Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sleep a little eat a little, repeat X3 every night

So...Lucy is quickly approaching 9 months. She is becoming more daring with her standing abilities and is now walking around furniture, she finds pleasure in our reaction when she "walks" toward us with the help of an extra set of hands or a little push toy. My baby is growing up :( The little turkey rarely sits long enough for us to get a little cuddle in. So, although I complain about the 2-3 night time feedings that she has held on to, at least I get a few moments to just sit and cuddle with the little adventurer. I think I would prefer that she would just co-sleep with us, but she doesn't stop moving even in her sleep!

In our country, it has come to be a social stigma to continue nursing your babies past their non-mobile months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a baby is exclusively breastfed for 6 months (nothing else, not even rice) and continue to breastfeed until at least 1 year and then as long as mother and baby are both inclined to nurse. The World Health Organization recommends at least 2 years. Lucy has been a very important piece of my education for the Certificate I received last fall as a Lactation Consultant. I have had quite a few problems getting her to nurse correctly and at times to nurse at all. At this point I just chalk it up to job experience, at the time it was very difficult and took the support of my husband and other nursing mothers (and my extensive knowledge into the long term benefits to both mother and baby) to keep me going. At this point, Lucy has proven to be an avid nurser, I can't imagine she will want to wean anytime soon.

So, the questions have started to creep up "You still nursing that child?", "How long are you going to continue that?" It's an easy answer, as long as Lucy and I both find it a positive experience. I promise she will not go to Kindergarten and still be nursing. When I begin to question whether it is worth the extra work at this point (still having to pump at work, not being able to just leave at the drop of a hat, trying to find an appropriate place to give Lucy a needed snack) I remember all the problems we had with Elena nutritionally after she weaned at 15 months. Definetely worth sticking with it. So, at this point, a full nights sleep will continue to be just a dream for me... Another mother summed up some of the nutritional reasons to continue to nurse a toddler:

"Breastmilk provides TONS of nutritional benefits for as long as it is provided. And those of us with toddlers all know how picky they can get. I'm glad that when all my son (22 months) will eat is hotdogs and ritz crackers that atleast he's getting some good stuff from my milk too!"


Anna said...

Elijah nursed until 14 months. He was eating pretty well by then and just lost interest. I guess that's a pretty good way to wean, if the baby decides! He still got momma milk in his bottle for a while after that though.

I, for one, will never ask if "you are still nursing that baby." It is so good for her!

noodle said...

you cant understand it and im 12