This month, we're sharing the best breastfeeding blog posts and website pages we've found on specific topics. Be sure to check out the links at the end for the other participants' excellent posts! I'll be adding more throughout the day Jan. 25.
I've decided to collect a few posts about the breastfeeding topic that currently occupies my days: breastfeeding a toddler.
A note on the terminology: Some people call nursing beyond infancy "extended" breastfeeding, as I have in the past. I now prefer the term full-term breastfeeding, because "extended" suggests beyond the norm, when really the biological and historical norm for breastfeeding is well past any arbitrary modern cut-off of one year of age. I actually wanted to link to a post or webpage to summarize that line of thought on the terminology and haven't yet found one, so point me to it if you know of one so I can link up!
Here's a selection of some of my favorite posts and webpages on full-term breastfeeding:
- KathyDettwyler.org: A natural age of weaning — one of my favorite breastfeeding researchers, and one of my favorite of her articles on the subject. Dettwyler calculates the average age that human children should naturally stop breastfeeding, based on biological comparisons to other primates and mammals, and her findings might surprise you.
- Peaceful Parenting: Breastfeeding in the land of Genghis Khan — Originally published in Mothering Magazine, this essay on a Canadian's life in Mongolia paints a vision of a culture where breastfeeding is considered entirely normal and beautiful.
- KellyMom.com: Extended breastfeeding fact sheet — Here is a list of benefits to breastfeeding beyond a year, backed up by research. KellyMom has a tremendous selection of helpful breastfeeding information and research, so you can't go wrong with any article there.
- KellyMom's "Handling criticism about breastfeeding," The Tranquil Parent's "Six ways to defend extended breastfeeding, positive discipline, or other attachment parenting habits," and Ask Dr. Sears: "Extended Breastfeeding — Handling the Criticism" give ideas on how to respond to any objections or advice you receive when practicing full-term breastfeeding. Whenever you do hear something critical, just mark in another spot on your Full-term breastfeeding bingo card, courtesy of Ruth at Mothers for Women's Lib, and at least have a laugh.
- For another laugh, try "Uncover Your Nipples! 7 Gems from the Mouths of Nursing Toddlers," from Strollerderby.
- Sometimes you need support to know you're not alone in breastfeeding a toddler. Try La Leche League International — at the top of the page select your country and then any additional specific regions. I found, for instance, that there is a group in Seattle specifically for mothers of nursing toddlers. For online support, try the Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy forum at Mothering.com or the KellyMom.com Forum, where there are specific categories for Toddlers 12-24 months, 24-36 months, 3+ years, and tandem nursing. There's also an Extended Breastfeeding Support group on Facebook.
From Hobo Mama, here are some of my own favorite posts on breastfeeding a toddler:
- NIP tips — one of my first posts, with my compiled tips for discreet breastfeeding in public, newly updated for the toddler years! And here's another Easy, discreet way to breastfeed a toddler in public — it's simpler even than you think!
- Beginning to communicate — why being able to "ask for it" doesn't mean we stop nursing, written when Mikko was 5 months old.
- "For at least 12 months..." — my response to the AAP recommendation "that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mutually desired."
- I've written a couple times to muse aloud about practicing full-term breastfeeding in public: Hiding a nursing toddler was at 18 months, and Should a toddler breastfeed in public? is my more recent post at 31 months now.
- Monkey see, monkey do — my hope that breastfeeding in public helps teach breastfeeding to the next generation
- Pregnancy scare & child spacing — how full-term breastfeeding relates to the distance between children
- A couple ideas for breastfeeding while babywearing a heavy baby: Babywearing the heavy baby: ERGO Baby Carrier and Babywearing the heavy baby: mei tai.
- Here are some pictures of older babies and toddlers nursing to visualize the cuteness: Mystery breastfeeding, almost 14 months of mama milk, Nurse where you are, and at least one of the sweet babes in this video: Nada como mamá, nada como mamar
- And another laugh for you: Bigger is better
Finally, here are some of my favorite breastfeeding blogs. Feel free to click on over to search for any full-term breastfeeding goodness. I picked ones that had a lot to do with breastfeeding, though there are plenty more I read where breastfeeding plays a role. Check out my blogroll for more!
- The Adventures of Lactating Girl
- The Bee in Your Bonnet
- Best for Babes
- Blistree's Breastfeeding 1-2-3
- Breastfeeding Moms Unite!
- Breastfeeding Mums
- Cave Mother
- Code Name: Mama
- Crunchy Domestic Goddess
- Hathor the Cowgoddess
- Mama2Mama Tips
- Mama Knows Breast
- Mommy News & Views
- Motherwear's Breastfeeding Blog
- My World Edenwild
- PhD in Parenting
- Woowoo Mama
This is just a small sampling, and I'd hate to miss any other great articles, so I'll turn it over to you. What are your own favorite posts and most inspiring websites on the subject of full-term breastfeeding?
Enjoy these posts from our other carnival participants:
- Breastfeeding 1-2-3: "Thrush and Breastfeeding"
- Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: "Increasing Milk Production"
- Motherwear Blog: "My favorite web resources for some common breastfeeding concerns"
- Good Enough Mum: "Filling The Information Gap"
- Baby Dust Diaries: "Inspiration For a Nursing Mama's Soul"