Just getting started with breastfeeding can be a challenge. Finding a comfortable position, getting baby to latch, and how to effectively BF in public are all learned skills. They take patience, love, and practice.
But now that you got all that, and the initial praise has simmered down, people are starting to wonder…when are you going to stop? People stare at you like you are half stupid and say, “You know they have to stop, right?”
If you are already feeling irritated, a comment like this can make you flip your shiz. Depending on how much sleep you’ve had or how many times your toddler has screamed that day, your head may spin around as you say to them: “reallybecauseIwasgoingtobreastfeedthemuntiltheywereincollegeandsneakintotheirdormandbreastfeedbecauseI’mfreakingcraaaaaaazzzzyyy.” And then you eat them…or kindly turn around and walk away. One or the other.
But really- the short answer to all of this is: stop when you (and your baby!) are ready. It’s that simple and that complicated.
Perhaps your baby doesn’t want to stop, like mine. I said I would BF until he was 2. He is now 2…and a half. And while I may sometimes convince myself (and those around me) that he is slowing down, I know in my heart that he is no where near ready. And you know what?
That’s beyond okay.
One day, you and I will look back at this time and think about how short it really was. Time- and BF- is all about perception. Are you enjoying breastfeeding? Is your baby happy and nourished and growing? Then don’t stop. We don’t need books and doctors and internet blogs to tell us when to stop. We know when the right time is, because we know our children. We know that beautiful feeling of oneness with our child. When they look into our eyes with so much gratitude and happiness. Why would we rush to give that up? I LOVE MY BABY.
If anything, breastfeeding your baby or toddler is giving him/her extra comfort in their growing world. BF toddlers are quick to explore and don’t mind trying new things- because they know that there is always a comforting mama with some warm milk waiting nearby. When they are ready to walk away for good, they will.
Don’t give up something so innocent and precious just because society has a problem with it.
Do you breastfeed your toddler? Share your thoughts in the comments below!