One of the things I love most about breastfeeding is the cuddles. The way the little body melts into mine as he gives up the battles against wakefulness and slips into sleep. His eyes droop almost as he latches on, feeding is all about comfort and closeness now.
These are the benefits of extending breastfeeding I think, that it becomes about so much more than food or drink. Obviously it’s great that if they’re ill you’ve got breast milk to fall back on, but it’s not a major part of the sustenance past a year old. Instead it’s a bond, an easy way to sooth a hurt, a great way to touch base, to reaffirm safety.
We’re down to one feed a day at naptime (that went for a while but is firmly reestablished at the moment) then bedtime, maybe one night feed and usually an early morning one. They aren’t long drawn out affairs, he’s an efficient feeder these days. Just long enough to have his fill and then he’s done.
I will very much miss this when he’s done. And I still regret that Smallest didn’t get her full time before his arrival made it too difficult for me. I know in the long run their bond will be worth it but right now she seems to be neither one thing nor the other.
But tonight, when she draped herself around my neck to be carried to bed I remembered that closeness and realised how very young she still is.