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Oh Yeah, I'm Still Breastfeeding. Here's Why!

By Naomi Odes |

nursing mother stationFuzz is sixteen months now. Back when he was eleven months, he was nursing more often than he did when he was a newborn- although for shorter periods of time. His exuberance for nursing this frequently lasted a few months until I finally had to at least stop the nighttime nursing around fourteen months. The sleep deprivation was getting to me, and I was pretty worn out.

We’ve had a couple of other hurdles; there was a pretty intense period of biting that has hopefully been curbed. Now we’re down to around five times a day, for short periods of time (like 2 minutes at a stretch). Sometimes it’s more. Even though it hasn’t been so easy, I still love doing it, and I’m not ready to stop just yet.

There are tons of reasons to continue nursing through the second year of life. I probably won’t last the whole year, but it’s nice to know that any time I give him will be beneficial for both of us. Here’s a list of 7 reasons why I’m still breastfeeding coupled with some beautiful photos of moms nursing toddlers.

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7 Reasons I Breastfeed My Toddler

I worry less about what he eats during the day

If he only has a few bites of food here and there at least I know he's getting nutrition elsewhere.

Sources
Kelly Mom
La Leche League
Ask Dr. Sears

Photo Credits
Nursing mother station: Flickr/Wha’ppn
birthday necklace latte: Flickr/various brennemans
Drunk dialing: Flickr/moppet6553
Unplanned Toddler Nurse-in: Flickr/Rachel Coleman Finch
Congo: A mother’s Comfort: Flickr/babasteve
Pudge Drinking: Flickr/viralbus
Expression: Flickr/moppet6553
Lactivism: Flickr/christyscherrer

 

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About Naomi Odes

naomi

Naomi Odes

Naomi Odes Aytur is a blogger who's contributed on the parenting channel of Babble. She chronicles her experiences of being a new mom on her personal website, I Am Still Awake. Read bio and latest posts → Read Naomi's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Oh Yeah, I'm Still Breastfeeding. Here's Why!

  1. Joya says:

    You go girl!!

  2. Alyssa says:

    Great post! I am still nursing my 19 month old, though I had no intentions to nurse this long initially! My little guy still loves it and we nurse for 20-30 mins 3 times each day. It is his best comfort and saves me from dealing with sleep battles. I am going to try to get pregnant in the Spring and will stop before then, but I’m not looking forward to stopping my special time with him.

  3. Danielle says:

    Good for you!

  4. Mrs_JennyK says:

    Very nice! May I gently suggest though that you might not want to set a hard deadline. Will you continue to nurse until 3? Maybe, maybe not. You can go with the flow and reevaluate every so often. :-)

  5. Serendipity says:

    What an awesome post! I’m still breastfeeding my 14 month old, although I had not intended for it to last this long. Can I ask how you managed to cut out the night feeds? My little one is up 2-3 times a night to nurse and it’s sooo exhausting. Thanks!

  6. Shandeigh says:

    I wasn’t able to breastfeed (Breast surgery in my late teens) but I still give my son (whose 22 months old) a bottle before bed for the extra nutrition and my family has given me a hard time about it. I had planned on stopping when he was two figuring that when it’s recommended for breastfeeding.. but the closer it gets… I’m not sure if I’m gonna stop at 2. I take him to the dentist every 3 months for fluoride treatments so I’m not worried about his teeth. I know it’s not the same as breastfeeding but I feel like the formula gives him a nice rounding of vitamins and stuff that will fill any holes in his diet. He refuses to drink milk or even formula out of a cup, he does eat cheese and yogurt though. He eats pretty healthy but I still worry… I suppose that’s my number one job as a Mommy. lol.

  7. Julie says:

    I didn’t know the WHO suggests breastfeeding until 3. All I’d read was that they recommend a minimum of 2 years. Can you link me to where you found that? Maybe I can use it make my husband understand my plans for long term breastfeeding better. :)

    1. Naomi says:

      @Julie- I read it in this article http://www.parenting.com/article/ask-dr-sears-extended-breastfeeding—-handling-the-criticism

      @Serendipity- I had to sleep in a different room in order to stop nursing at night- I was cosleeping but now just my husband sleeps with him until we can get him in a bed in his brother’s room- or with his brother!!

  8. Jodie says:

    Great article–I breastfed my daughter for 19 months and will go just as long or longer for my second child. One of the biggest disappointments was my pediatrician telling me in a condescending tone at my daughter’s 18 month visit that he hoped I was planning to stop by the time she was 2.

    1. Naomi says:

      @Jodie- WOW, can’t believe your ped would say that. However, one of the things that’s surprised me about pediatricians is how little many of them know/understand about breastfeeding. I usually just ignore mine.

  9. Kimi says:

    why would you say you wouldn’t nurse till he’s 3? just curious cause i’m gonna try to go till 2 or 3 yrs?

    1. Naomi says:

      @Kimi- I nursed my first to 19 months, I’m aiming to go that long for Fuzz- but I just have to gauge how long the nursing relationship remains positive. A month ago, it was terrible because of all the biting but I felt it was too early to stop. If it becomes an unpleasant experience for either one of us, that’s when it’s time to pull the plug. If that’s not until he’s 3, I guess I’ll go that long- but I doubt that will happen.

  10. shandy says:

    Love this i nursed my daughter till she was 15 months and was always asked “well when are you going to stop” or “isnt she too old” it was very bonding and my child has never been sick other than a cold.and after having a c-section its also so much easier im 8months prego now and well also breastfeed my new baby

  11. MOMMIESBLESSINGS2 says:

    Im also still muting my 4 month and 18 month,

  12. Tabitha says:

    I understand the whole wanting to breast feed idea, although I did not with my son and I don’t intend to with my next child. My question is, isn’t it awkward having a child that large still nursing? And painful? As I know my little boy likes to bite and I couldn’t imagine breast feeding a child with a mouth full of teeth! And how do you get them to stay still long enough to nurse at that age? My boy can hardly sit still long enough to eat. I understand the need for the extra nutrients, and it is healthier, as I formula fed and started weening off the formula at 10 months and he was completely off by his birthday. Some say too early, but every child is different. He is only lacking 4 of having his full set of primary teeth and in the 95% for his weight, and has been completely Off the bottle since he was 6 months old. (as soon as he started holding his bottle we started him on sippy cups) But as I said, all children are different:)

    1. Naomi says:

      @Tabitha- not awkward at all- especially when you’ve been doing it for the entire time. It might be awkward to START nursing a toddler though ;-) Yes, the teeth thing can be a challenge, but like you said, it really depends on the kid. My first didn’t have any biting issues at all-I didn’t know how good I had it then!!

  13. leslie says:

    fabulous. i nursed kieran for 18 months…like many others i had planned to go for a year. all of the reasons listed/ all the hurdles faced are more than familiar! he’s six now and has had no more than 2-3 colds in his life. he is also at the top of his class and i’m sure its all related to his ‘longterm’ nursing. oh, and i had to leave town to finally end it…i went on a weekend road trip with my best friend from college and left him home with daddy!

  14. Melissa says:

    I breast-fed my daughter until she self-weaned at 3 years, 3 months. By that time, we just did a short feeding at night and a short feeding to make a bad ouchie feel better whenever they happened. Bella, my daughter, has a remarkable immune system and the colds that I get for 2 weeks, she gets for 6 hours. She has also so far skipped inheriting my food allergies. Breastfeeding provided a wonderful close bond between us, and the health benefits are still paying off. I would easily choose to do extended breastfeeding again.

  15. Stacy says:

    I LOVED this article, I’m 28 and my daughter is 33 months old she will be 3 March 1st, I am still nursing her at least 1 – 2 times a day. I also nursed my son until he was at least 2 1/2, he is now 10 years old. This was really encouraging to me, I can’t tell you how many people have been rude and judgemental about still nursing my daughter, even family members. I’ve had a hard time defending myself when it’s come up in conversation but this article has definitely given me a strong foundation to stand on and not feel as if I’m doing something wrong instead of great by still nursing. :) Thanks so much:) My only question is that sometimes my daughter still wakes up at night to nurse, should I be saying no and just let her lay in bed (which I hate) or try and find some other way to distract her until she falls back asleep?

  16. Holly says:

    I am just reading this now – but find it all really helpful. I am still happily breastfeefiding my 16 month old. I am ready to night wean but do not want to endeavor in that if it will have a weaning effect during the daytime. We are not ready for that. Any suggestions about cutting out the all night nursing but keeping the morning, day and evening nursing and in a gentle way? Many thanks, Holly

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