Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One Thousand Ninety Five Days and Counting....

September 5th, Labor Day, we celebrated Chicken Little's third birthday... and on a higher or lesser note depending on who you are... we celebrated my 1,095th day of breastfeeding (329 of those tandem nursing - does that make my total 1,424? I like to think so.....) I've only been away from him twice overnight - once when I broke my knee and the other when I went to have his baby sister. But I don't believe he's ever gone 24-hours without breastmilk straight from the tap even with that. I worked part time his first year of life, only being away twice a week for 2-3 hours at a time. He would get a bottle of freshly pumped breastmilk from that day, and on rare occasion get frozen stash if I was unable to pump enough.

Tandem Nursing 9/6/2011
Chicken Little age 3 years 1 day and Chicklett 10.5 Months
On average he probably still nurses 4-6 times a day. We pretty much operate on a "don't offer, don't refuse" basis - though I always just do it right before nap time out of habit. I'm sure if I laid him done and didn't offer it up he'd be asking for it before I could even inhale to utter the words "nigh nigh, see you later."

I have mixed feelings about this age. We are now within the normal natural range of weaning for a human. I often wonder how it is going to go... Will he just stop one day? Will it be gradual? When will he be ready? Will *I* be ready?

Then on the same token.... I could only be halfway done with his nursing journey. Will he be breastfed until he's 6? Will he go even longer than that? Will his younger sister wean first? Although we're not planning on having any more children, what if we did have a third? Will I have the stamina to keep up with that?

I know in some circles I am already treading on thin water by nursing such an "old" child. Not that I care what they think, but you wonder if your child will pick up on their mean vibe and start to think something is wrong with them.  The older they get the more defense I feel like I need to be... when really... why do I feel that way? Who cares what anyone else says. I know this is normal. I know this is good for everyone directly (and indirectly actually) involved.

I know the older they get the more shy I am about doing it in public. I've had a fairly innocent 'nursing in public' life having never been harassed. I'm almost afraid at what might happen should someone approach me. I might just run away crying... or I might set off a nuke. It'll probably depend on what kind of a day I'm having already... but there is no way to know in advance... In the past year my son has asked me for boobies twice while in public... and I denied him both times. :( Oddly enough both times I was with all the women here at the Good Letdown, so I couldn't have asked to be in a more supporting environment. But I just couldn't do it. The first time we were all out for breastfast with our spouses. I think Chicken Little was overwhelmed and wanted me... but I denied him several times and felt horrible about it. WHY??? I still don't really know. Was it the table full of seniors that were already eyeing our table up for having loud "naughty" children? Was it because I was hungry and just wanted to eat my food and be selfish? The second time he asked we were at an indoor play area and when I started to nurse Chicklett he came over and wanted a snack too. I don't know what planet he was on to think I was going to tandem nurse in public. I'm not that brave.

But this year, I'm going to suck it up. So rarely the occasion happens, but when/if it does... I'm not going to deny him. Mark my words! Okay, maybe in the event of tandem I will make him wait his turn.... but other than that I will be nursing a toddler in public. THE END.


Wanna calculate how long you've been breastfeeding? This should make it easier - check out the time calculator. You're lucky... I had to do it manually... Ha ha ha



28 comments:

  1. I Love the picture!! I love how she has her hand up on his head! So sweet!

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  2. Aww, go mama! I also now turn down my 4 yr old in public (and most of the time at home except for his morning nurse and sometimes bedtime), but it does make me sad that I know I'm being influenced by the culture we live in to think that I need to start pushing him away from nursing on top of feeling like we need to be secret. He is a kid who I'm pretty sure would be a looooong nursling if it were on his timetable--and as much as I thought I would let it be up to him I'm not sure how I'll feel at 5...6...?? I imagine how I feel now but moreso as it's even more of a rarity in our society. I don't think I nursed him past 2 in public (I was less empowered then compared to now, now 2 seems like such a baby!!). I'm inspired by mamas who are comfortable going public with older nurslings, so I'll look forward to hearing how it goes if you do nurse your little guy in public this year!!
    Annie

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  3. That picture is gorgeous. Her hand on his head just about brings tears to my eyes. I've been having a hard time the past 2 weeks with a teething baby and cuts but this gives me the motivation I need to press on. Thank you for sharing :)

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  4. You may want to think ahead about how long you'll want to breastfeed your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a new policy statement in 2005 that recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months, then gradually introducing solid foods while continuing to breastfeed for at least six more months (to age 1) and after that for as long as Mom and baby both want to. http://www.babycenter.com/404_whats-the-best-time-to-wean-a-baby_3319.bc

    IT SAYS BABY; NOT TODDLER!!! once they start to talk it should not be in their mouth!!!!

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    1. How incredibly silly. Another commenter pointed out, her baby started talking at 7 months. Mine was about 9 months. And WHO recommends at least two years of breastfeeding.

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    2. Funny not brave enough to leave your name. We are brave enough to nurse our toddlers as long as they want and we feel like it.
      You yourself put as long as mom and baby both want to. Baby turns into toddler and still wants to thats good with me. I have two healthy advanced girls and I blame it all on Nursing well into the toddler years They were done before starting school but just barely one day they both just did not ask for it and I did not give it and they were done.
      by your standards a person should not relieve anything if they are old enough to talk and ask for it.
      Might I ask when you last had a beer? you are old enough to ask for it you must not receive it. That is the most absurd thing I have ever heard.

      I ask for a hug I get it. I ask for food I get it. They ask for boob they get it.

      nuf said.

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    3. So I guess next time you all for a beer you should be refused that because you opened your mouth to ask for it and you have other options......

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    4. So I guess next time you all for a beer you should be refused that because you opened your mouth to ask for it and you have other options......

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  5. Really "Anonymous" if you actually believe that, you should have been man or woman enough to leave your name. Nursing is beautiful, and how long a mother chooses to nurse is none of your business. Are you aware that the World Health Organization advocates nursing for a full 2 years?!

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  6. Wow, Anonymous number 2. Actually, 'number 2' is what I think of you childish, VERY imo formed reply! As Pam has already pointed out, WHO recommend nursing EXCLUSIVELY for at least 6 months and for AT LEAST 2 years. The AAP is also supposed to be changing their rec to mirror WHO. Besides, nobody is suggesting either of these children are not getting solid food as well as momma milk! Breastmilk NEVER stops being good for a baby or toddler or child...NEVER! Heck, it would be nutritious for adults!
    Another thing, you posted that the AAP days to 'nurse as long as NIN and baby wish' beyond that first year...I don't know about others, but my babies are toddlers by age 1. My DS will be 1 in 2 days. He still has breastmilk even though he walks around. He will continue having milk FROM MY BREAST for as long as we both want this relationship!

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  7. Thanks for getting my back folks! I love ignorant anonymous comments.

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    1. I love how people call others "ignorant" for having a different opinion.

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    2. That's really an ignorant comment.. babies talk waaay before a year old. But hey! I guess babies that use sign language can nurse til they're 40 because they won't be 'talking' bahaha

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  8. And uh.... not going to take breastfeeding advice from BabyCenter. Sorry... LOL. I'll listen to peer reviewed medical information. Thanks though! Ha ha ha

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  9. haha My first thought was, "Wow. Babycenter. WIN!"

    My second thought was, "When they start to talk..." My son started talking at about 4 mos. old, specifically directed at me at 6 mos. old. I guess I should have stopped nursing him at that point!

    Ignorance is not bliss, dear Anonymous.

    Mother Hen: Beautiful picture! Happy birthday to Chicken Little!

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  10. Anonymous- My baby has been "talking" since she was 7 months old. (how's that for extra IQ points?) Should I have weaned her then? Mostly I am sad for you that you are truly missing out on such a beautiful part of being a parent, and your that your children will be/are deprived of optimal nutrition and emotional support customized specifically for their needs.

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  11. That is such a beautiful picture. I wish my two would do that. They are three months and just under three years, but my oldest tells me nursing is only for babies. However she insists she get her "mom milk" from her cup anytime she see my breast pump. Secretly she knows she's not too old.

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  12. Beautiful pic, hope your little man had a good birthday , i tandem nurse my 3 month and 3 1/2 year , he is still very much attached to his "booby milk" as he likes to call it :)

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  13. I absolutely loved your picture and your blog post when I saw them the other day. My kids are almost 7 years apart, so tandem nursing didn't happen for me, but my heart just melted at the picture of your daughter's hand on your son's head. My daughter stopped breastfeeding on her own at 16 months but my son is almost 19 months and still going strong. I'm starting to get negative comments from people about him "still" nursing, and my husband is even starting to get annoyed. Too bad. Don't let the dumb comment from someone who didn't even have the balls to leave their name get you down. YOU know you are doing the best thing for your son. That's all that matters.

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  14. If being able to ask for milk is a sign that a child is too old, that means I should have weaned at six months, when my son started signing for it. Or maybe I shouldn't have nursed at all, given that cries are just as much a language for babies as their parents native tongue (even babies cry in accents of their language of origin.)

    Breast milk doesn't suddenly turn into water at one year and toddlers don't stop needing milk just because the age of one is when formula fed babies no longer need bottles. Consider this for a minute: if formula did not exist and we did not have a one year cut off date for infant formula feeding, would you still think breastfeeding is not for toddlers? Even when you learn that the world weaning age is SEVEN?

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  15. I've been nursing 289 days! You are amazing for tandem nursing. My son is 3 and no way I could still nurse him. It would be way to awkward. My daughter is only 9 months old and I plan on keeping going till a year or so or she's ready.

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    1. I always thought it would be awkward, but they are always your "baby" no matter what age they are. Not weaning him has had so many benefits I never thought would exist. http://thegoodletdown.blogspot.com/2011/05/why-didnt-i-wean.html

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  16. While I certainly condone breastfeeding for more than the "recommended" 6 months (2 of my kids weaned themselves at 10 months and the other weaned himself at 18 months), I am also just as certain that letting your child who can "ask for boobies" nurse is somehow damaging.

    I struggle with knowing exactly what this damage is. I don't base a lot of my decisions on the popular or "normal" attitudes, but definitely lean towards being conservative on allowing a 3+-year-old child to suck on my boob.

    You congratulate yourselves for nursing school-age children, but yet "turn down" these kids in public. Why is that? If you are so sure that your actions are legitimate and wholesome for your children, why would you self-professed don't-care-what-other-people-think breastfeeders be concerned about others' opinions?

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    1. The "recommended" six months is for EXCLUSIVE breastfeeding, the World Health Organization recommends two years, with supplemental food. (Thought you might like more information on your facts there, medicme.)

      With that said, Mother Hen, I wanted to thank you for this. I was working on a piece on my feelings surrounding weaning my daughter at 32 months and came across this post, which made me smile. More power to you.

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    2. Yes, 6 months is for exclusive breastfeeding (aka, no solids) and then after that 2 years is the MINIMUM. Natural age of weaning for humans is 2-7 years. At 10 months your children were most likely going through a nursing strike, and not actual self weaning. It is possible they weaned that early, but more likely than not something else was going on.

      Since when have I said I'm a "don't-care-what-other-people-think breastfeeders". I'm human, and people are MEAN. As for denying my older child in public, it happened twice because I was letting society influence my mindset. I've since nurse him many times in public, and we are about 6 weeks from his fourth birthday.

      -- THANKS CRYSTA!!!! -- You get it. :)

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  17. I breastfed my youngest almost to 4 years and glad that I did. He's the smartest of the bunch. (I have 4 and the oldest is now 17. BF her until she was 3.)

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  18. Here's the thing..."asking" for nursing starts from day one. They cry, "asking" for nursing. Crying, it's communicating a need/a want for food. A 18 month old toddler who can point, pull at a shirt or say something like "milkies" or "mama" while doing the above mentioned is "asking" for it too. a 3 or 4 year old asking politely, "Mama may I please have some milkies" is no different than the other two situations I just mentioned, the only thing that changed was HOW they communicate.

    Nurse away. I believe children will wean when they are ready and extended nursing provides amazing benefits emotionally, physically and spiritually.

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