A Year of Breastfeeding

A week ago Paxton turned one and we reached the goal of breastfeeding one year!

When he was born, I knew I wanted to breastfeed and hoped my body would allow me to exclusively breastfeed to 6 months. Once we reached that goal, I decided to keep going to a year. Now, we are a few days past a year and have no plans of quitting.

He nurses every morning and before bedtime. During the day, sometimes he nurses only twice, sometimes up to four times.

I believe breastfeeding has made him a confident baby. He is occasionally clingy but that’s normally when he doesn’t feel good or is tired. Typically he is friendly and loves spending time with other people. He’ll go to just about anybody and we make friends everywhere we go! Paxton’s waving, smiling or reaching out to people!

I know nursing a toddler is strange to some but I’ve been blessed with a supportive husband who believes this is best for our child and several friends who are pro-breastfeeding!

A few Breastfeeding Benefits:

  • A healthy baby. He’s not been very sick at all! He even had a fever when his daddy had the flu but we continued to nurse and he never got the flu and didn’t have to take antibiotics! He has had 1 stomach bug and breast milk was the only food he could keep down for a day which prevented dehydration and antibiotics! We’ve yet to have an earache!
  • Helps with teething. Nursing helps soothe him when he’s teething. I love that he is able to find comfort when he’s in pain.
  • It’s simple. I don’t have to worry about bottles or sippy cups to feed him.
  • It’s frugal. We haven’t bought a single can of formula and now that he can have cows milk, we’re saving money not having to purchase extra organic milk for him to drink.

I haven’t set any goals beyond this point. We are going to continue breastfeeding probably to 15 months and maybe to 18 months. I’m not going to initiate weaning any time soon but if he does initiate whether it is next week, next month, or in several months, we’ll wean.

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*I know many women struggle with breastfeeding whether it is horrible pain, a baby who won’t latch or lack of milk supply and these are things they just can’t control. I do not think mothers who formula feed their babies are inferior to those who breastfeed, we all love our babies and do what is best for them! I also know that breastfeeding to a year -and beyond- doesn’t work for many mamas! If you’ve nursed 2 weeks, 4 months, 11 months or even to age 2, congrats!

**Be sure to enter the Bamboobies Nursing Pads giveaway going on through Wednesday, April 26th!

20 Replies to “A Year of Breastfeeding”

  1. Thank you so much for your comment at the bottom of the post. It seems as if I fit into many of the categories you mentioned. I breastfed my daughter for about 2 weeks, not knowing most of the time that she was not latching properly (this caused many tears on my end because of the pain), and then realized that my milk supply was basically non-existent- the same thing had happened to my mother. After I realized what was going on and switched her to formula, she was a different child :). Formula was truly the best and only option for my daughter, and many things I have read or people I have talked to made me feel like I was a horrible mother for giving her formula. While I do believe that breast milk is the best option, sometimes it's just not possible. Thanks so much for all of your encouragement to simplify every area of our lives. 🙂 I really appreciate you sharing your life with me through this blog.

    1. Thank you for sharing this Kayla! I know breastfeeding isn't easy for many mamas. My sister struggled for nearly a month trying to nurse my niece and was unable to, she is a very healthy almost 2 year old! I believe breastfeeding is wonderful for both mother and baby but I know it's not possible for everyone. Who knows, I may have issues nursing future children. And I'm glad you enjoy reading the blog!

  2. Congrats! What an accomplishment! I was able to breastfeed for 14 months and wouldn't have missed it for the world–so glad you were able to share that experience with Paxton!

  3. Awesome job for breastfeeding so long! I am at 10 months with my daughter, although I would like to wean soon because of pregnancy. I am continually amazed at older babies who don't nurse often during the day or night. I stil BF my daughter every 2 hours and at least 4-5x at night. It's exhausting, so I am trying to start the process of weaning. If she could get down to fewer feedings it might be managable.

    1. Are you expecting again?? (If so congrats!!) Wow, you are busy breastfeeding…I've been blessed that he's not been too demanding since he's started solids. Although we do have those days when he's teething that he nurses every few hours during the day and throughout the night.

  4. Awesome on the nursing!! I too had planned to nurse until around a year with my kiddos but unfortunately that didn't work out! God had different plans for us! I got pregnant (Huge God surprise) when my 1st was only four months old and my milk was gone by the time she was 51/2 months old. My second weaned himself at 8 months but I was fortunate enough to have an almost 2 month supply of pumped milk in the freezer!
    I say go as long as you and your son feel comfortable! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Congrats on a year Rachel! That is awesome! And it's wonderful that you are going to continue. Brynna and I are going strong at 15+ months. Most days she only nurses in the morning and at bedtime but some days she increases her demand. It's a wonderful tool to curb tantrums, sooth boo-boos, and ease anxiety (for her and me!) I love having the cuddle time with an otherwise active and busy toddler! It's great that your husband is such an amazing support. I have that support as well and it's been huge in our success. I am amazed at how many people are shocked or appalled by my continued nursing. I just ignore them! It's what is best for her and I'm glad to be able to provide that! Paxton is lucky to have such a wonderful mommy!

  6. I've nursed all my babies (4!) for well beyond a year. Congratulations on the accomplishment of making the one year mark. 🙂 It takes dedication, for sure! We didn't wean at a year because my babies were very fond of nursing, and I was very fond of the ways nursing made my life easier.

    There is a super book by La Leche League titled "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler." I found it very helpful in navigating "nursing beyond a year." Traditional breastfeeding books seem to assume that you'll wean at a year.

    I will encourage you that there are some very sweet and funny nursing moments to be had in the times beyond one year. I treasure my memories. In addition, it does seem to help in preventing baby #2 from arriving before big brother is good and ready! We have used no birth control beyond breastfeeding, and our kiddos are spaced at 3.3, 2.11, and 3.4 years apart. We've just LOVED this natural spacing. Our children have always eagerly welcomed the next sibling! Yea breastfeeding!

    1. Thank you for the book recommendation, I'll look into it! So far nursing has been our method of 'birth control' also and has been working since there isn't another one on the way!

  7. Way to go, Rachel. I was blessed to nurse Katie for a little over 16 months until she weaned herself–I'm SO thankful she initiated weaning instead of me. Then I was the one crying about it, rather than her. Ha! I was three or four months pregnant with Benjamin when she weaned, and I just had to eat like a horse to keep up with nourishing both babies, but it worked out. :o) Breastfeeding has been even easier for me the second time around, and I plan to nurse my little man until he self-weans too.

    1. 16 months is awesome!! And I'm pretty sure when he does wean that I'll be the emotional one too! It's demanding and some days I look forward to weaning but I know I'll miss that special time with him. So happy breastfeeding is going good with sweet Benjamin too!!

  8. I’m glad to hear you’re carrying on nursing 🙂 I’m hoping to keep going too. Starting solids soon… a bit nervous, there’s soooo much info overload about the when and what. Any ideas? (going to check your back archives now…)

    1. Starting solids is a little intimidating but you'll learn as you go. The day he turned 6 months we started him on food, I may wait a little longer with future babes. I started with rice cereal for Paxton which I doubt I'll do with future babies since recently I've read things about avoiding grains with little ones. Making your own baby food is so easy. Some of his first baby foods were pureed sweet potatoes and homemade applesauce.

  9. Great post Rachel. I nursed my 3 daughters for 12 months each, then my son (#4) was a premie and could not nurse. After a frustrating week of pumping while he was in NICU and caring for the other kids (6,4,2) My Dr and I decided that soy formula would be best for him. While I missed that special bonding time, I do have to admit that it was ok. And he was very healthy as a baby and continues to be now as a teenager. Glad that there are so many good options to keep our kiddos healthy and satified.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience and that you don't have any guilt about not nursing him since formula was best! And, I agree, there is more than one way to feed babies!

  10. I enjoyed reading this….my youngest is 15 years old and I well remember my nursing days! My 1st baby I nursed for 3 months ~ then decided to quit (don't remember why exactly but that I really didn;t have any support in nursing). He developed a bad milk allergy which continued till he was 17 years old. His younger brother and sister were nursed for 2 years. I started my son on baby food at about 5 months ~ he was always hungry (still is! he is now 22). My daughter started eating baby food at about 9-10 months. Both of them had juice or water in a sippy cup ~ no bottles.

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