Breastfeeding My 16 Month Old is Like Nursing a Baby Cow

Well, not exactly, but close enough!

Recently, my daughter and I went to the county fair with my son and his class. She had a blast looking at all the animals and calling them all kitty. He…not so much.

My son may be interested in science, but animals and insects and plants have no appeal to him. He’s more of a space and gravity and robotics guy.

But he did manage to be more interested in the milking demonstration. Probably because he didn’t have to get anywhere close to the cow. Guess I’m not looking at a future vet. For now, at least.

I have to admit, as a nursing mom, I was interested, too.

I grew up in the suburbs, a half hour drive from L.A., without traffic. Cows were a half hour drive in the opposite direction and, even though we often visited my aunt and uncle there, we hardly ever actually saw a cow. I grew up looking at pictures of cows and seeing them in the various types of media, but don’t recall ever getting up close and personal with one. Needless to say, I pretty much only know we get milk and beef from cows.

Turns out a milk cow isn’t so different from a pumping mom. As a non-pumping mom, I was tickled, but not really interested.

Then the guy started talking about how the baby cows get mom’s milk to let down.

My interest was piqued. I know all about let down. I know all about nursing babies and small toddlers (my 16 month old is still going strong with the nursing).

I wasn’t so tickled to learn baby cows head butt mom to get the milk to let down.

My son was content to simply suck until the milk came all the way up to when he was weaned at 19 months. My daughter is a completely different story. If it doesn’t come right away, she starts crying. Even at almost 17 months.

Instead, she hits me. Bites me. Twists my nipples. Hits me some more. All while sucking vigorously on one nipple.

Ow.

Seriously, child, do you think that’s going to work? It never does, probably because my body is focused on recovering from the pain and not getting the milk to let down. But that doesn’t stop her. And she doesn’t like to listen to reason.

During the demonstration I was a little horrified to learn my daughter is basically a baby cow. But, unlike mom cow, I do not experience let down when she beats me up. Too bad she hasn’t figured that out.

23 Comments

  • Becky @ Velvet Spade Reads

    LOL. This made me giggle. My son self weened at 13 months (in a matter of like 10 days he just decided he was completely over it – i was a little insulted. lol.) but man am I glad that he was also a patient nurser like your son.

    How hard to baby cows head butt?? Wouldn’t a gentle nuzzling do the trick?!

    I loved learning this – thanks! <3

    • kat

      Gosh, I don’t know! They guy made it sound like the babies have to rough up mom a bit.

      It’s always bittersweet when they wean, especially when they’ve been good nursers. But it’s great that he made the choice on his own. I had to put my son in a rigorous weaning schedule and I was probably just as distraught as he was.

  • brookejcutler

    Ha ha ha! Oh, Kat. You make me LAUGH! Isn’t it funny, I’d never thought about where our milk really came from either until I’d breast fed my two. And suddenly I saw cows in a whole different light! Too funny about your cranky little girl: gosh they can have spirits on them these little toddler muffins if ours, huh. ☺️Mine stopped breast feeding at 12months and, I can tell you, it’s a good thing because this one…my goodness, she is a firecracker. I can’t imagine what she’d do if my milk didn’t let down right away. Lol. 😂

    • kat

      It’s frightening and amazing how very cow-like we are. Though I’m very glad to not be a milk cow. Toddlers certainly are a crazy bunch! Their little minds are just whirling and they can be so impatient. Good that they want to explore, but perhaps not while beating out the milk!

    • kat

      Thanks, and thanks for reading! I’m definitely never taking milk or cows for granted ever again. For what they have to put up with, on repeat, they’re kind of my heros now.

  • ourlittleredhouseblog

    This made me laugh thinking of my kids when they were babies and how no one talks about the discomfort of your little angels beating you up for milk. My husband called our son flesh vampire because every time we handed him to someone he always seemed hungry and if you got him to close to you he would start sucking away, even on a nose, we had a lot of laughs about that. I know my son would die of embarrassment if I brought that story up now.

    • kat

      Many moms talk about the pains of breastfeeding, but most don’t mention the lengths their baby goes to just to get their milk, but the rare stories, like yours, always give me a good giggle. Sounds like your son just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to try to get an extra drop of milk, even from the wrong places.

  • Unconventional Mami

    Loved this! I🤱 my son until he was ten months old. It was an issue with supply and demand. My breasts just wouldn’t produce milk at that point. I tried taking Fenugreek, but nothing. I was working full time, pumped while at work, and fed him by breast when I was home. I had struggles throughout, but wouldn’t change it for anything. It is amazing how we can provide nutrients to our children from our own bodies.

    • kat

      It really is! Even though you struggled, that’s great that you still can look back on it with fondness. It can only be done once per child, so it really is quite an experience.

  • Makeup By Nat

    Oh wow! So funny. You’ve done amazing to feed so long. My little man is nearly 5 months and have been exclusively breast feeding him😃My goal is at least 6 months but know I’ll carry on past, I’m dreading weaning xx

  • Gia Aaron

    Greetings from World Nursing Congress 2019!

    After a successful conference in 2017, We are proudly announcing the “53rd World Congress on Nursing & Health Care” along with external scientific association with the researchers, delegates, students, post doctorates, faculty, deans around the globe, scheduled on June 21-22, 2019 at Brisbane, Australia.

    Based on your prominence in the field, with great pleasure we would like to invite you for the scientific collaboration with the World Nursing Congress 2019 event, and honour you by offering the position of Organizing Committee Member(OCM)/Speaker/Delegate for the conference.

    The main theme of the conference is “Exploring Innovations and Latest Advancements in Nursing & Health Care”

    For further details please visit: https://worldnursingcongress.blogspot.com/2018/12/advanced-practice-nursing-53rd-congress.html

    Forward your further query.!

    Best regards,
    Gia Aaron | Program Director

  • Alex

    It’s not so much as a headbutt as it is pounding it! They lower the head and from the power of their toes they charge into the udder straight up like a mountain goat in a cartoon. If you bottle feed you have to watch your groin because they will do this to you too. 😂 Even as a woman that hurts! As they grow taller if you lean over or is short they might try to boob whack you too and like a toddler they suck on everything that can be reached so your clothes are always slimey. I have a teenager calf right now that I bottle raised because the mother abandoned her and though she is weaned she still sucks on my hat and chin and hands, clothes.. everything. She definitely sees me as mommy because she gets so overjoyed to see me and is the snuggliest cuddle bug ever. <3 I'm thinking of starting a blog but can't decide about what, maybe about life with cows but I'm scared of attracting drama which is so bad on my anxiety but still, the cows bring so much joy that maybe it would spread joy to others too.. I dont know. Cows are like big grass dogs <3 Once you earn their trust you have their friendship forever. 😍

    • kat

      That’s some great information about cows, thanks! I’m a city girl, so I don’t know much about them and am actually a little scared of them, but the way you talk about them, they sound wonderful, and not too unlike human toddlers. If you do start a blog, I’d love to read it. The blogging world has its darker side, but most people are very nice and encouraging. It’s difficult building a readership, but finding a few blogging friends is really an amazing experience.

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