On extended breastfeeding

Kent is just a couple of days shy of 18 months, and breastfeeding is still going strong. I'm really proud of us. I've talked to many of you about extended breastfeeding and know that not everyone is as comfortable with it as I am, but you've all done a lovely job of respecting my decisions as a parent, and for that, I thank you.

I just heard about Dr. Jack Newman, who does a lot of research, public speaking, etc., about breastfeeding, and found this awesome set of Q&A handouts that he's written. I particularly liked the one entitled "Breastfeed a Toddler: Why on Earth?" which affirms many of my choices as a mom. Even though not everyone supports extended breastfeeding, I'm blessed (partly from the miracle of the internet and the connections it helps to forge) with a vast community of supporters. My monthly La Leche League meeting is still one of my favorite places to be, and I always look forward to it for advice, reconnecting with the friends I've made there, anecdotes, and reassurance that whatever crazy thing we're going through is, in fact, quite normal. It always is.

I was sitting in our living room this evening after dinner, with Mom and Bill still at our house before we put Kent to bed, and Kent sat with me and nursed for a few minutes in the middle of everyone's conversations. I thought it would be weird, but it wasn't. We also nursed at the park yesterday for a few minutes, even though I almost always feel like we've passed the point of social acceptance of public nursing, because Kent was wonky and tired and I needed a break from his crankiness. It works like a charm. It's like a reset button. And it reminds him that he's still loved and treasured, which is what toddlers testing their independence so often need from their parents.

It's such a perfect system. I just needed to share that.

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You nurse that baby as long as he wants to. Go Erica.
Hooray! I was able to make it to 15 mo with John and loved every minute of it. I am hoping to go a little longer with Grace. There is just nothing like that bond between nursing baby/toddler and momma.-Heather
More power to you, doing what works for you. I love the analogy of "reset button."
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