Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Go Ahead. Throw Rocks

I have a confession to make. I break a cultural taboo on a daily basis. I still nurse my twenty sixth month old child. My initial goal was to nurse for six months, then twelve months, but it just seemed the easiest thing to do was to keep going after that. It seemed really cruel to say "Happy first birthday! No more ninny for you." Also, any parent that has weaned a child from a bottle, or breast, or pacifier will tell you that it doesn't happen without tears. I have avoided weaning mainly because that is how Barrett goes to sleep, and I get little sleep as it is. Further interrupting my six hours of fractured sleep seems a bit crazy. Barrett only really nurses at nap and bed time, so it's not like it's an all-day event.

I had not intention to "extended nurse", and I don't know why I didn't. Everything that I read says that it is a good thing. It improves IQ and social skills, and it also ensures that a picky toddler is still getting SOME nutrition. I think the reason that I didn't consider it was because I fell into the American culture's general view that nursing past twelve months=icky. Even now it is something that I don't usually bring up unless someone asks, like I should feel ashamed or something. The international average for breastfeeding is a little over age three, so I'm normal on an international level. Here in the U.S., where few women manage to nurse past six months, I am a FREAK.

I shave my armpits. I wear makeup when I can. I don't make my own granola. I eat non-organic, processed foods (see I Want Candy post). I'm a pretty normal American mama. I nurse my two year old, and it's fine.

I will add that I plan to begin weaning Barrett after Christmas. He will be two and a half at that time, and I'm hoping that he will be "ready". I looked into child-led weaning and it seems that kids wean themselves as late as age seven! I personally can't keep up with this for that long....so ...uh...yeah, I will wean him by age three AT THE LATEST.

9 comments:

Misha said...

I come from the school of accepting each other for their own personal decisions. I don't think nursing your toddler is freakish whatsoever. (I'm not an organic eating granola making mama either!) I think people need to judge others less and look in the mirror more. I think it's great that you've nursed Barrett for so long. I'd love to give my girls those extra benefits of nursing beyond a year, but I'm not sure I can personally handle it. I'd much rather see a nursing 2.5 year old that a 2.5 year old with a bottle hanging out of its mouth or a nasty piece of chewed up pacifier.

Jason said...

our pediatrician scolded me for trying to give Finn a bottle while at his 15 month check up. Lindsay says that all the pediatricians tell you not to do it, but we still give him one if he asks for it. He'll quit when he is ready I would think. We just stopped offering it and made him ask for it. somedays he'll go without having one, others he'll have two or three... we'll get there
:D

Alabaster Mom said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with it; I just figured that at some point, you'd be justified in wanting your body back, KWIM?

Sammy said...

I think it's great. As you said, the world average is vastly higher than the US average, which I suspect has a lot to do with our crappy maternity leave system.

(I was breastfed until age 3.)

M'lissa said...

A lot of kids still take bottles at 2 1/2 so I don't see why bf is any different. I know it's going to be tough to cut M'kayla off the bottle and bink.
What you do as a momma is your business. Who cares if people don't agree. He'll wean when he's ready.

Iluska Ikeda said...

Good for you, mama! Seriously, that's great that he's getting extra nutrition and the comfort that he needs to go to sleep. I'm sure you'll wean when either you or him are ready for it. I'm hoping I can go as long as two years bfing with baby girl. We'll see how it goes.

Mainegirl/Pauline said...

Though... I think you are a freak, not for doing the bf thing, LOL! Seriously at this point I agree with your sis...I just wanted that 'me back' (after my 14mos of bf'g) but there is nothing wrong for you being less selfish than I. Prob. a good thing that you are. If I could nurse when I wanted...go a few days ((without pumping of course...I hated that)) then I would have gone a lot longer. Good for you but I will throw rocks if you have an 8yr old on the left and a 6yr old on the right in a few yrs! Love ya!

Audreee said...

Pauline, you have full permission ro throw rocks if I am nursing a six year old and an eight year old
:-)

Audreee said...

Pauline, you have full permission ro throw rocks if I am nursing a six year old and an eight year old
:-)