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No End In Sight

Seven months ago, I thought it was almost over.  I was emotionally torn, a sense of peace mixed with sadness.  I didn’t want it to end, but I knew it would eventually.  But it still hasn’t…At 20 months of age, Spencer is still nursing.  Just once a day, and I don’t really consider myself a “nursing mom” anymore, but it’s still a part of our bedtime routine.  Here’s where we’re at in our nursing relationship:

  • Spencer is definitely a toddler, and an opinionated one at that.  He shrieks “NO!!” at the mere mention of anything not in his plans.  He can fairly reliably answer “Yes” and “No” about what he does and does not want.  Every night after changing into jammies with big brother Miles, reading a story, saying our prayers, and giving hugs and kisses, I ask him “Do you want to nurse?” And every night, he nods his head, says “Yes” and climbs up onto the loveseat, where he nurses every night.  I’m prepared to put him to bed without nursing if he says “No.”
  • I nurse Spencer in the living room while his brother Miles is still awake and usually watching a show or playing iPad with my husband.  Because of this, Spencer tends to stop nursing to tell me about what is on the TV screen.  “…Doggie!!”  “…Mickey Mouse!” and “…Ball!” have all been exclaimed during brief interruptions from nursing.
  • Miles has always been around me breastfeeding his brother and is no stranger to what this looks like.  Now that he is 3 and his vocabulary is blossoming, it’s funny to hear his perspective of what’s going on.  His observations sound something like this:  “Mama, Spencer eat now?” (“Yes, Spencer is going to nurse.”) “Look!  Spencer eat you belly!  *laughs*  That’s funny, Mommy!”
  • I’ve been away from Spencer overnight several times, even 2-3 nights at a time, but I’m still able to nurse him when I return.  I’m glad I’ve been able to enjoy some time away but we can still pick right up where we left off.
  • Spencer has always been one of those babies who would nurse for an infinite period of time, perfectly content to lazily snack.  This continues even at his age.  I will say “Okay Spencer, are you ready to stop and go to bed?” Still nursing, he closes his eyes and shakes his head “No.”  A few minutes later I’ll say “Come on, Spencer, time for bed.” He stubbornly shakes his head and says “Uh-uh!”  And so I wait…
  • One of my favorite things in the world is when my boys giggle while nursing.  When they were teeny tiny, I would love to blow raspberries on their hands while they nursed to make them laugh.  There’s just something about that sweet, muffled giggle that makes my heart melt, and so I love to make Spencer giggle while he nurses, by bending over and letting my hair tickle his nose, or making funny sounds at him, playing “Peek A Boo.”  (Hey, come to think of it, maybe that’s why he doesn’t want to stop!)

Right now, my goal is to make it to 2, but if we don’t get there, I’m okay with that.  We’ve had more than a good run and I’ve enjoyed the experience of nursing a toddler.  One of these days, I really will wind down and close this chapter of parenting, possibly forever.  I’m grateful for the 20 months (+14 months with Miles) that I had nursing my boys and look back on these many months with joy.

What are some of the things you’ve enjoyed with your baby that you thought would never end?

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About Krista

Krista is a full-time working mom of two boys, currently aged 6 and 7. She lives in Kentucky with her husband, Brandon.

Comments

  1. Henry stopped nursing a month before his third birthday. I never thought we would go that long, but I’m so glad we did. At that point, he was still nursing at night and in the morning, but we went out of town and he just sort of forgot to ask for it for a few days, so it ended. I was ready to stop as long as he was, but it was still a little sad. It was also tough to stop cosleeping. He slept with me from four months to two years, then he slept on his own little bed in my floor until he was three. Now he’s in his own room, and it still seems a bit strange (though I end up in the bed with him most nights).

  2. Wow, that’s great, Lisa! Go you! 🙂

  3. My baby girl will be two in three weeks, and just when I think she is slowing down and thinking she is about done, she starts nursing constantly again! It is 11:30 am and I think we have already nursed four times this morning. I remember when I was really hoping I could make it to one year!!!

  4. Krista,
    Thank you for being public about still nursing your toddler. Emerson just turned 2 and she is still nursing. Mostly just a couple times a day, mostly for naps and bedtime. I never dreamed when I was pregnant that I would still be breastfeeding her at 2. Emerson is a brteastfeeding pro, she never had any problems latching on or getting the hang of it and I have so enjoyed the special bond that it has made between us and being able to “fix” all her problems for her. But I have recently gotten to where it is not an enjoyable experience for me anymore, I feel frustrated and resentful about doing it now. And then I feel guilty about feeling that way because this is all she has ever known.

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