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.
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9 thoughts on “True confession: Breastfeeding was my best parenting tool”
I loved this! I went to 14 months, but honestly, would have loved to have kept going. So glad you had such a wonderful experience. Sometimes I miss it 😥
Well said! My son is coming up to his year mark and I am planning to go as long as he wants. My only concern is stopping pumping bit continuing to feed. Did you have issues?
I stopped pumping when she turned 1 (happy bday gift to mommy!) but continued to nurse upon request until she stopped on her own a couple days before she turned three. No supply issues THANKGOODNESS. Am hoping it goes that smoothly with my now 8 month old!
I stopped pumping long before I fully weaned. When Nora weaned from nighttime feedings, I had to pump minimally to wean myself, so to speak, too. I discovered this after nearly developing mastitis from trying to go cold turkey with it. Just a couple minutes did the trick and every night I reduced the time gradually. I did the same thing when I took away that last session; pumped minimally to slowly drop off entirely. Worked great for me.
Also, I had no issue with supply, both when I took pumping away and when I stopped nursing on demand and just went to the one feeding in the morning. I’d say just do it gradually and listen to your body (and kiddo! 🙂 ) Good luck!
Yes!! I always thought traveling with babies was a breeze until Josh’s first fully-weaned flight at 20 months. No nursing equaled a screaming child who was very hard to comfort!
Our first flight post-weaning (22 months) was HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!! haha, I wanted to keep breastfeeding him JUST for that reason (but alas, he was done)
I can only imagine what a huge help nursing on a flight could be. Thanks for sharing!
I so relate to this!!! Thanks for putting it in words.