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8 Things You Should Know About Extended Breastfeeding

Photograph by Amelia Hahnke

It wasn't long ago I found myself questioning if my nursing relationship with my younger daughter was drawing to a close. I wasn't 100 percent sold either way on whether or not extended breastfeeding was for me.

Well, we flew right past the one-year breastfeeding milestone and we're showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Let me tell you, breastfeeding a toddler is a whole different ballgame. This is brand new territory for me since my older daughter weaned before she turned 1. So, I spent a little time picking the brains of moms who had nursed one, two or more toddlers. And here are eight things they thought you should know about nursing a toddler:

RELATED: To Wean or Not To Wean?

1. Your milk is made to order

"I neeeeeed milkies!!" is just one of the phrases you may have hollered at you in public places if your nursling is old enough to ask for her milk.

2. You may start to feel like a fast food establishment

Who has time for a sit down for mealtime when you are a whirling dervish, running, climbing, wrestling toddler? Now ... let's just hope she unlatches before walking away. Ouch!

3. Gymnurstics

My daughter has recently mastered eating upside down with a foot thrown over my shoulder.

Meal time is now on par with an Olympic sport. My daughter has recently mastered eating upside down with a foot thrown over my shoulder.

4. Multitasking

Remember all those times you checked your email and made phone calls while feeding your little one? Well, it's her turn to multitask, and she's bringing toys and maybe even snacks along with her.

5. Self-serve nursing

Imagine the horror you feel the very first time your toddler helps herself while you are walking down aisle five of the grocery store, and the embarrassment that comes with knowing a fellow shopper saw everything.

6. Sibling rivalry

Many moms who practice extended nursing also may get the special experience of tandem nursing when a new babe joins the family. However, toddler nurslings may not be so keen on sharing. One mom shared her toddler had been VERY vocal about her displeasure with the baby who "drank all the milkies out da nurses!"

7. Mealtime or play time?

Older babies and toddlers become quickly aware of just how fun mama's "milkies" can be. "Don't play with your food!" takes on a whole new meaning for every mom who has been flicked, pinched, twiddled or whose baby has mastered the art of blowing raspberries while eating.

8. Mealtime commentary

Ever wondered what breast milk taste likes, but been too afraid to try it yourself? Chances are your toddler has a few things to say about your breast milk. "Your boobies are deeeeelicious!" one 2-year old nursling told her mom.

RELATED: 8 Reason I'm Not Weaning My 14-Month-Old Anytime Soon

I am so glad I decided to keep on nursing my daughter as she is growing into a toddler. She is a busy, always moving girl, and there is nothing sweeter than stealing a few minutes of cuddles while she eats.

And each time she shoots me a smile as she helps herself to her favorite snack, I know this isn't an aspect of our relationship we'll be giving up anytime soon.

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