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  1. #1
    New Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    9

    For how long should a child be breastfed?

    Hi! What would be ideal age for a child to be stopped from breastfeeding? My son is now 2 yrs old and still happy with breastfeeding.

  2. #2
    Dear mumof5,

    I would say for as long as you are both happy with breastfeeding. You sound like you are both enjoying it so there is no reason to stop just because your son is 2.

    The current WHO (World Health Organisation) advice is that babies are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months of life and then breastfed alongside the introduction of solid food from 6 months of age to 2 years and beyond.

    At my local breastfeeding support group (which has been great) we learnt that at around the age of 6/7 a child's face structure changes so that they are unable to latch on to the breast once they reach this age. However, before then there really is no reason to stop as long as you are both happy with the breastfeeding relationship.

    I breastfed my older son (alongside my younger son once he was born) until he was about 2 and 7 months. I have friends who have happily breastfed until their child was about 4.

    There are plenty of benefits to breastfeeding a toddler/older child. They can get so much comfort from feeding as well as nutritional benefits. I have also found that there is nothing like breastfeeding for soothing a poorly toddler. Breastfeeding at this age also continues to benefit a child's social, emotional and intellectual development.

    In 2012 the American Academy of Paediatrics said this:

    'Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child… Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother… There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychological or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer.'

    What are your thoughts on all this?

    Happy breastfeeding!

    Warm wishes,
    LJ

  3. #3
    New Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    9
    Hey LJ,

    Thanks so much. You really taught me a lot. I appreciate it.

  4. #4
    You are very welcome. Do you think you'll be continuing breastfeeding for the time-being?

    One other thought, please don't worry that your son will be wanting breastmilk forever and that 'he will never be weaned'. I say this because this is something I felt, albeit irrationally, with my older son. He loved being on the boob all day (and most of the night!) long. However, once he reached 2.5 he gradually showed less and less interest in breastmilk and now (at almost 3) he is interested in me feeding my younger son but not in having any himself.

    Warm wishes,
    LJ

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