No Nursing Manners For Us, Thanks

imageAs Dylan becomes a toddler his nursing is getting more physically chaotic. He’s wigglier. He kicks. He fidgets with his hands. Lately he’ll nurse from one boob for 5 seconds, then switch, then back again. He even does this in his sleep sometimes which I think is terribly adorable.

Kellymom describes possible toddler nursing antics with this list:

“Kneading, patting, twiddling, scratching, pinching, grabbing mom’s nose, biting, pulling at mom’s shirt, playing with or pulling mom’s hair, blowing raspberries on mom’s breast, breastfeeding standing up, breastfeeding upside down, acrobatic breastfeeding…”

Yep, Dylan does ’em all.

I’ve heard that I’m supposed to put a stop to all this. I should be teaching nursing etiquette or manners. I especially should get busy putting the boot down now before he gets older, bigger, and even more active and set in his ways.


I’m having a hard time getting worked up over it all.

The thing is, breastfeeding is almost all of Dylan’s nutrition. He plays with a lot of other food but doesn’t really ingest all that much. Plus, my boobs are a huge source of comfort and care for him. I just don’t feel inclined to start making a bunch of rules about how he can access his food and comfort.

I don’t put up with things that hurt me, like the occassional biting. But the rest of it I can let go. I even delight in it. Some of it is even convenient for me, like his ability to nurse from more positions.

I read a forum post on this topic recently, and I was put off by the number of women with seemingly angry declarations of, “IT’S MY BODY!” Well, yes, of course it is. But nursing is something we do together, and I don’t think it makes much sense to have a battle for my autonomy against a child over his main source of food and comfort. Especially since the whole thing is so temporary.

Surely MY BODY can wait until next year or so, and I can still be Dylan’s environment for awhile.

Maybe I’ll change my mind when Dylan is even bigger, longer, and wigglier. And if you are looking for ways to curb the antics at the boob, that Kellymom link has some gentle suggestions.

But for now, for us, wiggle away my little nursling!