Why Breastfeed Your Toddler?
Worldwide, the median age of weaning is 4.2 years. While this may seem odd to our Western ears, it shows that other cultures have different ideas about how long babies and toddlers need to nurse. Let's look at a few of the reasons why moms may decide to breastfeed a toddler.
They Enjoy the Nursing Relationship
Sometimes a mom is enjoying the benefits of nursing her infant and the closeness of the relationship, and doesn't want that to stop just because the baby has turned one year old. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding "for one year or until mutually desirable". The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends two years of breastfeeding.
The nutritional benefits of mother's milk does not expire! Toddlers receive many of the same benefits that infants do from nursing, and the miraculous thing is that mom's milk changes to meet the needs of the growing baby. Toddlers get a lot of good nutrition from mom's milk even when they are eating a wide variety of solid foods. This is especially comforting to a mom whose child refuses solids. This does not happen because baby is still nursing. That is a myth. Picky toddlers are often allergic children whose bodies are telling them to wait.
Immune System Benefits
Experts tell us that a baby's immune system is not fully developed until he is 2 years old. Others say it's 7 years! To be sure, toddlers are exposing themselves to a lot of things once they are walking around exploring their world. Breastmilk still helps protect them from illness. Many moms of nursing toddlers have been thankful for their tot taking in breast milk when they refuse other foods during sicknesses. This is especially important when toddlers have diarrhea or vomiting and dehydration can be life threatening. Since breast milk is too easily and quickly digested, a toddler can stay hydrated and nourished even when he's ill.
What's more, breastfed infants and toddlers are less likely to have adverse vaccine reactions.
What in the world does nursing have to do with discipline? Experienced moms say plenty! Toddlers are encountering new and scary and exciting experiences every day. Being able to come back to mom's lap and the familiarity of her breast, along with the comfort of sucking, can help him manage the changes he's going through better. Toddlers who feel better behave better. Many nursing moms have been thankful for the calming effect of breastfeeding - both for them and their toddler.
Breastfeeding a toddler can be challenging at times. Toddlers have to learn more about boundaries and limits at this age, including getting the message that mom has feelings too! Nursing is a good place to start teaching a toddler the rules of give and take.
... avoid mom getting overly full. Nursing moms should avoid sleeping on their stomachs or in another position that squeezes the breast for a long period of time if they have frequent plugged ducts. The same would be true of underwire bras. Some moms just can't use them. If you notice symptoms of a plugged ...
... things done. A baby sling is also helpful for newborns whose limbs flail around and get in the way of a good breastfeeding latch. Many sling styles allow mom to breastfeed easily and discreetly which is very nice when mom is out in public. A good breastfeeding book Having an informative book on breastfeeding ...
... want to discourage it strongly if discreet nursing is important to you. It's very difficult to get him to stop once this habit is deeply entrenched. Nursing cover ups can also be helpful in the case of babies who are easily distracted at the breast, which is common when babies reach around 8 or 9 months ...
... baby feeling dry even when the diaper is wet. You can EC with disposable diapers, but the challenge will be that since wet disposable diapers don t feel wet your baby is less likely to develop a strong connection between peeing in a diaper and being wet or feel much difference between wet and dry. You ...
... Healthy, well fed breastfed babies come in all shapes and sizes. Your baby will grow in a particular pattern mostly due to genetics. 9) Get your latch right. Learning how to latch your baby onto the breast is one of the most, if not THE most important thing you can do to avoid pain and ensure adequate ...