Challenges with Breastfeeding a Toddler
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I’m currently breastfeeding my third child. I *thought* I was an expert on breastfeeding after my first two kids, but child number 3 has changed all of the rules! My older two kids both weaned themselves around 15 months old. My third is 20 months old and not showing any signs of stopping. She’s also not sleeping through the night and has a very different personality than my other two kids. I’ve found that breastfeeding a toddler is quite different (and more challenging!) than breastfeeding an infant. It’s all new to me at this point.
Here are the things I’ve found to more challenging with breastfeeding my toddler.
Toddlers are very distracted
There is always a lot going on around my house, and it is always more interesting than eating! Nursing sometimes takes a long time or sometimes she finishes quickly and is asking again after a short time.
And, I’m not allowed to be distracted either. My daughter demands more attention and is happy to let me know if I’m not focused on her while she is eating.
Toddlers have a lot of teeth
And they know how to use them! Ouch!
Toddlers can help themselves
I constantly have little fingers trying to pull off my shirt… Or pull on my bra… Or find any possible way to get what they want!
Toddlers DO NOT like to be told no or asked to wait
I don’t really like to breastfeed in public, so I sometimes tell my daughter no. That hasn’t been going over well lately. I mostly try to time our nursing sessions around outings at this point, but I sometimes can’t avoid it. She can get really mad if I won’t let her eat immediately! There’s nothing like walking through Legoland to the baby care center with your daughter screaming “boob” all the way there!
There is less support.
Everyone was so supportive when I breastfed my babies. Where has all of that support gone? It’s been replaced by questions like, “Oh, you’re STILL breastfeeding?” or “She hasn’t weaned yet?”. From my experience, our society seems to be less supportive of moms of breastfeeding toddlers.
Are you breastfeeding a toddler? (Or did you?) What was your experience like?