A Year With My Nursling

World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center

Welcome to the World Breastfeeding 2013 Blog Carnival cohosted by NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center!
This post was written for inclusion in the WBW 2013 Blog Carnival. Our participants will be writing and sharing their stories about community support and normalizing breastfeeding all week long. Find more participating sites in the list at the bottom of this post or at the main carnival page.

Bubs has been nursing for almost 12 months — just one week until his birthday! — and I wanted to jot down a few thoughts about our journey thus far. I‘ve been a little sentimental about it lately because Jemma suddenly weaned shortly before she turned 13 months and I’m definitely not ready for a surprise like that from Max.For me, hearing about other breastfeeding experiences makes me feel less alone, like I’m not the only one who doesn’t sleep through the night and has taken out stock in nursing pads. So, here’s my little “day in the life” as a nursing mama. I hope by sharing my reflections on this precious relationship I’ve had this last year you’ll feel normal too. 
Max breastfeeds quite a bit during the day still. And the night. I’m a big believer in “Food is fun, until they’re one”, so we nurse whenever he wants and try table food when that interests him too. On a normal day Max will nurse when he wakes up in bed, to sleep for his morning nap, again for his afternoon nap, shortly before dinner and then as he falls asleep at night. Well, and if I’m being honest whenever he deems a snack necessary or needs a calming snuggle after being wrestled by his sister. Depending on the night he’ll sleep nurse 2-3 times during his 7pm-7am night time, not counting his nursing to sleep and upon waking. Needless to say, he still nurses quite a bit.
He’s a super champ at keeping up with my letdown and around 8 months he started trying to nurse in more creative positions. Crawling up to me, sitting on my lap and leaning forward, and most recently, wanting to stand and nurse. Usually though, it’s cradled in my arms or laying bed.
We nurse on the go — at Target, in church, at the park, the zoo, restaurants. If we’ve visited in the last year, we’ve probably nursed there. Max had a spell of needing to be tucked away in a quiet space to nurse. The distracted months, which I recall from Jemma too, but now, this boy will eat anywhere, anytime. He’s developed focus and it makes meals on the go the easiest fast food we’ve both ever experienced :)

I had a bout of mastitis in February, that was awful and one other bad plugged duct last month. We nursed through though – nothing like a baby with a strong suck to aid an ailing boob. When he had his burst of teeth from 6-8 months I also ended up with a few minor biting wounds as he learned to adjust his latch. Nothing a little Motherlove didn’t cure after a few applications. That stuff is fab!

All in all, Max has been a dream to nurse. We found our groove early on and are still going strong. I have high hopes of nursing through his second year, but as I’ve learned, breastfeeding is a mutual relationship so we’ll see how things work out for both of us as the months go on. 

World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center Visit NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center for more breastfeeding resources and WBW Carnival details!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants. Below are a list of links for today’s participants; you can find a complete list of links (updated throughout the week) at our main carnival page:
(This list will be updated by afternoon August 3 with all the carnival links.)
  • Breastfeeding and NIP: A Primer — Rachel Rainbolt of Sage Parenting, featured today at NursingFreedom.org, uses her informative and candid voice to share with you everything you need to know to breastfeed successfully in public, from the practical how-to’s to handling the social stigma.
  • Lactivist Ryan Gosling — Breastfeeding mamas, the time is long overdue for a Lactivist Ryan Gosling. Fortunately, Dionna of Code Name: Mama has created some for your viewing pleasure.
  • In Defense of Formula — Amy of Mom2Mom KMC, guest blogging for Breastfeeding in Combat Boots, asserts that formula is a medical tool rather than a food. She examines how this perspective supports breastfeeding as normal and eliminates the negative tensions between breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding mothers.
  • World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival – Breastfeeding Tips & Tricks — Throughout her breastfeeding journey (since March 2009), Jenny at I’m a full-time mummy has shared countless tips and tricks on the topic of breastfeeding.
  • Nursing in the Wild — Meredith at Thank You Ma’am posts about how seeing other moms nurse can make all of us more comfortable with nursing in public.
  • Normalizing Breastfeeding — Sara Stepford of The Stepford Sisters confronts the social stigma vs. the reality of breastfeeding and opens up about the steps she takes to make herself and others more comfortable with the process.
  • Breastfeeding Alrik at two years old — This is where Lauren at Hobo Mama and her second-born are at in their nursing relationship, two years in.
  • Perfectly Normal — Stephanie from Urban Hippie writes about the way she and her family have done their part to try and normalize breastfeeding in a society that doesn’t get to see breastfeeding as often as they should.
  • Diagnosis: Excess Lipase — Learn about excess lipase and how to test if your expressed milk has it. That Mama Gretchen shares her own experience.
  • Redefining Normal — Diana at Munchkin’s Mommy reflects on how we can normalize breastfeeding in our society.
  • Nursing Openly and Honestly — Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work feels that the most socially responsible thing she can do as a mother is to nurse and nurture her children openly, honestly, and with pride.
  • Wet-nursing, Cross-nursing and Milk-sharing: Outdated? — Jamie Grumet of I Am Not the Babysitter shares a response to the Wendy Williams quote about milk sharing being akin to slavery, by giving a brief history of the wet nurse.
  • Tackling Mastitis with an Older Nursling — Much of the advice available for supporting recovery from mastitis seems to be aimed at mamas with younger nurslings. Juliet of Twisting Vines, posting at Natural Parents Network shares tips for dealing with mastitis while breastfeeding a toddler.
  • Milk in the eye — Gena from Nutrition Basics discusses how breastmilk cured her 3 year old’s case of pink eye.
  • Boobie Biter — Rachel Rainbolt at Sage Parenting offers guidance on how to survive and thrive a boobie biter with your breastfeeding relationship intact.
  • My take on breastfeeding advice — Diana at Munchkin’s Mommy shares her insights on nursing for both new moms and new dads.
  • My Top Five Breastfeeding Tips for Delivery Day: Think “A-B-C-D-E”Mothernova shares how her continued success at breastfeeding with her second child rests on a foundation of five key things she did to prepare for baby’s arrival, along with things she did when she and baby first met. Easily enough, these tips can be categorized as “A-B-C-D-E”: Access to lactation consultant, Baby-friendly hospital, Communicate your plan to breastfeed exclusively, Demand, and Expect to room in.
  • Breastfeeding Buddies: Twin Brothers Nurse while Living in the NICU — Twintrospectives at How Do You Do It? shares her 5 tips for learning to breastfeed multiples while in the NICU.
  • Breastfeeding on a Dairy-Free Diet: Our Journey and Our Tips — Finding herself nursing a baby with food allergies, Jenny at Spinning Jenny embarked upon a dairy-free journey with her son for eight months. Here she relates her reasons for making the decision to give up dairy in her diet, why it was worth it, and tips for moms on the same path.
  • Normalizing Breastfeeding in my Home — Shannah at The Touch of Life shares how she plans to help keep breastfeeding normal for her own children, even when her breastfeeding years are over.
  • A Year With My Nursling — The more you see and hear, the more normal it becomes, so That Mama Gretchen is sharing her heart on the last year of breastfeeding – the ups and downs, but mostly the joy of her priceless relationship with her son.
  • From Covered to Confident — Krystyna at Sweet Pea Births shares her personal NIP evolution: she started by covering up from neck to ankle while nursing in public. Eight years later, she has gained confidence and the ability to nurse without stressing about flashing a little skin. She shares her views on normalizing breastfeeding – what influenced her and how she hopes to help others.
  • Normalizing Breastfeeding for Older Kids — Sadia at How Do You Do It? hopes that openly discussing breastfeeding with her (now weaned) daughters will help her children feel comfortable with breastfeeding and their bodies in general as they grow.
  • Nursing in Public — Listen up, mammas. Those other people around . . . they don’t matter. It’s not about them. It’s about you and that beautiful baby. Nurse on, says The Swaddled Sprout!
  • How to Nurse a Teenager — Sarah at The Touch of Life declares: the purpose is to help normalize breastfeeding a toddler.
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  1. Bianca says

    Yea Mama G and Max! Your routine sounds very similar to ours – with the exception of the last month of having night weaned.

  2. Cindy B says

    Cheers to you and your bub… my second and I just celebrate a year less than two weeks ago. So glad things are generally going swimmingly for you… pray it continues for both you and us :D

  3. Nessa Bixler says

    Hooray Gretchen. I remembered reading about when Jemma self weaned. Here again my littlest just called it quits. While I am so glad we made it to 14 months and it was on his terms – I am not gonna lie – my momma heart broke a bit. Keep it up little Max.

  4. ThatMamaGretchen says

    It's such a hard thing when they self-wean, especially at that age. They still seem like such a baby, but obviously have such opinions and plans of their own! Hugs to you mama!!!

  5. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Thanks so much! Hope things keep going great for the two of you as well! Toddler nursing is a whole different ball game :)

  6. says

    My toddler still nurses to sleep and he's 26 months. I love the snuggles. You should check out my poem on nursing a toddler. I'm sure you would be able to relate. Yay for 1 year! Here's to another year (if mutually desired). (:

  7. says

    Happy nursing stories make my heart happy. I'm so glad things have gone well!


  1. […] A Year With My Nursling — The more you see and hear, the more normal it becomes, so That Mama Gretchen is sharing her heart on the last year of breastfeeding – the ups and downs, but mostly the joy of her priceless relationship with her son. […]

  2. […] A Year With My Nursling — The more you see and hear, the more normal it becomes, so That Mama Gretchen is sharing her heart on the last year of breastfeeding – the ups and downs, but mostly the joy of her priceless relationship with her son. […]