4 Tips for Extended (Toddler) Nursing for Busy Moms11:01 AM
If anyone would have ever told me that I would still be nursing my now 2-year-old toddler Manny, I may not have believed it. You see, as a nursing mom, you are literally taking things "one day at a time". Those milestones of nursing a week, then a month, then a year, really creep up on you!
I had nursed my last child, Marcus, until 2-and-a-half. Prior to that, however, I was only nursing my kids for a year or so.
I can honestly say that it has made a tremendous different in my life and the life of my babies when I can do extended nursing. They are secure, bright, and have no "mommy issues" as I had feared they may with all that time together. In fact, nursing is just a small part of their busy days!
Here are my best tips for moms who choose to nurse past the age of two:
1) Remember that the world is on your side. Nursing is a very personal choice, and not everyone will want to nurse as long as I do. That's OK. But if you choose to, you should never let disapproving comments or looks discourage you from doing what's best for your family. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends moms nurse until at least the age of two, so you have the support of many countries and their skilled doctors behind you!
Nurture by Lamaze line available at Walmart. They provide awesome coverage (meaning people can't see through your shirt) and they provide support. The one that I can't wear enough is the Seamless Nursing Bra. It lifts and shapes like any expensive boutique bra, but it also is cozy enough that you can crash on the couch and won't wake up pinched. This bra is so affordable, you can buy several -- for when you forget to do laundry. (It happens!)
3. Multi-task, but not too much. I'll admit to playing a game of Candy Crush on my phone while nursing in the evenings. I've nursed for over 7 years of my life in total, so I find that it can get boring or overwhelming at times. It's OK to unwind and do something enjoyable while nursing (it can even help with milk supply), but don't forget about your core purpose in nursing: to provide for your child. Toddlers, especially, are prone to wanting to nurse for comfort and not for thirst or hunger. If you seem more interested in your Instagram account than them, it defeats the purpose and may cause them to want to nurse longer or more often. It can really disrupt things. Be sure to be that loving mama that they need -- even when you're stressed out. I can usually spend just 3 minutes looking at my little guy and smoothing his hair before he conks out. It would take almost 15 minutes if I wasn't giving him my full attention, however.
4. Do what's right for you, but don't feel the need to explain yourself. There are days I just don't feel like a breastfeeding advocate. Let's be honest: I already homeschool, have many children, and live very simply. I explain myself plenty. So, while I do have a million reasons why I think extended nursing is right for us, I don't always think it's wise to be on a soapbox every day. We keep our nursing on the down low, mostly nurse at home, and for those few close friends and family who have seen me with a giant blanket over me in the middle of a summer day, they know. You can do what's good for you and baby without a giant announcement sign, too. Because that's what Facebook is for, no?
Curious about those nursing bras I told you about? They come in several styles, sizes, and colors. Check out the entire line at Walmart or at Walmart.com. I love feeling comfy and supported throughout my busy day. You will, too!
As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I've received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Links to shopping sites may be referral links.