Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Nursing an [Older] Toddler

I originally posted "Nursing a Toddler" a year ago when Bear was 15 months old. Today I'm participating in a blog carnival about nursing toddlers, so I'm re-posting it...along with a few new entries that are more specific to my now 27month old nursling...

Nursing a toddler is not like nursing an infant.

An infant nurses for nourishment, comfort, and security.

A toddler nurses for nourishment, comfort, security, and FUN!

  • Toddlers engage in "walk-by nursings" wherein they sneak in a sip while literally still walking by.
  • Toddlers like to play "peek-a-boobie."
  • Toddlers know how to lift up your shirt and get at what they want--by themselves.
  • Older toddlers can unhook the bra by themselves as well.
  • Toddlers think it's funny when the milk shoots across the room, and they will pull off repeatedly just to see it do so.
  • Toddlers get so excited about nursing that they laugh and then milk comes out their nose.
  • Toddlers like to drink from one side while cuddling the other (without that pesky bra in the way, thank-you-very-much!)
  • Older toddlers like to switch back and forth to the 'udder one' every few minutes (or moments!).
  • Older toddlers justify this switching behavior by pointing back and forth and explaining "I yuv [love] dis one, and dis one, and dis one, and dis one!"
  • Toddlers give lup-bats* to the breast. *Wolf's toddler pronunciation of 'love pats' (so-named because pats on the bottom are obviously not little spanks...)
  • Toddlers like to nurse while climbing, standing, sitting, rocking, playing with blocks, or otherwise wiggling a LOT.
  • Toddlers like to nurse upside-down.
  • Toddlers like to give breast-zerberts in between sucks.
  • Toddlers say "nurn!" and sign "milk" while nursing, and then afterwards smile and say "doo!" [thank you]
  • Older toddlers say "mommy I need some nurn peese" and when they are done they grin and say "sank oo for da nurn"
  • Toddlers run and run and run and run...and then climb into the big bed (by themselves) and lay down and start signing 'milk' because they are ready to nurse to sleep now.
  • Older toddlers can understand that they need to wait just a minute before we nurse.
Toddlers melt mommy's heart in a whole new way.

And when it does come time to wean them, an older toddler can look you in the eye and say "mommy, I yuv da nurn, but I don't need it" and then pat your face and snuggle anyway.


Here are the other entries in the "This is what nursing a toddler looks like" carnival:


Melodie said...

This post was so sweet! And so true! I loved it! Thanks!
Breastfeeding MOms Unite!

Cat said...

oh wow it makes me want to bawl to think about weaning!! thank goodness kade has many years left ;)

Mona said...

Mommy Bee,

I just told Valerie a story that you nursing mommies ought to know: my little guy who nursed until he was almost two, is the child who has been the biggest "mommy's boy" (as in Army of Helaman quality) all his life...he is still devoted to me, and now to his wife who he LOVES LOVES LOVES to cuddle with!


Buckeroomama said...

"Older toddlers like to switch back and forth to the 'udder one' every few minutes (or moments!)."

Oh yes!

I love your list. Every point rings so true.

Janeen said...

Ah yes, it is definitely a different story and toddlers definitely need it for different reasons. With our many moves this past year, nursing has become the sole source of security for Natalie, she knows that no matter where we move to and no matter what comes with or doesn't come with, the boo-boos will always be there. I don't think she would have gotten through all of these moves (and more to come!) without them. In her shaky world, it's really the only thing she can depend on right now.

Permission to Mother said...

I can relate to all these bullets. Thank you for putting it in words for all of us.

TopHat said...

I can't even unhook the bra! I just pull down because it's quicker. You have one talented son!

nicole said...

Cute! I am still nursing my 16 month old... breastfeeding has been the most bonding experience I have had with each of my children. With the older ones, I always stopped when I got pregnant... they were all almost 1 year by then. It seemed to be a natural time to stop. My body wasn't producing as much, and I was just too physically exhausted to keep going. But with this baby, I haven't gotten pregnant and I'm happy nursing, he's happy nursing, so why stop? I think I'll know when it's time to stop... but for now, I'm loving it!!

Christa said...

My twins didn't get to learn how to nurse from the breast because they were so super tiny...and because a nurse decided to give them a pacifier even though I had requested they not get one for that very reason!
But I pumped and I made lots of milk...ridiculous amounts acutally about 12-16oz every two hours. It was ridiculous because my twins could only drink 1 oz when they came home. But my milk slowed drastically when the girls were about 4 months old, I was tired and it just stopped, but I had enough milk in the freezer (around 55 gallons) to feed them for several more months.

Desiree Fawn said...

This is such a beautiful post -- I am nursing my 3 1/2 month old and I hope to continue for a long, long time.

Corinne said...

Thanks for the great post! I have a 22 month old daughter who is a dedicated breastfeeder, and I was laughing and nodding whilst reading, especially the swapping sides every few moments comment - exactly what my DD does. I ask her while she feeds 'does milk make you feel good?' and she nods, aaww!!

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