Breastfeeding is a lot like running marathons or singing karaoke. Some people are just naturals, and others aren’t. I had a terrible start nursing my daughter after she was born. It took 4 months to get our groove going. Because of our rocky start, I never planned the end. She’s just blown out the candles on her 2 year birthday cake and I’m starting to wonder when she will wean off breastfeeding.
I’m completely happy to let her wean herself. For me, breastfeeding a toddler has only positive points. They may be unconventional, but they work for me and my family. If you’re getting pressure by friends and family to wean your toddler before you feel ready, consider these perks of breastfeeding a toddler.
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7 reasons why I still breastfeed my toddler.
(Despite my parents and random strangers telling me to stop.)
Reason 1: At least someone is still excited about my boobs.
It’s no secret that breastfeeding affects the shape of your breasts. Well, for most women. Lucky gals like me see their breasts triple in size the first month after having a baby. I went from a C cup to an overflowing E cup. Rather than feeling like a Playboy bunny, instead I was dealing with leaking, mastitis, and cracked nipples. Yummy…
Over the last 2 years, thankfully, they’ve gone back to their original size. Original shape? Not so much… Needless to say, the only person in the room continually excited about seeing my saggy melons is my sweet baby girl. And that’s reason enough to keep going.
Reason 2: Instant tantrum avoider
Regular interactions with my toddler go something like this.
“Hand me the scissors.”
“Please hand Mommy the scissors.”
“Mommy is asking for the scissors. Did you hear me?”
(Stern voice) “Please give me the scissors.”
(Bit more forceful) “PUT DOWN THE SCISSORS.”
(Tug of war ensues as I pry scissors out of her clenched fist. She drops to the floor and is about to start wailing…..)
“Do you want some boobies?”
Works. Every. Time.
Reason 3: Long-haul flight? No problem!
We’ve flown two long-haul flights (15+ hours) in her first two years without incident. No tantrums. No screaming. No wailing due to painful ears. No dirty looks from strangers. Nada. When she starts to get restless I just whip one out.
There’s a bit of a learning curve getting used to complete strangers sitting 4 inches away from your exposed breast, for hours. But you get used to it.
Reason 4: We’re never out of milk.
We never wake up on a Sunday and have to do the “Sunday shuffle in my slippers” to the store to get milk. Instead my milk bar is always open. 24/7. Including holidays.
Reason 5: We save a lot of money.
As my toddler slowly weans herself, I see how much cow’s milk she’s now drinking. Whether you go organic or not, the costs add up. Financially shrewd parents would take these savings and start a college fund. I choose to invest at my local Starbucks. It keeps this mama happy.
Reason 6: Less guilt about that Mile High Brownie.
The first few months of breastfeeding were really difficult for me. What got me through, in addition to all the benefits for my newborn, was the knowledge that I was burning 500 calories a day. (Yes, sometimes I can be that shallow.) That’s the same as running 5 miles. Everyday! Except I was sitting on the couch eating chocolate croissants. I do realize with a 2 year-old, I’m probably only burning an extra 13 calories a day. But hey, that’s something.
Reason 7: I hate sick.
Just because I’m a pediatric nurse doesn’t mean that I like sick. Quite the opposite, I want to help everyone get better…. quickly! Especially when it’s my little munchkin with a stuffy nose or a nasty tummy virus. Compared to her toddler friends that have stopped breastfeeding, she’s had fewer colds, fewer sleepless nights from sickness, and fewer doctor visits.
Reason 8: It’s an easy way to clear the room.
Want to signal to your neighbor who has overstayed his welcome that it’s time to go? Undo the top button of your shirt and wink at your toddler. Once she shouts “BOOBIES” and starts running toward you, he’ll be out of there in no time.
Same goes with grandparents, weird uncles and your husband’s boring work colleagues.
There you have it, my 8 reasons I still breastfeed my toddler. What are yours?