Sharing Breast Milk With Older Siblings
Now that I am producing milk again, my 2.5-year-old son has an active interest in the breastfeeding phenomenon with our newborn. I knew he would be very curious as to what the baby was doing and how she was getting her food. For the first few weeks of our baby's life, my son was right there next to my daughter and me for every feed.
He asks lots of questions:
"What are you doing?"
"Can I have some milk from your boob?"
"Are you going to feed her on the other side, too?"
"Is she eating?"
"Is she done eating?"
"Did she fall asleep while eating?"
So many questions! I make sure he understands how his sister gets her nutrients so that he feels included and informed on what is going on. For me, this is also a good way to help normalize breastfeeding. I would never want to hide breastfeeding from my son, as I feel that that would not be sending the right message to him or anyone.
It only took a few days before he started to ask for "milk from the boob". I breastfed my son until he was 11 months old, and then he self-weaned and then we were done. He transitioned to formula until he was over a year old and then we transitioned him to cow's milk, which is what he has been drinking ever since.
We all know how good breast milk is, so I started to think of ways to share with my toddler. He is in a daycare setting a few times per week, and since I had a winter baby, I wanted to do what I could to give him an immunity boost.
I end up pumping roughly every other day. I usually will use that pumped milk in one of two ways. One was it to measure out 5 mL of milk daily and give him his daily dose of "immunity". My son loves this ritual, and it makes him feel included in the breastfeeding process without actually breastfeeding him (no judgment to the moms who are still going strong, we are just beyond that phase with him!)
Another way that we incorporate breast milk into his diet is by mixing it in with his oatmeal instead of using cow's milk.
Now, of course, I could simply give breast milk to him straight from a cup, but these ways are just a little more fun!
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