Do you remember the scene from the movie Grown Ups, where the boy comes and asks his mother to nurse? It goes something like this…
boy: Mommy, I want some milk.
mom: Come here. I’ll give you a little something.
man: Your son is so cute. How old is he?
mom: 48 months.
man: That’s 4.
Is a four year old to old to nurse? I think so. Well atleast I think I think so. I am still nursing Kinsley. She turned two in June. If you break it down into months, we are going on 27 months. 48 months isn’t looking too far off at this point.
Is she too old to nurse. Probably.
When I started breastfeeding her, I made a goal to make it to one year. HUGE for me since I never made it past the first three months with my other children. The year came and went but I didn’t feel uncomfortable with it because she was still a baby in my eyes. I was opting in to the Baby Lead Weaning philosophy.
At eighteen months, people starting giving me opinions. Because obviously I had no idea I was still nursing, right? It was around this time that I decided to try a cold turkey weaning. The pressure had gotten to me. At this point, we are only nursing during nap and bedtimes. I didn’t really want to give up those snuggles when we curled up in bed, but I also wanted to be able to not be the one to put her to bed every night…ya know, on those rare occasions I am not home in time.
Whoever said cold turkey is the way to go is kinda nuts. Oh yeah, my pediatrician…yeah he is nuts. It was the worst day and a half of my life. A heroin addict is probably less traumatized in rehab. It was like she was physically ill from not nursing. So much so, I caved because I thought she was sick and it wouldn’t be a great time to stop. She wasn’t sick, she wanted her boobuh.
Fast forward to age two. If I am not home, she doesn’t nurse. Others can put her down to bed. There is no withdrawals. No freak outs. If I am home, we nurse to sleep.
So much for baby lead weaning. She is never going to wean. It’s her crack. I thought she might one day get bored and move on. But she loves my titties like a fat kid loves cake. Or how I love cake. Either. Or.
There isn’t the cuddling like in the past. She has two speeds, on and off. Once she settles down, she drops right to sleep.
Why am I still nursing?
Because I am scared to take away her favorite thing in life.
I do not want to nurse at 48 months.
But I don’t know how to *not* nurse.
I was thinking about this post today so I thought I would come back and update. Kinsley is 4.5 years old now and no longer nurses. She continued on until two months shy of her 3rd birthday, so 2 years, 10 months….34 months. Thirty. Four. Months. I think I more than made up for the lack of nursing the other five.
How did we wean? Well, it’s a bit weird. We read her books. Instead of nursing right away, she would read to her. Sometimes it would take one book, sometimes ten but she always dropped off during a book. She forgot all about my boobs. Now, she goes right to sleep when I say bedtime. It made me kind of sad to see the end of an era but we took from it so many special moments. She doesn’t even remember nursing at all now.
But I will tell you, the bond we have is so incredible. I am not sure if it is because we nursed for so long or because she is my last and I am aware that these moments are going to fleeting soon but we are crazy close.
As much as I miss nursing and my little baby, I am happy to see her growing up.
Bonus: She has never been sick a day in her life. A couple of symptomless mystery fevers that lasted a couple days, even a stuffy nose once but other than that, healthiest kid ever. Not one single ear infection, cold, flu, cough…nothing. When the whole house was hit the H1N1, she was running around playing while we were all laying there dying. There was no reason she shouldn’t have caught that flu but she went about her day without even so much as a sniffle.