5 Reasons to Breastfeed your Toddler

Extended breastfeeding is often the subject of heated debates. For example, remember the Time magazine cover  showing a mother breastfeeding her 3-year-old? The story rapidly became viral, as people were calling the image shocking and abnormal. Yet, the World Health Organization recommends to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months and then for 2 years or longer. Here are 5 reasons why nursing beyond one year is beneficial.

Little boy (2-3) with bare chest, arms up, portrait 1. Provides a healthy diet.  It was reported by the American Academy of Pediatrics that human milk continues to be a valuable source of nutrients in the second year of breastfeeding. In fact, the nutritional value in breast milk actually increases as your child’s matures. The Level of protein, fat and calories changes, as the toddler’s needs evolve.

 2. Develops intellectual capacities Breastfeeding for longer could make your baby smarter! Breast milk stimulates brain development and it was observed that infants who are nursed for an extended period of time tend to have higher IQs and perform better in school.

 3. Prevents illnesses and infectionsThe American Academy of Family Physicians reports that babies who are breastfed for at least 2 years are less likely to suffer from childhood illness. Breast milk contains antibodies that protects your child from a wide range of diseases and infections.

 4. Lets the child stop nursing when readyContrary to popular belief, breastfeeding an infant for more than a year will not make him   clingy. In reality, the opposite is more likely to be true; toddler’s who are breastfed the longest become more independent. Extended nursing gives your child a source of comfort and emotional support for as long as he needs it.

 5. Lowers risks of cancer in the motherMany studies have shown that breastfeeding reduces the likelihood of getting cancer. Lactating for more than half a year was shown to significantly decrease risk of being diagnosed with breast, endometrial or ovarian  cancer.

bfing a toddler benefits

In brief, extended breastfeeding should not be a controversial topic, since its beneficial for mothers and their toddlers. It provides children with essential nutritional elements, that allows them to grow healthy physically, mentally and emotionally.

What is your favourite part about breastfeeding a toddler?

1 thought on “5 Reasons to Breastfeed your Toddler”

  1. My experience with breastfeeding a toddler is a little different than most. Last year, my son was deemed terminally ill with brain cancer. Breastfeeding was the only thing I could do for him (along with giving him pain medication) It was the only thing he ever wanted when he was awake. I happily nursed both him and his newborn brother together for the last month of his life. We were in the hospital at that point and I would sit on his bed, tuck the newborn on one breast and him on the other and they would nurse. That is how we spent most of our time those last weeks. I treasure every second of that time. I am so glad I had never stopped nursing him.

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