Benefits to Breastfeeding a One-Year-Old

by Susannah from Simple Moments Stick

Simple Moments Stick

When we moved into our new town and had to find a new pediatrician, one of the questions I was asked was how long I nursed Caleb.  Everyone was very impressed that I nursed him for nearly fifteen months and, since that had initially been shorter than I had planned, I thought that was odd.  I’ve since learned it’s very common for moms to wean their babies at a year and, while I think it’s totally up to the mom and little one when breastfeeding should end,  I’m glad we kept at it past a year.  And, of course, once we found out about Caleb’s dairy intolerance it made me even more happy I had been able to breastfeed him as long as I did.

Josiah is now fifteen months, the age Caleb was when he was weaned and our breastfeeding journey is still going strong.  I choose not to nurse on demand any longer but, instead, we nurse in the morning, after naptime, and before bed.  It’s what works for us just like every breastfeeding pair has to find the rhythm that works for them!

Reasons to Breastfeed a One Year Old (Or Older!)
Note: This post is in no way intended to be looking down on moms who are not able to or choose not to breastfeed.  This also is not intended to look down on moms who wean at or before a year.  I know it’s totally cliche but it’s true, fed is best and every mom and child needs to do what works best for them!

Breastfeeding Past a Year is Normal
It seems in America that people find it weird to breastfeed past a year but in pretty much every other country it’s the norm.  The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, World Health Organization, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, and so many others all recommend nursing past a year of age.  The breastfeeding toddler benefits far outweigh any negatives.  If you and your child are not ready to quit breastfeeding at a year, don’t let society tell you that you should!

Gives Beneficial Nutrients to Your Child
Research is currently being done on the nutritional benefits of children nursing past the age of two and I’m excited to find out what comes of it!  For now, information available indicates that breastfeeding provides wonderful nutritional value and disease prevention that is wonderful for a child of any age.  Of course, you need to be making sure your older kiddo is getting nutrients from solid food as well as breast milk for their diet to be well balanced.

Keeps the Nurturing Bond Between Mother and Child
There’s a special connection a breastfeeding pair has.  It’s not a make-or-break connection in the sense that any healthy mom and child duo need to breastfeed in order to be connected but it is definitely something that exists.  Part of the reason I am in no rush to wean Josiah is because of the comfort it brings me to nurse him.  It’s been a really tough six months for me as I’m still processing the death of my dad and the bond Josiah and I are able to have while I nurse him is healing.

Allows Your Child to Set the Pace for Weaning
Caleb has always been pretty independent so, although we did push up the timeline of weaning in order to leave him while we went on our trip, he was definitely ready.  He didn’t skip a beat as we began lowering the number of feedings he got.  If he had, I would have chosen to pump while we were away from him and start nursing again as soon as we got back.  Josiah, on the other hand, is more insistent on nursing.  He gets mad at Nate if he gets him up and doesn’t bring him to me to nurse right away after naps.  Since he’s still all for breastfeeding than so am I!

Contributes to Your Child’s Intellectual Development
I love that research has shown that there is a connection between cognitive achievement and breastfeeding.  I know that breastfeeding doesn’t guarantee that my children will be geniuses or anything but I feel good knowing I’m able to set them up for success!

Moms Benefit from Extended Breastfeeding
The health benefits moms experience due to breastfeeding are amazing!  Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, endometrial cancer, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and so much more!  Count me in for all of that!

Breastfeeding and Evivo
A few months ago, I shared a post about Evivo Probiotics and the reasons we give them to our healthy baby.  I’m happy to say that Josiah is still healthy and I’m still a fan of Evivo Probiotics.  Since Evivo Probiotics are intended to be mixed with breast milk, it’s yet another reason that I’m a fan of extended breastfeeding – I can give these probiotics to my baby boy for longer!  Breastfeeding and probiotics go together as well as peanut butter and jelly. 

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