Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Beginning to communicate

It's so exciting to see Mikko begin to signal, even though at five months he's still pre-verbal. Well, by pre-verbal, I mean that he babbles all day long, but he's the only one who can make any sense out of what he's saying.

But he's started telling me when he wants to eat, by plucking at my shirt and ducking his head against my chest. I've been enchanted. My baby is speaking to me!

I know pulling at a mother's shirt to nurse is sometimes considered ill-mannered, although usually in older children. And I know there's that stupid argument, "Once they can ask for it, they should wean."

But I am so very excited that my baby knows me, knows what he wants, and knows how to tell me so. Hooray!

And I think that, if at 5 months, a baby can "ask for it," then that shoots the weaning-at-that-point argument dead. Right? I hope most people even in the US aren't icked out by a 5-month-old breastfeeding. (Sigh. I just realized there must be plenty of people who are.)

Here's a good post with good comments on "extended" nursing that references what I was saying above. It's been funny to read Our Babies, Ourselves, and see Meredith Small mention that such and such a people group weans early...at 2 years. I love it! What a great anthropological, mammalian view! That's why I'm putting "extended" in quotes, because for humans, according to Kathy Dettwyler, true extended breastfeeding would be anything over 7 years. :)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Weaning at 5 months just because they ask for it- that's insane! I nursed my first for 2 1/5 years and only stopped because it became very painful. I'm on my second -only 3 weeks now and looking forward to a long BF relationship.
I like your blog.

hobo mama said...

Thanks for your comment! I'm glad you were able to breastfeed your first for that long, and I look forward to trying for that, too! My own mother told me that my brother "weaned himself" at 6 months, which made me so sad -- knowing what I do from researching bfing, I believe it must have been a nursing strike. I didn't tell my mom this, because what can she do at this point? (He's in his 30s, lol.) But I love it that more mothers (like you) are nursing longer and showing that that's the normal way, not the stopping so early. Hopefully it will help normalize bfing older babies and toddlers, even if they can ask for it! :) Congratulations on your new little one!

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