BREASTFEEDING YOUR TODDLER
Toddlers breastfeed for many of the same reasons babies breastfeed: for nutrition, comfort, security, for a way to calm down and for reassurance. Mothers breastfeed their toddlers for many of the same reasons they breastfeed their babies: they recognize their children’s needs, they enjoy the closeness, they want to offer comfort, and they understand the health benefits.
The World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend that babies be breastfed for at least two years.
“Review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants. Thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.” 1
Just as babies do, toddlers receive health benefits from breast milk: it continues to provide immunities and vitamins, and can help protect your toddler from illness and allergies. If your toddler does get sick, nursing will help comfort him. In fact, a toddler with an upset stomach may be able to tolerate nothing but human milk.
Toddlers have a huge world to explore, and breastfeeding provides them (and their mothers!) with some quiet time in their busy, waking hours.
LLL GREAT BRITAIN
Laura’s story of breastfeeding a toddler: https://www.laleche.org.uk/russian-dolls/