I was swimming with my three-year-old grandson, Xavier, when he stared at my chest and asked “Do you have murr?” Not everyone would recognize the word “murr” but it’s a familiar one in our family – that’s Xavier’s word for breastfeeding and breastmilk. He was sorry to hear that I didn’t have murr anymore, but reassured me that “it’s okay, Mom has lots.”
Once your nursing baby has become a verbal toddler, you may find he or she develops her own words for breastfeeding. Sometimes these are a bit embarrassing (it can be awkward to have your child yell ‘want boobies now!’ at a family dinner), but they often become a cherished memory.
My daughter Lisa called breastfeeding “Ninnies.” She even had a little song about how great “Ninnies” were. Her younger brother Jeremy called it “Dits.” This came from me trying to quietly ask him if he wanted to nurse – I’d point to my chest and say “do you want this?” Unfortunately, his pronunciation of “this” sounded all too close to “tits.” I’d try to catch him when he was just starting to think about nursing, before he had to ask too loud.
My son Dan’s word was “nit.” I remember being at a family gathering when he said “I want to nit!” and I quietly took him into another room so we could nurse privately (I knew he was ready for a nap and figured he wouldn’t sleep with the party noise going on). My mother (who knew what nit meant) found it quite amusing when my aunt asked “He knits? At age three? That’s amazing. Is he making scarves or something?”
What words do your toddlers use for nursing? Did you teach them a specific word, or did they invent it themselves?