Is it okay to nurse for comfort? Nursing for comfort is an obvious yes to me in the first few months of a child’s life. But what about month four, six, nine? Is it okay to nurse a toddler for comfort? I am pregnant with my first child. I look forward to providing nourishment and comfort through breastfeeding, but I worry about the “on demand” relationship.
I am an early childhood educator. I have been trained in child development and there is no doubt to me that children need the comfort of their parents through physical contact. I also know that children benefit from structure and limits in their life. It helps them to feel secure in their relationships and in themselves. The ability to self-soothe is very important. This is where I get confused. If we nurse every time our child seeks comfort will they depend on the boob to feel better? I am strictly speaking about older babies and toddlers. I guess it is my professional experience that interferes with my maternal instinct (although to be fair, I am not a mom yet and have no idea if I’ll still be confused when I have my little one 🙂 ) I can’t even decide if this is a debate! I can breastfeed to sleep and on demand while they are itty bitty and then I can introduce more structure and routine in our lives as we grow, can’t I?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!
~Sara @ Momzelle
Here are a some interesting articles on the subject: