When I began nursing my newborn son, I had no idea we would be going strong until he was 2 and a half years old. It's just not common in our society. But now after being a parent myself, I have found that most of the unconventional parenting practices as opposed to the mainstream ones have worked best for us and have made my boy one happy little guy. Like child-led weaning for example. I had come to the understanding that although it's not a choice for many, it certainly worked for us. I wanted Aiden to decide when he was done nursing the natural way and not take something away from him that he needed because mainstream society was uncomfortable with it. I've found that many mothers would have nursed their babies longer but were pressured by friends, family or even their doctors that one year old was the appropriate age to wean. Appropriate age for who? The baby? Certainly not the baby, a lot of babies still very much need and want their mommy's milk at one year old. And others don't. But the ones who do put up a big fight when Mommy decides it's time to wean. And they should because why is something that is nutritionally beneficial and natural for them to desire being suddenly taken away from them? The answer is because sadly our society has over-sexualized women's breasts and forgotten why God gave them to us in the first place. ~Psalms 22:9~ I wasn't about to base my views on breastfeeding on the views of our misguided world. Sheesh. The WHO recommends breastfeeding, "Up to two years of age and beyond."
In the few months leading up to Aiden weaning, he would only ask for my milk once every other day or so. Sometimes only every 3 days. "I want Mommy's milk" he'd say, Or, " I want Mommy's boobies!" from around two years of age until then, nursings were something that I only gave him when he asked for them, I didn't just offer all the time as part of a routine for nap or bedtime. I was getting tired of it too sometimes wondering when he was going to be done. Other times, I would look down at him suckling away, looking so much like a little boy instead of a baby and throughly cherish the short time we had left for this special mommy-son bonding. There were times when I wondered if we would still be nursing when he was three years old, my anticipated limit on nursing my child.
At the end of September when I found out I was pregnant, I had visions of us nursing through my pregnancy with my big round belli cuddling in bed like the true granola parents I take some of my ideas from. That vision was abruptly turned around as soon as my morning, (all day) sickness hit in full force. I was feeling so awful and that meant I didn't want anyone touching me, especially when it came to nursing my 2 and a half year old. A week went by with no nursings during that first week of sick time and Aiden didn't ask for it. On one good day I felt guilty so I nursed him to sleep for naptime mainly because I missed our closeness. Then another week went by and he never mentioned it. Then one night, he asked for, "Mommy's milk" before bedtime and since I happened to be feeling ok that night I happily nursed him. I looked down at his beautiful little face and remembered all the different stages in his young life through which we had nursed. I was so happy that I could comfort and nourish him in this way for as long as we did. I whispered to my husband to please go get our camera to document our last nursing session. I hope that through this photo, more women will become more comfortable with the normalcy of breastfeeding their young children. If not in doing it themselves, but at the very least becoming more comfortable with the idea that breastfeeding does not have to stop at 6 or 12 months of age. That is does not need to be covered up with a Hooter Hider and can be done discreetly anytime and anywhere. That it is quite possibly the best way we can nourish our babies and toddlers conveniently with love.