Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Nursing : a year and beyond

A friend asked today if I was still feeding my toddler. I happily explained that I still am, and hoped that we could continue until bubba decides to stop. As she is also breastfeeding her baby I didn't think twice about the honest answer.
This made me think about what I now take for granted each day and what I treasure about nursing beyond a year...
1. Baby's always right. 

(Well except when we're talking about trying to eat cat food. Or shut our fingers in the door for the thousandth time that day.) So yes, heavily caveatted, baby's instincts are great. We've been led by our little one on all aspects of food and weaning and have had a great time first experimenting, then eating, a variety of meals. Although especially anything with noodles. And I mean anything. Blueberries and spaghetti are a current favourite. Once we'd been on 3 meals plus snacks a day bubba chose to drop his main day feeds, leaving us with first- and last-thing milk time.
Baby led weaning and the Yoghurt Beard look
I was a little sad about this. I should say something emotional but mostly I missed having a sit down and a chance to peruse Facebook for the latest non baby-related gossip. But I was very glad that my days of expressing in the freezing first aid room at work had come to an end!
2. Cuddles a-plenty.
Now I am the proud owner (don't know who I'm trying to kid here? Myself?) of a crazed toddler I value our sleepy milk cuddles more than anything. Once we'd adjusted to cutting teeth that is. The latch is different now but not painful, although it took us both a while to re-learn to feed. When not multi-tasking by doing the weekly shop online I love nothing better and simpler than stroking bubba's hair as he falls asleep feeding.
If I'm cute I don't have to nap, right?
Having the non-napping, non-sleeping variety of baby I value this precious calm time for us to be together. And mostly because I love a good sit down. Actually, scrub the emotional stuff. I'm just glad to sit down and know that there's no more games of chase or pat mummy on the head with brush/wooden spoon/book today...
Which leads me onto...
3. Hiding.
This is almost my favourite part. It relates to both sitting down and cuddles. Mostly because I will continue to feel smug about this until and if hubby ever reads my blog (unlikely. He's only just worked out what wifi is for his new smartphone).

Post-milk snooze
Whilst I sit in the warm cosy bedroom snuggling with bubba I can hear banging and crashing downstairs. This means one of two things. Either dinner is being prepared, or if we've had tea with bubba, dishes are being washed. The longer I can hide out upstairs, the less jobs there'll be for me when I finally descend back to the real world.
Who wouldn't want to stay cosy and snug with an almost-asleep baby in their arms? As beautiful as this may be, its the time I use to blog. I have therefore diminished the magical beauty of this moment in one foul swoop.
4. Health. 

Well really this should come top but it's a bit of a given. I'm no scientist, despite my parents best intentions (and no, science week at the local university did little to change my mind as a sullen teenager, in case any of you were considering this approach for your unsuspecting teens). So I am cheekily going to link to unicef and WHO, who (yes I am aware how that sounds. And yes I know, its very childish to find it amusing) recommend that in the developed world mums feed their babies until 2 years, due to the plethora of benefits for both mum and baby.
But hey, that's our journey so far. I've now proudly stolen (borrowed?) the best response to when I am FINALLY going to stop feeding my child - politely suggest that perhaps when they go to college. This is a sure-fire way to ensure that they will be too scared to ever ask you again! (Possibly as they think you're Serious. In which case you may not hear from said Enquirer in a while*)
*ever. You've scared them for life now. It's OK though. Wine will see you through. But only a glass mind you, - you're still feeding that baby. #downsidetoextendedfeedingfinallyrevealed

does this count as one drink? no?!

How've you found your journey of feeding your child/toddler? Did you get questions about what you are doing and why? I'd love to know how things went for you...