Here’s what I hear. All the time.
“How old is he?”
“And you’re still nursing?!”
Yes, I’m that woman nursing a toddler. And being told “You know, if he’s old enough to ask for it, he’s too old to nurse.” First of all, says who? And secondly, who does my nursing affect except him and me?
Finn is 21 months and we’re still going strong. He has been a nursing champ from day one. He would just nurse and nurse and nurse. The doctors who saw him as he grew (and grew, he was quite the little piggy) couldn’t believe what a big baby he was on only breast milk.
It was (and sometimes still is) exhausting to meet his nursing needs. And to feel like I could never be away from him because he didn’t want a bottle, he only wanted me. It is still like that now, to some extent. I can be away for the occasional long period during the day, although he won’t nap without nursing first.
When we are reunited, he gets a big smile and shouts “Mama!” No, just kidding, he actually should “Nurse! Nurse!” I have asked him before “Did you miss mama or mama’s boobs?” He pats my chest reassuringly and says “Boobs.” Oh well, at least we’re a package deal.
I never had any plans to nurse past a year. I hadn’t really thought about it at all before Finn was born. I knew I wanted to nurse, but that was about it. Then we both fell in love with nursing. We did it all day and night. When one year came and went, I didn’t even think about stopping; it was still such a big part of our lives.
So where do we go from here?
We are about to begin the night weaning process (which is, perhaps, a topic for another post). I have very mixed feelings and had hoped he would just night wean himself, but I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon and extenuating circumstances (upcoming dental surgery and trying for baby number two) have forced my hand.
I am planning on continuing to nurse him during the day indefinitely. I still love doing it. It is one of the few times when my crazy, frenetic baby is still and cuddly. And I love feeling like I know exactly how to soothe him and meet his needs. So, until it stops working for us, we will continue on.