Some people may wonder why we are still breastfeeding at 16 months old, but if that question comes from a mother to a similarly aged child I want to ask her why she quit breastfeeding.
The nourishment doesn’t miraculously go away when a baby turns 6 months, 12 months, 28 months, etc. My milk is packed with vitamins, minerals and calories that help him grow. Sure, a cow has milk with great qualities, but that milk was perfected for her calf, just as mine was perfected for my son.
The comfort he gets cannot be replaced by a sippy cup, blanket, pacifier, teddy bear or his thumb. Suggesting such a thing, shows that you know nothing about Atticus and his needs.
He’s still a baby. 16 months or 16 days… He is a baby. He cries to communicate and he nurses for nutrition, comfort and rest.
Do I have days where I am beat, tired and over it? Absolutely. I often times wonder when my cycle will return and when my breasts will be “mine” again. At this juncture they are equal parts Atticus’ and mine. I don’t always enjoy nursing, but I do it out of love. The 10 minute nursing intervals we have during the day allow me 10 minutes to stare at my beautiful son and reflect on his 16 months Earth side. I don’t resent nursing, and if I did, I might be writing a different post.
Our nursing relationship isn’t always euphoric. It can be draining, painful, exhausting and I do it to be selfless. I put his needs before mine, and as a mother, it is important to do that for your child.
Many mothers within our community of attachment, focus on self-weaning…. Essentially letting the child wean himself. Will we wean when he is ready? I’m not sure. Possibly, maybe, no… Who knows?
I don’t necessarily envision myself nursing a four year old, but unless he’s ready to wean tomorrow, I’m not going to force it. I do plan on casually guiding him towards cups and sippy’s, but he evidently needs my milk and I’m not going to force hormone infused cows milk on him instead.
As he grows, he needs me less and less. I have been told to look at our breastfeeding journey as an accomplishment, and while I am proud that we didn’t give up in those rough early days, I look at it as our peregrinate that was guided with love.