I see you sitting there alone, with your three year old. He is learning other ways to soothe himself now and he gets distracted when you are out and about…but always asks for a breastfeed still when he is tired and needs a nap.

I see you hesitate when people ask you, “Oh, you are still breastfeeding?! When will you stop?” As you struggle to articulate what breastfeeding really means to him…to you, and how you don’t actually know how to answer it. “When he is ready?” you reply. Also wanting to add, “He still really does need it!” and “Yes, he WILL stop before he leaves for college!” and “No, I’m not a weirdo!” But you don’t.

I see you look around while you are feeding your two year old daughter, wondering if anyone else breastfeeds their toddler. Looking out the corner of your eye as someone stares at you while you try to finish your coffee and breastfeed at the same time. Wondering if they are disapproving or just curious.

breastfeeding, toddler, prolonged breastfeeding

Don’t worry…there are millions of us around the world who support you.

I see you struggle to find the balance of mothering through breastfeeding while also starting to get more desire to be two seperate people rather than one intertwined set of beings. The desire to be able to do things without your child. The desire to go out and have someone else put her to bed or re-settle her. The desire to also be with her as much as possible and wonder if you really do want this time apart or if you are feeling pressured by friends and family to WANT to have this time apart? Maybe it’s a mixture of both…

I see you still carrying your 28 month old in your carrier, looking exhausted and happy all at the same time. Wondering how long you’ll be able to comfortably carry him in there and hoping he’ll fall asleep easily on the boob while being cuddled…remember this is not “bad habits” you have created. You are continuing to mother through cuddles and breastfeeding. This does not stop just because your baby has reached toddlerhood.

Don’t worry…there are millions of us around the world who support you.

I know you go to your car, hide in the kitchen, tell your child to “wait until we are home” because you are self-conscious. Yes you are comfortable and confident in your decision to continue breastfeeding, yes you know it is right for you and your child, yes you know instinctually it is what feels right for your family. But you don’t want to have to explain. You don’t want to have to defend this AGAIN to your extended family and friends. You want to be in your bubble.

breastfeeding, toddler

Don’t worry…there are millions of us around the world who support you.

I see you tired from frequent night-waking. I see you emotionally drained from having to explain to another person that “Yes, it is normal he still wakes to feed”. I see you question what you know is working for you and your child…as people try to convince you otherwise. “He needs to start settling himself now. He is old enough.” You wonder then..”Is he?” And question all you’ve done up to this point.

I see you want to roll your eyes as someone asks you, “Isn’t she drinking from a cup now and eating solids?”…wondering if you even have the energy left to answer this question again.

Don’t worry…there are millions of us around the world who support you. And encourage you to trust your instincts.

Breastfeeding beyond babyhood is not “extended”. It is not “prolonged”. It is not “weird”. It is simply what I like to call, “normal”. And there are millions of us around the world who not only support you, but have breastfed into toddlerhood and beyond ourselves or are currently breastfeeding and will forever hold your hand along the way.

-The Milk Meg. Meg Nagle, IBCLC. Mother of 3 breastfed boys (well beyond babyhood). ♥️