For someone who had not thought anything about breastfeeding and was so depressed those initial weeks that weaning at 6 months was decided, 18 months is a long way to come. The initial weeks are always challenging so one really must not look at the future that time. That time one must only keep strong and carry on.
So when she was younger and would nurse every 30 mins to an hour I was so anxious for her crossing one, starting to walk, take interest in toys so nursing interests her much lesser. Now all that happened but nursing behaviour has not really changed much. The solution to boredom is to nurse… need mama’s attention ask for milky… And to add to it I have a constantly moving toddler who would rarely ever sit still to even nurse.
No nursing a toddler is not easy at all. But it is very very rewarding. It is a one stop solution for all problems. For vaccination days… for days of sickness… for vacations 🙂 or for just simply dull days. Though most days I hate to be under arrest by my little toddler but there are many other days when I am not upto running behind her and locking her in a room and some books and an open offer to nurse 😛 helps me sail through.
But yes it is so demanding a job I feel like giving ever so often. And then I go back and read why I ever wanted to nurse so long. Last week was the worst ever such episode. With all those teeth coming in the latch changes so often. It pains and over that since she is also overwhelmed by teething she nurses like a newborn. So with a week like that almost and no good sleep for me I just wanted to give up. And though I had always thought of gentle weaning I just wanted to get over it soon 😦
But then good sense prevailed and I started thinking about how would she balance her nutrition. She is a self fed baby and self fed babies can listen to their body and make adjustments in their eating pattern. But somehow I was not convinced and wanted to know what alternate food sources should I offer to make up for. And thus i realised the biggest reason WHO recommends feeding till 2 years. The child goes through teething and also various major developmental changes. The food intake thus even for a self fed baby is not very well regulated. The physical discomfort would make them fussy eaters. And no I cannot MAKE my girl eat. She eats only when and what she wants to eat. Which is a very good thing! And so for all the missed out nutrition only breastmilk is capable of making up. Also at the same time it provides them the comfort they look for. Also I have realised that it is a very good way to soothe a tantrum.
Now a days her apetite has gone rock bottom. Few bites in the morning. Fruit she can eat anytime of day. But pulses and carbs very difficult. Some fruit salad and few spoons of rice at lunch, and again few bites at dinner. With such a poor intake I am really thankful for her nursing.
And thus I fell back on track. I am for now aiming 2 years of breastfeeding as my goal. Also whenever I wean her I want it to be a gentle approach. No crying and howling. It may take months but I know love shall win. i am not the gentlest of people around but I am trying very hard with her. I win most times but then I do have bad days. I am doing better each month and I know we shall win, for love always wins 🙂
So mums out there who have totally lost it nursing their toddlers. Hold on… nothing lasts forever and nor shall this, but the benefits surely will.!