.
    Circus Queen recently posted…Breastfeeding beyond two is a lesson in trust (Win a Breast Milk Keepsake)My Profile

  2. says

    I love how breastfeeding babies put their fingers and hands protectively around the boob – so precious!I only went about 4 months breastfeeding with z but think with a second I’d want to go for longer!

  3. Ammena Kay says

    Knowing that what Im giving my son will give him the best, most natural start in life :) Thats what keeps me pumping nearly 6 months in

  4. chamaine says

    I decided to breastfeed my final baby since it was something id failed at twice before I was sure I was going to fail again, she’s now 6months and only just starting to pinch food from my plate but boob to her is everything! My goal was 6months but I spoke to my hubby who supports me about extending that to when she decides to wean

  5. Donna McP says

    I breastfed my daughter for 19 months, we’re currently 18 months with no sing of stopping with my son…. we’ll stop when we are both ready hopefully. It has been a very helpful when he has been ill recently, as all he would take for days was breastmilk, and meant we all got some rest.

  6. Katie Wilkinson says

    Great post my daughter turns one in a week and we’re already getting the raised eyebrows and “you’re still feeding!?”comments. It’s funny really as before she was here I thought when they could ask for it if was time to stop .I think that’s insane now lol. She has signed for it for a couple if months and it just melts my heart. Once you’re feeding you don’t notice that tiny feeding newborn becoming a large toddler.. You just see your baby. In regards to the raffle copter my favourite benefit is probably the numerous health perks for both mum and child

  7. Joan says

    I love that it’s so convenient – no bottles to take out, no boiling water, no heating milk or waiting for it to cool, just there, when my baby needs it.

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