A Confession


Cuddling with Mama's belly
He's adorable. He's TWO. He's fun and super-active and growing by the minute. This morning, he was singing some combination of Apples and Bananas, ABCs, and The Hokey Pokey in the backseat. He chats on and on about his friends, trains, cars, and whatever he just spotted out the car window.

He's a big kid- he plays with his friend who's a year older than him, and they look about the same size. He's in 3T shirts, and his 2T pants don't quite cover his diaper. His 32 lbs matches what some kids twice his age weigh.

Elliott is about to be a big brother. Sometime between any-day-now and 5 weeks from now, he's got a wake-up call coming he's probably not ready for. He's not going to be excited to share his Mommy.

You see, Elliott's still nursing.

Not every day, but most days. Sometimes only once a day, sometimes three times. Sometimes when he's very upset, or hasn't seen me all day, or just woken up, or is ready for bed. He's a great eater, so it's not for nutrition that he's nursing. He still needs the comfort, the closeness.

As I watch him trot off to Sunday School or the babysitter or to various family members' houses, I know I'm not stunting his growth or 'keeping him a baby'. He's as confident as any two-year-old, and has never dealt with separation anxiety or a fear of new people (except for Santa). I suspect our relationship is stronger thanks to extended nursing, and he trusts we'll always come back for him, so has no fear in new situations.

He's not ready to give up on nursing, though.

I hate apologizing for this. Our culture dictates that babies wean when they get teeth, or hit their first birthday, or 'can ask for it' (as if newborn cries and grunts aren't 'asking for it'). These are all culturally-constructed milestones supported by effective marketing of formula and baby foods, but not at all in line with actual biological, developmental or medical markers.

I'm thankful that I have friends who have nursed their toddlers longer than I have and who I can learn from, including friends who have been in the same situation of having a baby and a toddler sharing Mommy's Milk. I'm glad there's an online community that I can read about, too, to know that I'm not a weirdo. Even celebrities nurse their toddlers- and this goes a long way to normalizing it in the rest of the culture.


ashley said...

<3 I love this.

I never thought I'd nurse a toddler, but when the time came I couldn't imagine weaning her.

Molly said...

I would have never thought I would still be nursing at this point. I wanted to make it a year. It looks like we will make it to the two year mark and probably longer. I trust when the time is right we will both know it. You are doing great and it does help normalize it by sharing this. Thank you!

KC @ genxfinance said...

Why would you apologize for that? Doctors would actually recommend that until that age. You're doing ind and it's good. Don't worry too much about it. If he's not ready, then that's okay.

age spots said...

That doesn't make you a weirdo at all. If anything, it makes you a great mom. We all know every mother just wants to give her child everything that he needs, and that's exactly what you are doing. No need to worry about it. Continue being the good mother that you are.


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