The Antics of a Breastfeeding Toddler (+ Meet Ladan)

It’s time to meet yet another new Baby Gizmo Editor.  Ladan is our first Brit writer and we have to admit that her British humor amuses us! Say hello to Ladan and read about the Antics of Breastfeeding a Toddler!

Ladan Rashidi is a British mother of one, who moved to California in 2008 to live with her husband. Born and raised in London, she has the typically British sarcastic sense of humor and is always laughing at herself. And her husband. She previously worked as a school teacher until she gave birth to her daughter. Now she has the most demanding boss in the world, but also the cutest. She enjoys all things baby, but has a particular fondness for cloth diapers.

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When Hollie first asked if I wanted to do a post about what it’s like nursing a toddler, the first thing that popped into my head was an image of my daughter nursing while attempting to do a handstand. So of course, I agreed. Now that President Sarkozy of France referred to breastfeeding as a form of slavery‘, I feel the timing is about right.

Leaving aside all the health benefits for baby and mother (although I could go on about those for days) let’s focus on what makes us laugh and frown about breastfeeding an older baby. Here is my experience so far with my 13 month old daughter:

Nursing gymnastics — all you nursing moms know what I’m talking about. For a first time mom like me, we’re left thinking, “Wait- what just happened?!” My daughter decided to start using me as a treadmill while nursing. She’d stand on my stomach, my shoulder, even lay across my face. I cannot tell you how many times I have been lying on the bed and she has latched on, got on all fours, climbed over me, and slid down the side of the bed to go play. Of course, I have to move with her to accommodate, until her feet touch the ground and I can unlatch her. My question is- WHY?!

The pit stop — child is playing, playing, then rushes over, pulls down shirt, takes a few sucks and leaves. I feel slightly violated…

Peekaboo! I see you! — My nursing cover has one of those plastic straps across the top so that I can see my daughter as she nurses (you can purchase one here). But if I’m wearing a cover, obviously someone is around, and so my daughter loves to play peekaboo with anyone, while staying latched on. Up, down, up, down goes my cover while she smiles. I’m pretty sure I’ve flashed a few people. Sorry!

The pinching — now, I have no idea why babies suddenly become so fascinated with mom’s skin to the point where we need to be pinched/scratched/pulled while nursing. That one time that I forget to cut her nails will, of course, be the time that I am left with a scratch on my chest (and I’m sure we all know the best way to remedy scratches- breastmilk! Oh yes.)

The biting with teeth — my goodness, it hurts. Luckily for us, it was only while her molars were coming through. I do feel bad for any woman that goes through this. It is just a phase and baby will not remain a vampire… Hopefully.

Sticking her hand down my shirt while I talk to my dad or in-laws — for me, this is embarrassing. We can be in the middle of a deep and intellectual adult conversation about managing the poop in cloth diapers, and suddenly, there’s a tiny hand down my shirt. No “Please” or “May I?”

Now let’s discuss my favorite parts:

When I make her laugh while she’s nursing — even as I type this, my eyes have transformed to love hearts. I usually get her to laugh by pretending to eat her fingers. She doesn’t unlatch, she just laughs and stares at me. I melt. There is a huge puddle of Ladan in my home.

When it’s the only thing that comforts her — whether it’s teething, or a bump on the head, nursing fixes everything. It breaks my heart to see her cry, so just holding her and nursing her usually resolves the problem. For both of us. There have been a few times that I have been annoyed and my daughter has needed to nurse, which in turn has relaxed me to the point where I forget what I was angry about. Ok, almost forget.

When we both fall asleep while nursing — we cosleep, so this happens a lot. There’s something about that oxytocin that puts baby AND mom right out.

When I watch her nurse and sleep — Best. Feeling. Ever. I can’t even describe it.

What are your favorite or difficult times while nursing your toddler?