Extended breastfeeding | What it’s like to nurse a 3 year old

My 3-year old has an insurmountable will. She perseveres and performs in anything at all, as long as she is forbidden to do it. It’s a good thing – I tell her not to brush her teeth, not to put on her socks and not to wear her clothes and so on and so forth. The only exception is ice-cream. I tell her to eat more ice-cream and she goes “thank you, mummy“.

Other than ice-cream, she succumbs and submits to just one thing with great abandon – mount “neh neh” (breasts). Nursing is her source of great, great comfort.

When she leans in close to me, puts her arms around my waist and lie her head against my chest, I breathe in her smell and, I ask her all the questions that have been bugging me.

What does neh neh taste like?

She rubs her hand together holding an imaginary bottle and says, “Like milk powder” (?!)

Is it…. sweet?”

She shakes her head vehemently and said “No..

Is it like…. water?

She shakes her head vehemently and said “No..

Why do you like it so much?

She smiles and lies her head against my chest, then say “its nice and mama loves me

*MELTS* [ cues silly smiley face :D ]

You know how fast they grow up, my 3 year old is getting more independent by the day. I enjoy her independence and I love it that we can do more in terms of going out and crafting and singing and we can have more meaningful / hilarious conversations together. It’s a general feeling of well-being and happiness.

But when it comes to nursing, she is my baby again. She needs me. When she is upset, angry, hurt or sick. She’ll put her arms around me and stay close. I’ll pull her in as close to me as possible and she nurses while talking to me about how she’s feeling, what we’ll do after that and all. It’s a source of comfort to the both of us. My big baby still needs me.

I’ve thought of weaning countless times (irony: when I thought it was happening, I was unable to let go.) and when asked, I automatically comment that she can’t live without the nursing and sometimes such a comment escapes me even without much thought but the truth is, not-so-secretly, I need it as much as she does, maybe just a little more. Weaning is a very delicate, sensitive process, at least to us.

I wanted to say that I hope I’ll be ready to wean when she is but I know that motherhood doesn’t  give you time to be ready to move on sometimes. I’ll just deal with it – I’m a big girl now.

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2 Replies to “Extended breastfeeding | What it’s like to nurse a 3 year old”

  1. I totally get you and thanks for describing it so accurately.
    Its our thing – between me and my 27mo.
    I try (but obviously without much effort) to wean her, and at times when she hasn’t asked for milk at the witching hours, i actually panic and think if she really has weaned off…

    Lets just enjoy the process and let nature take its course :)

    1. Hello Sue!

      That’s the way to describe it! “It’s our thing”!

      To be honest, I’m also not really trying to wean, because she takes so much comfort from it and its my way of nourishing her when she falls i’ll. Like you, I’ll take a step at a time and let nature take it’s course. :D

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