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BTDT Moms: Explaining Breastfeeding to a Toddler?


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  • 2 Post By smashley8

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  #1  
April 30th, 2012, 02:17 PM
momma_d's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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How did you explain breastfeeding to your toddler? Keira has asked a couple times about what the baby will eat, etc. I have just said that mommies make special milk for their babies, and that's it. I don't have a problem telling her more, but I just feel like at this point it would be really confusing to her and I'm not sure how to explain it to her on her level. She will be almost 4 by the time the baby comes, so old enough to understand at that point.

I guess I would feel better about it if she's seen other people doing it, but she never has since she is the youngest grandchild and none of our friends have babies that are breastfeeding right now!

Anyone know of any good articles on this or have any suggestions?
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  #2  
April 30th, 2012, 02:26 PM
AmyT's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I just told my DS that sometimes babies drink from bottles and sometimes they drink from their mommies. Kids are so understanding and he never really questioned it. I will warn you though, be prepared that she may ask to try it. I was glad my sister warned me of that because sure enough about a week after the baby was born he asked to try it. He wasn't quite 2 yet so I let him attempt it. He lost interest before he even really tried it...but if you make it a taboo subject, then they may feel like you are giving the baby something special that you won't let them have. Of course you have to be comfortable with the decision to let them try too. Since she is older maybe just explain that she gets special milk (like chocolate or strawberry milk) and the baby gets a different special milk (from mommy). My DD will be 5 right when the new baby is born and I've been thinking about how she will react to it too!
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  #3  
April 30th, 2012, 02:32 PM
3Sapphires's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I tell my boys that our babies drink mommy milk. And yeah, my oldest liked to pretend to nurse his baby doll! it was very cute!
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  #4  
April 30th, 2012, 02:43 PM
momma_d's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyT View Post
I just told my DS that sometimes babies drink from bottles and sometimes they drink from their mommies. Kids are so understanding and he never really questioned it. I will warn you though, be prepared that she may ask to try it. I was glad my sister warned me of that because sure enough about a week after the baby was born he asked to try it. He wasn't quite 2 yet so I let him attempt it. He lost interest before he even really tried it...but if you make it a taboo subject, then they may feel like you are giving the baby something special that you won't let them have. Of course you have to be comfortable with the decision to let them try too. Since she is older maybe just explain that she gets special milk (like chocolate or strawberry milk) and the baby gets a different special milk (from mommy). My DD will be 5 right when the new baby is born and I've been thinking about how she will react to it too!
Yeah, I definitely don't want it to be a taboo subject at all! I'm the first in my family to breastfeed so it was never something that had to be explained to us growing up, although I knew what it was. I'm glad you brought up the part about them asking to try it though, that had not even crossed my mind either! I think the explanation that "it's special milk for babies and big girls get chocolate milk" is just perfect!

I guess the part I'm having trouble explaining is the whole "Breast" part of breastfeeding. Like "why do they come from there" if that comes up. I don't even know if she can think that much into it, but she never ceases to amaze me with her questions these days so I'm just trying to be as prepared as I can be!
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  #5  
April 30th, 2012, 02:50 PM
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Yep, my older DD started nursing her baby dolls when her sister was born too. It was adorable. She wanted to try it too (she had just turned two) and since she hadn't been weaned for that long, I didn't want to confuse things by offering it straight from the tap ;-) so I think I let her try some pumped milk. She lost interest pretty quickly, but she always wanted to snuggle when I nursed, so I was very glad that the first thing the hospital lactation consultant showed me was a bf hold that left my hands (for the most part) free to do other things, because I definitely needed it!
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  #6  
April 30th, 2012, 04:35 PM
amazing_love's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Other than telling him that she will drink milk, I don't plan to tell him anything about it, he will see once she's born. Of course he's only 2 so he wouldn't understand even if i did try to explain it to him now. I'm not sure how i would go about it if he were older, it sounds like you're doing a good job though. I don't see myself letting DS try it.. I like the idea of explaining it to them as the baby's special milk. As for why it comes from breasts, i'd simply say God gave us breasts so we could nurse babies.
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  #7  
April 30th, 2012, 06:13 PM
RunningMommyTo5's Avatar Marathoning Mom to 4!
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The other ladies have said it perfectly. My older two know from DS3 that babies drink "mommies milk" and that breasts are made specially made to feed babies. It also knocked out another question DS1 had while I was nursing DS2 of why I had them and Daddy and he didn't and why my nipples looked different than his and Daddy's LOL. Amy's right, too, they never really question it because most of the time a simple explanation and understanding is all they need! Sounds like you're doing what you need to now and the rest will be easier for her to see than to try to explain now.
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  #8  
April 30th, 2012, 06:30 PM
smashley8's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Has anyone seen the episode of the Duggars where Makenzie is nursing her baby doll while Anna nurses Michael? I thought that was so precious. I'm a Duggar fan!
momma_d and RunningMommyTo5 like this.
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  #9  
April 30th, 2012, 06:34 PM
RunningMommyTo5's Avatar Marathoning Mom to 4!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smashley8 View Post
Has anyone seen the episode of the Duggars where Makenzie is nursing her baby doll while Anna nurses Michael? I thought that was so precious. I'm a Duggar fan!
I missed that one, but it sounds so cute!!!
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  #10  
April 30th, 2012, 11:25 PM
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I didn't explain it to my 3 year old beforehand that I can remember. When she asked after seeing it I told her that was what breasts are for, to feed babies. And isn't it neat that Mommy's body can grow a baby and feed it? How amazing. I would much rather my daughter grow up thinking breasts are for providing nutrition rather than just as sexual objects as portrayed in the media and society.
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