As I write this you are “old enough to ask for it”, and have been ever since you were born. You are four weeks old and most definitely “ask”.
According to some, “when they can ask for it, it’s time to wean”. I wonder how many babies those people have spent time around. Most babies I’ve met have clear ways of saying “I’m hungry!”
You are an excellent communicator. You meet my eyes and form your mouth into a circle, pushing your tongue out at me. “Mama, I need to nurse.”
You turn your head towards the breast and bob your head up and down as you search. “Mama, I need to nurse.”
You startle from your sleep in a whining cry and pull your legs up towards your chest. “Mama, I need a diaper change, I just peed.”
You grunt, turn red, and then start to tsk at me as you pull your legs up toward your chest. “Mama, I need a diaper change, I just pooped.”
You fuss and pull your legs up to your chest, kicking unhappily. “Mama, I have gas. Can you lay me down and bicycle my legs?”
You pull off of the breast and bob your head around the nipple whining. “Mama, I am still hungry but I have to burp now.”
You pull off of the breast, fuss, pop back on for a few sucks, fuss, pop back on and then fuss again. “Mama, I finished this side and want the other side now.”
You pop off, look up at me and lay there calm and happy or half asleep. “Mama, I’m full and happy. Thank you.”
There are so many things that you say already, that you have said since birth.
Maybe those people mean that when you learn to ask with an “official language”, then it’s time to wean. I don’t understand this. I see your ability to communicate your needs as a sign that you understand what it is that you need. I do not stop kissing you or hugging you because you become able to ask. If you were older and asking for broccoli or squash, would I decide that signified your readiness to never eat them again?
One day you’ll have children of your own and will hear many things like this. Be careful to always ask yourself the question of “what does one thing have to do with the other?” Speech has little to do with your child’s immune system and digestion.
Listen for the language that your child has since birth. Beware the silly things that people say. Ask yourself always “what does one thing have to do with the other?” Often the answer to that is “nothing at all”.
You have asked to nurse since the moment you were born. It does not matter to me what language you use to make your needs known. It only matters that you are making them known and that it is my job to give you everything you need, and some of what you want.
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- Breastfeeding Toolkit
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- Healthy Supply
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- Letters to a Daughter
- Letters to My Sons
- Letters to Myself
- Letters to the People In My Life
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- The Experience
- The Mommy Wars
Quotables“Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ~Thomas Edison