So why, if toddler nursing is a magic cure for toddler ills, do people find it objectionable? I think the first reason is the degree to which breasts are sexualized in this culture. For some people it's as if a nursing mother is performing a sex act with her child, and it can only be acceptable if he's too small to understand. A child old enough to reason and remember -- now that's disgraceful. This logic is faulty for two reasons, the first being that breasts are not inherently sexual (see previous post on nursing, esp. the bit about overlay functions). I also think that if something is morally iffy for a mother to do with a child, it's worse if the child is too small and vulnerable to have language and long-term memory. But there is not an iota of evidence to suggest that long-term nursing causes harm -- not to a child's developing sexual identity and not in any other domain -- and there is ample research in support of the practice.
I have never read a blog post so well written regarding extending nursing. I used to think that once a child could unbutton my blouse and ask, that they were too old to nurse. But now that I've had experience with mother's who've nursed for extended periods of time, I have to say, I've changed my mind.
The mother's whom I've seen nursing, seemed to have wonderful reltionships with their children, good heads on their shoulders, and healthy happy children. I'm sure, as this blog states, that there are some mothers out there nursing for themselves only. But with more and more evidence that children need to be nursed longer than most of us American women do, I can't help but think that it's our attitudes that need to change. Not nursing moms.