Sunday, 6 September 2020

Breastfeeding a 3 year old

An image of a mother breastfeeding her toddler

I have to say, these aren't words I ever expected to write. When I was pregnant with Dot, I knew I wanted to breastfeed, especially as I never managed it with Squidge. 

Initially, my goal for breastfeeding was to reach six months. To feed for a year felt like a bit of a pipe dream, but that would have been wonderful. I had friends who had toddlers they were breastfeeding, and I was one of those people who thought it was odd. Breastfeeding a two or three year old, hmm, not for me.

Yet here we are, and I'm breastfeeding a three year old. Does it feel weird? Not at all. Was it what I'd planned? Nope, but I'm rolling with it. I do feel like if lockdown hadn't happened he'd have weaned by now. He'd started to drop some of his feeds, but then we were all locked in a house together and he started feeding like a newborn again.

People often ask me if I'm going to stop soon. "I'd like to" I say, but in reality I know it won't be soon. He's got lots of big changes coming up and I don't want to take his one comfort away from him. He's starting School in just a couple days, in a couple/few weeks he'll be moving out of his cot and our room into Squidge's bedroom. Maybe once those changes have happened we'll talk about winding down. But for now in this crazy time, I'm happy to be one safe place for him to find comfort and solace.

I only wish more mums fed through to toddlerhood (and in public), normalising this beautiful act.

If you're reading this, and have breastfed, I'd love to know how long you fed for in the comments. However long your journey was, be it three days or three years, you have done something utterly amazing and you should be proud of every moment of it.

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