Photo by Jessica To’oto’o on Unsplash
A mother’s breastfeeding journey is never easy, but it is very rewarding there’s no doubt. I breastfed my daughter Daisy and I think I did the right thing. However, extended breastfeeding is controversial, with many mothers feeling it is the right thing to do, although it is often shown in a more negative light in the media. There are helpful tips about parenting and lots of support for mums on forums and other well-established sites that help discuss this controversial topic.
Here, we take a look at five benefits of breastfeeding a toddler, for both mother and child, so you can have a great comeback the next time a nosey stranger tells you your child is too old to still be nursing!
1. Breastfeeding Provides Nutrition
Whether you are feeding a 2 day old baby or a 2 year old toddler, there is no denying that breastfeeding provides valuable nutrition. For toddlers who are fussy with food, breastfeeding is a great way to ensure they are still getting a good level of fat and protein in their diet. Breastmilk provides vitamins A, B12 and C for toddlers too, which they might not get enough of from food alone.
2. Breastfed Children are Healthier
Children who are breastfed have been found to suffer from fewer illnesses, and when they do get ill, they recover quicker than those who are not breastfed. It is particularly useful at protecting against ear infections and upper respiratory infections. Breastmilk contains many antibodies, which continue to offer protection no matter the age of the child.
3. The WHO Recommends Nursing Until at Least Age 2
Whilst many women might feel awkward about breastfeeding their toddler, particularly if their family or friend do/did not, it is actually recommended by the World Health Organization to breastfeed until at least the age of 2 years old. As long as both mother and child are happy to continue nursing, there is no reason to stop too soon. It’s thought that the natural age of weaning from the breast could be up to the age of 5 years old, although it is rare for mothers to continue breastfeeding until this age.
4. Extended Breastfeeding Benefits Mums Too
Breastfeeding has many health benefits for mums as well as for babies and toddlers. Women who are breastfeeding may lose weight more easily, and breastfeeding can also help delay the return of fertility after having a baby. It can also help reduce the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Breastfeeding your toddler might also help you feel closer to them, especially if you have gone back to work, or your child doesn’t yet speak much.
5. Comfort Nursing can Benefit Toddlers
Babies often nurse for comfort or to help drift off to sleep. However, it can be equally beneficial for toddlers – think of it as a way to instantly tame those tantrums! A quick comfort feeding can act as a natural pain reliever after a fall or minor injury. It can also be beneficial for mums to have a quiet sit down with their toddler during or after a busy day. The hormones produced during nursing can also lead to feeling of calmness, or even euphoria.
About Emily Dick the Author
Emily is first and foremost a mother to her daughter Daisy, adoptive mother to her 3 cats and wife to her husband. She it’s a parenting blogger and loves to write on her blog https://whooopsadaisy.com/ which reviews kids’ products, toddler toys and baby items. From newborn items to toys her plans is to take it as far and wide as possible by offering helpful reviews and insight into the world of parenting.