That is a personal decision each woman needs to make. I think past 18 months is a bit much...that is me...however.
I think it depends on the child and the mother.
My wife breastfeed both of our children until one of two things occurred:
1 - They started teething. Babies do not know how to control how hard they bite with their new teeth, no further explanation needed.
2 - The milk is no longer enough to sustain them. Our son was always eating so we had to start supplementing his feedings with formula, when he was only a few months old. Eventually the breast milk is just not enough for the growing baby.
I suggest one year. Suprisingly, I've known a mother who breastfed her child for two years, even through teething. Breastfeeding is good for the child and the mother. It causes good growth, reduces the risk of breast cancer, and provides a mother-child bond. There are more perks but those are the quick ones that come to mind.
I am not surprised.
Higher primates all breastfeed for years rather than months too.
Thanks for your comments.
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends breastfeeding for one year. My first child weened at 18 months. We'll see when my current baby is ready to.
When to stop is dependent on all kinds of factors: how the baby takes to chewing/eating foods, how quickly they learn to drink from a cup, and when they are just ready. I am a firm believer in letting children give you signals as to when they're ready (to a certain extent and applicable only to things like weening and potty training).
As long as she decides to. It is a very personal decision, but no matter what the fact that she decided to in the first place is a great choice. (Not that formulas bad.) I've used both with my kids. I could only breastfeed until they were eight months old due to some health issues. Also sometimes women don't have a choice because her supply will dry up. Like I said formula isn't a horrible thing, but there are tons of health benefits for your baby if you breastfeed even for a short time. (I have a great hub about breastfeeding and also some other ones on child care if you want to take a look.)
One year is recommended, but 3 months is the minimum for benefits to the immune system. If a child does breastfeed for a year, though, they are not likely to want to stop, and it may take another 6 months or so to wean them...
In order for your child to get the maximum benefit of breastmilk, 2 years is the ideal period to stop breastfeeding. I've read a magazine about it.. aside from the benefit of your baby to don't easily get diseases, your chances of having breast cancer and ovarian cancer is reduced by 33%...
As long as possible! I think AAP recommendation is at least one year, and that some may go up to three. I've been in countries where I've seen kids older than that nursing, but I know that here in the USA it can cause some tilted heads and comments.
I have two sons and had totally different breastfeeding experiences with both of them. One went two and a half years, got his teeth late, never was an adventurous eater, and has never been sick. He's twelve now. The other one got his teeth early, was a biter, (!!!), wanted to try every food he saw us eating and weaned himself at about eleven months. He is an adventurous eater and has been sick once. He is now almost two.
A woman should breastfeed their child for about two years. This is to give them all the necessary nutrients required for their growth.
As long as she wish to or till the baby be able to take other substitutes.
The longer you can breastfeed your baby, the better. I breastfed mine until they were a year old. We pass on our immunities, and gather the added benefits of less risk of breast cancer. It allows us to lose the weight that we gained while pregnant and gives the baby food that was designed to be perfect for their bodies. The fats in breast milk are easier to digest, which helps your baby to keep the proper amount of weight on their bodies. The harder fats to digest just deposit on the babies frames. These fats that deposit are very hard to get rid of which could make your baby fat for years. It is much better for your baby to have the correct diet.
I think a year is about right. If it is the right time for the baby, they'll move onto solids effortlessly.
A woman should breastfeed as long as the nursing relationship is good for her and her child. I have nursed all of my children, but my autistic son nursed for a Very Long Time. Long enough for me to tell him he had to stop before he wanted. It was a painful decision, but I knew that I was starting to get resentful and that wasn't good for either of us.
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