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Thread: Breastfeeding a Toddler
13th January 2014 07:37 AM #1
Breastfeeding a Toddler
Can you share your experiences of breastfeeding a toddler? We want to encourage other mums to continue breastfeeding their children as they turn from babies to toddlers.
The World Heath Organisation recommend breastfeeding to two years of age and beyond. Indeed, there are huge benefits to breastfeeding a child in the second year of life and beyond. At two years of age a child can still get 20% of their required nutrients from breastmilk. Of course, this will depend upon being put on the breast often enough to keep up mum's milk supply. As a child starts to walk they also benefit from the ongoing emotional support that breastfeeding provides them. So much is developing in your toddler's mind and body but special bonding time with mum is still really important. That closeness also aids your toddler's social and speech and language development. Breastfeeding your toddler also reduces their risk of contracting many illnesses and raises their immunity levels.
In the words of Elizabeth Baldwin (in Extended Breastfeeding and the Law):
'Breastfeeding is a warm and loving way to meet the needs of toddlers and young children. It not only perks them up and energises them; it also soothes the frustrations, bumps and bruises, and daily stresses of early childhood. In addition, nursing past infancy helps little ones make a gradual transition to childhood.'
My own experience of breastfeeding toddlers has been that it provides us with some magical cuddles and wonderful bonding times. We have both laughed together and held hands as I have breastfed my toddlers. I feel that we are building our relationship for the years to come; my hope is that these will be relationships founded in love, warmth and care.
We would love to hear your experiences of breastfeeding your toddler.