Adventures in Breastfeeding (a Toddler)

I’m still breastfeeding my two year old, and even though I am very confident about my decision and know all of the many benefits of it, I am still a bit uneasy when he asks to nurse in public. So most of the time I ask him to wait until we get home, or in the get in the car, or somewhere less public.

I’m not sure why I’m self conscious of this though, because every time (and I mean every time) I nurse him in public someone comes up to me to tell me what a great thing I’m doing.

Last week on the airplane, even though my son had his own seat and no longer needs to nurse during take-off and landing for his little ears, he nursed about 3 times during a 1.5 hour flight. This was his 30th flight, and I’m sure it’s just his way of feeling comfortable on the plane. But each time he asked, I repositioned myself so no one else would see, and tried to muffle his voice when he asked for the “other one.”

There was a woman sitting across the aisle from us, and I was convinced she was thinking- “I can’t believe she’s nursing that walking, talking toddler!” In fact, since he’s completely potty-trained, we walked to the lavatories on the airplane 3 times during the flight because he was so enamored with the silver toilets and different sights and sounds. (“What’s that mommy, blue tinkle?”) So I was sure this women was thinking- wow, he’s even potty-trained, but still nursing!”

When our flight was over, the woman sitting across from us said, “I just want to say that I love to see a mom nursing her toddler. I nursed my daughter until she was 2 and a half, and she nursed my two grandbabies until they were 2. I think it’s so good for them- they are always so healthy! Congratulations! It’s very obvious you love your son.” Then, the woman sitting in front of her turned around and chimed in with similar sentiments. I thanked them for saying something, and confessed that I was self-conscious so I really appreciated their kind words.

I realized (again) in that moment how important it is to spend more time focusing on being the type of woman and mother I want to be, and less energy on what others may or may not be thinking.

6 thoughts on “Adventures in Breastfeeding (a Toddler)”

  1. True we shouldn’t worry what others think! I know this is off subject but I’m wondering how you potty trained your two year old? Both of my boys were in diapers until age three.

  2. H Robyn- I will definitely have to write about this experience…I think what helped in our case was that I started early. I know the experts say not to start too early, but I think if you wait too long, they just realize it’s kind of hard work and aren’t as interested in the feeling of accomplishment…he was totally potty trained by the end of his 25th month and didn’t really know that he had a choice in the matter (even though he did, had he resisted I would’ve let up). I guess he just assumed it was time to do this, like when he started eating solids, and drinking from a cup. I will write a post about it soon.

  3. Love this! My daughter is nearly 1 and nursing is going great! i hope to make it to at least 2…it’s tough though being a working mom who has to travel, but I am determined to keep our nursing relationship going! My daughter is >95% and advanced for her age so people think she’s older and I can already see the “looks” when we nurse in public. Aw well, like you, I don’t care what they think…I am doing what’s best for me and my child. If/when people, especially women, ask when I plan to wean, I just say when we’re both ready and then tell them about the AAP and WHO recommendations.

  4. Great job Lori- so glad you are still nursing even with the challenge of working and traveling. You are doing what’s best for her! Good to hear from you.

  5. Am still nursing my nearly 3 year old – but now only at night. He decided himself that “I don’t want boob when there’s blue skies” a few weeks ago – and he hasn’t asked in the daytime since!! Wonder how long it’ll take for “I don’t want boob when it’s night!” to happen? I think it may be a while….

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