October 3, 2006

Why? Why not?

Back in the good old days of Armchair Parenting, I had a steadfast rule that mandated a child should be weaned from breastfeeding at 12 months.

....................Fast Forward to October 2006...........................

Arun will be 12 months in less than 2 weeks. At this point, it is safe to assume that he will NOT be weaned by then. Let me repeat that for those in the back - Yes, my kid will still be suckling at my breast as of October 17th because yes, YES, in Grand Hypocritical Fashion, I'm switching The Rules around for my own benefit now that I am an actual mother. Convenient, eh? (See Also: Previous dictums regarding Craptastic Plastic, Noisy Toys, Elmo, designer baby clothes, co-sleeping, the Crying It Out method of so-called sleep training and finally, previous stances on the Evils of Attachment Parenting. ) While I could point out the particulars of venerable and respected organizations such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF that recommend nursing for at least 2 years, the truth is, I'm gonna stand on this one all by my lonesome. There are the obvious nutritional elements and pretty cool antibodies that would sure be nice to continue donating to Arun - you see, Arun has yet to experience a single illness and unapologetically, I'd like to ride that Pony until it dies. Seriously! NO COLDS. NO ILLNESS. Even though we are out and about ALL the time, are exposed to kids of all ages, go to the gym nursery, attend playgroups and have been on 14, count 'em, 14 different germ-ridden airplanes in this year alone and can I repeat that Arun has yet to get a single cold?? (although X and I have had several ourselves.) Finally and most importantly, we've just established an AWESOME sleeping and nap schedule. And I'm a selfish bitch who relishes Naptime. Sue me.

I ask you, Internet, GOOD GOD, why the HELL would I mess with that? Sure, the nursing is less and less these days and he will probably be weaned by 18 months, anyway. But I certainly I don't see a purpose nor advantage to cut him off at the 12 Months Mark when there isn't a specific need for it. After all, I see LOADS of kids walking around with chunks of plastic in their mouths - what's wrong with giving my kid what nature intended anyway for just a few more months?

So, while I have no Grand Manifesto planned for nursing him through the fence during recess, I also don't think it's a big deal to continue nursing for a few more months. Why not?

Oh, and my Hypocrisy? Duly noted for future reference.


Leah said...

If you really want to freak people out, tell them that current research shows that humans aren't meant to completely wean until 5 or 6. But I'm biased toward extended nursing because I remember my little sister insisting on nursies in the store when she was 3. And seriously, lots of kids still have bottles then. Who cares? Do what makes you happy.

flybunny said...

I think it is great that you will continue to nurse him. I too had my own views but they were primarily driven by fear of sharp baby teeth being in such close proximity of my tender nipples.

I would hate to have to go back and revisit everything I said I would or would not do before I had kiddos as I am afraid it would be a long and embarassing list!

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

I think shoving your nip through the chainlink would be pretty painful.

I don't think you need to feel defensive about it. A few extra months is not = Arun swigging breastmilk out of a sippy cup as he's pulling the Ridiculous Car out of the drive.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Umm, to clarify, not that your post came off super-defensive or anything I'm just saying that I don't think nursing past 12 months = creepy and disgusting for you to feel worried people will think that way. Defensive is a bad word.

Cripes, I am frocking up all over the place today. Chalk it up to a day spent extremely angry and then coming home tired.

Shalini said...

We were told in our childbirth class that the worldwide average for children to be weaned is 4. It's mostly in western countries that people get freaky about it. I say, go with what feels good and if he's NEVER BEEN SICK?? Geez, you're my hero.

Cagey said...

I am not entirely surprised to hear that kind of research. Seriously!! I should have included that I have a good friend who breastfed until her son was 4.5 - my primary, most serious concern is that she was giving him the clear message is that it was something they "shouldn't do in front of others". I can't help that wonder how that affects him.

Ah, the Teeth. We only have TWO. Wil report back later!

AHHHH, I frequently and OFTEN joke about the fact that Arun will be driving the Ridculous Car to high school! not entirely crazy since we STILL drive our 95 Honda....... Anyway, I just hope he isn't swigging something ELSE while driving the Ridiculous Car. Ahem.

Blondie said...

Hi Cagey. I do not have a baby, but I do have a friend who breastfeed for way over a year and a woman I once worked with breastfed her son until he was four. She only found it odd when one day he lifted up her shirt in the grocery store and latched on while he was mid-conversation with her. I say more power to you!

Anyway, I thought you might want to know that I meme'd you. :) :)

Modern Day Hermit said...

Excellent! I couldn't go past 8 weeks due to supply issues. I sure hope to breastfeed more with number 2, should a number 2 arrive [not to be confused with the other number 2]. If anything, it is certainly more budget friendly.

My boy has 8 teeth, knows how to use them and turns 12 months tomorrow (in about an hour AZ time) and I will admit a heavy fear of the teeth, lol. He's bit my fingers and holy crap, it hurt.

I just consider us very lucky that Alex hasn't been sick. Well, and good genes in the sick department helps, I was rarely sick as a child. Unless I was faking it. But that's another post.

Cagey said...

The defensiveness is probably directed more towards me and My Hypocrisy. Not many people have said anything yet, but generally people do that "pressed lips" quiet kind of judging.

Yep, no illnesses. There were a few times when I was positive that he was going to get sick because my husband travels ALL THE TIME and comes home with all kinds of crud. However, ARun would act cranky for a day and then be just fine. I am hoping this means that Arun got MY immune system because my husband is sick quite frequently.

Will have to think about the meme - things like that can't be taken lightly!

Yeah, um, Arun has TWO teeth. Apparently, I was a late bloomer in that arena as well. Also, Happy Birthday to Alex!!

CPA Mom said...

Amen Sister! Do what is best for you and your baby. the critics can kiss your hiney. The end.

alimomof2 said...

I had a vision of cut off at 12 months too. I couldn't breastfeed my first son, and I didn't think I would get past 6 weeks with my second son. Once I got past the difficult part, my "baby" nursed until 15 months. Weaning was mutual and easy.

Jenn said...

LMAO I have to tell you I almost spit water onto my monitor when I read: "nursing through the chainlink fence during recess."

12 months 18 months What's the differance. 2 years? 3 years? Then maybe its a bit much. But that's just my opinion....I would never tell anyone what to do with their own child.

I'm ALWAYS on the Do whatever works side of any argument!!

I hope next child I'm able to get passed the pain and BF longer.

FFF said...

Wow! No illnesses! I'd definitely keep nursing because ear infections SUCK. I pumped my BM for six months as my little guy couldn't nurse due to some breathing problems he had early on, but it seems like nursing would be such a sweet and bonding moment. Now he is so wiggly and mobile that I wish I had a way I could hold him and be close like that.

Rozanne said...

Of course, I'm totally unqualified to comment, but I do think there is a movement in the U.S. to get mothers to nurse their babies longer.

I say go for it--if it ain't broke don't fix it. Obviously, the results speak for themselves. It's your body, your baby, and no one else's business.

dorothy said...

Dude, I'm with you, and I hate people that breastfeed past a year.

It's funny how we can also make exceptions for our smart, funny friends, isn't it?

Wordnerd said...

You go, girl! Stop when YOU decide, not society. It's worked so far.

Zoot said...

You know how I feel about this, right? Because I'm the same way. I'm thinking nursing until 2 may work for us. My problem? I don't think anyone in my family agrees with that. *sigh*

GOD. Our kids are about to be 1? When did that happen?

The Mama said...

Just linked to you through Sweet Juniper. Excellent post!! I too am someone who never thought you should nurse a walking talking toddler and then did. And I will again, Ian is only 9 months old.

And about teeth. Ian has had teeth since he was 4 months old. And I have been nipped a few times, but honestly it's not that bad. My Gracie also teethed early and it wasn't so bad. Ian presently has 7 teeth and is getting about 4 more. If they are latched properly they can't bite you. A side note though, making them smile or giggle while nursing can cause a bite. I've done that a couple of times!!

Anyway, good luck!!