In her blog post, she goes into detail about why sucking is important and why babies suckle, be it nipple or pacifier. Her post is well worth reading. I actually did not know that the AAP in even had thoughts on sucking but they do (quoting her quotes from the American Academy of Pediatrics):
Nonnutritive sucking has several benefits.This makes sense! But regulating their emotions? I love nursing! I am not just providing nutrition but laying the building blocks to emotionally stable adults! Bonus! This may not be why I started nursing but it is why I keep going and going and going.
- It is an early step in an infant’s ability to self-regulate his or her emotions.
- It helps the child to relax and focus his or her attention.
- It provides comfort and security. Therefore, sucking occurs more often when the child is tired, bored, anxious, or upset.
I started nursing because I heard it would help me lose the baby weight. I kept going so I would not have to spend money on formula. I nursed baby girl because it was the right thing to do and my son showed me that time and time again. And now... I nurse to comfort my baby.
My son was an "efficient nurser". Eight minutes and he was done. Nothing more and nothing less. As hard as I tried, he would not nurse past a certain point. I know now that there are tricks I might have tried but all I knew then was to keep offering and he kept refusing.
I would justify it (in my mind) by saying or thinking, at least it is not a pacifier and I like a glass of water at night, too. In the inside, I felt guilty. Would I do it differently...? No. He slept and he needed to suck on something; the dentist gave him a clean bill of health. I figure there are other ways we will send him to therapy this is not one of the ways I will do it.
My baby girl, on the other hand... she is a nurser. She loves to nurse and will do it for h o u r s! From the first time she latched on to this morning... she has had no problems nursing. Even thought my supply, during the day, has dwindled since she was about 11 months, she keeps nursing at night and on weekends. I don't feel full enough to pump until 4:00 p.m. and if I pumped then I would have nothing for her for dinner and trust me... she wants it for dinner. She tolerates cow's milk, barely. And, to think I thought the marathon nursing sessions were over!
I am not 100% sure that she is drinking anything at all, each time we nurse. I think she is but I just can't tell. Do I care? Not at all. Milk or no milk - she wants to nurse. It is some sort of need in her that drives her to me and I am not going to stop because it might make life easier, more convenient.