I decided to interview myself to answer the question that so many ask me either directly or though the way they say “oh, you’re still breastfeeding him?” Not that I need to justify my actions in any way… Mini Man is still a baby after all!
How old is your baby?
Mini Man was 8 months old last week. Where has the time flown?!
Why do you still breastfeed?
We breastfeed because we do baby led weaning. Baby led weaning is a method to gradually introduce the baby to foods, while reducing milk feeds proportionately. Though Mini Man is having 2-3 full meals a day, being offered a drink of water several times a day, he is allowed to pace himself, experiment with his food. To ensure that he gets the nutrition to thrive we breastfeed;
We breastfeed because the WHO now recommends breastfeeding till an infant is 2 years old based on their latest research and I like choosing actions supported by science;
We breastfeed because formula is expensive and fiddly to prepare. Who wants to be getting up at 5 am in the morning to make a bottle up while placating a crying baby so as not the wake the rest of the household?
We breastfeed because of the cliché, which is so true- it’s always there, always the right temperature and ready to drink;
So those were the rational reasons.
Now for the real reason: We breastfeed because it’s my special time with Mini Man, when I can cuddle him, he can stroke my hair, guide my hand to caress his back. He often falls asleep feeding.
Breastmilk is his special sleeping potion.
When Mini Man is not feeling 100%, grouchy or is in pain a cuddle and a bit of milk can make all the difference. Forget baby paracetamol! Breastmilk is his special pain killer.
This is our special thing- just him and me.
I didn’t always enjoy breastfeeding, and I still, at 8 months, should wear a breastpad at most feeds. (I don’t, I stuff a hand towel in when I remember.)
How often do you breastfeed in a 24 hour period?
The number of feeds a day varies: Mostly it’s an early morning one at 5am, after which we go back to sleep, then sometimes late morning one c. 10-11 am depending on morning nap;
One late afternoon feed between 4 and 5 often slips in. This helps to keep him going till dinner time.
Then our evening one after the bath. A very relaxed feed with him most often falling asleep.
How long is does breastfeeding take?
We have always been efficient in feeding. Now it takes about 15-20 minutes and Mini Man will almost always take both sides. We start on the right and finish left.
What about teeth? Have you been bitten?
I am quite lucky, Mini Man is a very gentle suckler. Even with his new little razor sharp tooth he has not hurt me.
What is your favourite position to breastfeed?
Our favourite position is me lying on my back, him sitting beside me and leaning over onto me to feed. This position works very well for slowing down a strong letdown too. I will often prop his little head up with my hand, he loves me kissing his fingers or stroking my hair.
Any nuances in breastfeeding relating to this age?
We do need to choose a quiet place because at 8 months the world around us is just too interesting to feed. It’s not a disaster though, I just need to pay more attention to his queues- is he stopping because he is done or because something much more interesting is happening with his sibings, there’s a spider on the wall, a noise from the kitchen and so on. If he’s just distracted then I try to draw his attention in again.
Why don’t you share your breastfeeding journey in the linky: