Last year, when the Baby was born and I started breastfeeding once again I wrote a post giving 10 signs that you are breastfeeding. At the time one thing I never expected was to still be feeding the Baby 16 months down the line having stopped feeding the Big One at 11 months. But what are the differences of breastfeeding an older baby?
One thing for sure is that it changes slightly as they get bigger, it’s less Pammy boobs (most of the time) though my ginormous nipples appear to be here to stay, so it’s time for a little updated. I fully intended to write 10 signs but sleep deprivation and a boob demanding 16 month old hit me as my brain cranked out 9. So 9 it is!
You have your own special language
Where your baby is able to demand milk in their own special way…..mine points and pokes while shouting. It’s really rather clear.
Others request noonoo, mummy milk or simply boobies. Whatever your Toddler does, it will be unique to them (and you)
You ignore the eye rolls
And develop an eye glaze when the sentences:
“Are you still feeding?”
“Isn’t he too big to still be feeding?”
“Shouldn’t you be thinking of stopping now he has teeth?”
Trot out of peoples mouths. You’d have a witty comeback but to be honest you just can’t be bothered to acknowledge their stupid questions.
You’ve perfected the art of public feeding
However you choose to feed, with a cover, the two top method, the whip it out discreetly. Whatever way you choose you have made it yours.
You have a substantial wardrobe
Filled with breastfeeding friendly clothes, that sometimes from the outside don’t seem that breastfeeding friendly. But you’ve got all the hacks down thanks to a little help from some wonderful resources like the Facebook group “Can I Breastfeed in It? UK” may I just remind us all of the Boohoo dress?! that I never got, grumble, grumble
Gone are the days where I worried that the skirt was too short, the neckline too plunging, the bodice too tight. Now my wardrobe is filled with clothes that give easy access to my demanding Baby, because you can bet even when I am wearing something is not easy access he will start demanding and I better make it easy access!
You realise that there’s not much that boob cannot solve
A fall in the park? Boob.
His big brother bops him on the nose? Boob.
He’s just lost his favourite toy down the back of the couch? Boob.
You need him to stay in one place for more that 12 seconds? Boob.
You have fed in every position known to man
There are the positions taught in antenatal classes. The positions not taught in antenatal classes. And then some.
You are able to hold a full blown conversation on your preferred Paw Patrol character (Marshall if you’re wondering) with your older child while your baby performs breastfeeding gymnastics with his feet on your head and his finger up your nose.
You’re still eating all the cake
Because you know, the Baby needs it. Ignore the fact you’ve put on half a stone in 6 weeks, that’s down to the stress of moving nothing at all to do with eating all of the cake (and chocolate, oh so much of the chocolate, can’t beat good old English Dairy Milk)
Breastfeeding burns calories remember, just probably not as many as I’m consuming. Still just me?
You’ve worked out what works for you
Adding bottles. Not adding bottles. Introducing expressed milk. Introducing formula. Introducing nothing. You’ve made your parenting decisions that work best for you, your family and most importantly your baby. You’ve listened to all sorts of advice, made your own mind up and decided what works best for you.
Personally we have bedtime bottles of formula if you wondered but night time wakings are all still Mummy, mainly because it’s easier to whip a boob out than make a bottle up.
You’re still loving the journey
I read a comment made by Abbey from The Son and The Moon which sums up my journey perfectly. To be fair it was actually a rant she wrote about attachment parenting naysayers but the breastfeeding comments struck a chord with me. In a nutshell, you don’t set out to breastfeed a toddler, you set off on a journey not knowing where it will take you.
You start feeding a newborn, taking it minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. Then one day you look down and you have a toddler sat in your lap in place of your newborn baby.
Yes, there have been tough days, sore nipples, mastitis, a question of will you ever get your body back, days they have been poorly, days you have been poorly. There have also been wonderful days, days where when you feeding and little fingers reach for you, soft contented sighs, snuggling deeper in your arms, eyes fluttering to sleep. The days that make the journey, however long your journey may be.
You can also find me procrastinating on Facebook a lot of the time if you fancy popping over and saying hello….