This post is a part of the Breastfeeding a Toddler Series:

Breastfeeding a Toddler: Part One

Breastfeeding a Toddler: Part Two 

Our last Family Friday was part 1 of 2 for Breastfeeding a Toddler. In the last post I discussed how the importance of breastfeeding is for health, both the mother and the baby {not to mention the planet}. In today’s post I want to discuss an equally important aspect of breastfeeding, and that is the nurturing aspect.

In modern consumer society, the attack on mother-child eroticism took its total form; breastfeeding was proscribed and the breasts reserved for the husband’s fetishistic delectation. At the same time, babies were segregated, put into cold beds alone and not picked up if they cried.

-Germaine Greer

Women’s instincts have changed to keep up with society’s norm. There is something very alarming going on in the American culture and it sickens me to witness the lazy parenting. Fear tactics on co-sleeping have forced parents to use cribs and place the new child in a dark room alone with a security camera watching them cry themselves to sleep. Now I know that these parents love their child, but this way of parenting cannot continue. We need to start over and introduce love, patience and security to our little ones. Spanking, time outs and cry it outs have all been done before and their time is up, we need to bring back our natural way of parenting and raise conscious beings, and it starts with nursing!

Breastfeeding and Co-Sleeping


 Open nursing has led me to the incredible discovery of co-sleeping {baby sleeps in the same room, whether in the same bed or their own}. Another thing parents have stopped, due to fear tactics. However, studies have shown that with a baby in the bed with the mother and father, their sleep patterns sync up and all three go through the sleep cycles at the same time. But once the baby was removed, the man and woman had separate sleep cycles. When cosleeping the baby’s chances of dying from SIDS or other causes, reduce by one half as well as increasing the maternal health and all around well being. Going back to the studies, some “suggest that breastfeeding mother-infant pairs exhibit increased sensitivities and responses to each other while sleeping, and those sensitivities offers the infant protection from overlay…irrepressible (ancient) neurologically-based infant responses to maternal smells, movements and touch altogether reduce infant crying while positively regulating infant breathing, body temperature, absorption of calories, stress hormone levels, immune status, and oxygenation”. –Study from the University of Notre Dame. Our species have gone thousands of years sleeping next to our babies, our own genetics prove this.

Another reason why breastfeeding goes well with co-sleeping is that a mother’s antibodies are increased during nighttime breastfeeding and increases the child’s health! If you are uncomfortable with the bedsharing please don’t rule out co-sleeping, you can always have your child’s crib in your room and can experience most of the same effects. Co-sleeping is perfect for breastfeeding mothers and hungry babies. Unfortunately infant deaths have been associated with co-sleeping, but what is normally left out are the reasons such as a parent being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, formula feeding {can lead to un-syncing the cycles, bottle fed babies are recommended to sleep in their own bed in the same room for safety} and sleeping on couches with babies, which is a very dangerous form of co-sleeping and should not be done. If one looked at the statistics, they would unfortunately see that crib-deaths are actually much more common. Like always, do your own research and figure out what is the best for you, your baby and your family.

Nursing and cognitive development


 Research has shown that breastfeeding promotes cognitive development and increases as the length of breastfeeding is continued. In fact, “Breast-feeding’s benefits have been backed by yet another study, the latest finding kids who were breast-fed for more than six months scored the highest on cognitive, language and motor development tests as toddler” CBSNews {great article, really recommend reading}. Breastfeeding has also been known to promote sensory and verbal development as well. What’s interesting is that a breastfeeding baby uses their tongue to nurse, where as bottle feeding babies only need to suck. The tongue movement is what helps the speech development, as they are using more muscles and getting to understand their tongue better. There is more to this subject and will be a post on it’s own soon, I promise! As of today there is no evidence of psychological harm from breastfeeding up to the third year or longer. With our natural weaning spanning between 4-7 why would there be?

Nursies/Boob/Milk


In my own breastfeeding experience, I would say that the actual nutritional factor is only about 40% of our nursing relationship. The other 60% is the bond we have created. Ava is at the age where she is showing her independence, yet she knows that at anytime she needs emotional support or comfort, she can always find it at the boob and by mommy’s heart. I have had many many laughs from the animalistic nature that comes with a child breastfeeding…you know what I’m talking about. My heart melts with every eye stare, every soft graze on my cheek, and every milk dripping smile, yes even the little farts and giggles get me laughing.

This relationship has taught my daughter that “I am here for you”. I never gave her a bottle to walk away and do her own thing no, I would sit or lay down and sing or read, sometimes we will watch a few vine videos on my phone. The point is, that it’s our time together and we use that time to bond. The feeling that I get holding her in my arms and nursing is a feeling of 100% pure love, it’s a feeling I never knew I could have, but trust me…it’s there.

“Breastfeeding is a warm and loving way to meet the needs of toddlers and young children. It not only perks them up and energizes them; it also soothes the frustrations, bumps and bruises, and daily stresses of early childhood. In addition, nursing past infancy helps little ones make a gradual transition to childhood.”

“Extended Breastfeeding and the Law” – Elizabeth N. Baldwin

For me, I don’t mind hearing people telling me their thoughts and opinions on the fact that I am breastfeeding a toddler. I don’t mind because I know that one day my baby girl will not want to be comforted in that way anymore and it will be something that I know I will miss, heck I am getting choked up just thinking about it! In a world full of selfishness, greed, hate and for a young soul, confusion, I am so happy and proud that I was able to welcome her to a new type of thinking; one with understanding, patience, selflessness and love, in hopes that she will spread that way of life to others and creating a beautiful peaceful world that we all deserve.

❤ ॐ❤ ॐ❤ ॐ❤

Question of the Day:

What was your favorite Nursing memory?

❤ ॐ❤ ॐ❤ ॐ❤

Well that’s all I have for today’s Family Friday, be sure to come back on fridays for more articles pertaining to family lifestyle and an alternative way of raising children. Don’t forget you can always subscribe to receive weekly emails in your inbox. Comments are always welcomed as well as opinions, please try to be open minded towards each other and remember we are all trying to do what’s best. We can only expand our knowledge to those who are willing to hear it. Be educated, be wise and be kind. Thanks for reading and be sure to snuggle extra long with your littles this weekend, they won’t be little for long ❤ ॐ❤!

 

This post is a part of the Breastfeeding a Toddler Series:

Breastfeeding a Toddler: Part One

Breastfeeding a Toddler: Part Two 

Ashleigh is a stay at home mom who enjoys blogging about balancing the mind through meditation and conscious parenting, the body through plant based eating and yoga, and the soul through up cycling and sustainability. Keep your life balanced & subscribe to her weekly emails, like OmLivin’ on FB or check her out on Google+ for more.

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