Is Breastfeeding a Toddler Really "Better For The Kid"?!?
I've seen stuff about this on the news lately. Seems like it's a growing trend. There's even a YouTube channel called "Mama Natural" which is focused around this issue. Does anyone think this whole idea of breastfeeding into the toddler years is really "more healthy" for the kid? I think it has more to do with a mom who wants to react against our society and selfishly induldge a desire to maintain the emotional high she gets from the experience. Does anyone think this is really a good idea?
Your reaction is pretty strong, Wesman. I think you may have missed the point, perhaps? I think the issue here is how long should someone breastfeed, not whether or not it's healthy or not. It looks like you both agree that breastfeeding is a good thing Of course it's Nature's way and the human love and contact is good--that's not the question. It's just when you have a toddler who can walk and talk but is still breastfeeding...? That's when a line is starting to be crossed and it's getting a little weird. A 3 year old, for instance??
I have to agree this is a very slanted question. I think, as in all things parenting and life in general, there is no one answer. It is all individual. For some children, breastfeeding into the toddler years will be beneficial to them. For some children, they may be ready to move on much sooner. I think the most important thing is that the parent makes sure that they are responding to the cues and needs of the child, and not fulfilling their own needs. But it is wrong to assume that a mom breastfeeding into the toddler years is doing it for the wrong reasons. It is also worth noting that the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until 2 years old.
I don't think there is a "right" or "wrong" answer to this question. It is up to the Mother to do what she feels is best for her and her child.
A relative breastfed her children up to age three. Other than that breastfeeding during toddler stages is fine. The bad thing is a three year old doing demand breast feeding. The scenario was distasteful to me. Others may not agree.
I never thought I would be one of "those" moms who breastfed her child until toddlerhood. But now I am. It just kind of happened, and it's what feels natural for my child and me. And believe me, the decision is not all about me. (Read: I really miss wine.)
What seems odd to me is to give my daughter cow's milk. Nature intended cow's milk for, ummmm... cows. It seems to me that human milk is the most appropriate for a child who continues to need milk as part of his or her diet for essential nutrients. That said, I think deciding whether or not to breastfeed and for how long is a totally personal decision. There is no correct answer that applies to everyone; this is not a black and white issue.
I am breastfeeding a ten month old baby who is proving extemely difficult to wean. I think there are alot of harsh judgements being passed. I canassure you at this point there is no emotional high with feeding as she bites at times in frustration and I look as though I have an eating disorder as it has drained me. However, when I do not get more than two hours straight sleep, I parent alone and have another child, a degree and work I am too exhausted to fight my LO only to have to wean from a bottle later.
My other child had a bottle for naps until she was three and noone made any comment about it so why is there such a fixation on breastfeeding?
My fear with the judgement being passed is that nursing mothers will just keep quiet about it and feed in private. Even at ten months I am able to put feeds off until I get home and when I am gone to work she holds off on fluids completely until I return (this is called reverse cycling).
In addition, breast milk prevents many illnesses the longer it goes on (many cancers, its an accumilative thing), supports a toddlers immune system until they get to school among many many other benefits all of which are health related. You should also be aware that kids nursed into toddler years turn out to be more self assured and independent than their peers who weaned early or were bottle fed and above all, there is an emotional comfort the child gets from feeding and this ensures all their needs are met (that is mother nature in action).
I know mothers, myself included who had intended on breast milk feeding that is feeding breastmilk in a cup for as long as it is sustainable into toddlerdom but not direct at the breast as it is as bad for the teeth as bottle feeding post twelve months.
The WHO recommends breastfeeding to two years for maximum health benefits if you look it up.
The World Health Organisation guidelines recommend breastfeeding for between 2 and 7 years for the child's health and well being. It's good for children to be close and enjoy breastfeeding until they are ready to quit, or until the mum is ready. If that isn't until the toddler years then its perfectly natural and healthy.
by Shawn May Scott 6 years ago
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