Breastfeeding A Toddler

I wrote a post recently on things I’ve learned about breastfeeding but one thing I didn’t include, that perhaps I should have, is that when you reach a certain point in breastfeeding people will start to ask how long you plan on continuing. Or if they don’t outright ask they’ll ask and say other things.

Things like…

But he has teeth. What if  he bites you? (This one makes me laugh since he’s had teeth since he was three months old. Also, if he bites me it hurts.)

Can’t he drink milk? (I’m not sure what they think comes out of there.)

But he needs to eat! (For the record he does eat and not just from my breasts.)

And it’s not just the slightly skeptical that make remarks. 

Oh, good! I hope you’re going to go to 18 months. At least. You are going to 18 months, right? Two years old would really be more ideal.  (Whatever you say, lady that I barely know.)

My 6 year old still nurses sometimes. (Keep your eyeballs in your head, Inez.)

Well, I nursed my kids until three years old. (Well, probably won’t!)

Though I can make light of it, the point at which I stop nursing my son is something that has caused me a bit of inner conflict. Some days I just really want my boobs back (and I feel guilty about that). But, for the most part, I don’t feel that my son is ready to wean and I really have no plan as to when the nursing will stop.

I know I’m not the only mama “still” nursing and many are far beyond the point I am at. This is why I am totally loving this Real Moms Talk interview I’m going to share with you today! 

Jennifer from My Mama Project is sharing her experience with nursing her toddler and I can honestly say, her words were a big encouragement to me personally. And I know they will encourage you, too, whether you are nursing a toddler or not!

Breastfeeding a Toddler. Real Moms Talk. Diary of a New Mommy. Breastfeeding.

How long have you been breastfeeding? 

I started breastfeeding my son when he was less than an hour old and we have been going strong for 18 months.

Did you initially plan to breastfeed beyond one year? 

Well, the plan was always to breastfeed for at least a year and then to be honest, I planned to just see what happened from that point forward.

What made you decide to breastfeed into toddlerhood? 

I think the best answer to this question is nothing. As he is my first child, I am kind of making all this up as I go along. Ultimately, my son still wants to breastfeed and I believe that he is getting nutrition from it, so nothing has crossed my mind about stopping just yet. I think that he will make the choice to stop when the time is right and if I ever personally feel that it is time, I think I will know when we get there. Not a very specific answer, I know!

Have you found that some people are uncomfortable with your decision to continue breastfeeding your toddler? 

I have been very lucky to not have the experiences that many other people report having. I have never had anyone tell me to “cover it up” or give me strange looks (or if they did, I wasn’t looking!). I feel very confident in my choice to continue breastfeeding and I know my inner Mama Bear would come out in full force if anyone tried to make me feel bad for my decision to breastfeed my toddler. I think some people in my life probably wonder how long I am going to keep this up or think that at this point I am only doing it for myself and not for my son’s needs, but they are smart enough to keep those views to themselves.

What are some challenges of breastfeeding a toddler that you may not have experienced when your child was an infant? 

This is a great question. For starters, when my son was an infant he would calmly nurse under a cover (and I had a bunch of cute ones). On the flip side, there is no way my toddler will tolerate a cover put over him now while he nurses. He instantly grabs it and pulls it to the side, so there is really no option but to nurse out in the open. My toddler is also a very “active” nurser. I’m talking a – nose grabbing, stomach kicking, clothes tugging – kind of a nurser. I feel a little overly stimulated after a nursing session sometimes. Lastly, a toddler (at least mine) can ask to nurse. For my son that usually means putting his hand down my shirt and heaven forbid if I am wearing a shirt that isn’t conducive to that. He will find a way in!

What is the most common response you get when people find out you breastfeed your toddler? 

“Oh, you’re still breastfeeding? (insert slightly impressed and slightly confused face here) Wow!” is usually the response I get. Most people are respectful of my choice, some are even quite curious, but mostly people show their slight judgement in their face and not their words.

What is the best piece of advice you have for a mom who may be trying to decide how long to breastfeed? 

Do whatever makes you and your baby happy. Don’t give a second thought to what anyone else tells you or what you think others expect you to do. Trust your mom gut and always know that whatever you choose, you are doing the best you can for your baby and for you. Whether you are breastfeeding your 2 year old or feeding formula to your newborn, be confident in your choice and let your inner Mama Bear shine.




Meet Jennifer: Jennifer Hanson. My Mama Project. Interview on Breastfeeding a Toddler. Real Moms Talk. Diary of a New Mommy. First Time Mom. New Mom. Breastfeeding.

Hello, I’m Jennifer! I’m a wife, mama, and lifestyle blogger trying to raise my tribe with gumption and grace.  I love yoga pants, coffee, ice cream, and reality television.  You can follow my motherhood journey at www.mymamaproject.com and on Instagram @mymamaproject. I’ve always loved a good project.  My favorite one calls me Mama.  {I’m always tired and make it up as I go along!}

7 thoughts on “Breastfeeding A Toddler

  1. Julie @ Fab Working Mom Life August 3, 2016 / 9:13 pm

    Lovely interview! I made it to 14 months before I dried up, and it was quite the journey but an amazing one.

  2. Mary Lynn January 21, 2017 / 12:46 pm

    Glad you can share this. I can definitely relate. I t drives me crazy when people keep asking about it or make it seem strange.

    • Inez January 21, 2017 / 11:16 pm

      Yeah, it’s crazy how many people think once your kid hits one it’s over. We are almost at 20 months now and still going strong!

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