Still breast feeding my 2 year old

27 Apr

When I started my journey of motherhood, breastfeeding was something I felt very passionately about, and if my body would allow, I wanted to make it to the 6 month mark. The first 4 weeks of getting to grips with breast feeding wasn’t the easiest, but I was determined and we cracked it. When the 6 months was up,  the strangest thing happened, I didn’t want to stop, I felt as though both baby and I wanted to continue. I started to slowly introduce solids using the baby led method and continued to breast feed until 12 months but even then at that age I felt it wasn’t the right time to cut it off completely. I started to research more about continuing to feed past 12 months and found that the world health organisation recommends feeding until two years old, this was all the encouragement I needed to continue. 

We live in a society that trains us to think that it’s not ‘normal’ to feed past a certain age, that perhaps we should be embarrassed by the fact that we are still breast feeding our children after this 6 month marker. It’s a shame that mothers are made to feel this way but ultimately it’s our right as a parent to decide when we should stop. Our first little girl, Eivissa weaned herself off at 18 months and I was so pleased that I was able to breast feed for so long, content that I given her the best I could. It was lovely to see her move on to the next stage at her own pace. 

When my second little girl, Cataleya, came along all books went out of the window. This baby had her own agenda, feeding  randomly and for a few minutes at a time was her style, I went with it, trying to treat her like my first baby was not suiting her at all. She always wanted to be with me and became my little koala, taking her everywhere made her happy, content, it felt so right. I knew feeding her wasn’t just for nourishment, it was for comfort, pain, teething,cuddles and so much more. Before long I was like ,’oh I guess we are co-sleeping, doing attachment parenting then’, I didn’t think I was doing a type of parenting, I was doing me and cataleya and it felt so amazing knowing we were bonding in our own unique way.

  
So now, 2 years on she is still firmly in love with ‘boo boo’, I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to stop or where to start to stop. I guess that will be a blog post in itself. Putting myself under pressure because of what people think affects my clarity to make the right decisions and that in turn affects the both of us, so for now, I guess I’m content and secure in my inner ‘Mumdar’ and this makes for one happy mamma.

We need to feel free to parent not in a style picked from a book,(although books are useful) but in your own way, to follow the rhythm and pattern that suits mother and baby. So much of what we are told or hear are not necessarily true, it’s often just opinions from people that are misinterpreted as fact. Often cultures and peoples beliefs differ from place to place, where one country sleeps with babies from birth, another put them straight into their own room. One country is 90% home birth and another 99% ceserean . I want to be a family of our own culture, not one that conforms to ways of doing things just because it’s where we live. It’s not one size fits all families. 

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3 Responses to “Still breast feeding my 2 year old”

  1. Jo-Anne Dunbar May 1, 2016 at 8:27 am #

    Love this Heather – new Mums in particular often get so caught up with trying to ‘perform’ or do what’s deemed as ‘right’ that they miss the most important moments with their baby. Carry on doing what you’re doing – you’re an inspiration!

  2. Zoe May 7, 2016 at 9:11 pm #

    I love this post! I breastfed my daughter until after she turned 3. I was very much like you, aimed for 6 months, then a year, before I knew it she was starting preschool! It got to the point where I wondered if she would ever stop, and I’m not going to lie, at times I just had enough! But looking back I’m so glad o went withy daughter and stopped when she was ready. I was worried that stopping would make our bond weaker but it has just changed, if not grown,.we are so close!
    Its so nice to hear other mums following their instincts and not allowing themselves to be pressurised by a society that still sees breastfeeding as weird or dirty!

  3. Niki June 11, 2016 at 8:52 pm #

    Hey Heather! Beautifully said.😊 I have a 17 month old daughter who I’m still proudly breastfeeding. We live in Ibiza and most of the Ibicencan people are really supportive when they see me breastfeeding in public. It’s funny because it happens a lot more than many people think. 😊The pressure is so high in our culture to stop early that I have friends who lie and say they’re not breastfeeding/co sleeping or babywearing like it’s some kind of crime. 😂

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