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  1. #1
    New Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    2 year old nursing vs food percentages

    My 2 year old bub still nurses. Mostly it is only at night when I come home from work but on weekends and when I am home he wants to nurse all day. As a working mum, night feedings are hard for me and I would love to reduce those feedings. I am also worried about whether I should still express for him during the day and how much milk he should be getting vs food intake. Some days he eats a lot of solid food and others he doesn't want any at all or only a few fruits.

    Help! I am worried about his development!

  2. #2
    Dear dsmum,

    Firstly, I would say you do not need to worry about his development based on what you have said above. If he is generally happy and eating well and meeting the appropriate speech and language milestones etc then I would not be concerned.

    What can often happen when mum works away is that when she is back the toddler then wants to breastfeed a lot more. This is part of their way of reconnecting with mum. Breastfeeding is so much more than gaining nutrients (although this is a great advantage of breastmilk and the nutrients contained in it are like no other milk) it is also a bonding and comfort and a special time for mum and little one.

    However, I can understand that you find night feeds difficult when you are going out to work too. Can you husband or partner try comforting your toddler when he wakes at night? Does anything else comfort him back to sleep. Have you read the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley? You may find 'Pantley's gentle removal method' useful. If you have not heard of this then please post back and I will explain further.

    In terms of the nutrient content, at 24 months of age it is possible for a child to get around 20% of their daily nutrients from the breastmilk alone. So it should be around a 4:1 ratio of solid food to breastmilk. Many, many toddlers (breastfed or not) will have days when they will eat and days when they won't eat.

    Dr. Sears (the Paediatrician of Attachment Parenting fame) talks about looking at your toddler's diet over a 5 day average basis. What really matters is that in every 5 day period your toddler gets the nutrients he needs. So it is ok if he has a day of hardly eating and another day of eating mainly meat then a day of lots of breastmilk and a day of fruit and veg and a day of carbohydrates etc. Also remember that toddlers often like to graze throughout the day. A 'grazing plate' full of healthy, nutritious snacks that your toddler can easily help themselves to can be a good day to help them eat more.

    I do hope that this helps you. Please post back and let me know what your thoughts are.

    Warm wishes,
    Last edited by ljmarsden; 23rd April 2014 at 04:33 AM.

  3. #3
    New Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    All of this information really helps! It is interesting to hear about the percentages and the 5 day period theory. I have heard a lot of good things about Elizabeth Pantley and her book but haven't purchased it yet. I will have to do that! My husband is home at night sometimes so I will have to recruit him to help. I have also heard great things about Dr Sears and recently looked into some of his work. I will have to look up the diet research as well to learn more!

    I appreciate your help and will definitely look more into the resources that you provided.


  4. #4
    Hi Rachel,

    I'm very pleased my response was helpful. Yes please do have a look at those resources.

    Here is a link direct from the No Cry Sleep Solution which I think may help you: Elizabeth Pantley's site.

    The kellymom breastfeeding website is also fantastic on this topic.

    Do let me know how you get on and if you have any further questions.

    Wishing you all the best,

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