Margot turned 1 in April, and since then, I have gotten several “so how long are you going to breastfeed her?” questions. I usually respond with, “I’m not sure” or “as long as she wants.” But the curious person usually says, “Well, you don’t want her still breastfeeding when she’s 14!”
And they are absolutely right. I do not want her breastfeeding when she’s 14. (By the way, is this a thing that happens? Is this something I should be concerned about? If I nurse past a year, is she going to be asking for “milkies” on her way to the 8th grade dance?!)
I don’t understand why nursing past a year bothers so many people. I’m not breastfeeding them, after all. I’m just feeding my baby. In fact, because she’s older now, I don’t have to nurse her in public so much anymore. So it literally affects no one but her and me.
Here are 8 reasons I’m not ready to wean my 14 month-old…
1. It’s kind of our thing. Right now, I nurse Margot anywhere between 5 and 8 times a day. It’s part of our routine, our relationship. Taking it away cold turkey would be hard on us both, because it’s what we do. It’d be like taking away your car all of a sudden. “Sorry, I know you use it morning, noon, and night, but you’ll need to give it up, now! Thanks!”
2. I like breastfeeding. Some people may call me a sicko for admitting that, but it’s the truth. And I think many breastfeeding mothers will agree. I like being able to calm and soothe my baby. I like not having to give her something from a can. And in all honesty, it sometimes feels like the one thing I’ve gotten right in my few years as a parent.
No lovey or amount of hugs and kisses can soothe my baby as fast as my boobs can.
3. Breastmilk is good for them. I’m not sure why we’re still debating this issue. Everyone knows that breastmilk is amazing. It didn’t get the name “liquid gold” for nothing. On baby’s first birthday, breastmilk doesn’t turn to dust. No, the benefits are still there. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends that all babies receive breastmilk for the first two years of their life.
4. Nursing = instant soother. No lovey or amount of hugs and kisses can soothe my baby as fast as my boobs can. If she falls and scrapes her knees, breastfeeding calms her in an instant. Right after her shots at the doctor’s office, nursing can make the pain go away. At the grocery store, on the verge of a meltdown, a little breastfeeding session can save us all.
5. Breastfeeding encourages independence. So many people take away the boobs for fear of the child becoming too dependent. But, the opposite is actually true. When a child has received love and ultimate security from breastmilk, they are then more likely to go after the world with courage, confidence, and independence.
6. She’s my last baby. (Most likely, that is.) And I’m savoring every morsel of her baby-ness. I am in no hurry for her to grow up. Why should we be?
7. It’s easy. At this point, breastfeeding is a piece of cake. (At the beginning, not so much.) But now that we’ve been doing this for over a year, we’ve got it down pat. And yeah, it’s easier to lift up my shirt and nurse her for 3 minutes than it is to make a bottle or a sippy cup or hear her cry.
8. I’m a grown woman. And I can do whatever I want. (Beyonce fans, unite!) No but seriously, breastfeeding is this crazy hot-button issue and it just shouldn’t be. Nursing my child past a year is no one’s business but my own. Thank you very much.
By, Lacy Stroessner