2 years, 4 months, 15 days

That's how long I nursed Isla for.

Change is always hard. Even if it is necessary, it is hard. There are tears from a toddler wanting something she has had every single day of her life. It's all she has known. There is a mom dealing with engorgement* issues (yes, I still have engorgement issues this many YEARS in). And there are emotions from both of us. Most of mine comes from refusing Isla something she wants so badly. Something that is such a comfort for her.

I never thought I would find myself in this sort of situation, nursing (or now, weaning) a toddler. But I have and I no longer feel sorry for it. For a while there, I felt embarrassed by it. American society certainly shuns this sort of thing. But it happened and now I am ready to talk about my experience with it. 

When Isla turned a year old, she was still nursing around the clock. And just as I didn't take Connor's bottles (or formula) away at a year, I decided I wouldn't take "the boob" away from Isla. After a couple months, she seemed like she was weaning herself. She was down to only nursing 1-2 times a day. Then, at 19 months, her 2 year molars started coming in and well, she started nursing around the clock again. And, at that point, the nursing relationship changed. It became about comfort for her and not nourishment. It became a magic thing that would take the grumpies away, would put her to sleep, would calm her fits. And once that happened, it became hard to think about taking away. But, the time has come for that to happen. 

2 years, 4 months, 15 days. I am pretty dang proud of myself. 

I want to dispel some myths about breastfeeding a toddler:

* Breastfeeding a toddler is more for the mom than the toddler. This is SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH. From the beginning, I have breastfed on demand. Isla initiates it. As time has gone on, I set parameters. First I made it where I would only nurse her one place, in the chair in her room. When I started that, she would pat the chair and say "sit, mama". Then I started dropping times when she could feed. The past two months, it was only before bedtime. 

* Isla does eat "solids". And I was asked this a couple months ago at the doctor's office. Isla eats just as much as her brother does. Nursing hasn't stopped her eating just as switching to milk never stopped Connor from eating. 

* Isla can (and does) drink from a normal cup and a sippy cup. She didn't ever take to bottles, but she did take to sippy cups from a young age. 

* Breastfeeding isn't a sleep aid. In fact, Isla hasn't routinely fallen asleep while nursing for probably almost a year. 

Now that "my secret" is out there, I hope I can be a help, be an encouragement, to another mom that finds herself almost shamefully extended breastfeeding. It's a hard place to find yourself when no one around you has ever done it and most people find it weird. But, to be honest, after a while, I got to the point that I stopped caring what others thought. It worked for us and that is all that matters. 

Just remember moms (and dads), for everything with parenting - It works for you and your family and that is all that matters.

So there you have it. After 2 years, 4 months, 15 days, Isla is that much closer to leaving babyhood behind. 

* If anyone else finds themselves in this position, for engorgement, I have been drinking sage tea, using cabbage leaves for relief and taking ibuprofen. 

You can also find me on:


  1. Good for you. There is no wrong answer when it comes to raising your children as long as you do what is best for your child and family! :) You should be proud!

  2. i still nurse my daughter (37months) but would like to stop it in the few months to come. it would be great to read your experience...
    (how could anyone ask ou if she eats solids????? it's crazy!)

    1. 37 months, I am impressed! I am sure Isla would have gone that long if I hadn't weaned her.

  3. Hello Jessica, thanks for stopping by my blog. My intentions were to breastfeed my daughter until maybe two years but she stopped breastfeeding at 19 months, but I think it was by accident. We were on holiday in Naples, Italy and I had to leave her over night to go visit family up north, when I returned the following day she refused to breastfeed. I was sad but I accepted her decision, however she was very friendly to my breasts. She always says hello to them :)

  4. You should be so proud that you nursed Isla for as long as you did. I think it's awesome! And I'm dang impressed you have engorgement still - you're body was made to breastfeed! (Although I have no tips to ease your discomfort. I only had that problem for the first few months.)

  5. I think you're AMAZING! Despite the comments, looks, etc from the public, you did what is best for YOUR daughter and that's what matters. Cheers to YOU!

  6. Out of curiosity, why did you decide to stop? Was it just time? You don't have to share your reason if you'd prefer not to. Thanks for sharing everything you did! Like you, I hope it's an encouragement to another mom.

    1. We want more children and I haven't gotten my cycle back, so we decided it was time. If we were "done" I think I would have continued until she weaned herself.


Related Posts with Thumbnails