Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Positives and negatives of breastfeeding the toddler – update

I am updating my earlier post of Breastfeeding the toddler positives and negatives. The post gets a lot of traffic from keyword searches.

The toddler is nearly 23 months – ten months on from the previous post – and it is going even better with breastfeeding. I find that we have established a rhythm and communication with regards breastfeeding.

She asks for “boo-boo” when she needs it. She looks in my eyes and plays with my hair and face, and we share a special “joke” between us. There is always something to share between us. I absolutely love this special relationship we have!

The toddler slept through last night, and I had to wake her this morning. Usually she wakes up a bit before we have to get up, and she snuggles and breastfeed until I have to get up. I missed it this morning …

Positives in continuing with breastfeeding:

  • The toddler gets the best nutrition possible. Breast milk continues to provide everything that the toddler needs. (Not so formula.)
  • Bonding time with the toddler is continuing. (I find the time with her to be extra EXTRA special.)
  • Breastfeeding is a soothing and calming mechanism.
  • The toddler does not use a dummy at all.
  • We don’t have to prepare bottles with formula, especially at night when she sometimes wakes up. That is a big help!
  • We keep on saving on formula.
  • Breastfeeding is good for Mother as well. I get some extra protection against certain cancers.
  • I am able to continuing working and still breastfeed late afternoon and during the night.
  • We can leave the toddler for a longer period with other people. We have been away for a weekend (that fabulous Cruise weekend). The milk supply/breasts adapt accordingly.
Negatives in continuing with breastfeeding:

  • It is sometimes difficult to get the toddler to stay focused while breastfeeding. The more awake she is, the more she wants to drink-stop-talk-look-around-drink and again. (Luckily when she is tired, it is no problem at all.)
  • I am able to breastfeed in public. I use a blanket, but have to make sure her head is not covered, or she opens up everything. It is a bit of a struggle!
  • I need to be in the vicinity when the toddler needs her feed, especially during the night.
  • It is a struggle to sooth the toddler with a bottle. It does not always work when Dad tries.
  • The toddler sometimes grinds with her teeth when she falls asleep. (But she has never hurt me.)
That’s all the negatives I can think of. There are definitely more positives for all of us!

I am continuing with breastfeeding. Now the 2 year milestone is drawing near. I read of so many mothers who are breastfeeding their toddlers long past infancy.
For now it works for me and for the toddler!

Related posts:
Breastfeeding the toddler - so special
Extended breastfeeding

(Photo: Mieka drinking from a sippy cup)

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the extended breastfeeding. We're at almost 28 mos. and there are definitely ups and downs to it. The biggest downside for me is the need to be around when he's tired. He decided somewhere around a year old that he didn't like the bottle at all, and refused it outright. So I'm always on duty in that regard. The nursing time is special, though, and I'm glad we still have that connection.

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