Now that we've reached 6 months, I expect, any day now, to hear a question along the lines of, "when will you stop breastfeeding?" So, I am just going to take this opportunity to answer that question. We will stop breastfeeding when baby is ready to stop. I am hoping for her sake, that this does not occur before a year at the absolute minimum, and if she goes at least 2 years, even better. Some of you may be thinking it is ridiculous and unnecessary for us to be breastfeeding still, and especially to even consider doing it past 2 years of age. However, there are just too many benefits to doing so, for me as a mama to feel right even considering it any other way.
I've felt this way all along, and yesterday, when discussing for probably the hundredth time with my husband, could have hugged him, when he said how he "doesn't want me to not breastfeed her because our society thinks it's wrong, when there is so much evidence to show how good for her it is." This was huge to me, considering a few months ago he was okay with us breastfeeding until 1 or maybe 2, but thought then we should wean because it would "look funny." If he hadn't been driving our car at the moment, I would have jumped up and hugged him. Perhaps I should do so now. I think I will after I write this.
I know from working as a nanny for other mamas who did extended breastfeeding, that my child will not be developmentally or socially stunted in any way from it. That's just a sad depiction our society puts on a healthy and natural thing. I could post a number of links to sources that have helped us in our decision to breastfeed as long as she wants, however for now I'll stick with just this one, http://kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/ebf-benefits/.
I would also like to emphasize that we in no way plan to force her to continue breastfeeding beyond a point where she wants to stop. If she wants to stop at a year, okay, if she is three or four, okay. It's up to her, because she will stop when the time is right for her. It's not about what's easiest for us, it's about her, and what's best for her.
This also does not mean she won't have foods. While our plans were to start her on solids at 6 months, we actually started her on them at 5 months 1 week, or rather, that's when she decided she would start. She still gets the bulk of her nutrition from breast milk, and likely will for awhile. However, when she shows and interest in a food, we let her try it. Considering it hasn't been yet a month since she's started on solids, she has a pretty good list of foods she eats. So far, she eats, and likes, apples, applesauce, avocado, yams, winter squash, butternut squash, oatmeal, carrots, pumpkin, and tofu. She does not like baby food, (no complaints here), or bananas. She also likes cookies and pumpkin pie, but for obvious reasons we don't want her having sugar, so she will not be getting those unless I make them without. If she shows an interest in a food, we let her try it. So far, this method is working great for us. If you would like to offer suggestions of new foods to have her try, please do. I love how much she seems to like trying new things.