On Nursing A Toddler: Why That TIME Mom Could Be Me

TIME breastfeeding attachment parenting cover

As a mom who still breastfeeds, I’ve learned to never say never when it comes to motherhood.

If you had showed me this TIME Magazine cover, featuring a mother breastfeeding her toddler who is STANDING UP, one year ago, I would have laughed.

"Not me! That won't be me! I will breastfeed until she's around one. 10 months maybe?"

Yet there I was the other day, sitting on the couch in my living room nursing an almost one year old who was...standing up. "Look!" I said to my husband. He thought it was funny and laughed out loud. My daughter, of course, thought nothing of it.

Long before I became pregnant, I knew I would breastfeed. After tons of reading and education in natural parenting, as well as attachment parenting, I also knew I would want to nurse my baby for up to a year. Those first few weeks were brutal. Oversupply issues, a colicky baby, cracked and bleeding nipples, you name it, I dealt with it. Through daily tears of frustration, I told myself I only had to do it for six months. I counted the weeks and dreamt of the day I wouldn't need to wear easy access bras and tops.

Then, somewhere around 10 or 12 weeks after my daughter was born, our nursing relationship became enjoyable. I finally experienced those super emotional letdowns and the high that comes from cuddling so close for several hours a day. I knew there was no stopping in our near future. I told myself to prepare to carry on feeding her this way well into her second year.

My daughter has never taken a bottle or a pacifier, and most solid food still end up on the floor. For nearly one year, I have kept her alive and perfectly content with my boobs. It's amazing and I'm incredibly proud of myself.

How does everyone else around me feel? They are probably wondering when I will close up shop. They can keep wondering, because I kind of hate the word "wean." Or the question, "How long do you plan on nursing?" I don't "plan" on weaning my daughter. She will let me know when she's no longer interested, I presume. Even if this does include some gentle distractions and redirection as time goes on. I can't imagine flat out denying her something that she loves to do so much. She would cry, and that would probably break my heart in two.

More juicy content from YourTango:

Jennifer Aniston: "I'll Be Married By The End Of The Year"
Am I Wrong To Like Sex With Married Men?
WAY Too Many Married Couples Kiss Less Than Once A Week


Expert advice

Save your breath because you only need two words to make him commit.
Are you REALLY thinking about their happiness?
If you keep finding yourself in heartbreaking, dead end relationships, listen up.
It seems like you can't do anything right.