Hey there! I hope you all had a nice weekend. I took a little hiatus from the blog the latter part of last week, but I’m back now! We had no plans set for the weekend other than long runs for David and I (although mine isn’t really considered long yet at 5 miles). We just hung out, did some house work, and worked on some top secret projects that I’ll be sharing soon with you.
I get a lot of questions about breastfeeding now that Aiden is nearly 16 months old. I figured I’d shed some light on how breastfeeding a toddler fits in our life. I also read Madeline’s post about this a couple months ago and she has good advice too especially for working moms.
How long do you plan to breastfeed?
I honestly have absolutely no idea. Since the beginning, I’ve shared a lot of the principles of Attachment Parenting and with their 8 principles, you feed on demand. As time has gone on, Aiden has weaned himself from eating every 2 hours to now eating 2-4 times per day. I don’t have a problem with nursing him right now, so I plan on letting him take the lead with this one.
After the first year, were you on a regular schedule and how frequently do you nurse?
Like I mentioned above, Aiden nurses about 2-4 times per day. He decides (by pulling on my shirt) when he wants to and it’s usually first thing in the morning, before nap time, before bed and possibly one other random time. We’ve created this schedule, but if there is a time that he really wants to nurse, I’ll do it, such as growth spurts or for comfort occasionally.
In what ways do you feel that you and/or your child has benefitted from breastfeeding?
There are numerous ways we both have benefitted both physically and psychologically. For one, I have been able to give him nourishment that was designed specifically for him. I think that’s the most important one. I also think the immunity benefits are priceless. I think we have bonded on a level that even I didn’t realize was possible. I feel like I learned his cues better from this experience. I feel like he trusts me, but this isn’t solely from the breastfeeding, but from all the Attachment Parenting principles.
For me, it helped lose pregnancy weight, bond with Aiden, release oxytocin (which is the “love” hormone), reduced my risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer and reduced stress about numerous situations because I could rely on my milk. I never worry when he’s not eating solid food very well or if I packed enough food for him when we’re out or how to calm him down.
Where at night do you nurse?
Aiden has nursed throughout the night his entire life. As time has gone on, he’s developed more and in turn has now started sleeping through the night most night. He begun doing this more consistently at about 15 months, with the first time being around 13 months. We still have nights where he’s up 2 times but normally he goes to bed at 7:30 pm and then sleeps until about 5:30-6 am. Sometimes he’ll also wake up around 4:30 am to nurse and then goes back to sleep for a little bit. I have always nursed him in our glider in his room.
How do you go about nursing in public?
I never really had any problem with this since the beginning. I usually brought a little blanket or cover and nursed him all the time. Sometimes I didn’t wear anything. I think it’s natural and I don’t think anyone should judge you for feeding your baby. We live in a society that loves boobs – just maybe not in that way, but I feel that we should normalize breastfeeding. As Aiden’s gotten older, I don’t really have to nurse him in public because he eats solid food as snacks now.
How long does she nurse for?
At bedtime, he’ll nurse the longest for about 20-30 minutes, but he’s just falling asleep and I’m relaxing, so we’re in no hurry. During the daytime, he’s efficient and usually gets it done in about 5-10 minutes. I have noticed in the past few weeks that he’s nursing a little longer and I think it’s because I hardly have any supply left. He seems to do just fine with it though.
Do you nurse on both sides?
Yes and no. Honestly, rarely does Aiden eat on both sides and hasn’t most of his life. If he’s really hungry, I’ll nurse him on both, but normally he’s so busy with life that he can’t be bothered nursing for that long. I nursed him on both sides more when he was a newborn and young infant.
If you have other questions about breastfeeding at any stage of the game, I’d love to answer them if I can – don’t hesitate to ask. I find myself in love with breastfeeding and helping other moms as best I can. You can email me at alidamron @ gmail . com.