Sunday, April 17, 2011

From the Mouths of Babes

This post is part of the Carnival of Breastfeeding on the topic of "Extended Breastfeeding" hosted by Blacktating and The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog. You can find links to the other carnival participants at the bottom of the post.

In the past, I've talked about the benefits of breastfeeding from physical standpoints as well as emotional standpoints: it's good for mom and baby to breastfeed! But today, I want to strip all that away.

If I were to give advice to a mom (you, maybe?) throwing away all the issues that affect the ability to breastfeed (supply, support from friends and family, job situation, and everything else in between) and give the least scientific recommendation ever, it would be this:

Breastfeed at least until your child can speak sentences.

Yes. Do it. All those weeks of newborn colic, all the engorgement, all the mastitis, the thrush, the biting, and the standing-on-your-head-while-nursing frustration seems to disappear once the child can talk to you about breastfeeding.

One night Margaret woke up wanting to nurse, she rolled over and latched on. In her half-asleep state, a part of her remembered that I like to be asked before she nurses, so she unlatched and in sleepy toddler voice, said, "Breast, please." And then she latched back on.

Not long ago, I was nursing Margaret down for the night. Isaac was already asleep, but he started stirring. Margaret unlatched, looked me in the eye, pushed me away and said, "Go!"


"Go! Isaac needs breast!"

Her concern for him melted my heart. I turned and nursed Isaac through his restlessness and Margaret fell asleep on her own.

I think it's adorable that she cares so much about Isaac that she'll share me like that. And she knows how much nursing means to her- and surely it must mean a lot to Isaac, too!

Yes, sometimes she gets upset when she wants Isaac's turn to be over. And sometimes when I suggest to her that I like to be asked, she'll say, "I ask!" but not tell me what she's asking for.

The other day, I was lying down with her to go to sleep. She was done nursing, but she put her hands around my breast and said, "I'm holding it," and smiled. I don't normally let her use her fingers (because I'm so touched out!) but this time it was adorable. She just wanted to be close to me.

So my opinion, possibly wrong, of how long you should nurse: Can your child speak in sentences? If not, you haven't gotten to the icing on top.

I am so excited for her language skills continue to develop and to talk with her and enjoy life together.

And now, a word from my Margaret, who has a few sentences to say on this subject:

Mama Alvina of Ahava & Amara Life Foundation: Breastfeeding Journey Continues
Mama Poekie: Extended Breastfeeding
Elita @ Blacktating: The Last Time That Never Was
Diana Cassar-Uhl, IBCLC: Old enough to ask for it
Karianna @ Caffeinated Catholic Mama: A Song for Mama’s Milk
Judy @ Mommy News Blog: My Favorite Moments
Tamara Reese @ Please Send Parenting Books: Extended Breastfeeding
Jenny @ Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: The Highs and Lows of Nursing a Toddler
Christina @ MFOM: Natural-Term Breastfeeding
Rebekah @ Momma’s Angel: My Sleep Breakthrough
Suzi @ Attachedattheboob: Why I love nursing a toddler
Claire @ The Adventures of Lactating Girl: My Hopes for Tandem Nursing
Stephanie Precourt from Adventures in Babywearing: “Continued Breastfeeding”: straight from the mouths of babes
The Accidental Natural Mama: Nurse on, Mama
Sarah @ Reproductive Rites: Gratitude for extended breastfeeding
Nikki @ On Becoming Mommy: The Little Things
The Artsy Mama: Why Nurse a Toddler?
Christina @ The Milk Mama: The best thing about breastfeeding
TopHat @ the bee in your bonnet: From the Mouths of Babes
Callista @ Callista’s Ramblings:  Pressure To Stop Breastfeeding
Zoie @ Touchstone Z: Breastfeeding Flavors
Tanya @ Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Six misconceptions about extended breastfeeding
Jona ( Breastfeeding older twins
Motherlove Herbal Company: Five reasons to love nursing a toddler


  1. LOVE that exclusive interview! :D I was feeling a little sentimental earlier today, as it is the one year mark of Bug weaning. He was a late bloomer in the language department, so I never got to converse much with him about nursing. But, I love talking to him about how I nurse his little brother, just like I used to nurse him. There is definitely such a sweet relationship that comes from nursing!

  2. Awww, this was great. Watched it with my son on my lap (he's around 22 months) and he was repeating after her all the words he knows, and he pronounced milk the way she did instead of the way he normally says it. ("MUTT!")

  3. omg, TOO adorable. I love the "interview"!

  4. So cute!! Don't you just love how 3 year olds don't actually answer your question but go off on their own tangent? The story about her telling you to feed her brother in the night is so adorable.

  5. Aww... How cute. My 22-month-old son LOVED the video. He was cracking up like it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen. He couldn't understand what was being said, but he just was delighted by Margaret. :)

  6. Sharing now leads to more peaceful sibling interactions later. Lack of jealousy and empathy with each other are just a couple of the reasons why I'm triplex nursing my 4-year-old, 3-year-old, and 19-month-old. The bond they share is so precious!

  7. I think this is great advice! My daughter just turned 2 and has had a language explosion. Recently, when I tell her we can only nurse for a little bit she'll nurse for a few seconds and then pull down my shirt and say, "Bye-bye nurse!" Sometimes she even waves, lol.

    Just yesterday she was nursing and popped off to say, "apple juice". I asked her if she wanted apple juice to drink. She said, "No", and then pointed to my breast before repeating "apple juice" again. Apparently my breastmilk tastes like apple juice!

  8. I thought the "Nuh, nuh, nuh!" while signing more or tapping my sternum was adorable, but now I can't wait until my son uses more words. That video was just too cute!

  9. Beautiful post! That story about Margaret telling you to go to Isaac was so precious. She's learning sharing and empathy!

  10. OMG the cuteness! I just found your blog today and have very much enjoyed your posts :) I've also shared this post on Kellymom forums as many of us are heading into the wild and woolly world of toddler nursing...

  11. I love this post, especially the video. It is so fun to see Margaret as a big girl! By the way, she looks SO healthy!

  12. So sweet! I recently read a blog entry about a woman asking her daughter how her milk tasted. I wish I had asked my older daughter! It never occurred to me.

    I hope I remember to ask my younger daughter. Our nursing relationship is going very strong at 19 months. She doesn't speak much yet.

    Awesome recommendation, though!

  13. Your kids are adorable! So fun to hear Margaret's perspective. :)

  14. What a great post for the carnival! I agree that breastfeeding when they can speak sentences is the best. They come out with the funniest sentences about it. I just love it. Thank you for including the video as a perfect example of the cuteness. Margaret and Isaac (sp?) are adorable

  15. We just started a new blog: where we post funny pictures we find on Mommy Blogs for all moms to get a giggle out of 

    We are contacting Mommy Bloggers to see if you have any funny pictures that we could post on our blog.

    If we do post one of your pictures, we will put your blog's button or url in the post with your picture so you would get the credit - and some new mommy followers!

    Hopefully you have a great picture to share with us!

    Heather Matthews & Heidi Werry


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