While I never imagined I would have nursed my daughter until she was over the age of two and a half, breastfeeding ended up being the best parenting tool in my arsenal and the one I reached for more than any other.

Yep, I milked our breastfeeding relationship for all it was worth (pun intended).

At first it was in the back of my head that it could be weird to nurse something that could ask for it and figured I’d probably stop long before she could form bits of sentences and express herself. Certainly I had heard from and read about others who thought this was creepy, as was nursing a baby who had popped out a few teeth.

But once I saw the many benefits of breastfeeding for the both of us, you better believe I put her to the breast willingly and often.

Nursing my baby, and later, toddler, helped me:

– Lull my daughter to sleep, for both naps and at bedtime

– Reconnect after a day apart

– Stop tantrums in their tracks

– Soothe boo boos of all kinds

– Respond to my daughter’s needs in a respectful way

– Calm an overstimulated toddler

– Lessen the intensity (and, actually, amount of) colds and other ailments

– Bond with my daughter

– Help my daughter navigate through the pain of nearly all her teeth coming in

So I confess: breastfeeding was my crutch, and breast milk, my duct tape. While I may no longer have my parenting cure-all, and certain aspects of mothering are harder without it, the gifts breastfeeding bestowed on our relationship have never gone away.

Join CT Working Moms & The Bump for Moms for Moms Day on March 4th. It’s a (mostly) virtual day to promote judgement-free motherhood. Get all the details here.

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