Breastfeeding is not only the best source of food but a close bond between mum and baby. Therefore the longer breastfeeding continues the greater the bond/relationship grows and the greater the health benefits for baby. The World Health Organization (WHO), having looked at the evidence, recommends that a child be breastfed for at least 2 years and beyond.
From those early days of frequent feeding, turning into weeks, months, then before you know it your toddler is sharing the sofa with you and chatting and enjoying special breastfeeding moments.
There are many great reasons to continue on this journey …….
- Toddler brain development is rapid and breast milk provides the essential nutrients to help this.
- Even though milk volume may be less than the early days the level of antibodies and immunity protection is increased which helps the roaming toddler in his travels.
- Continued breastfeeding promotes jaw development and palate expansion thus allowing room for future teeth.
- Breast milk is gentle and protective of the maturing toddler gut, allowing the transition to solid foods.
- It allows the busy toddler to reconnect in a calm and reassuring way to mum and settle in a way no toy or blanket can do.
- Breastfeeding also has long-term health benefits for mum and baby.
Breastfeeding also has long-term health benefits for mum and baby.
Tips when feeding a toddler…….
- Pinching and tugging and pulling off the breast are commonplace so allow a special toy to play with or an item of mums eg. bracelet on her wrist to amuse them
- Try not to restrict or limit a time on the breast as it may cause undue upset and more demands
- If feeding in public is a concern for Mum then have an alternative in place which you talk to your toddler about before you go out eg we have fruit or sippy cup when we go out and feeds at home
- Sore nipples can occur as a result of residue food in baby’s mouth from mealtimes so remember to give the mouth a rinse out with water before feeding if this is a problem
When periods return the let-down of milk can be slower and the taste can alter so toddler might be less interested in feeding but this will pass after a few days.