I never thought that I would still be breastfeeding my 22 month old Son, but I am. Years ago, I actually thought that I would never breastfeed at all as I worried about what it would do to my body, selfish yes I know. It was easy to say then as I really had no idea of the differences in cow milk formula and breast milk. I am not a big fan of cow’s milk, and my Son actually cannot drink or eat cow products as he breaks out in the skin condition eczema.
Miles Storm was born a month early, (which was very considerate of him as I did not have to go through the last month in the heat here in NY), and weighed 5+ pounds – he was so tiny. I remember being in the hospital having a nurse show me what to do, I mean it was so surreal, I did not even think that the milk would come, but it did. Then came blurred months on end of sleepless nights getting up every 3 hours to feed him, I cannot say I miss that part at all!
Three months ago I visited my home town in Melbourne Australia by myself with my Son. Flying to Melbourne from the United States is one of the longest plane trips ever, we were in the air for 21 hours total each way, and that did not include the 3 hour stopover In LA and getting to and from the airports.
I was so nervous flying all that 9000 miles+ by myself with my super-active-toddler sitting in such a small place. My husband planned to come but it was an important time within his industry and he could not make it, and that is totally okay in my book!
Planning the trip 6 months earlier, I did know that if I could just keep breastfeeding till our departure date it would be easier on both of us…… and it was! The flight, both ways, was smooth sailing, and on both flights when departing the plane other passengers came up to me and said that Miles Storm was the best baby they had flown with. I credit breastfeeding almost entirely to this. I mean, I saw some of their faces when I was settling into my seat at the beginning of the flights, they just thought they were sitting near a soon-to-be out of control screaming baby. Fair enough I would have thought the same thing back in the day!
I had full intentions to stop nursing when I arrived back in New York but it did not happen, my Little Boy just loves his milk so much. And, I mean is it right for me to stop because I want too, shouldn’t it be all about him? I have definitely changed my tune; we are also heading off on a summer holiday to Croatia in 2 months and I know it will be great to have up my sleeve as a party trick again while flying.
Nursing a little one on a plane helps to comfort them in strange surroundings, keeps them occupied in a small limited space, and helps with take-off and landing because as they are constantly swallowing they do not get the popping ear feeling. It also keeps them quiet which means other passengers aren’t going to be giving you dirty looks! Love that.
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond. World Health Organization.
My new plan of attack is that I am just going to let him stop nursing when he is ready, and hopefully that is sometime soonish? My husband makes jokes that I am still going to be breastfeeding Miles Storm when he is 6 years old, I always respond “Jokes are meant to be funny babe”.
I know that some people think it is extreme to still breastfeed at this age, but being a stay-at-home Mummy and being able to do so I think that it is fine. I realize that every Mum has to do what works for her and her child. For example, my sister has 5 children and she chose not to breastfeed any of them. Do I judge her, of course not as that is her journey and experience, and she is entitled to it.
Let’s be honest, it is not going to last forever and soon enough it will be just a memory. Let’s not rush it shall we!