6 reasons why breastfeeding a toddler is pretty awesome

6 reasons why breastfeeding a toddler is pretty awesome

I got all warm and fuzzy inside when I read about Sophie Grégoire Trudeau running late for an interview because she was nursing her two-year-old. I know not everyone gets to have the opportunity to nurse their toddler, but if you do, you know it can be one of the sweetest times of toddler-hood. Breastfeeding a toddler looks different for every mom and tot, and it’s a world of difference from breastfeeding an infant!

Here are my own top 6 reasons why I love breastfeeding my toddler:

  1. mother and breastfeeding toddlerBreastfeeding at this age is actually a pretty flexible thing. I can leave my toddler with someone else for several hours – even overnight – and he doesn’t need to be breastfed in order to survive or fall asleep. With toddlers you can set limits and boundaries so you can continue nursing in a way that works for you.
  2. Nursing usually doesn’t take long at this age and it’s how we start the day and end the day; just the two of us snuggling. It can be a nice way to reconnect after a long day of work and childcare. It’s a special time of day for the both of us and it forces me to stop and look at my little one and remember just how little he still is.
  3. Breast milk fascinates me as it changes as a baby grows from newborn, to older baby, to toddler and even changes when your child is sick! The nutritional (and many other) benefits continue for as long as you are nursing.
  4. I love that the immune benefits of breast milk never stop no matter how long you breastfeed. With my little one in childcare full-time, I feel he needs all the immune-boosters he can get (in addition to vaccinations). When my tot does get sick, I offer to nurse more often if I’m able to. It feels good to know there is a comfort and benefit I can offer him when he’s not well.
  5. Nursing is a source of comfort for toddlers, especially if they are hurt, sick or scared. I’ve been in the emergency department with my toddler and nursing for comfort helped to calm both of us down!
  6. Because it works for me. Nursing a toddler is a personal choice and is something I have found works well for both my tot and I.

Do you have any more reasons to add to this list? Share them with us!

For parenting information or to speak with a public health nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

About Andrea Scott RN

I’m a public health nurse with the HaltonParents team – you'll find me on Facebook, Twitter and on this blog, writing about all things parenting. I’ve been working for the Halton Region Health Department since 2006 and my focus has been on supporting parents with babies and little kids. I have two little ones myself, “Pumpkin” and “Monkey” who give me plenty to write about! :)
This entry was posted in Babies, Breastfeeding Your Baby, Breastfeeding Your Child, Parenting, Parenting Your Toddler & Preschooler, Toddlers & Preschoolers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to 6 reasons why breastfeeding a toddler is pretty awesome

  1. I definitely agree on the benefits of nursing when they’re sick/scared/hurt/etc. My almost 17 month old apparently caught fifth disease and spent three days running horrible fevers. All he wanted was to nurse. My breasts were practically flat from being drained so much! But it helped him get through the yuckiness!
    He also suffers from pallid breath-holding spells, and popping him on the breast is one of the first things I do when he’s fully conscious again. It helps shorten the crying time and eases both of us!

    • Andrea Scott RN says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us! Breastfeeding really is so much more than nourishment. It’s great that you’ve found something that helps with the difficult times.

  2. Sarah Mae says:

    One of my biggest motivators for continuing to breastfeed my 2-year-old is the health benefits for ME. I have a family history of breast cancer, and studies show that extended breastfeeding decreases breast cancer risk 😊

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  5. Melanie Correia says:

    I breastfeed my almost three year old because I know he really enjoys it and isn’t ready to stop. He usually only nurses before his nap and at bedtime and I’m happy to provide him with the comfort he needs in a safe and love filled space. The world is scary for him- he’s still only a very very young human!

    I also enjoy that I can help normalize full term breastfeeding to friends, medical personal, family, and even strangers in a mall. It really is a special thing only a mother and child can share. Why rush to put an end to it?

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