Toddler Breastfeeding PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 June 2012 20:27

Micaiah is 16 months old, and he is still breastfeeding. That fact makes some people nervous. It makes some people uncomfortable. It grosses some people out. But it is what it is. I am breastfeeding our toddler, and it is perfectly normal to do so.

Thankfully I have a few friends who have nursed into the toddler years, so I don't feel all alone in this. But I know that there are people (friends, family, people on my social networks) who don't quite understand why I am breastfeeding past the age of 12 months, so I figured I would write a blog post about why... for those who are interested!

It should be noted that I have not been harassed or condemned by any friend or family member for continuing to nurse Micaiah, but before I had children I thought toddler breastfeeding was a bit odd and, quite frankly, just plain creepy. So I thought some information might help people understand a bit more why Daniel and I choose to take this route. It should also be noted that neither of us look down on those who do not choose to breastfeed their toddlers. Heck, Zachariah didn't even nurse for this long. This is is just what we feel is best for Micaiah. :)

Surprisingly enough, a lot of people think breastfeeding is only appropriate during infancy, but that is absolutely not true. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that “Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child … Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother … There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer.”1

And the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding continue throughout the first year of life and that “As recommended by the WHO, breastfeeding should ideally continue beyond infancy, but this is not the cultural norm in the United States and requires ongoing support and encouragement. It has been estimated that a natural weaning age for humans is between two and seven years. Family physicians should be knowledgeable regarding the ongoing benefits to the child of extended breastfeeding, including continued immune protection, better social adjustment and having a sustainable food source in times of emergency. The longer women breastfeed, the greater the decrease in their risk of breast cancer.” They also note that "If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned.”2

Now, I don't know what I think about a child nursing until the age of seven (Well, yes I do. I think that is crazy-old to be nursing. To each his own I guess.), but I find it very comforting and affirming that it is supposed to be the norm to breastfeed until age two. Which, just in case you were wondering, is how long I plan to nurse Micaiah.

Nursing a toddler is a lot different than nursing an infant. Toddlers aren't on a schedule and they don't necessarily need/want as much as an infant. Just because Micaiah is still breastfeeding does not mean that I am nursing him around the clock and that I can't be away from him for an extended period of time. Micaiah generally nurses three times a day, and if we have a busy day and aren't home as much he nurses less than that. When we were at the beach with my family a few weeks ago we were busy going to the pool, down to the beach and whatnot, so for the most part he only nursed when he woke up in the mornings! Toddler nursing is more when-they-need-it as opposed to a predictable, timed out thing. I go out with friends, I am able to have date nights with my husband, and if needed I could probably spend the night away from Micaiah without him completely coming unglued. Though I won't make any promises on that one yet since he is pretty set on nursing when he wakes up for the morning! :P

I'm sure you can find more if you Google it, but listed below are just a few of the benefits to nursing a toddler:

  • Gives an extra nutritional boost to your toddler. Experts believe that the composition of breast milk changes to adapt to a toddlers nutritional needs. (But nursing should not get in the way of meals and snacks, and you should still serve healthy nutritious foods!)
  • Provides protection from illness. Breast milk will continue to enhance your toddler’s immune system so that he’s less prone to colds, ear infections, allergies and other common ailments. And even if he does get sick, nursing will help to comfort him. In fact, breast milk may be the only thing he can keep down on an upset tummy. (And for the record, besides an episode of strep - I still have no idea HOW he got that - Micaiah has not so much had a single ear infection or cold/allergy issue. He has had one runny nose his entire 16 months of life, and that only lasted for 24 hours.) 3
  • Provides a boost for your toddlers memory. Studies have found that the longer and more frequently a toddler breastfeeds, the "smarter" he’s likely to be thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids, or DHA, that are unique to breast milk. 4
  • Breastfeeding is not only good for babies/toddlers! Mom's receive benefits as well! breastfeeding can reduce the risk of certain cancers (breast, ovarian, uterine and endometrial) and help you maintain a healthy weight since breastfeeding toddlers takes energy (and burns calories). Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

 

Anyway. That's all I've got for you right now. It's past my bedtime. If you want to know anything else please feel free to ask! I am ok with personal questions, and I am not offended that people think toddler breastfeeding is weird. I think eating onions is weird, so to each his own. :P

Oh, and in case you want to read about common myths related to toddler breastfeeding, go here. I wanted to address these but my eyelids are protesting.

Tune in next week for some updated pictures of my kiddos! I got my rear in gear today and took some much needed pictures of the boys!

 
Beach Vacation: Round One PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 June 2012 20:30

Last weekend we took a nice (read: horrible) long drive down to Cocoa Beach to spend a couple days vacationing with my family. My parents, sisiter, her boyfriend and my youngest brother were all there! The only one we were missing was Wesley, who has been spending his time in Japan trying to find a Japanese wife while simultaneously serving in the Air Force. :P

Despite the drive being so gosh awful (7 hours in a car with a screaming 15 month old. Yeah. Be jealous.), the overall vacation was quite enjoyable! Micaiah pretty much stayed in the sand (save one trip to the waters edge to collect shells with my Dad) and Z stayed in the ocean. Both of the boys had an absolute blast!

I have a lot of pictures to go through and edit, but I started working on them this afternoon and thought I would share a few with you while I had a moment.

Enjoy. :)

 

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Mother's Day PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 15:38

So, I know I'm a couple days late on this, but I had a great Mother's Day!

When I got in the car to head to church Sunday morning I found this in my seat. This cutely wrapped gift had a gift certificate for a for-real-deal massage. I am so pumped. I have NEVER had a for-real-deal massage before! Yay for thoughtful husbands!! :)

But even if I had not had received that sweet gift, Mother's Day would have still been great. I taught the kiddos in Sunday School that morning and we made cute little tulips with a secret message written on the inside for Mom. (Tutorial is right here, just in case you were interested. They turned out super cute!) After church we went to my grandparents house and celebrated with my side of the family. (The evening before we celebrated with Daniel's family!) It was a nice day.


I am so thrilled and honored and blessed to be the Mama of these two boys. Words cannot adequately express how much I love these munchkins!!

Hope all of you Mom's had a great Mother's Day as well!!

 
Iceburg PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 May 2012 15:38

Ok, so I know it's been a while. And I have tons of things I need/want to post about. BUT I just had to share about Zachariah's new favorite animal. It's one you may or may not have heard about yet. It's kinda new. :)

He has ALWAYS loved ocean animals, and earlier on in the school year he became particularly interested in whales. We learned about several different types of whales before Christmas and he just became fascinated. The one day of reading about whales turned into weeks of watching videos and finding more pictures of whales. He knows more about them than I do, and I am the one teaching him! (Scary, huh?) He knows the different sounds the whales make and he knows what the different whales eat (some eat fish, some eat krill, some eat squid, etc...). He knows what whales have teeth and what whales have baleen instead. He can basically identify a whale within seconds of looking at it. In fact, the other day we were looking at pictures of whales on Google and I said, "Look, that's a... wait. I can't tell what that is." The whale was upside down and you only had a good shot of its belly and tail. Z glanced at it and said, "That's a sperm whale." I looked down at the caption and sure enough, he was right.

All that to say, Zachariah loves whales.

A few weeks ago Poppie (Daniel's Dad) sent me an email with a video he thought Z would get a kick out of. And boy did he ever. I have included it below for you.

An albino orca whale?! How cool is that!!! As soon as Z woke up that morning I showed him the video. He watched it three times in a row and then more after breakfast. He was absolutely fascinated. But that was it. He didn't ask to watch the video any more after that day. A couple times during the week he would randomly mention the albino orca, but he wasn't in full on obsession mode. I knew he would eventually be in obsession mode over this whale, but I had no clue when it would hit. Well, apparently this is the week! Because for the past few days he has been completely and totally consumed with the albino orca. He started drawing several pictures of an albino orca, he has requested to scout out Toys R Us to see if they have any albino orca toys, and now we have an invisible pet albino orca whale living in our house. (With super powers that allow it to fly, that way it can come with us to Target. Because obviously it's too big to fit in the car.)

 

Here is a sidewalk chalk picture of an albino orca that he drew today. Complete with a blow hole spouting water, a white dorsal fin and pink eyes.

Here is what I love. (I mean, besides the fact that there is an albino orca swimming around somewhere out there.) He will only draw ONE albino orca. There has only been one spotted out in the wild, so he only draws one. He will also draw pink eyes on the whale. Which is not something he has seen, because no one has been able to get close enough to the whale to see it's eyes. That is something he heard on the video he watched WEEKS ago and he logged it away for later use.

This kid impresses my socks off.

I'm kinda keeping my fingers crossed that he will become a marine biologist. :)

 

 

 
Bike Ride Saves The Day! PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 26 April 2012 15:15

Yesterday was a pretty rotten day. For fear of boring you to death I wont go into the ridiculous details, but its safe to say that it was a bad day.

Today started out the exact same. I woke up in a horrible mood (I mean, is it that hard to understand that I want to wake up and get dressed BEFORE I am pestered by my children? That's all I ask.) and I was yelling and on the verge of having an emotional breakdown before breakfast was even on the table. Not good, folks.

Micaiah was bringing me shoes and begging to go outside, and all Z was wanting to do was whine and watch tv, so we decided to go on a walk/bike ride. Yes, it was quite early (8:45am to be exact), but it was necessary. For all of us.

And I'm not gonna lie... this little outing saved our morning. We live near a church, so we trotted on over to their parking lot and Z rode his bike through there like a champ. And when he got tired of roaming through the empty parking lot we decided to walk a little ways down the road to visit Nana (my mom) at her work! After we visited with her for a while we walked/rode back to the house. Then Micaiah went down for a nap and Z played with Colorforms while I looked at houses online.

Not such a bad morning after all! Thank you Jesus for this wonderful weather! Without it we would have been stuck in the house to yell and scream at each other. And that, my friends, would have resulted in a blog post with a completely different picture attatched. One that might include me sitting in a corner, crying and eating a butt load of chocolate. And no one wants to see THAT. :P

I am off to go running. Apparently I just want to add a little torture to this day. If I don't end up dying out there I will try to post an update on this running stuff!

Adios!

 

 
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