Mommying BabyT

Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

Tag: peer groups

Toddler Breastfeeding – why I still breastfeed my son

This pic is all kinds of sublime isn’t it? Look closely, that’s a toddler breastfeeding right there. It was taken on our recent holiday at Goa. We were walking around the lush green lawns of the fairly plush resort we were staying at… and babyT wanted “du-du” right about now! Our room was a good and leisurely 10 minute walk away. My husband pointed to this little spot and said “It’s nice and shady there, plus you can get a good pic for your social media.” I made a beeline for it. 🙂 Lol. Toddler Breastfeeding is as good for babyT as it is for mommy’s social media accounts, right?

BabyT is exactly 17.5 months today.. to the lay person who doesn’t keep track of months (only moms do that.) he is almost 1.5 years young. And he is still breastfeeding. He has never tasted formula milk. He cannot have cows milk – he seems to be allergic to it, we haven’t tested it yet. Breastmilk is all he has. (And water. Coconut water. Juices. Soups etc. Of course)

When I began my breastfeeding journey I had not planned on a date or time when I would stop feeding. I had not planned I would feed him this long either. We did decide to follow baby’s cues and let him decide till when he wants to have breastmilk.

Breastfeeding has been a saviour for us in many ways –

  • It has helped him be relatively healthy with very few incidences of colds and fevers
  • Even when he did contract a viral infection he recovered fairly quickly from it
  • We sailed through teething
  • We got by those days of no appetite  and hunger strikes and survived solely on breast-milk
  • BabyT is fairly bright chap… i am sure it is genes and a lot of other factors too at play. But he could identify a few colours around the time he was 10 months, knew parts of the body (some, not all) by 11 months and had a vocabulary of at least 10+ words by the time he was 1 year. (it is normal to have a 10+ vocab at around 18 months age) I am sure breastmilk nutrition went a long way in giving that to him

To know more about the benefits of extended or toddler breastfeeding visit my breastfeeding bible La Leche League International’s post on this. 

However I will admit it can be difficult and mind numbing on some days. Like today. I had planned this blog post on toddler breastfeeding as part of my blog anniversary celebrations but babyT had other plans. He was extremely fussy, cranky and irritable and wanted only breastmilk. Every 10 minutes at that. If I refused he would wrestle me down on the bed and lift my top and have a sip and disappear, only to return in another 20 minutes. I was beyond harassed. I was frustrated, half cursing myself for not stepping out (he is usually fine if I am out of the house and doesn’t fuss for breastmilk) Also cursing myself for not having ever developed a routine of pumping milk. It was a hard day in all.

Hell, I had not worn a single outfit which did not offer access to my breasts for babyT to feed on indoor or out of home. That’s 1.5 years of very limited types of clothes one can wear.

But this is a decision we have taken and there will be tough times. What I have learned about toddler breastfeeding and actually about everything related to baby is DON’T QUIT ON A BAD DAY! I heard this first in a breastfeeding support group for mothers, but it has held true for so many things in the past 1.5 years of parenthood. If you are currently pregnant or a new parent or know someone who is, please do them a huge favour and ask them to joing this group on Facebook – Breastfeeding Support for Indian Mothers.

Some tips which help me in this current phase of extended breastfeeding are –

  • Ignore everyone else’s comments, eyerolls, stares & whatever have you – even the most educated, well read and well meaning of people have told me at some point of time that it is enough now and I should start weaning. Some young folk look at me like I am a villager and that I am causing some major trauma to my child. Just blank them out from your life.
  • Get used to nursing in public – Since the first time I nursed in public I have never looked back. Restaurants, Cabs, Planes, the Park (pic above) we breastfeed whenever babyT wants to. And like with most things, the first time is the hardest and you just learn and get better at it. Wearing breastfeeding friendly clothes can be a boon. However I will also admit that there is a serious dirth of them out there. Pretty ones at least. So look up the two T-shirt method and practice.
  • Do yourself a favour and live a little – I pumped once in my life so far. It was liberating. BabyT was happy while I was out with my fellow mommy bloggers attending an event for Baby Chakra.  For the longest time I tied myself down to the baby and within the 4 walls of my house, but pumping/ expressing milk and keeping it for baby while you are away is a blessing and I would highly recommend it. You may even find the push you need to continue toddler breastfeeding.
  • Keep reminding yourself that you chose this and you WANTED to do this for your baby. As I said before never quit on a bad day. Here is a poem I wrote on the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week last year and I am so proud that it is a well circulated one in social media circles and has been read so many times. Because it is true, we are all in this together.
  • Remember that even toddlers go through growth spurts and terrible teething phases. Damn those molars. So when babyT is being fussy, I know that he is most probably going through something which is hard for him so I let him indulge. It may not be nursing for milk, it may be only for comfort and he needs it. In fact thank your stars that you are still breastfeeding your toddler, it is so much easier to comfort a fussy baby.

I don’t know what they future holds for our breastfeeding journey. Like many other children babyT may suddenly decide overnight to wean himself. Or he may still want to breastfeed well into toddlerhood. Whatever life throws at us, I do know that I am grateful for having got the gift and ability to breastfeed and that I have done complete justice to it.

Does anyone you know need inspiration to continue breastfeeding? Share this blog piece with them, won’t you?

E is for eCommerce for baby shopping

Looking back, my pregnancy was one of the best phases of my life.. i was basking in everyone’s attention and I was still free to do whatever I pleased in life and whenever I wanted to, without a tiny little person clinging to my legs or breasts. 🙂 I miss my pregnancy a lot. I miss my baby bump a lot.. have never felt so comfortable with my body than I did when I was sporting a baby in my tummy. 🙂 And what do I do when I get really nostalgic about the bumpy days? I browse through the previous orders sections on ecommerce sites like Amazon, FirstCry and others. It takes me back to that feeling of playing totally blind, not knowing if it will be a boy or a girl, not being able to even imagine who baby would look like and how much he would weigh or his height. It was a beautiful feeling and looking at the old shopping lists – tiny booties, caps, baby diapers, bathing towels, blankets, nursing pads, cotton wool, wipes etc is so therapeutic.

Back then I mostly shopped and stocked for all baby stuff from Amazon, FirstCry, Hopscotch and Aliexpress. Then I got introduced to the other specialised ecommerce businesses, mainly for cloth diapers which were setup and managed by mompreneurs but were very professionally designed and run.  And then came social media – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and the businesses that were run through these. The online shopping category has boomed and how?! I  think I can say that almost 95% of babyT’s shopping is done online and I enjoy the experience and have been very satisfied with all my purchases.

So for today’s E is for eCommerce for baby shopping I will tell you about my favourite places to shop and some tips and tricks to make the most benefit.  Continue reading

C is for Cloth Diapers: Why are we obsessed?

Cloth diapers got me totally cray cray y’all. And I mean they’ve captured my very soul and essence. So obviously the letter C was bound to be my favourite one in the #AtoZChallenge

I’ve written many posts about Cloth Diapering, but still its never enough. And i think you will agree when I say that you have never met (ok maybe barring 1 – 2 people) anyone who cloth diapers and is NOT obsessed with them. I am the biggest example of that and everything mentioned here in this post is about me. 🙂 Quite shamelessly too!

But why are most new moms obsessed with cloth diapers?

Here’s my feeble attempt to justify all my CD obsessions by giving seemingly valid and scientific reasons for the insanity.

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My precious laundry pile

Continue reading

This Women’s Day can we not…

This Women’s Day can we judge a little less and accept a little more?

After spending close to a decade in corporate HR, and being forced to organize employee engagement activities, most festivals and “days” have become another tick mark on the to-do list for me. I still have very fresh memories of my last organization where Women’s Day would mean we would plan elaborate surprises for all our women team members and even get each one a gift. Exhausting really, but satisfying and fun.

Over the years and bring on one year of mommyhood, I have come to realize that women are indeed such complex creatures. And truly it is the women who can make or mar another woman. I really did not want to make a post on Women’s day with a negative sense to it, but I have just come off a Facebook support group for mothers, where a poor new mommy has poured out her soul about how everyone right from her best friend, to her MIL (sigh), to her maid question and ridicule her choices. No it doesn’t end there, I even saw some respondents on the group tell her to ‘man up’ and ‘bear it.’

This got me thinking as to why is it that women are their own worst enemies? Why do women constantly pull each other down? Why do women fall into the trap of transferring their own life’s miseries onto the younger lot? Why don’t women just accept and not judge size/ shape/ colour/ length/ breadth/ personalities/ upbringing? I have NEVER seen a man do all this to other men.  Some men do make women’s lives miserable, but no, they will never do that to their own tribe folk – other men. Nope. Then why do women?

I have been guilty of it too.. Oh no, I have not come here at 100 am to say I am perfect. Far from it. I enjoy a good gossip session with my girlies as much as that couch on Koffee with Karan. I have vivid memories of college life, where my gang of girls and I would judge almost every girl for what she wore and how she behaved.  I am appalled now, really head in hands kind of appalled.

So why do women do it? Is it pure biology – you know the mating game and survival of the fittest, evolution and all that? Possibly. Somethings are genetically hardwired and there’s little you can do to change that. Heck, research shows that women become fiercely competitive and vengeful when they are ovulating. (It is always the periods fault isn’t it?) But ideally, evolved brains, the power of knowledge and social maturity should weigh over whatever pull comes from the genes, no?

A large part is also to do with centuries of living under patriarchal terms… if a woman’s worth comes from her man be it father/ husband or son (picturing a MIL making sure her new DIL is serving her husband well) then for sure women will see each other as competition and try their best to bring that threat down. Women are forever trying to fit into norms about looks and conduct, which have been culturally and socially ingrained in us. We don’t really stop to think and ask why should I be that way? But we just continue to blindly follow some invisible code and when we do that it stresses us, puts pressure on us. And when that happens we look for the nearest weakling to transfer our stressors on to. Read: The MIL who was tortured by her own MIL, now makes sure the newly wed daughter in law is having a hard time too. It is so easy to rip apart another woman’s soul than to look within and see her for what she is or hell, just let her be and do her own thing.

And then there is the woman who is smarter, brighter, more beautiful and more everything nice. Yes more than you. And what do you do? Judge her. Judge her looks – “oh layers and layers of makeup. Or hey even a nose job maybe?”, Judge her brains – “She is just a pretty face”,  judge her success – “Oh we all know how she got there.” Yes, we especially love to pull such women down. What ensues is a full on catfight or a totally destroyed woman on the other end? I personally have been at the receiving end of that. Its horrible ladies, its black and its scary what this judgement does to the judged. Just stop.

This is why I am in awe of those women who facilitated and did wonderful things for other women – Women centric organizations, online support groups, non-profit networks, coaches, teachers, family and friends. If you have been at the receiving end of a happy, generous and encouraging woman (don’t count your mom. She’ll do it selflessly. 🙂 ) count your blessings. Firstly, it is rare and secondly, maybe it bodes well for a brighter future.

So this Women’s Day, this exHR specialist isn’t giving you some ol’ fun and games, but wishing ardently that we love more, accept more, understand more and give a better experience to fellow women than we ourselves may have encountered. Because great things happen when we women stand up for each other. And the world better watch out!

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