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In this post you won't find a rant against the modern view of breastfeeding. You won't find pictures of me looking sexy or divine while I nurse (because, most days, even if I feel sexy or divine... I probably don't look it...). You won't find pictures of boobs. You won't find me bashing formula companies or women who choose not to (or for whatever reason can't) breastfeed (because, really we don't know their story so we shouldn't judge!). You won't find me giving "in your face" facts about why I choose to breastfeed past one and giving "every-mom-should-be-like-me" guilt trips to those who don't.
I know mommas who couldn't or didn't nurse at all, mommas who nursed until five, mommas who nursed to six months or a year. Mommas who struggled with breastfeeding every day and mommas who loved and had an easy time nursing from the start.
My purpose here isn't to change any one's mind about their views on breastfeeding or to make a statement about breastfeeding past one.
My purpose here is to celebrate.
If you are a momma who couldn't nurse, a momma who nursed her baby past five, a momma who stopped at six months or nine months or a year, none of that matters. If you love your child you should celebrate, too. You should celebrate the things that YOU love about being a mom. That will look different from what I celebrate, it will look different from what your friend celebrates, from what your sister-in-law celebrates, from what your cousin celebrates. But the point is, you should celebrate what you love.
For me it just so happens that I LOVE breast-feeding my toddler. And in this post I am celebrating that. I hope you, too, celebrate what you love about being a mother.
10 Reasons I LOVE Breastfeeding My TODDLER
Seeing her thoughtsNow that she is no longer an infant it's wonderful to see a bit of the thought process her little mind is going through. She will be playing happily or babbling with me when all of a sudden she stops whatever she is doing, looks up suddenly and signs nurse!
"Daloodaloo"The other day, while nursing she unlatched, looked right at the boob and said "daloodaloo" which means "I love you" in baby talk and made her baby sign for it, too! I just about died. It was truly the sweetest thing ever. Now, randomly, she will look up from whatever she is doing and sign and say "I love you" to my chest.
Booby kissesAs well as saying I love you, the boobies are graced with kisses now during our nursing sessions. She wants to kiss them. She wants her stuffed kitty and dog to kiss them, too. She can't let her friends miss out I guess!
GigglesThis one has been around since before she was a toddler. Any mother who has experienced giggles while nursing knows what I mean. That sound is just pure bliss to a mothers' ears. Pure joy in that giggle.
Find the boobyThis one is fun most days. Though somedays it's a little annoying, too, I will admit. She is very capable and loves to play peek-a-boo... so naturally she wants to play peek-a-boo with her most favorite things in the world. This is great when we are at home... but something we need to learn not to do in public!
Nursing gymnasticsAny mom who has nursed passed six months probably knows what I mean by this. Babies are crazy. They can nurse with their butts up in the air while reading a book... They can nurse with their legs on your head and their fingers tickling their toes... It's pretty impressive, actually. And must look super hilarious to papa.
Nursing envyBabies will naturally get jealous of other babies who are nursing if they want to nurse. Very funny to be with a group of mommas and babies and one baby decides to nurse... and then all of a sudden ALL the babies want to nurse.
CuddlesAs she grows I am recognizing the fact that every day she is less and less a baby and that these close, cuddling/nursing sessions will not be with us forever. I want to cherish these moments as long as they are here.
Booby for booboo.The magic of the boob. Athena rarely cries when she gets hurt (it's pretty crazy how just naturally "tough" she is). But when she does get hurt enough to cry, the cry is always accompanied by a hand signing "nurse". It's so sweet how much comfort she finds in nursing.
Booby envyThis one only came up recently and made both Brian and I chuckle. Athena was sitting on my lap chatting with me when Brian came around behind me and gave me a hug with his arm resting across the top of my chest. Athena looked at his arm, looked up at him and got super angry and started pushing his arm away. Apparently, she doesn't think that he's allowed to be anywhere near her property!
That's the tally! I feel very blessed to be able to still breastfeed and to be enjoying it. I am not sure what age we will nurse until, but I have a feeling that no matter when we do it weaning is going to be difficult for each of us in our own way!