First of, we define toddler age as 1-3 years old
We all know that breastfeeding is good for your baby but what if that baby becomes a toddler and has decided to pinch and pull your nipples? Ouch! right? you may think of stopping but please hold your horses first and let me convince you to push a little longer and do an extended breastfeeding for these reasons…
The Pros & Cons Of Extended Breastfeeding To A Toddler
1. Health benefits to your baby.
From his newborn feedings up until now during his toddler years, the quality and health effects of your breast milk continues to provide your baby the nutrients he needs.
Boosting the immune system – I observed that Seb rarely gets the sick. For common colds, if he does get it a week tops and he’s okay. As for fever, he had 4 days on and off and I blame it on his teething (some would disagree that fever is related to teething but I stand firm that it happens based from experience).
Brain development – imagine all the vitamins the milk supplies to help those neurons get in their right places and since I am not that consistent in the “Tamang Kain” as I want to be, I rely on my good milk to compensate for that. I am a vegetable eater so Seb’s been getting the liquid version.
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2. Keep Mommy fit.
I think this is a big factor to why I am back to my pre-baby weight aside from chasing after an active toddler. We all know that breastfeeding gives you the appetite of a hippopotamus – after every breast feeding is a food for you too and I eat a lot and I am thankful that those meals burn fast.
3. Instantly calms the baby.
Why instant? The moment Seb gets fuzzy I just lift my shirt up and he’s running toward the boob – his crying and meltdown forgotten. Whenever he is about to sleep, he will cry a few minutes, feed and he’s off to dream land. I am wondering what I will do comes the day that he is no longer breast feeding. Oh well, for now this works and I am using it to my advantage.
4. Convenience and Portability.
You will never forget this wherever you go and the clean up is easy.
I tried giving Seb breast milk in a bottle when he was around 6 to 8 months as I do freelance work before and gone for a couple of days and the chore of pumping, washing and sterilizing those bottles is not something I look forward to. We are together 24/7 now and so direct feeding is the way to go.
5. Minus your Expenses.
Whenever I passed the milk section on markets, I thank my lucky stars that I am able to breast feed my baby up until now as the prices of formula milk these days are not cheap. This free milk saves me a lot of money which I can allot on other baby needs such as wipes and diapers. I know that when he weans we’ll be buying the formula too but for now let me enjoy those little savings.
Not every moment of breast feeding is bliss. From that first 2 weeks of toe curling pain as your newborn sucks and open your duct, to this day that a very active toddler seems to think that your nipple is a chew and squeeze toy. And so to make this post relatably realistic, let me present the cons too.
Yes, that is the word that best describes them. Seb for one, cannot stay still. He’s kicking, climbing, pushing and keeps playing. Count those few moments of biting too. Oh the horror of nipple pulling! Remember those days of side lying with just his mouth moving and his cutie little hand on your arm? say good bye to that.
2. SOMETIMES it gets to you.
When the mood strikes you, this question will surely arise. Am I just a milking prop? because it will feel like that. There will come a moment when it is not relaxing, easy and comforting. Those are the hard moments. It would not last long I assure you but you will feel that one time or another and please don’t feel bad or guilty that you thought of it. It is natural and everyone’s been there and done that. Its just a phase.
Clearly, the pros outweighs the cons because breast feeding is a blessing. Not everyone can do it and commit for a long time and that is okay. Whatever feeding method you chose for your baby is right as long as he is fed.
The secret to a lasting milk supply? Unli latch. It is the law of supply and demand. You may try those breast massages, milking cookies, soupy foods, moringa vitamins and beverages but based from my journey, tried and tested – plenty of water and unli latch.
When will we wean? I say to let him lead and I will follow as weaning is a child’s decision.
For now, let me enjoy this moments as this will never happen again with him. Let me wear my breast feeding mommy badge a little longer while I still can and until he wants me to.