|Breastfeeding A at 14.5 months. Photo by Melissa van Zyl.|
Breastfeeding a toddler is not exactly widely accepted or supported. And I'll be the first to admit that before I had A, I was one of those that thought it a bit weird. But here's the secret - you don't start off breastfeeding a toddler. You start off breastfeeding a tiny newborn and that newborn slowly, gradually, before you even realise it, grows into a walking, talking toddler. Who happens to also breastfeed. Not quite as weird if you look at how many older toddlers still happily drink formula/milk from a bottle.
Why not just switch over to cow's milk? Let's turn that question around - why?
Quite frankly I haven't seen any need to switch since breastfeeding means I
a) save money
b) save time - no preparing & washing bottles. Yes, I'm lazy
c) am assured that my baby gets the very best liquid gold
d) Also - is there any better excuse to get in some toddler cuddles?
Did you know that breastmilk is just as nutritious for a toddler as it is for a newborn? Just because A eats solids doesn't mean she doesn't still need the extra nutrients that breastmilk offers. In fact, you might be surprised to know that the World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding until *at least* two years of age.
When do I plan on stopping? I will let A decide that, the way nature intended it.
PS: I made it to just two weeks short of a year of pumping at work for A. In the end I stopped because she didn't want/need the expressed milk anymore - she is content to wait for the real deal when I pick her up in the afternoons. It was a strangely emotional transition for me, but I'm glad I let her take the lead. And I will be equally as happy when she eventually weans completely - in her own time and at her own pace.
This blog - Breastfeeding as a Working Mom
World Health Organisation - 10 Facts on Breastfeeding
World Health Organisation - Exclusive Breastfeeding
Kellymom - Breastfeeding Past Infancy: Fact Sheet
LLL - What are the Benefits of Breastfeeding my Toddler?
The Alpha Parent - Timeline of a Breastfed Baby
Best for Babes - Celebrities who Breastfed Toddlers