Healthy Kids

Breastfeeding a Toddler


This is picture of Penelope nursing in the middle of her 2nd Birthday party, she got a little overwhelmed at times and knew the safest spot to reconnect.

I originally imagined this post planned to be a how-to, but then it seemed kind of silly. There is a ton of information about it online already and when you really think about it, it is pretty intuitive.

I think the hard part is dealing with people’s criticism and their prejudices against nursing an older baby, a toddler.

For me, I don’t really worry about what people are thinking. I figure if they have a problem with it, then they are not my friend anyway and don’t deserve my mental time.

I have been really blessed with friends and family are supportive, but I know that is not the case for a lot of people. So to you I say, just stand your ground. You can set boundaries with your toddler, for example to only nurse at home and a night and make some compromises, but in the end, try to stand up for yourself and your child.

I don’t think full term breastfeeding is for everyone, I am not saying it is the best and the only way. If you wean at 6 or 12 months or whenever, this post is not to make you feel bad. Any amount of breastfeeding should be celebrated. I just wanted to offer some support and resources to the Mama’s out there that are still nursing toddlers.

I think Penelope will be one of those kids who will still be nursing at 5. She will probably never “self wean.”  I will have to put an end to it at on point. I am not sure when that will be.

Right now, I love nursing Penelope. I missed out on the first 5 months and even after that we never got the full experience. So any little bit of nursing I get, I cherish.

Sometimes it makes my skin crawl, but when I get to that point, I set a boundary. For example, she used to always want to nurse while I was on the toilet. When she was a baby and younger toddler I allowed it, because I didn’t want to leave her unattended. But now I say no nuh-nuhs when Mama’s in the bathroom.

Sometimes she asks for it during the day when I am just not in the mood, and I say the nuh-nuhs are taking a break.

Nursing a toddler can be very entertaining. She is always doing something funny, doing yoga, trying to sing and  nurse at the same time. Sometimes, especially when she is sleepy, she still looks like a little baby to me, I love it.

Here are are great posts to check out for more info on nursing a toddler:

twiddlers manners.

a whole series on toddler nursing posts.

a great post on nursing an older toddler, a preschooler really.

this is just funny. 

lots of good links within this post

this is a good post about the health and emotional benefits of nursing a toddler

I hope this post helps a little, if any Mamas are wanting to continue breastfeeding but are not feeling confident enough to do so. It really is a wonderful experience.

Just the other day, I hand expressed a little milk (Penelope comfort nurses and my milk is pretty much dried up) and she latched on to get it, and then she popped off and said, “mmmm, licious!”  It was so sweet.

Do you have any sweet, toddler nursing moments to share?


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  • Anne
    March 1, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    My son was a nightmare breastfeeder. I ended up pumping for a year for him. My two girls, latched right after birth and self-weaned at 21 months. I was thrilled to have gone as long as we did.

    But yes, it is hard to find support for nursing a toddler. People don’t get and think we are weird.

    • Stephanie
      March 1, 2012 at 7:46 PM

      A fellow pumper! No one understands whats its like, unless you have been there yourself. Glad your girls were easier.

  • elizabeth
    March 1, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Maybe you can help me with this question. My little monsieur is nearly a year old, and I am a working mama, so he’s at day care during the day, where of course he gets bottles. Until about 10 months, we had no trouble (well, relatively–the beginning’s always hard) with nursing. Anyhow, lately, when I offer my breast in the morning or at night, he’ll latch on for a minute or two and nurse and then SCREAM. I mean, like I’m pulling his toenails off, blood curdling, I’d do anything to stop it SCREAMING.

    I don’t know what happened. Perhaps he’s become accustomed to the speed at which the milk comes out of the bottle? I really don’t know, but any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. I am not quite ready to give up nursing yet. But maybe this is just a case of putting monsieur’s needs/desires ahead of my own. I don’t know.

    • Stephanie
      March 1, 2012 at 7:44 PM

      Your gut may be on to something. Those babies are smart, he knows he can get milk in a bottle, faster and easier. Make check with your care provider to make sure they are still doing pace feeding, titling the bottle up and down and making him work for the bottle. It should take 20 minutes to feed a bottle. Good luck!

    • Angel
      March 2, 2012 at 1:15 AM

      Maybe he is getting a tooth? I’ve read that when they are teething, the sucking required for nursing can be really painful for them. I found a little teething cream, very very carefully applied (with a qtip only on the sore spot, being careful to avoid the tongue, etc.), made all the difference with my oldest.

    • Lisa
      March 6, 2012 at 4:07 PM

      My oldest girl was given a bottle of formula within the first few minutes after she was born. they never asked me. i was PISSED! and she then NEVER latched on. every time i tried she would keep pulling off. which was PAINFUL! I had been pumping even in the hospital because she would not latch on. and they would end up just giving it to her in a bottle. I then ended up pump feeding her for 6 months. it sucked, but at least it wasn’t formula. but because i was pumping, and not actually nursing, I quickly became pregnant again… *sigh* lol. i got pregnant when she was 4 months old and by 6 months my milk supply had dried up completely. I had to go to formula (ick). My body wasn’t able to feed myself, a baby in my belly, AND a 6 month old, so it chose for me which to cut off.

      I was able to nurse my second child until she was 13 months when i weaned her at the insistence of my husband. 1 month after i weened her i ended up pregnant again. My youngest (and last) is now 4 months old. I will hopefully be able to nurse her just as long.

      • Stephanie
        March 7, 2012 at 3:38 AM

        Thanks for sharing, I hope you have a wonderfully, long (as long as you want it anyway!) breastfeeding relationship with your last. 🙂

  • Cassandra
    March 1, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    I wish I could find more experiences with bottlenursing, but have only been able to find people saying they’re “breastfeeding” by giving breastmilk in a sippy. Every once in a while I have to do it in public, and anyone nearby immediately goes “How old is she?” Well, now she’s getting into that age where it really is “weird”, not like a late weaner at 12 months. Sometimes people say it’s bad for their development to still be on a bottle. I know the crooked and rotted teeth thing is totally bunk, but it is affecting her jaw muscles. I just don’t want to give it up yet because her behavior is identical to a breastfeeding toddler. It’s not for sustenance anymore, it’s being comforted and close to me. She will go find the bottle, crawl in my lap, wrench open my fingers, put the bottle in my hand and signal she wants to nurse. Literally. She’s perfectly capable of doing it all herself, but she wants me to do it. Trying to comfort her in other ways just frustrates her. At night, I tell her “Time for bed!” she grabs her bottle and a book, puts them next to the bed, crawls up and tucks herself under the blanket. It’s still a strong part of her life, just like any other unweaned child. Not like I really need validation from other people, but it’d just be nice to know that I’m not the only weirdo doing it.

    • Stephanie
      March 1, 2012 at 7:59 PM

      Ah, bottlenursing. I have such found memories of that! Penelope just up and didn’t want her bottle one day around 18 months. It was kind of wierd, she was down to one a day, right after she woke up from her nap and then she didn’t want it anymore and asked for water instead. I figured I would cease the moment and just put them away. If we hadn’t been able to comfort nurse, I would have let her have her bottle for as long as she wanted. Even if she was 5. How do you think it is effecting her jaw muscles? I know you are not the only weirdo doing it! And you are not a weirdo!

  • Nessa
    March 1, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    My daughter weaned herself at 15 months… I was sad. But I guess the upside is that I didn’t have to worry about when to stop.

    Now when she is overwhelmed she hugs me and puts her head on my chest, nuzzling. If she can feel skin – she will. I don’t think she sees them as a food source – but a comfort source now.

    • Stephanie
      March 1, 2012 at 9:32 PM

      That is so sweet! I used to be a nanny for a family before I had Penelope and the eldest daughter would pull my shirt down and put her hand on my chest and then cuddle. Even if kids are not breastfeed, they know that is the sweet spot!

  • denise
    March 1, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    My 3yo weaned herself at 17mo, but she still “nurses” in her sleep. I can see her mouth moving in that nursing motion, it’s so sweet!

    • Stephanie
      March 1, 2012 at 9:30 PM

      That is adorable!

  • Nicole
    March 1, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Thanks for posting this. My son is quickly approaching his first birthday and I’m getting a lot of pressure to wean. It’s always nice to see I’m not alone in not wanting to stop at some magical age.

    • Stephanie
      March 1, 2012 at 9:31 PM

      Nope, no magical age!

    • kate
      March 2, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      i’m w/ ya, nicole. adam will be 1 in april and it’s an ever-present topic. almost like when i had a boyfriend (when are you gonna be engaged?), got engaged (when’s the big day?), got married (when are you gonna have kids?), had a baby (how long before baby #2?), baby was 4 months (when are you gonna start feeding him solids?), baby was 6 mo (aren’t you gonna wean him soon?), baby turned 9 mo (he still breastfeeds?)… i understand that it’s human nature to look forward, and i understand that it’s (my) human nature (and others’) to hold on. i’ve heard more and more about bf longer, and the bennies to mom and baby for even going for 18 or so months. best wishes bf mommies!

  • susann Gehring
    March 1, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    I am glad you are able to nurse as she needs! My dear son, now 10, nursed 16 months and one day was just done! He replaced nursing with rubbing one of the moles on my breast (after a few year I had to stop that it started driving me crazy). But he would lie in bed rubbing the mole. And if he woke up in the middle of the night, he would move me to find that mole!
    But I have pumped at the beginning cause I wasn’t making enough milk, used the nurser supplement tube taped on your breast to help get milk to them. I was determined to breastfeed and as long as I could! I loved the fact I had other friends, even though not close who were breast feeding their toddlers. I was so sad when he stopped! Now my babies are handed to me and I have to bottle feed-we do foster care now.
    I love reading about your adventures!!

    • Stephanie
      March 1, 2012 at 9:28 PM

      That is so funny about rubbing the mole! Penelope is twiddler, she loves to twirl my other nipple around in her fingers, I bet she would be content just to twiddle one and not nurse. Silly toddlers. How wonderful you are a foster mom, I have always wanted to do that.

  • Angie
    March 1, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    Have I told you your awesome? Because you totally are! I love all your posts. Especially the ones about breastfeeding and extended nursing. So few people talk about it. And even on the World Wide Web I find that there can be more negative about extending nursing than there is good! Lets spread the word ladies! this IS normal and IS natural! And nursing a toddler is different then when they were infants! My son will nurse standing up, while I bend down he will try to latch, In the shower and aahhhh yes the toilet even before lol. Boundaries are kind of out the window here, though I suppose I should set some with him. My only issue really is the shirt lifting up or pulling down. At home I don’t mind so much. But while I’m grocery shopping I’m sure other shoppers don’t want to see my boobs flopping out while they pick up their food lol.
    And yes, ANY amount of nursing should be celebrated. That is so very true.
    My youngest is currently 22 months and we are still going strong at “Milking” as my son calls it! Mornings when he wakes, naps, after naps and bed time is his set times to nurse. Or if he gets hurt and needs a quick “pick me up” as my husband would call it. We also are still co-sleeping. As much as my husband and I would LOVE our bed back sometimes!
    Great post! I look forward to future ones 😉

    • Stephanie
      March 2, 2012 at 1:45 AM

      Why thank you Angie! That is so nice to hear. I think you are right, I had over 10 people un fan me on Facebook because of this post…I was not expecting that, so there is some serious negativity going on about full term breastfeeding. Especially, since everyone who actually reads my blog, knows I talk about breastfeeding…a lot. Hopefully, my daughter’s generation will be different, they will have grown up around it, and it will be totally normal.

  • Angel
    March 2, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    I love Penelope’s “licious” – how sweet is that! We nursed until my older son was 2 1/2 years old. I was starting to feel like it might be time to wean (my husband was starting to feel a little weird about it), but I wasn’t really ready yet. Then I had two miscarriages and got an infection, and my doctor thought the nursing was contributing. I didn’t agree, but she put me on antibiotic that I couldn’t nurse while taking, so we had to wean. We were just down to the morning feeding then (the snuggly one that let me sleep a little longer), so it wasn’t traumatic for my son, but I still mourn it, even though I am nursing my second child now.

    • Stephanie
      March 2, 2012 at 1:41 AM

      oh, I am going to mourn when it happens for us too.

  • MaryLauren
    March 2, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    I would give anything if my 2 year old would still nurse…I loved our breastfeeding experience. She weaned at 13 months : (

  • Justine
    March 2, 2012 at 5:13 AM

    I just have two questions not in judging but wondering from experience. Has she been to the dentist yet and did she have cavities?

    • Stephanie
      March 2, 2012 at 9:03 PM

      I welcome gentle questions! She has not been yet, but we will probably go soon. I inspect her teeth all the time, because I am obsessed with good teeth, proper spacing, etc. And so far she has perfect, strong teeth. I think it has a lot to do with her diet and nutrition.

  • Natalie
    March 2, 2012 at 5:31 AM

    My first son either tried to self wean or had a nursing strike (I never was positive which it was) at 18 months. I was so upset that I put honey on my nipples to get him back on the breast! Take that toddler! It worked and we happily nursed until the week he turned 2. We were both ready to wean at that time. I now have a 2 month old son. I started having to supplement with a special type of formula this week because he has a liver disease that causes fat malabsorption and he is gaining weight way too slowly. I have no supply issues and he gets plenty of milk, he just doesn’t absorb it. This formula has medium chain triglicerides, a type of fat that doesn’t have to mix with bile to be absorbed. I never had to supplement with my first son, so this is new territory. It makes me so sad to think that I may not have that special older baby/toddler nursing relationship with this baby. I’m taking it 1 day at a time though and keep telling myself that 3 ounces of formula a day is not the end of the world nor the end of nursing.

    • Stephanie
      March 2, 2012 at 9:02 PM

      You are right, it is not the end of the world. I am sorry you have to deal with the stress though, and grieving the loss of the breastfeeding relationship of how you thought it would be, I know how that feels. Hugs of health to your little guy.

  • Melanie
    March 2, 2012 at 6:25 AM

    I bfed my toddler until she was 2 1/2. It was a wonderful experience and also a nightmare at the same time. Teeth hurt! If you know what i mean 😉

    • Stephanie
      March 2, 2012 at 9:00 PM

      I have been really lucky in that department, but I know other’s have to deal with teaching biting manners.

  • betsy
    March 2, 2012 at 4:38 AM

    my 19month old has food allergies and has a very limited diet, so she still gets about 50% of her calories nursing. sometimes it’s a pain to still be nursing every 4 hours, day and night, but i have grown to love nursing more the older she gets. we’re in the groove now, and really work as a team, and i don’t have any of the worries or fumbling that i did in the beginning. for the first 6 months i had to wear a nipple shield because she had trouble latching, and then there was teething/biting, but now nursing is just a time for us to relax and cuddle. the other day she sat up from nursing, and gave me the most adoring look, patted my boob, and said a very dramatic “aahhhhhh”. melted my heart.

    • Stephanie
      March 2, 2012 at 9:04 PM

      That is such a great story!!

  • jennifer l. jordan
    March 2, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    I love this post! One of the things I’m very passionate about is breastfeeding! I am the very blessed momma of 8 children, all of whom I breastfed. Currently nursing my 20 month old son and loving it! My little guy likes to twiddle and play with the other side, also! Breastfeeding is such an amazing experience for momma and baby/toddler. :). I enjoy your blog, found you on pinterest.

    • Stephanie
      March 2, 2012 at 8:59 PM

      8! That is amazing, how lucky are you! So glad you like my blog, welcome.

  • Tiffany
    March 2, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Thank you for your refreshing post! I am still nursing my 2 and 1/2 yr. old and I know my family thinks she should have been weaned long ago. She hasn’t self-weaned, like my son did, and she finds comfort in it. I have tried suggesting weaning to her and she gets upset when I tell her “no”. She is just not ready yet. I have been grateful that she still nurses because I have been very sick twice, once with a bad case of strep, and she never got sick! The benefits are still there for receiving the antibodies as well as for providing comfort and bonding. I’m sure in the next few months, she will stop on her own, and I’ll be glad I let her nurse for as long as we did. Thanks again for sharing a topic that I have never seen positively talked about. It’s nice to know their are other mommies out there who are like me and see positives in nursing their toddler.

    • Stephanie
      March 3, 2012 at 9:20 PM

      The antibodies is one of the best reasons to keep nursing a toddler. Once they start preschool or playing around a lot of other kids, it is nice to have that extra immune protection.

  • Jess
    March 3, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    Love your blog! My 15 month old daughter and I are still going strong with breastfeeding. EVERYONE asks when we are going to stop, like I am the one doing something wrong. My reply is always “Why would I want to stop giving my child something that is comparable to organic fruits and vegetables?!”

    • Stephanie
      March 3, 2012 at 9:18 PM

      Thank you! I am so glad I don’t get asked that question, people must know better than to ask me that!

  • Michelle
    March 3, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    Glad you posted this. My son is 18 months old and he is still nursing. My family gives me a lot of flack about it because for some weird reason they think he’s way to old but I know the health benefits as well as the mental benefits for him and for me and we just ignore people’s negative thoughts towards breastfeeding a toddler and go on with our nursing. He enjoys it and I figure why take something away from him that he enjoys. I had to laugh at your daughter wanting to nurse while you were on the toliet my son did the exact same thing.

    • Stephanie
      March 4, 2012 at 1:58 AM

      Yeah, from the moment she could walk at 10 months she would toddler over to me and want to nurse standing up. Gave me such heebie-jeebies, but how do you say no!

  • Claire
    March 4, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    Thanks for this!

    I’m still nursing my 13.5 month old on demand. I’m lucky that I can stay home with him. Because of that, we’ve always had a good bfing relationship (aside from those first few torturous weeks when we were both learning the ropes). I know that he’ll stop one day but my husband and I were discussing this topic a few nights ago and we both agree that he’s probably going to be a nursing pre-schooler. We are both okay with this, truly. At the end of the day, this period is such a short one and I just want to enjoy him as my baby for as long as possible!

  • Julie
    March 4, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    I have to write I say I absolutely love your blog, especially your posts on full term breastfeeding! My older son nursed until he was 3 1/2, through 2 miscarriages. My youngest is almost 23 months and still going fairly strong. I have to ask how you handle the twiddling. It is somehing that makes my skin crawl, and he usually wants to do it at night. My older son went through a phase of doing it, but he stopped. This one seems like he will do it forever.
    I am also a mom baby nurse and it is so encouraging when I tell patients I “know” of people who were unable to get baby latched for a few months, but then were successful at having a different breastfeeding relationship than originally planned!

    • Stephanie
      March 5, 2012 at 12:22 AM

      I am not sure exactly. I think I have tough nipples. They are not overly sensitive, and so the twidling just doesn’t bother me most of the time.

  • Jenny
    March 6, 2012 at 5:00 AM

    I haven’t read all of your posts so I’m not too familiar with your family situation, but I was wondering if you have any information or experience with nursing while pregnant or tandem nursing. I am currently nursing my 13mo old daughter and would like to let her self wean, but my husband and I are also trying for a second baby. I’m a bit concerned that when I do get pregnant if I don’t wean her a few months before the baby is born we will have jealousy issues. I haven’t put a ton of thought into it, and obviously many of the circumstances are out of my control, but I thought maybe you would have insight 🙂

    • Stephanie
      March 6, 2012 at 5:04 AM

      I was recently pregnant and continued to nurse my daughter, my plan, was to let her nurse throughout pregnancy and then tandem nurse. I was so excited to be able to give my daughter the colostrum and antibodies from that newborn milk! So if you can swing it, that is what I would do, and it totally eliminates jealously issues…but just stay open and change plans if it is not working for you. Best of luck!

  • Jenn
    March 9, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    I’m breastfeeding my 14 month old still and have no intention of stopping until he does a true self wean. We just went through a nursing strike a month ago and it was horrible. My husband said ‘maybe he is starting to wean’, but I knew differently. His teeth hurt, and hurt badly. All the molars seem to come in at once. But during this strike time (I pumped and he drank from a cup with a straw), I realized how much *I* still need the nursing.

    I incurred a lot of permanent injuries from my pregnancy and labour, and the times I physically felt the best was about 5 to 10 minutes into breastfeeding. I noticed that that ‘good feeling’ started to drop off around the time he was 7 months, and assumed it was no longer a nice side affect. After the strike, I realize I was still getting ‘something’ out of it, as I was physically sore, emotionally torn up and 100% determined to get us back on track. (Nursing him while he slept is what got us through it).

    There is a lot of stigma attached to nursing a toddler still. My family, friends and even my husband all question it. My father once said to me ‘you should breastfeed him until he’s two, but after one year, put it in a bottle’. It amazes me that people feel free to comment on something without doing any research into it, or realizing how hurtful their comments can be. Stay strong bf’ing toddler moms. We all know it’s best for them AND best for you.

  • Halle
    March 10, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    I love your blog. I always look forward to reading it.

    I nursed my first baby until he was 2 1/2, which was 8 weeks before his baby brother arrived. Overall, my family and friends were very supportive, but every so often I received a less than helpful comment and it always stung. The judgment stung. I wanted to shout at them, “you try weaning a 2 year old and see what happens!” I feel like most people do not understand the deep emotional implications of breastfeeding. At 7 months, my son’s allergist told me to “just stop breastfeeding” because he was allergic to so many foods. I felt like I had been bulldozed over. He had absolutely no clue what kind of emotional stress would have been placed on me and my tiny baby if I had entertained that suggestion. Instead, I just stopped eating the offending foods (an option he didn’t even suggest).

    I have so many funny memories of him nursing…in the bathtub, crawling on all fours trying to nurse, nursing standing on the changing table while getting dressed for bed, me hanging over his car seat nursing him (not safe), nursing for the entire duration of a flight from ATL to LAX (big time comfort sucker). His younger brother is a great nurser but not a comfort sucker. I feel like he is going to be one of those kids who weans themselves at 15 months (you know, one of those kids that I secretly thought didn’t really exist because my kid never got off the boob. The universe likes to play those kind of tricks on me).

    • Stephanie
      March 11, 2012 at 3:40 PM

      So glad to hear that! And what cute memories!!

  • Charlene
    March 11, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    I nursed my son until he turned 4 (pretty much just at night before bed after he was 3 though). It was a wonderful thing and I’m so glad that I did. I think it brought us closer together and gave us a special bond. Not enough people talk about the good it can do. It’s controversial though, so thumbs up to you for talking about it.

  • Rosemary
    March 12, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    I love this topic! I have a 4 month old and at the beginning it was very tough to get her to latch on and stay on. Breastfeeding her has been such an amazing experience. It did involve many moments where I broke down because I felt I wasn’t able to give her enough of what she needed. In the end I am soooooooo glad we didn’t give up. I absolutely love it! I have many family members that just don’t quite get the whole ‘breastfeeding’ deal. I was just thinking of this topic the other day. At the beginning I said I was going to breastfeed for just the first 6 months but now, I’m not so sure. I now plan to continue as long as my body lets me and as long as my sweet baby girl will have a part of me. This has really shed some light on continuing on. The part where you said you looked at her and she still looked like a little baby…melted my heart. Thanks for sharing.

    • Stephanie
      March 13, 2012 at 1:55 AM

      Thanks for reading, and kudos to you for breastfeeding!

  • Erin
    May 11, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    TIME magazine should have used this picture!

    • Stephanie
      May 11, 2012 at 6:36 PM

      Thanks! I agree it should have been a picture that showed all the love and nurturing that goes into nursing a toddler.

  • Barb
    July 17, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    I am currently still nursing my 15 month old son and I see no end in site. I don’t mind and I am happy to keep nursing him. I love our nursing relationship. I remember before I had him I thought nursing past on year was gross and not needed. Clearly I was uneducated and just plain immature. I am a pediatric nurse and now take pride and every opportunity to help teach, support, and encourage woman to breastfeed. I love that part of my job. What people don’t talk about, like you mentioned above is nursing beyond infancy. I am starting to get comments from my husbands family and from other people who just aren’t supportive. Mostly are just aqquaintences or co workers but it still brings me down. I know that what Im doing is best for my self, my son , and my family and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I actually feel sorry for other mothers who don’t get to have the experience I have had because it has been so overwhelmingly amazing. Don’t get me wrong I had a very rough start and I have struggled with low milk supply this entire time but I have pushed though it and I honestly feel that nursing a toddler has been more rewarding for both of us and I enjoy it so much more.
    I just fell upon your blog today and you are a pretty amazing woman. I feel that we are very similar in our beliefs and lives and I look forward to enjoying your blog in the future.
    Thank you for giving toddler nursing a voice!

    • Stephanie
      July 17, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      So wonderful to e-meet you! And so glad you found me today! I love to hear stories like yours from nurses. There are so many bad nurses out there, and I love to know about the good nurses who are constantly fighting against the system to bring good care to women. I am so grateful for all the good nurses out there! I know you will, but stay strong with breastfeeding, just tune everyone out. Only your son matters. 🙂

  • Alyce
    November 22, 2012 at 7:32 AM

    Hi, I too have a Penelope, who is 12 weeks and 2 days old. I’m not sure this is the right place to ask, but seeing as though I want to be able to be still feeding when Penny gets to be a toddler, I thought this would be the best start. So far we have successfully been breastfeeding, but was a struggle at the start. Penny is my 3rd baby I’ve given birth to (I also have a step-daughter). My 1st baby, Brodie, I had when I was 17 and struggled to breastfeed sooo much! He got mouth-thrush, which spread to my nipples (ouch!!), tried shields, then I had one night out without him, and did not pump, and the next day was pretty much dried up, so formula it was (another option was to have my mother-in-law at the time breastfeed him as she was back bf’ing her 5yr old after adopting out a new baby to family, due to her marriage breakdown – but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it at that particular stage of my life). My 2nd, Mackenzie, she latched on beautifully as soon as she was born, and I thought “success!”, was sooo happy!. But then I struggled to feed after my milk came in, with painful attachment and painful let-down (even though her attachment was perfect), and with a unsupportive partner at the time, i was in tears most feeding times from pain and stress, which was affecting her. After a while though, I told himself that I needed to start relaxing, and eventually it worked. Attachment was still painful, but I persevered, and I guess my nipples just formed a callous I guess! lol! She fed until 8 months when I went back to work part-time – I didn’t pump while at work and I dried up very quickly. Although there was always still a tiny bit of milk, and at 12 months I tried to get her to start reattaching just for comfort-feeding (mostly for me than her – I really missed it!), but with no success. With my little Penelope, I just assumed as this was my 3rd baby, and this time I had a supportive partner, and we were going for more natural parenting techniques, that breastfeeding would be a cinch! Well, she had some problems when born, so did not go straight onto my chest like the other two, but had to go on oxygen for a few moments, then they weighed her and everything, before I even got my first cuddle! Devastated! When I finally got my cuddle, I tried to attach her to the breast, as I had with the others (and very successfully with no2), but she refused to latch! Again devastated! But I got over it, and just got on with it. 🙂 But once again I had painful attachment and painful letdown, and I guess because it was my 3rd baby, the nurses never came to assist me. But I knew that I did it successfully last time with just perseverance, so I’ve been persevering. However it’s still quite painful at times, but I’m hoping it will get better…. However I now feel like I’m not making enough for her, but I’m pretty sure I had that feeling last time with Kenzie, but it turned out no problem, plus Penny is still sleeping 6-8hrs at night (I finally got one of *those* babies! yay!), and she’s mostly happy and settled through-out the day, so I guess she must be okay as well. Although my newest problem is Penny absolutely wailing, so I put her to the breast, thinking she is hungry, but she won’t latch, and just screams at my nipple! 🙁 I hate it, but I’m guessing it’s her way of saying she’s upset about something else, but it’s hard because I can’t comfort her the way I want to, by nursing her… So to sum up my novel (lol!), I just wanted to see if anybody else has experienced this, and what might be causing it, and how to fix it… I really want to do extended nursing until whenever Penny decides, and even though we’re planning another bub in about 2yrs, I hope to do tandem feeding as well, so I’m hoping this doesn’t mean she wants to wean already… 🙁 I’ve even never had her babysat, because I don’t want to jeopardise our feeding – even though my lovely partner bought a whole heap of expressing gear, because he wants to be able to nurse her too, but so far, I’m not willing to share the nursing… So any help with her screaming at me trying to nurse her, will be fantastic! 🙂

    • Stephanie
      November 23, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      Phew! You have had your share of booby traps haven’t you? A baby screaming at the breast could be lots of different things. Let down happening too fast, too slow, not enough milk, enough milk in the boob but baby can’t transfer it well so she is pissed, physical pain from her neck being out of alignment, maybe she doesn’t like the taste of your milk based on your diet. I mean really it could five million things. What does your gut tell you? Have you seen an International Board Certified Lacation Consultant yet? I highly recommend you see an professional asap.

    • Beth
      November 26, 2012 at 6:22 PM

      Definitely see a professional for advice and peace of mind, but know too that she’s probably fine! My daughter did the same thing at about the same age (she’s 10 mos. now). She’d get fussy and cry a little, I’d try to feed her and she would just scream and arch her back away from me. She was so mad! It was definitely stressful because I had no clue what she wanted or needed. I was so afraid she wasn’t getting enough to eat because when she did nurse, it was only for a few min, and usually only on one side. I finally started writing down when she nursed and how long, and I saw that even though it was only a few min at a time it added up; and that I was trying to feed her ever 1 1/2 to 2 hours. And she never had problem with her growth or wet diapers. My mother in law (who’s a nurse) told me “She’s not going to starve herself.” which for me was actually pretty comforting. So I relaxed, stopped trying to feed her so often since she clearly was upset by it, and things did improve,a little at a time, within a couple weeks. Just stick it out, do your best not to worry, and realize it won’t last forever.

  • Michelle
    December 6, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    My baby girl (now almost 11 months) could not latch properly when she was born. We tried every couple hours the whole time while in the hospital (with help from nurses to a point) but to no avail. It sounds like she had an almost opposite problem to yours in that her suck was so tight and mouth so small she just couldn’t get on far enough (talk about painful!). She had a couple ounces of formula in the hospital because they were worried about her weight loss, but brought in a pump the last day we were there. Our lifesaver as I brought home enough for the next feeding while my wonderful husband sterilized and put together the pump parts! It took three months of full pumping before she was able to latch. I was going to give it one last go as I had resigned myself to full time pumping having gone back to work after two months, and it was almost like we had never had an issue. I feel so lucky now because I just didn’t know what I was missing. I am glad I came across this article as I am moving towards toddlerhood breastfeeding as well. I am lucky in that I have a very supportive family (I am pretty sure that I nursed until I was 4). I hope this is some additional encouragement to other mamas that are having a rough start!

    • Stephanie
      December 7, 2012 at 5:19 PM

      So happy to hear of your preservence and success! Keep up the good work, Mama!

  • Amy
    February 19, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    I am nursing a 23 month old and she loves “boobies”. We only nurse about twice a day now but sometimes she will say “boobies, mommy’s milk, yummy or juicy!”. I adore these moments…

    • Stephanie
      February 19, 2013 at 3:40 AM

      Totally, sometimes I get annoyed when Penelope asks to nurse but then I remind myself that these days will slip by soon enough and I will be yearning for these days.

  • Essence
    April 25, 2013 at 6:42 AM

    I want to bf as long as my child will allow it (when I have one) but Im concerned with my sensitivity. In regular sexual situations, my boobs can only be played with and stimulated for so long before I get a disgusted sick feeling and make my partner stop. Its very uncomfortable. Im afraid that when I go to nurse, that having a baby, and then a toddler, sucking on my nipple will have the same affect and I wont be able to carry out my nursing desires. Just thinking about it right now is giving me the hibby jibbys.What do you suggest I do to try and overcome this before having kids??

    • Stephanie
      April 25, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      First, know that it is a common concern. Giving birth and breastfeeding need your body’s sexual orgins for it to happen. I would say spend some time working on the emotions that come up for you as you think about breastfeeding. Look them straight in the eye, have the courage to really take a look at some buried emotions are trying to get your attention in this way. Then try to release them and let them go. Emotional Freedom Techinique would be a good tool. I plan on doing a video about soon, but you could do a google search now about it.

  • Amanda
    April 29, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    I am so grateful to find both you and this wonderful blog! I am the only one in my circle of friends who is still nursing a toddler (my daughter is two) and though I have support, I have no one close who can relate to the joys (and pains) of nursing a toddler. When you said that sometimes nursing can make your skin crawl and that you think your daughter will nurse until she’s five, I slapped my knee. Those are the things I struggle to explain to friends and family, who automatically suggest I wean my daughter as a solution rather than just let me vent. I can’t fathom how heartbroken my daughter would be if out of nowhere I took away her “nani” and it’s wildly frustrating to me that I feel so much pressure to do so. And maybe this is just me but I really, really hate when someone, trying to be supportive, says, “Just as long as she’s not still nursing (insert some date.)” Maybe by the next baby, I’ll be candid enough to tell them it’s none of their damn business.

    Anyway, thank you for your sweet post and for sharing your heart with us!

    • Stephanie
      April 30, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      So glad you found the post helpful. Keep up the good work mama!

  • K
    July 27, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Tandem nursing my 2.5yr old boy and 8mo old girl. Pretty sure my toddler will be going strong for a while too- it’s SO important to him. I love the connection and will be sad when that phase ends with him, but I definitely have to manage the frequency day to day. I’d lose it if we nursed every time he wanted to (ALWAYS). At least I’m only night feeding the little one! Cheers and here’s to nursing as long as it’s right for all parties involved.