Deciding to nurse your baby can be an interesting study in what is considered appropriate in different social settings. When you’re in the hospital with your newborn, it can seem like either a surge of support or a wave of disappointment, depending on how soon you see the lactation consultant and if the hospital even has one. Then come the comments: how long you should nurse, why your baby is crying, what you should do to stop it, and even, “just one session with formula isn’t going to hurt!” Depending on your personal nursing goals, it can seem like an uphill battle, all over this little baby.
Finally, some of the smoke clears. You have set your goals, decided what is reasonable for your family, and most of those close to you have accepted it. That is, until your baby hits that magical age. For some bystanders, it’s 6 months. For others, it’s “when they start asking for it.” And still for others, seeing a toddler nurse is just weird. You’re thankful that you have had several months without comments because, baby, you’re going to need that arsenal.
By this point, your sweet little newborn has grown. Whether you have a crawling explorer or a toddler confident in his surroundings but not his own abilities, the situation arises. Maybe it’s your sweet sitter deciding to bite you. Or your adorable toddler is still nursing despite the comments from others (behind your back or to your face.) Maybe it’s even your own feelings towards your darling gymnast, feelings you may not want to admit. One comment from you about how it’s difficult or how it isn’t what you pictured and someone is bound to tell you that it’s fine to give up now. After all, your sweet little one really doesn’t need it anymore.
Oh, my dear, what do you do? Because, really, you just wanted some reassurance that your feelings are valid and that you still are on the right track. But your vulnerability has made room for an attack, whether it’s meant to be one or not.
You weigh your decision carefully, considering your baby’s feelings as well as your own. Biting isn’t an acceptable way to end a breastfeeding session, no matter how adorable a look your baby gives you afterwards, so you plan how you will act the next time you are bitten. Maybe you aren’t ready to wean your toddler and neither is he, so you keep nursing despite the comments. And if you are ready to wean, you plan out how you will work with your baby to do just that. And those feelings of angst? Are they really telling you something about your breastfeeding relationship or are they truly fleeting?
And let me tell you, you are doing a wonderful job. No matter what your ultimate decision is, no matter how many times something negative is said or how many people you have to ignore. When your decision is based on the relationship you two have, it’s going to be the best one.If you’re looking for encouragement in your breastfeeding decisions, check out The Leaky Boob on Facebook, #bfcafe on Twitter, and @latchthebabes or #latchthebabes on Instagram. You can also email us at sistersncloth at gmail dot com or tweet us @sistersncloth. <3!!
What has been your biggest struggle with nursing an older baby or a toddler? What do you wish you would have known when dealing with it?
Be sure to check out what other moms have to say in the linky below! We would love if you would link up your old or current posts on this topic. Please be sure to mention the BF Blog Hop and link to this post or our page. We would love it if you shared the BF Blog Hop with your readers by including the linky code in your post, too. If you’ll leave us your twitter handle in the comments, we’ll be sure to tag you when we tweet your post! If you are new to the Hop, be sure to check out the Breastfeeding Blog Hop page for more information about how it all works.