The not so simple side to breastfeeding a toddler

The not so simple side to breastfeeding a toddler

12 months was my goal. Once I made it past the first 2 weeks, which I will openly admit were pretty traumatic, even for a seasoned professional like me, I set 12 months as my goal.

This was my last baby and so my last ever journey of providing on tap nutrition for my dependant little being. I did 12 months with Tween and although I thought he would be the last, I was ready, so by the rule of past experience, we’d get to that milestone and I’d slowly wean my boy onto a cup for his bedtime milk.

It would be sad but I would be ready, so I thought.

But 12 months came and went. 16, 17, 18 months and those milky moments were just as much a part of his life, as important and comforting as the day he was born. But as our early days breastfeeding journey had past, our breastfeeding moments evolved.

Gone were the guessing games or decifering if he needed food, nappy changes or cuddles, was he too hot Too cold or Too bored? For good reasons or bad, a toddler will tell you when he wants feeding!

Babies will root, turn their heads towards you,  toddlers lunge! There’s top tugging, sign language and even head turning, I’m in position and you try and stop me moments which are very hard to ignore.

Babies snuggle, relax and sometimes doze. Toddlers play. They kick, they roll, they ticke and they clap. They fiddler, they tug and they twiddle. Those once sleepy milk cuddles turn into boobie gymnastics!

Toddlers have teeth. Well most do. It’s a whole new sensation where the once toothless gums are now pearly whites. Couple that with boobie gymnastics and you’re living life on the wild side! And if you’ve got a fiddler. Wowzers!

And then there’s the opinions. “You’re still feeding!” “Is that natural?” “That’s just weird” “he doesn’t need that now” “you’re one of THOSE mums”  Once you get past 12 months people’s opinions change, some more expressive, some less comfortable and most more OPIONATED!

But it’s not all bad, there are the days when the power of milk takes away pain, when he looks up, shoots me a smile as big as the Cheshire Cat and when a little hand reaches for mine, holds it in his and closes his eyes. That’s the moments I love, the simple side to breastfeeding a toddler.




  1. 1st December 2015 / 8:34 am

    Absolutely gorgeous photo! I’m finding the difference with the 7 month old, I had forgotten that things change when they want to move!xx

    • 1st December 2015 / 9:01 pm

      It’s very different isn’t it! I ended up with a toe up my nose today.

  2. 1st December 2015 / 12:27 pm

    I can only imagine how difficult (if that’s the right word) it is to breast feed toddler. I honestly don’t think it’s anyones buisness if you breastfeed a toddler, I say well done!!! That photo is beautiful. Lovely giveaway too, good luck to those who enter 🙂 xx

    • 1st December 2015 / 8:50 pm

      Here, here Sarah and thank you for you lovely comments.

  3. 1st December 2015 / 1:08 pm

    That’s a lovely post and gives me such warm memories of feeding my own children. I fed them all until over 1, and all but 1 (who decided early he was done, possibly because I was pregnant and the taste changed) until around 18 -20 months. It’s very different from feeding a baby, but still just as rewarding 🙂

    • 1st December 2015 / 8:48 pm

      That’s so good to hear, you don’t read about the post 12 months feeding experiences so much.

  4. 1st December 2015 / 1:40 pm

    What lovely moments that conjures up. And who cares what other people think – you’re happy, your child is happy, and breastfeeding a toddler is doing nothing but good.

    • 1st December 2015 / 8:47 pm

      Thanks Cathy, I am pretty thick skinned and value anyone’s feeding choices so have that ammo in the bag when I get a comment!

  5. 1st December 2015 / 2:57 pm

    For me that photo you have shared, says so much more than words ever can x

    • 1st December 2015 / 9:00 pm

      Thank you Rachel, I know it’s one I’ll look back on one day and miss those moments.

  6. 1st December 2015 / 5:21 pm

    I do not yet have kids so I have no idea what its like to breastfeed a baby later on a toddler, nice giveaway

    • 1st December 2015 / 8:52 pm

      thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment regardless Miranda

  7. 1st December 2015 / 8:48 pm

    Haha boobie gymnastics that is pretty funny its true though toddlers are a lot more fidgety than babies especially when they are breastfeeding. Beautiful picture too.

    • 1st December 2015 / 8:51 pm

      Thank Ana, I couldn’t think of any other way to describe it!

  8. 1st December 2015 / 9:00 pm

    Beautiful post and gorgeous photo. I echo everything you say about breastfeeding a toddler, it can be so hard sometimes and it is so different to feeding a baby. But I will miss it when J weans x

    • 2nd December 2015 / 7:48 am

      I think that just for the fact that once it’s over that’s it forever I tend to see the positive side more.

  9. KellyRose
    1st December 2015 / 11:08 pm

    I often thought it funny that people think it’s strange to breastfeed a child for that long.

    According to WHO, ‘Breast milk is also an important source of energy and nutrients in children aged 6 to 23 months. It can provide half or more of a child’s energy needs between the ages of 6 and 12 months, and one third of energy needs between 12 and 24 months.’

    I always heard that, if possible, you should breastfeed until 2 years as a complimentary energy and nutrient source.

    Nice article 🙂

    • 2nd December 2015 / 7:47 am

      I quote the WHO too when I’m feeling feisty but that’s much more info than I knew so I’ve got a little more in my ammo kit now! Thank you x

  10. 2nd December 2015 / 6:51 am

    Going through nursing aversion with two year old at the moment, and desperately hoping we’ll be able to keep going. The toddler feeding moments can be so lovely. My eldest used to try to read books while feeding!

    • 2nd December 2015 / 7:45 am

      My boy likes me to read to him during the bedtime feed, he doesn’t look at the pictures though, he likes to just feel the book.

  11. 2nd December 2015 / 7:16 pm

    Beautiful post. Every mum has to do what’s right for her and her child and to be honest no one else matters, so go you 🙂 x

  12. 4th December 2015 / 8:19 am

    This is a beautiful post and lovely picture. My goal is also 12 months, and we’re almost there (Jan 1st) but I must admit I’m not sure I’m ready to give up our nighttime feeds and cuddles once I return to work. 🙁 Xx

    • 9th December 2015 / 2:03 pm

      oh no, that going back to work feeling is awful isn’t it. thank you for your kind words.

  13. 5th December 2015 / 8:21 am

    Lovely post, isn’t it terrible that people would be so opinions on such a personal and natural thing. I admire you for being able to do it for so long, I only last between 4-6 weeks with my two and was disappointed so I admire you!

    • 6th December 2015 / 7:50 pm

      I think how ever long you do is important, I never really had a choice as my boy wasn’t too good with a bottle.

  14. 5th December 2015 / 9:47 am

    What a beautiful post and photo. I breastfed my toddler until he was well over 2 so can completely relate to this. He just wasn’t ready to stop and I wasn’t in any hurry to either. Such precious moments x

  15. aNoviceMum
    23rd December 2015 / 1:43 am

    Yeah, breastfeeding a babe and breastfeeding a toddler are 2 different kettles of fish; both in the ‘hows’ and ‘whats’. I especially enjoy the increased depth of communication, and the gymnastics are easier on the head once you get your mind around it, aren’t they?

    Gorgeous picture by the way, I can’t help wondering what camera / editing program you use.

  16. 13th January 2016 / 6:46 am

    I can totally relate to all this, as I’m still breastfeeding my 17 month old. The shirt tugging is so funny! Also, he likes to wriggle into a standing position so that he’s stood on the floor feeding, and I’m in some contorted position. Then he laughs while he’s doing it!

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