Toddler Breastfeeding http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding Toddlers, tandem, and everyday nursing en-us Sat, 22 Feb 2020 02:11:46 +0000 http://sett.com Sett RSS Generator Note to Subscribers http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/note-to-subscribers This is the last post you will receive from ToddlerBreastfeeding here on the Sett platform.

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Thu, 26 Feb 2015 20:51:38 +0000 http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/note-to-subscribers
Moving http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/moving I watched a TED talk about the four taboos of parenting. It was done by a married couple that founded a parenting website. Their mission was to "tell it to us straight." I was intrigued. Yes, tell me straight. Write an article about how much our children need us and how]]> P2061760

I watched a TED talk about the four taboos of parenting. It was done by a married couple that founded a parenting website. Their mission was to "tell it to us straight." I was intrigued. Yes, tell me straight. Write an article about how much our children need us and how important it is to meet that need. Write an article saying that our children will only be young once and to be gentle and kind to them. They *will* grow up (you know) and we hope that when they do, we will be welcome to visit them often.

I have been under a lot of stress lately. My husband and I are building our software business, without venture capital money (the usual way to start in software is by acquiring outside funding). We will be using our own nest egg to fund our business. It's both exhilarating and very, very stressful. One of many initial steps is to lower our monthly expenses as much as we can. When I look at my three children, so happy and unaware, I want to preserve that. I don't want them to feel our financial burden. I don't want to live in a bad neighborhood with roaches; that's what the realtor was offering us. Place and after place that looked like they should be condemned. Arg! I’ve become snappy, irritated, with reactive No! not now! way more than I really intend. Under all the stress, I want to be kind, compassionate, accommodating, fun!, and happier than I've been.

It's much easier to be kind and generous, when I see generosity around me. It’s a good practice; to see in other people, how one aims to be. That doesn’t mean changing your life completely, or moving to a new group of friends. I suppose it could, but often it means changing what you chose to give notice to. One of my bridesmaids, whom I’ve only kept loose contact with over the past 6 years, has been helping me find a place to live. She too, has 3 children, and a full time job. Life is busy for both of us. For the past month, she has been sending me listings, advising me on which parts of the city are safe and which should be avoided. Her input has been invaluable. My husband wakes up and makes coffee for us every morning. He brings me food and water late at night when I'm in bed with the little ones. He does most (he would say he does all;) of the cooking. He does laundry. He loads the dishwasher. Chase holds every door open for us. Desmond runs to grab diapers or towels whenever I need them. Time, kindness, generosity, love, these things are not a zero sum game. If you give all you have, you will discover that you are left with so much more than you ever imagined.

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Wed, 11 Feb 2015 16:18:31 +0000 http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/moving
Shifting my perspective http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/shifting-my-perspective Desmond will be turning three in two months. Not many kids get to nurse that long, but does that matter? Does it matter that he is nursing longer than the average? What about me? Does it matter how long I want to nurse Desmond? How long do I want to nurse him? Every t]]> IMGP8196.jpg

Desmond will be turning three in two months. Not many kids get to nurse that long, but does that matter? Does it matter that he is nursing longer than the average?

What about me? Does it matter how long I want to nurse Desmond? How long do I want to nurse him? Every time he asks to breastfeed, I grimace. Its uncomfortable, my nipples are sensitive, and I have two other children that need me. Having three young kids is difficult. But if I was gone tomorrow.. If they were gone tomorrow.. Would I have wanted to nurse him happily that last time?

There will be a last time. I don't know which moment will be the last, but the end is near. I know that. Instead of making the end a miserable battle of weaning, saying no, making a point to express how much I don't want to breastfeed him, I will remember that it could be the end. I will make that moment sweet. Then, it will be a very peaceful close to an important time in his life.

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Wed, 04 Feb 2015 16:18:27 +0000 http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/shifting-my-perspective
Coming out of the woodwork http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/coming-out-of-the-woodwork Sorry for the long lapse in posting. There's a lot going on, which has taken my attention away from writing. Also, to the creepy guy that's sending me requests for private videos on every social media network he can find me on, stop please.

Breastfeeding has been tough for me lately. Having three kids is tiring. The nights have been challenging; which have been making me extra tired and grumpy. Chloe and Desmond are both needing me very much, day and night. I haven't been very good with taking care of myself so my body is very taxed.

But to quote one of my favorite video games: "Blah, blah, blah. Everybody's got problems."

In other (more happy news) Chase has asked to nurse again. He's nursed twice in the last couple of days. I've read that older kids may ask to nurse after being weaned for a long time, and then giggle and run away (or something similar). I haven't come across an account where a 5 year old will start nursing again after being weaned for a little over a year. Not that he's back to nursing by any means. He asked, latched, and nursed for a few seconds before moving on. His latch is very weak and not at all "correct" but it doesn't hurt. He first asked when he was very upset and looked a little surprised when I said yes. Overall, it seems to me like an experiment, not so much a return to breastfeeding. Either way, he's comforted by the experience so I'm happy.

On another slightly unrelated note, my husband has taken up a photo a day project. I am thoroughly enjoying them! I'm waiting to see a breastfeeding shot show up! There's 2.5 nurslings in this house, you'd think a few would pop up! *Hint Hint, Nudge Nudge* :)

You can follow his project on Instagram @stevebu56. Love you babe!

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Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:19:16 +0000 http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/coming-out-of-the-woodwork
Breastfeeding Selfies http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/breastfeeding-selfies Breastfeeding selfies; I don't have many of them. I should because I'm a big breastfeeding supporter, love to talk about it, and love to photograph it. There are very few times when I don't have a device handy while nursing either. So how why don't I have more of these? Well, the answer to that has changed over time.

When it was just Chase and I, I was very shy. When I breastfed Chase, I couldn't look him in the eye. It was too intimate for me. Back then, I was a very reserved person. Sharing feelings or talking candidly about my thoughts didn't come easily. My shyness affected so many aspects of my life. Work, my friendships, my marriage, and the relationship with my child. I remember those early days. Having a baby was so new and confusing. I didn't know how to feel. Or how to act. Kissing Chase felt strange and awkward. The pictures you see now of me gazing at my nurslings while breastfeeding, it was a slow progression.

I was scared of breastfeeding in public. Most times I tried to nurse a bunch before we left the house, or I'd feed in the car. When we were out, I'd use a cover - or try to anyway. The few times I did nurse Chase in public, I would get cold sweats from the fear of being confronted. It never happened. Or at least by the times it did happen, I was much more comfortable and the only responses I've ever gotten were positive. A waitress even stopped my husband on our way out of a pizza place to tell him how awesome it was that I breastfeed. That was cool.

So I don't have many breastfeeding selfies. At first, because I was extremely shy and not very confident. That has slowly morphed into not having many opportunities to take selfies. With three kids, multitasking is the norm and being able to take a selfie is usually not part of the activies. But anyway, it's almost Thanksgiving and this is sounding way more sad than I wanted it to be. Ah well. Can't always predict where a post will go but I'll leave you with this. Three breastfeeding selfies of Chloe from the day she was born to a couple of days ago. They are grainy, not properly focused, and not the best framed shots. But hey, they are are few rare selfies that I am thankful for.

2014-07-02 13.19.16

2014-11-01 21.44.33

2014-11-13 20.20.52

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Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:16:59 +0000 http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/breastfeeding-selfies
When it's hard to say Yes http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/when-its-hard-to-say-yes Chloe is a leaking sieve and that means the flesh eating saliva is back and making my poor nipples raw. Desmond has a pretty consistent loop he's in. It goes, Play -> Hit (lots of times) -> Get hurt -> Nurse. Sometimes the loop goes super fast. He will throw t]]>

Chloe is a leaking sieve and that means the flesh eating saliva is back and making my poor nipples raw. Desmond has a pretty consistent loop he's in. It goes, Play -> Hit (lots of times) -> Get hurt -> Nurse. Sometimes the loop goes super fast. He will throw the ball once, run over and start hitting me, fall down, cry and ask to nurse, all within two minutes.

I'm ok with it most of the time. We sing ABC's when I don't have a lot of time to nurse him. But on days like today when my nipples are so sore, its so hard for me to say Yes. I have been saying yes quite often, despite the discomfort. These are the thoughts that have been running through my mind, encouraging me, nudging me, to nurse him as he needs it. Maybe it will help you too.

Be your child's partner

This originates from La Leche League. It means support your child and help them achieve their goals. In my case, I support Desmond by nursing him when he asks. He is at a point where he's having some very big emotions. Nursing helps him navigate them. It's easy to get angry when a small child hits, or stubbornly does the thing you just said for them not to do. I've found that at those times, he's needing something. He doesn't want to hurt me. He doesn't want to throw things and hurt something else. He needs something but doesn't know how to express it yet. It helps me immensely to remember that.

Choose the more peaceful option

My body hurts. I want to rest. Chloe is crying, Chase is wanting me to read something for him. Daddy wants something too. Everyone wants my undivided attention. It's overwhelming. When I get it right, I breathe deeply, focus for a moment, and choose the more peaceful option. Not the easy option. Or the selfish option. The one that will bring about the most calm. That's nursing.

Remember, He's still a baby

Now that we have an infant again, Chase and Desmond look so old. But they are still so young. They seem so capable; they learn so fast. The list of things they "should" be able to do grows to unreasonable lengths and I become frustrated. Especially for Desmond. His verbal communication is so good and he's very willing to try to do everything himself, that I shock myself every time I remember he's only 2.5. He's still a baby!

He needs me.

It's so simple isn't it? Someday, Desmond won't need me, or at least not in the same way. Some day will be the last day he asks to nurse. But now, he needs me to mother him. To comfort him. To nurture him. To be there every time he reaches out. To kiss and hug him and love him more than he needs. He needs me to say Yes.

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Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:17:12 +0000 http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/when-its-hard-to-say-yes
Home base http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/home-base

I have one that can only have milk and all she wants is food. I have another that can eat food and all he wants is milk.

-me

Desmond is all about nursing. His vocabulary is expanding at an amazing rate. He's constructing sentences that are more complex. He's gotten taller. He's transitioning from toddler to little boy. Breast milk is almost as important now as it was when he was an infant.

His world is changing. It's expanding. Pretty scary stuff. At times it's exhilarating. He still needs to know I'm close. That I'm protecting him. He needs to know that in this new world, he's not alone. He needs to check back in to home base periodically. He does that through mama's milk.

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Wed, 12 Nov 2014 16:16:48 +0000 http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/home-base
ABCs http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/abcs Time is such a precious thing. I wish I had more of it. It's not time that I need though. With all the time in the world, I would still have three children that all want me in different places at once. Two of those want to nurse at the same time and neither is particular]]> IMGP9526

Time is such a precious thing. I wish I had more of it. It's not time that I need though. With all the time in the world, I would still have three children that all want me in different places at once. Two of those want to nurse at the same time and neither is particularly good at tandem nursing. Maybe it's me. I'm worst at tandem nursing this time. I'm a little older. A little weaker. A little more drained.

Desmond has amped up his nursing sessions. It's the time appetites shrink from enthusiastically tasting any food to eating one or two things. I've read two year olds start to do this to ensure survival. They favor only the well known foods. After all, that mushroom could be poisonous you know. Maybe that's true, maybe it's not, what I do know is Breast milk is one of Desmond's approved foods; which is totally fine. But sometimes it's not fine. Sometimes Chloe is hungry or sleep nursing and there's not an easy way to tandem nurse RIGHT NOW. Instead of saying no. I meet him halfway. We nurse and sing ABCs.

He really enjoys this. He likes it so much he ends up giggling more than nursing. He's totally fine with it too, which I find confusing. If he wanted to nurse, why would he be ok with giggling with a boob in his mouth and not actually nursing? Ah. Because it's about the need to check in with me. It's about the comfort. Yes. That makes much more sense. Oh, sorry for wandering off topic..

Anyhow, we sing ABCs. He gets to nurse for a minute or two, laughs, and then it's Chloe's turn. This works 99% of the time. Singing and nursing for one minute is much more peaceful than what happens when I say no. I not even sure I say no anymore. I say more: yes in a minute or in a few minutes or yes let's sing ABCs.

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Wed, 05 Nov 2014 16:16:57 +0000 http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/abcs
Support from Grandma http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/support-from-grandma One morning, Chloe and I were hanging out on the bed chatting with my mom on FaceTime. Our FaceTime calls are usually calm for a minute before Desmond comes and takes over the phone. Grandma gets very dizzy as he bounces the camera around. That boy cannot stay still. ]]> IMGP7404

One morning, Chloe and I were hanging out on the bed chatting with my mom on FaceTime. Our FaceTime calls are usually calm for a minute before Desmond comes and takes over the phone. Grandma gets very dizzy as he bounces the camera around. That boy cannot stay still. Grandma doesn't mind though. She loves the energy.

This time, Desmond came in with a face that said "I'm falling apart!" Chloe was already nursing. I tensed up in anticipation of the battle and barrage of fists and slaps because I wasn't immediately available to nurse him. But something else happened. Grandma helped us through it.

Desmond started screaming for milk. Grandma asked, "well why can't he have milk at the same time?" It's not easy nursing Chloe and Desmond. Nursing Desmond and Chase was a breeze. Chase was such a calm nursling. He would carefully get into any position and nurse without wiggling or kicking or moving. He was so still. Desmond, is a hurricane. He bounds in, crashes into me, rolls over, bumps into me again. He is loud and the only time he's still is when he's sound asleep. It's challenging nursing Desmond by himself. Nursing him AND Chloe is almost too much.

When I started to say it was too difficult she asked Desmond "can you have milk and be calm?" Desmond responded with his usual "yeaaaah." Slightly whining but I could tell he understood the question and was willing to try. He leaned over me and nursed while Chloe was laying next to me latched. She thought it was hilarious that her big brother was looming over her and breastfeeding at the same time. She kept unlatching to coo and laugh, then she'd frantically look for the boob again. Periodically I would whimper from Desmond crushing my boob or elbowing my side. Grandma would give him reminders "Desmond, hold up your head, lean this way, lean that way, yeah like that" etc. so that I would be more comfortable. She also reminded me (gently) that Desmond wants to nurse too and sometimes it's too hard for him to wait.

When Desmond was done, she asked "Was that good Desmond?" And he responded with a resounding "yes!" Yes, that was fantastic Grandma. Thank you!

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Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:17:16 +0000 http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/support-from-grandma
7am http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/7am It's 7am and Desmond is tossing and turning because I refuse to nurse him. He hasn't been eating much food lately. Instead, he asks to nurse. Theoretically I'm fine with this. He nurses on demand just like Chloe. In reality, that's not even remotely true. I find that the]]> IMGP5342

It's 7am and Desmond is tossing and turning because I refuse to nurse him. He hasn't been eating much food lately. Instead, he asks to nurse. Theoretically I'm fine with this. He nurses on demand just like Chloe. In reality, that's not even remotely true.

I find that the more time goes on, the more I'm restricting him and secretly wishing he would wean. It all comes down to comfort - for me. It's unfortunate that teething is so irritating to my skin. The amount of time I spend nursing really doesn't give me much opportunity to apply lanolin or rinse off the flesh eating saliva. The second Chloe is done with a marathon session, there comes Desmond asking to nurse. And what's worse, he hits hard if I don't immediately comply.

I understand his frustration. Chloe gets to nurse any time for as long as she wants. Before she was here, he got to nurse that way too. When Chloe cries she gets to nurse; so why can't he nurse every time he cries? Why can't he nurse every time he's hungry? Or frustrated? Or hurt? Or thirsty? He should be able to! Why, in practice, do I fail to nurse him on demand? What is so wrong with nursing him at 7am?!

Nursing hurts and in my mind Desmond can nurse OR eat food. He can eat food when he's hungry, true. But eating food doesn't help when he's hurt or tired or scared or anxious or, or, or... Haven't I said again and again that nursing toddlers is more for comfort than anything else? So why restrict him at all? That would be on par with not allowing Chloe to nurse for hours at night because her gums hurt. I wouldn't do that.

My nipples are raw. My mouth is dry. I get little sleep. All of this is temporary. More sleep will come to me some day. My nipples will heal. But the time to provide love and comfort to my nurslings through breastfeeding is passing quickly. What will I regret more? That I put up with nipple pain and sleepiness or that I said no?

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Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:17:18 +0000 http://sett.com/toddlerbreastfeeding/7am