We’re posting today as part of the April Carnival of Breastfeeding, sponsored by the Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog and the Blacktating Blog. The theme this month is extended breastfeeding, and you’ll find lots more on this topic in the links at the bottom of this post.
At Motherlove we fully support breastfeeding past infancy. Here are some of our favorite reasons to love nursing a toddler:
Comfort like no other. There are few things that can comfort your child like nursing, and when you’re parenting a busy toddler who is exploring the world, nursing provides a special connection that soothes, calms, and recharges.
Great nutrition and immune support. As your baby turns into a toddler, breastmilk remains a source of great nutrition and custom-made antibodies. In fact, it changes to meet your child’s needs as she grows. This nutritional support is particularly reassuring if you have a picky eater, and the immune support may be helpful during cold season.
They can tell you all about it! There are few things more endearing than hearing that breastfeeding “tastes like flowers” or “makes my tummy smile.” If you nurse into toddlerhood, comments like these are a big reward!
It’s good for you, too. Much of the research about breastfeeding shows that it’s “dose dependent,” meaning that the longer you do it, the more protection it offers. For mothers, this means that longer breastfeeding duration means lowered risk of breast cancer, for example.
For some, tandem nursing. For some mothers, nursing during pregnancy and nursing both a newborn and toddler is a special experience. (We even make an herbal blend designed to be used when nursing while pregnant!)
Of course, nursing a toddler can come with its own challenges, and we love these resources for support:
- Kellymom page on breastfeeding past infancy
- La Leche League page on extended breastfeeding
- Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Bumgarner
- Adventures in Tandem Nursing by Hilary Flower
- Podcast on tandem nursing, with Hilary Flower
What’s your favorite thing about nursing a toddler? Let us know!
And check out these other carnival posts on the topic of extended breastfeeding:
- Mama Alvina of Ahava & Amara Life Foundation: Breastfeeding Journey Continues
- Diana Cassar-Uhl, IBCLC: Old enough to ask for it
- Karianna @ Caffeinated Catholic Mama: A Song for Mama’s Milk
- Judy @ Mommy News Blog: My Favorite Moments
- Tamara Reese @ Kveller: Extended Breastfeeding
- Jenny @ Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: The Highs and Lows of Nursing a Toddler
- Christina @ MFOM: Natural-Term Breastfeeding
- Rebekah @ Momma’s Angel: My Sleep Breakthrough
- Suzi @ Attachedattheboob: Why I love nursing a toddler
- Claire @ The Adventures of Lactating Girl: My Hopes for Tandem Nursing
- Elisa @ blissfulE: counter cultural: extended breastfeeding
- Momma Jorje: Extended Breastfeeding, So Far!
- Stephanie Precourt @ Adventures in Babywearing: “Continued Breastfeeding”: straight from the mouths of babes
- The Accidental Natural Mama: Nurse on, Mama
- Sarah @ Reproductive Rites: Gratitude for extended breastfeeding
- Nikki @ On Becoming Mommy: The Little Things
- Dr. Sarah @ Good Enough Mum: Breastfeeding for longer than a year: myths, facts and what the research really shows
- Amy @ WIC City: (Extended) Breastfeeding as Mothering
- The Artsy Mama: Why Nurse a Toddler?
- Christina @ The Milk Mama: The best thing about breastfeeding
- TopHot @ the bee in your bonnet: From the Mouths of Babes
- Beth @ Bethstedman.com: Extended Breastfeeding: To Wean Or Not To Wean
- Callista @ Callista’s Ramblings: Pressure To Stop Breastfeeding
- Amanda @ Postilius: Nursing My Toddler Keeps My Baby Close
- Sheryl @ Little Snowflakes: Tandem Nursing- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
- Zoie @ Touchstone Z: Breastfeeding Flavors
- Lauren @ Hobo Mama: Same old, same old: Extended breastfeeding
- Jona (Breastfeedingtwins.org): Breastfeeding older twins
- Motherlove Herbal Company: Five reasons to love nursing a toddler