Amazing. It's actually hard to remember that he was so small. I knew that would happen, but I thought at the time that I would never forget. I don't even think about the fact that he was a preemie much any more. He's just a toddler, and actually getting close to being 18 months old developmentally.
And so that means we've also earned this:
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that breastfeeding was not easy for us. Carter was so tiny and early that he couldn't eat at all for the first month, and didn't have the strength to nurse for months after that. I pumped every three hours around the clock for the first four months, and put him to the breast as often as possible, hoping he'd eventually be able to nurse. It wasn't until he was almost 6 months old that he was able to get all his milk straight from the tap. I was SO happy to put that pump away!
We've been going strong ever since, and he still nurses at least 6 times a day. I LOVE nursing a toddler, and every day I'm so grateful for this beautiful nursing relationship we have. I decided to make a top ten list, hee.
Top Ten Reasons Nursing a Toddler Rocks
10. It's so incredibly easy by now that I can almost forget how hard it was in the beginning.
9. I always have a ready-to-go snack for him, no matter where we are.
8. In the middle of the night, a little boob still knocks him out cold in seconds.
7. In the middle of the night, it knocks me out too! I can honestly say that since the first couple of months, I've never once felt truly sleep-deprived.
6. When he's cranky from teething and refuses to eat, I don't worry about his nutrition. I just nurse him.
5. The one time he's been sick in his entire life, I didn't have to go buy anything special to rehydrate him when he had diarrhea. I just nursed him.
4. No more pumping! He doesn't need the milk for nutrition while I'm away, so I no longer have to worry about pumping. I just nurse him when I get back. My body just makes it on demand.
3. When he has a temper tantrum, nursing calms him down instantly and makes me feel like we've reconnected. We both know it will be okay, no matter how upset he got.
2. When he is frustrated or hurt, nursing always fixes it. Bumps real and imagined miraculously stop hurting. Shots at the doctor are no big deal. The Magic Boob fixes all!
And the number one reason nursing a toddler rocks:
1. In the midst of our busy day, he will sign "milk", and we'll stop, and sit down, and be quiet together while he nurses. It's like I'm forced to take a little "Carter break", and I appreciate it so much. We stare into each other's eyes, and smile and play, and I get to pet him in a way that is hard to do otherwise. It's the one thing that only I can give him, and the way his little face lights up when I cradle him and pull up my shirt is just beautiful. :-)
Here are a few more pictures. Look at this curly hair! I am so obsessed with his hair...
He loves books, but prefers reading them upside-down a lot of the time.
My big boy!
I have no idea what he weighs these days (he has an appointment in a week), but I'm betting it's more than 25 pounds!