Breastfeeding a toddler is no joke and it’s not for everyone, but those of us who find ourselves doing it have a hard time understanding all the uproar. Breastfeeding works for everything. Why would I give up my sure-fire solution to every problem before we are ready? My boobs are like ninja warriors protecting peace on earth.
- Fall Down Go Boom: My 4-year-old takes major spills these days. Skidding on his face on concrete, falling off climbing structures, running full speed into the wall while looking at his light-up shoes. A visit to the boobie bar heals all wounds just as it did when he took the tiny baby tumbles because his head was so big.
- Open Wounds: Squirt a little breastmilk onto the big scrape and help keep it clean until you get to the sink and Disney band aids. It always helps to distract from the incident too because there is nothing funnier than mommy milking herself onto your cheek.
- Off and Away: My boy is a tad sensitive to auditory stimulation so crowded places can be a bit overwhelming. Checking in with mommy and sipping from the safety breast gives him a moment to process the screaming kid or daycare that just descended upon the playground. A brief latch and then off and away again!
- Cures the Sniffles: Breastmilk is a major support to the immune system and I feel that much more secure that my kiddo is still getting it. Extra time at the breast when feeling sick gets breastmilk into the belly, comforts the tired babe and gets him back on his feet quicker.
- Mommy Brain: It seems like every damn day I forget to bring a snack or I leave the water on the counter. It’s usually when my son yells, “SNACK!” that I remember that I am empty handed. Have no fear! A belly full of breastmilk will tide you over until we get home.
- Sleep Dust: My 4-year-old nurses to sleep every night. He manages when I am gone, but it is so much easier when the boobs are home. Latch him on and it’s like a fairy sprinkled sleepy dust on him. It works, every time.
- Bonding time: The little ones grow up fast and can be hard to keep up with. Nurturing our breastfeeding relationship provides us with built-in bonding time. I am reminded to slow down, kiss his face and tell him I love him. I’d like to pretend that I remember all the time, but life moves fast, man.
- Overtired and stressed: Being a toddler is rough. So many new things about the world, so many emotions, so many people working against your demands all day! When my son gets his underoos in a bunch I have the perfect tool to help him get back to baseline.
- For My Benefit: Yep, sometimes it is my own needs getting met. If I am on a work call, telling a story to a friend or trying to finish something up the tot will most definitely get impatient waiting for my attention. It’s so easy to just pause for a second and say, “Mommy just needs to finish up here, do you want some boobie while you wait?” He’s sure to curl up for a cuddle.
- Normalize Breastfeeding: Every time I latch that toddler on I am normalizing breastfeeding, breastfeeding beyond infancy and the loving parent-child bond.
I love you!