So, your baby is growing up and still breastfeeding! – Did you ever imagine you’d manage this long? Well done! And keep going for as long as you both are happy to!
Yes, there are times when you wonder whether you’ll ever get your body back, but there are maybe also times when you instinctively know that your little one is all the healthier and happier for having breastmilk, and that they will stop when they are good and ready.
There are those times when your little one is over-tired and crotchety where breastmilk solves everything. The time they have picked up a virus at nursery and won’t eat, but breastmilk is good, and the time they fall and graze their knee and breastmilk is the best pain relief!
For most toddlers at this stage, milk is still a major source of protein in their diet, and many parents would prefer to give their little one human milk protein than cow’s milk protein.
That said, it is not uncommon to feel that you want your body back, and that you need a bit of your own space. It’s really important for you to carve out time for you, to either relax, sleep, or do whatever you want to do! It’s very important for you as your children grow older that you have some space, some sanctuary of your own, as well as with your partner. But it is equally important that your children grow up with an understanding that parents need their own space and time for their own things sometimes too!
You may still be at a point where you want to express milk so you can have some time out, or you may feel that now he is a bit older, he can manage a few hours until you return. If he’s already having some solids, and will drink water, there is no worry in doing that.
As your child grows, it will be much easier to say ‘Yes, you can have a feed, but let’s find somewhere comfy to sit first’, or ‘Yes, I’m going to finish what I’m doing here, and then we will have some feed time.’ That way, the breastfeeding relationship you have with your child is a very equal one, and it may help you, if you are beginning to feel a bit tied by it. All this is normal, and a normal stage of adapting from babyhood, to toddlerhood and beyond.
You’ll find the right responses for you and your child, and quite often, when you do feel you are ready to wean him off the breast, those kind of responses, in the spirit of ‘Don’t offer, don’t refuse’ will usually mean that he will gradually have less feed, in his own time. But if you’re both happy to continue breastfeeding for another year then we are here to support you.