I was about to knock out a post on how fantastic breastfeeding toddlers is, until I realised that there are just far too many things to talk about for just one post. So, instead, I thought I would do a little series instead! And for the first instalment… tender moments.
Nursing a toddler is full of tender moments. Those times when they nurse to sleep and you get to watch their beautiful little eyelids flutter whilst they dream; the way their squishy little hands fiddle with your hair and your clothes; the scent of the top of their head that you get to take a deep breath of whilst they nurse.
As your little person grows into a bigger person, you will find that they haven’t got time in their busy schedules to come snuggle with mama. What with all of the play-doh that needs moulding into various things, the bricks just begging to be made into towers and the cars that simply must be pushed around the house at high speeds, lazy cuddles on the sofa with mum are not as common an occurrence as they were once upon a time.
Often, nursing sessions (especially daytime ones) with a toddler are brief; they simply want to ‘check in’ with mama, not spend half an hour (or even 15 minutes) snuggling. That’s what makes these moments so precious. For those few minutes, your baby is your baby again; you get to feel that little person in your arms and realise how much they still need you and that is something very special indeed.
Often, toddlers won’t feed much or at all whilst out and about. A lot of mums find that their little ones prefer to feed at specific times of the day — naptime is a favourite, as is bedtime, leading to lots of wonderful moments watching your amazing little person drifting off to sleep in the half-light. Although it is nice to fantasise every now and then about how nice it would be to be able to just kiss them goodnight and leave the room, we all know that we will miss those bedtime nursing sessions when they stop.
For some reason, it’s not seen as a positive thing in our culture to want to hang onto these moments that are reminiscent of a child’s babyhood. But why is this? Our children are small for such a short time. Before you know it, you will be watching them walk through the school gates for the first time; you will be waving them off at their driving test, and watching them walk down the aisle with their brand new husband or wife.
Enjoy the tender moments. Before you know it, they will be but sweet and distant memories.