Breastfeeding a toddler is hard work. Anyone who says a mother does it for her own benefit, has obviously never done it. Between the acrobatics and the tantrums because you don’t/can’t let them nurse exactly when they want to, it isn’t easy. These days, it seems that is all Peanut wants to do. I feel like I am breastfeeding a newborn again. A 26lb newborn, Yikes! Imagine pushing that out? Don’t really want to.
It is, however, oh so worth it. If Peanut is upset or just needs a moment to reconnect, I just pop out a boob and all is good in the world again.
It is very useful for treating any kind of ailment. Fall down and get a boo boo? Give it a breastmilk rinse. Stuffy nose? Squirt some breastmilk in there. Ouchy bug bite or sting? Yep, breastmilk. Pink eye? Ear infection? Burn? Breastmilk will fix it. The list goes on forever.
The nutritional benefits of breastmilk are fantastic as well. A toddler’s eating habits can be a bit erratic. Breastmilk helps fill in those gaps. From Kellymom :
In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
- 29% of energy requirements
- 43% of protein requirements
- 36% of calcium requirements
- 75% of vitamin A requirements
- 76% of folate requirements
- 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
- 60% of vitamin C requirements
– Dewey 2001
Immune properties are more concentrated at this point as well. Yes, your kiddo will still get that cold from the child at the playground who sneezed on him, but it won’t be as severe or last as long. As soon as your little latches on, your bodies start communicating. His body tells yours that he was exposed to a bug. Your body starts producing antibodies and he starts receiving them the next time he latches on.
The longer you breastfeed, the more you and your little benefit.
Here in the states it is seen as some crazed parenting trend, but in reality, the normal weaning age worldwide is between 2 and 7 years old. If you are breastfeeding, be proud of it. Don’t let looks or words from others get you down. Know that you are doing what is right for you and your babe. The more we do it and don’t hide that we are doing it, the more normal it will become. Someone said on a thread I recently read, that breastfeeding needs to become as normal as walking your dog down the street. I thought that was great.
Our bodies are seriously awesome. It is still hard for me to wrap my head around sometimes. We grow a human inside our bodies and then are able to completely nourish them from our bodies. Can you say AMAZING?
Here is more information about breastfeeding past a year from Kellymom (seriously a fantastic resource).
*I need to make sure to include my disclaimer that if you formula feed that is okay too. Everyone has to do what is right for them. As long as your babe is thriving and everyone is happy, that is what matters.
This week has been seriously rough.
Peanut, who previously has loved sleep, is now fighting it horribly. . .
He is having a very hard time settling down to sleep at night. He breastfeeds and then cries and thrashes around and then breastfeeds some more and then cries and thrashes, and, well, you get the picture. This can go on for 10 minutes or it can go on for an hour.
I guess it just depends on how crazy his day was.
Being a toddler is hard work. I understand this. I do. Really.
Toddlers are working on finding words to communicate. They have hundreds of things to climb on. Lots of running to do. Millions of bugs to discover. Cars, dinosaurs, stuffed animals and blocks galore. Pages, tables, and walls to color. Chickens , cats, dogs, and goats to chase. Leaves, flowers, and dirt to taste. Food to toss everywhere, but your mouth. After all, they already filled up on flora and dirt 😉 A big brother to follow around and imitate. Then survive attacks by said big brother. And of course make sure the adults think you are too cute to get mad at.
See? Very busy. It can be hard to wind down from all that.
So, anyway. Once he finally gets to sleep, he will sleep for 3 – 4 hours. Then the fun really begins.
Near the end of this 3 or 4 hour stretch is usually when I want to crawl in bed and go to sleep. In “normal” land, I would crawl in give him the boob and we would both pass out until morning (give or take a boob session or two). Alas, we are not in “normal” land anymore. We are now in “Let’s deprive Mama of all sleep” land. Way more fun here. . . .
In this new land, we wake up at midnight and thrash around, and whine, and play with the stuffed animals, and pop on and off of my breast a million times. This goes on for hours. We end up only getting a few hours of broken sleep. Not enough to be super productive during the day. I only end up being somewhat productive. I got diapers washed today. Yay! Go me! Oh, and I got instructions on how to use the ride on mower.
I hope my sleep loving toddler returns to me soon. I am not sure how many more nights of not sleeping I can take before I crack. So if you happen to see him, can you please send him back home?
How is sleep going in your land?
The Big Latch On is an event where a bunch of mamas get together with their nurslings and try to get them latched on at a specified time for one minute. There are people there to count how many children are latched. It is a fun way to try to break a record and more importantly, raise breastfeeding awareness.
The event takes place today, August 3rd (sorry about the late post) and tomorrow, August 4th, in various locations around the globe. The count takes place at 10:30 am, so you are encouraged to get there a half hour before to register and get settled. Check here to see if there is an event in your area.
The Big Latch On originated in New Zealand as an event to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week in 2005. It spread to the US, specifically Portland, Oregon in 2010. Last year, it spread to the rest of the US.
Last year 5687 women participated in the event! Let’s see if we can beat that number this year.
Will you be participating?