My youngest and most likely my LAST baby turned two this weekend. TWO! As in she’s a toddler and not even a baby anymore. That’s her above, nursing her baby doll. Monkey see, monkey do. At two years old, she’s still nursing at bedtime every night that I’m home. I told myself, and her that we’d probably stop when she turned two. But on the eve of her second birthday, I asked her if she wanted to be done nursing and she said no. And I feel the same way. There is nothing wrong with the arrangement we have now. I in no way feel tied down or like my body isn’t my own. She knows we only nurse at bedtime and rarely asks to nurse during the day. She’s never pulling at my clothing in public and she doesn’t bite me.
So why even worry about it? Well, for one thing, I didn’t nurse my first child, so I have no experience weaning a baby, or a child for that matter. Will it become harder to do, the older she gets, or easier because she’ll better understand what’s happening? Is she still benefitting nutritionally or immunologically? (I take no credit for that big word, I found it here.) She still seems to get lots of colds, but less ear infections than her older sister. Connection? Who knows. How will my body react when I stop nursing her? How do I slow down from nursing just once a day – switch to every other day first? How will my body react emotionally?
“As breastfeeding ends, so does the regular hormonal production of prolactin and oxytocin. When this drops, a woman again is susceptible to the mood impacts of her hormonal state bottoming out, until her body recovers a normal hormonal rhythm again.” – Lisa Grace Byrne
I guess, as I wrote when she was 18 months old, I don’t have to have the answers to all the questions. I just have to go with what feels right for my family. And right now, nursing her, even though she’s TWO, still feels right.