Sunday, May 17, 2009

A 3- year old's view of breastfeeding

My husband's cousin's daughter was over this afternoon when Max woke up from his nap. We curled up in our favorite chair to nurse, and Kylie came over, curious as could be.

"Is your baby sleeping?"
"No," I said, "He's awake. He's eating."
"How is he eating?" she asked. "He looks like he's sleeping."
Hmmm. I thought. Maybe I better ask before I educate other people's kids about breastfeeding. "Steve!" I yelled to her dad in the kitchen. "I'm going to tell Kylie about breastfeeding." I don't think he believed me, because he just shouted back "Okay." So our conversation continued.
"He's drinking milk from my breasts." I said.
"He's eating you! He's eating your body!" Kylie shouted, alarmed.
"No, he's sucking on my breasts, and that's how he gets his milk."
"But he's eating your breasts!"
"No, my breasts make milk for him to drink and that's how he gets it out."
"Why?" She asked. (I've forgotten about 3-year olds and this question, obviously, or I probably wouldn't have started this conversation.)
"Well, babies drink milk. So my body makes the milk he needs, and then he sucks on my breasts to get it out."
"Why?" (Sigh. At this point, I'm really, really glad my kids have grown up with breastfeeding and don't question it as normal.)
"Because that's what our bodies do."
"Oh." That explanation seemed to satisfy her for a few minutes. I gave myself a little mental pat on the back for giving a good, age-appropriate education about breastfeeding. A few minutes later, I realized I wasn't as smart as I thought I was. Her mom and dad were in the room and Kylie came running up to me and started patting my belly.
"Is there still milk in there for the baby?"
Kylie's mom and dad's eyes looked like they were about to pop out of their heads and roll around on my living room floor.
"Steve," I said, "I warned you I was going to tell her about breastfeeding."


  1. That is really cute and funny! I think it is sad that parents don't teach their own kids about it!


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