The ‘Funnies’ of Breastfeeding a Toddler

Otherwise known as: Extended Breastfeeding.

Who would have thought?! Period.

I remember one of my biggest shocks after giving birth was how ‘complicated’ breastfeeding was. Complicated being the perfect word.

Part of me wished I didn’t know anything at all, so that I could have just pretended that I was doing everything right and everything was supposed to be the way it was. But instead, all I could hear was, ‘if it hurts, you’re not doing it right,’ ‘she’s using you like a pacifier!’ ‘breastfeed on demand,’ ‘she’s off the charts, breastfeed less,’ ‘make sure she gets that hind milk,’ ‘how many wet diapers has she had?’ ‘she’s not latching right, try holding her this way,’ ‘this way,’ ‘how about this way?!’ Honestly, at one point I had her propped up on 3 couch pillows, in a makeshift football hold, mentally trying to sum up a days worth of poopies and pees, with zero hours of sleep, paranoid about if she’s getting enough hind milk, sitting on my feet in the most awkward position for 30 minutes, wincing in so much pain, I thought, how the hell am I going to keep up with this?!

Yet, somehow I did. And 2 years later, here I am STILL breastfeeding and STILL amazed at how less complicated, but ‘funny’ breastfeeding is.

Now I remember why I started to write this post in the first place. Because today, in Els’ art class, a mother brought in her little 2 month old. A tiny little thing. And the whole time, she just laid there suckling on her mother’s breast, so peacefully, ever so gently grazing her tiny fingers against her mother’s chest. And I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself. Firstly, at how easy she made it look, and secondly, how drastically different it is breastfeeding a baby and breastfeeding a toddler.

Let’s start off with the looks. Everyone looks at a baby breastfeeding with the automatic head tilt, oohing and aahing, sighing and curling their lips in that ‘oh, so adorable’ form, while clutching their hands to their forever warmed hearts. When they see a 30 pound 2 year old doing the same, people are still clutching their hearts alright. IN shock.

Here’s the thing. Breastfeeding my toddler is not easy to say the least. Besides the comments, the looks, my tired body, she is quite demanding, vocal, and not willing to give it up any time soon. She is no longer lying still nor is she always gazing up at me with those loving, locking eyes. But instead, she is a downward dogging, yoga infused, acrobatic wrestling gymnastic fiend, clawing, grabbing, head-butting, elbowing, greedily alternating, remarkable, expert in the field. She’s like a skilled pick pocketer, but with the boobs. Sometimes, I have no idea how she got it, but she did.

99 percent of the time, we do it in the privacy of our own home, but there are times when we aren’t or can’t, and it is those times where I feel like saying: “Have you ever tried covering up a 2 year old?” It’s like a never-ending, not-so-happy game of peek-a-boo, where she wants to and will inevitably stay completely BOO. Which comes to my next question: “Have you ever breastfed a 2 year old?” It’s just not the same as nursing a baby, and you can’t expect it to be as it comes with its own set of intricacies. And if anyone, or anything comes in between her and my boob, somehow the whole world will have to pay for it. Like I said, it is just a completely and totally different and funny experience all on its own.

For those of you who read this entire post thinking you were going to get some helpful, informative advice on the benefits of extended breastfeeding and feel quite gypped, fear not! Here’s a great link that tells you all the reasons why, we do this!

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The Funnies of Breastfeeding a Toddler

17 thoughts on “The ‘Funnies’ of Breastfeeding a Toddler”

  1. Still nursing my 3.5 y.o. She calls it “boob suck.” But I think I might try the “band aid on the broken boob” as suggested above!

  2. Love this post – “never-ending, not-so-happy game of peek-a-boo, where she wants to and will inevitably stay completely BOO” cracked me up. I often wonder if I hadn’t gone back to work whether I’d have ended up doing extended breast feeding. Goblin is three now and every so often when we are having a bath he’ll still try and latch on, I have to explain to him that the milk is long gone.
    I’m sharing this on the Sunday Parenting Party Pinterest board, thanks for linking

    1. Interesting to know, he still has that memory, even after the milk is ‘long gone!’ I always wonder what it’s going to be like, once we are officially done. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I can definitely relate! I just weaned my little one at 28 months. It was always amusing/exhausting to watch her balance on one leg while nursing! Luckily, she called it a codeword…nack nack, which came from me asking if she was ready for a snack when it was time to nurse. So it wasn’t too embarrassing when she asked for a nack nack in public, since nobody knew what it she is was. Now that she is weaned, we both miss it…especially her. Now she just asks to smell the nack nack, which is a bit odd, but she at least knows we only do it at home 🙂

      1. First I tried putting lemon juice on me…she loved it more than ever! Then I tried vinegar…she made a terrible face, said it was yucky, but soldiered through and continued to nurse (she’s a bit strong-willed). I finally put band-aids on my nipples and said they were broken…that did the trick! She definitely struggled for a few days, but it worked! Although, months later she still tells me that she loves and misses her nack nack and I know she would go back to it in a hot minute 😉

  4. My daughter nursed until she was almost three. I had never planned on nursing a child that could talk so I made the rookie mistake of calling it “boobie.” As you can imagine I kicked myself for this every time we were in public and she would loudly say “I’d like some boobie peease Mommy.” But hey, she always used good manners!

    1. Ha! I’m so glad my daughter still has a nickname for it. Although, we still gotta work on her pulling my shirt halfway down my body in public…

  5. My daughter is a gifted gymnast on the boob, so I get it! None of my kids ever tolerated a cover, so that’s not even an issue for us.

  6. Great post! I am still breast feeding my 19 month old daughter and it is like u say funny and difficult at the same time. And now that she can say she wants it…it doesn’t matter where we are, and she doesn’t forget either. If I try to distract her…she’s all, oh heck no I said milk and I meant it. Lol! I get weird looks and weird comments. But I am so happy I breast feed and ill do it until she is done. 🙂

    1. YES! I had to go back and add that nothing can come between her and the boob, or the whole world will have to pay for it, SOMEHOW. SOME WAY!

  7. HOORAY!! I am so glad someone else is seeing all the ‘funny’ in breastfeeding a toddler! I nursed all three of my kids and let them self wean – with the exception of my last – after 35 3/4 months of nursing her – I was done! LOL It’s not easy – not by a long shot, for a plethora of reasons, but it IS worth every single second of it!

    1. Yes, I think after 35 months, I’d be done too! HAHA Good for you! I am so glad you can relate! And it is WORTH every second.

  8. I read this while my 2 1/2 year nursed; she was standing with one foot on each of my legs, hopping back and forth, bent over in down dog but using one elbow instead of her hands to support her (on my clavicle), while trying to sneak the other hand under my shirt to pinch the niple she wasn’t nursing on (which I hate and can’t convince her to stop attempting)…oh and she wad humming and laughing. This comment just took me 15 minutes b/c she keeps trading positions and narrating the whole thing. Yesterday I reconciled myself to the fact that (despite my teenage, 21 Jump Street dreams), nursing her yesterday on The Pirates of the Carribean and getting stuck for 10 minutes in front of an animatronic Captain Jack Sparrow is the closest I’ll ever get to Johnny Depp seeing my boobs. Sort of off the subject, but that’s a great ride for nursing a toddler… Loved this article! Obviously I relate!

    1. HAHAHA! I startled my toddler laughing so hard while reading this. Funniest comment yet. I’ll keep that ride in mind! Ha! Totally get the nipple pinching, and had to go back and add (because how could i forget?) the elbowing, face planting, head butting and greedily alternating…

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