There are many names for it. Breastfeeding the toddler. Breastfeeding past infancy. Extended breastfeeding.
When you are pregnant, or just had your little one, you only think of getting past the soreness and the 24/7 constant latching. No, at first you are only worried about getting it right, and being able to breastfeed. Your first goal is the 6 week mark, and after that you try to continue to 3 months. Then 6 months. Somewhere you realise that it has become easier, and you continue... until the next goal. One year. Two years!
And now I am contemplating going for longer... Until the toddler tells me that it is finished!
We have accomplished so much with regards to health and the medical science, but we still reach too easily for the formula. We know for a fact that it is better to breastfeed. Better for the baby, and better for the mother. But why is it that it is not a standard way of doing things? That we not know before the time that is how it is supposed to be? We have somehow lost touch with what comes natural. We think that it is okay that our children are able to survive on second-hand milk (chemicals), and don’t contemplate the effects on them.
I am very sorry already that I gave in to the occasional bottle when it was not necessary. I should not have gone the formula route when it was too early. I was also worried about the baby going to day care, and that she would not accept a bottle...
Our bodies are able and well adapted to sustain our babies well into toddlerhood. I know now to trust my “booboos” (as Mieka calls it now), and not to worry that it is not “enough”.
I will continue as is and show – just by doing it – that it’s the easiest way for baby way past toddlerhood. Your milk does not lose its healthy properties. Quite the opposite! The health benefits for the mother also increases, such as less incidences of breast cancer. Today we have information at our typing tips, and we can enlighten ourselves as we go along!
I cherish the breastfeeding moments with my toddler. Silently I have become a lactivist, a word that I did not know existed before I was breastfeeding my toddler. I want everybody to know that it is the easiest and most precious time you have with your little one!
It goes by in a *FLASH*! (I will remember the special times!)
The joys of breastfeeding a toddler (guest post)