This blogpost is about breastfeeding. However, it is also about how breaking habits that no longer serve the purpose can unleash new energy and positive change on many levels for you and your child. Therefore, even if nursing is long behind you, try to read along and go down memory lane with me- and see if you can think of other habits you can focus on and decide to change. You probably know which ones you could begin with.
Nursing- How long and Why?
So many mothers all over the world have asked the same question: “For how long should I breastfeed my child?”
Nursing is truly important in terms of both nutrition and emotional care. Of course, the nursing of the infant is vital, however, after 4-6 months you can slowly start introducing other kinds of nutrition. Little by little, the child will be able to break down real food in its digestive system.
When the child is around 6-9 months old, it will start to crawl, and thus begin to explore the world with increasing curiosity. It is very clearly an important phase, as it is the first time the child voluntarily and all by itself leaves its center (you) to begin a discovering of the big and wondrous world.
In my opinion, a natural age to finish breastfeeding is actually at that time; between 9-12 months. This is also a good time for both the mother and the child to start getting longer, undisturbed sleep. As long as you breastfeed, you will not be able to get a full night’s sleep, and this can become deeply exhausting and weary for you as well as the child.
Many feel that they are better and more loving mothers if they nurse the child for a long time. Moreover, many feel that they should leave it to the child to let go of the nursing period whenever the child is ready. However, it is very rare that the child will let go all by itself; as you probably know, the power of habit is difficult to break, and the child will want to continue something that feels good.
A good and sound routine can easily turn into a bad one, as the child grows older because new, vital needs start replacing the previous needs.
I know that it is difficult to see the child’s development in a broader perspective and decide to implement changes based on this, when you are emotionally overwhelmed or maybe constantly tired.
We all want to be the best mother and father for our children, and we all wish to do the right thing. However, it can help you to make active choices even though they seem tough right now if you can ask yourself this question, and really answer it honestly:
Do I continue nursing for my own need to feel emotional nearness with my child, or because I am afraid I might hurt my child’s feelings?
-Or do I nurse my child because it is a necessity for him/her?
Finishing nursing is not traumatic for your child- it is a new phase, and likely, your child will object! However, going through with it will allow new positive change, and after a period of weaning, you will get your night sleep back- and you will be able to start building a more steady sleep routine for your child as well.
Throughout the entire childhood, the grownups will need to take on the tough responsibility of making conscious decisions about a lot of things- including how to create healthy habits according to the child’s age.
This is quite essential, but it is not always easy! However, it applies to all kinds of habits your child will hang on to; we all know how bad habits tend to stick with us. Therefore, we will often as parents have to make an active choice to end it with love and kindness, but also firmly- and you will feel the benefits after the weaning period is over.
As a matter of fact- often when the period is gone, we have already forgotten all about how tough it used to be!
Now I am curious to know:
What are your experiences from working on breaking habits that no longer served the purpose?
Comment right below and share your story-we will reply to all comments and answer all questions 🙂
(and Anna on the side)