Nursing a toddler can be an adventure. They climb and fidget and often request quick drinks before running off again. But as chaotic and frustrating as it can sometimes be, it is also a joy and I am so glad I have continued to nurse my kids well past the infant stage.
I always knew I wanted to nurse my babies, but I had never pictured myself nursing someone that could ask! I remember my mom telling me I nursed until I was two and thinking that was so weird. I knew 2 year olds and couldn’t imagine myself nursing one.
But when my first reached a year, it was obvious to me that neither of us was ready to wean. Then he turned 2 and although he didn’t nurse often, he still liked to nurse before bed and occasionally when he was just having an off moment and needed some extra love.
Now I was the one nursing a two year old and it was weaning him that I couldn’t imagine. Nursing seemed as natural as hugging him. I didn’t know how long I would continue to nurse him and at what point I would decide he was “too old”, but I knew now wasn’t the time.
Turned out I never had to make that choice. He initiated weaning a few months after turning two and although there was a point when he asked and I said no, it was only after he had made it clear he was ready to stop nursing. There were no tears, no pleading, just an “okay” when I offered him something else to drink.
I am so glad I let my instincts determine how long I nursed my children and not a number. And when my mother later admitted that I still occasionally nursed when I was 3, I no longer thought she was weird. Instead, I felt her love that had inspired her to keep nursing.