Flashback: Breastfeeding at 18 months, an update from 9/13

To continue my celebration of World Breastfeeding Week 2014 I decided to republish blog posts from my breastfeeding at 18 months old from my blog http://www.itzybellababy.blogspot.com. This post is from September 2013. I was way over a year into my breastfeeding experience, and the story shows me how far we have come.

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9-30-13

A status update, to my toddler on her 18 month birthday.

I thought it would be a nice time to summarize what you are like at 18 months old. Sure I have loads of videos and pictures, but you cant get a real sense of the things you do from day to day that tickle your parents.


First off- I am pretty excited that you sleep pretty much through the night. You didn’t do that for the first 14 months or so of your life. Since your mom (thats me) also didn’t sleep the last month or so of pregnancy, that is a dang long time not to sleep properly. I was a little insane for a bit. I am better now.

You do wake up a few hours before actual wakeup to nurse. You are asking for milk in a kind of sleepy haze, and as long as I deliver it immediately, you and I can go back to sleep. This is how breastfeeding should be, in my opinion, and this is why we are still doing it. It is easy.

Speaking of sleep. We currently both sleep in your bedroom. We have a crib.. we haven’t used that much in your lifetime, but it makes a great place for your dad’s clothes. I wont comment if they are clean or not. I stay out of that. He has the big bedroom and king size bed to himself, and his 10 pillow empire. He hates sleeping alone, but mom goes to visit him while you sleep sometimes, so its ok.

Back to our sleeping arrangement. We have a twin mattress and the crib mattress on the floor in your room. We have them pushed together, and we sleep there.The room has a little gate on it, and that keeps you in the room if you wake up before me. Usually, you just wake me up with hugs or kisses or sometimes you even wake up giggling and saying seemingly out of the blue things, like CARSEEE. ( your word for cars. I think you think carseat and car are the same.)

We have the ability to turn your crib into a toddler bed, and the crib mattress is supposed to fit that. We also can turn it into a twin bed later. Although, we already have a twin daybed in here. That is currently holding your big stuffed animals and your baskets of folded diapers and clean clothes that I never have time to put away.

We spend a lot of time in the bedroom some days. The past month or so, you have decided that naptime should be sometime between 1-4 pm to start. Since I am never sure, we eat our lunch around 12-1 and then head to the bedroom to nurse, than have a bottle, and then wait until you wind down to sleep. As I type this, I am trying to get you down, but you are telling me something about your blanket, with a pacifier in your mouth, and you are not even slightly interested in napping. You may be pooping. You already did twice today, so I am not sure.

So, you still use a pacifier. I am pretty sure, if I let you, you would have it in your mouth 24/7. I try to limit it to the times we are in this room. If I can, I grab it from you before we leave the room, and tell you its kaka. You laugh. I go hide it under your pillow for later. You of course know they are there, and go crazy if they are missing. I dread the day we have to break this habit. Frankly, they have saved my sore boobs over the past 16 months or so, and I am not regretting introducing them. But I know we face a struggle ahead to stop them.

Bottles.. yes, you are drinking from a bottle at naps. Its not that you can’t drink from cups- you can. You have straw cups all over the house with water in them for you. ( we skipped sippy type cups, supposed to be bad for your teeth- you never liked them anyway) So in the bottles, we mostly have organic cows milk these days. I started you with almond milk, with extra protein. You used to have hiccups from milk- even when I ate it. You have hiccups right now, oddly. I thought you were allergic, but turns out, you arent. So cows whole milk is your friend. You get frozen breast milk once in awhile too. It makes your poo all smooshy like it was when you only drank milk, so I limit it. You still get an eczema outbreak when I drink orange juice, but it isn’t nearly as bad as before, and you don’t scratch your arm off, so I think I can probably drink a bit now and then. You, however, I think should still avoid it. Any lemon juice in the puree pouches will give you the itches.

I still have a small stash of pumped breast milk in the freezer. I haven’t been able to pump anything since about June, and really, I never pumped more than 4 ounces at a time when you were really young, and that eventually tapered off over time. I really wanted to donate some of the milk, but I never had enough stocked up to keep enough for you, and donate. I thought I was going to work, and wanted to have 150 ounces or so, when I thought you would be drinking bottles all day away from me. I am kind of glad we didn’t have to send you to daycare when you were still breastfeeding 10-12 times a day. It would have been a big change for us. I would have been sad. I feel sad I couldn’t donate the milk. It might have been able to help some baby and mama somewhere. Anyway, the milk is all yours, and over time, I will finish what is frozen there.

So we nurse 3 times a day of late. Only in bed. Only at naptimes. You really dont ask for it any other time, and I don’t offer it. You know where it is when you need it. You just stick your hands right down my shirt and grab at it. It is kind of funny. I tried to stop the nap nurse but I got grumpy, so I started again, and felt better. Some day we will talk about oxytocin. It is good. You do not get a lot of milk from me anymore. I count the number of times you swallow as you nurse. Some days you can be there for 3 minutes or so, and only swallow 4-5 times. I have heard up to 10.. but not much more. I sat and counted how many times you swallowed milk in a 4 ounce bottle.. I counted like 60 times and you hadn’t even had a quarter of it. So I would guess my milk is probably less than an ounce for both breasts. You are still getting all the good bacteria and such in that small amount though, so it is not a waste.

I never intended to nurse this long. I figured going back to work would naturally cut that out earlier. But we are home all day together, and we are still at it. I am ok with that. I made my 6 month and then my one year goal, and anything past that is gravy. When you are ready, you will stop. Or I will get a job, and it will probably stop soon after that. But 18 months is a fantastic run!

So we spend our days in rather boring manners. You play with your crazy insane collection of toys. They are everywhere. I don’t even bother to clean them up half the time. I try to do a blog, and I try to get contract work doing my career stuff. It helps pay the bills.

You are pretty much a mellow baby most of the time. I don’t let you get all riled up about things, I will admit… although you do throw a toddler fit at least once or twice or 100 times a day. Usually this involves you banging your head on something, or throwing something. It isn’t very fun to watch.

You like to throw your food on the floor. You like to make your mom crazy from day to day, when you decide what you want to eat and what you don’t. You call blueberries and grapes- balls. You call pears, apples and anything else round and fruity an apple. You ask for pouches of purees by saying- mmm mmm. You also take them out of the cabinet yourself. You ask for cookies and crackers. You call bread by-ee for some reason I don’t understand, and you have a little pink plastic plate in the living room that you cry out by–ee by—eee and I put little torn up pieces of bread on it for you to snack. You haven’t had much experience with a fork, but you can shovel some food in your mouth with a spoon when I feel like giving you a bath. ( you turn the spoon over every time!)

You like to eat dog food. You like to get in the dog’s crate and close the gate. The dog is not impressed by this, but she doesn’t let on. You also splash her water all over the floor, and lick your fingers. I almost vomit when I see this. I stop you by the way, but you are clever sometimes.

You wear cloth diapers and pretend to help me fold them up, after unfolding them helpfully. You like to grab my underwear and wear them around your neck. You also like to put purses and belts and such around your neck as scarves. We are not as amused by this. I have to keep on you not to hurt yourself.. it is odd. I never can tell what you might do next.

Your father has named several of your stuffed animals, and I think you know who they all are. I don’t..I can’t keep track. You love anything with Mickey and Minnie Mouse on it. You love to watch them and anything with Winnie the Pooh. You also like to watch some Sesame Street skits with your dad, on his phone. You say-book book book like the characters. You love heavy metal. You pretend to bang your head like a metal star. You know what hockey is, and point it out whenever you see it.

You are learning new words every day. I stopped counting around 40 or so.. I think that is a lot. Sometimes you string them together. Usually when you are angry and want something. You can still sign a few words, but now that you can say them, you have left most behind.

You were 25 pounds and almost 33 inches the last time I measured you.. may be more now.. it seems the last month or so you have grown a bunch. You have 12 teeth. You do not let me count them. I have to tickle you to make you laugh, and then I secretly look at your teeth. You sometimes will brush your teeth, and by that I mean you chew on your toothbrush. We will work on that one.

You know how to take off your pants and Velcro diapers. You love to wear your squeaky zebra print shoes. You like looking at people when we go out, and you love our hockey friends.

 Every day you do something to make us smile. A surprise nuggle when I am washing dishes, a kiss on my arm when we are watching tv, a kiss on my back when I am sewing and you sneak up on my chair behind me, the way you squeal when your daddah comes home from work…You are an awesome little person, and we sure love having you around.

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