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The 5 Cs of Breastfeeding a Toddler

the-5-cs-of-breastfeeding-a-toddler

compensation

Breastfeeding a newborn looks a lot different from breastfeeding a toddler. Honestly, I never thought I would breastfeed my toddler. I had made the arbitrary decision, before having children, that I would stop breastfeeding at age one. Instead, my son weaned only when I was pregnant with his sister and too nauseated and exhausted to continue nursing; he was just shy of two-and-a-half years old, and I plan to nurse his sister until she’s at least that age. I thought breastfeeding was something I would do because I knew it was good for my baby. I had no idea how much I would enjoy the breastfeeding bond!

While looking for pictures to use for this post, I found one that perfectly exemplifies those first few weeks breastfeeding a newborn. (Cub must have taken it when I wasn’t paying attention … it’s about as candid as you can get!)

candid-nursing-shot

The first month postpartum is likely the foggiest and most confusing period of motherhood, and it’s also the time when you need to keep track of the most information. How many wet diapers per day? How long is she nursing? How often is she nursing? How much does she weigh? When was your last shower? Luckily your smartphone can help with all but the last, thanks to the award-winning MyMedela app. My Medela App

I long abandoned tracking much of anything with Little Miss and have begun answering the “How old is she?” question with “She turned one in July.” Heck, I have to do some quick mental math to tell people my own age! That’s one of the big differences between breastfeeding a toddler and a newborn: YOU are your newborn’s only food. You need to pay a great deal of attention to how much and how often and how well she’s nursing. But for your toddler, breastfeeding becomes something else. No longer their only source of nutrition, breastfeeding becomes a source of much more!

The 5 Cs of Breastfeeding a Toddler

1- Comfort

Breastfeeding a Toddler

When my babies are sick, scared or hurt, I always offer them milkies. I love the instant comfort nursing provides. My son was much more of a “comfort nurser” than his sister: if he got hurt, the surest way to settle him was to let him nurse. Little Miss is easily comforted during the day by a hug, but she seeks the comfort of nursing in the middle of the night. Even at—excuse me while I do some mental math—15 months old, she still nurses at least twice a night. (She sleeps next to me so it’s not a problem.)

2- Communication

communication

The first message both my children were able to effectively communicate was: “I want to nurse!”  Well, not in a complete sentence, or even with words; no, it was their first baby sign! I got so frustrated with Cub yanking on my shirt to signal that he wanted to nurse that I gave in and started teaching him to sign for milk. I quickly regretted not starting signs sooner! Little Miss started signing for milk about two months ago. Being fed is one of the most important parts of a toddler’s day, so it’s no surprise that signs associated with eating are the ones they pick up soonest.

3- Comedy

gymnurstics

I have one (made up) word for you: gymnurstics. It’s just downright hysterical the positions toddlers get themselves into when nursing. Little Miss likes to nurse from a standing position, perpendicular to my breast while I’m lying down. I’ve seen kids who wind up upside down with their feet on their mama’s head, kids with limbs in the air or random objects clutched in their hands … not to mention every mother’s nightmare: niplash. (That’s when your tot is nursing and then abruptly turns her head without unlatching.)

4- Cuddles

nursing-on-the-beach

Once babies become mobile, it seems like they’re always on the go. Potentially my favourite thing about nursing my children as toddlers is that it slows them down enough to climb into my lap for a few moments. When I would pick my son up from daycare in the summer, a lot of times I’d pick him up from the neighbourhood park where they always spent the latter half of the day. I’d show up to see him running around and screeching with the other children, but as soon as he saw me, he’d want to sit down and nurse. Now, when his sister nurses during the day, it’s the perfect moment to read him a story without her yanking at the pages and clambering all over him.

5- Collection

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By the time their babies reach toddlerhood—and oftentimes much earlier—many mothers are back at work. Their babies can still benefit from their breastmilk, provided mom can pump at work (which she is legally entitled to do). Being able to pump easily, discreetly and conveniently on the job is a must. I cannot imagine using anything but the Medela Freestyle if I were pumping my milk every day in the workplace. The Freestyle comes with a cooler bag and contoured icepack to help you safely store your pumped milk, plus a sleek tote bag to carry your pump to and from work. It’s cordless, and it’s the quietest breast pump I’ve heard so far. Now that Little Miss is nursing less during the day, when I have a letdown and she’s not interested, I pump so I can donate to the NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank. (Cub loves watching them pasteurize the milk when we drop off a donation!)

milk-donation

For mothers that do a blend of bottle feeding and breastfeeding, Medela’s Calma feeding system is a one-size-fits-all bottle system that allows you to bottle feed expressed milk (or formula) in a way that perfectly mimics the way baby feeds at the breast. Knowing your baby can easily and contentedly accept your milk from another caregiver gives you great peace of mind when you’re away! This system is designed specifically to facilitate combined breast and bottle feeding.

milk

Whether it’s from a bottle or the breast, there are many benefits to feeding your toddler breastmilk. Medela helps you with the collection so you can enjoy the comfort, cuddles, comedy and communication!

Find out more:

Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Medela Canada and I received compensation as part of y affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Enter the Giveaway:

Medela #MedelaCanada Freestyle Double
Breast Pump Giveaway





34 responses to “The 5 Cs of Breastfeeding a Toddler”

  1. We are just getting into the world of gymnurstics and it is quite entertaining! I also love the cuddles. We are working on sign language but all he wants to sign is “chien”, apparently Kirby is cooler than “Maman” or “lait”, but we’ll see! Lovely post and a great reminder of the other benefits of breastfeeding <3

  2. Viv Sluys

    I love that Cub snapped a picture of you that you were unaware of; so sweet.
    I think it’s great that Medela products are tested by real parents… I’m not sure how trustworthy pumps and bottles that hadn’t been tested by real families would be!

  3. Tera Penton

    I feel great that medela is tested by real parents. It’s the only way to know that the quality is there in the pump. I don’t pump much but a quality pump is key

  4. Claudie L-B

    I am in a similar place in life, I am breastfeeding my toddler (2.5 years old), I thought she would stop during my pregrancy at the second trimester, since she was loosing interest… but came along 3rd trimester and she went back at it.

  5. Tina F

    It is so refreshing that real moms are the ones that are doing the testing.Who else knows so much but real moms who are doing it .

  6. Kelli O’Reilly

    My daughter hasn’t taken to the Calma nipples yet, but they seem great so we keep trying!

  7. Marie Cole

    I never really pumped with this little one (though I exclusively upped with my first so that’s probably why I avoid it) but the rest I totally relate to though I never did try baby sign language which I regret

  8. Ira

    It feels great! And Medelas are the best pumps out there anyway 🙂

  9. Tannis W

    I think it’s great that Medela products are tested by real parents. I feel that’s the way it should be!

  10. Giselle J

    I was always under the impression that nursing toddlers was “weird” – probably because I’ve been programed to think that ; although the kids in Africa do it, and it’s completely normal to them. I love breastfeeding my daughter. As she approaches a year, I’m starting to have anxiety. I want my special time with my babe! That no one else gets to have. This post not only gave me a new perspective, but the confidence to put my anxiety on the back burner.

  11. Linda

    I love that Medela is tested by real moms. It makes me trust the product more.

  12. Elizabeth Robinson

    I think it is great!

  13. saresyn

    It’s as it should be — tested by real moms!

  14. Holly MacRitchie

    I completely agree with this choice! Medela products are the best

  15. ASM

    This has been recommended to me before and I’m just saving up for it if I don’t win. I don’t need it so much for my baby, but I want to pump milk to donate, and my current second hand pump doesn’t work. 🙁

  16. leana

    I think that testing by everyday parents give me confidence that this is a system that will work with my family as well!

  17. Shannon M

    Thank you so much for the valuable insight and information! My little one isn’t here yet but I’m very interested in all the info and experiences I can find about breastfeeding! Having tried and tested products reviewed by users just like I will be is invaluable. Thank you!

  18. Knittinchick

    I actually don’t read or take stock of items that aren’t reviewed by parents. It’s just so much more authentic coming from someone who is living in your world!

  19. Isabelle L.

    J’avais eu un tire-lait usagé de ma belle-soeur pour ma première… Je l’ai pas adoré! Quand je l’ai changé, le 2e que j’ai eu m’a lâché au bout d’un an. Alors je prévois m’équiper convenablement pour le prochain, investir dans un tire-lait plus efficace et surtout : silencieux! Car au retour au travail, je tirais dans les toilettes avec la version manuelle de mon tire-lait… C’était long! Haha! Merci pour ce partage! 🙂

  20. I loved the calma nipple … until Doll decided she didn’t.

  21. Kaileigh

    Parent reviews are so important with most baby products out there! There are so many options these days for everything and it can be hard to sort through all the information. So reading real endorsements from real parents is a huge help.

  22. Elizabeth C

    I love to see such products being tested and reviewed by real families! I have a Medela Swing pump and I’m wishing I had bit the bullet and invested in a double pump. It is definitely a time consuming endeavour!

  23. janie vezina

    i think its awesome that these pumps are tested, and reviewed by real moms. who else? i want to know it will work, and who is better than a real mom.

  24. Sarah Holla

    Your blog posts are always an appreciated honest take on parenting today. I appreciated your insight on pumping while returning to work. I believe the convenience and sound level you described would make this pump an asset for a transition back to work. I couldn’t imagine taking my bulky noisy pump to work with me.

  25. Bailey

    I don’t buy baby products until I’ve read reviews by other parents so it’s great that medela is reviewed by parents who ise it.

  26. Devon

    I always love your posts.

    I had such a hard time with eping last time as my pump was older . Would be great to win

  27. Charnelle

    Oh my gosh! Gymnusrtics! That’s perfect, I wish I had thought of it lol

  28. Mamah

    I feel good about real parent testing, but concerned that marketing of the Calma bottle actually undermines rather than supporting breastfeeding. Medela pumps are excellent, I wish they’d work on WHO compliance.

  29. Crystal A

    Being a NICU RN, I love the effects breast milk has for babies. I can’t wait to breastfeed my own!!!

  30. Rachel WG

    Love that it’s tested and approved by real parents!

  31. Kelsey

    Its very authentic to have the very people that will be using the product doing the reviews and testing. I put the most faith in testing for baby/children things that are done by real parents 🙂

  32. Lucy

    I think it’s essential to have realistic reviews.

  33. Lisa M

    I really appreciate reading reviews by real people. Especially for expensive products like this where there are so many different companies to select from. I also really appreciate your insights on breastfeeding.

  34. Rekha

    It’s all so real! Your posts are always on point and informative. I’ve never tried this pump but would love to in the future, as I left pieces of my current pump in another city when out for a conference (Miss M is almost weaned anyway, so it’s not a big deal, ultimately). Sadly I think the pump is discontinued so I don’t know if I’ll be able to find the replacement parts (or even what they’re called…. they’re little, so they were forgotten in the dish rack utensil holder).

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My name is Lindsay and I am a 40-year-old mama of four trying to live an eco-friendly, budget-friendly life! I am a substitute teacher and Child Passenger Safety technician in Calgary, Alberta. Join me on my adventures!

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