November 13th, 2010


nursing, teeth, and the "how long?" issue

Someone in june2010babies asked me how nursing was going now that Josie has her two bottom teeth. I think it's normal for people to wonder about that sort of thing. Even I was a little apprehensive about having my boob around those sharp little baby teeth when they first came in, even though I hadn't felt them while nursing at all. The only reason I knew Josie had teeth was because I felt them when she was chewing on my hand one day. And even now, I'm well aware of the fact that she can clamp down on fingers in a very painful way... she's never bitten that hard while nursing. I won't say she's never bitten me, I think it's happened twice or so? But she hasn't broken any skin. I've been nursing a baby with teeth for almost a month now, and still have two nipples. success!

So anyway since the teeth milestone hasn't phased our nursing routine, I'm not sure how long we'll keep this up. The World Health Organization even recommends breastfeeding for at least two years. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least one year. Both plans include introducing solid foods gradually starting at around six months. Just for fun I read up on how to introduce solids and told Marc he could try giving Jo a bit of something, like mashed banana... she spit it out. Sure we could force some solids upon her by adding cereal to bottles but there's really no health benefit to that, it just takes away from breastmilk quantity, so I'm not going to rush it.

I have a friend who's still nursing her 18 month old. She says it's a little weird, nursing a kid who tells you "okay I'm done on this side we can switch now". Had I never breastfed I would have thought that was WAY awkward, but now not so much.

So then my sister and I came up with another checkpoint: when your kid is old enough to make himself a sandwich, it's probably time to stop breastfeeding. I'm with her there.

But I'm also at the point now where I won't judge anybody for extended breastfeeding. I no longer think the youtube moms nursing their 5-year-olds are total freakshows. I won't be one of them, but that's a personal choice. My friend nursing her 18-month-old is definitely planning to wean at 2. I'd like to wean sometime between 1 and 2, unless something happens to change my mind. But for now, so why stop? The baby is happy, healthy, and super fat. There's lots of milk. I like being able to feed her anywhere at anytime without fixing a bottle. It's free. I'm really skinny right now. Three weeks ago when Marc and I came down with terrible colds, Josie never got sick... I chalk it up to nursing, because a mother's body can pass on defenses she's developed for whatever she and a baby have encountered. I just feel like we're on a good role here.

I have decided to opt-out of that business trip in December that I wrote about a few weeks back. I'm not ready for an overnight away. Plus, some things have come up around the office lately, like some new tests we have to get set up and run QUICKLY, and the trip will take away from that in a bad way. Breastfeeding helped me decide to stay home but it wasn't the only thing.