This is What a Nursing Toddler Looks Like

Top Hat over at Its All About the Hat suggested a Breastfeeding Blog Carnival called “This is What a Nursing Toddler Looks Like.” [This is my first blog carnival so I will link to the other participants as soon as I figure out the rules of the game – UPDATE: I have added some links at the bottom to other Carnival participants.] Luckily for me, the Carnival theme left a good bit of room for interpretation since I don’t currently have a nursing toddler. I have many fond memories of nursing my kids when they were toddlers and so do they. I and they remember how important it was that they could nurse when they were sick or hurt or needed comfort. We nursed when they needed some time with mom. We nursed when they were getting used to sharing mom with a new sibling. We nursed when they were hungry. We nursed to sleep. We nursed standing up and sitting down and in positions I used to call “Olympic Freestyle Nursing.”

A nursing toddler can also go hiking and he looks like this:

But with my kids getting older, I am seeing more of what a nursing toddler looks like when he is no longer nursing and is no longer a toddler. That can be someone who really understands how important it is that kids get to nurse and mothers get to nurse their kids. A former nursing toddler isn’t fazed by seeing women breastfeed wherever they are.

A few years ago my then 12 year old son saw me helping to organize a nurse-in. I explained that a woman had been quietly nursing her baby on a bench in a shopping mall when a security guard ordered her to stop and move. She refused, saying she needed to finish feeding her son. Soon she was surrounded by security guards who engaged her husband in a shouting match and left the woman terrified. When the mom shared her story and the shopping mall management refused to respond to her complaint about her treatment, a nurse-in was planned.

My son was confused – why would anyone think there was something wrong with a mother feeding her baby? Then he was mad – this was wrong. He asked if he could come to the nurse-in. When he saw me making signs, he asked if he could create one for himself. I told him that we expected press coverage and there was a chance his friends would see a photo of him from the protest. He was adamant that he wanted to be seen.

Back to the Carnival theme – This is What a Nursing Toddler Looks Like. He looks like a proud breastfeeding activist.

UPDATE: Other What Does a Nursing Toddler Looks Like Carnival participants.

A Breastfeeding Toddler Photoshoot, Escaping to my Controversial Place

The Joys, Humors, and Struggles of … , The Mother’s Lamentation

Nursing a (and Around a) Toddler Creates Cute Stories, Melissa’s Place

I Never Thought I’d Nurse a Toddler, The Prudent Woman

The Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding a Toddler, Breastfeeding Moms Unite

Nursing an Older Toddler, Musings of Mommy Bee

My Nursing Toddler Story, babyREADY

Beautiful at Any Age, A Piece of My Mind

This is What A Nursing Toddler Looks Like, Three Girl Pile-Up

This is What a Nursing Toddler Looks Like, Permission to Mother

This is a Nursing Toddler, Gaze Into the Heavens

This is What a Nursing Toddler Looks Like, My Seaside Retreat

Nursing a Toddler in a Ring Sling, PhD in Parenting

This is What a Nursing Toddler Looks Like … , Mama’s Apple Cores


  • SJC May 14th, 2009 at 11:49 am · Reply My god you have a beautiful son there.
  • TheFeministBreeder May 14th, 2009 at 11:52 am · Reply This might be the coolest story I’ve read all day. I think this has made my “Things You Should Read Thursday” list for this week (which I’m hours late in posting, but that seems to be a happy accident since I had the fortune of finding this.)
  • Jake
    Twitter: jakearyehmarcus
    May 14th, 2009 at 12:09 pm · Reply:) This sat in draft form for weeks (sorry Top Hat) and then I was reduced to tears trying to get the photos right so if your “Things You Should Read Thursday” comes out on Saturday, you won’t hear me complain. ;)
  • kgirl May 14th, 2009 at 12:38 pm · Reply Looks like love.
  • Jane May 14th, 2009 at 1:36 pm · Reply Dude. This made me cry.WELL DONE, on all counts.
  • Kate May 14th, 2009 at 1:59 pm · Reply thanks for making me cry!
  • Azucar May 14th, 2009 at 3:56 pm · Reply Jane sent me over–GREAT story. I’ve still got a nursing toddler!
  • Noble Savage May 14th, 2009 at 4:37 pm · Reply What an awesome son you have. Thank you for sharing this.
  • Anonymous May 14th, 2009 at 5:12 pm · Reply Mom Blogs – Blogs for Moms…
  • desiree fawn May 14th, 2009 at 6:24 pm · Reply Your son is going to grow up to be a wonderful man.
    So fabulous!! I love this post!
  • Traci Perg May 15th, 2009 at 1:25 pm · Reply What an awesome kid! What an awesome story! Thank you!
  • Denise May 17th, 2009 at 12:15 pm · Reply I am touched by your son’s willingness to hold up that sign. My preteens don’t get why people have problems with breastfeeding in public either.Thanks for joining in on the carnival.
  • Melodie May 17th, 2009 at 1:39 pm · Reply Your son is the super coolest kid ever! What a great piece you have added to the carnival.
  • Melissa May 17th, 2009 at 3:08 pm · Reply How wonderful that your son wanted to show his support for that woman.
  • Sarah Cassill May 17th, 2009 at 3:19 pm · Reply What a WONDERFUL son! I hope my nursing toddler boy becomes somebody just as wonderful!
  • Angeline June 17th, 2009 at 10:41 am · Reply Wow! What a young gentleman! You’re very proud, I’m sure. I too am nursing a toddler – my second. I can’t imagine not. Thanks for this story.
  • MUST READ: This is What a Nursing Toddler Looks Like « Doula Momma June 20th, 2009 at 6:21 am · Reply […] by doulamama1 on June 20, 2009 I hope that I raise my son to be as amazing as this kid […]
  • MommyNamedApril June 21st, 2009 at 9:49 pm · Reply what a fantastic kid!
  • Jake
    Twitter: jakearyehmarcus
    June 21st, 2009 at 10:47 pm · Reply You guys are all great. :) He is an extraordinary person. I burst with pride.
  • MAJuly 29th, 2009 at 11:18 am · Reply Your boy is AWESOME!!! What a selfless and incredible act for such a young boy – I love his conviction and determination. So bold! I want to give this kid a *big* hug!