The joy of a nursing toddler



Oregon is a wonderful place to be nursing a toddler!  Tum Tum is nearly 18 months old, and I am very grateful to live in a place where doing what is normal and healthy is culturally accepted as normal and healthy.   Granted, this being my third nursling, nursing past the WHO minimum recommendation of 2 years – and comfortably nursing an older baby in public – is an accepted reality for our family.

The other week, we were out at the library, Tum Tum was tired, cranky, and it was naptime, so I sat down to nurse him while the girls looked at books.   A woman actually came up to me and said, “Way to go on breastfeeding your toddler.  I breastfed my daughter until she was 2.  Keep it up!”   Seriously, I love Oregon.

I am glad my son and I can continue to share the benefits of breastfeeding as long as it mutually benefits us both.  (By the way, did you see the CDC’s recommendaton? – Keep breastfeeding to protect your child from H1N1.).


If you haven’t checked out the classic, Mothering Your Nursing Toddler, and also Hilary Flower’s book, Adventures In Tandem Nursing, both are helpful resources.

Tum Tum highly recommends Breastmilk Makes My Tummy Yummy by Cecilia Moen.  🙂

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Scripture verses – I love how God uses the imagery of a nursling and his mother to show His comfort, peace and provision for the people of Israel.

10” Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,
all you who love her;
rejoice with her in joy,
all you who mourn over her;
11that you may nurse and be satisfied
from her consoling breast;
that you may drink deeply with delight
from her abundant breast.

12For thus says the LORD: “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,
and bounced upon her knees.
13As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

– Isaiah 6: 10-12

8 thoughts on “The joy of a nursing toddler”

  1. I nursed Scooter until she was almost 3. That was in Seattle 11 years ago. I don’t remember anyone looking askance at us. Maybe we just looked too blissful. Ah, what a blessed time. Thank you for helping to pull out some fond memories. Linda

  2. love those verses from Isaiah…”i will extend peace to her like a river…like an overflowing stream.” such a potent description of let down and the flood of oxytocin! just read a great article about the protein content of human milk, that the main benefit of breastfeeding might be immunological, not nutritional.

    do you know about LLL’s Toddler Meeting at Kennedy School? great morning activity with lots of good snacks and then you can take a soak in the pool after the meeting!

    here, we are knee deep in the 6 month growth spurt and Nico is working on his fifth tooth!

  3. Lovely post. I’ve added your blog to my small list of favorites :- ). I have five children and nursed all of them well into toddlerhood: my first nursed for 2 yrs, my second nursed for 3, my third nursed for 3, my fourth nursed for 5 yrs! (yes, 5!), and my current nursling is 3 1/2. It is a shame that our culture does not support extended breastfeeding. If moms only knew what an advantage it is to breastfeed a toddler–it’s the easiest way to calm stormy emotions and the best way to stay connected as baby begins to venture further and further beyond mama’s arms.

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